Dear Evy:

promising to live a happy and simpler life in honor of my evelyn

Sweet girl, I’ve been emotionally exhausted. Between family pictures, your remembrance bear, my busy work schedule and funerals, I’ve been drained. So much has left me emotional without me getting to express my emotions fully. You kept me so calm during the family pictures. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be during the …

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September 14, 2014

God Wink #5

Hey Kelly? How did the race go today? I found this tiny white feather in my kitchen this morning, no idea where it came from. I don’t know why but it made me think of Evy and her family. I said prayers for them and then blew the feather outside in the backyard. I hope all is well!

– To Kelly from her friend Chris in a text message.

Hmm…Evy’s dove? I think so.


August 26, 2014

God Wink #4

This God Wink comes from my dear friend Shelby Baxter. Here is her story.

This past weekend we were boating and saw a beautiful bald eagle fly from a tree on the Kentucky side of the river. Having never seen a bald eagle in the wild before I was amazed by its presence. It immediately made me think of Evy and singing “Eagles Wings” at her funeral. I vividly remember sitting there singing the hymn as you and your family prepared to leave the church just moments after you had shown such poise and love by speaking about your simple, laid back Evy. I wanted so badly to be able to do something to ease your pain, but it was YOU comforting a church full of hundreds of your family and friends.

As I continued to watch the eagle fly up river I thought of your sweet baby and the lessons you have unknowingly taught me in the past months. Imagine our surprise when we saw ANOTHER eagle swoop out of the tree and proceed up the river bank following the route of the first. At the sight of the second eagle l thought of Ellie. I don’t know exactly how I feel about signs but what were the chances of seeing not only one, but two bald eagles that day? Maybe this was my mind manipulating my feelings because I had talked to Andrea and knew you were spending time together last week-maybe. But I prefer to take this as just another lesson I’m learning from all of you. Andrea and Beth-while I do not like the circumstances that brought your families together, I love that you have forged a friendship and support system. I am so very thankful that you have each other. Thank you both for showing me such grace, fortitude, resolve and strength. I do not know that I could ever accurately put into words the admiration I have for you. I thank God to have the privilege to call both of you my friends. Thank you for guiding me to be a better person.



Thank you Shelby so much for taking the time to write this to me. I just love hearing new Evy stories and how she has affected people and that she is not forgotten. Love you.

We sent lanterns up to the girls on Sunday in memory of Ellie's Birthday.

We sent lanterns up to the girls on Sunday in memory of Ellie’s Birthday.

August 4, 2014

God Wink #3

My baby’s funeral was absolutely beautiful. I know it was a funeral, and most would think depressing no matter what. But not my baby’s. We were celebrating her life and everyone involved exceeded my expectation. They made saying goodbye to her physical self so much easier. Our priest, Father Chris Craig, who married us, came from Madison to do the funeral mass. His homily was wonderful. Jim Waldon, who also did our wedding music, had also asked the children’s choir to participate. They were amazing. They’re soft, sweet voices were perfect for my baby. The Ave Maria was beautifully sung. I asked Angie Myers to sing a song just for Evy. Angie too was apart of my wedding, of course. She came up with a compilation of wonderful songs that fit perfectly. She actually recorded Evy’s song so I can listen to it in my car. I wish I had all the music from the funeral. That is how beautiful it was.

On Eagle’s Wings played as we proceeded out of church behind Evy. It is such a beautiful song. Although I really didn’t get to hear it. I heard all of the other songs but only heard the first few lines. Between my sobbing and thoughts, I just missed it. And then we were out of church. At the Celebrate Evy I was told a wonderful story about the last song.

Angie Myers had waited for Jim Waldon to come down from the balcony after his last song. She wanted to know who was playing the violin during the last song. As soon as she asked, Linda Rechtin (another very musically inclined friend) said yes, she heard it too. She had thought Patrick Wunderlich might have been up in the balcony. Patrick also played the violin at my wedding. Jim was taken surprised by this. No one was playing the violin. Angie asked if he did something with the organ. He did not.

The violin’s played for my baby.

A total of four people had heard the violins play during the processional song. That is amazing. They said the violins played so beautifully and so loud. I did not actually hear the violin being played at my own wedding, so I feel it is fitting that I did not hear it at Evy’s funeral either. But I am so thankful that Angie Myers, Linda Rechtin, my cousin Jason Steininger, and my father Mike McCabe were listening with open ears to share their story with me.

July 4, 2014


God Wink #2

The morning of your visitation was like waking up the day after your passing all over again. It had been 5 days. We spent the night before putting together your picture boards. They turned out beautiful, but so sad to see your whole life played out from birth to death on 10 boards. As I rolled out of bed, dreading the day, I received a message from my friend Nicole. This passage was from her morning devotion and she felt compelled to share it with me.

“The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 34:18


It couldn’t have been more perfect and gave me the strength I needed to just start the day. For some reason I ended up at the kitchen sink, which I hadn’t been at in 5 days thanks to the generous outpouring of food and helping hands from friends. Looking out through the window I saw a bright pink speck along the tree line. Was it a pink flower? We hadn’t ever had anything pink bloom out there before. I took my shears and thought I’d check it out. It was a beautiful single pink peony blossom. Never did we have a pink peony in the 3 years that we lived at our house, nor did we even see the bush. But there it was, picture perfect. It was the most beautiful, full bloomed peony in such rich tones. I knew that single bloom was for Evy. I cut it, placed it in a water tube and laid it next to her perfect little body in the coffin. Never did it wilt. It stayed fresh all night and still looked beautiful the next day when we closed the coffin for the last time. It was such a wonderful gift from God that I will never forget. It will be interesting to see if it ever blooms again in the years to come.

Pink Peony


June 13, 2014

God Wink #1

The first time I really felt Evelyn still with me, was the day after her passing. That morning I had picked out a verse from the funeral home to use on the back of the prayer cards. Most of the poems did not fit Evelyn. They talked about long lives and feeling tired. My Evelyn was only here for 10 months. Not near enough time to relate to the majority of the poems. The first poem I came across that seemed fitting, I picked. I snapped a picture of it and didn’t think much more.

A few hours later, my dear friend Angie Myers came over to give me hugs. We were standing on my front stoop. The smallest breeze touched my left cheek. The breeze didn’t last long but the sensation did. I instantly told her to wait while I grabbed my phone. I came back out and read the sweet poem I had picked out hours earlier.

“I shall always be near you:
In the gladdest days
And in the darkest nights…
Always, always, and
if there be a soft breeze
Upon your cheek,
It shall be my breath”

I held my cheek as I sobbed reading the poem. Never when I picked out the poem did I think of her being in the breeze. It just happened. Not any other breeze has given me that same sensation. It was the most wonderful gift she could have given me. I just new it was her. I always held her on my left side and she would cuddle up to my left cheek.

It has been three weeks but I can still feel that sensation on my cheek. Whenever I am really missing her, I just place my hand on my left cheek and I feel so close to her. She knew what I needed that day. It hadn’t even been 24 hours. She came to me in my darkest day just to let me know she was ok and will always be near.

Major Sullivan Ballou Prayer Card

Her prayer card and her tiny feet