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.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The S Word

Before I opened my eyes this morning, I knew today was going to be hard. Its the last day of August.Tomorrow I have to start saying and writing the month I have been dreading. Of all things I have had to "get through"..September is trying to be the hardest. I've known all month it was coming..I might not be ready , but I know God is. Every morning before I get out of bed, I try to read my GriefShare message of the day. Even if the message doesn't help, the Bible verses always give me comfort. Today's message jolted me awake. It reaffirmed everything that had been "God-breathed" into my heart,soul,and mind. I am going to re post it just as I read it =

The God of Hope
Day 275

One of the consistent testimonies in Scripture is that faith can grow strong during the darkest times of adversity. It is during those darkest moments that you come to know personally that your Lord is the God of hope.

"One thing about being in grief is that your sorrow is certain, and your loss is so real you literally taste it to the depth of your being," says Dr. Joseph Stowell. "You have to have a certainty that is bigger than the certainty of your sorrow.

"That is why you must train yourself in biblical hope where you are absolutely convinced that God is and that He has a world to come for you and that on the other side everything will be okay. That certainty has to be bigger than the certainty of your sorrows."

Ideally, this biblical training should come before times of adversity, so you can be at least somewhat prepared to face it. But if you are not absolutely sure that God is everything He says He is, then tell Him your doubts and confusion. Study the Bible to learn more about Him. We suggest that you begin reading the book of John or Mark.

If you are sure that Christ Jesus is your only secure hope for life, and life after death, then praise His name, and seek to know Him more fully.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you" (1 Peter 1:3-4).

Jesus, I am certain to the depth of my being that You are the living God and that everything will be okay through You. Amen.

my favorite word ...OK
It was even in the prayer! On the day that I needed Him more than ever,God showed me in a very real way...It is gonna be ok. I am holding on to the God that has carried me this far .I don't know what September will hold for me, but I know WHO will be holding my hand.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Heart is There

beautiful photo created by Tammy Silvestrini

Oh that everyone would be so blessed to have such loving friends to help them through their darkest of days. One special friend sent me this poem.There is a beautiful personal story that goes along with it.She was having her morning devotion time and it was part of it .She thought of this photo of Rach when she read the poem, and sent it to me. The other friend created this picture for me.Both ladies I have a bond with because we the walk the same path. One lady I see at church and correspond with through the computer. The lady that created the photo for me, I have never met in person,we only correspond through the computer.Even so, both have seen into my heart and more importantly have listened to what God has placed in their hearts to share with me..and now I must share it with you.

My heart is there!
Where, on the eternal hills, my loved one dwells
Among the lilies and asphodels;
Clad in the brightness of the Great White Throne,
Clad in the smile of Him who sits thereon,
The glory gilding all His wealth of hair
And making His immortal face more fair--
THERE IS MY TREASURE and my heart is there.

My heart is there!
With Him who made all earthly life so sweet,
So fit to live, and yet to die so meet;
So mild, so grand, so gentle and so brave,
So ready to forgive, so strong to save.
His fair, pure Spirit makes the Heavens more fair,
And thither rises all my longing prayer--
THERE IS MY TREASURE and my heart is there.

Thank you Theresa for the beautiful poem.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for the kids. Kennedy was ready but KK ...well..she has never really "wanted" to go to school.She knows she has to go. This year my stepson is going to be going to school in our district. I was a little worried about how I would feel when I pulled up in front of the school to drop him off. Well God took care of that for me.It was so chaotic at the elementary and the middle school it had me in frenzy. It worked..I made it through the 1st day. Rachel was still part of the day. A photo of her is in part of the "back to school" photo, but the best part was this precious poem KK gave to me . She had drawn a picture of a hand with a heart in it. If you have read any part of this blog , you will understand ...

This special heart I give to you
Because you love me
And I love you.
The heart is you ,the hand is me,
It shows we are a family.

A piece of me I give to you,
This special heart because
I love you!
The heart is you ,the hand is me
It shows that we
are a family.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sunsets I Won't Forget

Rachel-"whats your favorite color"?
Me-" the purplish pink color the sky turns when the sun is setting".
Rachel- "why"?
Me-" because only God can make it. Every time its a little different, but its always perfect".

I find myself being drawn to the sky.Sometimes it whispers to me..sometimes it screams for me to look at it..Every night that we were at the lake and we were on the water it was perfection..It was very different every night. There is something about being out on the water and being able to see the magnificence of the violet and pink as it becomes one with the sun.. Some nights I can just breath it in and smile.Some nights its as if I am looking into her face and my heart breaks once again..
How could someone look at that sky...and not know that there is a God..

psalm 19
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
2 Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lil Quicksand

