Judy’s Memorials

Below are memorials I have put in the local newspaper on Charity’s birthdays and the anniversary of her death.

Posted: 10-7-98


Happy 17th Birthday Charity

On the day of your birth
A bit of sunlight slipped to the earth.
And all these years in pleasure and strife
Your light and your smile have graced my life.
And so on your Birthday I celebrate too
For so much of my joy was born with you.
I miss you more and more each and every day
May you rest in Peace my sweet daughter
You’re an Angel now, Charity Mae.

Love you Always and Forever, Mom

10-7-81 to 1-18-98


Posted: 1-18-99


To Charity Mae
10-7-81 to 1-18-98

A painful year has come and gone
And still I feel you’re here,
Every time I pass your door
I shed a silent tear.

I miss your call, “I’m ready Mom”
For me to tuck you in,
I miss when you sign “I love you”
And tell me we’re best friends.

Our years of camping are all gone
Their mem’ries I hold near,
The tents, the frogs, the fear of bear
In my heart, ever dear.

A foundation we have started
And named it Charity Mae,
So cardiomyopathy
Is cured, we hope, one day.

I know you’re with our Savior now
On bended knees I pray,
That when our Lord does call me home
Your face I’ll see that day.

Love You, Always & Forever,


Posted: 10-7-99


Charity Mae Kohlman
10-7-81 to 1-18-98
Happy 18th Birthday


I struggle to know just what I should say
On what was to be your most special day.
Your planning had started way long before
I dreaded the day you’d walk out the door.
You dreamed of your wedding and hoped there would be
A handsome young prince there waiting for thee.
Down the aisle you would walk, doves holding your veil
Your groom, a glass slipper, just like the fairy tale.
I’m glad that you shared all your dreams here with me
To work with little children and the elderly.
Sometimes I can feel your hand slip into mine
Then I close my eyes tight and it feels like old times.
No one can ever steal my memories of you
Our camping, trips to L.A., the Wahpeton Zoo.
There’s peace in my heart knowing your work here was done
That homecoming crown you wanted, finally won.
You’ll never be forgotten my sweet Charity Mae
You’re safe now, you told me the angels guided your way.

Love you always & forever,


Posted: 12-25-99


Merry Christmas
Charity Mae Kohlman
10-7-81 to 1-18-98

You have always had the true spirit of Christmas.
Enjoying giving more than receiving. And right up
until the end, believing in the concept of SANTA.
One who gives himself all year to help those less
fortunate. Your Santa was Palmer. God
Bless you Palmer and thank you for touching
Charity’s heart. We’ll miss your presence on
Christmas, Charity.

We Love You, Your Family


Posted: 1-18-00


Charity Mae Kohlman
10-7-81 to 1-18-98


If you could come back for just one more day
I’d take you to Frisco for old times sake.
We’d ride the cable car, the right way this time
And head to the Wharf to see the sea lions.
Or we could go to Sanibel Island
You loved their beaches made of shells and not sand.
Remember that surfer with the long blond hair
You even took his picture on my dare.

Maybe you’d rather stay closer to home
Camping perhaps, far away from the phone.
I’d gather some wood, you’d sweep out our tent
We’d sit by the fire, isn’t that how it went?

I’m sure that your friends would all want to call
They’d stop by and you would head to the mall.
I’d plan a big party way out in back,
At leaving time there would be tears that’s a fact.

At midnight I’d tuck you into your bed
We’d talk of your day and the things that were said.
You’d sign, “I Love You”, say your sweet words and pray
I’d lay down beside you but this time I’d stay.

If you could come back for just one more day
I’d pray to the Lord to please let you stay.

Love you always & forever,


Posted: 10-7-00


Charity Mae Kohlman
10-7-81 – 1-18-98
Happy 19th Birthday


Charity, when you were first born
I thanked the Lord above.
I promised I would care for you
and give you all my love.

