Wednesday, September 24, 2014

548 Days....


Tomorrow marks a year and a half since Mom went to Heaven.  It is hard for me to fathom that it has been 548 days since I have heard her voice or seen her smile.  Its hard for me to grasp at times that I will never again see her on this earth.  It is hard for me to accept that I will have to live out my days without my Mom's advice guiding me through.  There are days that I will admit I am still in denial.  I know that sounds crazy, but sometimes I allow myself to think that I am just not seeing her because she is 280 miles away.  On some days- that helps me feel better.

This time of year is bittersweet for me.  I love fall and the holidays.  We have three birthdays in one week in October- we turn around twice and it is turkey day and then Christmas!  The reason I say it is bittersweet is because Mom was always here for my son's birthday and we always went to visit for Thanksgiving and Christmas if time would allow.  She made every holiday special from the time I was little until she went home to be with the Lord.  Each holiday brings a reminder that she is gone.

I have people tell me- oh you are so strong!  You are handling this so well!  Well - looks can be deceiving.  Today I am a girl who wants her mother so badly.  I want to curl up into a ball and just cry but I can't.  I want her back.  I need her.  I miss her.  I know it is not possible but it doesn't change how I feel.  On days like today I have so many questions that I will never get the answers to.  Silly things that you only talk to your Mom about.  More important issues like parenting, marriage, and life in general.  I want to listen to her tell me about her day and how she is doing.  What I wouldn't give to hear her say- "ok first I am going to vent and then it will be your turn".  Things that people take for granted every day- I admit I took it for granted too.

Please don't mistake this post to mean I am losing it or that I want people to feel sorry for me.  Most days - I am great.  Most days I have a smile on my face and carry on without the "great sadness".  Today is just one of those days that I don't want to.  That is what a grief journey looks like.
It is a rollercoaster of emotions- up and down- up and down.  But I will be o.k. I promise.

Weeping may tarry for the night but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5b

Tomorrow is a new day.

So Mom- I have a few questions for you.  See you in my dreams.

"Dancing In The Sky"
Dani and Lizzy
What does it look like in heaven?
Is it peaceful? Is it free like they say?
Does the sun shine bright forever?
Have your fears and your pain gone away?

'Cause here on earth it feels like everything good is missing since you left
And here on earth everything's different
There's an emptiness

Oh-oh, I,
I hope you're dancing in the sky
And I hope you're singing in the angels' choir
I hope the angels know what they have
I bet it's so nice up in heaven since you've arrived

Now tell me, what do you do up in heaven?
Are your days filled with love and light?
Is there music? Is there art and invention?
Tell me are you happy? Are you more alive?

'Cause here on earth it feels like everything good is missing since you left
And here on earth everything's different
There's an emptiness

Oh-oh, I,
I hope you're dancing in the sky
And I hope you're singing in the the angels' choir
And I hope the angels know what they have
I bet it's so nice up in heaven since you've arrived
Since you arrived.
I hope this helps someone.  You are not alone. I feel that way too.
Be Blessed, 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Mother's Eyes

I was changing my desktop background at work with this photo- and something caught my attention-
my Mother's eyes.  I never noticed it before but if you look closely you can see around her eyes are red from crying- but they are happy tears.  This picture was taken the day we had a early surprise birthday party for her.  I made her favorite "pineapple upside down cake" and when she was outside playing with her grandson we managed to decorate and get everything ready without her knowing. She walked in and was shocked as we began to sing happy birthday.  She told me many times this was one of her favorite days.  She told me how much it meant to her for to go through all that trouble just for her.  This was in 2010 which was one year before she was diagnosed with lung cancer. 

It got me to thinking about her eyes and  how people used to tell me they could tell who my mother was by my eyes.  I always took that as a compliment.  I see more of her features every day when I look in the mirror- something I am very proud of.  I always thought my Mom was a natural beauty,  not many people can go around without make-up and look amazing- I know I can't!  My eyes are my favorite feature (not being conceited) and I have her to thank for that.

When I think of my Mother's eyes, she looked through her eyes of faith.  She inspired me so much because she never quit and never gave up.  She always believed in God's plan, even though it may not have been the plan she had in mind.  She had eyes of determination, with every treatment- with every doctor visit- she was determined that she was going to fight until she had no fight left.  She had eyes of love...when I came to visit,  the way she would look so excited and run to the door to give me a big hug - I miss those days.  She had eyes of compassion- anyone who knew her could attest to that.  She was the first one ready to help anyone in need whether she knew them or not.  Whether someone had a death in the family, a fire, or an illness, she would rummage through her closets for items to donate or cook up a big meal to take over.

 I miss my Mother's eyes.  I miss how she would look at me when I tried on something she bought for me. She would always say "that's so cute!" and then she would say "You are probably too old for "cute" but you will always be my baby girl."  I miss how she would smile and tear up when she was   proud of me.  I even miss her "look" when I knew I was in trouble (mostly when I was younger, she could stop me in my tracks with one look).  I miss how when she laughed her eyes smiled too.  I have heard a saying "The eyes are the window to the soul" and I believe that is so true.  Mom has a beautiful soul.

As a travel down this road I am finding ways to cope with my Mom's death.  What has helped me most is remembering.  Remembering her eyes, her voice, her smile and her hugs.  I lean on God during the tough days and remember the good times. I pray that the Lord will give me the courage and the wisdom to honor her memory and help others.  I hope people can see that I also have the compassion, love, determination and faith like my Mother does. 

Be Blessed!

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Worst Day

Three years ago today, will go down as one of the worst days of my life.  It started out great - I was going out of town to train for my new job which I was excited about.  I was running around trying to get packed and I was thinking I would wait and call my Mom when I got to the airport. Mom had been having what the Dr. called anxiety attacks on and off due to stress.  She wouldn't leave my mind so I decided to give her a quick call just to see how she was doing.   We were talking on the phone and I was telling her how I was excited about my trip when she said "oh no- here it goes again"- and next thing I know all I hear is my Mom panicking and something hitting the phone.  I told her I would call my Dad and hung up.  I called my Dad's work and told them it was an emergency and for him to get home to my Mom ASAP.  Then I tried to call my Mom back and she wouldn't/couldn't answer the phone.  That is when I had my own panic attack!  I freaked out- called my brother and told him to get over to Mom's that something was really wrong.   I thought the worst- that she had a heart attack or stroke and died right then and there.

