Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chocolate and Memories...

I was remembering kisses.  I used to bribe Marie with them to get chores done.  Vacuum house= three kisses, vacuum stairs= one kiss, bake cookies= five kisses plus however many chocolate chips she managed to get Josie to give her, clean bathroom= two kisses.  Rie would hold them on her tongue as the bits of chocolate would melt, she would almost hum "mmmmm".  She would be so excited when we would unwrap the foil.  She knew her chocolate was in there.  We don't buy kisses anymore.

I was remembering how much Rie enjoyed things.  Loved her chocolate, loved mac n cheese, hot dogs.  Loved playing in tents with Josie.  Whatever it was she approached it with the most pure happiness.  And we got to experience that too.  In some ways life was much simpler when Marie was here.  Our good and bad days were based only on how she was doing.  All the other details of life faded into the background.

I do not recall much worry wasted on our bank balance, or on the wheat, or on all these outside things.  Days were good if Marie was good, if she wasn't okay we worried about her.  I am grateful Lord that I no longer have to worry about her... I do miss her like crazy though.

I am so thankful God for memories, remembering is like spending time with her.  I can close my eye and remember her joy in eating bits of Hershey kiss and I am given a few minuets of time with my girl.  I can glance back at Sarah sleeping in the car seat and catch a glimpse of Maire's face as she dreams.  I brush Josie's hair and for a second instead of being the color of ripened wheat it's darker brown and full of ringlets and Little Mama is scowling at me for doing it.   Only for a second, but I am so grateful or the seconds that come, it is like spending time with her.

Thanksgiving was nice, we traveled and it's good to be home.  We got to spend time with my girlfriends from college and it was so good to be there with them.  With their children.  To watch them play...

Sarah has cut those little teeth right in front of the molars, top and bottom. Both came in last week and she was cranky and not sleeping well.  Josie cut her hair off and it's pixie cute.  She looks so grown up with her new hair-do.  I am trying to get my Christmas cards together...

It's been 15 months since I kissed my Rie...  I'm not feeling that raw hurt anymore but my goodness!  Do I ever miss that baby...


Monday, November 22, 2010


This year I feel real gratitude. I can say I am thankful and I can mean it.  Last year I was so lost, my heart was so broken...  This year I am thankful.

I am thankful for the way we have healed in a years time.  It is not a complete healing, there are times when my broken heart aches with a nearly unbearable pain, but it is a better place.

Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.
Jeremiah 17:14

I am thankful for the peace that has taken the place of despair in my heart.  There are times when I feel broken, when despair fills me.  But it is always replaced with the feeling of peace that passes understanding, and I now know exactly how it feels to be carried by my Lord.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 14:27 

I am thankful for my two beautiful girls, Josie and Sarah, who bring me so much joy.  I am humbled that I was trusted with Marie, my princess in Heaven.  From her we were given so much.  I would welcome them all again and again.

I am thankful for the people that have surrounded us in the last year.  Through them we have felt so much love, be carried so many times.  I am so grateful for the friends and family that surround us.

I am thankful every time I hear Sarah say the word "Mama..."  Josie call me "Mom" or sass me with "Mother".  I cannot wait to hear Marie utter that word when I see her in Heaven.

I am thankful for my husband.  I am so blessed that the last year has brought us closer together rather than driving us further apart.  We have God's hand upon us.  Never once has there been a resentment held, a word of blame cast...  Together we have rejoiced at the highest of highs and cried at the lowest of lows.

His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
Song of Solomon 5:16

This year I am grateful to have grown and matured in my faith as a daughter of God, a woman of Christ.  I am grateful for my Savior who gave His life for me.  I am humbled at the love that I have seen over and over with my own eyes.  I am thankful that traces of doubt have been replaced with conviction, faith, belief in what I am told.

Every day I miss Marie, every day I think of her and what it would be like if she were still here.  I imagine her face at nearly four years old.  How long her hair would be, if her eyes would still be so blue...  In Heaven she is thriving and I am grateful for answered prayers.  He healed her after all, "not my will, but Yours be done", and I try to thank God for it every time I pray.

This year my life is so much different from two years ago.  It is so much more hopeful than last year.  I pray you all have a blessed Thanksgiving.  I have said it before and will say it again, in my life I am BLESSED.

Blessed is she who has believed that what the LORD has said to her will be accomplished!"
Luke 1:45


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What can you say?

Yesterday when I went to pick Josie up from school her teacher met me.  The moment I saw her on the sidewalk I knew something was up.  I told Josie to get in the car with Sarah and Mrs. McK filled me in.

Apparently in science they were studying fish and as part of that the watched the movie Finding Nemo.  At the beginning of the movie Nemo's mother dies.  Josie could not handle it.  Mrs. McK said she was shaking, crying and I am so grateful for this insightful, sensitive woman, she removed her from the classroom where she could grieve in private.  She was able to miss her sister and not have the other children watch her cry.  I am so glad her teacher was understanding of what she was going through, and more importantly took the time out of her day to let me know what happened.

