Carrying Her Heart

I am dedicating this site to my beloved daughter Rachel whose earthly life ended on Sept. 17,2009.This is just a glimpse of the path I walk through this journey of grief.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I blinked...and another year has passed.
We had to tell someone else that we love dearly goodbye.
Grief can be brutal.
It can also be healing.
Trying to mange your own grief and help those that you love cope with loss can, at  times ,be overwhelming.
God has continued to send me many "daughters" to love and to minister to. I am thankful for the lessons about love that they teach me . I wonder if I will ever understand the true meaning of love while I live on this earth.
This year also brought the birth of Miss Rachel Ann Jackson. Rachel's dear friend  Ashton named her baby after her. They gave her Rachel's name and her middle name is actually after her dads mom...and it also happened to be Rachel's middle name. Coincidence??? I don't think so...
Holding that precious child for the first time  was pure LOVE...
Every day is still a challenge. To" live love"when I am sad beyond words   sometimes seems impossible.
Twice in the book of John Jesus tells us to not let our hearts be troubled. I am working on having a calm heart. It is something I have to be intentional with. It's hard when everything thing reminds me of her. I see her in my girls. Every other song on the radio is a story about her. It doesn't get any easier . I have just learned to live with this huge hole in my heart. People will say to me" I don't know how you do it". And my response is still the same. Faith, family , and friends. And there are days when I don't do it very well. Those are the days that I am thankful for my family that always goes down into the grief pit with me. And I am thankful for loving friends that pray for me and give me time to just be sad .
I cant imagine where I would be without my faith, my family, or my friends. I honestly don't want to imagine.
God keeps putting people in my path to help me understand His love and to share His love with them. And I am thankful for each and everyone one of them.
Thank you for thinking about me today. And thank you for remembering Rachel.

“Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star...”

photo by Tammy Silvestrini

For this reason I kneel before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:14-19

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Fifth Year

Its been an entire year since I sat and even attempted to write. Its not that I don't have words. Believe me , they are constantly pouring out of my heart and my mouth. Its as if God has been wanting to keep me to Himself. He has continued to carry me and has placed many new loving friends in my path.
So that is where I am today. Thinking on how God places people in your life at the very moment you need them. I can clearly remember so many of the conversations the day of Rachel's death , and in the days and months that followed. I have learned so much about God, about people, and about grief.
So 5 years into it, I'm still learning. I'm learning how to be okay with MY grief. Some things affect it more than other things. I know very well what some of my triggers are. And I know that even when I am drowning in my sorrow , my God is still there ..collecting my tears.
He continues to speak to me through songs, and through scriptures. And continues to show me His love through nature.
So as I tried to figure out what I wanted to write, I decided to pull back the curtain and give you a glimpse of my journey ...

God is good ..ALL the time.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Thank you for this day

                                                                      Rachel Clark

 Well here I am at the 4 year mark. I opened my eyes and said " thank you Lord for my beautiful Rachel". I went in to the kitchen to fix breakfast for her sisters. Kennedy came in and looked at my face to see how I was. I did the same to her. She grabbed a snack cake to eat. I told her it was a long day and she needed to eat some food. " I can't eat " was her response. She then sat down at the table . She bowed her head and said "Thank you for this day " ..the words went straight my heart. What a picture of grace. And then she said "thank you for this food, amen". I stared out the window and caught a glimpse of the sun coming up. Thank you for this day. Thank you for my family and friends that say Rachels name to me. Thank you for stories that you continue to share with me of how Rachel made a difference in your life. Four years later, I still meet new people . What a difference that beautiful creature made in her world. She did it in the simplest of terms. She accepted people for who they are, and she treated them with loving kindness. What would I give to be able to share breakfast with her, fix her beautiful hair, have those long arms give me a hug, or just sit and watch tv with her and laugh until we cry. Maybe thats something you havent done with your kid in a while. Maybe today, you could make time. We are not promised tomorrow , or even the afternoon. Love your family. Say those 3 simple words that are sometimes so hard to say. I love you.

