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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dog on the Beach

The sand on the Hawaiian beach was pure white, the sky above a brilliant blue, but with eyes squeezed shut to hold in the tears, I really didn’t’ see much of it. Waves were crashing on the shore but I couldn’t hear much of it above my own sobs. The sand was soft and warm but I only knew that because I kept picking up handfuls and letting it run through my fingers to keep from screaming. It was a perfect Hawaiian day. And I was a perfect mess. In the past six weeks, I had made it through two funeral services for Dave, traveled from Honolulu to Pittsburgh to Tampa and back home to base housing in Hawaii.

Now it was time to pack up the house, move to the mainland with my girls and begin again. I guess leaving the last place we had lived together as a family was one more end of life as a ‘we’. And the beginning of a lot more of ‘I and ‘me’. And that was really, really hard to imagine.

Eventually, though, I reached the end of my sobs and there was a quiet stillness in between the ragged breaths. Kind of a ‘what now?’ sense of expectation.

“Ok, Lord, here we are’, I sniffed. ‘And since it’s just me and you, I really , really , really need to know you are with me’.

Being a dramatic kind of girl, I thought it would be just great if God would show off there on that beach and give me a sign. I mean a SIGN. Like maybe a school of dolphins frolicking in the waves. Or a gorgeous Hawaiian rainbow as a right now sign of His promises. I sat there on the sand with eyes still shut, There weren’t any eloquent prayers, just a whispered ‘Please, Jesus, help me’, and a desperate hope that He would give me what I needed to make it through the next steps of this journey. I felt His peace wash over me and just knew I would open my eyes to see some sort of confirmation.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I'm Still Here

I am writing this October 2, 2010. For me it is a day that marked the dividing line between before and after. The day my husband died of a sudden heart attack. It has now been seven years today since the phone call that changed our lives forever. Seven years? Some day it feels like forever, other days it feels like yesterday. I have a hard time remembering things about Dave like I used to –the memories are like a photograph that has started to fade with time, with gently blurred edges and colors that all being to melt together. Sometimes I hate that, but mostly I think that is a good thing – the raw emotion of the first days, months and years would be hard to sustain for any length of time.

A few weeks ago, I shared about ‘dealing with days’. Today is one of those ‘ days’. But today I am choosing to deal with the day very simply.

I am just going to live.

You see, somewhere along the valley of the shadow of death, I came to a startling realization:

Monday, June 14, 2010

I Want My Mommy - Part 2

So …there you are with all of that gushing grief. A day to remember when you lost someone wonderful. My mom had been gone for exactly one year. Ugh- hard to believe. What do you do? Some choices: 1) hide under the covers until the day passes. This option doesn’t work when there are little people under 18 in the house who still expect to eat breakfast and go to church and do normal life stuff. 2) Sit around and ‘remember’. Nope – this one doesn’t’ work either (see #1) Kids are kids and they are wired to LIVE! 3) Acknowledge the day in some real way but not wallow in the sadness of it all.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I want my mommy!

I want my mommy! This is the cry of heart today. One year ago today, we got the hospice phone call that my momma was gone. Hard to believe it’s been a year since I saw that smile and heard her sweet ‘hey baby’ or felt her hugs. Feeling like a disgruntled two year old I want to stamp my foot, with tears running down my cheeks and swollen eyes cry out – “I want my mom. I want my girls to have more time with their amazing Mimi. I want. I want. I want. More.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Family Tree

It was a simple 2nd grade project.  Fill out your family tree and put pictures on the branches of all of your family members.  Audrey worked at the kitchen bar while I finished the dishes.  And  then.... ‘Mommy?’...  What baby?...‘Mommy, we sure do have a lot of dead people on our family tree.   My world shifted.  And the dishes/homework/bedtime express came to a screeching halt.  How do you respond to a comment like that?  Because her words were painfully true.  Her daddy died 6 years ago when she was two.  Her Mimi went to heaven last June.     And her family tree is looking a little sparse.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just Do It !!!

