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, December 31, 2009

The New Year

When I graduated in 1984,my church presented me with a book title"Your Next Big Step".The last chapter of the book was this prayer for the new year.I can't tell you how many times I have read it.Its one of those things that stay in my mind and hidden my heart.I am so thankful that I grew up in a home where I heard my father prayer,and watched my mother sing hymns ,and be amazed that she rarely used a hymnal.My faith is what has carried me through these last months of this year.


Another year has slipped beyond my grasp.For every wasted
moment,hour,and day, I pray for forgiveness. I cannot live them over
again.They are gone.But as I face this new year Father,I ask that
power be given to use each present moment just for thee-to live,not
waiting for some dazzling hour to serve while other watch,but ever
faithful to those moments known to thee alone ,dear Lord,and me.
Make me humble,Lord.This stubborn will of mine persist.Teach me to
live"thy will be done",in both the unseen and the known.Make me
big in little things.Make me like the Man of Galilee I pray.
Faith in thee,far greater than I now posses,is my desire.Make my
faith strong,that in humility I might live like thee and that through
me,you can quiet the storms ,remove the mountains and change the
hateful souls of mankind.
The pure light of thy love is what this dark world needs.Well do I
know thou hast revealed thy love at an awful cost.One look at
Calvary is enough for me.Nor have I done my best to shed that light
abroad.Help me to love in such a sacrificial ,selfless way,that even
though no one else would live your love,its purifying power could be
made known through me.And what I ask for me,I plead for every
child, that they all might come to know your love and live
In Jesus precious name I pray,

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Real Me

My sister and her twin boys came and stayed a couple of days with us.The weather was bad but the visit was good.Our kids play together so well,and for a long time.Lots of tolerance for the age differences.She took this picture of me while we were in a restaurant waiting for our food.When I saw it,I realized that she had captured how I really feel.When I say Rachel is in my every thought,it is not a gross exaggeration.I can be talking with someone and in my mind I am relating this person ,or something about this person ,to Rach.I remember exactly what I was thinking when my sister was taking this picture:Rachel would be freaking out about that new camera.She would be wanting to sell everything she had to try to get one.Man Rach would have loved that camera......its all day.Its exhausting.Some times there is a small window of peace,where my mind is quiet.Then the guilt comes because me heart tells my brain ,you forgot about her.It is so hard to try to find the right way to feel in what is now my new reality.A lot of well meaning people have an opinion on grief. How you should feel,how long you will feel it, and what you should do about feeling it.I'm glad I have this place to go to while they are talking.Grief is as different for every person as labor is for every woman.What helps one will not help the other.You have to trust God, yourself and trust your body .Trust that it is doing what it naturally is supposed to do to help you get through it.I am very aware of my pain,and the ability and inability to mask it.Like I've always said.There is no right or wrong way for me to feel right now.Its just important that I feel.The holidays have been draining and it shows on every part of my face.But make no mistake,my faith is not shaken.The words to this Natalie Grant song say it better than I can.....

Foolish heart looks like we're here again
Same old game of plastic smile
Don't let anybody in
Hiding my heartache, will this glass house break
How much will they take before I'm empty
Do I let it show, does anybody know?

But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me
Painted on, life is behind a mask
Self-inflicted circus clown
I'm tired of the song and dance
Living a charade, always on parade
What a mess I've made of my existence
But you love me even now
And still I see somehow
But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me
Wonderful, beautiful is what you see
When you look at me
You're turning the tattered fabric of my life into
A perfect tapestry
I just wanna be me
But you see the real me
Hiding in my skin, broken from within
Unveil me completely
I'm loosening my grasp
There's no need to mask my frailty
Cause you see the real me
And you love me just as I am
Wonderful, beautiful is what you see
When you look at me

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Well Christmas has come and gone.I was given many "gifts" this Christmas,but not all of them were wrapped, or in a gift bag.I am so glad that God allowed me to have some joy this season.But all too quickly I am reminded of the pain that we all are trying to live with.Tonight when we were helping KK get ready to go to sleep(she likes for both Kenny and I to lay down with her),she said her throat hurt.I asked her if she needed a drink and she she shook her head no and began to cry.She looked at me with such fear in her eyes and said "I don't wanna die".She stared at me waiting for me to say the words that in my heart I knew I could not say.Words filled my head.Do I lie and tell her "your not gonna die".Is that always in her thoughts?Theres not a chapter on this in any of the books I've been given.I looked at her ,I looked at the pain on my husbands face.I did what every mothers first instinct is, I hugged her.I hugged her hoping to transfer her pain into my body.I hugged her hoping to reassure her of something that we have absolutely no control over.All I could say was "its ok","its gonna be ok",because thats my standard answer now for every question,I am ok.Christmas was ok.The girls are ok.Ok seems to be as good as it gets for now.I have decided that ok is ok for now.My pain and my sorrow is manageable.Being ok with not being sad can be as hard as being sad is.Rachel is still in my EVERY thought.Some days things just continually run through my head like a slide show.The days when its all about the wreck or the funeral are the worst.I see her laying in the casket.The whole day plays out in my head over and over. "I don't wanna die" ,not the last words you want to have your child say before she falls asleep.I pray tomorrow brings me wisdom to talk about what I could not say tonight.Maybe her little mind just needed to hear "its ok".

