Monday, October 12, 2009

First Birthday

I've been away a few days....The swine flew into our home and stayed for a few days. Luke was quite sick the first 3 days then these past 2 he was just quiet and sofa happy. Truly, not his true 3rd grade nature. Plus, the rain (not complaining), dampened my spirits further. Have you ever tried to talk yourself out of being depressed? The more I make myself do, the quicker I sink. I might as well give in...but, I sincerely try not to.

Whitney's birthday is coming quickly (this Saturday, the 17Th) and every time I think about it, my heart pounds a little faster. I KNOW it's going to be hard, I KNOW I'm going to cry, because it's the first of the firsts for this year. I've heard it's even harder the second year because you know what to expect....this year I'm just expecting sadness.

Going to Lori's lake house will be a great distraction to a point. All the family, moving in appliances and stuff, then there is the b'day cake. It's also Lori's 49Th b'day the 31st of October so we will be celebrating her birthday also. I put Whitney's name on the cake or just Lori's? I go back and forth.

I'll probably have Whitney's name on the cake...I don't think I can bear a blank space. Blank spaces mean she was never there and she was.....

Grief is always there in my heart. It will be three months on the 18Th and the sadness seems to feel heavier than lighter. I suppose it's because the first couple of months I was so numb and now that I feel more....the ache goes way deep.

But you cannot feel the true depth of sorrow without feeling that true depth of love.

Lately, we share Whitney'isms (not a word).... we all remember different things about her. Her funny stories, how she could never make it to a toilet when sick, how she loved pasta, how she loved her dog Sammy, and how much she loved her little nieces, Zoe & Bella and how they loved her.

Loving and can't have one without the other.

Mother's know this.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

No Pain - No Gain

God always shows up and He started early this morning. I had coffee with one of my 'church ladies.' It was a wonderful...get-to-know-you coffee at Starbucks. (I had pumpkin-spice latte the way...yummy) Anyway...the upswing about being in pain is that you are NOT alone. Everyone has pain, issues, wounds, disappointments, stress and we hadn't even got to husbands and children yet! It is impossible to breathe and not experience one of the emotions I listed above. We all need encouragement, we all need a listening ear, a kind word, a geniune smile and we all need prayer. I urge all of you to seek out people who need a hug from someone who really cares that they hurt. My friend has reached out to me as I have traveled this painful road...and I hope that I have heard her heart.

That's what women do...we share our hearts, our lives, and our time....just NOT our food or men.
We draw the line at food and men...Oh, and chocolate....Never, Never chocolate.


I took Luke for a Orthodontist appt. today...just an evaluation at Lori's office. I LOVE all the girls she works with...Holley, Vicki, Devie...all great gals. They came and supported me and Lori at the funeral home and I was touched to the core. Luke loved going cuz he thinks he's special because he knows all the front office ladies! In fact, while in conference he told one of the ladies that he'd heard we were getting the 'family discount'.....I about flipped out! Another horrified, put my head in a brown bag moment. Do they ever end???

I repeat....DO THEY EVER END???

I didn't think so....

I need a new brown bag...or plastic...maybe I just need to go to plastic.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Work for Cruise!

Busy weekend. My friend Jill Johnson, a Campus Crusade Missionary, came to visit me for a few days. She loved Whitney and was unable to come to the funeral due to a Colorado trip so she came now. Loved having was a treat...not only for me but for Tony, Joel & Luke!

I'm waiting to hear about my new part-time job! I had been praying for something to come along that would distract me...especially during the winter. A great store in Acworth called Cote Soleil sells home furniture and accessories. Tracey, the owner needs a little extra help and asked if I would be interested....

"Absolutely!" I said.

Tony said..."Wonderful, but only if you want to."

Luke said..."Finally... we'll have money to take a Disney Cruise!"

Joel said nothing....he just laughed.

I just LOVE manly support.

And, I love retail. I love customers...I love arranging things...I love possible's just in my blood. Plus, my little friend Kim works there to. Yup, we will all be partners in retail crime.

