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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

The New Year

Well since the neighbors spent their entire paycheck on fireworks, I won't be going to bed anytime soon. I have been going back through last December and January's blogs. I was 4 months into my journey. It seems so long ago. It was such a very hard time for me. So many other tragic things had happened. And here we are again...I went to Rachels facebook looking for the first picture she posted for the New Year in 2009. I found this photo.



I have been through her pictures dozens of times, but I don't remember seeing this one. She has her headset on from when she worked at the Channel 12. She loved that job. I always told her she needed to be in FRONT of the camera, not behind it. Look at that beautiful face. When I took her to get her senior pictures made, the lady that was doing her "photo shop magic" told her that she had almost perfect skin. Girls at school would take their finger and rub Rachels face trying to rub her makeup off to see her "real" skin..that was her real skin. Oh how I miss that girl. I only have 2 more days and then the kids will be back in school and the house will be quiet during the day. I am wondering if maybe I should get a part time job. I still have days where I wake up and I am crying before I even have my eyes all the way open. I don't know if having to go somewhere would be a help or a hinderance. 2011....it's officially the new year. I'm not going to make any promises for this year, or any resolutions. I am only going to continue to trust God that He has a plan for me. There is a quote on Rachels facebook that I hear in my head all the time.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."



This is my New Years post...

I am the new Year.I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.

I am your next chance at the art of living. I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.

All that you sought and didn’t find is hidden in me, waiting for you to search it but with more determination.

All the good that you tried for and didn’t achieve is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.

All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will, all the faith that you claimed but did not have—these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of a strong purpose.

I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to Him who said, "Behold, I make all things new."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

One of the first things I heard on the t.v. this morning was about a really bad wreck last night involving 2 trucks right down the road from where Rachels wreck was. My son drives a truck, and he drives that stretch of road a lot. I kept telling myself if it was him, someone would have came to my house..my guts kept telling me something was up.I texted Rob and asked where he was..He called me immediately. It was two of his good friends in the wreck. One was ejected from the truck. One of my friends from church..her husband ..was the first one on the scene. He pulled Robs other friend out of the truck, and 30 seconds later it was engulfed in flames. A young boy, too young, was driving drunk and ran a red light and hit them. My heart has been in my throat all day. My son could have very easily been with those boys. He showed me the text on his phone where he had been talking to one of the boys right before the accident. My son told them to be careful.. I have been frozen today by this news.It has consumed my thoughts, and kept me from doing even the simplest of things. I have thought about Rachels wreck constantly. I am thankful that I did not have to endure the pain that these families are struggling with.My baby did not suffer.I thank God for that all the time. He was so good to me .He made sure that I knew that Rachel knew how much I loved her before she went home.It was not left unsaid.She knew the very words that are the inspiration for the title of this blog. Carrying her heart is not a burden, it is an honor and a priviledge... And I am honored that you come and sit with me, and read my words.
yes ,I have posted a lot of lyrics to songs lately..God speaks to me often through the words of a song..(remember he gave me a song right before Rachels wreck).

Teach me to number my days
And count every moment before it slips away
Taking all the colors before they fade to gray
I don't want to miss even just a second more of this

It happens in a blink
It happens in a flash
It happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight, but there's no stopping time
What is it I've done with my life
It happens in a blink

When it's all said and done
No one remembers how far we have run
The only thing that matters is how we have loved
I don't want to miss even just a second more of this

It happens in a blink
it happens in a flash
it happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight but there's no stopping time
What is it I've done with my life
It happens in a blink

Slow down, slow down
Before today becomes our yesterday
Slow down, slow down
Before you turn around and it's too late

It happens in a blink
it happens in a flash
it happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight but there's no stopping time
What is it I've done with my life
It happens in a blink


please pray for Drew and Trey..and have a safe New Years Eve.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wet Wednesday

It was all for me. We had an awful downpour tonight that kept most of my class(and the rest of our congregation) from coming to church. I did share very honestly how the lesson had spoke to me, and we had a very good discussion time. But I feel in my heart that this week was just for me. One of the other ladies shared a very hard time she was going through right now and how she had done one of the exercises in our book before she had read about it. She had prayed for a hedge of protection for a member of her family. Another lady stated how God's timing is always so perfect. This study had been written years ago, but right now it is meeting our needs. I am really enjoying spending time with women in the church that I rarely get to see. Part of me was relieved that class was small, and part of me was disappointed . I just want the ladies , and everyone else, to know NOW what I know. Don't wait until you are in deep despair to cry out to Jesus. Cry out now, and have the peace of knowing that no matter what comes, He's gonna be right there, He's gonna take care of you, its gonna be OK.

"There is hope for the helpless, rest for the weary
And love for the broken hearts
There is grace and forgiveness, mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are"

Cry out to Jesus
I love this song..

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Ascent

I gathered my books last night to study for my Beth Moore class. She tells us to take our places on our faces before we start. I did. There are times when I feel that I can't get low enough to pray. I asked God to show me what he wanted me to hear.To really open my eyes. As soon as I started reading this weeks lesson, I knew it was going to be hard. I had said in the beginning if this class was only for me, then I was willing to lead it. This lesson was written for me. It read like it was written TO me. I struggled to keep reading it, but I knew that I needed to. I could hear part of myself saying, stop...just stop..someone else can do it.But I know that God's timing is always right. I kept reading, and I kept studying. The first part that I read that signaled "trouble" for me was in the Leader guide, number 5 ...I'll type it verbatim for you..
5. Invite other women to share a story if they chose to do so.Then ask for other circumstances when women may despair because of difficult situations(such as loss of spouse , child, .... this is where I lost it.
I wonder who I could ask to share??? Really? Was this really what was going to happen? I've said it all.They all know my story.This is what flooded my mind. I sat the book down and told myself I couldn't do it. And then I picked up the study book and just started reading.
The lesson was on Psalm 125.
A song of ascents.
1 Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.

3 The scepter of the wicked will not remain
over the land allotted to the righteous,
for then the righteous might use
their hands to do evil.

4 LORD, do good to those who are good,
to those who are upright in heart.
5 But those who turn to crooked ways
the LORD will banish with the evildoers.

Peace be on Israel.

We take them verse by verse and come to a deeper understanding of each line.The question was " how can we say God has been good to us when He has allowed us to encounter trouble and sorrow.? and here is what I read in the study book.....
" What about when something deadly happens such as when we lost loved ones who loved God? Where was God's surrounding presence then? That's where the ultimate trust enters in. If we believe God's words are true,when tragedy strikes we've got to believe God has us so tightly interwoven in His care that we are instantaneously swept to Heaven.God never more closely surrounds us that when He lifts us to His breast and carries us home......." INSTANTANEOUSLY......the one word I needed to hear , the only word I remember on the autopsy report...this part has tortured me more that anyone has ever or will ever know. I went through a season of hearing her scream MOM and hearing the sound of the crash.. I even wrote a song about it..and then God took that pain away from me. Given everything that I know from that day, I have no doubt that this sentence is true for me. Wednesday will be here sooner that I would like. There will be no cute "story" to go together with our lesson.There will just be me.
The next part of the study went to Psalm 126 Psalm 126
A song of ascents.
1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of[a] Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.[b]
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
3 The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.

