Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

Dear Hannah,  I can't believe I'm going to start a new year without you.  I miss you and I miss all the fun times we had so much.  I'm not sure what life is supposed to look like without you here with me.  I know you're always here, but it's hard without your physical presence.  I'm still pretty lost although God seems to light my path just enough for the next step, and for that I'm thankful.  I can't wait to be with you again.  It's not my time yet, so I am waiting.  We know how good I am at that!  Please know precious girl that your missed and loved more than can ever be expressed.  I will never forget and I won't allow the world to either.  Thanks for all you've meant to me and continue to mean.  For the past 9 years my New Years wish and prayer has always been the same...that you'd have a seizure free life.  You're seizure free now, but my wish and prayer remains, not for you, but for all the other kiddos out there like you.  May their parents know a day where life is seizure free, and may no more children leave their mommy's too early.  Happy New Year sweet girl!  Love Always!  Mommy

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Hannah

It's nearly unbearable without you today but I just keep reminding myself that your Christmas this year is better than any we could have ever provided for you.  I told your daddy that I'd give anything just to go back to last Christmas and stay there.  It was just so beautiful and magical.  I loved the time I had to spend with you and all the fun we had together.  You were so much like your daddy.  Kept us laughing all the time.  I'm often told you got your strength from me, but I don't know.  I think you inspired me to be strong.  You inspired me to live.  When I think I can't go on I often think about how you lived in the midst of great obstacles and it leaves me excuseless.  I miss you terribly.  Words cannot express how much I miss you and wish I could hold you in my arms.  We're o.k. though.  We're making it.  All the people that loved you continue to love us and support us.  Thank you for being the best daughter a mother could ever have!  I will love you always and will never forget baby!  Never!  Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sponge Bob Christmas

I wanted to put something SpongeBob related on Hannah's grave.  I threw this wreath together
and was glad to have it.  I miss my girl more than I can ever express right now. 

Merry Christmas Hannah!  I love and miss you my precious girl!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Memorial Service

Our church's greif share department had a Christmas memorial service in the chapel Thursday night.  They said to bring an ornament that represented our loved one.  David and I went shopping and was unable to find anything.  I was pretty disappointed and bummed.  A sweet lady we went to church with in Hillsboro asked her daughter to look while she was out shopping and she found one.  It's a sponge bob ornament.  Sponge Bob is all tangled up in Christmas lights.  It was perfect.  I'm wishing I had taken a picture of it now and still may when they move the trees into the welcome center.

We really didn't know what to expect from the service but it was nice.  We cried, laughed, and then cried again.  The pastor spoke to us and talked about Jesus being the light and how death doesn't win.  Our seperation from our loved ones is not eternal.  We will see and be with them again.  All because Christ defeated death.  It was a powerful reminder that we will be with Hannah again.  I will wrap my arms around her and and kiss that beautiful forehead again.  That's comforting.

After he spoke we each went to the front and hung our ornament on one of the three trees there.  Most of the peole hung photos of their loved ones or an angel type ornament on the trees.  Ours was the only cartoon character. LOL!  So, when they move the trees to the welcome center it should be an interesting sight.  SpongeBob is in the church house y'all!  Hannah would love it!  :<)

The holiday's are terribly hard without her.  I find myself crying tears often and everywhere I look I see things that she would love.  Around the corner from us is a blow up Sleigh that has Eyore, Pooh, and Tigger on it.  I can't help but imagine I'd have to take that route home everyday had she been here.  It hurts your heart.  It's a hurt that is indescribable.  Still, we just breathe and take the next step in the day.

I think the boys are struggling hugely with this holiday thing.  It's hard enough that nanna isn't here.  Nanna loved Christmas and she lived with us the last 8 years of her life.  She'd get that fat JCPenney catalog every year and the boys would sit and look at it and tell her what they wanted.  Then this is the first year without Hannah and I think the boys had as much fun helping her enjoy Christmas as they did themselves.  It's different this year.  New for us.  We just don't know what to do with ourselves because everything we've always done is not doable. 

The one thing that doesn't change is the reason for this season.  JESUS.  It is in him we have hope and it's because of him we'll all be together again some day.  For that I am eternally grateful.  I miss my Hannah but one day I'll see her again.  All because a baby was born, grew up and died on a cross for my sin, and rose again defeating hell and the grave.  Halelujah!

Love you all!  Thanks for the continued prayer and support.  It means the world to me!
 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I'm missing...

I'm finding more and more things I'm missing about Hannah as I get ready for Thanksgiving.  I'm really missing having her under my feet with all the chatter.  I miss her playing in my sink giving the dishes bubble baths,  I miss her saying over and over, "it's hot, very hot, yes, it is!"  She'd also tell me everytime I walked out of the kitchen..."it's time to cook dinner!" and would say it until I went back into the kitchen.  I so miss having to stop between tasks or in the middle of tasks and having to do the dino dance or have a time of worship singing, "I'll Fly Away or You Deserve the Glory".  I just miss this girl so very much and wish she were with us.  As I let Kyle out at work A woman was walking out with her little girl and she had on those little play shoes.  It stabbed me right in the heart.  Hannah loved those shoes.  Clomp, clomp, clomp all over the house.  I miss my baby.  Love you Hannah!  Always!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving

I'm thankful.  What I'm thankful for has changed somewhat, in a way, well, not really. 

Last year I was thankful for seizure free days and the way Hannah's world had been opening up.  She was having an incredible year developmentally.  I thanked God every morning when I woke her up for one more day with my girl.  I remember that I must have said it so much that she started saying it for me..."Thank you Lord for another day with my Hannah!"  It was so adorable and the fact that she spoke in third person made it just precious.

This year as I reflect on the year I find myself still thankful that my girl is seizure free, free from sickness, free from the pain of needles, free of the limitations of autism.  Everything I wanted for her here she is experiencing in heaven.  I'm so very thankful for the nearly 9 years I had her in my life and for everything that her life meant to me.  I will never be the same person I was before Hannah.  She taught me some powerful lessons that changed my life forever.  I just feel so incredibly grateful that I had the privilege of being this amazing girl's mom.

Thank you God for allowing me the time you did with our precious Hannah..  Thank you for holding us up and sending people into our lives to help us keep putting one foot in front of the other. We are eternally grateful for your love and care.  Take good care of our girl.  Give her a hug and kiss from me and could you sing our Turkey song with her, (sang to the tune of Frere Jacques) "Mr. Turkey...Mr. Turkey...Big and Fat...Big and Fat...I am going to eat you...I am going to eat you...just like that...just like that. (then make smacking gulping sounds).  Tell her Happy Thanksgiving and we miss her! 

Thanks to all my friends and family for continuing to love us even in the middle of great change in our lives.  Your love and support mean the world to us. All my love, Marcey   

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sunshine

You are my sunshine...my only sunshine...you make me happy when skies are gray...you never know dear how much I love you...so please don't take my sunshine away...

