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, January 30, 2011

Light up that fire

Early Friday we grabbed a few groceries, loaded up, and headed to our favorite spot on the lake....My sister n laws lake house. There were not many people to be found, which worked out good for me because that is what I was trying to get away from...people... We went to the spillway and fished.We ate lots of junk food. My husband and the girls built a fire and danced and played.

It was so quiet , and so perfect. Not too cold.Everything was just right. As I fished, I watched the girls playing and I realized how happy everyone seemed. It didn't feel forced. We were just there. I of course had many thoughts of Rachel . How could I not. She was usually with us at the lake. She grew up going to the lake. But this time it felt different. Friday night as we were heading back to the camp after fishing, I could see the sky beginning to change. We pulled into a park so I could try to take a photo .

It was beautiful.Being able to see the colors reflecting in the water makes it twice as lovely. This photo really doesn't capture the true beauty of what I saw, but I can look at the picture and I will remember its majesty. That is something I have gotten really good at over this past year... Looking at pictures...and remembering. Sometimes I get so caught up in the moment, being able to BE in the moment, and I forget to take a picture. This weekend was one of those times. I just wanted to watch the girls play. Watch them laugh. Laugh with them without having to force myself to, or feel guilty for doing it. We are so far from being "back to normal". That will probably never be for us.But we are slowy putting the pieces of our life back together.
As we sat around the fire this Patty Griffin song was playing very loudly in my mind.
I have listened to it many times . I even have played it on a guitar and sang it with my sister...but that night..I heard it ..

"Crying Over"

Light it up, baby, light up that fire
I don't know what's gonna save me from the cold now
And these sorrows I'm crying over
And these sorrows I'm crying over

Embrace me, embrace me with your kind love
It's all I've ever wanted, all I've ever dreamed of
And all of this dreaming of silver and gold
Is something to break this winter so cold
And these sorrows I'm crying over
And these sorrows I'm crying over

We go straight for the thunder, straight for the rain
Love leaves a mark and love leaves a strain
Back in the saddle again and again
Millions of eyes and none of them friends

You better light it up, baby, you better light up that fire
Cause I don't know what's gonna save me from the cold now
From these sorrows I'm crying over
From these sorrows I'm crying over
From these sorrows I'm crying over
Crying over

I didn't make this video. It is the only of of her singing the song I could find.Reading the words, and then hearing Patty sing makes a huge difference

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tears of glass

This week has brought me very high, and very low. There were too many phone calls for "Rachel" from a university advisor.Please take her name of the list...please. It was either in the mail, on the phone, or in the store. Constant reminders of what won't be.
There were breath taking moments this week too. I swear I smelled her clearly..and I wasn't even thinking about her.I was just walking through the house..and walked into a wall of her.

I wrote this song/poem. It's a little darker than usual, but it is real.(I is just a song) I don't cry as much as I used to. I guess I should say for as long as I used to. I still cry..sometimes every day..just for not as long. I cried so much I started to hate the way it felt on my face.

Tears of glass cut through my pain.
They're falling on my face like rain.
I'd said goodbye to you before
I didn't know there would be no more

I keep on looking through the glass.
But I cant stop thinking about the past.
The deepest cuts are from regret
And answers I will never get.

Shattered tears made out of glass.
Tiny slivers of the past.
They cut the pain of losing you;
But not the love I hope you knew.

The cuts will heal, but not my heart;
Its broken in too many parts.
Silent screams can shatter glass
Into broken pieces of the past.

Monday, January 24, 2011

These boots were made for walking

As I was preparing to lead my last Bible study class, I was wanting to bring it back ,full circle, from where we had started...with my baggage. I had learned so much, and wanted to really demonstrate what God had helped me to understand. I studied for a while, and then I got in my car and headed to town. As soon as I put my radio on my favorite Christian station, I heard the last part of a verse that Beth had been talking about. It was perfect for what I was wanting to do. The verse was about Saul.In 1 Samuel chapter 10, after Samuel had privately anointed Saul as king,he was to bring him out publicly.Samuel had all the people come forward by tribes.But when it came time for Saul they couldn't find him.This guy, who the Lord had anointed as ruler, who was a head taller than others, and considered handsome..HAD HIDDEN HIMSELF IN THE BAGGAGE. I can't tell you how hard that hit me.(metaphorically). God tells us we can do something, but we are so caught up in what we've done wrong, or what we think makes us unworthy,and we hide in OUR baggage. I told the ladies this story.I told them that I was not going to believe that bag of lies anymore. I was not going to even go back and take our papers out that we had wrote all our "baggage" on. I was just going to throw it all ,suitcase and all, in the dumpster.Garbage...thats what it was. I don't have to carry all of that around, and I don't have to hide behind it."There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." I also traded in my cinder block shoes that had been weighing me down.