4 Restore our fortunes,[c] LORD,
like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.

the last 2 verses are my favorites.
This lesson is for me. The last words of the book that I read were
" On this mysterious pilgrimage we will find that when we do meet difficulties and sorrows,they were not meant to stop us but to form the character required for our great harvest in the coming season. STEP INTO YOUR FUTURE,PRECIOUS ONE. SOMETHING WONDERFUL AWAITS YOU.

Wonderful Wednesday awaits....

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Looking Through The Glass


I've spent the past couple of days shopping REALLY hard trying to piece together a Christmas for the kids. Robin and Dakota really never presented much of a list this year, but I did want Christmas to be special for them . I didn't enjoy shopping this year at all. Everything reminded me of Rach.Things in the store, music on the radio, and way too many young girls her age everywhere I went. They looked like her, they dressed like her..it was hard to concentrate on what I was supposed to be doing because I just wanted to watch them..I wanted to hear their conversations...I wanted to know what they wanted for Christmas.. For some reason ,this Christmas seemed harder for all of us than last year. The little girls seemed to be ok, which eases my pain a little. I just don't see things ever being any different than they are for me. Being around others at parties, seeing all the Christmas stuff everywhere, it almost feels like I'm holding a beautiful snow globe with the perfect Christmas scene in it. I can see it, I can hear it...I can be right there by it...but I can't be a part of it.I can't be all the way in it..it is there, it is going on..and I'm going on too...going through the motions, wanting it all to be wonderful for the kids..and all the while I'm thinking of Rach..I have every picture of every time I took her to see Santa.. the images kept rolling through my head . Every thing we did, I could see her doing it...opening presents...fixing her plate..she loved parties so much...coming in the living room on Christmas morning(sniffing constantly)...her hair a big mess...People say that it gets easier...for others I see that is has..I just don't see it being any different for me. I will always miss her greatly...I will always love her..and I will always think of her...maybe I will find way to make the other parts of Christmas easier, but this will just be how my life is. There were small glimpses of the Holiday that I was able to enjoy, and then there were those moments when I would just sit and silently scream because the pain of missing her was so great.Tonight was the last night for the Christmas lights that we go and see at the church by our house.We have went several times this year..and I'm pretty sure that at some point,I cried every time...While we were there tonight they played the song "Mary did you know"..Kaitlin was standing up behind me in the car and she said I'm gonna sing this one for ya'll.The child has no idea how well she sings. It reminded me of Rach singing..it was beautiful..(even the words she got wrong)..I am hoping this coming week to be able to just be still. I haven't done much of that lately.

Psalm 46:10 / Zec. 2:13
Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is holy
Be still oh restless soul of mine
Bow before the prince of Peace
Let the noise and clamor cease
Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is faithful
Consider all that He has done
Stand in awe and be amazed
And know that He will never change
Be still
Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is God
Be still
Be speechless
Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know He is our Father
Come rest your head upon His breast
Listen to the rhythm of
His unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come
Be still
Be still

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Ain't Scared


I purposely left part of my live nativity post out. I didn't want it to get lost in my tired ramblings. I do all the things that I do at my church in hopes that it will stay with these kids , stay deep in their hearts and that they will have these memories to help them through Christmas' to come.I want them to know the true meaning of Christmas.I remember every Christmas how we would go to this mans house in town and look at his HUGE nativity that he set out every year. I remember looking up in his tree and seeing these beautiful angels flying. It was just all so beautiful.Even now I can see it like it was just last year.... How could a little girl ever forget riding in on a donkey?.That is something that those kids and their grandpaw will be able to talk about for years to come( he had the donkey and the sheep)..After every practice I would gather the kids together and we would pray for our program. I want also want them to grow in their prayer life. Well,Sunday night as I was running around like I was the chicken, my little KK came up to me and said " I'M NOT SCARED ANYMORE , ME AND KHLOIE PRAYED.....TWICE"....number one , I didn't realize she was scared...she and her friend were the first to go out in the program...I was going to gather everyone to pray, I just was finishing a few last minute things..to me this was the best part of the night. Oh that we all could say those words..I'm not scared ...I prayed... twice..maybe that is how I will start my day..

How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv'n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav'n.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

From "O Little Town of Bethlehem," by Philip Brooks

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Baby Changes Everything


I said last week that the week was a blur..it was slow motion compared to this past week. Kennedy came down with this awful stomach virus that is going around and kept it until Saturday morning, so that meant I had to be home with her.That also meant no shopping, no getting ready for our live nativity at Church...plus other kids getting sick and dropping out of the program..and everything I tried to do turned in to a big pile of poo...but ..somehow..it all came together..at 6:00 pm...right when it was supposed to start..The chicken was great.The goat did his part perfectly.The donkey didn't be what his other name is..and the kids were terrific. There were no speaking parts,they just did a dramatic reenactment, and we played handbells to songs that told the story of Jesus's birth, the little baby who changed life. It has been said that when a wrong wants righting, or a truth wants presenting, or a continent wants opening, God sends a baby into the world to do it. People may think that the course of the world is ultimately determined by big battalions or decisive battles , but all the while God is setting it, quietly, in littleness and in weakness, through the birth of a child. I know my life has been changed greatly by His birth, and by the birth of my own children.... Little did I know what that sweet little girl that so quietly came into my life on November 1, 1989 would do for me, and so many others....

My whole life has turned around
I was lost but now I'm found
A baby changes everything.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Night Singing

Between Christmas shopping and all of my Church obligations, this past week has been a blur.Our praise band played tonight during the evening service. I played the drums and even sang a solo. I sang a song called Heavens Child. I had sang it before at the church my husband and his family go to. I was more nervous singing tonight than I was when I sang on Rachs birthday..we had many obstacles to overcome to be able to even perform..everyone was so busy so practicing was almost impossible..it just seemed like every part of what we were doing was coming "undone"..the night turned out to be wonderful. I really enjoy playing. I was also part of a trio that sang Emmanuel. We did it acapella. That was the closing song. Nervous...much!!!!! It came together really well. I had one person tell me it brought a tear to their eye.( from this person that was HUGE). We also had someone request us to sing it again Sunday morning..Inside I was thinking about how very hard it was just to do it tonight..all during our practices we could never get the ending right. God can do amazing things. The fact that I am able to stand and sing alone is amazing. I know people don't understand, and there is no way for them to make them understand. Sometimes when I hear myself in the speaker, I can hardly believe it's me singing.I just know that I have been given a voice.Not a perfect voice, but a voice to sing with, and to tell my story with. And as long as God is giving me the ability to do it, I'm going to keep on doing it. There are days when I still feel the same overwhelming sadness. But even on those dark and sad days I still know that when I see the sun shining again it will be brighter than ever...it always is. If you've never been through anything that split your heart so wide open and paralyzed your every thought, then you have the luxury of only imagining what I am talking about. My pain has been immeasurable..but so has my God's love for me. Here are the words to my song. If you would rather hear it, there is a video. Heavens child..


