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.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I'm dreaming of ....

At 4:30 Thursday morning I had a very early Christmas present..I had a Rachel dream. I have had very few of them, so when I have one they are so intense.This one really wasn't so much of a story dream, it was just Rach. Her beautiful face kept coming in from the side of my view. The first thing I noticed was her huge smile. She would look at me and do that big smile with her eyes and her mouth. She also had really short hair. It was like one of those old school perms that all the moms used to wear. It felt so full of love and laughter. It was like she came just to tell me to smile..remember to smile....I'm here.. As I was out finishing my shopping I tried to do just that...smile..I made one last trip this morning..Christmas Eve morning, and bought some special heart things for the kids . While I was checking out I saw Rachel's face again. I remembered the dream and how she would throw her head back and laugh ..(maybe because of
her hair)..and I smiled. As I was walking out of the store a family had gathered by the Salvation Army can to sing..here are the words I heard as I stepped out the door...

I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS..IF ONLY IN MY DREAMS...









"You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That's where I'll always love you.... That's where I'll be waiting." ...(.me and the little girls watched Hook the other night..I remembered this line from the movie)
Merry Christmas sweet friends.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I wanna know what LOVE is

I honestly don't remember a time when I had so many loving reminders of Rachel in such a short period of time. Like I said before, everywhere I go I see the same three words..LOVE NEVER FAILS..
Sometimes I wonder what it is I am missing about them. Is it the simple message or is it something bigger..something that I haven't learned. I wonder if it is simply Gods way of reminding me of the fact that He is in control, and He knows I will respond to those words. Maybe I truly haven't learned to live that kind of love..the kind that never fails. I just know that this Christmas I have become very aware of those three words. I gave presents with those words on them, and I recieved presents with those words on them also. I think the one that affected me the most was this beautiful handmade pen that my nieces boyfriend made. He gets olive wood from the holy city of Bethlehem and makes these incredibly beautiful pens.We opened them all at the same time, and when I saw mine it was as if I had never seen those words before. It took my breath away.









I felt the same as when I heard each of my children say "I love you" for the first time. You hear those words all your life ,but then when it comes from your baby for the first time it is as if you had never heard it that way ..or felt that kind of love. I pray that this Christmas , I continue to see and feel LOVE. And that I will be able to live that kind of love....one day.
These are the verses in 1 Corinthians 13 that are before Rachel's favorite verses..

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.


I gotta take a little time
A little time to think things over
I better read between the lines
In case I need it when I'm older


Now this mountain I must climb
Feels like a world upon my shoulders
And through the clouds I see love shine
It keeps me warm as life grows colder

In my life there's been heartache and pain
I don't know if I can face it again
Can't stop now, I've traveled so far
To change this lonely life

I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Simply Christmas

This past Sunday night our childrens department presented their CHRISTmas program.I threw together a short set of songs for them to do. We only had six weeks to practice, so I decided to keep it simple. Our first song was done in blacklight with orange glow tape and white gloves...pretty far out huh? It was what I call an attention getter. Our theme for the night was KEEPING CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS. Their last song was a silhouette drama to Mary Did You Know. Every time..EVERY TIME they practiced it moved me. We had a simple set and a simple message ...Gods love came to earth at Christmas..He sent His son Jesus to bring life to you and me.







"But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons"


My focus had been on this program so I knew when it was over reality would set in. .........I had to go shopping . I got up Monday morning ready to face it. Last year everywhere I went I saw things I knew Rachel would have loved..that was all I could see ..This years message to me was simple..just like our simple Christmas message ..

LOVE NEVER FAILS
I saw those words EVERYWHERE..In stores I never expected to see it in. It was so overwhelming that I got very little shopping done. In some stores I would smile and say a quiet thank you God..and then other times it would almost knock the breath out of me. Love Never Fails.
Love never fails. Love never fails. Love never fails.




L O V E N E V E R F A I L S


Three simple words


that I simply LOVE.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A bigger bang

The closer I get to this Christmas, the more I realize how very different this one is feeling. The first Christmas we were all just trying to get through, clinging to every word of every poem, card, anything that would give us hope. The next Christmas I pulled those "special ornaments" and things out and rode the hope wave again. This year reality has set in. Remember when you were little and you would get sparklers to do on New Years Eve? Oh they were so beautiful..you would just stand there waiting to light another one, so proud of the circles of light you made. But then a couple of years later you realize that the light they give only last a short time.







You get to the point where you don't even want to mess with lighting one..you need something bigger. That is where I am. My sparkler has gone out and I'm looking in the bag for something
bigger. ..maybe just maybe.. I'm ready to try something with a bang!




In a daydream, I couldn't live like this.
I wouldn't stop until I found something beautiful.
When I wake up, and all i want i have.
You know it's still not what i need something beautiful.

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees, I'm waiting for something beautiful
.... something beautiful

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Carol of the Belles

Decorating for Christmas this year did not seem as hard as it was before. The girls have to have some things a certain way. I am fine with that...I get it. Kennedy especially has to have things the way they have been since we lost Rachel. Belle has to be on top of the tree. This year Kennedy also wanted to do more of an all white tree. She said she wanted it to be "Rachels" tree.

It really is a pretty tree. As I sit and stare at it in the early mornings before the girls get up, I sit and think about the movie Beauty and the Beast that Belle is from. Rachel loved that movie from the first time she saw it.She wanted all her life to be Belle.I sat and tried to think of a movie that had captured me the way this one had Rach, and I couldn't find one to compare. Hundreds of times she watched that movie. I started thinking of parts of the movie, of how Rach was so similar to Belle. I pulled some quotes from it that I thought were the most fitting.

(singing] I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand .. To have someone understand ..I want so much more than they've got planned...

It's know no wonder that her name means beauty .. her looks have got no parallel . But behind that fair façade I'm afraid she's rather odd . Very different from the rest of us ..She's nothing like the rest of us .. Yes, different from the rest of us is Belle.

...'cause she really is a funny girl / a beauty but a funny girl / she really is a funny girl... that Belle

It's not right for a woman to read. Soon she starts getting *ideas*, and
*thinking*...



But she warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within

At-at least... I got to see you... one last time....



I let her go.
You what? How could you do that?!
I had to.
Yes, but.... why?
Because.... I love her.


Please. Please! Please don't leave me! [Sobs] I love you...



I fixed Rach a tree with Belle on top of it too...just like hers at home...only hers is her favorite color.




The main line from the movie that I keep hearing Belle say is
COME INTO THE LIGHT..

Then Jesus spoke out again, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”




Come into the light....

Monday, November 28, 2011

B L O O M !

Well I took off the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and headed to Moody Gardens with the girls. I wasn't sure how that would work out, since I was responsible for cooking a huge meal the next day. I made the right decision.








That huge smile stayed on their face the whole day(except when it was time to leave).
They acted like we had never been before. It was an amazing day. The animals were in rare form too. It was so nice to just be able to see them be happy knowing that the next day would have a huge void as we sit down to eat. I had went to the store on Tuesday and bought my favorite flowers...stargazer lilies. I also added some yellow roses to the vase. I bought them early thinking they would open and be perfect for Thanksgiving day. They make the room smell so great too. Well Thursday rolled around and this is what they looked like....