Finally after what seemed like eternity I got in touch with my Mom's neighbor who was with her.  The seizure had stopped and my Dad was on his way to drive her to the ER.   I was relieved- but then I had to leave to go to catch my flight.  How do you go on with your day after something like this happened?  Unfortunately I didn't have a choice and so with my Dad promising to call me the second he found out something I left for the airport.  Let me just tell you that was the longest 45 minute plane ride ever.

I made it to my hotel room hours later and  my phone rang.  It was my Mom- she sounded really out of it.  She said "are you sitting down?" and I told her " I am now"  And then she said the words that no one wants to hear.  "I have a tumor on my lung the size of an orange.  They are running more tests to see what else is going on".  She was so medicated that she said it with no emotion - she might as well told me she was going to the store.  At that moment- the world stopped spinning.  Time stood still and I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  No- not my MOM!  This happens to other people, not us!  And without her actually saying the words I Mom had cancer.

From that day forward- nothing was ever the same.  My happy world came crashing down and this evil disease called cancer invaded my life and slowly began to take my Mom away from me. She endured 23 rounds of radiation and 6 rounds of chemo because she wouldn't quit!  She fought long and hard and we made every moment count.  I made some of the best memories with my Mom in those last 18 months.  Cancer may have taken her life, but it never took her faith.  She made her peace with God and accepted what His plan was for her- that is an amazing thing!  Our favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11.  She believed it with her whole heart till the day God called her home. "For I KNOW the plans I have for you- says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you, and not harm you- to give you a hope and a future!" 

I miss her so much, and on days like today I would give anything for one of her hugs to tell me everything will be alright.  She always knew what to say to make me laugh or just feel matter what.  She was my best friend and confidant- I could tell her anything.  If Mom was here today- she would tell you.... laugh every day, make sure people know how much you love them, and trust in God always.  I am doing my best to do just that...for her.

Be Blessed!

Monday, July 21, 2014


So I am sure most everyone is aware of the app TimeHop.  Its where every day you can go look at your posts/pictures from the previous years on facebook.  I love to go back and look at the pictures of my son and see what I was up to that day. 

This one however-- July 21st, will be one of the dates that will be engraved in my memory- probably forever. 

I was at home and getting ready for Mom and Shelbi to come visit.  We were so excited because Mom was going to rent a car and they were going to come stay a week- they were coming the next day.  The phone rang, and I figured it was Mom telling me she was coming early - or we were going to chat about her visit.  I was wrong.  It was my brother, in a panic, telling me that Mom was having a seizure and he didn't know what to do.  They had called 911 and were waiting for the ambulance. I heard the whole thing.  I could hear the fear in my Mom's voice- "Oh God I don't want to die, please don't let me die!"  So I was screaming into the phone- "MOM you are not going to die!!!"- and I began to pray (screaming) for God to take away the seizure, to calm Mom and to give her His Peace. 
We I arrived at the hospital, I was told that she had swelling on the brain and they needed to give her meds to bring it down.  She had just stopped taking her seizure medicine a couple of weeks before so she could drive.  She hadn't had a seizure in almost a year and she got the all clear from her doctor.  It turned out to be a blessing, because if she wouldn't have had the seizure, then we never would have known.....  I was so scared, and in my heart I knew before the doctors told us- the cancer was back. I felt like someone had kicked me in the gut when I heard the words. 

She had just been declared NED (no evidence of disease) four months wasn't fair!  How did the cancer come back so fast???  God had healed could this happen??? This was another time that I really had to lean on God.  It could have been really easy for me to get angry, and lose sight of the fact that God is always in control.  At the time it felt like a punishment- but looking back now it all makes sense.

God gave me time with her.  He gave us a warning that most people do not get. This was a wake up call that everything was not okay, and even though I didn't know when, I  felt I was going to lose her.  I wouldn't admit that out loud, and to hear me talk she was going to be just fine.  I went back to visiting her as much as I could, and made every visit count.  She went to Heaven eight months later.

  As crazy as it sounds, I feel fortunate that things happened the way they did.  If Mom wouldn't have had the seizure, then we never would have known the cancer had come back.  I probably would have went back to the holiday only visits, and would have missed out on some of the most special moments of my life.  The simple thing like just sitting there holding her hand, scrapbooking, taking care of her and of course- the mani/pedis.  I took every opportunity to love on her and do what she wanted to do.

So I can look at this day as one of the worst days, or I can choose to think about it in the positive light.  This was the day that God nudged me, and gave me an opportunity to make my time count with Mom, and for that I am thankful.

Be Blessed!

Monday, July 7, 2014


I didn't realize it has been a month since I have posted!-- It just goes to show you how busy summertime really is. Between weddings and traveling- this summer is flying by!  This weekend I was able to spend time with family at the lake.  I had a great time and it was nice to get away.  I was telling a family member  how grateful I was to have a new tradition to replace Mom's tradition for this holiday.  One of the toughest things about losing your Mom is having to create new traditions to replace the old ones you realize you probably took for granted.

 The Fourth of July was one of Mom's favorite holidays next to Christmas.  As often as she could, she would invite family and friends over to grill out and watch fireworks.  She loved getting everyone together and was the best hostest- always making sure everyone had their drinks and plates and was buzzing around laughing and joking with everyone.  She loved taking pictures and was her happiest when she was surrounded by family and friends.  It was also one of the times every year that we went to visit.  Believe it or not before she got sick I only saw her two-three times a year.

A few years ago- she bought my son a slip n slide and had it out when we arrived.  Since my son didn't know what to do- it was only natural that my Mom show him how its done!  Me, Mom and Shelbi spent the whole day on that slip and slide.  I am sure it was a pretty funny sight to see a 32 yr old and a 40 something year old running back and forth- belly busting and cracking up the whole time!  The next day Mom and I could barely move we were so sore but both agreed it was worth it.  :)  We videod the whole thing and even though it is hard to watch without tearing up- it makes me laugh so hard.  She was so much fun!

I am totally a kid at heart- I am the first one to vote to watch fireworks and I know exactly where I got it from.  Mom loved fireworks- and as I was watching them this year I thought to myself- "Mom, you have the best seat in the house- I hope you love it as much as I do"  and I snapped some photos.
This one- I was told by my friend Jenney- has an angel in the bottom right corner, and I smiled because I believe she is right :)

Be Blessed!