She rocked her tiny baby
To warm him from the cold
Hardly what she pictured
In the prophecies of old
It seemed almost impossible
To think it could be true
But as she pondered in her heart
She knew

Chorus1
This was heaven's child
This was heaven's child
In an earthen stable
Wrapped in Glory, meek and mild
Joseph wept with wonder
As Mary sweetly smiled
Because they knew
This was heaven's child

Verse 2
The angels must have missed Him
As they sang Him to sleep
But they marveled at the promises
This baby came to keep
His Father must have felt at once
Great sadness and great joy
As He watched His little baby boy

Chorus1

Bridge
Mary's little baby boy
Was Joseph's pride and joy
Still they wished the world would see
He was so much more

Chorus 2
He was heaven's child
He was heaven's child
In an earthen stable
Wrapped in glory, meek and mild
Joseph wept with wonder
As Mary sweetly smiled
Because they knew
This was heaven's child

Tag
Because they knew
This was heaven's child





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

Sunday, December 5, 2010

LOVE NEVER FAILS

I decided that it was time to rid my bedroom of some of the stacks of things that I had been clinging to.I was going to sort through papers, books, all the things I have accumulated over the months. I was going to make an office kinda area in the "pretty" room. While I was going through some things I found a Bible. It of course was Rachels.I think she had about 5 Bibles. This one I hadn't seen in a long time.

I picked it up and was flipping through the pages. I was hoping to find a note , or something that was Rachs.I noticed in the front some stickers she had placed inside.



I kept going through the pages wanting so badly to find just one more thing that was hers. There was nothing ...As the days go by , you begin to wish more and more for just one more thing.One more thing that she touched..one more thing that was special to her..one more thing I can touch..I turned the pages to her favorite verse..



I wasn't surprised to see it underlined. I was caught off guard by how she had REALLY emphasized LOVE NEVER FAILS. It was one of those moments that I really do not have the right words for. My mind immediately went to the angel..



When I was ordering the headstone, I struggled (I'm sure you all remember) with what to have written on it.I needed it to be perfect. I remember at the last minute asking them if they could put Love Never Fails on the base..I almost didn't do it..]
When I saw it in underlined in Rachs Bible, it all made sense.I have put LOVE NEVER FAILS on so many things..in so many videos.. It felt like a huge hug from her. Oh I hope you get this..I hope you understand..Maybe unless you've been here you really can't. It is not desperation. It is a deeper understanding. It is knowing that you know that you know..and I know...

LOVE NEVER FAILS

Friday, December 3, 2010

Steppin Up


This week was extremely busy. I had been asked to lead a Beth Moore bible study "Stepping Up " at our church for ALL the ladies . I said yes without any hesitation. The day I had been asked to lead it , I had spent the morning thinking and praying about that very thing. I LOVE working with the kids, but I had just been feeling that maybe that wasn't all I was supposed to be doing. I just wanted to be sure my insecurities were not keeping me from doing what God wanted me to do. While I was at my seminary class, our Minister of education pulled the Beth Moore book out and was telling me about this new class for all the ladies to attend. I thought he was going to tell me that the preacher and he wanted me to attend it.No he said " we want you to lead it".I said very loudly -NO YOU DON'T.I told him about my morning. I couldn't believe how quickly God had given me an answer..I said yes I would love to do it...quick answer huh? I was nervous about teaching all the women...the older ladies...most of whom I have a very good relationship with. They always encourage me and do whatever I ask them to do if I need help me with the childrens stuff. I just wanted the ladies to be willing to trust me to follow what I was going to lead them to do. I trust God more now than I ever did before. I am confident that if I show up and shut up, He'll take care of the rest..I think the way Beth Moore summed up insecurities is perfect...it is just a form of pride. But the truth is we're not good enough to mess God up...did you get it? I just love that. He doesn't make mistakes. The first night of the class went pretty good.I told myself that if this Bible study makes a difference in only 1 persons life, I will be thrilled....even if that 1 is me..The study is on The Psalms of the Ascent. We talked about "pilgrimage",and being on a journey. I opened the class by sharing my "baggage".I opened my suitcase and pulled out my lactose pills, my heart pills, my allergy meds, and empty candy bags...I have a serious candy addiction....serious...then it got real..I pulled out Rachels letterman jacket..It has her name on the back of it. I told them every day no matter where I was going , I put on my coat of grief..some days it felt lighter , some days heavier , but I put it on everyday. And then I pulled out my black "guilt" t shirt. guilt covered a lot of areas..mommy guilt, wife guilt, doing things I shouldn't have done...etc...and I had some lovely shoes that went with the outfit..cinder blocks.. I chose to carry all that baggage on my journey.I don't have to. It felt really good to be able to pull that jacket out and hear myself say those words and not fall to pieces. I think that just my standing upright in front of them is a great demonstration of God's strength. I pray that their heart and their eyes are open to see what God is doing through me. If this class is only for me..to help in healing me..I can accept that. But I believe that something amazing is going to happen in this class. It has too. Or else it is just another step to get me ready for something.There has to be a reason that I have went through this..there just has to be.

Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. 2 cor 8:11 -12

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Full of Sadness


I can't tell you how many times I've comforted Kennedy while her tears flowed ..over the months there was more time in between , but you could look at her face and tell when she was really missing Rachel. KK had more issues with worrying about dying..or needing to be reassured that I would come back from the store if she stayed home.." you'll come back???" she would ask about 15 times.The same with school. She would ask me many times " you'll be here to get me"?????? this school year she has been doing so much better. I've mentioned how she just recently started sharing her "memories" of Rach with us when we are talking. I know how hard all of this is for me to sort out, I can't imagine being about 8 years old and trying to .Tonight we went to church down the street that has a beautiful light display. You sit in your car and listen to music while the lights dance. The girls love it. We had went with Rach in 2008. It is one of those double edged things...I love to go...but it is so hard.. After we got back, Kennedy went out to the pretty room (Rachs room) to read. We walk through that room several times a day.Out of the blue KK comes running in to my bedroom crying and saying " I miss Rachel so much"... just sobbing her little heart out..She had not done that in a long time. I just sat and cried with her and told her how very much I miss her too. I tried to explaing to her that the way she was feeling was how you feel when you lose someone that you love so much.. you're sad..you're a lot of things... I just wanted her to know that whatever she felt it was ok to feel it.. I know she is so aware of my feelings..She's been keeping her eyes in the sky too..She loves to talk about the colors of the sky in the morning...or point out stars.. The other day she sat and made a book out of some of my computer paper...She gave it to me and told me it was a Sad journal..I could write it in when I was having a sad day...I told her there wasn't enough paper in it for me...and gave a little laugh... there is no telling what that little mind and heart are going through..I told her tonight about all my special things I have all through the house..what they mean to me and how it is like having a little bit of Rach with me.. I told her that sometimes my heart hurts so bad because I want to see her...and she shook her head and put her little hand on her heart...I just held her ,wanting to somehow take her pain ....just put it all on me ...please...just put it on me....I thought we were doing so good...we made it through 2 Thanksgivings...the one at my parents house was especially for the kids....weenie roast...smores... it was wonderful...I have a few weeks and then Christmas break will be here.. I hate so much to see how I feel on their little faces... you'd do anything to make them smile...even if it only last a little while...I know it all just takes time...I know we all are in different places...I know it is all gonna be ok.. this just caught me off guard.. As I sit here typing , all I can hear are the words to this song..



Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows?
Are you tired of spinning round and round?
Wrap up all those shattered dreams of your life
And at the feet of Jesus, lay them down.

Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus
Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, and broken toys.
Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus
And He will turn your sorrows into joy.

He never said you only see sunshine,
He never said there would be no rain.
He only promised a heart full of singing
About the very thing that once brought pain.

Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus
Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, and broken toys.
Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus
And He will turn your sorrows into joy

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall" (Malachi 4:2
praying for a better tomorrow

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My Thanksgiving Bouquet

I'm lying in the bed listening to the cold front finally come blowing in. It was way to warm and humid this Thanksgiving day. The only food I cooked today was...bacon. We ate lunch at my in-laws, so I brought Kennedys bacon out there for her to eat. It felt good to get up and not have the pressure of having to get everything ready..for about 15 minutes...then it also felt very empty.It would have been a great distraction. I didn't know what to do with myself. I thought watching a funny movie would help. "Barnyard" was on early.... just in time for the part where the daddy cow dies...(same thing that evening with the Lion King)....I battled my emotions all morning..I knew it was time to go to her garden. I always have to go there before we have any sort of special thing to go to. The first thing I did was walk back to the tree "just in case" I had missed a flower to bring home..I had told myself there would be something out there somewhere...It looked so nice out there today.

My mom had brought this plaque and ferns out . I love what it says.."LOOK AFTER MY HEART, I'VE LEFT IT WITH YOU"....I sat in a different spot today. I sat on a stump that faces the back of the headstone , so I could look see the new things. As I sat there praying, and thanking God for Rach.. I told her how very much I love her..I said I hope you know how much...when I opened my eyes I could see this little patch of clovers. Every leaf was a perfect heart. It was my own little bouquets of hearts.. I looked all over trying to find another patch....there wasn't one anywhere!!! Just this one little patch ...just for me. As soon as I got home I put them in Rachels Bible..on the 1 Corinthians ch 13 page..



13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

the greatest of these IS love.....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Beauty Will Rise

I went to Rachels garden yesterday afternoon.Some days I just feel this urgency to go.Last year on Thanksgiving morning I went and came home with some beautiful flowers. The tree by her had left me these beautiful flowers..no others to be found.What a gift that was.


I had hoped to get some more this year and bring them home earlier.. but this year the tree held nothing for me..I told myself that was OK, I would just go buy some flowers this year....That was good for last year. I told myself God would take care of this one too. I sat down in my usual spot. The angel looked so much bigger this time. I just sat looking at the words on the heart...LOVE NEVER FAILS, and then....in the middle of this pile of dirt.....something caught my eye..






1 little purple flower..the first thing that I heard was " out of these ashes beauty will rise"....BEAUTY will rise... 1 little purple flower...so powerful..so meaningful...so perfect...
Stephen Curtis Chapman knows well the pain of losing a child tragically.
His song ..
my heart...


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lots Of Bacon


I can't believe in one week I will be facing another Thanksgiving. Last year ....I can remember last years so well. Time has went by so fast this year. I am not dreading the holidays, I honestly don't think there is a word for how I feel. I know that I will ,at some point be sad.....and I know that I will also at some point, smile. Kennedy has requested bacon "and lots of it" for Thanksgiving. We tend to lean towards the non-traditional way of things. Kaitlin wants to "see" the turkey on the table...she just doesn't want to eat it. The candied sweet potatoes were always Rach's favorite. I guess I should say ONE of her favorites.. I can remember her walking into the kitchen and asking " are you making sweet potatoes"??? " you know their my favorite"....like I would forget that one year.... extra buttery...and extra marshmellowy.....I don't know what would be worse....seeing them on the table...or not seeing them on the table... it just feels like there wasn't enough time in between last year and this year...it's all still so fresh in my mind..I can remember going all over town looking for calla lilies. I can remember being at the cemetery . I can remember everyone looking stunned.. I don't think I look the same this year. I don't feel the same. I don't think I will ever feel "normal" again. Maybe I shouldn't..maybe the way I feel now is normal and before I wasn't feeling? Maybe I'm afraid if I let go of what I feel...I let go of Rach.. I don't know how many Thanksgivings it will be before I am ready to do them how we did them in the past. My husband and I both agree that doing it different makes it a little easier.
Nothing will ever be the same..not me...not anything..and thats Ok... I have overcome a lot since last year..I have learned to trust God more..and I have learned the meaning of praising God in the bad times.
"But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you."

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving , and into His courts with praise"..You can go in through the gate with thanksgiving, or you can stand outside of it and cry and whine and hope He hears you..God has allowed me to do things that I never dreamed I could do. I am so thankful for every opportunity He has given me to share my testimony,or play the drums... or to sing a song that is on my heart...

Psalm 30:12 – "That my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks for ever."

I have no plans for sure for Thanksgiving...all I know is that there will be
bacon...
thankin....
AND LOTS OF IT !!!!!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Look What He Showed Up With

Not long after the funeral, Rachels older brother showed up with this tattoo

It is on his side....She is always by his side...I thought it was beautiful.
And then he showed up with this one

I let him use the ring that I always wear that Rachel had bought for me while she was on a cruise with her aunt.I couldnt believe I took it off of my finger and let him leave my house with it.He wanted the words that are on the back of her headstone to be in the hearts. He totally designed this one. I knew in my heart how much pain he was in and if doing this in somehow helps him cope with what he is feeling, then do it. I have to admit I have not always been a huge fan of tattoos, but I have seen some beautiful ones that were done in Rachels memory. I know some people can be very judgemental of young guys with their tattoos and their piercings , not even giving a thought to what they might lay in bed and think about at night,or talk to God about, or how loving and compassionate they might be. Make no mistake, I know my son can be, for lack of a better word, a turd. I know that..but what I want you to know is what he showed up with today...
Today is Kennedys birthday. Robin didn't know what to get her. She has some earrings that are a guitar pick that he gave her.They say "pick Jesus".She wears them all the time. I told him to go get her another pair in a different color. He came in with this bag.


That had this bear inside of it.







The bear had on a silver heart necklace that was for Kennedy too



On the back of the necklace it says "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
She opened the bag and looked up at me with her eyes filled with tears. Her brother was standing with his back to her, overflowing with emotions too. She went up behind him and grabbed him and hugged him and they just stood holding each other . Both knowing what each other was thinking and feeling without having to say a word.She knew why a heart shaped necklace....He knows all to well the brokenness and the love for her sister she carries in her heart..As a Mom ,to be able to witness such a poignant moment between your children..I was frozen by its beauty.. they stood locked in their hug for a very long time with no words being said..none were needed. I saw so deeply into my sons heart today..what a gift..passed the ink...passed the gauges...passed the ripped jeans... I hope when you see him..or anyone else ... you try to do the same.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

God Don't Change

I had forgotten to write about this song. The lady from the Beaumont Enterprise had shared this with me. Back in August when she came out to the house to do the interview, she stayed for about an hour talking and asking questions and listening. I also asked her some questions. I didn't know anything about her, I just knew that she was very special to me and would always have a special place in my heart. When she got in her car to leave the house she said this song came up on her ipod.She had it set on shuffle and this just happened to be the song it played.She let is play softly as she drove away from my house. In that moment, it spoke to her. I hope that in someway it helped her to understand some of what I try to say on this blog.I cant imagine writing the stories she writes,sitting with these families and hearing these tragic stories day after day. It takes a special person to be able to do that with compassion.Beth Rankin has proven to me that she has a heart FULL of compassion.
This song was written in 1929.It's still true today..