Hannah and I would sing this song daily.  I loved the sweet way she said the words.  Precious moments I'll never forget.  Never.  I can't tell you the number of times I'd sing the last phrase of that song with tears in my eyes.  Something in me, although I wouldn't admit it, knew I'd not always have my girl with me.  I'm thankful for all the time I spent with my girl and all the fun we had.  I do however wish I had spent more time and we'd have had more fun.  I keep replaying the last couple months with Hannah in my mind and I can tell you that I'm extremely thankful for the prompting that I believe God gave me to put down what I was doing and spend time with Hannah.  So many times she'd come in the middle of me doing something and I'd want to put her off only to feel a quickening that I do not know if I'll have tomorrow.  I'd put everything down and spend some precious moments with my girl.  Moments I'll forever cherish.  I know it probably sounds strange to some, but it is what happened to me and I believe God gave me a gift in the quickenings.  Time is truly a gift.  I'm grateful.

Hannah's bench is done and dedicated.  It is beautiful and it's perfect.  It is a project that I'm so glad we did and I'm so incredibly thankful for the artist; Linda Solby, Harwood, and HISD for making it a possibility.  I started putting the bench project together in March of this year only months after Hannah's passing.  It was fun and fulfilling to see it through.  Hannah's teacher put together the unveiling and she did an incredible job.  It was all just perfect.  The day after the unveiling I did not get out of bed or my PJ's until after 2 p.m.  I found myself grieving and feeling like I had done the last tangible thing I could do for Hannah on this earth.  It was a tough day.  Those come and go and I'm learning to go with the eb and flow of things.  Not easy but it's my reality and I am learning.

The holiday season is upon us and I have found myself wanting to throw a hissy fit and ban it this year.  I don't want to do Christmas without my girl.  Another part of me can't help but remember the beautiful and wonderful last Christmas we had with Hannah.  I am trusting God to get me through in whatever manner he sees fit because I sure don't have a clue how to do it.  I'm thanking God that He has a plan and works things in such a way that only He can do.  I"m confident we'll get through the next couple of months(Thanksgiving  through the one year anniversary of Hannah's death) with the same grace and mercy that has lead us through the past 10 months.  He's faithful.

We're all doing o.k. and I know that's in huge part to all the prayers and support from our friends and family.  Thank you!   

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bench Unveiling

Yesterday was the unveiling of Hannah's bench.  The bench is perfect and beautiful just like our girl.  There were moments when we along with her classmates were singing her favorite songs that I could just imagine her looking down on us with that beautiful smile enjoying it all with us.  How I wish she were here but I won't dwell on that.  She will now always be a part of the place she loved so much and for that I am forever grateful.  It was an amazing day and her teacher and school staff did an incredible job of honoring her.  Thank you Harwood and HISD for making this a possibility and thank you Linda Solby for using your talents in such a marvelous way. 

Some photos from the day.








Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Saw the bench in person

David, the boys, and I went down to Hillsboro yesterday evening to see Hannah's memorial bench.  It was delivered and set up Tuesday.  The photos don't even do it justice.  It is a perfect representation of Hannah's life and things she loved.  It feels good to know she'll always be part of a place she loved so much.  The dedication or unveling is next Thursday Nov. 4th at noon.  If you can come we'd love to have you there.  I'll post photos from the dedication for all to see.  Please keep us in your prayers.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

9 mths and final memorial bench photo before shipping

It's been 9 mths since I held you hannah, and I miss you so.  It feels like an eternity, yet it feels like just yesterday too.  I miss you terribly and will never forget all you brought to my life and your world.  The hole you left in my life and heart can never be filled.  Thank you for being the beautiful wonderful little girl you were.  My life is better because I knew you.  I can't wait for you to show me heaven.  Until I can be with you, I will work to honor your life and all you gave me sweet beautiful girl!  All my love!  Mommy

Final Memorial Bench Photo before Shipping.  Should be delivered in next couple weeks.

Tomorrow will be 9 mths since my precious Hannah left us.  I wish I could tell you that it has gotten easier, but it hasn't.  In some ways it's harder.  I worry about not being able to remember some of the things I loved so much about her.  The sound of her voice, the feel of her hair, the way she smelled.  It's so hard to grasp that we'll never see her again on this side of heaven.

All the things people say, because they don't know what to say, start to get on your nerves.  I'm not being ugly but here's what I need.  I need you to tell me memories you have of my Hannah.  I need you to tell me you loved her.  I need you to say her name.  I need you to let me talk about her as much as I want to, and not talk about her if I can't.  Don't ask me to call you if I need anything.  Please don't make me reach out to you.  If I come to mind or heart act on it.  Don't leave me out of stuff because you think I may can't handle it.  Let me make that decision for myself.  That includes conversations.  If you have a special needs kiddo, and you were part of my special needs world, please don't be afraid of me and please don't stop sharing your kids with me.  You don't have to offer any words of comfort.  Just tell me you love me and are praying.  I know all the..."she's in a better place, you have an angel in heaven now, you still have the boys, she's not suffering anymore, she's got her nanna and uncle dewayne, etc" by heart.  All that is true, but verbalizing it doesn't help.  It doens't minimize or lessen the ache in my heart or the huge hole in my life.  The old Marcey would have never said any of this, I know.  I'm sorry.  It's just hard...unbelievably hard.  I'm  pouring it out and hoping y'all will understand or at the least tolerate it and still love me. 

I miss Hannah.  I miss my life with Hannah.  Some really great things are happening for us.  We love our home and Arlington.  I'm excited about opportunities that are presenting themselves.  Honestly though, I'd give it all up if I could have the life I had with my girl even with all it's hardships.  Hannah was an incredible life force.  I miss it.  I miss her strength and courage.  I miss her love and sense of humor.  I miss her quirky sense of style and love for shoes.  Yes, I know she's in heaven and I wouldn't take that from her, but I do long to have her with me.  Not a moment goes by that I do not wish I had her in my arms.  I'll always long for her and miss her, and I don't believe that it means my faith is weak or lacking to desire her with me.  My faith is intact and stronger than ever.  Still, I would prefer she were still with me instead of heaven and I don't see anything wrong with that.  God knows it.  I told him the night before she died that I wanted her with me but that I'd let her go if it was time.  I did let her go but I still long for her.  I'm her mom and that doesn't change in death.  At least you won't be surprised when you say to me, "she's in a better place", and I answer, "yep, and I'm glad, but I would sure rather she be with me!" :)  Oh, and I went to a grief workshop with a grief specialist that has been on Oprah, Dr. Phil, etc. and he told me I was perfectly normal in my thoughts.  I'm not crazy folks, my baby girl just died.  Be relieved, I was. :) 

All that being said, God has been so good to us and we are grateful.  I do find peace in knowing that my girl rests in the arms of God.  Every morning I ask God to give my girl a kiss and hug for me and tell her she was and is loved beyond measure.  It's an amazing comfort to believe that He cares enough about me to grant that request.  I'm eternally grateful that God continues to see us through this horribly painful time in our lives.

I know this blog post is a little different.  I guess after being told today for the hundredth time, "at least you still have the boys, they need you", and "you have an angel in heaven now", I had to vent a little.  I believe people want to be helpful, and I know I would never have known what to do in a situation like mine either.  I do think I would be glad if a friend I knew was in terrible pain, told me what I could do for them.  I love all of you so much!  Pleae keep praying for us no matter what, and please don't be upset with this blogging post.  I just had to get some things off my chest. 