Friday, May 30, 2014


Every day we are so overloaded with pictures.  I am guilty of it myself- I find myself snapping photos of my son, of my food, the sky- of just about anything!  Its funny- I have so many thousands of "snapshots" that at the moment were seemingly pointless.  But I'm beginning to realize they are not pointless- because someday the person in the photos may no longer be with us.  I am so thankful that my Mom loved taking pictures- at least in her later years.  She didn't care how silly she looked with the crazy party hat or cake on her face- she indulged my love of chasing people with a camera.

When she was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer and the radiation and chemo caused her to start losing her hair, many of her friends brought her cute hats and scarves to wear.  I did a "photo shoot" with her- and I am so glad I did.  I have so many pictures that truly show her personality and her quirky humor.  I have pictures of her with my son, with me, with family, that I will treasure always.  I captured her cancer journey through photos- and in her last days took a photo of us holding hands so I could keep it forever.

My point?  Don't stop taking pictures.  When you have family gatherings- take snapshots and selfies (yes I said it) and get everyone together for a group picture. Overcome the groans with a smile- because even though people say they don't want to be in a picture- trust you me when they look back on them five, ten, or twenty years later they will be thankful for that memory.  In this day and age it is easier than ever to capture a memory- just don't forget to keep that memory by printing your photos and/or saving to a hard drive for safe keeping.

Take pictures- make memories- we are not promised tomorrow.

Be Blessed! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Another Test of Faith

If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you?  Luke 12:26-28

Not what we want to hear...right?  But yet here I am....with another test.  I will not go into details at the moment, but it definitely is going to be something that I will have to lean on God for.  I will have to trust Him that there is a reason for this.  I will have to believe that no matter how minor this may seem to someone else- that God knows it means the world to me and is breaking my heart. I know there are many many people dealing with worse things, but I also know that God counts the hairs on my head- so he cares about everything that his children care about. I will have to believe that God will give me the wisdom to make the right decisions.  Sometimes I want to say- enough already!  Can we please have a break!  God knows the beginning and the end- it is not my  job to figure it out, only to trust in his timing and purpose.

  More than anything, I want my Mom right now. I look at her picture and just wish she could talk to me.  I want her to tell me that everything is going to be fine, and that God has equipped me to handle this. I want her to put her arms around me and tell me that she is proud of me and I am doing a great job.  I want so badly to hear her say- "I love you Baby Girl."  Would that make it all go away?  Of course not, but it sure would make me feel better.

Maybe you are going through a trial you do not understand.  In times of trials I always go back to my favorite bible verse.  Jeremiah 29:11.  I have stood on that verse many days and will continue.

The test will become a testimony one day.  I can feel it.

Be Blessed!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mother's Day

Ahhh yes, Mother's Day.  In the weeks leading up to Mothers day the stores are overflowing with candy, cards, flowers and teddy bears.  For most, it is a day that is looked forward to- the one day of the year where Mom's everywhere are told not to cook or clean- and most times are lavished on for the day.  Flowers are received, homemade gifts from children are oooohed and ahhhed over.  It is a wonderful day.

  For others- it is a sad reminder that they have no mother or wife to buy a gift for this year or any year from now on.  It is a day to reflect on the wonderful woman gone too soon.  A day to think of all the wonderful memories and special times you had, to look at pictures and think.  It is also a sad reminder for those who have babies in Heaven.  A day that we wish we could skip most of the time.  A day to fight through and make every effort to be happy and enjoy the day- even though it may take everything you have. 

My Mom always made Mother's day special for ME.  Yes- for me.  When I became a Mother- every year like clockwork she would send me a card and something special in the mail.  We would laugh because every year it was the same thing.  "Um, I got you a Mother's day gift but its going to be late..."  She would say- "same here!".  Very rarely did we ever give or receive gifts on time- it was a joke to us- we were just fashionably late gift givers :)

This will be my 2nd Mother's Day without my Mom.  I thought I was doing pretty good until I was watching TV last night and saw where people were being interviewed about what they loved most about their Moms.  It was touching and heart wrenching at the same time.  They were telling their Mom's thank you for everything- and most of their Mom's were in the audience alive and well.

Even though she is not here physically, I see it fit to tell her how I feel on this Mother's Day week and would like to share.

"Mom, I want to tell you how much I love you and miss you.  You have always been there for me- fought for me and supported me.  I am the woman I am today because of you.  You taught me to love everyone and judge no one.  You taught me that family is everything and real friends are forever.  You taught me to love myself and to fight for what I believe in.  You are beautiful inside and out and I thank God I was able to spend 34 years with you.  I would give anything to hug your neck again but we know that will come some day.  Thank you for the butterflies and ladybugs- I know that is you."

Love Always,

Your Baby Girl

I wanted to do something special- so I planted a memorial garden in my backyard last weekend in honor of my Mom. Whether you have lost your Mom recently or years ago- I encourage you to do something that you and/or your Mom would enjoy this Mother's Day.  If you are a Mom, remember this is your day too.  Be kind to yourself- its ok to be sad and miss her but allow yourself to enjoy your family and "your" day. 

It will be difficult but we will survive another Motherless Day.

Be Blessed!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Just one of those days....

So today is the day that every month I dread.  The 25th... every month like clockwork I am more emotional, irritable, and sad on the days leading up to this day.  I try to tell myself that I need to be happy, and that I have so much to be happy for- which I do.  But I also have to give myself a break.  Grief has no timeline.  I can go weeks and feel fine and then all of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks.  That is how grief works...

We are going through the motions after my son's eye surgeries- getting check ups and making sure that everything is on point. I had "one of those days" and  I broke down and just said out loud- "I want my MOM!" and just sobbed and sobbed.  Luckily a facebook post caused my dear friend to reach out to me because she knew something was wrong. I was thankful for our talk- but she understood that in that moment, I just wanted to hear my Mom say- "you are doing a great job, and its going to be ok!"  She always knew just the right thing to say to make me feel better.

I am sure I am not alone in this- and I know that God understands that I am going to have those days.  The good thing about it all- is I don't stay that way.  I get it out of my system, usually have a good cry, and then I feel better. I pray and believe for God to continue to pour His Peace into my life.
This truly is a journey.  I have learned so many things that I feel will change my life forever. 

This is my top 10 list of things I have learned....

