Saturday, June 11, 2016

Being Swept Away

I'm a big fan of being completely swept away by ordinary life.

It started today at a nine year old's birthday party.  I actually had never met the birthday boy, but his Mom has become a dear friend of mine over the last few months.  I had been nervous about going, but decided to shove away my anxieties and seize the day.  I bought myself a pretty new shirt (that I like so much I will wear again tomorrow!) and loaded the birthday boy's gift bag with lots of candy, since I had no idea what else he liked! When I arrived, I was happy to see that there were a very nice group of parents from our local elementary school all sitting around, nibbling on fruit and chips, and chatting under a cluster of trees on the edge of their lovely lawn.

The kids were happily engaged in bouncy house and trampoline activities, along with zip-lining (amazing fun!) and water games.  And, a breeze came along that cooled my face, and that signaled me to look around and realize that I was comfortable.  I felt peaceful, surrounded by people I didn't know extremely well, yet I knew their names, their kids names, and I knew that it was okay to be me.

And, once I felt that happen, I joined it.  I chatted.  I asked questions.  I cheered kids on during the zip-lining, I talked in silly voices, told jokes, and had a really great time.

Even though I had been scared to go.

And just like that, life swept me away in a beautiful, simple, dance.

I came home, smiling, being proud of overcoming my social anxiety, yet exhausted from it as well.

So, I asked my husband for time to read.  I'm about a decade behind the times, but I have borrowed Eat. Pray. Love. from our local library on my Kindle.  I know some Christians would be horrified that I'm reading that book, but honestly, Elizabeth Gilbert is one of the most captivating writers I have read recently, and the book is has so many interesting characters, descriptions, and moments recorded in it, that even if I disagree with many (maybe even most?) of her spiritual thoughts, the story itself is delightful.  Beyond that, I just adore reading about people who are different than I am.  Isn't that part of the joy of reading itself?  (Half-Joking-Disclaimer:  This is not a push to read this book...just so I don't get blamed for anyone's spiritual demise!)

Anyways, so here I am, on my porch, with my pretty new porch chandelier swaying above me, and my Boston Fern Plant hanging proudly just beyond that, with a delightful read in my hands.  The wind chimes are audibly dancing, and David is playing with the kids in the sand box in the front yard.  One of our favorite neighbors walks by, and several neighbor kids pass by on bikes and scooters.  It's so simple, yet so beautiful.

Nothing life-changing was happening.

Yet,  I'm overtaken.  By the ordinary.  By the blessings that are hidden right in front of me.  And I'm thankful.

I'm grateful for a day that I worked hard, played hard, overcame anxiety, and slowed down just to enjoy life.

I'm amazed by life's beauty.  And the people that make my life so beautiful.  In short, if you are reading this, I am humbled that you are taking the time to read the words bubbling out of my soul tonight.  And,  you, my friend and reader, are sharing in my little miracle of life today.

Hallelujah.  And Amen.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Just one Smile

Writing is hard when you are filled with deep dark emotions.
Actually, writing is perhaps easiest at that point.  It's the sharing of those writings that is incredible difficult.  And, though I have been compiling a big list of things I want to say, I'm not ready to say them publicly.   Yet.  I'll get there.  Because authenticity is one of the character traits I desire most in my own life, and in the lives of others.  

But, tonight, on a lighter note, I just wanted to share a little moment of happy I had.

Tonight, I was sitting in my newly rearranged house, in the little room that we now have entitled the study.  This is the room that welcomes the guests into our house, and it is frequently used, and there are signs of that all around.  One particular give away is the broken blind that is hanging on the front door.  The top part of the blind is intact, but several little fingers and hands have tugged at the bottom and there is about a 15" gap which you can see through the window.

I was making myself busy preparing dinner, hopping back and forth between the computer in the study and the stove in the kitchen. Back and forth I would go, trying to multitask.  One time, as I sat down to check something of dire importance on the computer (let's face it, it was a FB message about tonight's girl's night out plans!) I saw a cute little freckled face peering through the gap.  It's the perfect height for her look in and observe what I was doing.  She raised her eyebrows at me and grinned.  

