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.

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 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 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 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


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 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.

Friday, September 3, 2010

While You're Gone,You're Not Forgotten

Five years ago my parents celebrated their 50th anniversary. My mother asked Rachel to write something special for that day. Every since Rach could talk she made up songs, usually they sounded like Disney show tunes. She just had a different way of looking at things.She was a wonderful poet. This is her poem, and these are her pictures. She took them when she had rode to Galveston for the day with my parents.
Happy Anniversay Memom and Mr. Paulien...


Fifty means never having to say you’re sorry...
But doing it anyway.
Fifty means always knowing just the right thing to say.
Fifty means sharing inside jokes and side-splitting laughter.
Fifty means loving forever and then, some after.
Fifty means knowing that you just don’t care
About the few extra pounds and few less hair.
Fifty means looking good in high-waisted pants and orthopedic shoes.
Fifty means the night’s entertainment is watching CNN news.
Fifty means together maintaining the back yard garden.
Fifty means while you’re gone,’re not forgotten.
Fifty means sticking his stuff back on the store shelf.
Fifty means it’s easier just to be yourself.
Fifty means regular trips to Canton and antique malls.
Fifty means watching each other to make sure no one trips or falls.
Fifty means having grandkids who love you dearly.
Fifty means without each other, you couldn’t think clearly.
Fifty means a lot of things, but one thing rings true;
Fifty years doesn’t seem so long, because I’m spending them with you….