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.