GOD DON'T NEVER CHANGE


Friday, November 5, 2010

Great Boots And Gratitude



Yesterday I took the girls to go get their new boots.They had waited patiently to go.Kennedy found some that would have made Rach so proud. They were the first pair she found , but of course we went to 6 other stores just to be sure.Out of the six stores, not one pair of boots would stay on KK's narrow foot so she decided to just get a shirt and a Barbie styling head (her boots from last year still fit). While we were in the store getting Kennedy's boots, KK stopped and said " hey look a penny". I said "oh its a penny from heaven". Kennedy took the penny from KK and looked at me and said" it sure is.. its a 2009 penny". We all just smiled. This year it was easier to shop. On the way out of the store I said" Happy birthday Rach"..and the girls said it back to me ..God has been so good to me these past couple of weeks. He has comforted me in ways that some of you would never understand ,or I guess I should say be willing to understand. Some things just cannot be explained, but have to be experienced. Robert Browning has Paul say of his experience with Christ:

Oh, could I tell you, surely you would believe it.
Oh, could I show what I myself have seen.
How can I tell, and how can you receive it,
How till He bringeth you where I myself have been?

I now understand the words " open the eyes of my heart" a little better. I would never be so bold as to say I fully understand, because I don't think we will ever fully understand while we are here.

Faithful til death, said our loving Master
A few more days to labor and wait,
Toils of the road will then seem as nothing
As we sweep through the beautiful gate.


Farther along we'll know all about it,
Farther along we'll understand why;
Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine,
We'll understand it all by and by.

I have sang this song many times, but I only recently really heard this verse of the song." Toils of the road will then seem as nothing"..




I am working on being "thankful" now instead of waiting until the end of the month. I brought this beautiful arrangement ,that my sister n law made for us during the funeral, back into the living room. I had put it in the pretty room with all of Rachs stuff. This arrangement reminds me to be thankful ....for my beautiful Rach...for my family...and for everything that we love that God has given us to enjoy...there are flowers ,bird, and butterflies all throughout it. I hope you get inspired to get a head start on the gratitude too..

Monday, November 1, 2010

Flowers and Friends


Twenty one years ago I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl. I can say that because even the doctor that delivered her said it . It was such an easy delivery she didn't even cry.She was perfect. This beautiful angel slept all night the first night I brought her home.She was my , and her older brothers , very best friend.
I am so thankful that I got to stay home with my children and be a part of their life everyday. I have so many memories of Rach and I cling to each and every one of them. Today I have been able to think on them and smile.It has been a good day.
For the first time today when I went to Rachels garden, there were other visitors there. Two of her sweet friends were bringing her flowers. There were also flowers from some of our family, and then a bouquet of beautiful yellow roses, with no name on them. That headstone looked so beautiful with all those flowers around it. Sweet friends, and sweet smelling lilies= perfect. One of my sweet friends sent a beautiful arrangement to the house to brighten our day.I am so thankful for every message, phone call, card,visit and prayer that I receive.
Tonight instead of going boot shopping ,I gave Kennedy and Kaitlin each a special gift from my brother that he had given to me to give them a while back. My brother was the one who went to Rachs car and got all of her things for me. He had kept 2 dimes. He ordered a bezel for each of them to put them in.I just had been waiting for the right time to give them to the girls.I told them where the dimes came from, and I reminded them of how big a heart Rach had.And I told them that if these had been the last 2 times that she had to her name, she would have given them to the girls. She loved them so much.They were thrilled to get them.
I wore one of Rachs favorite tshirts today..and I loved it!
Happy Birthday my beautiful Rachey girl.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I'm Not Alone

While I was getting ready for church this morning the phone rang. It was Michelle. Her daughter was sick so she wouldn't be able to make it to church... I told myself.."this means you are singing your song"...It is called "YOU'RE NOT ALONE". I got to church early so I could TRY and sing it. I was still a little stuffy,but I was determined. I was nervous, but I kept telling myself this isn't hard. I had done much harder things.. Every part of burying a child is hard. Walking in a dimly lit room and seeing your daughter for the first time laying in a casket....thats hard....looking at her hair and knowing that she would hate for her friends to see it looking like that , and hearing her voice pleading..MOM LOOK AT MY BANGS...MOM!!! and knowing you don't have a choice.,so you pick up a comb and you do what you know you HAVE to do...you make your daughter look like a beautiful sleeping princess. I've done things I never dreamed I could do,,,or would ever have to do...singing a song is a piece of cake.. I struggled through it a few times in practice trying to warm my voice up..but I didn't care..the words were more important to me...I prayed and asked God to please help me...and just put it in His hands..He of course came through for me .I was able to sing it better than I ever had. I'm not saying it was " awesome"..I'm just saying = I did it! I had so many people tell me how much I inspired them, or how much they loved my song. They got it.. thats what I really wanted was for them to hear the words and see me ..ME ...being able to sing to them , and to say ..." If she can do that after everything she's been through"...yeah...its time to start trusting God..It's time to stop thinking little things are sooo bad.. It's time to REALLY see God , and to trust that when he says NEVER will I leave you, that He means NEVER.. Thank you God for allowing me to do what my heart needed to do.



Trunk or Treat was tonight..It turned out really good. It was a busy day , but the little girls really enjoyed it. I know in the morning it will be the day of Rachel's birth. I did everything today that I needed to do ...tomorrow.. well....I'll let you know..

You're Not Alone

I searched for love when the night came and it closed in
I was alone but you found me where I was hiding
And now I'll never ever be the same
It was the sweetest voice that called my name saying

You're not alone for I am here
Let me wipe away your every fear
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through the darkest night
And I'm the one who's loved you all your life
All your life

You cry yourself to sleep
cause the hurt is real and the pain cuts deep
All hope seems lost with heartache your closest friend
And everyone else long gone
You've had to face the music on your own
But there is a sweeter song that calls you home saying

You're not alone for I am here
Let me wipe away your every tear
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through the darkest night
And I'm the one who's loved you all your life
All your life

Faithful and true forever
My love will carry you

You're not alone for I-I am here
Let me wipe away your every fear
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through the darkest night
Your darkest night
And I'm the one who's loved you all your life
All your life.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Parades Pumpkins and Possibilities