No blooms....no sweet fragrance filling the room... I just stood there looking at them ..I tried adding some warm water thinking it would help them to open..I realized as I stood there staring at my buds that I just got schooled on Thanksgiving. I can't force a flower to bloom..God knows when the exact time is right for that flower to open. Me screaming BLOOM at it won't make it happen. There are other things in my life that I can't force to change , or force them to go on to the next stage..it is all about timing ..God's timing. When I am ready , things will change as they should, not as I force them too. For whatever reason, part of me still needs to stay tight in my own cocooned bulb, and when the time is right.. I can open again. God will do it in his own miraculous way..and in His time.
"But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, "You are my God." My times are in Your hand."




Friday they began to bloom. They are even more beautiful than I remembered them being. God continues to show me how very much He is in control...and for that I am truly thankful.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanks for times of gladness

I have been an unwilling participant in an experiment for the past week..my internet was not working. There is a difference in being at the lake and not having access to the internet..and being somewhere where it SHOULD be working, needing it to work, and not be able to use it. I dare you to turn yours off, hide the modem, and wait 7 days. No sneaking on at work either. No smart phones ...rid yourself of the facebook drama and you will be amazed at how ridiculous it is when you log back on. So many things have happened since my last post. Kennedy turned 12+1..I refuse to say 13. She was 13 on the 13th. It was a great weekend for her.
Last Wednesday night we had our church -wide Thanksgiving meal together. It was the first time since losing Rachel that my little girls came with me. I was so glad to see them not have that look of " I don't want to hear anything sad" on their face. Our preacher had printed out some gratitude scriptures and was walking around asking for volunteers to read them. He handed me one and I looked at it ..it said something about a fig tree.. I told him I would do it if I could pick my scripture. He fanned them all out in his hand and I picked one....




My friend Kelly saw my face and knew something was up...I showed her the scripture,and sat there practicing saying it, hearing myself say those words. The preacher called for us to line up to read them and I was number 4. As I read the scripture I was mindful of how many people in that room had just recently lost loved ones, and of those who had also lost a child. I was able to read the scripture and not shed a tear. My voice did crack a little when I read the very last part..O Lord,my God.. I felt as if I had climbed a mountain. Little did I know I was only halfway up. Sunday morning I finished what I started. I sang the special music, but I didn't do it alone. Rachels sweet friend Lauren that helps me on Wednesday nights sang with me. Our song was No Matter What. I had posted it on here a few weeks ago. I had asked to sing a couple of Sundays ago, but we had to wait ...now I know why. God's timing..always perfect. I was so excited to sing this song and to sing with Lauren....and Lauren knew what it meant to me too. She had grown up in our church with Rach, and she and Rach had sang together many times.




It felt good to sing again. I had my verse with me as I went to the podium,and reminded the congregation of it. After we sang the preacher asked if everyone there could say that they had that kind of love...no matter what..I'm gonna love you. What a great start to our Thanksgiving week. I am not saying I am ready ...I am just ready to try.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Heaven help us

As my little Kk was climbing out of the tub, she looked at me with that pleading sweet face and asked. " what does heaven really look like"? I always know when her heart is heavy. I tried to force a smile and she explained" I know about Hollywood heaven, and how it looks on Tom and Jerry....I think its alot of clouds...clouds everywhere"..how do you explain something that you don't yourself understand? I tried to give her a few sentences to help her but in my heart I knew it was about something else. After she dressed without looking at me she said" ummm...say a little girl went to heaven but her mom and dad didn't...where would she be.." I asked her if she meant a little girl like Rachel? Imagine having this sweet angel face flooded with tears of sorrow.









She is so worried about her sister being alone in heaven, because we, her family, are here! What love she has..I explained to her how much God loves Rach and how many family and friends were there too. And then we just sat on the couch with her face buried in my neck..and bawled our eyes out. Evidently two years don't mean diddly squat in grief. Books give wrong information. There is not a timeline on grief. It is a circle....it has no end. Whether you are 8 or 78 it never stops. Maybe this post is for you or maybe it is for you to better understand someone else's grief. There are some days when my thoughts on heaven are almost paralyzing because they are so intense..and then there are days when I can just smile and know that one day...I will know for sure..

Matthew 18:10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

THEIR ANGELS ALWAYS see the face of God.
It is amazing how just a few words can bring such comfort. I pray that as the holidays get closer that my girls will find only love in their sweet memories of Rach.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

32 forever !

I'm sure you're wondering where I have been? My weekend was full of of spending time with family that I haven't got to really visit with in a long time. My niece came in from Cape Cod with her precious family and we had a get-together Sunday. Watching my three nieces ,who are now beautiful women, interact with each other and watching how they loved each others children was at times overwhelming. My niece Amber started the conversation about age. How she couldn't believe how old she was and how I had seemed to be 32 FOREVER !!! In my mind I am still 32..lol.. I am ok with getting older. Growing old is ok...its the growing away that rips me apart. Wanting so desperately to remember more, to be able to see more vividly the memories of those sweet little girls playing , singing ,growing up with my sweet little girl. It is the drifting away from that time that is so painful. I made it through the weekend knowing what was ahead. We trunk and treated with my nieces children and my brother and his very sweet "lady friend" (as Rach would call her). I took my girls trick or treating on Halloween and then Tuesday 11-1-11 rolled in. I tried to stay as busy as I could knowing that I would be taking them to get their new boots after school. I was touched by all the birthday wishes from Rachels friends and from my friends. I had a wonderful time with my girls. We ate out and boots were found!





KK was hoping to get some more boots like the last ones that were made by the company Rachel...we couldn't find any.We did find these with hearts on the straps !! Yes Kennedys boots are very tall...If you spend five minutes with this girl , she just loves boots...she is modest, and carries herself like a 13 yr old should.. in other words...don't be hatin..lol

For me this year was extra special because I also was given a gift for Rachels birthday from my mother.





Amazing isn't it? The photo does not do it justice. It is a rather large painting, and the detail is so great that you can just caught up in looking at it. Rachels name means lamb. I love everything about this painting, how the girl is Carrying the lamb...its just perfect.
"Ah then to His embrace repair
my soul, thou art no stranger there;
There love divine shall be thy guard
And peace and safety thy reward."

There was so much to take in this weekend. So many God winks, so many special moments for me. Some people say that seeing is believing..I say believing is seeing. I don't just look to heaven and hope for a better day, I look up to heaven because I know God is there..in every sunset..in every twinkling star.

"but the most amazing thing to me about who you are,
is you are here, and you are strong.
You are mighty to save us from all of the wrong.
From the first sunrise , to the day the sun falls...
you hold us together cause you're mighty to love."

Friday, October 28, 2011

Giving sorrow words

I had hoped this week would last longer. Next week is creeping closer and closer. Halloween was one of Rachel's favorite things. Then the next day, is her birthday. I will take her sisters to get their new boots as we have done the passed two years. It is just such an empty feeling already. I have a niece that will be in with her family this weekend too, so there will be a big get together with a Thanksgiving type menu....another of Rachel's favorites. I know this time of year is harder because it holds so many memories ,so many wonderful memories . I know that talking about it helps too. Many times I will be talking about Rach and missing her and the conversation will turn to a story about her and we always end up laughing. Shakespeare even said to talk about your grief,,,
Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.
Talk about what's in your heart. It does seem hard at first, or maybe uncomfortable is a better word, but the more you do it the easier it gets. It is what is in this heart that I am struggling with.




