Gloria Day

Gloria Elizabeth Krueger
September 2, 1972 – September 17, 2002

I’ll walk your grave today, friend, and I will laugh, and I will cry. So very grateful for the time I had with you. So very sad that you’re not here.

I can’t believe it’s been ten years.


Ten years today.

Ten years of thinking you could just burst through my front door, any minute, full of life, full of joy.

Ten years of remembering your compassion and your art.

Ten years of missing your clean laundry, piled so high on your bed it touched the sky and forced you, like an ongoing lover’s quarrel, to always sleep on the couch.

Ten years of hearing your whispers on the wind and feeling you beside me while I walk the trail behind my house.

Ten years of wondering at your gift of always making me feel good about myself and privileged to live this life as uniquely me.

Ten years of milestones.

BIG milestones.

You’re an auntie, Glo! You would’ve LOVED that. And your friends’ kids? They are legion. And beautiful.

I have five now. FIVE KIDS.

Abby’s 14. Not 4 anymore. Not 4 like she was on the night that you died. Not 4 like she was on the night that I curled up with her in my bed and tried to stifle my sobs so I wouldn’t scare her.

Why are you crying, Mama?
Oh, baby girl. Gloria died today.
Is she in Heaven?
She is, baby. I know for sure because she took some of my Heaven with her.
It’s OK, Mama.
I know, baby. I just miss her already.

Ian’s 12, now, and Aden’s 10. You saw their picture that summer before you left, and we went to Guatemala the next spring to bring them home. We named Miss Aden for you, you know. Gloria Aden; my joyful, determined, messy, smiley kid — like you, like you. And she beams every Christmas when we sing Angels We Have Heard on High, belting “GLO (oh oh oh oh) OH (oh oh oh oh) OH (oh oh oh oh) OH RIA! In egg shell sees day OH…” with gusto and terribly off pitch, proud of her name, and comfortable in her skin. So very much like you.

We have twin boys, too, like the baby brothers you adored; oh, how you would’ve laughed your way, thrilled, through that discovery. You’re pregnant? With twins? And they’re boys? YAY!

Five, Gloria. FIVE. Can you believe it? Even a little? Because I still can’t, quite honestly. You would adore them, my wild children; they’re crazy NUTS. And sometimes naked. Like we were the summer night we ran all the way down that mountain, a pack of wild women wearing only running shoes and freedom.

It still makes me smile.

You would’ve turned 40 two weeks ago, Glo. The big 4-0. And you would’ve embraced it, I think, the way you did 30, with eager anticipation, delighted to enter a new era.

We just didn’t know then what kind of new era was coming, did we?

You left us for Heaven on September 17. Ten years ago.

On the hardest days — the days I’m disheartened and I wonder whether I really believe in God or Heaven — you pull me there with you, the strength of your life so vibrant and full that it’s impossible for me to think such a Light can be snuffed. You must be somewhere, Glo. And it must be magnificent. It simply… must.

When I pray — help my unbelief — I hear Gloria whispered softly in my mind. Because the love of Vivid You is often an easier touchstone to find in the dark than a God too big to understand. This, I think, is much of what it means to be Jesus to each other.

I miss you, friend.

I can still hear your laugh.

And I love you.


Oh, friends. I know I’m not alone. If there’s someone you miss and want to honor, please do feel free to leave their name and dates in the comments below. Also? Here is a piece of my heart. You may use it to shore up yours. I think a patchwork quilt of hearts is the only way to make it through, sometimes. Don’t you?


ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
  1. Remembering Gloria and our antics at TRFC, thank you for being in the moment today!
    Her smile and zest and joy!

  2. Jordan Wesley Boggs 12/15/89 – 04/07/2012
    One of my “boys”…

    1. Love to you, Kerry. And to Jordan’s fam.

  3. I didn’t get a chance to read this til today, Beth. Thanks for your heart. You always have such incredible words all put together to touch us all. I lost my mom 6 years ago, seems longer than that – it is hard to remember the little things sometimes, but I still miss her.

  4. Will Rabion 6/6/1986-9/9/2010

    Tens years, wow, I couldn’t imagine my 2 years without him much less 10. They say it gets easier with time, whoever they are. But I don’t want it to get easier, not that I want to wallow in my grief forever, i’m just afraid easier means forgetting. I don’t want to forget him. I don’t want to forget his smile, his compassion, his great big bear hugs. I’ll take remembering over easy any day.
    Here is a piece of my heart for you, Beth. I don’t think we could make it through this life without our patchwork hearts. 🙂

    1. Sending love, Jessica. I’d take harder + remembering, too. xo

  5. My first husband, Doug, 2/19/57-5/6/96.

    My father-in-law, Hal, 2/14/34 (?)-6/18/06

    My best friend, Kathy, 12/25/57-5/23/03

    Miss them (and many other friends and family) all very much every day!

    1. Thank you for sharing them with us, Sue. Love to you.

  6. Thank you, all, for joining your hearts to mine. I cried for every one of you yesterday, raw and open in a good, good way. If I keep this up, I’m going to have to change my staunch belief that I’m not a crier. Alas, life and death change us, don’t they?

    Thank you for sharing your loves with me.

    We remember:
    Emma’s mama
    Shelley’s brother Don
    Christine’s grandma Sonja
    Helen’s mom-in-law Jackie
    Gaylin’s dad
    Heather’s second mom Mary
    Little boy Judson
    Melanie’s mama
    Julie’s mama and dad
    Cathie’s grandma
    Alisa’s opa
    Sarah’s David
    Maria’s husband Kent
    Roxanne’s Barbara
    Betty’s baby Duane and pastor Dick and mama Esther
    Sharon’s dad-in-law George
    Our Gloria

    And I remember Martin and AJ and Gary and Joey and Neil. And more. So many more. Just like we all do.