For anyone that has a friend/family member who has lost a child here is a piece of an article I found. 

When Trying To Comfort Grieving Parents


DO:

Acknowledge the child's death by telling the parents of your sadness for them and by expressing love and support; try to provide comfort.

Visit and talk with the family about the child who died; ask to see pictures or mementoes the family may have.

Extend gestures of concern such as bringing flowers or writing a personal note expressing your feelings; let the parents know of your sadness for them.

Attend the child's funeral or memorial service.

Remember anniversaries and special days.

Donate to some specific memorial in honor of the child. Offer to go with the parent(s) to the cemetery in the days and weeks after the funeral, or find other special ways to extend personal and sensitive gestures of concern.

Make practical and specific suggestions, such as offering to stop by at a convenient time, bringing a meal, purchasing a comforting book, offering to take the other children for a special outing, or treating the mother or father to something special.

Respect the dynamics of each person's grief. The often-visible expressions of pain and confusion shown by grieving parents are normal. Grief is an ongoing and demanding process.

DO NOT:

Avoid the parents or the grief. Refrain from talking about the child who died or referring to the child by name.

Impose your views or feelings on the parents or set limits for them about what is right or appropriate behavior.

Wait for the parents to ask for help or tell you what they need.

Tell them you know just how they feel.

Be afraid to let the parents cry or to cry with them.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Only Petina and seal left and then shipping...



Today was a full day.  I met with Hannah's school about her bench and it's placement.  These people are so wonderful.  I could never have asked for a better group of education professionals for my girl.  She was loved and that is so evident to me.  A decision was made about placement.  I was able to put  shipment and all that goes with it in their hands and Hannah's teacher will plan the unveiling or some kind of ceremony.  I think it will be perfect and I'm grateful.

When I got home I had updated pictures of the bench.  Basically it is finished.  Linda (the artist) only has to Petina and seal it.  She is taking it to the shippers on Tuesday.  When I ordered the bench she told me it would be mid October and I can't believe it is already nearly mid October.  I'm very happy with the bench.  Happy is actually and understatement.  I'm thrilled with it.  I think it's a perfect representation of Hannah's life and her loves.  I can't say enough about Linda.  She sought my input every step of the way and worked hard to make this bench a perfect representation of our girl.  Incredible work.  I can't wait to see it in person!

Please continue to pray for us.  We miss Hannah so much and it really hasn't gotten easier.  God gives us the grace we need to make it through the day and we're thankful.  Thank you for your continued support and prayers.  Here are the photos I received today.  I hope some of you will be able to join us when we remember our precious Hannah!  Love to all!




Friday, October 1, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hannah's Memorial bench



This is a picture of Hannah's memorial bench as it is being created.  We are so excited about this project.  Linda Solsby is a fabulous artist and she is wonderful to work with.  She is working hard to make this bench to memorialize Hannah in every way.  I can't wait to see the final product.  I know it'll be grand.


Monday, September 20, 2010

8 months

Hannah was gone 8 months on Friday. It's so hard to believe it's been 8 months since I held that precious little girl in my arms and kissed her beautiful forehead. I miss her so much. I miss having her under my feet as I cook dinner and having to sing her songs over and over. I miss her announcing it's time to fix supper and saying over and over, "it's hot, very hot, yes it is!". I miss her giving my dishes bubble baths and the water all over the place. I'd give anything to sing and dance to the Dino Dance, "First you hop hop hop all over the place, shake your dino tail and make a funny face, everybody is twisting and turning, have a lot of fun while learning, to do the Dino Dance"...or..."You deserve the glory and the honor, lord we lift our hands to heaven as we magnify your name, you deserve the glory and the honor, lord we lift our hands to heaven as we magnify your name, for you are great, you do miracles so great, there is no one else like you, there is no one else like you, for you are great, you do miracles so great, there is no one else like you, there is no one else like you". Those are just a couple of our kitchen time songs. My girl sure did love to sing. She loved music. Got that from her daddy. Our girl is very missed in case you didn't know it. :)

I had a doctors appointment in Richardson today so I decided to go on the cemetary. I was alone and really needed to go. As soon as I turned down the road to the cemetary I started crying. I got out of the car, cleaned up the graves, fixed the flowers, and then sat down on the ground and had a talk with my girl. Cemetary's have always creeped me out somewhat. That's changed since Hannah's passing. Today it just felt good. I know she isn't there but it's where her body rests. It's hard to explain. All I know is that I left glad that I came.

The artist is working on Hannah's memorial bench for her school. It is going to be amazingly beautiful. She does them in mosaics. Hannah's will have a school house, ABC's, flowers, a golden retriever, musical notes, her photograph, and memorial plaque. Linda sends me progress as she does it and it's just going to be so perfect. I'm excited and can't wait to see it.

We recently did a promo for the counseling center that we go to here in Arlington. I'll try to post it here so you can all see it. It was about Hannah's life and how the counseling center helped. We were so glad that we were able to do a little something in return for all that has been done for us.

Please keep praying for us. We're making it but it's because people pray for us we know. We miss Hannah so much every single day. Our hearts are always heavy with her loss. God's been so good to us in the midst of our pain and we are grateful. Thanks for all your prayers and support. Thanks for loving our girl. Thanks for loving us.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Thanksgiving

Hannah will have been gone 7 months tomorrow. I miss her more than I can ever express. I'm really starting not to believe people when they say it gets easier. It hurts just as much today as it did the day I had to let her go. We would not make it through this without God and the people he has placed in our life. I can't imagine going through this without Christ.

I've been dwelling a lot on my loss lately. It's a huge loss, you know. Easy to dwell on it. I feel Hannah's absense every waking minute of everyday. Hannah was just the kind of person that connected to everything good inside of you. I miss that connection. I just miss her.

This morning during my devotional time I was praying and crying.(I'm a bucket of tears now a days) Towards the end of my prayer time for some reason I just started thinking about how I had Hannah for 8 years. God gave me 8 years, nearly 9, with my girl. I wasn't even supposed to have her a few hours. The very fact that she lived 8 years to experience and influence the world around her was a miracle. My Noo(nickname prounouced Nu) was beautiful. I got to be the momma of the strongest girl I will ever know. A girl that loved life in the midst of great pain and against all odds. A girl that changed the way everyone who knew her thought about and experienced life. A girl that showed me that if you celebrate small accomplishments your life is alot more joyful because you have a lot of small accomplishments and only a few Big ones. There aren't enough words to tell you all that Hannah's life meant to me.

So, today I'm thankful. I will forever be grateful for the years I had as Hannah's momma and look forward to the day when I see her again. BTW, it's becoming less and less puzzling to me why "I'll Fly Away" was her favorite song. It's incredible the more and more I think about it. I wonder if she was singing it as the angels carried her home.

God Bless!

I'll Fly Away

Some glad morning when this life is over,
I'll fly away.
To a home on God's celestial shore,
I'll fly away.

I'll fly away, O Glory,
I'll fly away.
When I die, Hallelujah, bye and bye,
I'll fly away.

