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.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summers Here


School is officially over. All I could think about this whole year is summer.I don't know what I think will happen, I just know that in my mind my life seemed easier without having to do school. What I didn't think about was how graduation would affect me.It really all started on Friday night.We had a niece graduate Friday night,and then there was the big crawfish boil for her at my brother-n-laws house Saturday. Friday night I went to drop Kennedy off at a slumber party.Kenny had to work late so we missed the graduation ceremony,so I let Kennedy go to a sleep over.On the way home ,the sunset was breath taking. It was almost a perfect as the one the night of the funeral.I will never forget that sunset.This one was close. I headed to cemetery.One of Rachs school mates that graduated last year was tragically killed in a car wreck just a couple of weeks ago.He was buried in the same cemetery. I went to school with his beautiful mother.It was so overwhelming seeing his grave with all his flowers.Just remebering the start of this journey,I wept that night like I have not wept in a long time. I miss her so much. I stayed until the sky was no longer for me.The next day was the party.Just picking out a graduation card was a chore.I found the perfect one. I came home to get ready.Kenny went ahead to the party with the little girls and Dakota.I went to sign the card ,and reread it. Mistake.....I signed our names and realized , I wasn't going to make it. I found some really ugly sunglasses to wear..not that they would fool anyone. I headed out for the party..Every song on the radio made it worse..I didn't want people to look at me with that sad face...Its so hard to explain.I want to be there, I want to be a part of it..I just don't want to talk about it. People have no idea of the pain.I don't expect them to understand,and at the same time I don't want to explain it to them. I tried to call Kenny to tell him that I was struggling, and mainly to not make fun of me in my sunglasses..no answer.I turned down the street and saw my oldest son headed toward me in his truck.I rolled down the window and saw his face when he saw MY face...."what's wrong"?????? I told him it was just one of those days...he knew what I meant..He just put his head down...I tried to make conversation to not bring him down to where I was.He was going to the store and would be right back..I took a breath and went on...When I got out of my car , the walk down the driveway back to their patio was soooooo long.I finally saw Kenny..All I could do was shake my head. At this point , he knows. He always knows.I walked over to put the card on her table.All her pictures were out.....it was just flooding my mind and breaking my heart...I could see Rachels graduation...I remember all the excitement for her..all the hope.Rachel was so smart, and so beautiful.....I just wanted to go back..I told Kenny I couldn't stay....we went and walked up to the front and sat on the back of truck. I'm so thankful for such a compassionate husband, who will just sit and be with me in that moment.My son came back from the store and walked to me as fast as he could and just grabbed me.He said "its gonna be ok mom, its gonna be ok"..my favorite word....It did get ok...I just had to walk through that part of the journey. Those that knew me ,knew why I was sad.No words needed.Just lots of hugs.I made it through the day. When we got home that night about 9:30, I got online to post a photo of me on my facebook.I had a message from a friend I made through this blog.It said" Thinking of you today and praying for some kind of extra special blessing :)"..the time that is was posted in my messages,was the time I was really struggling at the party!!!! It was one of those moments that you just want to breathe in every second of.. I am so thankful for all of you that read this.I'm so thankful too for all your prayers. I know that losing Rachel is something I will never get over.But I know that with Gods help,I will get through it.I hope this summer to be able to do more post on this blog.It has just seemed hard to sit and type. The same with my guitar..The two things that were healing me have become cumbersome. I know it is temporary. I look forward to seeing how God will use them both. Be safe this summer, and check back often.
"I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe."(eph 1 16-19)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Otitis