Josie sat and read a book about penguins while the other kids watched the movie.

We talked about it at dinner that night and Josie said the part of the movie where the mother fish died just brought back to many scary feelings from the day that Marie was called home.  What can I say?  How do I ease that pain.  She's only six.  How can I tell her that day, that morning, that phone call, that ride home, those are my own nightmares.

I just told her that I love her so much and Jesus does too.  And I love Marie so much even though she doesn't live here anymore. It makes me so sad that Josie was so upset...  we seem to just be getting hit by aftershocks lately...  What can you say to a little girl missing her sister so much?  What can you say to explain that we are so far outside of normal?  What can you say?  Sometimes, a lot of times, in my life lately there just don't seem to be words...
Josie in July...  looking so very small...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Life keeps on happening.  I cannot believe it is already the middle of November.  I'm still amazed that it's fall, that its cold, that the days are shorter.  That is is dark at five o' clock.  That it's been 14 1/2 months...

I struggle with what to write about.  I'm good.  The girls are good.  Sarah is talking more, Josie is doing well in school.  I walk, chat with friends, try new recipes, shop, run around, teach Sunday school, try to contribute to some good causes...  Life moves on.

Only the season is one of reflection and I am struggling with sadness in my down times.  The moment it is quiet and calm and I am at a loss for what to do.  Because in those moments Marie's being gone is overwhelming.  I am missing her so much right now.  Missing who she was, that warm and snugly girl.  Missing who she would be now, who she would have become.  I am struggling not to be angry that she's gone.  I don't want to be.  

I keep routines because they help me cope, I am blessed with good friends who let me talk about Rie all the time and never make me feel weird for including her.  Because the truth is, some people do now.  

Fourteen months is a long time.  But it's really not very long at all.  It will definitely take more time than that to heal my heart.  I don't think it will be whole again until I am before Jesus. 

I feel cranky, anxious, rushed.  I feel lost.  And then in a moment I seem to have it together, I'm reminded why I'm happy, I laugh, I smile.  And then again I cry, I am frustrated.  I cant put a name to, or pinpoint the cause of my unhappiness.  It's just general.

I don't like that at all.  And the worst part is that I really feel kind of crappy for being so selfish.  I'm not worried about Marie at all.  She is Home, with her heavenly father.  She is happy, and she is perfect.  I am upset for me.  That she's gone and I don't get to see her.  I'm upset that Josie misses her sister and is struggling with is a lot right now.  I'm upset that Sarah doesn't try to say Marie's name yet because she's not here.  I'm unhappy that I don't get to snuggle Marie to sleep anymore, that I miss making her laugh.  It's really all about what I want, what I miss, what has happened to me.  And that is crappy and selfish.  So I'm trying to work through that.

And even though I'm feeling this way, it's not all bad.  There is a lot of joy in my days and it keeps the sorrow in check so that I'm not totally overwhelmed.  

Below are some photos of us... lately. 
 Harvest party... being shy.

 First snow...

 Eating nutella off a spoon.
 A ghost and a dragon... trick or treat!

Monday, November 08, 2010

I am...

Still here.  I am still here.

I have been in a funk lately.  I think this may have been the longest I have gone in years without journaling.  Over a week of silence.  Call it feeling sorry for myself, being to busy, being cranky, being insecure...  I just haven't had it in me to write whats on my mind and in my heart.

I found myself struggling in the last week more than I have for a long time.  Another holiday without Little Mama.  Halloween was OK, it's always the day after that's the worst.  And I didn't know what to do with myself.  I feel like a bird, beating it's wings against the bars of my cage.  Fighting my reality, and it's totally futile.  I wish I could be content, sit and sing praises despite my situation.

The truth is that no matter how much I wish to be that ray of sunshine, that person of faith so strong that I am content with God's will and submit finding joy in whatever... I'm not that girl.  I'm flawed, and sinful, at at times I'm just totally overwhelmed with how much I miss my baby.

And then afternoons like I had today happen.  Josie and I went over an hour each way to be at the dentists office for ten minuets.  Lots of time in the car, just her and me.  We listened to the radio and cried at "I will rise" by Chris Tomlin  because it makes us think of Marie, we turned up Taylor Swift loud and sang along.  We stopped at Dairy Queen and I had a mocha moo-latte and Josie had a mini Oreo mint blizzard and we just enjoyed being together with no interruptions.

As I was driving I looked back in the rear view mirror and I saw her sitting there, singing the words to Taylor Swift's "Fifteen".  The sun was streaming in the window and her blond hair had fallen out of her pony tail and was floating around her face.  She looked at me with her blue, blue eyes and smiled with her father's mouth and I was struck dumb by the beauty of my oldest daughter.  The one that's been through so much, that worries about me, that argues with her Daddy because they are so alike.  The girl that looses herself in books, daydreams and wants to marry a farmer someday.  God trusts me with her...  I am lucky.

Yesterday I beat my wings against the cage and cried, today I am able to sit on my perch and sing praises... it is by the grace of God and His blessing of peace in my heart...  I am...