When the shadows of this life have flown,
I'll fly away.
Like a bird thrown, driven by the storm,
I'll fly away.

I'll fly away, O Glory,
I'll fly away.
When I die, Hallelujah, bye and bye,
I'll fly away.

Just a few more weary days and then,
I'll fly away.
To a land where joy shall never end,
I'll fly away.

I'll fly away, O Glory,
I'll fly away.
When I die, Hallelujah, bye and bye

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

School Time...

These are photos from one of the times we took Hannah to Franklin where she would go to PPCD(Public preschool for children with developmental delays). We wanted her to be used to the playground equipment. LOL! Great memories!






Man, this is a tough one. I'd say it is almost as tough as her Birthday. This was OUR time. This was the time Hannah and I enjoyed so much. I LOVED that she loved school. It was always an exciting time even if a little scary. I miss going to hannaandersson.com and ordering her a couple cute outfits. I miss taking her shoes shopping. I miss the meetings with staff to prepare them for her and her for them. I miss the countdown we did. I miss the tears as I leave her on that first day and her huge grin as she gets to do the thing she loved the most. I miss the thought I had every single day as I walked out that door and left her, the realization that it could very possibly be the last time I see that smile and I hate that it is my reality. It's just tough!

I love school, I love school supplies, I love books, I love backpacks, I love learning and I got to live all I love through my Hannah. I got to share the joy of it with her. This was something we shared. Something that bonded us. I miss her.

I wouldn't ask her to come back but sometimes in my pain I just want to go up to heaven and snatch her back and tell God he can't have her. That she's mine. I know I'd get up there and not take her because there is no way I'd want to after I saw what she sees and feel what she feels. I just miss her. In church Sunday the pastor talked about John's vision of heaven found in Revelations and the revealing of the glorified Christ. I couldn't help but feel so in awe of the fact that my Hannah is there witnessing all of that. She's now part of the splendor of heaven. In my opinion a big part of it. ;)

I have a new passage of scripture that is my favorite now. I'm continually in awe of how our struggles in this life are not new struggles and when we need a word, if we look, or have a friend that looks, LOL, we will find something that speaks strength to our hearts. I've lived this passage over and over and over the past nearly 7 mths. I've wailed at God crying out with questions like; "What is wrong with me? Why are you doing this to me? What did I do wrong? Did I not take good enough care of her? Why do you hate me?" only to move to remembering what a miracle Hannah's life was from the beginning and how good God was to us. I wish we could have had Hannah with us longer. I miss that beautiful face and sweet voice. It was her time though. God called her home...."time to end your suffering Hannah". I do believe angels walk among us. I think I gave birth to one. ;) I lived in the presence of an angel for almost 9 years. What an incredible blessing! I hope this passage I'm posting will bless you in some way. I know I'm not the only one that misses our girl! God bless! Happy New School Year!

Psalm 77
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.

1 I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands
and my soul refused to be comforted.

3 I remembered you, O God, and I groaned;
I mused, and my spirit grew faint.
Selah

4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.

5 I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;

6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart mused and my spirit inquired:

7 "Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?

8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?

9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?"
Selah

10 Then I thought, "To this I will appeal:
the years of the right hand of the Most High."

11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.

12 I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.

13 Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?

14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.

15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
Selah

16 The waters saw you, O God,
the waters saw you and writhed;
the very depths were convulsed.

17 The clouds poured down water,
the skies resounded with thunder;
your arrows flashed back and forth.

18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
your lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and quaked.

19 Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.

20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Good Grief!

I've been in a pretty hard place the last couple of weeks. Have you ever wanted something so bad and you knew there was no possible way to have it? It's not a good feeling. Think of that in terms of one of your children. Think about wanting to hear their voice or see them and KNOW that you can't ever do that. You can't plan a visit, or pick up a phone, or just go. EVER. I'm aware I will one day when I join Hannah in Heaven, but sometimes, a lot of times, right now, that isn't helpful.

I really am a person that avoids anger at all costs. I do not like people being mad. I don't like being mad. I don't like the way being angry feels. I also do not like to cry. Crying is neccessary I'm aware and I do it, but I do not like it. I've done a lot of crying in the past 6 months. More than I ever thought I could.

A couple of weeks ago I developed terrible back and neck pain. It was bad enough that I was seriously considering going to the doctor and those of you that know me, know that had to be pretty bad. There was no obvious reasons for the pain. I did not strain it. I had driven a lot but I do that all the time. Never had pain from it. It just popped up with no rhyme or reason.

I always try to be strong even when I'm not expected to or have to. I've decided that is a flaw. Nothing noble in it. Yesterday afternoon I sat on my bed, got out my phone and watched all the 30 second videos I have of Hannah on it. You can hear me way more than you can hear her but her sweet voice can be heard and it brought some of the precious moments just she and I had together back so vividly. I began sobbing and talking to God not so nicely. I asked, "what is wrong with me? Why did you do this to me? What did I do wrong? What am I not learning? Didn't I take good enough care of her? Didn't I love her enough?". Those were just a few of many. Honestly I know God called Hannah home because it was time to end her physical suffering. My mother's heart though just aches. Unless you have experienced this kind of loss you can't phathom it. I'm convinced there is no greater loss. Of course I know God loves me and all that. However sometimes none of it makes sense and I get mad. That's just the way it is for me.

After about 30 minutes of sobbing and talking to God I got up and began doing things. I had been in the dumps so bad that I had neglected a lot of stuff. I noticed I seemed lighter. Not happier but not so dark and gloomy. It wasn't long until I noticed that my back pain and neck pain were gone. A little soreness but no pain. I've heard and read so much about stress and what it does to the body. I never pay attention to it. My doctors harp on me about stress relief EVERY time I see them. "You have got to manage your stress load, Marcey". Your life depends on it. Seriously I get told that every month. I'm usually rolling my eyes and saying, "yeah right!" I even recently had a pschologist teach me relaxation techniques. I was skeptical but they really do work. Do I use them? Rarely. I have no excuses.

I always say I'm going to "try" to do something. In my "Vein of Gold" group yesterday our group leader asked us to show her how you "try" to do something. None of us could. The fact of the matter is you either can or you can't. You either do or you don't. Give it a shot. Go "try" to shake someones hand. See what happens. Fact of the matter is we choose whether we do or don't and "trying" can be a copout. That's the case for me. It's a word of safety. No one can fault you for "trying".

So today instead of saying, "despite my grief I'll try to take better care of myself and manage my stress level" or saying, I'll "try" to allow myself to express the grief I feel at losing Hannah instead of bottling it up until I physically hurt", I'm saying, "I will take better care of myself and do things to manage my stress and I will allow myself to feel and express the grief I have over the death of my Hannah". I'm choosing not to use that word of safety and just do.

Hannah, I want you to be proud of momma, but I'm going to let go of the notion that I have to handle your death in the "right" way, that I have to be strong and say and do the "right" thing for that to happen. I will make you proud but it's not going to be without my feeling and expressing the deep sorrow I feel at not having you physically with me. I know it's an expectation I put on myself. Not one you'd ever impose. I love you so deeply and miss you every breathing second of my day sweet beautiful girl! Thanks for being such a wonderful child and teaching me so much about life and living it. Love you always!