You grew up,oh so beautiful
and made me always proud.
At times I hear you talk to me
when I am in a crowd.

I dream you’re gone to college now
I close my eyes and say,
“I’ll pack my bags and go there
to celebrate your day.”

Instead I travel to your grave
and decorate the ground.
I pray that you can see me there
my tears don’t make a sound.

When I see a Buick, just like
the one you used to drive,
I look to see who’s at the wheel
as though you’re still alive.

I promised you I’d live my life
as happy as could be.
A new baby boy now makes you
the oldest of my three.

At the end of every long day
when I turn out my light,
I recall your gentle whisper
“Love, lock doors, sleep tight.”

I love you Charity Mae


Posted: 1-18-01


Charity Mae Kohlman
10-7-81 to 1-18-98

On this date three long years ago today
God sent His Angels to take you away.
While I lay sleeping, He whispered to me
“It’s Charity’s time to finally be free.”

Treasures I’ve found in your dresser and drawers
Letters from Grandpa and cards from before.
I cling to your words, in the midst of my tears
“If each has the other, there’s nothing to fear.”

A call I received from a man far away
Who happened to pass through Fargo one day.
He read of your life and wrote a song about you
He cried when he told me; each day I cry too.

Your days were so full you had no time to waste
The next challenge ahead you always embraced.
A life that was lived, not one that was lost
Is the treasure I keep no matter the cost.

I love you Charity
Always and Forever



Posted: 10-7-01


Happy 20th Birthday
Charity Mae
10-7-01 – 1-18-98

I remember this date
Twenty years ago today,
Not knowing much at all
Well, except for how to play.

You always took the time
To spend your Birthday with me
Never knew there’d come the day
I would have to set you free.

Three years have come and gone
My heart ache is always there
I’m thankful my dreams last
And grateful the Lord does care.

Today we celebrate
The bonfire will be big
We’ll eat your Birthday cake
Make a dinner you would dig.

Love you Always and Forever


Posted: 1-18-02


Charity Mae Kohlman
10-07-81 – 01-18-98

As the wind and the snow come howling by,
The memory of that morning still makes me cry.
As we gathered around to pray by your bed,
The look on your face was angelic they said.
Your hair wrapped in curlers
preparing to look only your best.
On your day of confirmation
you were ahead of the rest.
I have so many questions I still need to know,
The answers will have to wait
‘Til it’s my time to go.

Love You Always and Forever!


Posted: 10-7-02

Charity B&W 5

Happy 21st B-Day
Charity Mae
10-07-81 – 1-18-98

Gone are the days when
I’d tiptoe down the stairs
To watch you eat your breakfast,
Taking your vitamin, Gummy Bears.

Gone are the days when
I’d proudly watch you dance
Moving gracefully across the stage
Catching my eye with your glance.

Gone are the days when
At the end of a long, hard day
You’d sit on the side of my bed
And ask if I minded if you stay.

We’d talk of all the challenges
That you had faced that day
Then think of a solution
Which usually meant we’d pray.

Today is now your birthday
We won’t be jumping in the leaves
I won’t get to watch you rollerblade
Or see what you could achieve.

Today I’ll stand in the ocean
On what was a bright and cheerful day
And play in the home of the dolphins
In the hopes they’ll swim my way.

I’ll remember how you loved
To body-surf the waves
You taught me to be fearless
And live life to its fullest every day.

Today will bring some sadness
For those you left behind
A family who misses you dearly
And friends who are still so kind.

Today we’ll blow out candles
Send a delivery to your grave
Hold hands and say the Lord’s Prayer
Blow a kiss and give Heaven a wave.

Missing you with all my heart Charity.
Love you Always and Forever


Posted: 1-18-03


Charity Mae Kohlman
10-7-81 – 1-18-98

It’s hard to believe
Five years ago today
With all of us asleep
Your soul had slipped away.

At the time I couldn’t imagine
How my life would turn around
So many things are different now
The peace I prayed for I have found.