I keep saying the words of 1 John 4 : 18..THERE IS NO FEAR IN LOVE. ...My go to verse for the days ahead. feel free to steal it and use it too.

Monday, October 24, 2011

He lifted me

I have mentioned before that the main reason I have a facebook is so because I was friends with Rachel so that allows me to go to her profile and look at her photos and read things that her sweet friends go and post. Lately it has become harder than usual. It is really difficult for me to get passed the fact that the people at facebook could just make her disappear.



I have spent way too much time trying to hack into her account to be able to change it, and read her private messages. I know that is wrong, but like I've said before ...walk the journey before you judge. I have also noticed how more time goes on between post on her wall. For most people , they have moved on or maybe it is too hard for them to stay I don't know for sure, I just know that I love to go to her page and find a sweet message of "missing you"..or a dream or anything..sometimes just a heart. But the other day I clicked on her page and found this post from one of her friends.

****Hey Rachel, I've been thinking of you a lot lately. It seems like the closer I get to my wedding, the more I think of you. I know that we weren't very close friends, but I can remember sitting by you in English and hearing your laugh like it was yesterday. My fiancé's mom and I have been discussing flowers a lot lately, and I can't help but think what your grandmaw said at your funeral about you telling her that you want her to do your flowers at your wedding. It makes me tear up every time I remember that. In a way I feel guilty that all of us get to go on with our lives, get married, and start families of our own while you were taken away so young. However, I know that God's plan hasn't finished with us yet. I can't wait until we're all together again!****


and then another sweet friend made a tribute page for her that said








Vhs Memorial Page
Rachel Ann Clark Class of 2008
November 1, 1989 - September 17, 2009

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

... This is my beautiful daughter.

------------------"I carry your heart.I carry it in my heart."-----------------

I started a blog that talks about Rachel and grief.
mbc4kids.blogspot.com

Suzette R. C/O 84

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




She was my best friend. She will always be remembered. ♥
Everyone was touched by Rachel , Even those who didnt know her.
She lived for the Lord and She Loved her family more than anything..
She holds a special place in all of hearts. and I personally cannot wait to see her again.
♥ Haley P. C/O 08'

God Bless you Haley P., and to my dear friend Suzette R. I think of you often and I am continually impressed by your strength. You have always meant the world to all of us that know you.

God makes all of his Angels beautiful, he did not have to change one thing about Rachel

Richard T M.(site moderator)
and so many sweet comments followed.

Just when I was sinking, God reached down and lifted me ..


From sinking sand He lifted me,
With tender hand He lifted me;
From shades of night to plains of light,
Oh, praise His Name, He lifted me!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tragic

I have wrestled since Sunday morning with writing a new post. Homecoming, parades, even a volleyball tournament all have faded to the background. On Sunday morning after church an 18 year old senior from our school lost his life. For reasons that we may never know, he was laying in the railroad tracks. The train blew the whistle and tried to avoid.....I didn't know Matt. I just know about him. He played varsity football and everyone loved him. He had only lived in our town for a couple of years. I don't know why his death has had such an effect on me. I guess because so much of what has been said about him mirrors things that were said about Rachel. He made people laugh, he helped them with problems, he was the one everyone looked too...I went to his Facebook to read what his friends and family said. I did read several that said they wished they had told him how much he meant to them. That's the part that has kept me in my "cocoon" as my friend calls it. What else has to happen before we really decide to open our hearts and our mouths and let the people that are "so special" to us know now how we feel. We just assume that everyone knows. I don't know what happened to this young man that he felt this was his only option, or if it truly was just an accident. I don't think we will ever know. I just want to know that out of all these hundreds of kids, teachers, coaches, etc..that lives have been changed. This morning the first thought I had was that his mom has to go and tell him goodbye. It is a feeling that you cannot explain. It is comforting to see so many come and be with you, but inside..inside ..its just one long scream. I saw a photo that was taken at the cemetery from this young mans burial. They had brought the inflatable pirate skull that they walk through before the games and his teammates and his coach carried him through for the last time. As a courtesy to his family, I chose not to share the picture.
How quickly your life can change. How quickly a life can end. I know this is not the type of post I usually make. I still know God is in control. I am just like everyone else ...trying to sort things out. So tonight as I sit and type in the darkness, I hope that you can understand . And I hope that it does not take a tragedy to make you see the people in your life as special and you make sure that they know how you feel. Because I know how hard it is to say goodbye knowing that my daughter knew how very special she is too me..
"and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you"
I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Homecoming warrior princess

Well, my son is home from the hospital. I think it would have been quicker to do exploratory surgery. They ruled out a lot of things with a lot of test, but we are still waiting on the results of a biopsy. I'm just glad he is better.
Tomorrow is homecoming for our schools. Kennedy will be riding in the parade for placing in the pageant. When I called to register her for the line up, the lady on the phone said that my name sounded familiar and she asked me if I my daughter had been in the parade last year. I told her my older daughter had been in the parade, but that was several years ago. As she was telling me what a great memory she had, I began to think about that day when Rach was in the parade. As my mind was flooded with images tears flooded my face. I don't remember what the question was that the lady asked me but I remember her saying " mam....mam" I apologized and then told her why I was crying..."oh my gosh ..that's why I know your name"!!!! She was so kind on the phone. I didn't ask her how she knew, I just wanted off the phone. It seems like the more beautiful the memory, the more it hurts. Rachel had her dream dress on, and rode in her dream car...a Corvette. I still have that dress. Kennedy says she will wear it when she gets in high school. I love that she wants to. I love that she gets to feel like a princess in the parade too. I have told her since she was little that she is a princess, because she is a child of The King. As she has grown, I now see her as a warrior princess. She is smart, beautiful, courageous,strong, non-judgemental, and loving. I see so much of Rachel in her. I hope that as she continues to grow , the qualities will continue characterize her life.

“As painful as the process may be, that which shatters our superficiality also shatters the fetters of our fragility and frees us to walk with dignity and might to our destinies. We are not the fragile flowers we’ve considered ourselves to be. We, like Esther, are the warrior princesses of God” (Beth Moore, Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman).