I hinted that my mother-in-law (Clara) would be thrilled that I have a job. She always loves it when I have a job. She loves to make money and wants me to also. Her other daughter-in-law, Sandy has always done well in this area...BUT, I have not had steady work in 9 years. So, therefore, I don't get many kudos from her. However, I can't wait to tell her I'm working in a store...she'll LOVE it and she might love me a little bit more. I just won't tell her it's only 2 or 3 days a week. This will be our little since spoiling the moment.

Yes sir...with 2 or 3 days a week, I should single-handily pay-off our home and book a Disney Cruise...

I'll let y'all know when we're leaving, maybe if I work steady for 5 years...I should have enough to take that cruise...but by then Luke will be a teenager. Oh well...

By the way...I am in-love with this devo book called Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman (author is a woman) is awesome and so ministering to my soul. I highly recommend this for your daily worship.

Oh, and one more thing...I was in a store today admiring (but not buying) a Christmas ornament that was $50 (crazy, huh) and the guy explained that these were from Italy and he hand-picked them out himself. He suggested they would be great for an "ornament exchange party." I laughed (really loud) and said, "No, I don't give those kind of ornaments for parties." This "older" woman came up from behind and said to me, "Well, this is something you would buy for your grandchild...right?"

This use to offend me, however, I could have grandchildren...I just happen to NOT have them now. I'll start my diet again tomorrow....I know it was my jiggly neck that threw her!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Oops! I've been digging around in my consumed with purging that I fall asleep before I blog at night...I'm sure that's NOT my age!

I wanted to share with everyone what 'heart thing' happened to be the other day. It was an especially blue day and I was trying to pray through know..."God, I need an uplift cuz I'm sinking..." kind of prayer. Well, when I got to Luke's school his kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Nelson who is absolutely adorable and only 31 years old, handed Luke a present to share with me. She so wanted me to know how much she loved us and how sorry she was for our loss. After hugs and a tear or two, I drove off. At a stop sign I opened the bag and it was a devo book called..."Streams in the Desert" by L.B. Cowman. The first page I turned to was the scripture, Jeremiah 29:11...For I know the plans I have for you...which was Whitney's favorite verse! Then the bookmark fell out that she bought and it had beautiful Black-Eyed Susan's on all-time favorite flower, just slightly above the Hydrangea. This really lifted my spirits.

But, God was NOT THROUGH! When I got home I pulled close to the mailbox and retrieved the mail. I had a note from June Brown who is this precious woman that was my neighbor growing up. She has sent me several notes letting me know I'm on her heart. Well this note was about her garden. June is a very avid and talented gardener...her backyard is amazing! In her note, she stated that the Lord had laid on her heart to plant memory gardens when someone she knows/loves dies. She planted a flower garden in memory of Whitney! She thought I'd like to come by before frost...while the flowers are still pretty. She plants so that when she works in her garden she remembers to pray for the family. Okay...after Mrs. Nelson (or rather Heather) and then June...I was UPLIFTED and cried tears of knowing that we were loved.

I really like it when God acts so quickly! It's too bad he doesn't always act so fast on each request...but I guess that's why He is God.

P.s....I have a mother-in-law will be soooo happy! That's for another blog. It's just part-time and in a really cool store. I'm thrilled! I will tell you about it later.

Many blessings....Lisa

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Lake House

Today was Lake Day! Every Wednesday Lori and I go to the lake house in Wedowee, Alabama and make all those final decisions that HAVE to be made. Today was discussing toilets, granite, banisters and furniture. I promise it is exhausting spending someone elses money! Lori is doing great with all her decisions...I'm her sounding board and the one who also keeps her thinking about doing things different from their Kennesaw home. Hopefully, things will be buzzing with the activity of moving in towards the first of November. The entire family are planning to go there the 17Th of October to be together for what would have been Whitney's 26Th birthday.

