Guest blogger: Julia Baumann

From my sweet niece, Julia. Though cousins, Julia was the big sister that Michelle never had.  When they were together and when the family was just lounging around in someone’s family room, you could mostly find Michelle sitting in Julia’s lap. Just being together. Just doing silly things. On Christmas day, I found myself looking at Julia and thinking (maybe hoping) I would see Michelle. Physically, I didn’t. But I’m sure Michelle was there in Julia’s lap. She wouldn’t miss a chance at that. Two cousins. One in heaven, one on earth. Sharing one heart. Still.


Hi. My name is Julia, Michelle’s cousin. A few weeks ago, I sent a letter and card to the Chalk’s and when Aunt P started the blog, she asked if she could share what I had written. I debated back and forth for a while, of even sharing with Chalks, but I did and now I feel like this is something that I was meant to share with everyone.

It was February 1st when I wrote this, 6 months since we got a call that would change our entire family’s life forever, and the lives of so many others in Fort Thomas and beyond. I knew that the day would be hard on my aunt and uncle, my cousins, and so many others. It was hard for me too, and one thing that helps me the most is going to Eucharistic Adoration and spending time with the Lord. I often find it is those times that I go to adoration that I am overcome with the Holy Spirit and I can’t help but write what comes to me. I don’t claim to be a good writer at all, but with the grace of the Spirit, and certainly a little help from our Michelle, I wrote this “poem” I guess you could call it. I hope that this is a reminder for many of who Michelle was, and how she would want all of us to keep living in her memory. #LiveFreeLikeMichelle

6 Months

6 months since you left us to be with the Lord.

6 months since our lives were changed forevermore.

6 months since we had to learn to live a new way.

6 months since have gone away.

There are days I don’t even know how to breathe.

Days I don’t know how I can see anything but the pain in my soul, anything but the piece of my heart you stole away.

Though it wasn’t really stolen, but truly a gift, given to you the most perfect of gifts to us. I may never know why the Lord took you so soon.

I may never know how not to cry seeing your face.

So much pain and so much sorrow, I never could have dreamed that you could be the reason for my inner hearts’ screams.

As it breaks and shatters, I just don’t know what to do, I try to hear your voice and Live Free like you.

I will never understand why you are gone from this Earth, and I fear I will have no peace until it is no longer beneath my feet.

Until I once again hold you in my arms when you greet me with the Lord at the gates of Heaven.

I pray for God’s peace, but I fear it shall not come until I see Him face-to-face.

6 months my dear.

6 months my friend.

6 months my cousin until the end.

I can easily say you were my favorite, my little sister, my baby.

I didn’t know how special you were until it was too late, but I hope Mama Mary welcomed you at Heaven’s gate.

With arms wide open saying “come here child,” I hope she watches over us all and is there for you too forevermore.

You were a gift from God, even more than the rest.

He had plans for you and you passed the test.

God was so good to send down, one of his angels to the ground.

You were the most beautiful flower in His garden, above all the rest, He picked you from our lives for eternal rest.

I pray you do great things in Heaven, I pray you change the world.

With every bow and feather and #LiveFree, I pray we all remember who you chose to be.

So that we may, choose as thee, to always

Live Free



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