Friday, April 4, 2014

When things happen that we don't understand

Right after the accident, lots of people had lots of advice for me.  What I should do, where I should go, who I should talk to and even WHY it happened.  Many people said that they didn't understand why God would do this.  I myself even questioned Him, once or twice.  But overall, it was my belief that God did NOT do this, cause the accident, make me lose my girls, make my world turn upside down.  I believed that the enemy did this, and that Jesus, from the moment it happened, carried all three girls into Heaven. 

Fast forward 2-1/2 feelings of Jesus carrying the girls have not changed.  I have said it before, I know that the girls are in Heaven and I will never, ever doubt that.  But now, I DO believe that God did this.  Let me explain....

Our time here on earth is planned.  It has been planned before we even existed.  If we are quiet and still and LISTEN, we will know without a doubt, what God wants from us while we are here.  Our time on earth was never promised to be permanent.  He knows how we will spend each and every day!! There is nothing we can hide from Him, because he already knows

God gave us the power of free will.  And, like most people, I fight it on a daily basis.  I get angry, I deny it and I fight with fists balled on what has already been planned for me.   If my day doesn't go as I had planned, I get upset.  I have had moments where I have asked God why, and have thought that for some reason, something I have done wrong in my life, from birth to now, that I deserved this.  And then there are days when I am thoughtful, grateful and accepting.  Each day is never the same and HE KNOWS THIS.  There are times we question why people were taken away so soon, why suffering happens, sadness, poverty, death, anger, war and so on. Why I went from a little family of 5 to a family if 3 in one day.

Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I know that God planned for me to be a mom of 4 and I believe that He saved my daughters from something far worse.  From something that I am not sure they, or I, would have been able to handle.  He also knew how I would handle life after losing them and he gives me grace.  He weeps with me and holds me on those days where I cry like a baby. He knows exactly how I feel, because He lost his son too

I will never know while I am here on earth, the reason why my girls are gone. But I WILL have answers in Heaven, I will see them again and only then will it all make sense. Until then, I will believe that there is and was a reason.  

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sixteen today...

Happy Birthday Gabi!

Today you would have been I got your brother ready for school this morning, I thought about what you would be like today if you were here.  Would you have asked me if you could skip school because it was your birthday? Or would you have said "Let's go get my license" before school?  Or would you have been excited to go to school on this day?

If I could, I would let you do all of the above.  I would let you skip school and I would take you out to lunch, just you and I, like we used to do when you were little, and you wanted to stay with me when your sisters went to your dad's for the weekend.

I think back on the road trips that we would take, you were game for anything, as long as we were all together.  You kept us entertained on those trips and made us laugh.  You asked silly questions and always acted bigger than your age.  I miss your little hand in mine, with those big brown eyes and beautiful smile. I miss when it was just your sisters and I out in this world.

As you got older we fought, but I am pretty sure that was to be expected between mothers and daughters.  We disagreed, we argued, we cried and were confused about our roles.  Even after raising 2 teenage girls before you, I still didn't get it right.  I hope you knew that despite all of that, I loved you.  I hope that even though we were at odds most of the time, that deep down you knew that I would always be there for you and have your back.   I hope you always knew that I would fight for you and for what was right, even if you thought I was wrong at the time.

Thank you for the 13 years we had together.  I would not trade any of it for the world.  Because of you, I learned to love more and fight harder and not back down.  Because of you I held on a little tighter.

I hope today that you are looking down and are proud of us.  I know that you are making the angels laugh in Heaven.

Happy Birthday my Gabi Goose.  I wish I could hear your laugh again and hug your face.  I know you have it way better where you are and having a birthday fit for the daughter of the King.  I love you more than you know....

Love, Mom

Monday, December 16, 2013

Balloons and Pennies

When Daniella and I first took her dad to the hospital, it was to the emergency department and we were there for almost 12 hours.  Needless to say, it was a long afternoon, evening and very early morning until we got home.  In between waiting for tests to be run, her dad being combative with doctors and nurses and finally getting a bed within the hospital, Daniella and I did things to pass the time.  One of those things were the pennies.

As we were in the ER and waiting, Daniella asked me for all of my pennies.  I asked her what for and she smiled and asked again for all the pennies I had.  I dug into my wallet and purse and gave her all that I had.  "I'll be right back," she said.

Sneaking a peek at her as she walked down the halls, I could see her randomly bend down to put something on the floor and walk on.  She came back about 20 minutes later and I asked her what she did.  She told me, "Mom, everyone needs a little bit of luck in their day, especially here.  I put pennies down so people could find them and have good luck." God bless this beautiful child...

