Elizabeth you turn 31 today……


Your last birthday of us together with your sisters….2/27/2011, at Disneyworld for my 5K and your Half-Marathon

To my joyous, one dimple, blue eyed daughter with a birthmark on her thigh in the shape of a heart…..The mark where you told people that God kissed you when you were born.  How very insightful that comment is to me today as you spend your 6th birthday with the One who sent you to me, and kissed you and left that birthmark in the shape of a heart.

There wasn’t a room that didn’t light up when you entered or your amazing ability to make people laugh!  There wasn’t a stranger you didn’t suddenly become friends with and there was your playfulness, and your joy that you shared with everyone you met.  And yet, you had a tender heart.  A heart of grace when others would wound you.  Those wounds would translate into you wanting to build a home of grace where your boys would be boys but also they would have a heart that even at their young age knew who Jesus was and already loved him….because of your heart.

So, today you turn 31.  Your 6th heavenly birthday.  This year, there are more family that have joined you in heaven for this birthday and I am sure they are celebrating with you today.  Your Nana Griffin and Grandma Patschke will join you today.  Maybe you will have some of those noodles you loved from Grandma Patschke.

Your family gathered for an early celebration of your life on Sunday, at Top Notch.  Top Notch is special to me because it was the last meal you and I would spend together.  So it is here with hamburgers, onion rings and french fries where I feel closest to you and try to reach back and never forget that day.  When you and your sisters were small, your Dad and I would drive a long distance to eat there and it was grilled cheeses for all three of you.  That tradition of grilled cheese sandwiches was carried on by your niece (Camryn Elizabeth) and nephews (Eli Fischer and Marshall Benjamin) Sunday.


Camryn 2252018

Camryn Elizabeth

Top Notch 2018

Marshall Benjamin

Top Notch 2018_1

Eli Fischer

Top Notch 2018_2

The Family!


John and I later attended a Mercy Me concert in Cedar Park and on our way home in Salado, your hometown, there was this amazing bright falling star that came across the dark sky in front of us.  I looked at John not realizing at first what it was because it was so brilliant across the dark Texas night, but then I smiled and said “Thank you Lizz”.  It was your birthday gift to me from God.

Not gonna lie, sweetie, these days are still hard for your momma, but I have come to a place of understanding  and peace that it’s because I loved you and that in itself is worth it and so I carry on, enjoying life, trying to be all that God intends me to be and loving on our family.

This afternoon, I went to the place that honors your life, and laid your birthday wreath.  Making wreaths and the creativity it brings is very healing for me and it is my way to honor you.

Lizz 31st BirthdayLizz 31st Birthday cemetery

This Lent season also reminds me of our hope in Christ and so thankful for the cross and the resurrection.  This season is much like grief, there is no joy of the resurrection on Easter without the darkness of the cross and Good Friday.    And that is where I place my hope.

I love you Elizabeth Anne…..


To my precious Jesus…….Please hug Elizabeth for me.  Tell her I love her.  Please wrestle the boys for me and tell them Nana loves them.  Thank you for the display of your glory with the falling star Sunday night.  It was spectacular!


4 thoughts on “Elizabeth you turn 31 today……

  1. I’m crying as I read this beautiful tribute to your precious angel, Elizabeth. Although I never met her, I can see from pictures how her smile lights up the room! You are such a wonderful person Julie and your strength amazes me! Thank you for sharing your memories of Elizabeth with us and for showing us how God brings comfort and peace to those in need.

  2. J…… I like you, can’t believe it’s been 6 years. God has shown grace in having you start this blog for someone so beautiful in spirit. Your words ring true in everything you write. I STILL see that beautiful face, smile, and dimple the first time that I met her. I can say that she was a TRUE testimony to this verse: Matthew 5:14-16 14″You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

  3. this made me cry too! i had a beautiful cousin who was killed by a drunk driver when she was 21. when my aunt went to a mountain top where they liked to hike to spread her ashes a great whirlwind of butterflies came and swirled around her ashes. my aunt said you would almost have to be there to believe it but she knew that was a sign from her daughter (who loved butterflies) that she was ok and that she was in heaven with Jesus..

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