1.  Mom's really are the "glue" that holds the family together.

2.  We take advantage of the little things- a text, an average everyday phone call - and don't realize the value until we no longer have it.

3.  Enjoy each day- it sounds so cliche- but every day is truly a gift.  We are not promised tomorrow.

4.  I am a lot stronger than I ever gave myself credit for.

5.  Sometimes death brings people closer- and most times it pushes them further away.

6.  God allows visits from Heaven through dreams. (my favorite)

7.  Friends are God's way of taking care of us :)  (not my quote)

8.  Wearing my Mom's clothes make me feel closer to her (may be silly but it works for me)

9.  It's ok to cry and be sad for as long as I need to - its normal and I am not alone.

10.  Talking about my Mom  makes me feel better.

I have good days and bad days- even over a year later.  On my bad days, you can almost bet that you will see me in my Mom's boots and sweater, t-shirt or carrying her purse.  If you are grieving, do what makes you feel better.  Find someone who will listen to you talk about your loved one- that is all they have to do - LISTEN.  When I talk about my Mom often it is about her LIFE- not her death.  At this point in my journey, I talk about my Mom all the time- to anyone and everyone who will listen.  I think if nothing else, talking about your loved one is the best therapy you can receive.

Be Blessed!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spreading the light

I heard a quote last week that really touched me.....
"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle,
or the mirror that reflects it." ~Edith Wharton
What an awesome thought- I was thinking about this and then it hit me... my Mom is the candle and I am supposed to be the mirror that reflects the light!  I have heard so many people say that my Mom's story has touched them in some way. I have had many people tell me she was such an inspiration and a blessing to them.  I personally know two people that have quit smoking partly because my Mom had lung cancer - so I feel my Mom helped save two lives as well.
I want to spread awareness- so people will realize that ANYONE can get lung cancer.  I want people to realize that if they have any kind of pain or sickness they need to go get checked out! My Mom's started with lower back pain, and the just thought she was getting old (her words) at 49 yrs old. She had a bad cough- but she was a cough comes with the territory.   I want to shake people when I see them smoking, show them a picture of my Mom in 2011 and then in 2013 and say- are you sure you want to put that cigarette in your mouth!?  I don't want to do it out of judgement, but out of love. Lung cancer does not get that much attention, as it was once told to me- because their are not many survivors/advocates. I could share so many scary statistics but I will save that for another day. 
Since I would probably go to jail for shaking people- :)  I joined the committee for the first Lung Love Walk with the Lung cancer Alliance in Houston that will be happening in November of this year.  It makes me feel good to know that I am working to raise awareness and support.
This is an opportunity to shine the spot light on lung cancer awareness. This is my way of being the mirror and moving forward- I will participate in the planning as well as the walk itself.   Honoring my Mom's memory is just another step in my grief process and my "new normal" life.  
I will be sharing more details about the walk  in the near future -for now I ask that you pray for me in the coming months that I will be the mirror and that our walk will be a huge success and make Mom proud!
Be Blessed!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Never Once.....


There is a song by Matt Redman called "Never Once"

here is part of the chorus....

~Never once did we ever walk alone...
~Never once did you leave us on our own...
~You are Faithful God- You are Faithful....

Some of you may remember that I did a video about Mom's cancer success when she
was declared NED (No Evidence of Disease) in February 2012.  This is the song that I used
because it seemed to perfectly describe Mom's journey. I love this song because it talks about looking at how far you have come, and the knowing that God was with you every step of the way.

Now this song has a new meaning to me.  Of course I will always have the memory of the video, but now- this song reminds me how God has been with me through my grief.  God has not left my side since I heard my Mom say the word "cancer".  He has held me many tearful nights, and when I felt that I couldn't stop the pain, my heart would never stop aching He was always there.  He gave me the strength to stay positive and truly have faith that He can do all things according to HIS will.

He has been with me every step of my journey as well.  Learning to live without your Mom is far more difficult than I could ever have imagined.  It is so true what they say you don't know how much you miss someone until they are gone. I look at her photos and I can't believe - even now that I will no longer be going to her house for the holidays, or getting ready for her visits.  We used to do countdowns to visits... 20 more days Mom, 10 more days, 5 more days!  We would be so excited to see each other.  I do not know the countdown of the days until we are reunited, but I am sure my Mom is keeping track.

Without Faith- I could not have made it this far.  I know that never once have I walked alone.  God is always right there- quietly encouraging me to take one more step, and another....and another.

Here is my favorite part of the song.....

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone!

My son and I sent her balloons and flowers last week for her 1st Angelversary in Heaven.  My son loved the thought that he can still send his Mimi messages and gifts for her special days.  I miss her so much - but I know Mom is not alone in heaven....and I am never alone on earth.  I am so thankful for that.

For those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their STRENGTH, they will SOAR on wings like Eagles, they will RUN and not grow weary, they will WALK and not faint.
Isa. 40:31

Be Blessed!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


It is hard to believe I have lived a year without my Mom.  I never imagined I would have to live without her so soon. She was my biggest cheerleader and my best friend.  She was the most wonderful person- anyone who spent any time with her could attest to that.  She was beautiful inside and out- and loved with everything she had.  She was the type of person that truly would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it.  She could laugh at herself- and was laid back and easy going--unless you messed with her family!  She raised so many kids over the years through her daycare and was very proud of that accomplishment. 

I moved away thirteen years ago, and we didn't get to see each other as much as we would have liked.  There were times that we only saw each other twice a year.  We talked almost every day, and as texting and facebook became more common we did that too.  When my son was born, that changed- my Mom made every effort to come see us as often as she could, and we did the same.  She loved being a Mimi.  The last two years we spent more time together than we did the entire thirteen years I had been gone.  I am so thankful for that time.

When she got sick- my Mom amazed me.  She was so full of faith, and people that came to visit her would leave encouraged- when they were the ones that came to encourage her!  She fought with everything she had, celebrated the victories and thanked God for her healing in advance.  As her body and her mind turned against her- in her moments of clarity she still praised God- and then told us that she had made her peace.  That was when it became real that she could be leaving me....soon.

Watching my Mom slowly leave this world will probably go down as one of the most difficult times in my life. I really had to lean on God to make it through.  I would go to see her as much as I could- and every time, she got a little worse- it was heartbreaking.  I never let her see me get upset- and believe you me, from diagnosis to hospice, there were several times she would look into my eyes for a reaction when something happened- or we got a bad report.  I remained positive, and told her how proud I was of her.  I know we were so scared- but in my mind, we both remained strong for our family.