One of Rachels friends had to have her appendix taken out this past week. It made me think about last year with Rachel.Towards the end of April, she had to have her tonsils removed.That meant having to go to the Dr.,who sent us to the ENT(ear nose throat),then to the cardiologist to get clearance for the anesthesia,then back to the ENT, and then the procedure. I said "us" because I went with her,even tho she was considered an adult. I knew she was very nervous about being put to sleep. She got clearance for the surgery, and had it done.She did so good. She only took the really strong pain medicine 2 times,and after that she would only take regular Tylenol. She had a lot of issues with taking medicine. It was nice tho, to have her home for a few days and to be able to really "mother" her.I bought her favorite easy to eat snacks, and fixed her whatever she wanted. Once she felt better,I even took her to Target and pushed her around in a wheel chair just to have an outing.We watched our usual favorite shows, and made our usual jokes. While we were making all the rounds at the different doctors, I noticed the same poster was in every room, the one of the ear and the inner ear.I'm sure you've all seen it. I noticed on the poster it said Otitis Media(its a middle ear infection), I kept saying it...Otitis ...I told her after all this,she should name her kid that ..Otitis...it was our favorite thing to say for a looong time.She would tell me "I'm not having kids". She never said she didn't want them,she just said she wasn't having them.Sometimes when I think back on conversations,when I remember her saying things like that, it always makes me wonder...I know my post have been fewer.My thoughts about Rach have not been ,tho. Sometimes I sit to write,and I just don't know how to put it into words. So many other things have happened in the past weeks that make my grief wounds feel so raw again. There just seems to be so much tragedy. I can hardly watch the news anymore.Sometimes it just seems like too much. School will be out soon, and I am hoping to find some time to just "be still". I want time to slow down.I find myself worrying about summer going by too fast,and September being here too soon.

as my memory rests
but never forgets what I lost
wake me up when September ends.

I heard this song on the radio.I hadn't heard it in ..well in over 8 months......now I hear these words in my mind..

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Eighth Month

Back in October in one of my post,I asked the question"how long will I count the weeks, when will it turn into months"? I don't remember exactly when it happened, just one day I realized I didn't know how many weeks..8 months today..Imagine going 8 days without speaking to your child, or seeing your child.Then try to imagine 8 weeks.Unless you've had too, you can't.You can't imagine 8 months, or the rest of your life. You have no idea how it feels .There are no words for me to use to get you to understand the feeling that I have when I look at her picture, when I hear a song, or when I see a young girl about her age with her mom in town...or when I am standing at her grave ...in silence..staring at her name.... When I go to visit I always squat down instead of just standing the whole time.For some reason it feels better to be closer to ground. I waited for the rain to stop this evening so I could go. I was staring at the new headstone. It is so beautiful to look at. It was very cloudy and overcast when I got there. As I was crouched down,I noticed how the trees made such a beautiful canopy with their branches. There was a small v shaped cut-out in the middle of it. As I stared at the angel and talked to God,I became aware of how the sun was now shining through the V.It was beaming down through the canopy, to me. It was just like out of a movie, or a painting. I looked over to the other side of the cemetery and there was no sun. It was like it was only there for me. It stayed as long as I was down, and then it just drifted away. I love those moments that I have with God, feeling his all encompassing love.It is in these quiet moments known only to me ,that I find my peace. I know some of you have doubts when you read my post.I pray that my words encourage you to search deeper into your own relationship with God to see how He reveals Himself to you. "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you"James 4:8 The words to this song that we (the praise band) played,are perfect for today:

Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate
I feel like moving to the rhythm of Your grace
Your fragrance is intoxicating in our secret place
Your love is extravagant

Spread wide in the arms of Christ is the love that covers sin
No greater love have I ever known You considered me a friend
Capture my heart again

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mothers Day everyday



Well last Sunday was Mothers Day.I had been dreading that day since January. For the past several years I have given a Mothers Day breakfast at our church in honor of ALL the ladies in our church.The kids sing and say whats so special about their moms and I give a short devotion. Rachel was always right there with me ,helping me decorate , and even singing a song for the moms 2 years ago..She sang "I'll Stand By You.".It was one of our favorite songs. Last year she made the beautiful pom poms in the pictures for me to use as part of the decorations. After the banquet, I hung them in the nursery for Ms.Rachel and the babies to enjoy. A couple of months ago I had a dream about those pom poms. I could see Rach's hand holding one of them, and I could hear her say,"Mom, I'm right here ,Mom,....I'm right here..." Needless to say, those pom poms are now hanging in my room over my bed. I had my Mothers Day gift..I spent the week before Mothers day getting everything ready.The devotion,the food,the table covers...it was a good to have something to focus on. I found a lighthearted devotion ..A mothers day survival kit... Everything seemed to be so much easier this year..It was the least nervous I had ever been speaking in front of the ladies.I prayed and asked God to let them see HIM in what I was doing.I knew that my being able to speak to them about Mothers day would in itself be such a testimony .At first I felt like they were all just watching and waiting for the flood of emotions to come flowing out of me. It didn't happen.I managed to even work into the devotion how we can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us.I told them the fact that I was standing there doing what I was doing was proof.There were some very moving moments. Some kids had written lovely things about their Moms.Kennedy had wrote on her paper that she loved me because I gave her siblings.. totally caught me off guard, but it was OK.. We had lunch with my parents at The Olive Garden, and then that afternoon and I went to Rachels garden and put some flowers in her vase and just spent a little time just..... being still.. and remembering how proud I am to be Rachels mom.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You Led Me