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No matter what

I am posting from the hospital today. My oldest son Rob came down with what I thought was the same virus that I had. His symptoms were presenting different from mine so he made a trip to minor care which placed him in the emergency room and then in a room. At first they thought it was his appendix, then Chrons disease, now they just aren't sure. It's hard to just sit and wait, and not know what's wrong or what's right. I'm not real good at "being still". I think I have mentioned that before..I have noticed that I haven't went to the bad place yet. I know that God is in control and that no matter what ..it will all be OK. It seems that my life is just one big storm lately. I am hunkerin down and hanging on to all of His promises ..that's really all I can do. They changed Robs time this morning for colonoscopy and I wasn't able to get here in time to see him before he went back. I did get to talk to him on the phone, but its not the same,It was a little unsettling to say the least. Right as me and my parents got here, he was finished and was in recovery. He had an easy time with the procedure.The nurse told me that he was asking about me as soon as he woke up. He told them to go tell my mom cuz she's gonna be worried.She asked Rob how old he was and she said she had a 26 year old son. She said it was so nice to see a mother and a son so close. She even said she wished she had that."But my son has a wife ...and....." she didn't even finish her sentence.Yes my son is what I lovingly call a "turd"..be he does have a big heart, and I am so glad that someone else could see the love that I have for my child and his feelings for me..that sweet little boy that would hold my hand in the car on the way to school when he was 12 years old! That big boy who wouldn't go to bed until I could "'come tuck him in". No its not the perfect relationship, it never will be. But if I have learned anything throughout all of this trial,it is to just simply love. No matter what.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

You've got 5 minutes






I have spent the last 5 days trying to recover from a stomach bug. So far, no one else in the house has caught it. While I was "out of it" KK decided she wanted to get her ears pierced. She is her own person. She does everything on her terms. She told her daddy that he had five minutes to get ready to take her to the mall..that's funny. I tried to talk her out of it, to wait for me. She said "that's OK...I'll go ahead and do it". I really didn't expect it to happen. I figured they would get there and get ready to do it, and then come home with no holes.But, I was wrong. She came be- bopping into my bedroom so proud.I knew she would pick out blue earrings, that's her favorite color...it has always been . After I was told all the details of the piercing, Kenny looked at me and very softly said " she picked out the September earrings" I just smiled and said " of course she did".
I had no idea that blue was September's birthstone color..I love how everything continues to weave together.






"Life reveals her beauty one precious miracle at a time".

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pinky rings and other things

"A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart".







My brothers sweet friend takes lots of photos for me at Kennedys volleyball games. When I first saw this picture(before I cropped it down), I immediately went to my husbands hand. At first glance you probably think "wow, isn't he a cool dude..he wears a pinky ring". The day before the funeral my mom gave me several silver pieces of jewelry.Some necklaces , hearts, just different "special" things for us to wear. In the mix was the ring he has on his pinky . It simply says RACHEL. He hasn't taken it off since that day. Everyone deals with loss and grief in their own way. My husband wears that ring and carries Rachel in his heart, but he does it for himself. I wear things and go to town wishing someone would ask me about it...please let me tell you why I have this on. But that is me. That is my way. I guess the point of this post is ..maybe things aren't always the way they seem. Maybe we shouldn't be so quick to judge what someone wears, or what they put on their car, or on a billboard , or on the side of the road. Walk in my shoes for just on day.Or if not me someone else you know that has had to bury a child . Things we do might seem different to you, or maybe hard for you to understand.

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love..2Peter 1:5-7...
and it always comes back to love ..

Thursday, September 22, 2011

In the quiet

I feel like I haven't stopped mentally or physically for days. Getting up at 5:30 to make lunches and then staying up with my thoughts has been exhausting. The other morning I noticed it was way to quiet . KK said "the bird feeder is empty". She was right. With everything that had been going on the past few weeks, I had let the seed run out but was too "out "of it myself to know. I just knew I was missing something. Now jump ahead about 14hours....
I had just sat down on the couch to maybe watch a little tv and Kennedy poked her head in my room and asked me if I would please blowdry her hair because she was too tired to do it. Honestly, my first thoughts were" what do you think I did all day"?? As I was taking a minute to go thru my list in my mind, the other part of my brain that is linked to my heart started saying.." what would I give to be able to fix Rachel's hair..just one more time"... what would I give..My hands were always in that girls hair. I cut it, I hi lighted it, I styled it for prom..pictures..you name it. " yes sweetie, I will dry it for you". ' I hope when she gets older it is the things that I do for her and with her, and not the things that I buy her that she remembers .I wrote all that to say, its amazing how many new things I still find that I miss about Rach . I guess having a reminder of how sometimes you really don't miss something...until its gone helped me to understand a quote I have in my home..

“We do not remember days, we remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten.”


PRECIOUS MEMORIES, UNSEEN ANGELS SENT FROM SOMEWHERE TO MY SOUL HOW THEY LINGER, EVER NEAR ME AND THE SACRED PAST UNFOLD.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

We are the champions


A little after midnight I was startled awake. I grabbed my computer and saw where my sister and some close friends were on facebook thinking of Rachel too. I got up and for some reason I went into the kids bathroom. I never do that, especially at night. As I walked in on the floor right by the toilet was this little red heart

I don't know how it got there, I just know that it was there.

Well, Kennedy's team came in 1st place in the tournament. I don't know how she was able to play. She carries so much in her heart. I am just amazed by her and how she overcomes.She played from her heart today... Every game. She was the first person to serve today, and she was the last.This is the serve that won the tournament. It all played out like a movie. She was able to make plays that were just amazing.After they had won and were all huddled together is when I began to silently cry. I was so proud and so moved. I am so thankful that God gave us some joy this weekend. This day 2 years ago I began to live minute by minute. Last year I left town for the day..today I watched my child Live her dream..thank you God for today.




Friday, September 16, 2011

Hope for tomorrow

Well, we won ALL of our volleyball games tonight. It was such an exciting night. Kennedy put her stamp on before she went to school. I wore Rachel's Pirate tshirt to the game. It was just amazing to watch. I know tomorrow morning I will be busy because they play early, but don't think for one minute that my Rach is not on my mind every second. So many "winks" today..soo many..Thank you God for them..thank you all for continuing to stay here with me ..and thank you God for my beautiful Rachel.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

There you'll be

"There are just some things a mother should not have to do"....I remember so well standing at the counter in the office of our local paper just days after the funeral almost two years ago, with my photo and my scribbled piece of paper...barely able to form a sentence. I handed it all to the lady and just stared at her. The lady looked at me and said those words..
As I was trying to put together something for the newspaper again, those words kept pouring through my mind. And then trying to come up with 1 picture, 1 thing to say. I second guess everything ..because it never feels like it is enough. I wanted this photo because I love how I feel when I see it. And I am so grateful to Tammy Silvestrini, for creating it for me. These words are from the song that Michelle sang at the funeral.( If you click on the photo it will get bigger.)




I sat on the couch Monday after I had spent the morning trying to get this photo to print, struggling through the day. When my husband came home he sat with me and I told him how the day went. Through his own tears he asked " why is this year so much harder"..I don't know ..what I do know is that God is still walking with me. On the way to the paper I stopped to get gas. As soon as I got out of my car , a butterfly came out of nowhere and led me in to the store. I thought that was amazing. When I came back out to pump my gas , a feather was laying right by my door. Like the words to the song say...and everywhere I am ..there you'll be.





****after I wrote this I went back to read it on "the blog"..when I clicked on the photo..I noticed the quote above the picture for the first time..perfect

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stamp of approval

I took the girls to town to find a stamp for Kennedy to wear in her volleyball games. The first "craft" store was awful. All the stamps were in a bin, it was just too hard. We went to hobby lobby next. I had already looked at theirs and knew it was all organized. I tried showing her some things and she, of course, had her own ideas. She wanted a Calla lily.....didn't have it...then she saw this one and grabbed it and said" this is it...and I want green ink..it has to be green..it was Rachel's favorite color".



