Category Archives: family

A Well-Lived Dash

I was talking to a dear friend of mine the other day and we were discussing life. She mentioned the poem about the dash you see on a headstone that’s between the day you were born and the day you die; and how the dash represents the life you’ve lived.

Sitting in my aunt’s hospital room, I’ve been thinking about her dash.

My aunt has been blessed with a beautiful long dash. She was born in 1921 and served in the Canadian Army with two of her brothers. She moved to California and had a wonderful life. She married the love of her life in 1946. My uncle adored her till the day he died in 2006. They had a love that most can only dream of. You could see the sparkle each would get in their eye when they saw each other or spoke the other’s name.

My aunt was successful in love and business. She was a well known interior decorator. She even decorated actor, John Davidson’s yacht!

She traveled the world with my uncle. They were also blessed with a son who is the light of her life.

Now at 94 years old as she approaches the end of her dash, I’m looking back on the wonderful memories I have of her. It puts a smile on my breaking heart.

I will mourn her when she’s gone to be with the Lord but I will not dwell on her passing. I will celebrate her life. So many wonderful memories will be with me always.

Psalm 23:6
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

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The Perfect Blend

I am blessed! Most of you are thinking I’m talking about my life. Sure, God has blessed me with awesome family and friends, and I’m very thankful for that. But  I’m talking about me, the person, not me the wife, mom, friend & co-worker. The me I see when I look in the mirror. The me that is a perfect blend of my mom and dad.

My dad is an awesome guy. He has a definite cool factor going on. Looking at recent photos of him, you wouldn’t believe me, but he had curly hair. He has a great sense of humor too. I’m blessed to have gotten curly hair and my sense of humor from him. A cool factor too, if I do say so myself.

My mom lost her battle with breast cancer 19 years ago. I am blessed with many of her attributes. My love of cooking and collecting recipes has kept my family very happy.

Not everyone saw it, my mom had sarcasm down to an art. My brother-in-law, Eric, witnessed it up close and personal. Those who know me, know that sarcasm comes quite naturally to me. Except for my curly hair, I look a lot like my mom.

I am thankful I am who I am thanks to my mom and dad. Not only did I get my curly hair, love for cooking and my awesomeness from them, I also learned love. Love for my family, friends and country plus my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I can’t begin to thank them for being a huge part of making me who I am.??????         022

Mother’s Day

Mother's Day.

The End of Another Year

2013 is coming to an end. As I look back on this year, there were many things that made me smile (or laugh out loud) & a handful of things that broke my heart.

I seem to have lost a dear friend that can’t let go of an issue, that has been blown way out of proportion, to comfort me on the anniversary of the worst day of my life. I am so thankful for a few close friends that got me through not only that day but also several other days/things that snuck up & knocked the wind out of me.

I am so thankful that my blessings, by far, surpass the crappy things this year. A whole new world was opened up by the purchase of two Canon Rebels. I can’t wait to see what adventures the Rebels focus in on in 2014! I’m also looking forward to a few much needed road trips.

I’m also thankful for a dear friend that has awakened part of my heart that has been asleep for too long.

For everyone reading this, I pray for a healthy, happy & safe 2014.

Mother’s Day

My heart is full of love but feels empty at the same time.

I miss my mom & daughter and love my sons more than words can express.

I feel empty, loss, love & blessed all at the same time.

When someone asks how many kids I have, my heart skips a beat.

Sometimes I will just say three & end the conversation. Other times I will elaborate on the details.

There are also times I say “Two…boys”. In my head, I finish the sentence, “and a baby girl in Heaven”.

The joy & sadness that I’m feeling intertwines. There are times joy wins & other times sadness overtakes me.

God Sent an Angel to Get Me Home

God Sent an Angel to Get Me Home.

God Sent an Angel to Get Me Home

332726_2815486549466_1327898898_33233656_269500960_oTwo weeks before she was due, I went to the doctor and found out my daughter,  Sara, had died. While I was at the doctor’s office, the medical assistants tried several times to find her heartbeat. They hooked me up to a fetal heart monitor and tried, oh how they tried, to get the monitor to make a sound…any sound. I knew in my heart what they were trying very hard not to show on their faces. I was only able to keep my precious little girl for 38 weeks.

My doctor came into the room and gave me a heartfelt hug and expressed his sorrow over what my head was having a very hard time processing. After talking to the doctor, one of the girls asked me if there was anyone they could call because they didn’t want me to drive home alone. I said no that I would be ok to drive myself home. Truth was I just wanted to get out of there as fast as I could so I would be able to drive home before the reality of what happened hit me. And the thought of sitting in an office full of pregnant women waiting for “someone” to pick me up was, well, not an option.

They didn’t want to but they agreed and asked me to call the office when I got home. I nodded, yes. I got in my car, started the engine, pulled out my cell phone and pressed the button to call my husband at work. It rang once, maybe twice, and I hung up. I thought (not sure how I was able to) that it wasn’t fair to Jack or myself to tell him over the phone.