Today I started a new chapter in this journey. I attended my first seminary class. It is only myself and one other lady in it...The teacher is a our churches minister of education.The class came up in a quick conversation we were having, and I said "sure,I'd love to take it". We took a few minutes before class to tell about ourselves.When it was my turn I said jokingly" didn't you see the paper Sunday"??? No she hadn't...I had to hear myself say out loud my story..I struggle with the phrasing when asked how many kids I have..Then I heard myself say " As a matter of fact its 11 months today"...For a few seconds I couldn't breath. But then I started talking again and I knew that I was going to be ok. I also know what is next,the one year anniversay, and I struggle with what I am supposed to do .But just like everything else I will leave it in God's hands."For this I have Jesus".
I have so many things to share with you about our recent trip to the lake. I'll start with the drive. One of the very first times we made the trip we passed this sign.Rachel said" whenever I turn gangster that is what my street name will be....lil quicksand"... If you knew Rach,you know how she had "nerdy" tendencies so that statement was hilarious... Every drive she would look for that sign.If she was reading she would say "let me know when my name is up"...I had to stop and take a picture of it. Every time she would say it and throw her head back and laugh.. some days I have felt like I was in quicksand. The more I tried to get out of grief ,the more it overtook me..but on the day I took the photo , and today, I was able to move through it. There are days when you feel like you are stuck and you will be stuck there for the rest of your life.. just like when you are in real quicksand they tell you to be still and not fight it,.. I think the same thing can apply to grief. Be still and know....Stand still — not because of a self-made confidence, not because you think you have all the answers.. Be still because of what you know about God.I tried filling my life up with unimportant things to distract really didn't work.It might work for a day or two, but the grief is still there, in the same place you left it.At first I just kept saying" I am sad..I get to be sad"..Jesus wept when he heard how his friend Lazarus had died.The Jews said "See how he loved him"....

See how I loved her....

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth do change” (Psalm 46:1-2a).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Front Page News

I am so glad to be home! We had a wonderful week at the lake.It was beyond hot, but we have our routine down so that we avoid the hottest part of the day. I found myself being way to distracted by what happened Friday before we left, and what was to come.Beth Rankin, the journalist who wrote the article about Rachels wreck, had came to the house for a 3rd interview for a piece she was doing on grief and using this blog... to help.. Panic set in. What did I say ?????? Will anyone even care??? Sunday couldn't get here fast enough. My mom called Sunday morning and asked me what I thought of the article..I told her I hadn't seen it...They didn't have a paper at the lake..She told me I was on the front page...It took a few minutes to process..I thought it might would be on the front of the "Life and Leisure" section..but not the front page.. My mother thought it was wonderful.We cleaned up,packed up, and loaded up to head home. We have to take two cars to bring all our stuff, so KK and I headed home in our car. I stopped in the first town that I saw had a Beaumont Enterprise... I could hardly breath when I saw it.. There I was..sitting on my bed..looking at my computer..which was showing my blog..this blog..With tears in my eyes ,I brought my 2 papers to the register to check out,and then ran to the truck to read it.. I type my heart onto this screen and I let anyone who types the address in their computer come and read it..and hope that when they do, they see my beautiful Rachel, and they read my stories, and they take a look at their own life...the good and the bad, and they realize how quickly they could be right here too..and I pray that in their heart they know the same God that I write about .the one that has carried me through these darkest of days and nights, and has shown me time and again that He is in control....Thank you Beth for making that first call on Sept 17,2009. Thank you for telling our story with so much compassion.

For my out of town friends,and for those here that missed it, I will be adding an online version of the article.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Prayer For You

One of the sweetest gifts that I received after the funeral was a beautiful coffee mug with a prayer written on it. A sweet lady from my church who walks her own journey of grief from losing a child, brought it to me.On the front of it it says" I said a prayer for you today",and then on the back is a poem. For many months I would get up and drink my coffee from that cup. From only that cup... Getting up out of the bed in the morning after a very long,sad, night...that mug reminded me that I was not alone. I also have a picture of a prayer from another sweet family that stays by my bed to remind me that people are lifting me up...many people..
We are going to take a few days off for much needed time together. I wanted to leave this poem on here because I don't know if I will be able to post for several days.
Thank you all for staying here with me, and for all the prayers...


(frank zamboni)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My God is Real

This morning during our worship service my GA girls got to share what they did at camp.We sang a few songs and showed a slide show of the week. One of my younger girls shared that she wanted to be a missionary. I also learned that one of my 6th graders that went with us was saved at camp.She goes to a different church than ours,so she wanted to talk to her family and preacher first. How awesome is that!!!
I had wrestled all morning about whether or not I should share about MY camp experience. I was back and forth on it. I thought maybe I should wait and just let it be about the girls.The morning was so hectic.Everything I tried to do was a disaster.My video did not work.I had to go back home,get the computer,try to re-burn it.When I came home the dog had dug in the garbage, had an accident in the floor.....everything to try to get me to NOT talk.. Well it didn't work. I got the video girls showed up for me... and when I went into the sanctuary one of Rachs friends was there that I was not expecting to see. I also was not expecting to see the necklace this person was wearing.It had placed it on her headstone and it had been there for several weeks.And then it just was gone.I assumed it had been stolen(like everything else). I told them how glad I was to see them ,and that they had come on a great day because I had a great story to tell. I knew this sweet friend needed to hear it.I also told them I was glad to see who the owner of the necklace was. Now I knew what to do....Once again I was able to be quiet and let God to the talking. If people were only able to know the WHOLE story,the struggle ,daily, that I have.They see me on Sundays smiling and talking to the kids. Sundays are what gets me through the week.They see those few hours ,and never realize that my feelings are still so very raw. But at the same time, talking about the amazing things that have happened fill my gaping wounds. But it is temporary.The more I talk about it, the more I want to talk about it. I pray that God will continue to put these opportunities in front of me, or that He will show me what it is I should do.I just want people to know.I want them to know what He's doing for me,in a very REAL way. When I said today "Her daughters name was Rachel"... there was a huge reaction from the congregation.. They knew...