On April 21, we were given the honor and privilege to witness the 2014 Boston Marathon and cheer on our good friend Amanda as she ran the race in honor of Kai. As we all know, this race was way more than just a race – it was for redemption of a community; celebrating and honoring those who lost their lives; showing bravery and courage in the face of fear and giving a clear message that Love WINS. New life is here. We have all come together for this race.

I have been part of race crowds before, but this was like no other. We saw the injured – coming back, a different normal, but still standing. I wanted to ask every runner to tell me why they were running and where they came from. We saw Team Hoyt, the father who has pushed his son through over 1,100 different races in over 30 years, witnessing the amazing beauty of a father’s love for his son and desire to honor those who were hurt in last year’s bombing by running their final Boston Marathon. For every mile of this course people were lined up cheering and helping the runners along. And when we got to see Amanda and saw her strength and amazing joy it was absolutely thrilling. Amanda is one amazing person (not to mention stinkin’ speedy and such an athlete) and we were completely humbled that she would be running in honor of Kai and so thankful to be able to be there with her.

We were also given the honor and privilege to spend the Easter weekend with Shawn’s family. This was a a very special time to have together, but also bittersweet because Kai’s absence (and significant addition of volume and chaos) was clearly evident to us. However, we saw how Maya completely lit up when she saw her cousins and the clingy-ness she has been showing to Shawn and I lately, was immediately gone when they were around her. We’ve realized now that whether Maya understands or not, she is missing her brother. At the church service we were reminded of the New Life that Jesus promises. There was a beautiful spoken word presentation given and I admit it, I was bawling – I knew, absolutely knew, in that moment that Kai is there enjoying his new life in heaven, but my heart hurt so badly in missing him here in this life. But, this is grief amidst love and I know it’s ok.

When we were walking to meet Amanda to celebrate the race, we heard so many people thanking the runners. “Thank you for coming back”, “Thank you for running” “Thank you for helping our city”. Together those from Boston and from all over the world came together to bring the city its new life from tragedy.

Forever changed, still grieving, but amidst love and with hope for New Life.

April 21 also marked one month since Kai passed – time is a weird thing to me lately but this hit me harder than I imagined it would. However, April 21 also marked the beginning of a new life with the birth of my good friend’s son who was brought into the world also on April 21st. In honor of the new little munchkin, I thought I’d post a picture of a Kai when he first came into our lives. He looks a bit crazy and definitely doesn’t match (totally my fault), but I just love this picture so so much.

Kai just 2 days old
Kai at just 2 days old



6 Comments on New Life

  1. Shawn and Aki, we are so proud of your strength, grace, love for Kai and so many others, and commitment to life and healing. May God’s love and blessings shower you in your journey.

  2. I think this was one of the first, if not THE first, picture of Kai I saw! So precious.
    Praying for you to continue this journey with strength and peace.

  3. I am just so proud of you! In the midst of such hurting, you are inspiring. Kai, Maya, and Shawn are blessed, dear one. May God and his angels continue to hold you up.

  4. Aww! Such a precious picture and such a beautiful post. So thankful you were able to be surrounded by such loving support on the one month anniversary of your sorrow. I think of you and pray for you every, single day. May God’s peace be with you, and may He hold you especially close as you walk these many, varied stages of grief. He understands it all.

  5. Your outlook and optimism are so inspiring. The idea of Kai’s new life is amazing as well as all of our new lives with the great memories of Kai always with us. For some reason I feel that we should thank you for being so strong. It’s amazing. We can’ t wait to see you tomorrow. All our love.

  6. I have to say this every time – you are amazing! Thanks for continuing to inspire us! I’m so glad you got to be at the marathon and of course even more glad you were home for Easter. I know it wasn’t easy. All weekend were thoughts of Kai and how I wish so badly he could be there. But, all weekend the sun was out, so I know he was there with us. Continuing to pray for strength, energy, peace, hope and courage – all minutes and hours of the day – lifting y’all up!

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