The last day I was there I didn't want to leave.  Something was telling me to stay but I didn't have a choice- I had to work that Monday. I didn't tell my Mom good-bye. That last week she would get very upset and cry when someone would leave so I was asked not to tell her goodbye so I left when she fell asleep.   I had to stop off at my best friends house because I was so distraught and couldn't see through my tears to drive.  Looking back- I think I knew in my heart of hearts- that would be the last time I would see her on this earth. I really wished I would have said good-bye anyways.

At 4:00 a.m. on March 25, 2013- my Dad called and told me my precious Mom had went to be with Jesus.  She left peacefully in her sleep...I am so thankful for that.  I lost a piece of my heart that day. The drive there, and the days that followed I felt numb.  I think I was in shock.  I went through the motions and thought I was going to lose it when we had to pick out her burial plot, casket, and music.  I was basically in charge of everything.  I had to make the best of the situation and put my heart and soul into planning her service and eulogy.  It was like I was watching a movie- I will never forget it.

I miss her so very much.  I am sad that she will not see my brother get married, or my son graduate high school.  She never got to stay in the room we designated as "Mimi's Room" in our new home.  There will be no more trips to the lake "motorboatin" with a coors light in her hand. There is so much that I am going to miss....there is so much she is going to miss.  I am thankful for the memories I made with her.  I have so many- that I can look back on and smile.- I have many pictures and videos as well.  I am thankful that she is in Heaven now, and I know she is blessed beyond measure because she did so much for others on this earth.  God Blessed me with an amazing Mom who taught me so much about life, love, faith and strength. I see so much of her in me now that I never noticed before.   I am my Mother's Daughter.

Be Blessed!

~Patty's Baby Girl

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


One thing I have learned in the months since my Mom passed- is signs are every where- if you just look for them.  I have had several incidents where I just know that it was my Mom sending me love from Heaven, and it makes me smile. 

There is a yellow butterfly that I see fly through my backyard every so often- and I can't recall seeing it before Mom passed.  Who knows maybe I just wasn't paying attention- but in my heart I feel it is my Mom's way of saying hello.  The morning of my son's birthday party I was setting up outside, thinking to myself how much I wished my Mom could be there...and just like that here comes the butterfly.  I have seen it a few more times since that day- and always when I am thinking about her looking out the window or sitting in the sun.

There are days when I am driving to work, and I feel sad because my drive to work used to consist of almost daily phone calls with her.  It's so lonely now not to have that daily dose of Mom- something I took for granted for so many years- and would give anything to have again.  Sometimes, when I am driving I will feel the sun beaming down on me, warming me, and I wonder if it is my Mom's way of giving me a morning hug.

The other instances have happened when I went to visit my Mom's grave.  I was talking to Mom and just telling her how much I missed her...out of nowhere a ladybug lands on my shirt next to my heart.  Immediately I recognized it as a sign from her, and the tears started to flow.  When I was with my brother, (another time)  we were both talking about her and how much we wished she was with us, and once again the ladybugs decided to join us!  This time there were many- some on her stone, her flowers, and on us! When one landed on my arm - I kinda flipped out at first thinking it was a bee, and my brother laughed.  I am sure my Mom got a kick out of it too.

Dreams are also another way that I feel God allows us to see those who have passed on before us.  I have had several dreams about my Mom and I am so thankful for them.  The one that sticks out in my mind was not my Mom, but my grandfather.  It was shortly after Mom had passed, and I was thinking to myself and asking God  if Mom could see me- all the tears and sadness...was I hurting her?  Well a few nights later my question was answered by my Pap-Pap.  In my dream he told me that my Mom was happy, that she missed us so much- but she could not see us right now. He told me not to worry, that when the time was right she would be allowed to see us from Heaven and even visit us in our dreams...but that there were no tears in Heaven, so God is not allowing her to see our sadness right now.  I don't know why but it made me feel so much better about everything. 

The dreams I have had have been more in the past tense, where I am in situations with her where we know what is coming, but I still get a big hug and a smile, get to smell her cooking and talk to her.  Some people may not believe in signs, but I believe that God gives us these little glimpses of our loved ones to help heal our hearts.  I look forward to many more signs from my Mom- I know she is looking down on me and watching over me- my forever angel....till we meet again.  And when we do, I am going to grab her hand- and never let go.

Be Blessed!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Don't put off till tomorrow......

So last night I went to the Rodeo- for our 2nd annual "GNO" (Girls night out).  We had a great time but I couldn't help but think that this time last year- I went to the Rodeo ten days before my Mom passed away.  I was very torn about going because I knew that my Mom was getting worse and felt I needed to be with her as much as possible.  After talking to my Mom, Dad and Husband, I decided that I needed a good night out away from all I was dealing with.  I laughed, rode death trap carnival rides with one of my best friends, and sang my heart out to Blake Shelton.  (out of tune but still had a blast!). 

The following week when I went to visit Mom- it was apparent that she was going down hill at lightening speeds.  I immediately felt guilty for going to the rodeo. I showed Mom the videos of me singing and screaming like a teenager, and told her all about my experience.  She smiled and told me she was glad I went.  Little did I know- that would be my last visit with her.  I left on Saturday, She passed away at 4:00 a.m. on Monday morning.

This is how amazing our God is.  I was alternating weeks to visit Mom if I couldn't go every single week - it was a 280 mile one way trip, plus I had my family and job to tend to. If I would NOT have went to the rodeo, I would have gone to visit that weekend- and would have missed the final week of my Mom's life. I get chill bumps just thinking about it. He knew it was about time for her to go home, but allowed me that little bit of time with her in her final days.  That little twist in events allowed me to take pictures, love on her and reassure her that she was going to be ok.

Before Mom was diagnosed, we had bought Taylor Swift concert tickets.  I was so excited to go with her, the last concert I had been to was years ago- and not with her.  We talked about getting shirts made so we could look cool and we were going to make signs. My Mom loved going to concerts and had been to several with my Dad and my brother.  Three short months later she was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer.  We had to sell the tickets because her body was too weak and her immune system was too low to be around that many people.  I REALLY wish we could have went to that concert.  I asked myself, why did we wait so long to plan that?  We could have went to see any of her favorite artists- at any time....and had that awesome experience together. 