I pulled out of the parking lot and made the first curve in the road. I truly do not remember anything else until I was in my driveway. I went in the house and called the doctor’s office. When the receptionist answered, I said I was home. She was glad I made it safely and commented that I got home pretty fast.

The rest of the day and the hospital in the morning, which is burned into my mind, I will save for another time. As for the drive home, I don’t know. I spent many days thinking about and several sessions in therapy talking about what happened that day.

The therapist chalked up the lack of memory about the ride home on the fact that I was probably in shock. I have agreed with that belief for many years until I had a dream (or nightmare depending on how you look at it) about that day at the doctor’s office. In my dream I relived the whole day right up to the first curve in the road… Even in my dream, it went from the curve in the road to my driveway.

The therapist didn’t have an explanation for this. I do. There is only one explanation. I was not in control of my car or my life after the curve in the road. It was only by the grace of God I made it home safely. My loving Heavenly Father sent my guardian angel to steer for me. I am very thankful that He not only made sure I made it home safely but that my precious Sara made it “Home” safely too.

Happy Birthday Mom

. Well Mom, it’s the first day of summer. That means it’s your birthday. If you were still here, you would be 85 years old. It will be 17 years this December that you lost your fight with breast cancer.

It makes me not only sad but a little mad too; when I think about not only the battle you lost but also the time we lost. I’ve been trying very hard not to dwell on the negative. It took a long time for my heart not to skip a beat when the phone rang at 10am (the time reserved for you and me to talk).

When I post something about you on facebook, it makes my heart smile to read all the beautiful comments that others post.

I have lost track of the number of times I’ve told people the story about when the two of us went to San Francisco. You thought it would be a good idea to throw a french fry to the sea gulls!

My heart swells with pride anytime someone says I look like you.

I cherish all the wonderful memories I have of our time together. I am truly blessed! Thank you for giving me the “good cook” gene.

All the wonderful memories (and recipes) I have are helping me get past the pain.

Give Sara a big hug and kiss for me.

I love you..

Unresolved Grief

I started seeing a therapist regarding the depression and anxiety that has started to get the best of me. It didn’t take her long to diagnose me with unresolved grief. My journey through grief started when my mom died sixteen years ago from breast cancer.
I was just limping along through my grief over her death. About one month shy of the second anniversary of losing her, my daughter, Sara, was stillborn at 38 weeks. The grief I felt right then hit the grief I was already dealing with like a freight train. I ended up with a mangled mess of grief.

The grief I was feeling over my mom and my daughter were a jumbled mess of emotions. I wanted to hold my daughter, look into her eyes and tell her stories about her Grandma in Heaven. I wanted to be able to cry with and talk to my mom about my heavy heart and the piece that was missing because her Grand-daughter was in Heaven. I couldn’t do either and it was tearing me apart.

The stages of grief were jumbled together. I tried to separate the two so I could work through them. Looking back, I think I was close to the “acceptance” stage of grief before Sara. After Sara’s death, when my grief was tangled together, working through the stages of my grief, flew out the window. Since I couldn’t untangle my grief, I went straight to “anger” for both losses. I thought maybe it would be easier to work through if I was at the same stage for both…didn’t work. Fourteen years after the death of my daughter, I’m still in the same place.

Through my therapy sessions and some self-reflection, I have realized I have been trying to work around my grief instead of through it. The pain doesn’t really go away, you just make room for it.

God has blessed me with a few true friends who have helped me on my journey through this train wreck. They have been there to talk to me, listen to me, hug me or just sit with me. They have seen past my “I’m okay”.
God has also blessed me with His promises. He will comfort me and make me stronger. He won’t take away my grief but He will help me make it through it.

H. Norman Wright said, “The hard news is the only road to true healing is through the grief process. The good news is God travels that road with us”.

1 Samuel 30:6 …David strengthened himself in the Lord his God

Only By The Grace Of God

Between the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on April 14th and the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24th, I have been doing a lot of thinking.

My Grandmother, on my Dad’s side, was born April 8, 1900. In 1912, she traveled to England with her mother, to sail on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. I can only imagine the thrill and excitement they were experiencing traveling for their home in Istanbul, Turkey to Southampton, England.

Their excitement quickly ended when they found their papers were not in order and they were not allowed on board. What must have been going through their minds and their hearts when they found out what happened four days later.

Three years later, on April 24th, was the beginning of the Armenian Genocide. This time it was my Grandmother, on my Mom’s side, turn to have a brush with death. I don’t know a lot of the details on what happened to her. The little I do know sends a chill down my spine and makes my heart swell with pride.

My Grandmother along with many, many other Armenians were forced to march…to their deaths. 1,500,000 Armenians were sent on death marches, raped, beaten, starved, crucified, butchered or sent to a certain death in concentration camps.

It is almost impossible to comprehend the inconsolable terror that must have be racing through the mind of this teen age girl. My Grandmother was wounded and played dead on the side of the road. The strength she drew, to lay still and control her breathing well enough to be left for dead, could have only come from God.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

I am so thankful and blessed to be part of these two families!

Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who delights greatly in His commandments. 2 His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. Psalm 112:1-2