 If tomorrow starts without me,
 And I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
 I wish so much you wouldn't cry the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things, we didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me, As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me, I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
 Please try to understand, That an angel came and called my name, And took me by the hand,
 And said my place was ready, In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind; All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away, A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I'd always thought, I didn't want to die.
 I had so much to live for, So much left yet to do,
 It seemed almost impossible, That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays, The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared, And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday, Just even for a while,
 I'd say good-bye and kiss you And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized, That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories, Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things, I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did, My heart was filled with sorrow.
 But when I walked through heaven's gates, I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me, From His great golden throne,
 He said, "This is eternity, And all I've promised you.
" Today your life on earth is past, But here life starts anew.
 I promise no tomorrow, But today will always last,
 And since each day's the same way, There's no longing for the past.
 You have been so faithful, So trusting and so true.
Though there were times you did some things, You knew you shouldn't do.
 But you have been forgiven, And now at last you're free.
 So won't you come and take my hand, And share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts without me, Don't think we're far apart,
 For every time you think of me, I'm right here, in your heart.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving delivered

On Saturday November 10, my husbands father has a massive heart attack at his home. Several family members performed cpr . My husband and Kennedy were in the woods going to make a hunt. I was at Moody Gardens with KK and one of her sweet friends from church. Kenny got the call to go to the house and when they got there Kennedy stayed in the truck. An ambulance came but, God had already taken Paw Paw home. He was only 66 , but he had endured so much pain(more than most could bear) in his lifetime. When I got the call my heart broke for my husband, and it shattered for my child. Her first words to me when I saw her were " I was so scared". I don't remember her ever telling me that before. In her words the ambulance came and they didn't do anything. This is not the first time that this has happened to someone she loved. In the movies , the paramedics come and save the person. Or the firemen save them. But not for Kennedy. They didn't save Rachel, and they didn't save her Paw Paw. So that is where I have been. Staying very focused on my girls and trying to stay afloat in this deep river of grief. (As if it weren't hard enough already). Funeral plans , Kennedy's birthday..Thanksgiving. It all came so fast. And God took care of each and every part of it. And then on Wednesday afternoon, the young lady who wrote an article about "Real Acts of Compassion" that I started on Facebook, came by my home with a copy of the paper for me to see. My beautiful daughter was on the front page. My story was in other peoples hands..again..Talk about being grateful. There were no words big enough for me to say. I tearfully told her thank you. Gods timing is always perfect. Today everyone is back at school and the quiet in my house today has been very welcomed and very soothing. I am ready to just sit in the quiet and listen for God. Be still and know that I am God. "The sound of 'gentle stillness' after all the thunder and wind have passed will be the ultimate Word from God."

Monday, October 29, 2012

Real Acts of Campassion

I'm still here. I've been hesitant to post what I have been struggling with but I have been brutally honest about everything else so here goes. I've been wearing a heart monitor for the past 3 weeks. I've had a few "episodes " now I'm back on my beta blocker and they are running test on everything they can to rule out whatever they can. Soooooo.. I've been a little consumed with my own well being. I have also been trying to come up with some way to remember Rachel's birthday other than putting an ad in our local paper. I finally came up with something that I think she would love..... Real Acts of Compassion In 19 short years my daughter Rachel Ann Clark ,was able to make a difference in many lives. Please join us as we remember the day of her birth November 1, by doing Real Acts of Compassion Plan to go visit that person you have had on your heart. Buy someones food behind you in the drive thru . Go ask that person for forgiveness..or forgive that person. Pay for someones gas, or groceries. Hold a door, give a hug, whatever you can do . Rachels life made a difference . Let's make what would have been her 22nd birthday make a difference too. Whatever you can do ..Do it ! Follow us on Facebook and share how you made a difference. R.I.P. R.A.C. Rachel Clark Class of 2008 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. November 1, 2012 follow the link to join us or you can comment here on the blog. Thank you for staying here with me and for helping me continue to carry her heart.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