The answer is simple....we believe we have all the time in the world, so there is always time to do everything.  We believe that we and our loved ones will be around for a long we just say "next time".  Next year, next Christmas, next vacation- may not come, so my advice is to do it NOW.  We only have today.  It sounds cliche but oh so true....don't put off tomorrow what you can do today.  Our days our numbered whether we want to believe it or not.  What is one thing your Mom has been asking you to do, or if your Mom is no longer with you- your husband, daughter, son, or close friend?  Make those memories, because one day- it could be all you have left.  I am thankful that I made many memories with my Mom- and I will treasure them always.

Be Blessed!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

It's okay to be sad...


I am learning from my experiences and others that most people just "say something" because they feel they have to when a person brings up the loss of a loved one. Sometimes- people will say things to me like "Don't be sad- your Mom is in a better place" or " You have so much to be thankful for- don't think about what you lost, think about what you have!" or " Your Mom would not want you to be sad!"or my personal favorite "Your Mom is no longer in pain- be thankful!" Even though we may nod our head and say, that's true, what people don't realize that saying these things- although they mean well, tend to have the opposite effect. Why wouldn't I be sad???? I have read -and I agree- that comments like these tend to make the griever feel guilty or bad about expressing their emotions, and do more harm than good.

  The day of my Mom's service - I will never forget...we were at my Mom's house and everyone was sitting around after the funeral- and I said "it doesn't feel right without Mom here running around asking people if they want something to eat or drink, she would love this"...and I teared up. Someone told me "Oh don't you do that- don't start crying- your Mom wouldn't want you to cry!" I wanted to say- "um hello, we just put my Mom in the ground TODAY and I am not supposed to cry???"...but I didn't, I just wiped away my tears and walked away.

The reason for the "rant" is because people need to understand that it is okay to be sad! Just because we are sad, doesn't mean we need counseling, nor do we need someone to tell us how to be un-sad. This is something many grievers struggle with and hide because they don't want people to think they need professional help just because they are grieving. Grieving is perfectly normal- and should be expected - everyone grieves differently.

  Below is a quote that says it perfectly in my mind.

"Grief never ends....But it changes.
It is a passage, not a place to stay.
Grief is not a sign of weakness,
nor a lack of is the price of love".

~Author unknown

What I take from this quote is that we will always grieve in some way for our loved ones. Sure, as the years go by the sad thoughts and painful memories will be replaced with fond memories and good times. We are not meant to stay at that place where all we want to do is cry, but we must be given as much time as needed to continue on our path to healing.

If you know someone who has lost a loved one, the best thing you can do is just listen. Let them talk about their family member or friend freely. Don't tell them you understand- because you couldn't possibly understand what they are going through....every loss is different. They may want to reminisce about good memories, or they may want share details of their journey if it was a slow loss. It may be uncomfortable for you at first, but I promise it is healing for the griever, and the more you listen the easier it will get. Chances are you will learn something you didn't know and will be able to get a glimpse into that persons experience and their heart.

Be Blessed!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014



noun: hope; plural noun: hopes
  1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
I love this word.  Just saying it makes me smile.  Hope....a feeling of expectation. 

Hebrews 11:1 says Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

But sometimes- things happen,and no matter how much you hope and pray- believe and have faith- you do not get what you hoped for.  I was reading a book that was supposed to be about healing- and I actually threw it away after reading one of the q and a's.  The question was- why do some people get healed and others do not?  The answer- in a short form so I don't make myself angry- was "because they did not believe they could be healed- they did not "receive" their healing.
WHAT????  Does that mean they did not have enough hope?
Wait a minute- hold the phone.  They went on to say that this is not the case all the time....but.blah blah blah.... wow.  If I was someone battling cancer or any other sickness- and I did not have my beliefs firmly implanted in my spirit- I may think..."ok - so if I don't get healed its my fault." NO.  This is wrong, and it makes me sad that there are people out there who think that way. 
Anyone who knew my Mom- knew how much she had hope. Her and I both believed that she would be healed.  There were not any if, ands or buts about it.  It was just going to happen and we couldn't wait to see it.  When the tumors came back- it was ok because God had healed her once, and he would do it again.  Then she went to be with the Lord eight months later.
 There will come a day when I am reunited with her it will all be clear.  I do know one thing- it had NOTHING to do with her lack of faith, that she didn't pray enough or she didn't receive her healing. It wasn't because I didn't pray hard enough, or beg God enough.  God is not up there with a lightening bolt waiting for us to make a mistake! He certainly is not saying "Too bad, if she would have only had more faith I could have healed her!"  That is NOT our God. 

There is a song called It's Not Over by Ricardo Sanchez.  We played it at my Mom's service- and I listened to it probably more than 100 times in the months before she passed.
"I know its dark, just before dawn.
This might be the hardest season you've experienced. 
I know it hurts, but it won't be too long-
you are closer than you think you are-
you are closer than you have been before.
So look to the sky- help is on the way.
It's not over, it's not finished. 
It's not ending, it's only the beginning.
When God is in it...all things are new.
Something is moving, turning around
Seasons are changing; everything is different now
Here comes the sun piercing the clouds
You're closer than you think you are
You're closer than you've been before

So look to the sky - help is on the way
Our God is faithful, He's faithful to say:
It's not over.....
The song continues on for about six minutes.  It's a beautiful song of hope.
Mom had shared this song with me just weeks before she passed away. I remember sitting by her hospital bed trying not to cry as I listened to the words.  She had a smile on her face- and was singing along- with the tv turned up as loud as it could go.  I am so thankful that my Mom knew that God loved her and she was in line with His will.  She would tell me- "I have made my peace- if it's my time, it's my time."  Looking back- I believe that she was preparing herself for her journey to Heaven.
Up until recently, I had applied this song to Mom's cancer journey and then her death. The last part- "here comes the sun piercing the clouds"...gets me every time.  Now she gets to see the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets- everything is beautiful- and she is happy and whole.
Now I apply this to my own life.  "Something is moving, turning around- seasons are changing- everything is different now" - isn't that the truth.  But It's NOT over!  It's NOT finished!  It's NOT ending.  It's only the BEGINNING.  I have hope.
Be Blessed!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day

Ah could I have forgotten Valentine's Day? Just when I thought I was through the "firsts"...

