I have had a beautiful life filled with lots of laughter, smiles, and lots of love, beautiful children, a wonderful, dedicated and loving husband, solid friendships, and a community that loves and supports their neighbors unconditionally. But sometimes life brings circumstances that are completely out of your control. In those times, it’s important to remember the beauty in life, love, and knowing that God can — and will — bring a peace that surpasses all understanding. Love Rocks was inspired by two girls who lived with immense love and joy. In their honor, we have chosen to share that love and joy with anyone willing to receive it. Thank you for celebrating with us!
On Oct. 20, 2013, the unthinkable happened to my family. My daughters, Anna (6) and Abigail (11) were hit by a car in front of our house. Both girls went to Heaven that night without warning. Since then, my husband Tom and I have had to navigate grief that we wouldn’t wish upon anyone. Our house is now empty – no laughter, no dance parties, no morning cuddles, no fighting about homework or bonding over our favorite meal. Empty.
We decided shortly after the girls went to Heaven that we were not going to allow the tragedy of one night to define our girls’ lives here on earth and the life they were now living in Heaven. Their legacy would not be this tragedy but rather the love and joy that they poured out to everyone who knew them and hopefully everyone who would hear their story.
We did not have choice on whether they went to Heaven on October 20th. We do, however, have a choice on how we live our lives honoring our Creator and honoring the lives of our sweet girls. And so, we choose love and joy!
Anna’s and Abigail’s lives were full of so much love and so much joy. They had a way of lighting up a room with their presence and putting smiles on the faces of those they came in contact with. They loved each other dearly and they were definitely sisters – maybe not by blood, but by the way they knew exactly how to push each other’s buttons. Anna adored her sister and wanted to be around her all the time. Abigail loved her little sister and was annoyed by the fact that Anna wanted to be around her all the time. True sisters!
Anna loved horses, Abigail loved theater. Both girls loved to dance, climb, be with their friends and loved family time. They would prefer a game as a family over a movie any night – LIFE, UNO and Jungle Speed being their all-time favorites. They were beautiful beyond words, both on the outside and more importantly on the inside. They had giving hearts and loved to find ways in which they could help those in need. They were insightful, kind, nurturing and loving to all who had the honor of being in their presence, especially their friends.
In April of 2014, six months after the girls went to Heaven, Tom and I felt nudged to share a project that we as a family did for our wedding in June of 2011. The girls, Tom’s mom and I spent time cutting out fabric hearts from our favorite fabrics and then Mod Podging them to river rocks. We made one for each of our guests to take home and another one that would be written on by our guests for us to keep. These little rocks have held a lot of meaning in our house since our wedding day and are placed in various rooms so that we can enjoy them no matter where we are.
That little nudge to share took on a life of its own. On April 20th, I launched the Facebook Page, Love Rocks. I shared a bit of our story and our hope for spreading love and joy through these simple rocks and included a tutorial for how to make them. Before pushing the publish button, I had to come to terms with the fact that nothing may happen with this little idea of ours. I took a deep breath, said a prayer, and sent our idea out into the world.
What has happened over the past couple years has been miraculous. Love Rocks have been shared in our little town, our state of Oregon and in every other state in the U.S. Love Rocks have been shared in Africa, Asia, South America, Europe and Australia. I’m still waiting for a picture to be posted in Antarctica. There are photos of Love Rocks in parks, on beaches, on The Great Wall of China, in front of the Eiffel Tower, on doorsteps, in hospitals, at weddings and at funerals, in a secured NASA facility, and at Anna’s and Abigail’s tree.
There have been so many stories of how these little rocks with fabric hearts have found their rightful owner just when they needed it most. They have warmed hearts and brought so much Love and Joy to this world — so much more than we could have ever imagined when we felt nudged to share.
The inspiration for Love Rocks comes from Anna, Abigail, and our loving community that supported us and continues to care for us. The outpouring of love and the immense joy that is felt throughout the world is their legacy – one filled with hope, light and laughter.
My girls’ lives were and are beautiful. They have taught so many how to live a love story and I am very proud to be their mom.
Anna, Abigail, and Susan’s story didn’t end there. In early 2015, their family found out they were expecting a new gift from heaven. Alice Lucille was born on Abigail’s birthday on December 27, 2015.
