Thursday Snapshot: I don’t have a photo

February 26, 2009

Today would have been Abigail Van Campen’s sixth birthday. I don’t have a snapshot of her (not one of my own) or I would post it here. I only have a snapshot in my mind, a fleeting image of a baby girl, not yet a year old… round faced with big eyes, drinking in the scenery of our living room from the vantage point of her baby carrier. She was at our house with her parents and her brothers on a visit several years ago. She was grabbing her feet.

After that visit, for a variety of reasons, we just didn’t see the Van Campens. Kids growing up and job schedules and different churches took us running in different circles much of the time… so I didn’t ever get to see Abby as the toddler and the adorable fair haired little girl she grew into.

Then she was two.

Then she was gone.

And now I have seen a lot of snapshots of her. I’ve seen her precious dimples and her baby teeth revealed in a grin. Seen her dressed up at a wedding. Seen her giggling under blankets with her dollies. Seen her at her mother’s side as she watched her baby sister being born. abbywidgetI’ve seen all these snapshots… and sadly, this finite collection of images is the only way I can see her now.

I have had to learn about her life in the past tense… and God, I wish it weren’t so.

Happy Birthday, Abby.



  1. […] thanks, Laura. […]

  2. Laura, this is beautifully written and so thoughtful, much appreciated. Also we will never forget how you helped us after Abby’s death in designing the beautiful tribute.

  3. Laura, this is beautiful.

    Today’s been a very painful, odd day.

    I’m grateful for friends, old and new.

    Today, and every day.

  4. Thanks for posting the link to this again. You’re such a good friend, Laura!

    Do you remember when we first met and we talked all the time on the phone for an hour or more at a time? Then we stopped and one of us commented about it, and we realized that all the questions were asked and answered and then we knew each other so we didn’t have to talk so much??

    Over the past 13 years, when we see eachother, we just pick up right where we left off. Comfortable. I’m comfortable with you!

    Thanks for being one of those forever friends. I wish you had known Abby. “I have had to learn about her life in the past tense… and God, I wish it weren’t so.”

    Me too, Laura. Me too.

    And yet, her life now is glorious and that is pretty AWESOME and AMAZING!

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