Friday, March 1, 2013

One Year

I made it. A whole year without him. A whole year of “firsts”—learning how to do life without my man. And I’m enormously sad. I haven’t felt this sad in several months. I can’t really believe it’s been 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days.
The separation feels dreadful.

I miss you Chris! I miss your passion. Your excitement about your God, your girls, your life. I want to hear your explosive laugh just one more time. I want to dance with you in the kitchen and have you badger me to say or do something utterly ridiculous just so you can laugh at me. I want to hear you tell me to loosen up and not care how dumb I'd look. Have fun!
I want you to see our girl. Oh Chris, she’s amazing! She’s smart and beautiful and talkative and outgoing and winsome. You would be so proud of her. You'd still be showing videos of her to everyone we knowand even people we don't know. She talks about you, you know. She wonders when we will get to see you again. I wonder that too.

Remember the way we would look at each other after you came out of Erika's room when you put her to bed? We would smile at each other and wonder just how on earth we got to be parents to this fantastic girl. I want to co-parent with you. Co-marvel at our great gift. Each time she does something hilarious or kind, I want to be proud with you. And when she is a pill, I want to talk with you about how we should deal with her. I want to raise her with you. Isn't that what we planned?
I want to ask you questions again. You knew a bit about everything and had a lot to say about it. Sort of like an encyclopedia. I miss that brain of yours. I miss hearing you teach Erika the Hebrew alphabet. I can’t give her that. But you will be happy to know that your Netflix cue is intact. I may not have watched any of your selections thus far, but they are waiting for me should I get desperate for some Deep Sea Detectives or history of ancient Rome.
I want to feel your arms around me again. Be kissed by you. Look into your handsome face. I want you to look at me again so that I feel that I’m the most beautiful, interesting, treasured woman in the world.
I want to admire you as you talk with people who want to talk with you. People who want your advice, your encouragement. I want to see the care you have for their souls. And I want to pray for you as you preachand be uplifted by your words.
Oh Chris, how blessed I was to have walked some of this life with you! How blessed I was to have been loved completely by you—one of the very best men I have ever known.
I made this video for you. Remember this song ("The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson)? You used to turn it up when it came on the radio. You knew I loved its sweetness. You loved it too, I think. Thank you for taking me "the way I am." For living this life with me. For helping me and letting me help you. And for being the best daddy ever. I miss you, my love.  


  1. Dear Emily,

    Okay, I wept along with you this morning. I knew that today was The Day--it is on my calendar (as it is on the calendar of your heart), and I have been waiting to pray this prayer (from the BCP 1928):

    Almighty God, we remember this day before thee thy faithful servant Chris, and we pray thee that, having opened to him the gates of larger life, thou wilt receive him more and more into thy faithful service; that he may win, with thee and thy servants everywhere, the eternal victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    and this paragraph from the Bidding Prayer:

    ... let us remember before God all those who rejoice with us, but upon another shore and in a greater light, that multitude which no one can number, whose hope was in the Word made flesh, and with whom, in this same Lord Jesus Christ, we for evermore have been made one.

    May the comfort and peace of God be yours this and every day.


  2. What Fred said!!!! AMEN.

    Thinking of you today Emily. May the Lord of comfort walk beside you. May your heart feel His complete love for you. May He give you HOPE.

    May He give you both happy memories today. Cherished your video. What an amazing tribute to Chris.

  3. Oh Emily, my heart hurts today for you and for Erika, and for the whole Drager and Seifert families. You will be in my thoughts and prayers today. It still seems strange that he's gone. Chris will always be missed and remembered fondly by all who knew him. He was a very special, very good man.

  4. OH EM! This video is so precious! I watch it with tears running down my face, so thankful for the legacy and testimony that Chris was! And are doing SO GOOD! I am so proud of this year for you and the accomplishments that God has brought you through!

    I just LOVE the photo of you and Chris in the sun in the Bahammas AND the one of him blowing out his candle on his 40th birthday cake! :) SO so cherished!

    SENDING so many hugs and so much love and prayer your way today! LOVE YOU!

  5. Dear sweet Emily, and Erika
    I also wept as I saw the video..Chris was so caring..praying for my children, in the light of his pain. I also miss his Pastor assistant preaching. You Emily had a diamond in the rough!! As little Erika did!! Love you both..
    Laura Heimer

  6. Your story is overwhelming. Your courage is inspiring. Your love is beautiful.

  7. I understand this overwhelming loss..its been 19 months since my husband went to be with the Lord..As I watch our 5 children grow, they all look and act so much like him..constant reminders of a love gift so complete..May God bless and keep you this day, I weep with you, and pray for you and yours this day.
    Barb Genova

  8. Emily & Erika,
    My prayer for you both (and your extended family) is that God's grace, in & through Christ Jesus, will uphold & comfort you today and every day. May you continue to live Christ before all, especially before Erika. Blessings,
    Scott Wright

  9. Emily and Erika,
    What joy it is to watch this video and see Chris's smiling face with the two of you.....the two loves of his life! Chris's passionate love for the two of you and the Lord is still palpable. We know how much we miss him at Liberty and can only imagine the depth of pain you must still feel one year later. We are praying for you regularly and know the Lord has you in His hands.

    We remembered Chris during our morning assembly yesterday and prayed for your family. Chris will remain a strong Godly influence at Liberty always! He gave his all for your family and for this school. The students, staff and parents will never forget. We love you both!

    Rebekah Hagstrom and family

  10. Do you remeber Schlotsky's Sandwich and Deli ?!. I do...I had just bought photoshop software and was looking at it, when you both came in...(maybe one of your first dates....). Two youngins in love....I won't tell any more, I will let you remember the rest.