We had such fun last year on her 25Th. Dinner at Houston's, then off to the Fox to see Wizard. That entire evening was a story in itself. The dinner was NOT up to standards (in my opinion) and then the four tickets I purchased well in advance for that night were PARKING tickets and NOT Fox Theatre tickets!!! Well, talk about feeling and looking DUMB. I certainly took the cake on that one. But, we got the last of the tickets available, sat in the worse seats and saw only about 75 percent of the play....but we just laughed and enjoyed the blunder. What else do you do?

Whitney had never been to the Fox and she was thrilled. We had a great time and makes for a wonderful memory. She knew my intentions were for her to have the best night ever and she said she did.

I just wish she could make memories with us at the Lake House.

But, I'm sure she's swimming in the River of Life and basking in a sun that never stops shinning. I think her Lake House is more awesome than we can imagine...don't you?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Purging...Heart and Home

With the loss of my daughter has come the overwhelming urge to rid myself and my family of "things." I look around my home and I just see stuff. It serves no purpose or adds very little to our lives. I feel very hindered by it all...almost to the point that it increases my sadness. It may be because we emptied Whitney's house into ours and bit by bit I've picked up, looked at, pondered over it, and teared-up over most of her stuff. Deciding what to keep and what to let go of has at times been a tad bit gut-wrenching. But, today I went at the last few stacks of pictures lying in the floor of our guest room. I was pushing through so that we can put back up the guest bed for my dear friend, Jill who is visiting from Orlando over the weekend.

God has really laid on my heart to be free...not to be weighed down by material things, or even situations that I cannot change. I need to free my family so that we can be more available to be able to hear God's direction more clearly. I'm sure I've missed opportunities that God has whispered to me just because I'm overwhelmed with cleaning, running, doing...that's what being disorganized steals your time from God. I sincerely struggle with adult ADD with menopause thrown in...I just have to work harder to overcome my weak areas that comes so much easier to both my sisters. They somehow skipped the disorganized gene...also the fat cell gene but that's for another blog!

I believe God is directing me to purge in all areas of my life. And, if Whitney knows any of this....she is smiling because she was an organized neat freak who always fussed at my closets....

Purging...It's a good thing.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Third Grade Blunder!

When Luke was told of Whitney's death the morning of July 18Th, he took it very hard. Tears, sadness and then later a few questions. He watched me cry, then would come up hug and pat me and say, "Are you thinking about Sissy?" I would nod, he would hug again and then go back into his world. For a while there, I thought he was doing okay...or maybe it was just me dealing with my own grief along with Tony's and Joel's. But then, things started happening...

He started 3rd grade 3 weeks after her death. The first couple of weeks were good. Not really into the full swing of things yet. Then a week or so later we began to get really bad grades on know "F's", which was not the norm for him. He typically kept good grades. I began to get concerned.

Then his behavior kicked-up a notch. He whispered to a little girl sitting next to her that she was a "loser." HORRIFIED was my new name! Especially since this little girl was close to perfect from grades to behavior. So, after apologies...verbal and written and a long drawn out lecture on how to treat friends...we went on our merry way.

Apparently, this humiliation was not enough for he created another one. He cheated! Not only did he cheat on a test BUT it was a B-I-B-L-E test...where he had to know the Old Testament Books in order and spelled correctly. Well, first of all, you never cheat and you certainly don't cheat on a BIBLE test while attending "Christian School!" OH MY! So after an enlightening trip to the principal where she had mercy on his soul, and then punishment from us...he was certainly remorseful...(we're always grateful for remorse!) We did not go on our merry way. We were concerned about what his sister's death had done to his heart.

After discussions with his lovely teacher Mrs. Allen, we sent Luke for a session with our on staff counselor. With that help and our prodding, Luke was able to cry for his sister again. He needed to know that it was okay to grieve this tremendous loss in his life.

Luke is getting back on tract with grades and behavior. God is honoring our prayer for expecting great blessings in his little life. Grief is very powerful and it catches you unaware. It did us...especially with our 9-year-old.

I just hope God overlooks "Bible Cheaters!"