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.psalm 121

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Her first real CHRISTmas

Rachel was born on November 1,1989.This is a photo from Rachels first Christmas.My mother had fixed Rach her very own tree.Now she is having her first Christmas with Jesus.Like the song says

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me .
I can only imagine....

One of my sweet boys from my church read this prayer for us during our childens program at church.It is my prayer for myself and for each of you:

Loving Father,help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and the worship of the wisemen.
Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift
and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be your children
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven,for Jesus sake.Amen.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


On the day of visitation for Rachel,my sister and I went to her least favorite store,Walmart,to grab just a few quick things that we needed for the night.We ended up at the jewelry counter trying to find whatever "heart" shaped items we could find.Neither of us had any , and we felt the need put a lot on, quickly.On the day of the wreck ,I had remembered the heart shaped ring Rachel had bought me while she was on a cruise with her aunt to Mexico.(Its the open heart with a flower of diamonds.)There are 7 diamonds in the flower.7 had also begun to have a lot of meaning to me.I was so glad to have my heart ring.My sister bought herself the heart ring that says LOVE.The day of the funeral, Rachels friend Cody brought the same ring for Rachel.He said he promised he would always remember her.I helped him put it in her hand.I decided for Christmas I would get my mom and myself the same ring.At the funeral my sister read the poem,my mom shared all of the "Rachel=isms"that could be shared in public(rach had an opinion on all things),and I ended with a plea for everyone to search their hearts.We carried her heart through that long,hard weekend,and we will carry it for the rest of our lives.
I wear mine on my right hand and it reminds me of this verse- “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas poem

Back in September when I went to the tax office to get my car tags that were NOT expired,(my first "episode")sweet Ms.Alice gave me this poem and told me to not read it yet,to put it back for Christmas.
What a sweet lady..

I see the countless CHRISTMAS trees around the world below
with tiny lights like HEAVEN’S stars reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular please wipe away that tear
for I am spending CHRISTMAS with JESUS CHRIST this year.

I hear the many CHRISTMAS SONGS that people hold so dear
but the SOUND OF MUSIC can't compare with the CHRISTMAS CHOIR up here.
I have no words to tell you of the JOY their voices bring
for it is beyond description to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart
But I am not so far away.We really aren't apart.
So be happy for me,dear ones.You know I hold you dear,
And be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I send you each a special gift from my heavenly home above.
I send you each a memory of my undying love.
After all "love"is the gift more precious than pure gold.
It always was important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other,as my Father said to do.
For I can't count the blessings or love He has for you.
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear,
Remember I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


This week I was visiting with a friend and we were talking about how we felt a connection with each other even though we only saw each other for a few minutes a week at church.Its a different kind of love than what you have for your family.You're supposed to love your family.This kind of love can only come from abiding in Jesus,and Him abiding in us.That is the tie that binds us.It is so special to see those friends look at your kids and see what you see in them.I am blessed to have that feeling with quite a few members of our church.Some of them encouraged me when I was growing up,and now they are there for my kids.Its amazing how these people can impact your life in such a small amount of time.
I lost one of those very dear people on Saturday night.This lady was the piano player at the little church in Gist.She played like you would dream of playing,so amazing.She was happy playing at that little church for just a handful of members for many years.She always was so encouraging to me,and to Rachel.She saw in Rach what I did.My heart goes out to her family.My heart has been very heavy today.At my church we have been practicing for our Christmas program "The Bells of Christmas".The kids are playing the hand bells and saying a few poems.I realized today I hadn't asked anyone to work the sound for me for the program.I usually didn't have to. Rachel always made my cd's, and helped me with my music.Having to say out loud that my helper was not here, was so painful.I couldn't even do my children's sermon this morning.I couldn't even stay in "big church". I had to leave.I am sad.I was sad all day.I am sad for my friends family.I am missing my daughter.My oldest son came by this evening.He was wearing a cap with long braided threads hanging down the sides like ponytails.He looked so much like Rach, I could hardly bare to look at him.He asked me what was the matter , and I told him.I told him how much he looked like her.I told him how much I missed her.I asked him if he ever dreamed about her, or if he ever heard her talk to him, just wanting to know that he still felt close to her.He said "not yet" , and then he put his head down and took a big breath and looked at me and said,"but sometimes when I'm driving my truck I can see her sitting in the seat with me."I was so glad he shared that with me.The two of them were so close when they were growing up(Talk about a connection.)I know he has the same emptiness that I have in my heart.
According to Griefshare going through grief is like going through a tunnel. The bad news is the tunnel is dark. The good news is that once you enter into that tunnel, you are already on your way out.