It was a very hard thing for her to do. There were a few tears as she was standing and staring at the wall of stamps. It all reminds you of her...and when the tears would come, sweet little KK would turn into a little comedian to try to make us laugh...pleading for us to laugh. What an outpouring of love for sisters in a craft store. But then the conversation took us down another road..we had to ask the coach where she could wear the stamp.I told Kennedy I would take care of that. Her coach's response to what we had decided to get was "that's awesome"! Anywhere but on her face or hand..perfect.
Love never fails.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Going up?

I am seven days into September and it has already been overwhelming. I will find out today which team Kennedy is on. If she is on the A team, they have a tournament on Saturday .....the 17th. I don't know if this is good or bad. I see myself sitting in the stands weeping as I watch this child,who everyday reminds me more and more of Rachel,play volleyball. The coach assigned them their number already, she did not get to pick it. Her number is 16. Pretty darn close huh?. I was trying to think of something that Kennedy could wear for the game that would not interfere with playing. Something that she couldn't outgrow, or that would break easy. I thought about a stamp. Some kind of stamp that she could put on her arm, or wherever to remind her of Rach. My choice would not probably not be the same as Kennedys so I will let her pick it out. I am trying to move forward thru this time. I have tried to come up with ways to make you understand. Its not fear that keeps me from moving . I tried to explain it to my sister. I just feel like I am waiting. Like if you were at a train station, or a busy bus station. I see people moving and getting on and going ..and I want to go ..but I stay. Or remember when you were little and you were faced with getting on the up escalator ??? Standing and waiting for the perfect time to step...not too soon, wait ....wait.. not afraid to step...just waiting for it to feel right to step on. That's how I feel. I am not afraid to move up, or forward..It just doesn't feel like this step is for me..right now.

“She wasn’t where she had been. She wasn’t where she was going… but she was on her way. And on her way she enjoyed food that wasn’t fast, friendships that held, hearts glowing, hearts breaking, smiles that caught tears, paths trudged and alleys skipped. And on her way she no longer looked for the answers, but held close the two things she knew for sure. One, if a day carried strength in the morning, peace in the evening, and a little joy in between, it was a good one… And two, you can live completely without complete understanding. .......She was on her way.” -

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dream a little dream...

I can count on 3 fingers how many times I have dreamed about Rachel in the past 2 years. Monday night she made just a brief appearance...just long enough to share a laugh and get on to me about something I was going to do that she thought was wrong. I miss laughing with her so much. Earlier that day, I had found this comedians website that I thought was really funny. There were some expletives in his jokes, but I can read around them..he had other things on the page that were "clean". As I was reading it , I was thinking of all the people that I thought I should tell about it..Well, in my dream Rach and I are laughing at the jokes, but then when I say I am gonna tell people she says" mom, you know it has stuff in it that they shouldn't see"...it was like she was saying, we know its funny, just leave it between us. It was only a short dream but it just felt so happy. It was the very thing I had been missing the most..our
laughing together. That same night one of her sweet friends had a dream about her too! Hers was just what she needed it to be too. I think I have been afraid to dream about her, thinking it would be too hard to see her, but this dream was so much like how we were..maybe I'll make some more bad choices just to see if she shows up..

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bump Set Spike

We are back in school ! This has been a very busy week for us. Starting on Tuesday, I had to have Kennedy up at 5:30 to be a the school by 6:15 for volleyball tryouts. According to her, she has waited four years to be able to play. She started going to volleyball camps during the summer years ago and just fell in love with it. She also knew that Rachel played volleyball in jr high. On the first day of tryouts Kennedy looked at me with that face that I know so well and said " we are supposed to wear a loose fitting tshirt "..in other words ...can I wear one of Rachels..so trying to be as cheerful as I can I told her she should wear Rachs Pirate tshirt.




Perfect. It totally made her day. I get it, I know that feeling...you just need something that you can feel that was part of her. I asked her this morning before while I was brushing her hair if they assigned them numbers or if they get to pick. She said she didn't know. I asked her if she had thought about what number she wanted if she got to pick. Without hesitation she said " I want to be either 17 or 89." It took my breath away. And then I could see the huge tears well up in my child's eyes. I asked her if she was sure, because I didn't want it to be hard for her. She said she was sure..I told her that she could use 7. 8 + 9 = 17.. 17....just take the 7 . You would know what it meant, plus its Gods perfect number.. she said she had thought about it and really wanted one of those numbers. Well, ok..Kennedy made the team, we just don't know which team yet( they have an A and B team).I am very excited about getting to watch her do something that she has waited so long to do. I am also very concerned ,already, about her getting on a bus to go to other schools to play. That is just how it always will be for me. Up and down.I told myself that I can't let my fear of death keep my children from living. I'm trying ..

Oh what peace we often forfeit
Oh what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

"but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Thru the fire

Well, I officially have another child in the "youth" department. I have been on such a rollercoaster the last few weeks. I did have a really high spot today too, it was my first day to teach Kk's class. I will really enjoy this year with them, they are the sweetest 3rd and 4th graders. Today at two different times from two different people , I was told the same quote at church...
"disappointments are inevitable, discouragement is a choice."
Yes, I am hardheaded so I had to be told twice..I have thought on it all day. This journey that I am on, this path, is not well paved. It is not for luxury rides.But God will see to it that I have everything I need to endure every bump in the road ,every storm that I drive through. I have been placed on this road by Him.
“The people were much discouraged because of the way.” Another version of this verse says "and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. " (num.21:4) The way can get us discouraged: the heat, the storms, the feeling of not having what we need to make the journey. But then there is a Way above the way. Our feet may be on the scorched dry earth but our hearts should be on and in the Way of all ways. Jesus said, “I am the Way”.
I keep hearing the words to one of my favorite songs...

He never promised
that the cross would not get heavy
And the hill would not be hard to climb

He never offered our victories without fighting
But He said help would always come in time
Just remember when your standing in the valley of decision
And the adversary says give in
Just hold on
our Lord will show up
And He will take you through the fire again

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Getting promoted

Last night was the last time for me to teach Kennedy on Wednesday night at church. Sunday morning is promotion day, and she will be going to the youth department. It seems like just yesterday she was in Miss Bonessa's Mission friends class. I have been with her for the past 6 years teaching her in GA 's , and I taught her Sunday School class for 2 years, and then Sunday night class for about 4 years, and then this year doing Flight school. I say all this not to brag, but to say time goes by so fast. Don't wait until next month, next year, or later to decide to get involved with your children. I only got to teach Rachel's classes a couple of times. Most of our time at church was spent together in the worship service, or working on VBS etc. I have so many memories with Rach at church. I am so thankful for the loving teachers that she had growing up at our church. Each and every one of them showed her how to serve, and how to love Jesus.
I hope this inspires you to spend some time with your child at church, or even just to stop and pray together before a meal. I just can't imagine walking this journey without having ALL of this to comfort me.

2 Timothy 3:14-15 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My sky

It is one month until I have to face THAT day, again. My girls go back to school Monday, and the house will be quiet . Some days are just so hard. I wrote this last night after I saw two of Rachs sweet friends in the store.One girl getting married, the other having a baby. I smile for them, and cry on the way home..

I feel the pain as it swells in my eyes.
I take a deep breath and I realize
True love never dies , it only can grow
Then I look at the sky and its says ", I know."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Reading between the lines

My kitchen remodel ,that I have been hiding in, forced me to clean my "catch all " shelf over my dryer. As I was taking everything down , I picked up these papers that were folded and lying in the very back corner of the shelf.