And, it was then, that I smiled at her.   As soon as the smile has formed on my lips, I felt the heaviness of the day begin to flee.  I  I had a message in my mind for that little girl that I wanted to convey with my smile.  "I love you little girl.  I want to hug you.  I'm so glad you are mine.  You are a blessing to me, and I'm so happy to be your mommy."  I know that seems like a lot for a smile, but today was a dark day.  A hard day.  And, that smile was not only to give Lydia hope, but to stir some  hope up in me too.

I'm thankful that during days when I cry so hard, I am unable to function, that God gives me rest.
I'm smiling because when I feel lonely and unloveable, God provides friends.
I'm hopeful that even though I have lost my dad, I still get to be a mom.

So, I will keep on smiling.  Especially at my kids.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Sting of Rejection

Word on the street is "the letter is in the mail."

I interviewed my little heart out last Thursday for a job that I *thought* was destined to be mine.  I waited a few days and I had heard nothing---so, I did what all the websites and job interview experts tell you to do.  I made a follow up phone call.

In my cheeriest voice, I announced my name, my interview date, and the reason I was calling.  "I was really interested in the job.  Did you have any other questions for me, or have you already filled the position?"

There was a brief pause and a moment of awkwardness.  And, then, she laid the truth all out there.  "We have already filled the position.  We sent you a letter in the mail."

So, I guess tomorrow, or maybe the next day I can be reminded of my failure too.

Okay, that last sentence sounded so dark, but I'm kind of feeling that way right now.  The rejection stings right now.  It really does.  I am questioning what about me wasn't good enough for that position.  I am tempted to call myself inadequate and undeserving.  The word 'loser' has tossed itself around my mind a few times too.  It's hard not to take a job rejection personally.

But, on the flip side, I'm actually really grateful as well.  Interviewing is an incredibly vulnerable thing to do, and even though I struggle with fear, anxiety and 'putting myself out there,' I did it.  I spent time focusing on my good qualities and how those attributes would benefit  a work environment.  I was brave.  I focused on the future.  I worked beyond my anxiety and insecurities, and I took steps  towards a rewarding future for myself.

I really do think that some day I will make an awesome receptionist or customer service representative.  Until then, I will keep being the best Jesus follower, wife, mom, daughter, writer, VBS director, babysitter, neighbor, friend, and person I can be.  And, I'll try focusing on the positives until this fresh sting dies down a bit.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


I know as a Christian I should not *need* to see God's miracles.
But, life has been more on the "I could really use a miracle today.." side.
Today, I felt like God heard my earnest prayers.  My pleas.  My heart aching.
And he answered a very powerful prayer.
And, this short post is just to give him glory for that.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Last night, my husband and I went on perhaps one of the most extravagant dates we have ever been on.  It was a benefit for cystic fibrosis.  Everyone was dressed to the nines, my hair was done professionally, my dress was beautiful, and for the first part of the evening, I even wore heels.  We stayed out until past midnight (I know!  We are sooo crazy)  We went with dear friends, friends that we consider family.  We had our pictures done, and there also was a photo booth just for silly laughs.  We even bid (and won!) in a silent auction!  It was so fancy.  We loved it.

This morning (or perhaps early afternoon) I dragged my hiney out of bed, threw on some "not that dirty" clothes and we went for a walk.  We packed a simple lunch of a sandwich, an apple and some water.  David also brought cookies that he had "smuggled" away in his tux pocket for dessert (we are soooo classy.)  We walked about a quarter of a mile deep into the woods and sat on a bench along the path and ate our picnic lunch,  We smiled.  We sat quietly.  We observed nature.  We talked about deep spiritual questions I had been mulling over.  It was so simple.  Yet, we loved it.

One of the things I've been telling myself day by day is that life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.

And, by giving myself that freedom to just enjoy the wonder of life without expectation of perfection, suddenly every day is more enjoyable.

Now, I'm not going to say that my new little mantra has brought joy beyond measure to all aspects of my life.  That's not true.  But, what I will say is that when I'm having a sad day, or an afternoon where Murphy's Law seems to be in full effect, that letting go of perfection is allowing me to bounce back a little quicker.

It doesn't matter if my hair is gloriously held in place by twenty-some bobby pins, or if it is spilling out of a top-of-my-head messy bun.  It doesn't matter if I'm with 400 plus people, or if it's just me and David, or even if it is just me.  Joy can abound anyplace, anytime if we just keep our eyes peeled and our hearts grateful.