Each night I tell a story
To Summer about you
Some are funny, some sad
But all of them are true.

I tell her of the many ways
You always made me laugh
How you enjoyed life’s simple things
Like the smell of fresh cut grass.

I tell her of the times
Your friends would come to stay
The house would fill with laughter
As awake in bed I lay.

I miss those times so very much
But God has taken care
He gave me two more children
Your memory with them I share.

I now believe in Angels
Sometimes it seems so clear
The many little reminders
That your spirit is still here.

I love you Charity, Always and Forever, Mom


Posted: 10-7-03


Happy 22nd Birthday
Charity Mae
10-7-81 1-18-98

Your birthday is today
I wonder where you’d be
Twenty-two years old now
To me you’re still sixteen.

I’ve got a few questions
That I need the answers to.
Is your hair still as long?
Are your eyes still as blue?

Will you be there to greet me
When it’s my time to go?
Can we go out for coffee?
Can we eat our cookie dough?

Today I was outside
Raking leaves with our kids.
They ran and they jumped
Something you never did.

It made me sad to see
What I never saw before,
That when you were little
Even running was a chore.

People think I do well
But at nighttime they don’t see
When I lay down in bed
All the pain that surrounds me.

In the morning I get up
Put a smile on my face
And know you’re with Christ
In a much better place.

We celebrate this day
Your candles will burn bright
We’ll sing you Happy Birthday
Then let our balloons take flight.

Love you Charity, Always and Forever


Posted: 1-18-04


Charity Mae Kohlman
10-7-81 – 1-18-98


A mother always knows
When her child is in need.
As it was on that cold morning
of January the eighteenth.
I awoke at 5:00 a.m.
Tears running down my face.
While running to your room
Something stopped me in my place.
I looked out our front window
Saw the street light flicker on.
There were countless little snowflakes
Falling softly to the ground.
A calmness then came over me
I can’t explain it to this day.
I went back into my room
As I sensed you were okay.
Later I went to wake you
Our breakfast was all made.
When I walked into your room
There silently you laid.
Your hair was wrapped in curlers
A velvet nightgown you had on.
Your face was oh so beautiful
And your TV you’d left on.
I leaned down low to whisper
“Time to get up Charity,
It’s your confirmation day.”
You’d been gone for a few hours
You later told me in a dream.
God took your soul at 5:00 a.m.
Now that explained everything.
The presence of our Savior
Was so prevalent that day
Your Holy Confirmation
Was a mere three hours away.
God had it all planned out
On that brisk January day.
He kept me from intervening
While the Angels swept you away.
I called all your good friends.
Each came to say goodbye.
They knelt beside your bed.
Not one left with a dry eye.
They have now all moved onward
Cards and calls I still do get.
Some friends have finished college
Their future plans almost set.
And yet I often wonder
What today it would be like,
If you could be here still
The world enriched by your life.

I Love You Charity Mae
Always, Mom


Posted: 10-7-2004


Charity Mae Kohlman

10-07-87 to 1-18-98

I went to God’s country,
Charity, did you see?
Where mountains reach Heaven
And Eagles soar free.

I said my goodbyes
To my Uncle today
Who’s dying of cancer
He’ll soon come your way.

A day filled with memories
Our days in the past.
Took for granted the life
That’s gone by too fast.

I hold my hands up
To the Heavens above
And give the Lord thanks
For sixteen years of your love.

Some people may say
I have mourned way too long
But in my own time
I have learned to be strong.

I’ve learned that commitment
To God is the key
So spread your wings wide
My heart sets you free.

Today I will celebrate
Embrace where I’ve been
Live each day to the fullest
And rejoice life again!

Happy 23rd Birthday Charity Mae.

Love you, Mom


Posted: 1-18-05

With Judy at Christmas

Charity Mae Kohlman
10-7-81 ~ 1-18-98

I tiptoe in their room at night
And quietly watch them sleep
Thinking of the prayers they said
Their souls they asked God to keep.