It was a story Rachel had written for her English class in 2005. I wasn't really sure what I was reading. It didn't look familiar. As I skimmed through the pages the first thing I read was " I realized I couldn't waste my time feeling sorry for myself when other people needed me".. wow..that was all I could read. I sat and just stared at it, trying to understand how I had not found it before. I had been up on that shelf many times...making corsages, getting tools..and there is sat. Here is the story ..

One Windswept Summer

In our life we will come across people who affect the entire way we look at ourselves and the world around us. Animals are the exception. They don't try to conform you to societies perspective; they accept you as you are with all your flaws and imperfections. This makes pets seem closer than any human friend because they listen, without interruption, and they can brighten even the darkest days by being there.It was the summer I went to stay at my Uncle Bruce's farm that I realized this;it was the summer that I found myself through Lamb-Chop.
I was 14 and like many teenagers, I was very introverted and spent most of my time lying in my room staring at the ceiling. My mom, tired of me feeling sorry for myself, decided to send me off to Uncle Bruces farm in hot sticky Louisiana. Let me tell you , I was not thrilled of spending two and half months with a man I only saw once a year at Christmas, but it was nonnegotiable. During the first few weeks on the farm, I stayed confined to my room, wishing my friends were there to feel sorry for me and comfort me. But then everything changed. I was lying in bed one night with the window open, trying to catch a breeze, when I heard a soft moaning coming from below my window. I leaped from the bed, convinced the old house was haunted, and ran to the window. When I looked down, I was surprised to see a tiny lamb lying in the rose bushes, thorns caught in its wool.I raced to the front door, across the wrap-around porch, and to the rose bush to free the tiny lamb.I slowly approached the bush so I wouldn't startle the tiny animal and make it become ever more entangled in the thorns. As quickly as I could without injuring the lamb, I pulled out the thorns, doing my best to make the lamb feel safe. After two minutes that felt like an eternity, the thorns released the lamb from its entrapment.Sitting there in the dark, we just stared at each other , until finally I said " you're free, Lamb-chop. Go back to your family". Lamb-chop sat there staring at me with her gorgeous brown eyes as though she were transfixed, captivated by my presence. I realized that she had no idea where to go and if I left her outside, a bobcat was sure to eat her for a midnight snack. Carefully wrapping the tiny lamb in my sweatshirt, I silently crept back up onto the front porch, through the front door and back into my room.
For the rest of the night, Lamb-chop slept at the foot of my bed, still wrapped in my sweatshirt.The next morning, my uncle, who wasn't exactly thrilled at the idea of having a farm animal sleeping inside,still consented to let me tend to Lamb-chop for the rest of my stay. For the next month and a half, I had been transformed completely into an extroverted person who no longer laid around feeling sorry for myself but spent most of her time running around outside playing with Lamb-chop. I told that tiny animal my deepest secrets and things that I never dreamed I'd tell anyone. I realized that I couldn't wasted my time feeling sorry for myself when other people needed me. Also I realized I had no reason to feel sorry for myself in the first place.I never thought I would actually feel distraught when the summer was over because I never thought I would have the time of my life at a smelly Louisiana farm. Lamb-chop couldn't come back home with me and I cried the whole way home and the next day because over the month and a half that lamb had become my best friend, the one person who I could confide all the deepest desires of my heart and know she would not laugh at me.
The days that followed my return were hard and emotional but I soon realized that even though I lost Lamb-chop, I found myself and I knew the memory of Lamb-chop would not quickly fade. Last summer I went back to my uncle's farm and found that Lamb-chop had been sold to a farm in Kentucky.but instead of feeling remorse,I knew that Lamb-chop's purpose was going to be better served helping their teenage daughter find herself through the love and support she gives.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A test before school even starts

We went today to register Kennedy for junior high. It is hard for me to believe she is two years away from high school. We were there for over an hour going from station to station. We have a relative that went to school with Rach ,whose last name is the same as ours, who was well liked at the Jr high. Several people asked me if I was his mom, or if I was related to him. But when we were almost finished, a lady looked at Kennedy's paper, said her last name..and then said "do you have an old sister"? The look on Kennedy's face was way too familiar. She took what seemed like minutes to absorb the blow. It all went in slow motion for me, watching her take a deep breath, close her eyes, and swallow...I knew that she was struggling with how to answer..not wanting to have to say the words. Finally she looked at me, and I smiled and nodded my head and said " yes" and urged her to say it. She looked at the woman with an almost pleading look and said "yes ma'am I do." Then the lady said what is her name. .I knew that these were all innocent questions. She had no clue about Rach. I was fighting to keep my emotions in check, plus not be in that vicious protect mode. I mainly just wanted it to stop for my child's sake. Once again Kennedy looked the lady right in the eyes and said " her name IS Rachel...Rachel Clark." The lady said oh OK...or something generic..I just remember feeling proud of my child and so sad for her at the same time. Sometimes I wonder how much they have silently endured when I was not there with them . I talked later with Kennedy about it. I explained to her that the lady just saw her last name and thought she recognized it. We talked about what to say or what she could say if it ever happened again. She said it just made her sad. You just don't know when or how or its going to happen... but when you hit that wall of grief, it feels as hard as it did the last time. But , we made it through..that's all that matters.

"When these feet of mine grow tired from walking mile after mile,
And when I think my faith is steady here comes another trial.
When it seems the worlds against me and no one understands...
Don't ever let go of my hand."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

8 = :(

I realized last Tuesday on the way home from the lake that it is August. It is not last years panic that I feel, it is just a deep sorrow. My thought are many, way too many. The constant slide show plays what I miss the most, and what I want the most to forget. I have thrown myself into a kitchen remodel hoping to keep me occupied. So far, it isn't working. Almost two years of grief..some days it feels like its been an eternity. I have had lots of "winks" , which does help. It is just hard to find words these days. Keep checking in with me tho, you never know.

“In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.”psalm 94:19

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Through eternity sing

After having that deep conversation with Kennedy, it sent my mind into a frenzy of thoughts. I waited a few days and then we talked about "that day" again. I wanted to be sure she was remembering everything right. The truth is, they left for school before Rach ever got up...there was nothing she could have done..there was nothing anyone could have done.. Sometimes it seems that things about the funeral stay on my mind. Then one day I take a breath and realize that my mind has slowed. It never stops thinking about Rach, I have said that before. I tried to make Kennedy understand that its OK to miss her, and to be sad. I know how it can make you feel ....like you are crazy. The night before the funeral, when we were getting ready to leave from visitation, I asked them to keep the music on for Rach. She always had music on. I wonder if they said they would just so I would feel better...or leave.

"All our sorrow will end, and our voices will blend, With the loved ones who've gone on before."



I have heard of a land on the far away strand, Tis a beautiful home of the soul; Built by Jesus on high, where we never shall die, Tis a land where we never grow old.



Never grow old, never grow old, In a land where well never grow old; Never grow old, never grow old, In a land where well never grow old.

In that beautiful home where well never more roam, We shall be in the sweet by and by; Happy praise to the King through eternity sing, Tis a land where we never shall die.



When our work here is done and the life crown is won, And our troubles and trials are oer; All our sorrow will end, and our voices will blend, With the loved ones who've gone on before.