You can read more about Susan and the Love Rocks movement she founded at www.love-drenched-life.com or on Facebook.
I am so deeply moved by this. Just … no words.
So wonderful. Will read on to see what we can do to get involved. thanks for sharing.
Reblogged this on Mary-andering Creatively and commented:
Heart wrenching story of tragedy turned into hope by grieving parents who lost two precious little girls. This story is one not to miss!
Hally Franz says
Wow! What an inspiration this couple is… It has not even been a year since their loss, and they are turning this into an opportunity to spread joy and love to others. Amazing story!
A fellow Oregonian here from Portland. Going to love drenched life right now. Here from Thought Provoking Thursday.
What an inspirational story and love and joy will help so much from today on. I just can’t imagine what they went through. Stopping by from the Fantabulous Fall Favorites and pinning.
Starla J @ Pressing In and Pressing On says
God is so merciful in bring others around us to lift us up. Lovely story. ((hugs))
Wow! I am searching for words. What a great reminder that in the midst of tragedy, there is always hope. Thanks for sharing.
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
Beautiful, heart-breaking, yet soul-uplifting. God has, can, and will continue to provide. The love rocks are absolutely lovely.
Thank you for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.
Wow! What a moving story. I can’t even imagine their pain, and their strength to carry on the way they do is inspiring.
I can’t even begin to imagine what pain you and your husband have endured. What an amazing story and testament to the power of God’s love and grace. Thank you for sharing your story and I’m so glad love rocks has become such an inspiration and encouragement to so many. Beautiful! You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.
Sarah Barrett says
oh my! tears! Thank you for sharing this. xS
The way you have coped with your loss is admirable. The past year must have been so difficult for you, but whilst being in what must have been at times a very dark place, you still managed to come up with such a simple and beautiful way to share the love in memory of your two beautiful girls, Anna and Abigail.
Your story also brings home the importance of taking timeout to appreciate our loved one as we really never know what is around the next corner of life and for that I thank you for sharing your story and your love rocks.
Coombe Mill says
Oh my goodness, the most sobering post I’ve read in a long time and what a courageous couple
Thank you for sharing this incredibly moving story. What courage and what faith. Thanks for linking to Mommy Mondays #TeamMM
Hazel Moon says
What a lovely way to remember your daughters and the rocks being shared are quite a memorial to them. Thank you for sharing your awesome post with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/
Becky Jones says
Thanks for sharing your heartbreak and the good that has come out of it. God be with you and your husband.
Brittany at EquippingGodlyWomen.com says
Wow. I cannot even imagine! What a testimony, though, that something so tragic turned into something so beautiful
The Decoratoraholic (@TheDecoraholic) says
Wow!! What an awesome article. The passion in this story is so obvious. Thanks for sharing it.
Helen Neale says
Oh my word – I have no words. What a brave, loving and amazing couple. What a simple yet wonderful idea too. Thanks for linking up and sharing this moving, but also amazing story.
Amber @ Beautiful Rubbish says
I stand with those here who feel there are no words – or not much – to add after reading this story. But oh. I honor their grief, the bigger story they are telling, and the way they are continuing to tell it in the absence of these beautiful girls they lost. Thank you.
Mommy Maleta says
Thank you so much for sharing this incredibly powerful story of God’s love, healing & legacy with our readers at the Thoughtful Spot.
Bobbi - 3GLOL says
Thanks so much for linking up to Teach Me Tuesday last week. We hope to see you again there this week. Our party would not be such a growing success without you 🙂
Have a great week!
Cindy Crabb says
I just wanted to let you know that a couple of wonderful ladies gave me a Love Rock today at the garage sale in Ninilchik, Alaska and told me of your story. I felt blessed to have received the love rock and will keep your family in my prayers. I will also help spread the joy in honor of your family.
Jessica Burk says
I go to struthers middle school and we watched your video that you made for us… I just wanted to tell you that i am so sorry for you lost…… i wish that did not happen to you
I am 10 years old and I have Sara Karabinus as my teacher and she told this story and I was so heart broken but when I read this it lifted my heart back up thank you.