Monday, July 19, 2010

6 months

I miss you Hannah. I just miss you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My heart goes on...

I couldn't sleep last night. I'm missing my girl a lot. I felt a melt down coming on and thought the shower was the best place to have it. No one can hear me over the water. After my shower I came to bed and pulled up Hannah's blog and went back to the beginning. I read through the entire thing. God, I'm so glad I kept this thing. So many things I had forgotten but my memory was refreshed as I read through. I feel like my inspiration for writing died with her. I love writing but I loved writing about her. What can I possibly write about her now. It all seems so sad and leaves me flailing around for what I should do next. I don't want to let the world forget her. Not many people ask how I'm doing anymore and so many are afraid to say Hannah's name. I long for people to talk about her, to remember her. I think even my boys and David are afraid to talk about her for fear of upsetting me or making me feel worse. The only thing wrong with me is that I miss my girl. I think I'm handling her death pretty well. I get up everyday and I take showers, clean my house, get out and among people. I'm making it. I'm trying to live without her. I try to think about how happy she must be in heaven with the nanna that she loved so much, the beautiful music, and her Jesus(he was always HER Jesus). "My Jesus", she'd say. I Loved it. There are no more seizures there. No more doctors appt's and hospital stays. No more needles and procedures. I tell God everyday to tell her that her mommy loved her so much. That it's o.k. that she left me. I'll be o.k. And I am o.k. I believe in God's love for me and know that He took her because it was time. He decided "no more pain little Hannah" and took her home. I'm ready now like never before to join her some day. When it's my time. Until then, I put one foot in front of the other and love her from a distance. She's in my heart always.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just doing the next thing

Apology beforehand of the rambling state of this post. Sometimes I just have to type and let it be whether it's good, makes sense or not.

It feels really awful not writing here on a regular basis. Just further evidence that Hannah is no longer with us. She's been gone 5 months now. We still miss her terribly. Not a day goes by that I do not shed some tears at the thought of not having her with me. I just miss her beyond belief. She was the light in our lives. A light that is irreplaceable. We'll never experience that light again in this lifetime. It's incredibly sad and immensely painful.

I don't know how other parents who have lost children feel but I know that everything feels strange for me. I've never been an angry person and for the last month I've really been dealing with some anger. I cannot even begin to describe what it is like to watch your family, friends, neighbors, and the world go on with life as it was before when your life has been so painfully altered. It's just the strangest feeling. I certainly don't blame everyone for going on with life, and I realize I have to somehow go on too, however, just the fact that I have to do it without Hannah is infuriating sometimes. I'd have to say that right now it's infuriating a lot of the time. My heart LONGS for her beautiful face and the sound of her voice. There are times when I'd sell my soul if I could have one more day with her. The whole experience is just indescibable. It's merciless almost.

Don't worry about my soul(I would never sell it!) ;) I talk to God and listen to Him regularly. I KNOW God is at work in all of this. My faith is intact. I can tell you this...God does not take the pain away. He does not ease it. He does help me tolerate it. I'm sure that really messed with some of your theology but it's the truth. I will never get over losing Hannah. It will never not hurt. I will however by the grace of God learn to live with it, and my hope is that I can learn to live well despite the constant pain in my heart.

I believe I will have a great life. I'll have an enjoyable life. I'll strive to use my experiences with Hannah and her loss to help other people. I know God has a plan and I'm trying to really let life happen. Whatever that might be. I did a one day workshop about a year ago. Billie had just passed away and I really thought that what I had learned that day applied to life without her. I had no idea I'd be living a life without Hannah nearly a year later. One of the phrases used in this workshop was "just do the next thing". I am a pro at attempting to figure out life. You'd think by now I'd learn that things just don't happen the way I think they are supposed to. My plans never pan out. I do know that when I "just do the next thing" life is so much more pleasant. It's flowing and freeing. I've been doing a lot more of "just doing the next thing" lately and it's working for me. I cannot live beyond the day right now. Actually I can't live beyond the moment. I love to read scripture in several bibles when I do my Bible study time. Matthew 6:34in The Message translation reads, "34 Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." He does help me. He's there every time I call. He doesn't rescue me from my pain but he sure makes it bearable. Thank you Lord for your constant care and please give my angel a big kiss on the forehead for me tonight!

God bless all and please keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Hannah's home

So, we're in our Arlington home pretty much and we're loving it. We are really enjoying the house even though it is full of boxes and nothing is in place. The move was exhausting and hard but it's done and I'm thanking God for all He has provided.

Hannah lived in three homes with us in Hillsboro. The last one was the longest. 5 years. The night before we started moving I cried and decided we weren't going to move. I was serious too. It was late at night, everyone was in bed, and I was going to announce to David that next morning I had changed my mind. Regardless of being out lots of money, etc. I wasn't leaving my girl. I then went and sat in the floor of Hannah's room with all it's boxes and empty shelves and prayed and cried. It's sad to say but I pray more now than I ever did before. Don't get me wrong, I prayed regularly before, however my prayers have changed and I honestly feel like I have a friend I can go to when no one else can help me or hear me. It's an amazing feeling. As I sat there talking to my friend I felt a peace and calm descend on me. I've felt that so many times in the past nearly 5 months. God spoke quietness to my anxious heart. He reminded me that Hannah wasn't in that house anymore. Her stuff was there but she was being well cared for in a place where she feels no pain. She is free from all her earthly limitations. She is surrounded by family and friends that have gone before her and they are enjoying her immensely. When it's my time I'll see her again. I came in crying and asking for help because I didn't think I could make it and left feeling encouraged and peaceful about it all. I do not know how people survive the loss of a child without a faith to sustain them. It's got to be horrible.

So, we packed everything up that was left to pack and we started our move. Moves are insanity anyway but this one was beyond that. We have way too much stuff. The move was hard but went well I think. I cried a few times when I found something of Hannah's hidden in and under things. When everything was gone I did a final walk through and I was surprised at what I felt. I had prepared myself for feeling another great loss. I didn't feel that at all. I hated the house we were in. I was thankful for it but didn't like it. I thought I'd feel like I was abandoning Hannah. Nope, didn't feel that. I realized once again that she isn't here. What I moved was her things and things that I will cherish but they aren't her. What I did was do something for me, for our family, in making this move. We were all affected by the constant reminding of our great loss. Hannah was known and loved deeply by everyone that knew her. That was most of Hillsboro. Everyday in that house day in and day out without her was a constant reminder of the fact that I had lost her. I couldn't cook, do dishes, go shopping, go to church, or anything without feeling my loss. That loss is so painful that I can't feel it constantly. I won't survive it if I do. I will never forget my girl and I will never stop missing her, but we needed this change to learn to live life without her. It's the hardest part of losing something as precious as your child. Learning how to Continue living life without them.

Hannah loved living. I don't know how she did it. She'd be in the hospital and they'd be doing things that I know were painful and uncomfortable. Sometimes she'd cry a little and sometimes she wouldn't cry at all. She always smiled though. Even when she was ticked and aggrevated, she smiled. She was just incredible that way. She loved life. It's the one constant comfort I have. My Hannah was a happy girl.

