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, 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'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 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 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 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" 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'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
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..


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.