May the richness and the joy of Christ be part of your day today.  The sun is shining.  The temperature is pleasant (at least here in NWPA) and it's Sunday---a day to relax and connect.  Take advantage of what is given to you, and remember, even if your day is not perfect, it can be so incredible wonderful!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Introducing Friends

In our writing group we PROMISED each other to write on our blogs on Thursday.  I have started this blog seventeen times, and I keep ending up with a blank screen.
So, I did what I had to do.  I went to this website (click here!) and found an amazing list of blog ideas.  I read through them and still could not decide.  So, I let fate take over from there...
I texted my friend Alison and asked her to choose a number from 1 to 500.  
She chose #379. 
The blog prompt chosen asks a very important question:  "How do you feel about introducing friends from different parts of your life?"

Wow.  What an interesting topic...

I shared the topic with Alison and quite quickly she responded that she tended to compartmentalize.  "Work friends are for work.  Home friends are for home."

"What an interesting way of handling that," I said to myself.  

Because I'm so not like that.  

I think that Alison's way has a lot of merit.  It keeps life from getting too messy, too complicated, and too...uncomfortable.

But, as luck would have it, I'm a messy and complicated gal!

I honestly have a lot of friends from a lot of walks of life.  (I'm not bragging, I promise.  I sometimes scratch my head and wonder why people even like me, but that is another blog post all in itself..) I love lots of people, and I want all the people I love to love each other and make life super lovely! (Can someone make me a t-shirt with that on it please?) And, sometimes, without thinking I invite like forty seven people over all at once.  And, I tend to just sit back and watch what happens.  

I remember my first experience with the mixing of friends.  I think it was my ninth or tenth birthday party, and my parents let me invite several friends over.  That was the first time in my life that I remember understanding what true jealousy felt like.  My friends ended up just adoring each other.  And, as a side result, I honestly felt left out.  I'm pretty sure I pouted, cried and was miserable the entire party!

However, praise God, that as I grew older, the maturity came.  Now, when I see that happen, I consider it a 100% success.  If I can match one of my pals up in a new friendship with another buddy, that obviously tells me that my friends are so amazing that other people want to be with them too!  And, the more my people love each other, the better my life is!  

However, I'm not going to lie to you and tell you this always go so well.  There are times when certain people just don't mix.  And, while that puts me in some awkward positions at times, I also consider it a beneficial place to be.  There have been times when I have friends who pretty much can not stand one another.  While sometimes navigating those waters can be tricky, I consider it my calling to make sure that I can help them "coexist" if you will.  I truly believe that most people are worth the effort to maintain friendships with.  I try to show opposing sides that very fact.

Here is an examples of a conversation I may have participated in once or twice! 

"I'm not denying that person has been (insert not so lovely adjective here), but I will tell you that she also one of the most (insert lovely adjective here) people you will ever meet."

Oh, yeah. I may also have one or two friends that I try to "prepare" my other friends in advance for their meeting.  I mean, there are just some people that it's not fair to spring upon other people.  But, even those that take preparation...well, they are worth it.  They are genuine and amazing people.  I hope someday to grow into the kind of person that takes some explaining before meeting me. :) (And to all my friends who are reading this...don't's probably not you I'm referring too, okay?  And, if it is...well, read this paragraph again...YOU ARE WORTH IT!)

Friendship is a give and take.  It's about accepting people right where there are and loving them and helping them grow into a better person.  It's about teaching people and ourselves to find "faults" endearing instead of agitating, and to find "quirks" lovable compared to irritating.  

I love my friends.  And I think that other people should love them too!  Especially my other friends! :)  People are so very important to me.  And, friendship is one of my most valued virtues in the world.  I love the richness, complexity, wonder and insanity that comes from mixing all of my worlds at once.  And, I mean this with all sincerity---that I hope you get more mixed up in my world sometime soon!  I value people, and to me, friendship is beyond priceless.  It's a gift straight from heaven.