So far moving has been a good thing. I have had back and neck pain for years, and severe headaches constantly. It was all tension related. I felt like I had to be on alert all the time. That Hannah's life depended on me being available to her should she need me. Even since Hannah's passing that "alertness" has not left me. I still walk around ready for a seizure to strike. I really didn't know that changing houses would help that but it has. I have felt some tension release and it feels pretty good. Not blaming Hannah for my tension. Like I said, I'd gladly do it all again if given the chance. I won't be given that chance though so I'm happy that my body can get some relief.

We're going to miss our Hillsboro friends so much. Wish we could have moved them all with us. Other than that though we are LOVING being here so far. This house was an answer to a long time prayer and we are so thankful for it!

Please keep us in your prayers. We thank you!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Hannah

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday DEAR Hannah, Happy Birthday to you!

I love my Hannah, She loves me too, I love my Hannah, in everything we do! (((Big hugs and lots of kisses)))

I thought I knew heartache but no heartache compares to the one I feel not having you with me today. You would have been 9. We would have had so much fun and you would of had us laughing because you'd be singing happy birthday to Zachary even though it was your birthday. I'd try fruitlessly to get you to sing Happy birthday Hannah and we'd all finally just let you sing what you wanted and enjoy our quirky corny girl.

None of that was to be this year. I tried to celebrate. Thought it would be the "right" thing to do. I'm glad we did what we did but to say it helped would be dishonest. As I stood there looking at your grave all decked out in spongebob nothing made sense and it all seemed so unfair. You were so good and brave. You fought hard and I fought right with you. It's so hard for me not to feel like I let you down. Like I didn't research enough, or get you to the right doctors quick enough, or did I miss something the night you had the seizure and could I have intervened more quickly. I just feel so defeated sometimes. I miss you so much. I struggle to find meaning in life anymore. I find it but it's a struggle.

I was excited for you. You came alive this year and you were doing so well. You had friends, you were learning, you were interacting and communicating. I had so much fun with you. Things were turning around for us after a rough couple years it seemed, and in the midst of all the celebration and renewed hope we were feeling, you left us. I didn't see that coming. None of us did. Our lives were altered forever.

One thing I do know without a doubt...you were loved deeply. You were loved by people I did not even know. When I think about how much you were loved, I do feel there is one thing I did right, and that was to share you. I'm so glad I let the world know you. You did more for people than your mom ever shall Hannah. You fought with a dignity and strength beyond your years. I'm so very proud to have been your mommy. You were the best little girl a mom could have ever wanted. I hope you knew how much I loved and admired you.

I hope your birthday is celebrated in heaven. I hope they have spongebob there and that all the friends you've made were able to come celebrate with you. I know y'all probably celebrate often. I imagine heaven is one grand celebration. Still I hope this day was extra special and that you got to see the balloons we sent your way. Happy Birthday sweetheart. You are missed beyond words. All my love, Mommy

Pictures from the day in no particular order.





















Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hannah's Last Award

This has been a really emotional and hard week. It's the end of the school year and that means so many lasts for me. We packed Hannah's room on Saturday for the move. I've spent the week saying good bye to teachers and school faculty. Friday Kyle graduates from High School. We get the keys to our new house Saturday, and Sunday would have been Hannah's 9th Bday. If I get through this week it will only be by the grace of God.

Yesterday was the end of the year awards ceremony for Hannah's school. They asked if I could receive Hannah's award. It is something I wanted to do so I did. When they asked me I said yes, and then cried for an hour afterwards. The day got here and I was glad to have two of Hannah's classsmates to help distract me. It was our turn to recieve awards. Hannah's teacher said a few words and then began calling each of the boys to receive their rewards. When it came time for Hannah's, she was choked up. She loved my girl so much. I blew Hannah a kiss, received her medal, hugged her teacher and cried, and then stood with Hannah's classmates as the parents, teachers, and administrative staff gave her a standing ovation. I did good. I cried some but not too much. Then we went out for photos and I held it together pretty durn good I think. When I drove into my driveway and parked my van however I bawled. That was the last award my girl would ever receive. This was the last school year I'd ever prepare her for starting a new year. No more summers of she and I having school together. So many final moments and it was tough.

Last night Rachael and her girls dropped by with a framed picture of the Central Baptist GA's(helped Hannah get Koolio), Hannah, and Koolio. It has paw prints on it and signatures of the girls. It is a precious gift that I will cherish always.

I'm thanking God in the midst of all my heartache for so many things. I'm thanking him for strength and courage. I'm thanking him for the quickenings he gave me and pushes to require a little extra out of myself. I'm so very thankful for all the time I invested in Hannah's life. It was not an easy life, but it was a blessed one. I'd gladly do it all over again. I learned so much from Hannah. I will never take another day, another hour, or moment for granted. Life is too precious.

Here are a couple photos of the day. I look awful but I don't care. It was an incredible day for me. Hannah was remembered and those days are very special in my eyes.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Packing Hannah

This has been a very emotional week for me. On Wednesday I had dinner with Hannah's teachers. On Thursday I visited Hannah's school. I did really well until I left. As I walked down the ramp, along the sidewalk, through the building, to the office, out the office, and into my van, my heart broke. Hannah loved that place. I got to see her guy pals, Alexis, Israel, and Charley Boy(as Hannah called him). When Koolio and I walked in the room Charley and Israel ran to Koolio. They were excited. Alexis ran and was messing with paper. I was a little surprised by that because Alexis always enjoyed Koolio so much. Later however he came to pet Koolio and we noticed that he had made a puppet of Koolio. It had floppy ears and everything. I just love that boy. I had a pin with Hannah's picture on my jacket and Israel made me cry when he rubbed it with his hand and wanted it. It was really tough to do but I'm glad I went. Hannah's teachers are the most awesome humans on this planet and she was very fortunate to have them. I will forever be grateful for the love and care they gave my Hannah.

Yesterday my friend Mary came to be with me as I packed Hannah's things. That was a hard thing to do. After we finished I just climbed in her bed and cried. I decided that if I even thought it might have some significance I was keeping it. I'll go through it more later when I can. We also created a box of things I wanted to keep close and easily accessible. The last blanket she lay on, her favorite books, pillow, etc. So, it's done and I'm glad it's done but it was oh so sad. I was completely and totally mentally exhausted and a numbness set in similar to what I felt right after her funeral. Still I felt the prayers of my friends and had a friend with me that helped me keep it all in perspective. I'm thankful.

All these good byes are really tough. I pray none of you ever have to experience the loss of your child. There is no worse heartache. The only thing that gets us through it is the prayer and support of friends. Thank you!

Monday, May 17, 2010

4 mths

Today marks four months since Hannah passed away. I started feeling a cloud around me yeserday and it is continuing today. There is no way to get around this loss. Sometimes I think you just have to allow yourself a meltdown. Your mind won't let you do anything else anyway. Then after the meltdown you start putting one foot in front of the other again until the next one. So between meltdowns you make some progress down the road however it is slow, excruciating, and takes a tremendous will to go on.