Rach singing at homecoming




Today was our high schools homecoming parade and football game. I made it fine through the parade. I thought about Rach the whole time. She got to ride in a blue corvette her senior year for choir sweetheart.She looked so beautiful.Her junior year she sang The National Anthem with a small choir group at half time during the homecoming game. I thought about her tonight when the group sang.She was so excited about both events.There was just something about being at the game that was so much harder tonight. There is a song that the band plays after the "school song" called Slavonic.If you go to VHS ,then you know this song well. It is evokes all kind of memories. I thought about my years in school, and I thought about Rachs.I remembered seeing her cry when they played that song at the game her senior year. I could see her so clearly tonight even though the stands were so packed. I miss her so much. This weekend is going to be so hard. Homecoming, halloween, and then Rachs birthday on Monday..I'm already a mess. I am in charge of our church's "trunk or treat". The theme for my car is The "Bee" attitudes. Four years ago I did my first fall festival and Rach ,of course, was right there helping.She did the face painting and was awesome at it. She dressed up as a bee . That is how I came up with my car theme. KK and I are dressing up as bees too. For her birthday ..... I have no idea...My mom made a beautiful calla lily arrangement for the altar at church. Our secretary at church put a beautiful photo of Rach with a calla lily around it in the bulletin to remember her on her birthday. I was so touched. I was glad she let me see it early. I showed it to the little girls, and they LOVED it.I was supposed to sing Sunday morning, but I came down with a head cold and had no voice for a couple of days. The lady that sang at Rachs funeral is going to sing God's Still Faithful for us. I first sang that song with my niece Amber. It is such a powerful song. Then me and Rach sang it together. This would have been her 21st birthday. It would have been such a huge deal to her.Her friends ask me what I am doing for it...and I honestly don't know..We did the balloon release last year. This year it falls on a Monday..nothing feels right. I just don't know what to do.. I never feel like anything is BIG enough. I am of course so glad to know that others remember and want to do something...but I need to find something that feels right. right now it just all feels wrong..

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sweet Hour Of Prayer

Well after a long week of taking care of a sick kid, I was so ready for this weekend. KK got strep throat, and then wound up getting a stomach virus on top of that. I needed 2 Saturdays this weekend.. Church this morning was really good. We had a very prayer - filled service. After I did my childrens sermon , they asked for the preacher and 2 other men in our church who are preachers, to come down front. It was a time to get special prayer for yourself or someone you knew. I went down .I went to a man that I have known since I was a very little girl.I told him I was in need of prayer because Rachels birthday was coming up and...I... I could barely finish my sentence...he grabbed me by my hand and looked into my eyes and said " I voice your name before the Lord everyday in my prayers".That meant so much to me...And then Mr. Quinn wrapped his arms around me and said the sweetest prayer. Our whole service was about prayer.The next song we sang was Sweet Hour of Prayer...I heard every word of it ..this time. It is such a beautiful song. I left church feeling wonderful.. I stopped and got us some lunch to eat at home..and then this is where it all changes....
As I turned down my road to come home, there were 3 dogs that we did not recognize..One really big pit /mix looking thing, and weenie dog with a limp, and a cute little scruffy black dog..Kennedy immediately started telling me to get out and get them..I told her I couldn't because that big dog looked mean..I could see the cute little black dog jumping around in the high grass..She was begging me to do something..The little weenie dog took off towards the main hi way...I tried to go ahead and get us on down the road..Kennedy kept asking me why I didn't help.I told her I was afraid of the big dog..We went in to eat and I could tell Kennedy was still sad...I told her they would be ok and she said..."no they won't ..the black one got ran over"...I didn't believe her...I didn't see it..She said she saw it ...oh...my goodness....so of course I had to go back and look and see..and bless her little heart..there was the little black dog ...right there ...all I could think was I've got to move her so Kennedy doesn't have to see it every time we leave..
I am so glad my girls have no idea of what I see when I get to the end of that road..they don't know where the wreck happened..just that it happened..I went and got a shovel and went to move the little dog..praying for strength the whole time...Oh sweet hour of prayer "In seasons of distress and grief,My soul has often found relief."...I was having some trouble , and I stopped because of traffic...then a truck came down our street and stopped and asked if I needed help.For some reason I felt compelled to tell this man MY whole story...he went and got the puppy for me.. and said how very sorry he was..I don't even know that if I would have gotten out of my car and went to try to get the little dog , it would have even came to me..I might have scared it into the road..I'm so sorry little puppy that I didn't help you..And I'm sorry that your owner didn't care enough to take better care of you... I wrote this poem on the 21st of October last year...I have been thinking about it today , and thought I would share it again...


At the end of the road
there is a place
where part of my heart sits still.
It sits and holds your love and grace,
Gods mercy I can feel.
At the end of the road
I never thought
that all your dreams would end.
That plans would change, life would stop
and healing would begin.
At the end of the road
I didn't know
I 'd have to say goodbye.
That everyday I'd see the place
where you first learned to fly.
At the end of the road
there is a choice,
The darkness or the light.
I choose the light, the Son of God
whose never left my side.
At the end of the road
I know there's life
there's life eternally.
And that is what i hope to see
and the end of the road
for me.

"SWEET HOUR OF PRAYER"
Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!
Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!
Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!
Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolation share,
Till, from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight.
This robe of flesh I’ll drop, and rise
To seize the everlasting prize,
And shout, while passing through the air,
“Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!”

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Traveler


Can I just start off by saying how much I despise halloween ? I just don't like it...well except for the 15 bags of pumpkins I have already consumed...seriously..I have never really liked it..Rach on the other hand loved it.Of course the day after is her birthday , but I never understood her fascination with halloween. I want to just pretend it doesn't exist,but I can't do that with little kids..at least KK is on my side about not liking all the scary stuff about it. Today KK decided she wanted to paint a face on her pumpkins that she forced me to buy. I traced a funny face on for her and then I couldn't find the sharpie to go over it. I was looking in every drawer that I thought might have one.I opened my husbands top drawer that holds an odd mixture of things.I picked up a stack of papers and realized there was a stack of cards in it too.He keeps all the cards that the kids and I give him.I flipped through the stack and found a card with MY name on it.It was from a sweet lady at his job..it had this wonderful poem that I had never heard. I am so glad I found it today..

The Traveler
By James Dillet Freeman


She has put on invisibility.
Dear Lord, I cannot see—
But this I know, although the road ascends
And passes from my sight,
That there will be no night;
That You will take her gently by the hand
And lead her on
Along the road of life that never ends,
And she will find it is not death but dawn.
I do not doubt that You are there as here,
And You will hold her dear.

Our life did not begin with birth,
It is not of the earth;
And this that we call death, it is no more
Than the opening and closing of a door—
And in Your house how many rooms must be
Beyond this one where we rest momentarily.

Dear Lord, I thank You for the faith that frees,
The love that knows it cannot lose its own;
The love that, looking through the shadows, sees
That You and she and I are ever one!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Coming Out Of The Dark


I have tried to be as honest as I could possibly could about everything that I have felt, or seen or done..I hope that when you read this you can understand my pain..this is the dark cloud that has been over my head since the wreck happened ..
I have never had any hard feelings towards the man that was driving the 18 wheeler...my brother made it very clear that the man had done everything he could to try to stop it from happening..I believe him...what has consumed me is the residents of the home where her car stopped.They have made many FALSE claims on my insurance to try to make money off of my daughters death..you wanna talk about having hatred in my heart????? Every time I get to the end of my road and have to see their house and know what they have tried to do...Every time I would get a letter in the mail from the insurance about another claim I just wanted to go and tell them " don't you think me losing my daughter was enough"? your roll of fencing that has been laying there for 4 years is useless...that old car that has been on a trailer for 2 years is a piece of junk....LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!! I have been very aware of the fact that I need to let this go..My hope is that maybe in purging this out on my blog ..just getting it out.. will help me to let it go..and of course I know that you will read it and will pray for me about it too...(hint hint)...It just goes so far down into the pit of my stomach...sometimes when I see them outside I just want to go and tell them how wrong they are...but there is no talking to people like this..obviously...I want this part of it to be over...I don't want to sit in a place of panic and be robbed of peace ..but right now I can't even type the three words that I need to say....much less say them out loud..I was given a very good definition of forgiveness.. it means you take your hand off of the persons throat....I've loosened my grip... I haven't let go .....yet....I'm sorry...I'm human..