This. Is. Hilarious!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The music festival

I've been waiting for this weekend for months.  The thought of a lively, music infused mini-escape less than a mile from my home has pulled me through an emotionally bleak winter.
Last night, we went to check out the late night crowd at the Riverside Music Festival, and I was not disappointed.  There's nothing like walking into the main lobby and some strumming hitting your ears.  You walk into the hallway leading to the lounge and another style of music floats your way.  You can't help but peek in really quick to see who is producing such unique and interesting sounds.  
After a quick glance, I continue walking down the hallway to another gathering area.  I loved the sight we witnessed.  There were about a dozen artist, and it was obvious they really didn't all know each other, but after a brief conversation, the started playing music and it all meshed.  The rhythmic music made me tap my feet, and I leaned over and whispered to David, "This is what I have been waiting for."  The bluegrassy sound made me smile and cause some reminiscing of my younger days when family jam sessions were occasionally on the weekend schedule.  I was never part of the jamming, because the musical gene skipped me.  However, my appreciation of the sound definitely did not.
We make a right turn, walk through a series of vendors, one which included liquor filled cupcakes (something I had never even heard of or imagine before...but they went unsampled on my  Then, we walk into the ballroom.  The music was, smoky vocals accompanied by every kind of string instrument I can name (which, let's face it, I was not a music major.)  We sat and watched a few people dance their hearts out, while David and I just enjoyed observing, being out past 9:00 for once, even if we were quite tired.
After a few songs, my face started to hurt from smiling so much.  We decided to avoid facial injury, got up, walked around,  and eventually made our way back to the lounge.  We sat down and enjoyed a few more artist.  We shared some laughs about inside jokes between just the two of us, and enjoyed the vibe and excitement of a place filled with music lovers.  In full Sarah disclosure, I did have a little bit more trouble enjoying some of the lounge singers, because, while their talent was impeccable, strong swear words make me sad.  (Hey, just me being me.)  But, the talent was undeniable, and the music itself, completely enjoyable. The last band we listened to was incredible, containing also a saxophone and a beat box.  I loved it, but, alas my mom ears could only handle being close to the speakers for so long, and we made our way home around 11:00.  We walked to our car, amazed by the talent we had witnessed  I'm so grateful that God made music.  And, I'm so thankful that we get to go back to the music Festival again today!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Dear Future Me

Dear Future Sarah,
I'm writing this in April.  I hope you will come read it again come June or July. I think I have some wisdom from a quiet morning to share with you.
I know you are quitting your babysitting job, and that is terrifying for you.  You are comfortable babysitting.  You love those boys as if they were your own.  You have the routine down, and there is safety in the known.
But, as usual, God quite often calls us into the unknown.  You are being shooed from a world with a rather steady income (provided all parties stay healthy and there are no big snow storms.)  into a place where there is no promise of you making anything.  You are giving up the snuggles, playtime, storytime and the quiet wonder of afternoon naptime.
Instead, Sarah, God is calling you to your next thing.  BEING A WRITER.
You have played and toyed with this idea for years now.  But, this is the time.  God is unwrapping all the circumstances, and it's happening right in front of you.  You can't deny it.  If you want to make it in the writing world, then, girl you have to write.
Let's set some goals to make sure you are on the best track when you reread this in a few months.
1.  Have you grown in your spiritual disciplines?  I know you want  your writing to shine and drip with the love of Jesus.  You can only  do that if you are soaking it in.  Are you praying?  Are you journaling?  Are you reading your Bible?  Are you reading other works by Christian people?  And, just in case you need an extra reminder...are you sure you are praying enough?
2.  Have you been taking walks?  Sarah, you know when you walk that ideas come into your mind.  You are inspired.  Have you taken your notebook down to the boardwalk and sat on the log and made notes?  I know you are kind of scared to walk there alone, but most likely you will not be eaten by a bear or a wild boar, and, if you do, well, writing is about taking risks.  Do this if you haven't!  You know the inspiration and the spiritual connection you feel with God at that place.
3.  Have you painted the "study?"  Have you switched the rooms around and made a purposeful place for you to be inspired?  I know that this will take a while and you may get overwhelmed, but don't let overwhelming feelings stop you from creating a place to express yourself!  That little room is in your house for a reason!  Let it be a place for spiritual refreshment and connection!
4.  Have you contacted newpapers?  Magazines?  Have you linked your blog on link up events?  Yes, these also take risks...but they are necessary.
5.  Please, make sure you read more about the technology of blogging.  Learn how to do more things with your blog!
6.  Have you actually read through the information you have downloaded from Compel writing training.
7.  Maybe you should finally get up the courage to ask David about taking the course from compel if you have done #6.
8.  Sarah, I want to encourage you to do word paintings.  There are words that inspire you.  Paint them.  Decorate them.  Embrace them.  Have you painted "Selah" yet?  If not, start here please.