This card stopped me in my tracks...I was looking for my husband and son a card when I saw the "Mom" section.  I had to blink back the tears because if it were any other time-I would be picking out one for my Mom too. I thought to myself..."this is the first year I can not give her a card".  I took a deep breath- and pulled out my camera.  Mom would have loved this card.  Its pink, and has a cute little pearl tassel on the side.  I won't go into what the card said on the inside- but you know the type...declaring your love, thanking you for raising me, you were always there for me- the mushy stuff that I totally would send my Mom.  She would call me and tell me---thanks for making me CRY!!!  (of course she was joking).

Valentine's day is actually my Mom and Dad's Wedding Anniversary.  They would have been married 30 years this heart breaks for my Dad as I know this will be a tough day for him for more than one reason.  What was once a day to celebrate  many years of marriage is now a painful reminder that Mom is no longer here. 

  Every year, Mom would send my son a Valentine's "care package" with lots of candy, and usually a cute fluffy stuffed animal and a card.  He always loved getting package's from his Mimi.  And...she would put a package of the Hershey's hugs (which I LOVE) in there just for me.  Sometimes she would even put a restaurant gift card in there for me and my husband to have a nice dinner on her.  There was one time she sent me this super cute Teddy Bear that was totally unexpected...I still have it :) She was so thoughtful and made every holiday special.

Valentine's Day is the day of love for your significant other- but also an opportunity to show love to others. God has laid it upon my heart to start a new tradition on this day.  I want to do something for someone on this day that will show them that God tells people to bless them and to show them how much He loves them.  Maybe I will bake some goodies for my neighbor who is fighting breast cancer...I am not sure yet- but I know God will tell me what to do.  I know my Mom would agree this is a good way to combat a potentially sad day- and I recommend anyone who may be hurting on this day for any reason to give it a whirl!

Yes- I will surely miss that package in special holiday wrapping, with stickers all over it- that my Mom always decorated . I will miss my "HUGS"... and I will miss sending her cards.   I would be willing to bet she is up in Heaven planning a big party for Valentine's day- because everyone who knew my Mom, knows she loved a good party.

Be Blessed!

Sunday, January 26, 2014


I was talking with my best friend Ashley the other day, and I was sharing with her how I had learned that my next door neighbor now has breast cancer.  I told her that I just don't understand why cancer keeps finding its way back into my life.  Its hard to really grasp unless you have been there, but every time that cancer shows itself, whether is someone you know or not-  it brings back all those painful memories.  Your heart breaks for the family because cancer can rip your family apart, it takes an emotional toll on everyone involved- and of course there is that chance that the person will not survive.  Then she said something that stopped me in my tracks...."have you asked God why?"  The look on my face said it I sure haven't.

My friend did not upset me, but I definitely jumped to defend myself.  She didn't mean anything negative, she just wanted to share with me that I can boldly ask God anything, like WHY?...or even better...WHAT?  What is the reason that cancer keeps popping into my life?  What do you want me to do with this pain God?  What are you trying to show me?  What do you want me to DO?

I guess I thought I wasn't meant to know the why...but to just trust God- that His ways are not my ways, you know scriptures people toss at you from time to time.  Maybe I was afraid that if I ask why- that my pain and borderline anger will surface-  or maybe that was my way of not dealing with the why- just don't ask!  The why is probably what I don't want to hear- but the that is something that could bring healing and peace- doing something.

I am angry at the situation, that my Mom lost her life at a young 51, but I do not feel anger towards God.  After all- she is in Heaven now-pain free and with her family- and that is every believers goal- or finish line so to speak....right?  Yes- this is true- but everyone wants to finish the race together, but unfortunately that is not how it works. We are the ones left with the pain and sadness of losing our loved ones- to pick up the pieces of our broken hearts- they are having the time of their lives with our Lord!
I feel that God used Ashley to stir my bothered me enough that I thought about it for a few days . I even talked to my other best friend Heather, and she shared some insight that was right in line with what Ashley was telling me....and I knew it was one of those God moments that I needed to pay attention to.

So in my own way- I am slowly asking God what, and why.  I have said that this year is going to be the year of my Breakthrough- and that I am going to do anything I feel God wants me to do especially if it means taking me out of my comfort zone.  Asking these questions, and the answers- make me nervous.  Maybe I  am not ready for the why?  Maybe I am not yet strong enough?  This definitely qualifies for taking me out of my comfort zone!

One thing is for certain- God has revealed a small piece of the WHAT this week.  A few months ago- I reached out to the Lung Cancer Alliance on a whim- because I wanted to do something to honor my Mom's memory and raise lung cancer awareness.  She told me I couldn't have called at a better time because she has been looking for people to put together the very first "Lung Love Walk" in Houston of all places!  I have been waiting for her to touch base with me- and she contacted me this week to let me know we would have our first meeting in February to start the process to have the walk THIS year.  I am so excited to be a part of this and I do feel that this is part of the WHAT that God wants me to do.  

I am again reminded of my favorite verse...Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you- to give you a future and a hope...." and let me tell you...I am really excited about those plans!

Be Blessed!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

When I don't Understand...

When I was at church Saturday night, we sang these lyrics....It spoke to me in such a way it took everything I had to keep from breaking down....

And when I don't understand
I will choose You

And when I don't understand
I will choose to love You, God

We sang these words over, and over....and each time the tears stung my eyes a little heart ached a little deeper.  I guess it hit me in such a way because if I am being honest... there is so much I don't understand...and these lyrics brought me face to face with that fact.  I don't understand why such a wonderful, loving, kind, sweet mother who would give anyone the shirt off her back, had to endure such suffering and pain.  I don't understand why she left this earth at fifty-one, and not sixty-one...or seventy-one!  I don't understand why some people beat cancer, and more people do not.

 Even the lyrics say- I will choose to love my God.  I know that God does not cause these things, and everything works according to his ultimate plan. I know that I am not supposed to understand....just trust Him.  When I cry my eyes out- missing my Mom, I will lean on Him.  When I feel that deep sadness that I wonder will ever leave, I will call out to Him.  I don't know if a day will ever go by that I do not ache for my Mom...she was one of a kind.  I feel like a huge piece of my heart is missing.  We had the best relationship, and I love her so very much.  I am thankful for time I did have with her. I pray that with time the pain will subside, and be replaced with the joy that she is in heaven with my Nanny and Pap-Pap, as well as many others.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Beginning of The End

There are many dates that we will remember throughout our lives. I don't think I will ever forget January 10th. It was the day that my Mom was told that there was nothing else the doctors could do for her cancer- and put her on Hospice. It was the beginning of the to speak. I didn't want to hear what she was saying..."I need you to come and see me so I can give you my jewelry and some other things I want you to have". I was driving- and I screamed "Mom I don't even want to have this conversation!" and told her I had to go. I drove to my office and had a nervous breakdown in front of my co-workers. The next Dad's birthday- I was at her doorstep as she requested.