The first time I saw these boots, I knew I needed to have them. This year for Christmas my parents got them for me. They remind me of every song and verse I know that tells me " He lovingly guardeth my footsteps....each step I take the Savior goes before me..You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping..and if I start feeling down they remind me to look up..
"My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you"
The funny part is, Rachel was scared of cowboy guys..She was home one day and some men who were working on the road knocked on the door. It startled Rach so she called me. She said " some scary men in cowboy boots and Wranglers are knocking on the door". Of all types of people to be afraid of... it ain't cowboys..this gave me and her uncle a lot of laughs. I think she would give me a pass on the boots. Only because ....I don't wear Wranglers.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Song For My Heart

Wednesday was the last night of the Beth Moore Bible study. That six weeks went by so fast for me.I really enjoyed being able to fellowship with the ladies, and hear honest testimonies.Every week it amazed me how God used the lessons to speak so clearly to me. Some weeks they were even too personal for me to write about(if you can believe that). The last weeks lesson, we talked about psalmist and how we pictured them at first in our minds.Maybe like a shepherd with a harp, or a lamb. But now we realize that their life is just like ours, and our pleas are the same. Psalm 134 says "Now praise the Lord all you servants of the Lord who stand in the Lords house at night! Lift up your hands in the holy place and praise the Lord." That Psalm was for the night of the feast. It made me think about ALL the nights after losing Rachel ,that I would lay awake in the bed listening to music. Job 35 verse 9 and 10 say “People cry out under a load of oppression; they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful. But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night." God didn't just give me 1 song. He gave me many.Some I wrote, and some were from others, but the words comforted me so much. Only days after the funeral, God put a song in my heart. Not just a song, but The song to help me be able to say goodbye. The clearest and deepest words came from the darkest nights of my life.My God song...

Oh beautiful one
Who came from my dreams
You didnt stay long
You were needed its seems.
Youve gone to a place
Where no pain is known
Angel gather your wings
He's calling you home.

Fly home,my beauty fly home.
So softly you came.
Too quickly your gone.
Your hearts still with me,
So your love will live in.
In my dreams you'll be,
My beauty fly home.

Oh beautiful one
Forever youll be.
Your heart will live on
I know your with me.
Youve gone to a place
Where no pain is known.
Angel gather your wings
He's calling you home.

(My niece ,Amber, found these "angel wings" in May 2010.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Another piece of her heart

Here is another entry that was in Rachels journal,

Why do appearances count for so much now? It practically defines who you are and who you can become. If you're "good looking" you are going to succeed. If you are "ugly" you have to work 10 times harder. Well that's what our society says.I saw a book in the library and its title was A SIZE 12 IS NOT FAT. Statistically, the average American woman is a size 12. That's not what the media puts out there. Size 6 or smaller. That's ridiculous.Eat a freakin twinkie and shut it.And we're back to over analyzing.Especially on dating. Its a high school relationship.It won't last anyway but we base so much of our life and time in them. If you're single, there must be something wrong with you. We automatically think "no boys like me...I must be fat,ugly worthless loser." wrong...There's a great guy out there handcrafted for moi and no one else. I just need patience to wait for God to send him to me.Good things come to those who wait upon upon the Lord..isn't that a scripture??? I'll have to look that up later. Never settle for a guy either.Don't compromise anything.It's not worth it. Just because he's great looking on the outside, doesn't mean his inside is so great.I'm putting this (just in case) for future references. I'm making a list of what I want in a guy:
cool hair
green eyes
over 5'8 -taller than me
average build
he has to be musically inclined
guitar player
can be serious
a thinker
practices personal hygiene
goal oriented
respectful towards my beliefs
loves his mommy
no drinking,partying or drugs
no smokers
no facial piercings
no gauging
no eyeliner..nasty
I basically want him to be perfectly compatible personality wise.He needs to be good at advice too, because I'm always the listener and guide. I want someone to take 2 minutes to hear me out for once. I want him to get me...completely.There is so much more I could list..but I'll save it.

here is the verse she was quoting...
Lamentations 3:25 (King James Version)

25The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

" I'm always the listener and the guide" All of her friends said the same thing about her . That she was always there for them. How great to know your gift at such a young age, and be able to touch so many. Rachel was a beautiful girl, but she never thought of herself as the BEAUTY. I think that is why it was so easy to be around her . A lot of her friends said that too. As I read her entries, I can hear her words in my head. I can see her hands flailing all around.
I'm always the listener....all you single friends of hers..I hope you're listening .

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A piece of her heart

I thought I would share with you a few entries from Rachels "heart". I was going to just scan them in, but her handwriting is hard to read at times. She could not keep up with how fast her words were coming.