Well, we did it!  Kelsey and I went to Disney and ran the Princess 5 K with 5000 crazy folks in tiaras and tutus.  And then life went on and I never posted about running the race.  Doesn’t that happen a lot?  We have great intentions and then things happen and we never get around to …….  And then it just feels like it’s too late.  Guess what, girls? It’s never too late!   As Nike says – Just Do It!    Now, back to the race… We arrived at Epcot at 6:30 am in the freezing Florida dawn.  Huddled together with our new-found friends seeking warmth and waiting for the sun to rise.   Suddenly the stage lit up, the music began to play and thousands of gorgeous gals were dancing to the Black Eyed  Peas-  ‘I’ve got a feeling….’.  The energy was electrifying.  And my tired reluctant teenager was beaming J .  

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I spoke on Freedom this weekend at the Awaken women’s conference,
freedom in living outside the boxes life has placed around you. 
Freedom to live the life God designed us to live. 
Spent the week feeling anything but free, as I filled out tax forms. 
And checked that ugly 'box' marked widow once again. 
But still knowing that He wants us to walk in His freedom. 
Forgot my place in my notes, 
misplaced the bookmarks I had made for the ladies 
and had to use an upside down trash can for a podium.  
Found later I had a bit of lipstick on my teeth. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Princess preparation :)

Ok – I get it.  Everywhere I turn, everyone I talk to, there is a theme…running!  My good friends, Chip and Marna, just completed the Disney Marathon and Half-Marathon in record freezing temperatures.  Woohoo to them! My forever friend, Kimmy, is training to run the Honolulu Marathon. Keep in mind – she is a recent widow, breast cancer survivor, and would rather be on the couch washing her Slim Jims down with Coca Cola. ( Her blog is signed ‘gotta run’-check it out on my bloglinks.)   I open my Bible and what verse  jumps out?  ‘Run the race with joy;!   Open my favorite devotional and what’s it about?  The obstacles we face in persevering in our faith race.  I get it, I get it, Lord.  It’s time to lace up my shoes and get out there.  For discipline.  For solitude.  Because I can.

Monday, January 11, 2010

If you give a mom a minute...

You know that kids book  'If you Give a Mouse a Cookie'? My morning
felt an awful lot like that......

If you give a mom a minute,
She’s going to sit down and make a list of things she needs to do,
If she sits down at the kitchen table to make a list,
She’ll see the cereal bowls from breakfast and put them in the sink.
When she puts them in the sink,
She’ll notice that someone left the milk out and will put it back in the fridge
When she opens the fridge,
She’ll see a card from the dentist stuck on the door,
When she reads the card,
She’ll look over at the calendar and realize the appt. is TODAY!!!
She’ll pick up the phone to call the dentist to tell them she forgot and needs to re-schedule b/c her child has piano lessons today.
When she picks up the phone to call, the handset will feel all sticky and she will need to get some paper towels and disinfectant cleaner to clean it off (it feels like peanut butter!)
When she goes to the laundry room to get the cleaner,
She’ll see the washer is full of clothes that she washed last night and forgot to put in the dryer.  (then she will have to sniff them to check if they are mildewyish- yea, they’re not!)
She’ll start to put the load in the dryer and realize there are already clothes in the dryer.
She will get the clothes out of the dryer and toss them on the bed to fold.
Just as she starts folding the clothes, the phone will ring.
She’ll walk all around the house before finding the phone…in the teenager’s bedroom.
The ringing phone has stopped, and she’ll walk into the kitchen to return it to its cradle.
On the way there, she’ll notice the dog hasn’t been fed. 
She’ll feed the dog, return the phone to the cradle and stand in the kitchen.
‘Why did I come in here,?’  she’ll wonder.  
She’ll see the laptop on the counter…and sit down to check e-mail, just for a minute!
One hour later, she will pry herself away from Facebook, finish folding laundry, start the dishwasher, and race out the door…because she only has a minute to get to work!