I had a decision to make that very day. Was I going to accept this and focus all my attention on Mom dying? Or was I going to believe that God could do all things- and that he would heal her? I decided to trust God. I am not going to say that every day I was happy and full of faith, but I did believe for God's will to be done. I focused my attention on making every moment count with my family. I spent more time with her- and made every effort to make it known how much I loved her- and how special she was to me. She was full of faith and never gave up hope. She would tell me "I have made my peace. I am ok with whatever happens. That doesn't mean I am not going to fight it with everything I have, but if its' my time....its my time." I would look in her eyes and tell her- "we are NOT giving up", and she would smile that smile.

About two weeks before she passed, I had a dream. She was in the dream, and was healthy and whole, not bedridden, weak and in pain. She was smiling, laughing, and having a good time. I loved seeing her that way- and I woke up with a renewed hope. God was really going to heal her! I didn't know how- but I felt like God was showing me that she would be like that again. Little did I know that two weeks later she would leave this earth forever.

I didn't could this happen? My Mom was supposed to see my son grow up, graduate high school, and maybe even see him get married. She was supposed to be there for the birthday parties, sports events, holidays, and milestones. And then, one day- it was told to me (if I could remember I would give them credit) that God DID heal her. That is when I thought back to that dream, and realized....God was showing me her heavenly body in that dream. He was showing me how healthy, whole, pain free, beautiful, and free she would be when he called her home. The laughter, smile, and good time she was having- that was her new life with her family in Heaven. It made me smile, and I was so thankful to God to get that glimpse of my angel- in her new body.

This passage- was shared with me and I have been told has been read at many funeral services. It is comforting to know that when we are saying see you later....her family is saying we are so glad you are finally home.

"Parable of Immortality" by Henry van Dyke

I am standing by the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says, "There she goes!" Gone where? Gone from my sight - that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says, "There she goes!", there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"

Be Blessed!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Goodbye and Good Riddance 2013

I am so over 2013 and could not be happier that it is gone.  So many people I know have lost loved ones this year.  March 25, 2013 was the single worst day in my life, because on that day, I knew I would never hear my Mom’s voice again on this earth. It has been over nine months now since I have heard her laugh, seen her beautiful smile, held her hand or painted her nails…..writing makes me feel closer to her…and is healing for me. So here we go.

So much has happened in such a short time. In November I said goodbye to my dear friend Patrick. It was all so sudden; I didn't really even have time to comprehend what actually happened.  Since I lost my Mom to cancer, it is really hard for me to be positive when I hear of someone else who has cancer. But I was positive this time. Oh no, Patrick was going to be just fine, and he was going to be a success story… I just knew it. God was going to heal him, and use him for His glory. And four short months later….he was gone! It is so hard to fathom that your six year old has lost two people that he loved in 8 months time, and your very best friend has lost THREE loved ones in SIX months time. It saddens me that I had to tell my son that another person that he prayed SO hard for God to heal- is now in Heaven. Of course, I made it a positive, he is happy, he is with his Daddy and Jesus, and Mimi is taking care of him….but when he looked at me with those big brown eyes and said “oh no Mom, I love him….he always plays with me when he visits”… it broke my heart and brought me back to the night I had to tell him about his Mimi. That was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, next to watching my Mom slowly slip away.

It was very surreal to be helping my friend look for pictures for the Memorial slideshow for her young husband, when just eight short months ago she had showed up at my door and was helping me pick out pictures for Mom’s service. My best friend has amazed me with her strength and faith in God. Just being around her makes me happy and watching her go through so many trials and still not waiver in her faith has challenged me to step up my faith, get my head out of the sand, and to begin to pick up the pieces of my broken heart. I am not angry at God, but I did get very wounded by losing my number one fan, my confidant, my heart…my Mom.

Mine and my Mom’s favorite verse was and still is Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “Plans to prosper you, and not harm you, to give you a future and a hope”. We even made a poster to hang over her hospital bed at home when she was put on hospice. My hope was that God would heal Mom- but her future was in Heaven. I get that, but even as a believer it is so hard to swallow the “cliches” –“oh be happy you had so many years, at least she is no longer in pain, she is watching over you now, you have to be strong for her, she wouldn't want you to be sad" I've heard these over and over..….and of course I know these things. But knowing this still- my heart is broken and will take a very long time to heal, I lost such a big piece of it, I’m not sure it will ever heal completely.

I do okay most days. But all it takes is a thought, a song, a photo, a memory, or even a smell, and it all comes rushing back to me. I have survived all the “firsts”… Easter, Mother’s Day, her Birthday, Halloween (yes even Halloween was bittersweet because I missed her care packages with chocolates for my son) Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my birthday without her special touches and thoughtfulness. I even went to check the mail the Friday before my birthday, hoping for a card from her. WHO does that?? I know that I know there would be no way (except a miracle from God) that a card would arrive from her, yet I did it anyway. My husband said, maybe that was her way of sending me a virtual card by having me check….either way I laughed about it. The last “first” is her Angelversary, which is fast approaching.

I have declared and decreed that this year…2014 is going to be my best year ever. 2013 was my worst (well to be honest 2011 and 2012 were not so great either – I may share more details later) and 2014 is going to be my best. God is going to do something great through me this year- and I cannot wait to share it with my family and friends.

I have been told that life after losing a loved one is a “new normal”. Life will never be that way again. With this New Normal Life- comes New Normal Faith…your faith will never be that way again- maybe…it can be better, stronger, deeper! Maybe this is Gods way of helping me deal with my emotions, or to show others as I have read- that grief is a passage. Maybe no one will read this, - Maybe Baby… either way I am doing what God is telling me to do.

 I promise the next post will be half this length. Be blessed.

But Those who HOPE in the Lord, will renew their STRENGTH. They will SOAR on wings like EAGLES, they will RUN and not grow weary…they will WALK and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31.