After the accident, the night after the service, my friend and I went to the church to pick up things that were left there.  In the lobby there were random balloons that had been given out and released, that had escaped while they were being handed out.  Different balloons of teal and purple, the girls' favorite colors.  Looking at them made me sad, we had just been here hours ago celebrating their life.  How long would these balloons be up there as a reminder?

We walked to gather the plants and flowers that had been left on the stage.  As we came back through the hallway, there in the middle of the lobby, literally hanging in mid air almost at eye level, was a purple balloon. We all stopped.  I grabbed that balloon and said "Hi Daniella."  I told my friends that I wanted a "sign" from Gabi as well and they all agreed that it would happen in time.  As we were talking again in the lobby, about ready to leave, out of the corner of my eye I see a teal balloon floating downward from the ceiling. Hi Gabi.....

I kept those balloons in my hand as I drove home and put them in my bedroom where I could see them every day.  To this day, those balloons still have air in them.

I started seeing pennies randomly, sometimes 2, sometimes 3, but rarely 1 alone.  I would wake up and 2 or 3 would be in my bed.  I obviously do not carry money to bed and I have no pockets in my pajamas, so how did they get there? We have walked through the store and have seen 2 pennies sitting on top of a TV display, I have seen 2 pennies in my driveway as I walk out to get the mail.  I do not generally put change in my pockets and if I am in the car, I will throw all coins into my purse that is sitting on the passenger seat.  One day I had been running errands and stopped at a Starbucks on the way home.  When I received my change, I remember throwing everything into my purse on the seat next to me.  No change in pockets, no change in console, but in the purse.  I didn't stop again before going home.  Later that evening I went to my car for something, 3 bright and shiny pennies were sitting in the driver's seat....waiting for me.

 Now, the holidays are here.  This will be my 3rd Christmas without the girls and if I had my choice, I would skip everything altogether.  I don't want to celebrate, I don't want to decorate, I don't want to cook Christmas dinner...nothing.  But I do it because I have other children and a granddaughter.

Today my son and I did our last round of Christmas shopping. I tried to make it fun for him (what boy LIKES shopping, especially if it's not for him?), so I promised him his favorite burger joint for lunch.  We walked in and took a booth.  I sat my purse down to the left of me in the seat, never touching it again until it was time to leave.  I turned to pick up my purse, this is what I saw....
I choose to believe these are signs from the girls.  That they are here with me, they are watching over me and everything is all right.  After seeing those pennies today, my attitude towards the holidays changed a little bit. I smiled for the first time in a while and I felt a hug from the girls.  I came home and wrapped a couple of presents.  If I had my choice, I would skip holidays altogether.  They will never be the same ever again. But I believe the girls were telling me to smile, that it will be all right.  To celebrate the season of Jesus' birth and remember that they are with Him. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Nani!!

Happy Birthday baby girl!

Today, you would have been 18 years old.  Instead of getting to celebrate this milestone birthday with you, all I have is remembering you and my memories.  I woke up this morning fully expecting to wake up to a gloomy, dark morning to match my mood.  Instead, I walked into the kitchen for my coffee and the first thing I noticed was how bright the kitchen was, the sun shining through the curtains and there was a long beam of sunshine on the floor.

I miss your being, I miss your presence.  While I am basking in the sunlight that God gave us today, I sit in a quiet house and reflect on how being your mom has changed my life forever and how proud I am that God chose me to be your mom.

I remember how quiet you were as a baby and how you would just observe everyone and everything. You didn't talk a whole lot when you were little because you had a big sister who would talk for you! :) But oh, once you realized that you had a voice, we called you Chatty Cathy because you talked so much!!  You would follow your big sister and I around all the time and always want to do what we were doing.  You loved to play outside but would always have a close eye on where we were.

You may have been my quiet one, but when you had something to say, everyone stopped and listened...You were the calm one and the one who looked at everything from all sides before making a decision. You stood up for the right thing and were not afraid to speak your mind when something was wrong. You never let people bully you and if you saw someone hurting, you were the first to comfort them.