    Blessings, friends. And thank you.

  7. This was beautiful, Beth. You had me weeping by the end, missing my father-in-law, George W. Markey, an intrepid man of God whose obedience to the vision God gave him ultimately resulted in hundreds (perhaps thousands, who knows?) being saved in Ukraine and over a dozen churches planted that are thriving to the present day. He died February 13, 2007, less than a month after the birth of my eldest child. He was suddenly taken ill in Kyrgyzstan, where he and his wife and several of their children were working to do the same thing they had done in Ukraine. He was medically evacuated to the States, but it was God’s plan to call him Home. Besides missing him, my greatest grief is that my children will never know him this side of Heaven.
    Thanks for sharing and for giving all of us an opportunity to grieve our own losses.

  8. My son Duane died 10 days before his first birthday. 2/1/65 – 1/21/65, my brother Dick, a pastor, who fought multiple Myeloma, March 29, 1945 – March 10, 2004, and my momma Esther who went to be with Jesus April 10th of this year. She was 90. All with Jesus, waiting for us. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us Beth.

  9. I miss Gloria all of a sudden, too, and I have not ever even met her! This post was touching, and all the wonderful comments about her are making me grieve for the fact I have never met her. To me, she represents all the people that I know I will miss when they leave this temporary home of ours into the huge, strong, and radiant arms of our Savior! Thank you for remembering her so well!

  10. Barbara LaForge 2/9/1959 – 10/8/2002. Murdered.

    Love you always, Girl.

  11. My husband – Kent Lardie – 11/20/1960-06/30/2005. He had cancer. Our baby was 7 when he died. She’s 14 now. They were so close. I’m glad you talked about doubting God’s existence. I questioned for about 3 months. It was so hard. And no one else has ever said they did.

  12. David Emmel 5/3/1973-7/17/1994
    I can still hear your laugh, see your smile, and feel your arms wrapped all around me in your great big hugs. I miss you so much, even 18 years later.

    Thank you Beth for the remembrance.

  13. my beloved opa, who passed away two days after my 33rd birthday. and who, for one second, broke through the alzheimers long enough to look me in the eyes and smile. it was so quick, and so brief. but for a second, he was there. and that is the look i will always remember.

  14. I miss Gloria today too. I like that you said she always made you feel good about yourself. Glo always made me feel good about myself too. She had a talent for that didn’t she?

  15. My grandma. She is the one person in my life from whom I FELT unconditionally loved. She’s been gone a very long time, and I still miss her very, very much.

  16. My mom (1933-2012) and dad (1928-1999) .

    I’m sorry for your loss Beth. This is a wonderful tribute to your friend. I would like to be better at remembering, acknowledging and celebrating the loved ones I have lost. Thanks for the lovely example.

  17. Beautiful as always Beth. I was 6 weeks pregnant when I got the call. I am at the beach today and it is glorious. Sunny, warm barely windy. A day Glo would have basked in. I have sat all morning, looking at the ocean grateful for her life, sad that it ended so abruptly so I didn’t have time to tell her so many things. Sad that my children will never know her. Will never get to experience her zest for life.
    I organized my life so I could be here, on this day, at the beach to remember Glo. But last week got the news that my mom has cancer and now I am here grateful that I have the time to tell my mom all the things that need to be said but devastated that another life might be taken too soon.
    Thank you for your words. For your vulnerability. For memoralizing an amazing woman who lived every day with passion.

  18. I was just telling some Kiwi friends last week about this girl I used to know, and how she and some others, one summer evening, decided to take a “walk on the wild side”, and hiked up to a stunning visita, sat and chatted, then tore down the other side of the hill like a pack of wild amazon warriors only to be met with the hoops and hollers of the male population awaiting to see if the rumor was true. DID the girls of Twin Rocks really attempt the unimaginable? DID they have an adventure of the lifetime, all while *only* wearing their running shoes???

    We share Glo’s story often, and how her ministry in Haiti was so life changing. And your right, she would have been TICKLED PINK over your twins!!! I am gonna place money on the fact they just MIGHT have been, secretly her favorite of your kids. =)

    I miss my mom. She would have been 74 on Sept 3rd. I have spent more of my life without her, than with her now. And she is forever locked in my mind as a beautiful 52 year old women fighting a disease that has taken too many, too soon.

  19. Judson Drake Levasheff, December 24, 2004 – November 7, 2007
    Because of the faithfulness with which he and his family have faced their suffering and grief, I can face my own.

  20. Such a beautiful post and wonderful way to honor a friend (who was crazy/wonderful enough to run naked down a mountain with you? I’m pretty sure that means I would have loved her).

    Taking time to remember really does bring love and comfort into the grief that has its own ebb and flow. Continuing to grieve my second mom Mary. Thinking of her family and yours and sending love.

  21. My dad died June 30, 1993. Yesterday my mom gave me a wooden bowl, platter and rolling pin that he made her for wedding presents, I have always cherished these things made by his own hands. He was a gift in my life and taken away way too soon.

  22. Jackie, the loveliest mother-in-law anyone could have, who died 11 years ago now.
    She completely outstripped the life-expectancy she’d been given as a kidney transplant patient, and got to see her children do so many things she never expected to, but sadly wasn’t able to be around quite long enough to see any of her grandchildren.

  23. Sonja L. Crilly 3/27/1938 – 5/22/2005
    I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my grandma you’ll be.

  24. My brother, Don. 04/28/81-09/06/08

  25. I miss my mama. She died in January of brain cancer. Her birthday is Wednesday – she would have been 58.

    1. This post and all it’s comments were so painful! We are all carrying the loss of someone.

      My Mama – from Ovarian Cancer – 19 years ago this December.

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