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.

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" 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 " other words ...can I wear one of 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 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