They remind me of you so much
The way you held my hand
The way you lived your life
As if it were God’s plan.

I’ve tried so hard to understand
Why so young you had to die
Then in a dream I heard God say,
“I’ll give you the reason why.”

“This child that I sent to you
Was only just a loan
I knew you’d need her sunshine
To make your house a home.”

“For everything there is a purpose
Someday you’ll understand
Her time on earth was fulfilled
Her life with Me at hand.”

So when tonight I close my eyes
And recall your precious smile
I’ll wrap your arms around me
And stay that way awhile.

Remembering the day you became an Angel.

I Love You Always and Forever,


Posted: 10-7-05


Charity Mae Kohlman
10-7-81 – 1-18-98

Where did our time go?
Why did it move so fast?
I had to work two jobs,
Your baby stage soon past.

Those seemed like simpler times,
Ones I remember well.
When a little puppy kiss
Made my own heart swell.

I went back to visit Mayo
Just the other day.
So many little reminders
Of where we had to stay.

The tears came unexpected
I tried to hold them back,
Then a gentle hand took mine
And calmed my tearful attack.

I welcomed all the hardships
Took in what they could teach.
And the lessons that I learned
Bring dreams within my reach.

I’ll turn back the hands of time
And recall your loving smile.
Remembering all you taught me
Makes everything worthwhile.

Our time on Earth is short
I will cherish every day.
You taught me how to live my life
Death can be one heartbeat away.

Happy 24th Charity Mae.
I will always miss you.

Love you, Always and Forever,



Charity Mae Kohlman
10-07-81 – 1-18-98
Happy 25th Birthday

I sat in my car
Thinking of words I could write
When a gust of wind
Brought leaves into flight.

My window was down
Just and inch or two
But a golden leaf
Found its way through.

It landed on me
On my shoulder it laid.
I knew who had sent it
For to you I’d just prayed.

Whenever I ask you
To give me a sign
You always come through
To not see, I’d be blind.

Few answers I have
But one thing I know
Your spirit lives on
God’s grace lets it show.

Love you always and forever,


Posted: 10-7-2007


Happy 26th Birthday, Charity

You’d be twenty-six today
How fast time seems to fly.
You left us so suddenly
And still I wonder, why?

Tiffany got married now
In August of this year.
Such great friends you two were
Of course I shed a tear.

She wanted me to read
A passage about love.
I couldn’t help but think of you
Looking down from up above.

And then in September
Your good friend Nate did call.
We met for coffee and talked
He’s so handsome,
smart and tall.

Also last month a big surprise
A letter I received.
From Jan, your friend from Moorhead
She wrote all she’s achieved.

She’s now a business manager
A busy mother of two.
She named her younger daughter
In memory of you.

Time keeps moving forward
But some things never change.
The Love we all share for you
Makes us part of the same gang.

Love you always and forever,


Posted: 1-8-2008


A Decade Without You

There were many times
I wondered
How I would survive
Living life without my daughter
My friend by my side.

A priest told me something
I never thought someone would
That your death
Would teach me more
Than your life ever could.

I disagreed profusely
How could that be so
When this special child of mine
Made my life feel so full.

It took me several years
To figure all this out
And countless trips to the grave
Where your name
I’d give a shout.

I’ve learned to pray to Jesus
And Mother Mary too
For she can understand
The pain that I go through.

I know that you’re in Heaven
No pain you have up there
I can’t wait to see you
My life with you I’ll share.

Someday we’ll be together
Summer, Isaac and Gary too
One big happy family
In God’s heaven with you.

I love you Charity Mae
Forever ~ Mom


Posted: 1-18-2008


To my sweet Charity Mae

10-07-81 01-18-98

You were always my best friend
Always there when I was down
Bringing laughter to a room
No one left you with a frown.

You gave me all your love
I felt it that’s for sure
A piece of my heart is gone
For that there is no cure.