Feb 19, 2007

Dear diary...would you call this a diary? A journal possibly? a small notebook that I'll write thoughts that matter to no one? Well, whatever its called, I'm addressing it and filling it with what I think. At this moment it seems quite pointless because I am going to be the only person reading this. As if someone will find it years from now , read it and find my life so fascinating that they publish it and it becomes a best seller. I doubt it. It will just be a form of mild entertainment. it won't. Like I'll even have it years from now. Anyways, what does one write in a diary-book-thing in the first place? This will not be a slam book ! Why put people down in a book only you read? Would someone really have that bad of self issues that putting a cruel remark down on paper where they can read it over and over again makes them feel better about themselves? I don't understand. Calling another girl fat does not make you any thinner. Calling someone ugly does not make you prettier, and calling someone stupid does not make you smarter.Why is it in order to love ourselves we must make someone love themselves less?Seriously, if we know how miserable we feel on the inside, why would we ever want to bring someone to that level? Is it just the bitter satisfaction of knowing we aren't alone in our suffering?I will never comprehend the vast minds of high school girls,actually people in general. The human mind confuses me and frustrates me. So do the upside down hearts on the cover.It just doesn't look right and its at an odd angle I want to fix it. My tv is also crooked. I need to adjust it.

There is so much more I could say , but I will save it for another day. I'm going to work on not over analyzing things and making everything complicated. Things can be what they appear. If I call something pretty it might just mean its pretty. Not everything has an underlying meaning to it. Not everything is a metaphor or symbolism for something else. The world is not a rhyming sonnet from a Shakespearean play.Roses are roses..birds are birds..and a man in a black cloak is just that. It doesn't symbolize death in real life. Its just a creepy cloaked guy. I'm so sick of people trying to make their lives and situations into something its not. Not everything is a stupid after school special. The jock hunk isn't going to fall for the quiet dork. The ugly nerd doesn't get the blonde cheerleader. Its just life. Movies do not depict real life. Its just simply a movie.Real life has only one script. Only one thing that tells you what to do and how to live. Its the Bible..Read it ...Live it..Its your instructions.Study 'em. I'm going to end here...seems like a good stopping point.
Until tomorrow,

(photo by tammy silvestrini)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Matters of the Heart

The other day me and Rob(my oldest) were in the pretty room looking through all the things that belonged to Rachel. So many memories crammed on three shelves.I still have 2 boxes of things that I need to go through. One box is her personal stuff, one is mine from the time of the wreck.It is full of cards, things from the funeral...all of it still just sits out there. I don't force myself to do things that I am not ready to do. I don't know what keeps me from being able to do it. I just know ..I can't right now..As we were going through her things, I found this journal I had given to her on Valentines day back in 2007.She had made several entries in it, as a diary. Then she used it as a notebook at a church camp. I had looked through it before, but I was still in the foggy days, so I didn't REALLY look at it, or remember much of it.I read a few things to Rob ,and we laughed. As I was flipping through the pages , I found this....

At that very moment it was exactly what we both needed to see. I can't tell you how much I love finding treasures like this. I want to tear it out and carry it around with me like Linus with his little blanket. For now, I will leave it in its place. I have the image in my mind, and in my heart. HEART HEART HEART...... a heart journal, a heart in her you get it??????? I do..
" And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. "

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Precious Memories

I spent all day yesterday taking Christmas down. I don't know what is harder for me, putting it all up or putting it away. I still have so many of the same decorations that Rachel grew up loving, and hating. I have these little elves that my mother always put out when I was growing up.They creeped Rachel out.She couldn't stand them. I loved to pick at her about them..As I put them in the tree , I could see her rolling her eyes. As I took them down, I had tears in mine. I always do what I call a "kiddie tree". It is full of ornaments that all my kids made. There is even an ornament from when I was in school back in 1972, and a bell my husband made when he was little. I have a tree full of ceramic painted ornaments.Over the years, all of the kids have sat at my kitchen table and painted these for me.These are the ones that Rachel painted over the years.

Some are at least 8 years old. I have always been very careful with them when packing them away, but now even more so. It was so hard this year when it came time to put Rachels ornaments on the tree. No one gets to touch them but me. Her name is on the back of the ones she painted. These fifty cent ornaments that shine like gold to me. I can see her sitting at my kitchen table with the little girls painting like she was doing a masterpiece. I hated wrapping them up and putting them away. I know I can get them out and look at them , its just is one of those things that is hard to do. You find yourself wanting and needing to surround yourself with any little part of who you are missing. I hope you had many great moments with your family this Christmas. I also hope that after reading this post, you find a deeper meaning in some things that maybe you overlooked.

What I wanted most for my daughter was that she be able to soar confidently in her own sky, whatever that may be.
-- Helen Claes