“In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and He answered me by setting me free. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The LORD is with me; He is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.” Psalm 118:5-7 (NIV)

Lord please set me free

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sister


This month is pastor appreciation month. At my church ,this past Sunday, we honored our whole ministry team. This year I was included as the childrens minister. I have been doing the childrens sermons in our worship service for around 5 yrs. When I first started doing them I would rehearse them on Rach while we were at the house and then on the way to church. She would tell me if she thought they were good. I can even remember her being moved to tears during some of them. She was one of my biggest supporters. I know she was proud of me for doing them , not just as a Christian , but as a woman. She always had a hard time with the place of the woman in church. She didn't understand it. She asked me one morning after I did my sermon how come they referred to the men as "brother so and so" but just called me Mrs. Suzette?... I had no idea..I knew that me doing the sermon and saying a prayer was a HUGE deal in our church . I also have known how very supportive everyone at my church has been of me doing them, but no one as much as Rach.. I walked in to my classroom Sunday morning and picked up the bulletin for the day. On the front were all the names of the ministry team that were being honored. When I saw my name I sucked in my breath..It said "Sister Suzette".. It made me laugh and cry.I have never been called that.Rach had been on my mind so much that morning.I knew she would have been so glad to see me be recognized... seeing that made it seem like she was a part of it, even if I was the only one that knew it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I Wonder


I always wonder what goes on inside my little girls minds .I know for KK ,the 8 yr old, she was the one at first that was comforting us. She would say the most unbelievable things..and then she got to where she would leave the room if we were looking at Rachs pictures or if we were having a sad moment. That lasted for several months, and then out of the blue one day ,when we were in the car,she started talking about things she remembered about Rach. I think what struck me the most was the look on her face and the tone in her voice..and when she finished talking, she would turn her head and look up and out the window and just slightly nod her head ..and then she looked at me and said " I remember too"...I remember then thinking that I wish I could just see in that girls mind..Kennedy on the other hand...oh man....she has to have information to be able to process the situation..I know how her mind works..she needs to know ,so she can stop trying to sort it out..she is one of the smartest, loving kids..she has cried rivers of tears..from day 1 every night when she would lay down to go to sleep she would say " goodnight RA RA "..some nights I could smile, and some nights ...it was just too much..Kenedy loves talking about Rach..she can remember amazing details from things that happened when she was very young...I'm so glad...I said all this to bring us up to this week..Wednesday night when we were leaving church Kennedy looked up at the sky and in a very quiet voice said" every night I wonder where Rachels star is"... I could just hear in her voice that she needed me to fix that for her.... I think it was just the way she said it..I want to be in their minds...just sit back in the corner of their little minds and see what sweet memories they have..and see what they think about..I wonder if my being so honest with them was the right thing to do..I know that I am teaching them how to grieve...I also know how very much a part of their lives Rachel was...I heard Kennedy and KK talking in their room the other day..KK was wishing she had some boots that she could wear with her new shirt..and Kennedy told her "Remember we're gonna be getting some new boots real soon...it's almost Rachels birthday".... (Iwould get Rach new boots for her birthday, so last year I got the girls new boots)..I wonder how many times a day they think about her..I hope it is all sweet ...I hate to think that they carry around the same pain that I do ....they don't know everything that I know....they have no knowledge of the wreck, only that it happened...they only know she's gone... and know that every day ..every day....we miss her.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lead me to the cross

I have spent the past 4 nights at our church watching the "Strength Team". They tore phone books,broke bats, crushed bricks(on fire), and had just as powerful testimonies.My girls really enjoyed watching them ,so I made a point of being there every night.I know what an lasting impact things like this can have on people.
Plus their messages of "strength in the Lord " were just what I needed.I have had a hard time with October. I know that these next 3 months will be so hard. These were Rachels most favorite months. I know what you all are thinking....you made it through them last year ....well now I know how hard they are going to be...I do know that God is still here with me ,and he will carry me through these months..they are just so emotionally draining. It all already seems so hard. And somehow (as KK always says) I will get through each part of it. Some people say the second year is easier and some people say it is harder..I say it ALL is hard..I don't think it will ever be easier..I think this is just how I will feel. Some days it is just easier to find a way through he darkness, and some days it is just an all consuming pit that rages so loud all around you can't even hear yourself screaming ...but then the sun comes back again and you can see, and your mind can be quiet..little things help to give me peace. Little , simple things... like this cross necklace... It is just like the one Rachel is wearing in so many pictures. KK gave it to her..she wore everyday..she even had on the day of the wreck.. I gave hers to one of her very special friends.. and then a year later I ordered myself one...or I guess I should say one dozen....I had a small panic attack.."what if I lose it? or what if they stop selling them"? I ordered enough to share with friends and family..and some to keep just incase I lose mine.. that little inexpensive wooden cross, helps to give me peace..I keep one by my bed..this little hand is a mold of KK's hand that I made. It is sitting on a glass box filled with dried flowers from the funeral. That little hand reminds me so much of the hand of the angel on Rachs headstone..I love that it is one of the first things I see in the morning ,and one of the last things I see before I go to bed...



Lead me to the cross....the necklace reminds me of this song..

Monday, September 27, 2010

In the Garden

Well I didn't realize it had actually been a week since I had posted. Starting on the 13th and ending on Sunday the 19th it was non stop running for me. I was beyond tired...and I was talked out. I just needed to spend a few days being quiet. And what a coinkydinky that I had the perfect place to do just that. When we came home that Sunday afternoon, I came home to a newly landscaped backyard. My sister in law Shana(also now known as the white Oprah) had spent the weekend giving me the most wonderful gift.Her sweet mother also came and helped create my beautiful new haven - ( a place of refuge or rest). I had "kinda" done a little bit of planting here and there, but what I have now is so beautiful.So much thought was put into every detail of it. When I first walked into the yard my mind really could not comprehend what it was seeing. It was so beautiful ,and there was so much to try to take in ..it was just like being in one of those "makeover" shows..I just sat in one of my new chairs and cried..The girls and I have spent a lot of time out there this week. There were also lots of new birds that came to visit too.There is just something so peaceful about sitting out there and listening to the fountain and just "being still". One of my favorite things is a paver that has a quote on it.It says "Perhaps the stars in the sky are loved ones letting us know they are near by guiding us through the night". You see, one of Rachs sweet friends ,Brittni, had came over Thursday before we left to go out of town. She came with bags full of the most thoughtful gifts.She had pictures of Rach for all the kids, and she had painted KK and Kennedy each a special angel picture.But the best part was she had gotten a star named after Rachel! What a special gift to be given .I really was so moved by the outpouring of love I was shown during those dark days. When I read the paver for the first time , I went right into the ugly cry. It just all went together so well.I am so blessed to have so many caring people surrounding me. My family ,my friends..some old friends ..some new friends..but all wanting so badly to ease just a small portion of my pain even if only for a moment. One friend even showed up with not 1 but TWO cartons of whoppers to help get me through that hard weekend. Oh Christel...you know me so well....She also brought me a collection of scriptures and this wonderful poem she had written for me...every word of it was so meaningful..and she included a cd of a song she wanted me to listen to .The name of it is "He knows my name"..that is also the name of the last song Rach and I sang together. This is a different song...but I just thought out of millions of songs ...thats the name of the one she has for me..Gideon Bibles were also purchased in Rachs name ..thank you Betsy for that.My Dad has been a Gideon for many years.Rach actually went with him one time to pass out Bibles, so remembering her in that way was very special. The girls from her youth group at church got together and had a special time of remembering.. I had so many of Rachs friends reach out to me..I am so glad to have them as my friend now too. I hope I am not leaving anything out..I know that I am not walking alone..I know that you understand that this journey is not over for me..that it never will be..and I pray that you never have to know what it feels like to walk it yourself.
Thank you for continuing to pray for me and my family and thank you for carrying her heart.