Sadness was everywhere, which
Made December rough this year
The death of Amanda Leininger
Dampened everyone’s Christmas cheer.

Tragedies do make life tough
Dianne has lost her two sons
Samuel and Gabriel
Their family misses them tons.

A Mother’s love is endless
And with death there is despair
We struggle to understand
That life can be so unfair.

Waves of grief still come and go
But my friends remain so true
Always there to pick me up
When some days I feel so blue.

Your soft face against my own
Charity, I can still feel
The way your hand fit into mine
Sometimes it seems so real.

I love you Always and Forever,



Posted: 10-7-2008


Happy 27th Birthday Charity Mae

Some days are still so tough
But I know that you are near.
It brings me gentle peace
And absolves me of my fear.

I traveled to Germany
For surgery you see.
My neck was in bad shape
And they gave me good relief.

There was a day while there
When I wondered to myself
If this would be the end
As your picture lay on my shelf.

I could sense a gentle peace
As your eyes looked from above,
I asked you in my prayer,
“Look over the ones I love.”

While people all around me
Were filled with so much care,
Events here were proving
That life isn’t always fair.

Sophie is okay still
But another child is gone,
Mary’s heart aches with grief
Since her mother has passed on.

Today I celebrate,
Embrace where I have been,
Live each day to its fullest
And rejoice in life again.

Always and Forever I love you.



Posted: 10-7-2009


Giving Thanks for your Life

This day will always be
A day where I give Praise
For a life that changed my world
And made special all my days.

We had a special bond
The others would admire
My friend and companion
My dreams you inspired.

Some days are still a challenge
A special friend now gone
He provided me direction
So that I could carry on.

A boy from Shanley High
Passed away the other day
And active 16 year old
Like you, he died the same way.

But now more than ever
I feel God take the lead
Every time I read His book
I find the words I need.

Today I’ll take some flowers
And place them on your grave
I’ll go to church and Pray
Blow Heaven a kiss and wave.

I love you Charity
Always and forever


Posted: 10-7-2010


Happy 29th Birthday Charity Mae

I cried when I found
This picture of you,
A bright special smile
Your spirit shows through.

You wanted to be
A princess someday,
On Christmas one year
This crown you displayed.

When you were little
Maybe two or three,
Afraid of strangers
You’d hide behind me.

You’d cling to my leg
I was glad you knew,
That no matter what
I’d look after you.

You never complained
We had not a lot,
Each year brought us a
New fight to be fought.

I pray to our Lord God
And Mother Mary too,
For they can understand
The pain that I go through.

Tonight when I kneel
I’ll pray for your soul,
And give thanks to the Lord
Your life made me whole.

I love you Charity, always and forever.



Charity Mae Kohlman

10-07-1981 to 01-18-98

As I searched my
Album of pictures
This one brought me
A gentle peace.
A beautiful child
Blowing bubbles
Watching them take
Flight on a breeze.

Those times are oh,
So very precious
Even then did I realize,
You’re never too big
For me to hold
And sing you
Countless lullabies.

I always enjoyed my life with you.
The many camping trips we shared
Your Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World
My happiness can’t be compared.

In this picture here one can notice
On your finger there is a band
It shows your dedication to God
Displayed clearly on your left hand.

That was a gift from the heart, you see
On your baptism you received
With love from you Grandma and Papa
Life with God for eternity.

I am starting a new journey now
My time to Make-A-Wish I’ll lend
I have hopes that it will be a start
To a heartache still on the mend.

It’s been eight years since I held you last.
I still cry almost everyday.
I know you want me to be happy.
For this I’ll continue to pray.

I’ll always love you Charity,

Always and Forever ~Mom


Charity wrote this to me

To Mom


The picture of our Life

The night is still
Though we all talk
The ground is clean
Though we all walk.

My heart is full
But, sometimes half empty
You always refill it
But, then someone spills it.