Saturday, July 23, 2011



" I just wish I would have gotten up earlier and talked to her for even 30 seconds. Then the 18 wheeler would have missed her...why didn't I just get up".

My sweet Kennedy has carried this around for 22 months. You can only imagine the struggle for words that I had


and still have.


I can only keep repeating the phrase that we learned at camp.

"When I can't, Jesus can."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Setting Sail

I leave today to take ten girls to church camp. Last year was amazing, so I am as excited as the girls are to go. Both of my girls will be going with me. This is Kennedy's last year for this camp. That is the only hard part. Realizing again how fast they grow and what she will soon have to face in this world. I had been trying to decide what to bring with me to camp as a little "wink". And then yesterday morning my sweet friend solved that problem for me. She gave me this beautiful bracelet with Rachs verse on it.




I see that same verse being used to help others in my family too, and each time in such a different and special way. As I was gathering up my things for camp, I came across one of Rachs Bibles. I had set the ribbon to 1 Corinthians 13, and when I opened it there were those perfect heart clovers that I had found that day at her garden. My heart was filled with love. I actually even smiled.




Love

Never

Fails

Last years theme was Live Love. We sang about love is patient love is kind...there were hearts everywhere. This year the theme is Set Sail and the verse for the week is Psalms 113 3
From the sunrise in the east to the sunset in the west, may the name of the Lord be praised.


...hearts and sunsets...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Taking a break

Last week the girls and I made a much needed visit to our favorite spot, Moody Gardens. We stayed 3 days and 2 nights. We had a great time. I go there to relax and BE with the girls. The days are long and full but it doesn't keep my mind from going to the same places it always goes to. Just like the girls have certain things they have to see and do while they are there, I have my things too



The sunsets when we are there are so incredible. Every night is so different , and so perfect. I also love the penguins, the macaroni penguins.



I saw a lot of new things on this visit too. Things that really make you think about God and how He created all these amazing things and how powerful He truly is. And how my mind will never understand how all those things are in the ocean, and each one perfectly created .


video

Its hard to believe that this will be a shark. But that is just God. I look at all the flowers and see such beauty. A butterfly can bring a tear to my eye just because after everything it goes through, they are only on this earth for a short time....


and it always comes back to Rach...


There are so many things I don't understand. I realized on the way home ,while all these things were going through my mind ,that I spend too much time trying to "understand" . Not one time in the Bible does God ever ask me to UNDERSTAND anything. He just ask me to trust Him..to have faith ...and that only has to be the size of a very tiny seed. "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart ....and lean not on your own understanding".... I guess KK was trying to tell me something...back on April the 14.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Her unsong song

I needed to take some time to regroup from all the VBS activities and, well just from trying to get through each day. In the middle of all of that, more fuel was thrown onto the fire that my family has been walking through.It is not my story to tell so I will keep it private. But is has had a huge impact on my family. All I will say is that I am still trusting God to take care of ALL of this. While in the middle of this crisis(a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person's life), I went into the pretty room to put back a dvd that Robin and Dakota had "borrowed" from Rach. I went to set it on the stack of the others and I noticed what was on the top. It said " Strong Enough". I thought it was also a dvd, so I went to put it in my computer . While I was looking at it, I realized it was a cd. It was actually an accompaniment cd. What I was holding was the song my Rach never got to sing. The words to this song fit so perfectly to everything we were going through . Just when I thought I had found all there is to find... God gave me this...

As I rest against this cold, hard wall
Will you pass me by?
Will you criticize me as I sit and cry?
I had fought so hard and thought that all my battles had been won
Only to find the war has just begun

Is He not strong enough?
Is He not pure enough?
To break me, pour me out, and start again
Is He not brave enough?
To take one chance on me
Please can I have one chance to start again?

Will my weakness for an hour make me suffer for a lifetime?
Is there anyway to be made whole again?
If I'm healed,renewed, and find forgiveness find the strength I've never had
Will my scars forever ruin all God's plan?

Is He not strong enough?
Is He not pure enough?
To break me, pour me out, and start again
Is He not brave enough?
To take one chance on me
Please can I have one chance to start again?

He took my life into his hands and it turned it all around
In my most desperate circumstance
It's there I've finally found

That You are strong enough
That You are pure enough
To break me, pour me out and start again
That You are brave enough
To take one chance on me
Oh Thank You for my chance to start again.


Friday, June 24, 2011

My bear hug


This week of VBS was really great. Last night was our finale night. After it was over and we were hugging each other and saying our thanks, one of our crew leaders (who was also Rachels youth leader) came up to me and hugged me and said " thanks for bringing Rachel up here with us this week, I saw it the first night " I was surprised and overcome at the same time. Of course he knew what it was because his daughter has one too. It is one of those things that you can't explain. As emotional as it sometimes is, I love when others say her name, or share a Rachel story with me. Just seeing the love helps to make me feel not so alone as I drift through this fog of grief.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Precious panda memories



Well, after many hours of shopping and planning,the stage was finally ready for our VBS. I have handled it all so much better than I did last year. I was afraid that when it came time, I would not be able to sing the one song that was the reason I picked this VBS. The first night was in a word...madness. But God took our mess and turned it into something beautiful. Tonight is the third night of our VBS . It seems like just when you get in the groove , it will soon be over. I love watching the kids sing, and get excited about praising God. I love seeing my own girls on stage with me, leading other kids in worship not because I am forcing them too but because they want to do it. I see so much of Rachel in them. One of Rachels sweet friends that helps me every year is up there again this year. My girls love being with her too. Kennedy asked her how long she had been friends with her sister. She just needs to know that people still love Rach too. No one has found my Rachel "wink" yet that I placed in the set. I know it's there, and I know she is there too, because ..
"I carry your heart with me, I carry it in
my heart.I am never without it.
Anywhere I go ..you go,my dear."

let me know if you find it. if you click on the picture, it will get bigger.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My summer song

My summer song is sad and long.
It talks. Of love and pain.
Flowers bloom and birds still sing
But it always ends the same.
It always says Your name.

My summer songs The only song
My heart will ever sing.
Every starry sky, every butterfly
Will say hello and say goodbye
But they always say..your name.



Sometimes the summertime..
Can flood your soul with dreams.
Leave you wondering what it means..
Wishing it would wash away
The loneliness and drown the pain.

When summers gone my summer song
Will still be in my dreams.
Ill feel the warmth and won't forget
Every sun that I see set..
And how they always say....your name.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I have been very busy this week with vacation Bible school preparatons. Our theme is Pandamania. As soon as I saw the title of one of the songs, I knew this was the one we had to do. I'll give you the edited version....
The last song Rach and I sang together in church was "He knows my name"...by the Mcraes..We actually sang it at both churches that we attend. Not long after the funeral,my sweet friend brought me a CD of a song that she thought would bring me some comfort.The title was "He knows my name"...different version..but you can imagine my reaction when I saw the title. So, I'm flipping thru the vbs material and I see the music,and I see those four words...HE KNOWS MY NAME...I knew it was the one for us, since I lead the music. Really, I instantly felt drawn to this vbs and without a doubt wanted to do it. Every time we have thought that something would fall apart, God has taken care of it. I know that when vbs gets here, I will miss Rach more than ever. She was always there with me. I will put a little something on the stage as part of the decorations that represents her. Last year it was the sunset that I painted. This year well....you'll just have to wait ...maybe I'll post a picture and let you try to find it.