I miss sitting in church with you or walking into the store, arms linked together.  I miss watching movies with you and crying at the end.  I miss the way you didn't get a joke until hours later and then would start laughing.  I miss the way you were with your sisters and your brother.  I miss your long legs that would go on for days and the way you were the tallest one in the family. I miss watching you do your hair in the mornings before school and sleeping in on the weekends. I miss how you and your brother would share a bowl of cereal while watching TV.  I miss hearing you laugh late at night while trying to be quiet.  I miss you climbing the tree. I miss you sitting in the middle in the backseat of the car when we went on road trips.  I miss you coming to the living room after your sisters went to sleep, so that you could cuddle on the couch with me.  I miss the way you dragged that futon into the kitchen, because it was snowing outside, there was a fire in the fireplace, and you wanted to watch a movie in front of the fire. I miss how you would play hide and seek with your brother and hide in the closet, then call me from your phone to tell me to let him know where you were.  I miss how when we registered your brother for kindergarten you wrote down your name for "Other Parent" and the way his eyes lit up when he saw you.

I am so proud of you and all that you had accomplished. I know you are also accomplishing great and beautiful things up in Heaven.  I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but today I will honor you and the day you were born with happy memories.  Thank you for your sunshine this morning, I know that you were telling me not to be sad on this day.  Thank you for being my daughter and my friend.  I love you Nani....


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Two Years

Nani and Gab, 

Two years you have been gone.  

I thought I had been doing good.  I thought I was being strong.  Then, the lanterns were lit and your mama broke.  

I hate that you aren't here to see your brother.  He is growing so fast and loves soccer and baseball.  He's been riding a bike without training wheels for a while now and got a new bike for his birthday, which he keeps in the house because he loves it and doesn't want anything to happen to it. (And I let him) :) You never got to meet his best friend, who moved away this summer, but they still remain best friends and  are so cute together when they see each other after a long time.  He is so smart and funny and gets into trouble at school and has an attitude sometimes, but he has such a tender heart and still cries when he sees me crying or when he thinks my feelings are hurt, and he talks with such pride and joy of the different ways he is like both of you girls, telling me "Gabi used to do that," or "Nani and I did this the same."  He loves your niece and is thrilled when she comes over.  They either will play great together or fight like brother and sister.   She is so smart, you would be amazed at how much she has changed.  We have quite the conversations, she and I!!  She is a little sassy sometimes, but that's okay.  Your sister is such a great mom! I am really proud of her and know you would be too.  I like to see them interact together and it makes me sad that you aren't here to see that.  I hate that you aren't here to watch her grow up and see how strong your sister is. 

Daniella, you would be 18 next month, this would be your senior year.  Would you be dating? Or would school be more important than boys? Would you still be doing things that would "look good on your college applications?" I always laughed when you would say that.  I never worried about you, you knew exactly what you wanted to do and you were always confident in that, still having fun along the way. I miss your goofy laugh and the touch of your skin.  I miss you helping me cook dinner and I miss you and Sam climbing in the tree in the backyard.  I miss watching movies with you and the both of us crying during the movie, holding hands and wiping tears away.  I miss going to church with you!! I felt you sitting next to me in church a few weeks ago, were you there with me?

Gabi, in March you would be 16.  Driving and staying out late with your friends.  I worried about you every day and always wanted you to be happy.  I remember when you were little, your sisters were in school and it was just you and mom all day...those were good times.  You helped me around the house, we baked together, we played, read books and created things, just you and I until your sisters came home.  When the bus would get closer to the house, you couldn't wait to run out and hug your sisters! When you were baptized at church, I don't think I had ever been more proud of you.  I remember driving you back to the house in your wet clothes so you could change, I kept hugging you and crying until you finally said to me "Mom, I'm freezing!"  :)

We lit lanterns for you, just a few of us. Did you see them?  One of those lanterns had landed in the trees at the park and when I walked the next morning it was there for me to see.  Was that a sign that you were with me? 

I know you are okay. I have said this before and I will say it again, you have it way better up there than down here.  I just wish you were here...

I love you girls. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

There is a Reason

I went to church, hadn't been in a while, I even procrastinated a little bit, but I went. And I am glad I did. My pastor is a storyteller, he tells the story and then in your mind you think "Oh YEAH!!" You get it. 

He spoke of God's plan, how things happen for a reason. You and I may have a different plan in our minds, this is the way we want to do it, and when it doesn't happen that way you think, "Hey now, hold up! That wasn't my plan!" We fight and fight to turn things around so that it will be OUR way, but in the end, it's always God's way and His plan is always better. Things happen for a reason, and we may not see the whole picture yet, but God knows, and we have to trust in Him. Trust may be a five-letter word, but it's a big and scary word. Believe me, I do not trust easily, but I trust God. 

There is a reason why I was raised by a single mother for most of my life, and there is a reason why when I told my mom I loved her, she responded with "I know you love me, you don't have to tell me all the time." There is a reason my mother did not go to my daughter's service and why she has made the choice to avoid and not keep in contact with her daughters. 