I don't like life without Hannah. I'm trying to because she loved life, and I know that if I can love it, I'd be honoring hers. Still it is very difficult. Something happened to us that is irreplacable when she left this world. We fed off her love for everything around her. She inspired us, entertained us, and just plain gave life meaning. We're all kind of floundering around trying to find it on our own and being very unsuccessful.

The next few weeks will be an emotional rollercoaster. Kyle will graduate from high school on the 28th of this month. I'm so proud of him. He's done well to have dealt with all the obstacles the last few years have held. He's wanting to go to college and he's doing all he can to get there. He's an impressive young man and I think he'll make an impact in this world in ways that are much needed. So, I'll be saying goodbye to his childhood and watch as he embraces adulthood. It's both a sad and exciting time.

On the 29th we will get the keys to our new house and can begin the process of relocating. I'm excited about the house.(VERY excited) I'm excited about having David work closer to home. I'm excited about living in the big city.(a little nervous too) I'm excited about the opportunites we'll have. However, I'm sad to leave the only home Hannah ever knew, the community and friends that we love so much, and teachers and school staff that loved my girl almost as much as I did. It breaks my heart when I think about leaving but I also know that I have to do it. I cannot tell you how hard it is to walk by Hannah's room everyday. Not only does it hold the memory of Hannah but also Billie. Our home feels like a shrine. Everything is just as she left it. I thought that was going to be good but I'm finding it's not. I need to get out of this house where every single thing I do reminds me of my loss. I don't want to ever forget but I do need to be able to live outside of it. If it's at all possible to do that. I know a lot of people do not understand and I wish I was able to explain in a way that they could. I just can't. We love this place but we need change. So, we'll sadly say goodbye and hold God's hand in the next phase of our life. If you're upset with our decision then I pray you see it for what it is. We weren't out to hurt anyone with it. We are just doing what we have to do to keep going.

The 30th would have been Hannah's 9th birthday. Guess it explains a little why I'm having such a hard time lately. Her 8th birthday was wonderful. We were so excited she was well enough for the party. The tears are flowing right now as I think about not having her here this year. We're going to plan a picnic at her grave site and have chicken nuggets, fries, shakes, and cupcakes. All her favorites. Last year I was buying stuff to decorate her room like a classroom for her birthday. She LOVED it. This year all I can do is buy flowers to put in the ground. I can't buy her any pretty clothes or shoes. It's incredibly painful. People just have no idea.

I guess this turned into a pity party posting. I don't want it to be but it is what it is. I'm just sad. I'm not hopeless. I'm broken. I'm not forsaken. God is my refuge and strength! In HIM I have placed my trust. I'm thankful above all because I am not alone in my grief. Never alone....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Yes, it was a tough one but I made it. I woke up to cards from the men in my life and the tears started. I miss my girl. I've always known she'd never be back but there comes a time in the grief process where it sets in and it's really hard. I have felt heartache like I can not even describe. Life has been forever altered for me and I have to find my way in this new world. It's really tough stuff. I said that already didn't I? Every step I take to move on, my heart wants to pull me back. But it wants something that is no longer there. Somehow Hannah has to remain part of my life but in my new world. It's a journey that keeps me on my knees and in God's word for sure. So, yeah Mother's Day was terribly difficult, but still good. I had breakfast with my men and hung out with them all day. They don't mind my tears. They just hug me and let me know they miss Hannah too. I'm blessed to have two wonderful boys, a fabulous husband, and my Koolio.

Last week was a busy one. We've been needing to move for some time. We could not make up our minds about whether to move closer to David's job or not. I've been looking everywhere and praying hard. Everything I looked at was either way over our budget or the neighborhood was less than desirable. On Sunday I saw a house online in Arlington. I loved it from the pictures but you never know if the pictures will do it justice. I made arrangements to look at it Tuesday, fell in love with it the minute I saw it, filled out an ap, and met the owner on Saturday to discuss terms and show the house to David. So, we will be relocating in a few weeks to Arlington. The house and neighborhood are for us. David and I are in awe of how it is everything we've ever wanted. We are excited and ready for the next chapter of our lives in this home we already love.

That all being said leaving Hillsboro will be very hard. It's the only home Hannah ever knew. It's been a place that has supported our family through very difficult times and has rallied behind us in everything we've endeavored to do. We have friends here. Very dear friends who mean the world to us. The teachers and support staff that loved my girl almost as much as I do are here. Leaving will not be easy and the decision was one we agonized over. It's just time.

David's job is more demanding and time consuming, gasoline is nearing $3 a gallon, Kyle will be at Huntsville in college, our current home is in need of a lot of work, Zach wants to get into radio stuff, and I will go back to school eventually. We all feel like we need change. Everywhere we go and everywhere we look someone or something reminds us of our loss. Not that we'll ever forget it but we just can't live in it all the time. I'm hoping people will understand.

Here are pictures of the house...





Friday, May 7, 2010

My Ideal Day

I've been meeting weekly with a wonderful group of women who are truly inspirational. The group will end in three short weeks and I'm sad to see it be over. I do feel tremendously blessed to have had this opportunity at a time when life made very little sense to me. It still doesn't make a lot of sense but I have a heightened awareness of exactly where my hope lies. It's ALL in God's hands and He has promised that EVERYTHING will work for my good if I love him. That is what I told Him in that little shower stall at Cook Children's hospital in Fort Worth the night before Hannah died. I told Him that I wanted her with me but that if he needed her I would let her go and I would still love Him. I still love my Hannah, I still love my God, and because I do there is hope.

One of our tasks this week for the group was to imagine an ideal day and to write it. I thought it would be difficult to do but I did it in just a few minutes. I'm sharing it here only because I think it would be a great exercise for anyone to do and would encourage you all to give it a try. Just let it flow and see what happens. Also, because so much of my "ideal day" was about Hannah's life I thought it would be appropriate to share. Remember we were allowed to imagine the day and there were no limits. I have a very active imagination. :)

Marcey’s Ideal Day

Koolio is at my feet as I awaken to this glorious day. I have a few minutes before my alarm goes off so I snuggle in close to my honey and enjoy the protected feel of being in his arms. My alarm rings letting me know it’s time to get up and going. I grab a cup of coffee, my journal, and Koolio and we head out to the deck. As I am entertained by Koolio’s antics with our backyard wildlife, I journal about life and memories of my Hannah. I pull myself from my writings to get busy with the day at hand. Today I have a board meeting and we’ll award grants to families of children with epilepsy and autism as well as special needs teachers for much needed aids. Among those aids will be cooling vests, seizure sleep monitors, wireless video baby monitors, service dog supplies, adaptive equipment, and other misc. needs. Before that meeting I have a session with the neurological staff at a Children’s hospital to train them how to communicate best with the families of their patients. Besides the training I will ask for input on what parents can do to help their child’s neurological team treat them successfully. Eating lunch alone is not happening today. I get to meet a dear friend who inspires me every time we meet. Our lunch is no disappointment and I’m ready for my afternoon. I’m meeting with a new family. I always enjoy those first meetings and the relief I see on the faces of mothers when they realize I can offer them resources and direction. The best part of my day is getting to meet their fabulous kiddos and spending some time with them. After a full day I return home to spend the evening with my family. When everyone is winding down I go to my home office, climb on the window seat with my laptop and do some researching or writing while peeking at the star filled sky. As I retire for the night I think about how fortunate I am to be living this life. Hannah’s life continues to inspire people; I get to use my love for learning, teaching, and my first hand experience with special needs. I’m in awe of how God orchestrated it all and remember, Romans 8:28 and we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In Memory

I joined the Idea-League when we learned about Dravet syndrome and began the journey to see if Hannah had it. She did. The Idea-Leauge puts out a newsletter and in the April issue they do a "In memory" feature on Hannah. Please read the newsletter and get involved in helping these families. It's an incredible organization and they are working on hard to help kids like our Hannah. Enjoy!