"How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?" (Psalm 13:2)

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ineffable moments

When Rach was a senior she had to do an interview at school for a competition.I found a paper where she had wrote out a few things about herself.
"I enjoy reading and capturing ineffable moments of my family and close friends with photography".
Ineffable -incapable of being described in words.
She saw through her camera lens a totally different view of the same things others saw.She chose to use that lens to create beauty in everything she saw ,for herself.
I'm realizing more and more every day that I have that same choice to make.I have to choose the lens with which I view my daily life.The situation hasn't changed,I just need to change the way,change the lens, through which I look at it.I'm so thankful for her gift.She left me hundreds of photos of herself,and our family.On her phone, and in the computer are so many beautiful photos.She had taken some photos of downtown Beaumont last Christmas.I framed them and put them out this year.They are beautiful.If you would like to print them out for yourself, feel free.A gift to you ,from Rach.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Singing of The Birds

One of mine and the girls favorite things to do is watch the birds come and feed.Since KK was very little,about 3,she and Kennedy could tell which birds were outside eating just by listening to them sing.The birds had not been here since Sept. 17.They've only been back for a couple of days.Mainly Big Red and Lady Red.Yes that is their name.They all have a name.I screamed like a little girl when I heard that tweet.I love my birds and every scripture that they represent to me.They also remind me of a poem that I had read several years ago that Robert Schuller had written to his soon to be wife.

When the night is past
And the dawning of the new day
is about to break
With fresh hopes and dreams,
Then you will hear the singing of the birds.

When storm clouds break
To drift away
Leaving bright patches of blue
With golden shafts of sunlight
On flower and leaf,
Sparkling with fresh drops of diamond rain,
Then you will hear the singing of the birds.

Yes,there are those times and places
when the cold winter ends.
Springtime returns.
The dark night of the soul
Is dissolved into a happy daybreak.
The storm is over.
Then you will hear the singing of the birds.

For me the storm is not over, but for today I heard the birds sing.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Rachel Clark Scholarship

When my husband and I first got married we lived out in a little town called Gist.All of his family lives out there.There's a little white wooden church right off the high way.Its been there a long time its called New Cherry Grove Baptist Church.My husband grew up in that church.We went many Sundays.Rachel and I sang there too.When we moved back to Vidor, we went back to the church I grew up in because there were more youth there.Our hearts are with them in Gist every Sunday.Its a small church, but it is so full of love for the Lord.Immediately after Rachels funeral,New Cherry Grove announced plans to start a scholarship in Rachels name.I was so touched.We decided we didn't want it to just be an academic scholarship,we want it to go to the person with the biggest need.The one that has the desire and the dream, but just needs a little help.Don't we all need a little help?If you would like more information about the scholarship or would like to make a donation feel free to email me or you can send it directly to the church.I am struggling for words to explain to you what this means to me.Thank you all for coming and reading my blog.Thank you for lifting me up in your prayers.I pray that this scholarship will be used as a beautiful testimony for a beautiful life.

New Cherry Grove Baptist Church
114 County Rd 826
Buna,Texas 77612

Friday, December 4, 2009


I received this beautiful medallion in the mail today from the donor services organization.We had made the decision to donate Rachels heart valves, and pericardium.They had called us within hours of the wreck.My husband and I decided that we could do this because it is a life saving donation.Rachel was the most loving and giving person.Even as a child.I remember on her 4th birthday I had gotten her a bouquet of balloons.Her brother Robin, who is older, came in the room and was admiring them She looked at him and said "here Rob, you can have one".If she had money she spent it on others.ALWAYS.The medal is supposed to be for the headstone.I think it is beautiful,a beautiful reminder of a beautiful life.If you see me in walmart wearing it as a necklace looking like Flava Flav,just smile and say "its beautiful".If you've never thought about being a donor,think about it.I have requested that the recipients contact me.I look forward to that day.
Done Vida=Donate Life

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shields of strength pt 2

I hope you all read the post from Nov.23 " Shields of strength",if not stop here and go read it.Tuesday morning before I got out of bed I prayed.I prayed that God would help me with my faith.Why would he leave me now.What does he want me to do?.I had been having days where it was so hard to hear.Well on my facebook I had a message from the brother of the man who started the Shields of Strength company!!!He had done a google search on their tags and my blog came up. He took the time to read it and shared it with his brother.I gotta tell you these Vaughan brothers are the real deal.They were very touched by what they had read. I wish I had made more post because soo much of what has happened to us since the wreck is not on here.Anyway, I was so touched that they would read my little blog and then take the time to reach out to me .If you are not familiar with their company go to their website and just read Kenny Vaughans' story.If you have a young boy, MAKE them read it too.I have corresponded with both brothers and I have to say their words have spoke volumes to me.All this I'm sure is making Rachel smile.I can hear her freakin out about it so clearly, which makes this all the more special to me.This is all I have wanted since I sat and started this blog.I want everyone to know about my Rachel ,and about our Jesus.I have included the link to the website.Click on the title of this blog and then click on "our story" and read the testimonials too.I feel like Christmas has come early.
Oh and my post that morning on facebook I had wrote"word of God speak."it did.