"When I'm overwhelmed by the pain and can't see the light of day..I know I'll be just fine...cause He knows my name".



Rachel sang the first verse.... after much debate..lol

Monday, June 6, 2011

Still living with your goodbye

We took a few days off and went to the lake. It was nice to be away,even tho it was a quick visit. I find myself to be in a place that I am not comfortable in. I feel like I keep hitting the same brick wall.I don't know what I can do, or need to do , different.It's like my own kind of "Groundhog Day"..I keep counting the months until September..its June already...July,August,...and then September. Maybe this is what they mean when they say the second year of grief is harder.This year flew by and so much of it is a blur,.but I keep telling myself it will get better. I see glimpses of "better" every now and then. I came across something today that made it better..



It is a CD Rach made for me a couple of years ago. You see it says "heart" Rach. She signed her name that way alot. If she wrote a note to me or one of her friends , it was heart and Rach.I am amazed at how many things I find with a heart on it that I never really paid attention to before. I love finding this CD. I am afraid that very soon there will be no more "winks" to find..I don't know what I will do then. But today, I am thankful for this one, and the smile that her smiley face gave me. I remember playing that cd with her in the car. She was my Tim .I was Faith Hill, and she was my Tim McGraw. Even tho she could sing circles around me, she was happy to just be the harmony and let me pretend. It was so easy to sing with her. It was something we did always. We knew what songs we had to sing on...and even tho she would say " I hate country music"..she would sing it with me..
I love you Rach.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

To where you are

I did something I had not done since the funeral. I watched the memorial video that was made for that day. I had tried many times to sit and watch it. I have held it in my hand...and closed my eyes..and watched it play out in my mind . The other night, I could not sleep .I was going through my photos and I came across the file in my computer. As soon as the music started, I was back in that church,..down on the first pew...watching the video, and singing along with it. No one ever commented to me about my singing. I said something about the video to my husband right after the funeral, and he said..I heard you. I really didn't care if people heard me, I was just surprised that no one ever mentioned it. I could remember so well while I was watching it, which parts of the video made me cry harder at the funeral. I remember seeing Rach with that sweet smile on her face, and hearing the people respond to the photos. I know I will never forget any part of that day. Almost 2 years later and it is still so raw. I cannot share the video on here. There are many photos of other family members and I respect their privacy. It was very long anyway...2 songs long.. much longer than the man at the funeral home had asked for..too bad.. I say goodbye on my terms.. I will, however, share the songs that were played. Josh Grobins song. ...
"To Where You Are"
some songs you just can't read the lyrics to...you have to hear it.I hear it daily...


Who can say for certain?
Maybe you're still here
I feel you all around me
Your memories so clear

Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You're still an inspiration
Can it be

That you are my forever love
And you are watching over me from up above?

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile

If only for awhile
To know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream?
And isn't faith believing?
All power can't be seen

As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me
Everyday

'Cause you are my forever love
Watching me from up above
And I believe that angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile

If only for awhile
To know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

I know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Friends are friends forever..

This past Sunday our church honored our graduating seniors. It is an emotional day for a normal person, so you can imagine how it feels for me. Some of the kids that were graduating had been in the youth group with Rachel. They had grown up together,taken trips together, and worshiped together. As the grads were standing down front, I noticed something that made me smile,and cry. This one senior was wearing his cross necklace that I had given to him. Honestly , I don't think I have seen him without it on since I gave it too him. This is not a photo from Sunday. I borrowed it off his facebook.



As you can see, he has the necklace on. There were several more photos where you could see it. I can't explain to you how it makes me feel to see it. I love that he wears it ..and I will keep him an extra one back just in case he wears his out. Our pianist played this song for our offering that day. It is also the song that Rachels choir sang at her last choir performance in high school..

Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
I can't believe the hopes He's granted
Means a chapter of your life is through

But we'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
'Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

And with the faith and love God's given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you live in
Is the strength that now you show

We'll keep you close as always
It won't even seem you've gone
'Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord's the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
'Cause the welcome will not end
Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

To live as friends

Though it's hard to let you go
In the Father's hands we know
That a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

No a lifetime's not too long
To live as friends

here's the video if you have never heard the song..I can see her standing on stage with her friends , arm in arm....just like it was yesterday..
" we'll keep you close.....as always"..

Friday, May 20, 2011

A day for remembering

What a week this has been ! Sunday mornings scholarship presentation went really well. But then that afternoon my dad had a gallbladder attack which ended in him having it removed on Wednesday . Thank the Lord that all went ok.
Sunday was a beautiful day all the way around. Church at New Cherry Grove was wonderful. Bro. Doug has the sweetest spirit. He wanted me to talk as long as I wanted to "if I could"..and talk about Rachel .."If I could"....I have no problem talking about Rach. That small church has so much love in it. I am so thankful to them for continuing to remember her. The whole service was about remembering. We also shared the Lords Supper together. The young man that received the scholarship,Garret , was so appreciative.He has a list of accomplishments that are a mile long. I used a quote in my speech to him that said " what we are is Gods gift to us, what we become is our gift to Him". Garret has many gifts. I urged him to continue to allow God to use him. He gave me a hug before I even finished talking. This young man is going to be something very special.

I did not present the scholarship to Amanda. Her dad was still in Australia and she wanted to wait for him. I did,however,get to speak with her after church. She came bopping up to me in the parking lot and someone said "Suzette this is Amanda"..I saw this girl with long brownish blonde hair parted on the side...not a lot of makeup, naturally beautiful...a hoodie...flip flops...also built like RACHEL..if you know anything about Rach..you know how much I loved every part of this. Amanda gives really good hugs too. I was so glad I got to have "real" conversation with both of them . I told Amanda how touched I was by her honesty..she said she had to be honest. The whole time I was talking to her, I was listening, but looking..at just how similar she was to Rach.



I realized how long it had been since I had had an opportunity to speak in front of people about her. I am thankful that God gave me grace enough to be able to go and share in that wonderful day.


"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus".

Friday, May 13, 2011

Presenting...


The "blog" has been down for a couple of days for them to straighten out some issues, so I haven't been able to make a new post. This coming weekend I will be giving two seniors the scholarship that is in honor of Rach. I was given the applications to read and was touched by what each of them had to say. The young lady that was chosen was so honest. She said she had hooked up with the wrong guy and was heading down the wrong road, and then she was saved and her life was turned around. Kids these days are all about these "fake" relationships. They text, they facebook, they do everything behind a screen. For some of them, they can't even have a conversation face to face. I was so impressed with her willingness to be so honest. She could have made up a story about needing money ,but she put it all out there. I don't know a lot of adults that would be willing to say " I was a mess". The young man who is also receiving a scholarship is actually Kenny's cousins son. What an application he had. He has already lived such a life of service to the Lord . I am praying for just the right words to say to them so they understand even tho it is not a huge scholarship, it means the world to me. One day ...one day... I will be able to really make a difference to someone . I just know that God will allow me to do that. I know that He can dream a much bigger dream than I can, so I am not putting any limits on it.
"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."psalm 37: 4-5