You are the sun, rain, cloud
While I am the flower you provide for.
For I am with you forever
You can not shake me off.

We are webbed together
God cannot separate us
I lived in you for nine months
I will always be in you if you
Can not find me.

By Charity Mae written on March 1, 1996



Charity Mae Kohlman

10-07-81 01-18-98

There’s never a day
I don’t think of you,
But this time of year
Seems it’s all that I do.

I think of your eyes
Captivatingly blue,
Your long hair and fair skin,
The outer beauty of you.

Your most beautiful trait
That the eye couldn’t see,
Was who you were inside
Especially to me.

The compassion you had
The kindness you showed,
Your unshakable faith
An inner beauty that glowed.

God knows how I miss you
And all that we shared,
So much we went through
Nothing else could compare.

Tonight when I kneel
I’ll pray for your soul,
I’ll give the Lord thanks
Your life made me whole.

Love you Always and Forever




Your Special Gift to Me

A few days before Christmas
You sister woke up and said
“I had a great dream last night!”
She told me you had wed.

She said his name was Jacob
And she wanted me to know
That you were very happy
Summer said that you just glowed.

She said you had a baby
And his name was Jacob too
Oh, how I wish that I could
Come to spend some time with you.

I’m reminded every day
As I look at Summer’s face
or the way that Isaac laughs
We’re still enriched by your grace.

The radio kept playing
Your and my favorite tune
Was an old Christmas classic
Christmas ended way too soon.

My life keeps moving forward
To our God I give much praise
He gave me three great children
He entrusted me to raise.

And so I’ll keep on trying
To be happy every day
So much to be thankful for
So keep showing me the way.

Love you always and forever.


Charity Memorial Day 2011

Charity Mae Kohlman
10-7-81 – 1-18-98

This poem I found a few months ago as I prepared for Charity’s last benefit concert. I am assuming she wrote it in the last year she was alive.

My heart is filled with sadness
My eyes are full of tears

If only I was there to bless
And take away your fears

My arms are open for a hug
My shoulder there to cry

I feel as if I am a bug
With no where else to fly

I have mended your broken heart,
And held you through the night

I’ve been with you from the start
And won’t let you out of my sight

I am your Guardian Angel and will always be there.

Written by Charity Mae Kohlman



The Picture In My Dream

It’s been years since I’ve had
Any dreams about you
But not too long ago
A special one came through.

You were only eight years old
In this beautiful dream
Your hair was all wavy
Like you’d braided it, it seemed.

You wore your wonderful smile
A few teeth you were missing
You said you could stay
We shared some hugs and kissing.

Summer was there as well
But she was only five
You took her by the hand
And then led her outside.

You say so I could see
Your arm you put around
You were laughing and talking
But my ears heard no sound.

You talked for quite a while
Summer took it all in
So curious was my mind
When you both shared a grin.

Finally you came back inside
Then you said you had to go
With more kisses and hugs
For you our love we did show.

Then I thanked the Dear Lord
For this visit from you
Hoping there will be more, ’cause
I so terribly miss you.

Love you, always and forever.
~ Mom


Posted: 10-7-2011


Happy 30th Birthday Charity Mae

10-07-81 to 01-18-98

It’s hard to believe
You’d be 30 today
There’s so much to you
That I would like to say.

With the world I have shared
My memories of you
The happy and sad
But that time is now through.

Many weeks in the Spring
In your room I have spent
Putting things into boxes
Wond’ring where that time went.

A sense of freedom came
A real genuine Peace
The time had arrived
My hold on you to release.

As Poe said in his song
“Sweet Sweet Bird of Prey
You now have the freedom
To fly fly away!”

I’m going to be alright now
So spread your wings wide
Let the angles lead you
I know you’re at my side.

I love you Charity
Always and forever,



Thank you all for your support.

Your many calls, cards and emails kept me writing for 14 years.

The poems will stop, but Charity will forever be in my heart.

Judy Kubalak