Take a chance

I woke up Sunday and knew right away that it was going to be a sad day.  The past week has been incredibly difficult, and Sunday marked one week.  One week since the last time I talked to Sarah, and one week since the tragedy that led to her death.  It feels very strange to use the word death in reference to Sarah.  It just doesn’t seem possible.

Jonny took all seven kids to Mass on his own Sunday morning so that I could have some time alone in the house and could go to Mass by myself Sunday evening.  I went to the very last one, the 7:01.  Afterwards, rather than head home, I pulled into Belmont.  It was after eight p.m. and there was no one else there.  I walked the grounds and took pictures.  I tried to empty my head a little.  I’ve lost a close friend to death before, so this isn’t my first time to walk this path.  The hurt doesn’t fade quickly, and the loss changes you.  If you allow it, that change can be for good.

I don’t have the mental energy to write all that I would like to just yet, so I’ll leave you with something I came across as I poured through Sarah’s blog (and mine) over the past week, searching for all the little signs of friendship, the little pieces of Sarah.  Some of them were only known to Sarah and I, others were more obvious, like this exchange soon after we met:

Sarah wrote on her blog:

“I have a funny story about how I met Ginny who does the yarn alongs.  While reading various blogs, I kept running into these yarn alongs.  Having no interest in yarn or knitting, I never stopped to check it out.  One day, I clicked on the link, just for curiosity and found a woman who I know from church and who was good friends with other women I knew- Ginny!  I emailed her and probably sounded like a stalker, but she reciprocated with such kindness, I knew this one was a keeper 🙂 I’ve so enjoyed getting to know her and her sweet family. ”

I responded in the comments:

“well thank goodness for the yarn along, because I would have never gotten up the nerve to just walk up and introduce myself at church as much as I wanted to! I have been here nine years and was pretty much only friends with Lori for the first six! I think this needs to be a lesson to all of us–it’s always worth going out on a limb, because that interesting looking girl at church may need friends just as much as you do!”

Ladies, take a chance.  Go introduce yourself.  I wasted a year, too afraid to say,  “Hello.”


  1. Love and continued prayers, Ginny <3 My K listened to "All Creatures of our God and King" today (of all days) and I couldn't help but think of your dear friend. I have always loved that hymn and now I think I will always think of her when I hear it – even though I only "knew" her through your words.

  2. Bonnie Schulzetenberg says:

    Ginny Thank you for this post! I was waiting for your touching and meaningful words on this sad day.
    You amazed me as you walked the grounds to clear your head.
    Sarah would have done the same for you, I am sure!
    Thank you for the stories and all the responses to your blog today are so heartwarming. I want to keep them all in my heart. You are so lovely and I am so blessed to have come to know you this past year. Quite the sacrifice to make this happen. Thank you to Jonny for helping make this happen for you. Love you Jonny!

    Miss you Sarah so Much
    Love eternal, MOM


  1. […] The day that Sarah Harkins died, Mary Beth, Sarah Annie, and I drove down to be with Ginny’s kids while Ginny and Jonny went to the hospital to say goodbye.It took us about two hours to get there. Mary Beth and I talked the whole way, two warriors in an extraordinary yearlong battle with grief. I’d already walked my 10,000 steps before the drive and when I got there, I puttered around Ginny’s house and then went out into her yard with her girls to soak in the sunshine and to force myself to be very present in the sacred moments of the day. I stayed for awhile and talked with Ginny when she got home. Then we did the drive in reverse. It was evening by the time we got home and I thought to myself what a long, exceptionally full day it had been and how I was looking forward to just curling up in bed next to my husband and going to sleep. […]

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