lilies and love

God is so good . This day ... this 17th day of September...I can say Thank you Lord.
You see, He didn't make me wait , or wonder what was going to happen..
Yesterday I had the privilege of leading Rachel's little sister Kaitlin in the sinners prayer.
We had went to Kroger's to buy some of mine and Rachels favorite flowers, calla lilies and stargazer lilies, and right as I was looking through them to find the ones with the most blooms, that precious child looks at me and says " I want to say that prayer and ask Jesus to save me". I said "well, let's go check out". Once we were in the car I talked to KK about her request. I wanted it to be very special for her. I asked her if she wanted to go talk to our preacher , or our children's minister( who has a little girl almost the same age )..As a person who has served in the children's ministry for several years, I have had the opportunity to share Christ with many children. This time..this timing ...seemed overwhelming.
But my child ,who has always done everything on her time, said very boldly " I WANT TO DO IT RIGHT NOW". I talked with her about Jesus 's death , ...and sin..our sin. She has been with me in classes at church so I knew she had heard the message many times... I just wanted to be sure she understood and that she believed. - So KK, Kennedy, and myself held hands in a circle around the lilies and I led her through the prayer. It was so precious. What a gift not just to know that your child is saved, but to have the privilege of sharing the plan of salvation with them . I talk a lot about God on this blog..not religion...God. I can't imagine having to walk this journey without knowing what I know. ...without having all the promises that I find in Gods word to cling too..Maybe you come here out of curiosity. Maybe you read my blog to try to understand..Maybe you need hope. Maybe you need forgiveness. Don't wait another minute.

Dear Father God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I am a sinner, and I am very sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived. I need your help and forgiveness God.
I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood for my sins.
You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.
Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me everlasting life.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him
shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

I heard this song the other day and remembered aggravating Rachel every time it came on. I would sing off key and make fun of how the guy sang it. When it started playing, I remembered her saying.." Mom! stop ! I just wish you would listen to it.Just listen to it".....

Holding on

I went to town yesterday with the hope of finding something special to put out at Rachels garden. I went to several big name chain stores and found nothing. The flowers were the same..nothing in any of the stores stood out, or moved me. It was just stuff. I finally made a purchase. 7 green calla lilies and 3 white hydrangeas. Done .
I already had some beautiful white roses that my sister had given me so the flower part was taken care of. I just needed something else. As I was getting the flowers ready , I pulled a green butterfly out of another arrangement and then turned and found exactly what I needed.

This beautiful angel hugging a heart. It is from the tree that we keep up year round in the pretty room. We put all our "special" ornaments on it. As soon as I saw it I heard myself was right here the whole time.
I went that afternoon to the cemetary. I thought some friends might go on Sunday since the 17th falls on a Monday. I just wanted(needed) to have everything ready .
I dont have any plans for the day. I dont usually do anything special on that day. I prefer to celebrate her life.
I want that day to be whatever God has planned for it to be. He took control of that day 3 years ago. And I mean that with the utmost reverence.

If you've knelt beside the rubble of an aching, broken heart
When the things you gave your life to fell apart
You're not the first to be acquainted with sorrow, grief, or pain
But the Master promised sunshine after rain

Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning
Weeping only lasts for the night
Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning
The darkest hour means dawn is just in sight

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Today is finally here. The first game of volleyball!!!!!! Kennedy has been waiting since the last game of 7th grade. She has also worried about what number she will be. Last year they didn't get to pick their numbers, so she had number 16. This year it is their choice. She wanted the number 17. She does not let that number paralyze her, it drives her. I could tell it was really stressing her out, so I suggested she go talk to the coach and ask her if there was anyway she could be 17. Her coach knows why. I had the conversation with her last year when I had to see if Kennedy could wear a stamp on her arm in memory of Rach. I was so proud of Kennedy . I told her that either way it would be OK. I don't want her to think that things will always go her way. Sometimes you just have to follow the rules and figure out another way. Her coach was so awesome. She told her absolutely she could be 17. She told her she would've done it last year if she would have asked.( I don't think I was ready tho) .
So 17 is the number. And she has not one but 3 Belle stamps on. If you are new to the blog .,.Belle was from Rachel's favorite movie ,Beauty and the Beast.
I hope this season is everything my daughter needs it to be. She has so much family and friends that come to cheer her on. I hope that she always knows how very loved she is. And how much she inspires me.. daily.

In my daughter's eyes, I am a hero,
I am strong and wise,
And I know no fear,
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me,
I see who I want to be,
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes, Everyone is equal,
Darkness turns to light
And the world is at peace,
This miracle God gave to me,
Gives me strength when I am weak,
I find reason to believe,
In my daughter's eyes.