Another round of sorting

Last week Rachel and Valerie came over to help me sort through a collection of Karis’s things that I stashed behind her recliner when Dave transformed her bedroom into his office. It took me only two years and a few months to be ready to do this . . . and without Rae and Val’s help, I still wouldn’t have done it.

The effort was so worthwhile though! Among other treasures, we found the essay Karis wrote on gargoyles that won second place in a school-wide essay competition her freshman year at Notre Dame. I thought we had lost that essay forever. What fun to “hear” her voice again, not just through that essay but other writings and poems that we discovered, including a few more of her journals.

Karis journals and papers

Top shelf: Karis’s journals.

Bottom shelf: What we saved of her other writings from this particular sorting.

It’s still hard not to feel that we’re violating Karis’s privacy by looking at all of these personal things. But we either just store it all–or throw it all away–or we look through it, gleaning what is specially meaningful to us. It does make me think about what I want (or don’t want) other people to find when my time comes!

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7 Responses to Another round of sorting

  1. Nancy Jones says:

    Debbie, I have not been able to read through Warren’s journals…I still feel they are too personal and were written for no one’s eyes but his and God’s. Some of my friends have said to just keep them and maybe one day I will want to read them. So glad you found so much meaning in what you found! Love you!

  2. Carol Holstein says:

    I am sure it brings many mixed feelings, but also a lot of blessings, as your find out even more lovely things about Karis. I have a feeling that she had nothing that she would not want you to see. She left everything as a special gift to you and your family. May God continue to hold you close and give you strength for each day.

  3. Mary Trahan says:

    I’m afraid I haven’t been able to do this yet.

  4. Bittersweet memories, I’m sure.


  5. Holly Puett says:

    Bittersweet memories, indeed. But these will be a precious legacy to the family.
    Blessings and lots of love, Holly

  6. Mary and Bill Fawcett says:

    Debbie, I have “commissioned” someone to get rid of my journals when I’m gone! They are much too personal, at least the prayer journals, for other eyes. I do think that Karis would have wanted you to be able to “touch” her soul through her writings, and that she would know it is a comfort to you and the family…..missing her! Love from Brazil.

  7. ktbirkey says:

    Debbie, I always appreciate an update from you.

    It must be the “season” of my life. I am also sorting through letters and cards our kids sent to us in Haiti. The letters date from 1980-1993.

    All three of them were stateside while we were in Haiti. I’m in no way comparing my sorting and reading to your experience with Kari’s.

    I was impressed with how many times the letters expressed they were praying for us and really missed us.

    These letters were a blessing for me. Since going through these letters was not on my “to do” list I consider the experience something God had just for me. I’m so glad that I kept them. I reread all of them.

    Of course in light of the news we received this week the correspondence is even more precious.

    Some letters were read through tears.

    I pray the time with family this weekend is enjoyable and provides encouragement for moving forward.



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