Cut and Paste this link in your browser to see the newsletter

www.idea-league.org/userfiles/files/Channeling_In_5_2.pdf

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We Remember

On Sunday our family went to a ceremony held at Cook Children's honoring children who had died the past year. I honestly wasn't sure I'd ever walk the halls of that hospital again but we did and it was o.k. Uncle Joe, Aunt Shirley, Tricia(Hannah's teacher), and two wonderful friends; Charlotte and Lea came to be with us. I am so glad we went. It feels so good when someone remembers our girl. The ceremony was beautiful and I was so amazed at how much this meant to the hospital staff. There was a responsive reading that gave me chills. It was a Jewish one. After each sentence we were to respond "we remember". However the PICU staff was scattered throughout the building and they would stand and say loudly "we remember". There were songs, poems, and the chaplain talked about remembering. Toward the end there was a candle lighting where they read the child's name and lit a candle. Before the candle lighting there was a slide show. It had pictures of the children lost, poems, quotes, etc. When Hannah's came up we all cried but oh how thankful I felt. Over half the pictures on the slideshow were babies. Thank you God for letting me have my girl nearly 9 whole years! The ceremony concluded with everyone in the prayer garden and butterflies being released. It really was an incredible day. Hard but oh so incredible!

Yesterday I was doing some cleaning and I found an old hair tie that had a significant amount of Hannah's hair in it. There was a time while she was on keppra that she lost quite a bit of hair. I felt the hair and was overcome with grief. I loved that beautiful hair. It was a pain to comb through some days but it was gorgeous. As I put it to my face I could smell her. That's what was so painful. Her clothes have long lost the scent of her but that hair hadn't. I shared the hair tie with David last night and he enjoyed the scent of her too. We both thank God for anything that lets us feel her.

People remind me often that Hannah is now healed and whole. There are no seizures in heaven. There is no autism in heaven. Thre is comfort in knowing we will see her again someday. However when I imagine Hannah she is seizureless but still that quirky beautiful girl with autism. I think I just have a different perspective on it now that she is gone. Don't throw stones yet. LOL! I still believe we need to find out what is causing autism and do anything we can to stop it from happening to our kids. I'm just a mom who lost a little girl who had autism and is thanking her lucky stars for all that having her taught me. Before having Hannah my world was so small and self centered. I always looked at big things and ignored the small. My life is richer, fuller, larger, and certainly others centered. I also celebrate everything. No longer is something seeemingly small insignificant. I feel blessed even in great loss.

We still miss our girl and always will! We'll never forget. Thanks for all the love and support!

Program from We Remember Ceremony

Candle Lighting

Name tags

Releasing butterflies

All those in attendance to remember Hannah.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dear Hannah

Morning Hannah! It's mommy. Oh sweetie, mommy misses you so much. There's not a moment that goes by that I do not wish I could see your beautiful face and hear your amazingly sweet voice. I know heaven's really enjoying having you around. Do you wake everyone up singing, "wake up little blue bird!" Man, do I miss my mornings with you. I miss you saying, "holdy me" and the warmth and love of that hold. I miss you saying, "thank you Lord for another safe night" as we'd start getting ready for school. I miss our night time routine too. Oh God how I miss those kisses and night time prayers! I just miss you. I miss every little detail of your amazing being.

Your crazy daddy and I are going to try to celebrate being married 20 years this weekend. I know he misses you too. It's a bittersweet occassion for us. Just being able to go makes it more evident you're gone. We'd both gladly trade our weekend if it meant we could have you with us. I'm so glad you had a daddy who loved you so much. The weekend will be fun of course. How can it not be with your daddy making me laugh the entire time, I'm sure. He's still crazy Hannah. You loved him that way and so do I! Oh, Did you know that Koolio does us just like you used to. If daddy hugs me or gets to close he wedges himself between us. It's so cute. We think of you every time he does it and talk about how he must have learned that from you.

Speaking of Koolio, he's lost weight since you've been gone! You fed him way too good girl. He needed to lose a few pounds. He misses you. Sometimes he lays in your room on the floor or in the hallway outside of your room and just looks in. Mommy is trying to keep him busy but no one can keep him as busy as you did! Precious has taken up to sleeping in your bed. I think she misses your shuffling feet behind her all through the house. We didn't realize how attached she was to you. Even the animals are having to adjust to your absense from our lives.

Kyle and Zach are doing o.k. They miss their pesty sister a lot. Kyle is going to college in Huntsville. You sure wouldn't have liked that! You loved having your bubbas close. We're proud of him though and pray like crazy for it all to work out.

Mommy has been so lost without you. I'm trusting in God's plan and knowing that evenutally it'll be o.k. I'll always miss you but my hope is that I'll be able to use what I have learned from your life to inspire hope and help. Four words seem to be the theme of all my thoughts lately. Live, Love, Laugh, and Educate. I think those words describe you. You lived life every minute of every day and you loved it. You definately loved and did it far better than most of us. You laughed. We still laugh at things you did and said. You were hilarious. You educated us all. You inspired education just with your love for it. So as always, mommy is praying for God to order her steps. I remember when you copied me and prayed that. It was so cute. Was there nothing you didn't notice or absorb!?!?

I miss you beautiful girl! More than I can ever express. I can't wait to see you again. I'm going to kiss you until your screaming for me to stop! :) What a day that will be! Until then though, mommy is going to do what she can here to help your life continue to inspire others! I love you sweet girl! ALWAYS! Love, Mommy

PS: By now I'm sure you've met your Uncle Dewayne and you're being spoiled rotten. Make him sing "I'll Fly Away" with you. You'll love his voice!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

20 years

David and I are going to celebrate 20 yrs of marriage this weekend. It's bittersweet of course. Just being able to go away makes the fact that Hannah isn't with us very apparent. We will end the weekend by attending a "We Remember" ceremony at Cook Children's hospital where Hannah will be honored. I'm looking forward to spending time with my honey but I'm a little apprehensive about the emotions I'm feeling concerning Hannah not being with us. As I made my packing list this morning I wanted to scream. The hole in my heart is just so big and painful. I'm so glad that God has a plan whatever it may be and that I can trust Him it will all be o.k. He's been faithful and I'm thanking Him for all the love and life he continues to bring my way. Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Here's one of my favorite photos of my girl!

More cemetary photos