Sorry it took so long to get the video together.I have a cassette recording of the song in the video its called You Led ME.Rachel and her sweet friend Sonja sang it in March of 08, right before graduation.I wanted to use it, but I could not get it to work on my computer,so I used the original.I remember the day they sang it,tho.Rachel blew everyone away.She had sang before,in groups, or with me, but this time was different.This was her song.I listen to her sing it a lot. The quality of the tape is poor.I can hear her trying to catch her breath, her asthma was bad that day,but I think it is beautiful.Maybe one day I will figure it out and be able to share it with you.Oh and its NOT 6 minutes long.After it fades to black...its over.(I had some issues with my computer.)
video

Saturday, May 1, 2010

It finally came

I've spent the last couple of days battling with the monument company.The headstone was ready for delivery this week.Without my permission they went and laid the foundation.They tried to set it up but the lady I ordered it from stopped them. I had requested to be there for any part of it.I wanted to say where it went.Rachel is very close to a tree, and then there are other graves to consider.Needless to say ,I was not very happy.There were also problems with the headstone.I was so disappointed.Until this point everything had been so great,so easy. I explained to them how patient I had been, and how very few request I had made.That foundation was mine.The headstone is mine.The place where is was put is MINE. That is all I have left.I wanted them to understand WHO this is for!!!! They got the message....Friday morning at about 10:20 it was delivered. It was misting rain on and off.My brother was there which meant I didn't have to worry about straightening anybody out. The lady I ordered it from came out with them too. Mr.John and Pancho brought me my angel. Mr.John reminded me of Morgan Freeman in Driving Mrs.Daisy.He moved very slow , but with a purpose. He's been doing this for 24 years. Pancho has only been helping a little while.They were both so accommodating.They were ready to make it right.Whatever I needed. The first thing I noticed was how sweet the air smelled. There was a huge ligustrum right by us in full bloom. The rain disappeared. It took awhile for them to set the base, and right away I noticed 2 black marks on it.The lady said it was marks for them to know where to set the angel and that they would wipe off .Then they set the angel.It is so beautiful.Every step they stopped and made sure it was ok. They checked and rechecked to make sure it was measured right.I asked him if those marks would wipe off. Mr.John said they were in the stone.I told him what the lady said and he just shook his head. We set the vase on and that took a while to get it all looking like I needed it to look. Right at the end Mr.John asked me if I wanted him to move the angel up to hide the black mark in the stone.He said he knew it was gonna bother me. We moved it. It is perfect.Pancho got a bucket and a brush and very gently began to wash the headstone .Nothing was rushed. He made sure every part was clean, and then took his hand and rinsed it all off. Robin,my son, came about that time. Mr.John asked me one last time if everything was ok. I told him it was fine, and that I guess those were the marks for the angel ....he just didn't know it. I think between my comments and Bruce's , they are still trying to figure us out.There is always time for a laugh, it's just the way we are. ..Before they left Pancho took his whisk broom and swept the marker next to Rachels off. He spent a lot of time on it. He never looked up to see if anyone was watching , he just did it. I wipe it off when I go too, but not the way he did. He has the right heart for this job. Well by now I'm sure you are wondering where the photos are???? That will be the next post.I wanted you to know the story when you see them. You have been here with me every step of the way, so I just wanted you to be able to feel this too. I worried that once I got the angel there, I wouldn't like it, or it wouldn't be big enough , or blah blah blah..... I love it. I don't think it could ever be big enough ..so this one is fine. People tell me they think the angel looks like Rachel. It does remind me of her too.I understand that people do not become angels , (but they can appear in different forms)but, the angel is holding a heart. That is the part that means the most to me. Rachel left part of her heart here, figuratively , and literally.Everyone that knew her and loved her has a part of her heart , and my hope is that her heart donations were able to be used. That is what it represents to me.The guarding of HER heart....the one that we carry.