(I ate all the whoppers)



"Perhaps the stars in the sky are loved ones letting us know they are near by guiding us through the night".


here is the deepest secret nobody knows....
here is the root of the root
and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide..
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)



And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Galveston Oh Galveston


I had made the decision days ahead that I would not be in town for September 17th. I did not want to give that day or that number any more power . I miss Rach everyday...EVERY SINGLE DAY...that day would not make me miss her any more than I already do. I decided to take the little girls to the place that makes them the happiest....Moody Gardens in Galveston....I took them out of school for the day , and we headed out .Rob rode over too and stayed overnight with us. I was given an awesome discount on a room at the Moody Gardens hotel.The girls have had that place on their wish list for a long time..We had a wonderful 2 days . So many moments I was able to be filled with memories of her, and smile..When I could feel myself beginning to be sad, something or someone would always lift me up... The sky Friday night was pure amethyst..The fat little baby at the pool who stared at me forever wanting me to make him smile. I tried for at least 30 minutes to get a grin out of that boy..finally his mom said "Oh Angus aren't you gonna smile at that lady"?..He did ..he looked at me with his deep brown eyes and smiled a smile that I thought was just for me..The next day we went to my sisters house in Houston. Her twin 10 year old boys were going to be baptized. I was a little worried about how that would affect me , but I really wanted to be there and I wanted my girls to be there for them.The preacher went into the baptistery and called for both of them to join him..immediately my mind went back to when Robin and Rachel were in the baptistery together...it washed over me like a huge wave , but I was able to stop and say to myself " yes what a precious sight for a Mom ..and to know their child has everlasting life"..
I had a few visitors before I left town, and was given some really special gifts.I was also sent the sweetest cards. I'll save all the gifts for a later post..I was so touched by all the things placed at the cemetery. I was also really moved by all the photos and sweet comments that her friends ,and my friends ,posted on facebook.So much love ....
When I close my eyes I see myself walking down this awful path of grief and ALL of my family and friends- from school and from church and Rachs friends,and people that I know only because of my grief(but that I feel very close too) are all holding hands and making a circle around me..they walk this path with me..sometimes someone will move out of the circle and walk beside me...sometimes they put an arm around me and help me walk..and sometimes they will even walk for me when I cannot stand.....I am so thankful for all of you..even those that are not here in town...I know in my heart you are here ...I know you too are in the circle of love that surrounds me..




Eternal life isn’t only waiting for us one day in heaven. But eternal life is Jesus! and it is a close intimate relationship with Him that begins here on earth.
Jesus said in John 17:3," And this is eternal life, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

There Will Be A Day

RACHEL ANN

Nov. 1, 1989

Sept. 17,2009


When you lose someone you love, it seems that time stands still. What moves through us is a silence... a quiet sadness... A longing for one more day... one more word... one more touch... We may not understand why Rachel left this earth so soon, or why she left before we were ready to say good-bye.. but little by little, we will begin to remember not just that she died, but that she LIVED....And that her life gave us memories too beautiful to forget.
We will see you again Rach...some day, in a heavenly place where there is no parting. A place where there are no words that mean good-bye....

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears
No more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place
Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we'll hold on to you always..


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Life Coach?


The past 2 days I have been attending a class on being a "life coach". I had only recently become aware of what one even is. My seminary teacher had attended the class last year and had asked me if he could do a free session on me.He asked me last week in class if I would be interested in taking the course.."sure"...I had spent the last year being so focused on death, "life coaching" sounded like a good challenge. I had told myself if all I got out of it was a new way to talk to my kids about their problems,then it was worth it. I really have enjoyed the class. It has opened my eyes to a lot of things. I really am looking forward to using what I have learned, and learning more about life coaching. I am praying for God to show me how he wants me to use this. I had an AH HA moment while I was talking to someone during one of our "coaching" sessions. I want to find a way to incorporate this in with grief help. I don't like the word recovery..I will never recover from losing Rachel.....I will never stop loving her and I will never stop being her mom. I will never stop acknowledging her in my everyday conversation. I can't imagine not talking about her....that being said, I am anxious to see which path God will set before me with my new tools .I hope my eyes and my heart stay open and I don't try to steer myself down the path I want to go. .."many are the plans is a man's heart, but it's the Lords' purpose that prevail". prov. 19:21

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nine Eleven

if you look close, you can see her cross necklace.(its in a lot of pics)

these photos were on Rachs phone from her trip to Illinois on 9/11/09

I remember so clearly September 11, 2001 and September 11, 2009.The ones in between are not as clear. I remember in 2001 sitting in my living room staring at the tv in shock, disbelief , fear and anger wanting desperately for someone to tell me that what I was seeing was not really happening.. I sat there for days glued to the tv. There are some in events in life that go so deeply .. "cut to the heart" as Acts 2:37 says. Last year on September 1o Rach was flying to Illinois to watch one of her very best friends graduate from boot camp in the Navy...on September 11.They were supposed to fly home that night. I remember thinking ,when she was getting in her car to drive to the airport , " she might not come back"..then their flight was delayed so they had to stay in the airport all night..I was so worried the whole time .....it was only 7 days later ..

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

From My Daughter


What a nice long Labor Day weekend this one was! I labored all weekend...I decided to do some purging of things in the girls play room, and just spent the days going through drawers and closets.. I found this note underneath one of my jewelry boxes. I remembered the morning I came home from bringing Kennedy to school and found this in my room..Rachel left for school later than the little girls, so she slipped it in there while I was gone. I knew it was something she had found on the internet and copied, but I loved that she had read it and wanted me to have it.She took the time to write it out for me..I read it quite a few times when I found it, both then and now. It was folded in half and on the outside it simply says MOM..




if you click on the image it will make it larger..



Thou O Lord wilt not withhold thy compassion from me;Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth will continually preserve me..psalm 40:11

lovingkindness ......a word that is not said very often , nor do we fully understand what it means to live it..but I am so glad that my Lord does.