There is a reason why I met by best friend when I was around 13 years old, and she is still my best friend to this day.

There is a reason why when I was 24 and my father was 45 (2 years younger than I am now), he was murdered. 

There is a reason why my best friend here in Missouri was killed by her husband, who will now spend the rest of his life in jail for murdering her. 

There is a reason why I married a bitter, angry and abusive man who was a closet homosexual and ended up dying of AIDS when he was 47. 

There is a reason why I got involved with someone after my divorce, became pregnant and now have been raising my son by myself since he was born. 

There is a reason that I was always a believer, but never was baptized until I was 45 years old. 

There is a reason why I had 3 daughters and a son, and 2 of those daughters passed away in an accident.

There is a reason my oldest daughter had my granddaughter when she was 17. 

There is a reason why sometimes I feel like I do not belong in this town, and there is a reason why I am still here. 

God has a plan. Sometimes I think I have it all figured out, but I really do not. I have no idea why He uses me in these situations and honestly, I wish sometimes He would just find someone else.

I am tired. I am not perfect, I make mistakes, I sin daily and if I had my way now, I would just quietly raise my son and be done with it. I hesitate to look towards the future because I am afraid something might happen.  I worry all the time and I am afraid to step outside my boundaries. I am trying to trust, but it's not easy.

All these things, everything, happens on God's time, not ours.  He has a plan. I don't know what it is most of the time, and one day I will see pieces of the big picture and understand, but right now, I don't know what the plan is. He is preparing us for eternity. If I only can trust in one thing, I will trust in that. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Senior Year

Here we are again. I have been both anticipating and dreading this year all summer. Since last year, really. Senior year. 

I have spent most of my summer in a depression. People have stopped calling. I don't get invited to places any more or calls for coffee. I have gained weight. I cry when I go to the grocery store and cry throughout most days. I literally get nauseous sometimes when I let it sink in that they are not here. I have slept through most of the summer and I have been to church only a couple of times. I have been hiding. 

Hiding because it is so hard to see these kids sometimes.  Daniella and Gabi's friends. Kids that are sophomores and seniors this year. I see them growing up and I tend to forget who was friends with who, because all I get to remember is ages 13 and 15. When I see Gabi's friends, now 15 and 16, I think that they were Daniella's friends and it takes me a moment to remember that they have grown up. 

Hiding because while everyone else gets to enjoy their kids' senior years, their summers, sports, starting college, etc. I will never have that. Hiding because my daughter is angry at me all the time. Hiding because people have forgotten. 

I have screamed, yelled, cried and kicked things in my frustration that my girls are not here. I feel worthless. I have been stubborn in accepting the fact that this is my life now. I don't want it. I want my girls back. I want laughter in the house again and I even want the arguing back. I want to worry about them when they go out and I want to see the excitement in their eyes when a certain boy talks to them or when they spend the day with friends. I want to wake up their sleepy bodies and tell them its time to get ready for school and then I want to rush around each morning making sure that everyone is ready,  homework is done and everyone gets to school on time. Then I want to do it all again at 3:00 p.m., rushing around to pick everyone up from school. I want to turn back time to when they were little and they still needed me. I want to make their birthday cakes again and I want to watch them as they hit milestones in their lives. I want to dance in the kitchen and laugh at their silliness. I want to see them play soccer and cross country and track and I want to take them to the school early on Saturdays, when it's still dark outside, so they can catch the bus for meets. 

Then reality sets in. I see myself struggling, I see my daughter angry, I see really bad decisions that some of these kids are making and I realize that Daniella and Gabi have it SO much better where they are now. They are always happy, laughing and smiling. Instead of dancing in the kitchen with Mom, they are dancing in Heaven with Jesus. They are beautiful and perfect and they don't have to go through this sometimes ugly world of depression, shame, stress and anger.  They have wonderful, beautiful days EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  As a mom, how could you not want that for your children, knowing that they are in Heaven? How could you not want to do everything you can here on earth to assure that you will one day see them again and they will be perfect? 

2 Corinthians 4:17 "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison." 

I am thankful that God lets me be real with Him. I am thankful that He listens when I am real, when I am angry and sad, yelling and screaming and cussing and asking Him why, and yet He still loves me and wants the best for me. I am eager to see the new chapter, the next phase in my life that He has prepared for me, although sometimes I hope it ends soon so that I can see my girls. 

I am thankful that I can turn to Scripture and see reminders of God's promises. 

Psalms 40: 1-3  "I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God."

So here I am, waiting patiently...