There are hundreds of other things I want to tell you, but I don't want current me or future me to get overwhelmed.  I know you are busy.  I know you have VBS planning and wrap up, and that you will be traveling for Title 1 this summer. I know you will probably have kids crawling all over your house this summer.  But, I want to make sure you are beginning the practice of writing every single day now, this summer.  Yes, even before the kids go back to school, and even before someone commits to publishing you.

God made you emotional and expressive for a reason.  You love this world.  You want to inspire them and draw them close to a God that loves them so much.  So, get writing.  No excuses.  God has something big planned for you in the future....and maybe, just maybe by the time you reread this, you know what it is!

Pray, Love, and Live Well,
Sarah Rose

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bruce Attacks! The Top Ten List!

This is our cat, Bruce.
We love him.
We think he's adorable.
And we think no other cat on the face of the earth compares to him.
And that is a good thing.  Especially when I consider the following list...

The top 10 places that Bruce will attack

1.  When you bathe him.  He has only been bathed twice.  He came from a barn.  He smelled like barn.  It took some time to "unbarnsmell" him.  That second bath was a near death experience for us both.  Forget it cat, bathe yourself...
2.  When we are traveling on the staircase.  Bruce enjoys tackling our hands that are on the banister as we ascend or descend the stairs.  Sometimes, he's really obvious about it.  Other times, it's a sneak attack that almost makes one faceplant on the steps!
3.  His current favorite:  While I'm writing.  One minute I'm typing furiously.  The next, I'm screaming because there are cat claws digging into my back.  Uncool, Bruce.  So uncool.
4.  Occasionally the crazy kitten will make a leap attack while one of us is bent over.  Many times, he does this while I'm tying my shoes.  I believe it is his revenge for being left at home alone.
5.  This one...well, it's a little uncomfortable to write about...but it's necessary.  The cat attacks every time I make my way to the potty.  *SIGH*  Sometimes he'll run and attack my feet as I enter the room, other times he'll wait  until I'm sitting, and the next thing I know, his kitty claws are deep into my now-bare leg.
6.  This next one is very similar to the last one, except there is an element of surprise.  So, Bruce has decided he LOVES to sleep in the bathtub.  I just don't get it, but whatever.  Anyways, he'll be asleep in the bathtub, and when I use the upstairs toilet, apparently he's a little irritated about me interrupting his catnap.  So, without ANY warning, the cat will spring from behind the shower curtain, and once again, I end up with kitty claws in my now-bare leg.
7.  Bruce has an attack I call the "David Special."  The cat stealthily places himself under our bed, peers underneath the dust ruffle and will attack feet, primarily David's, as foot traffic passes.
8.  Because actually doing the dishes is not torture enough, the insane feline will climb up my legs as I clean up after dinner.
9.  That reminds me...the cat also climbs up my leg WHILE I'm cooking dinner.
10.  And my favorite "when Bruce attacks" time is when I'm holding him like a baby and he playfully wraps his whole little body around my hand.  He's so playful.  Yeah, his nails and teeth are sharp, but I just loves when he does this.  I know just the spot on his belly to touch that he will attack instantly.

So, yeah, this list reminds me of an article I read online recently how basically cats are mini-lions and if they were bigger they would eat you.  (Then, to calm my anxiety, I read another article that says that one is scientifically inaccurate.) But, really, this list is just half the fun of owning a kitty.

Over the past few days that I have been feeling so sick, and there's nothing like Bruce climbing on my lap and purring to calm me down.  I love how he stretches out when he wakes up from a sunshine nap and how he chases his own tail.  He's funny.  He's loving.  He's kind of a butthead sometimes, but he's 100 percent part of our family.  And, it's amazing that a girl who was so scared of animals just a few years ago, now allows a cat to share her home!

Being a pet owner has been one of the best things in the world for me.  And I'm so grateful for this little beast that attacks me so often!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Happiness is not my Goal

Happiness is far too fleeting a goal for me.
I'm no fool.
After all, I know what it's like to eat dinner with me.
We begin, hurriedly preparing the plates, filling water glasses, trying to sit down before dinner cools.
We say our prayers. The daily recaps begin. “So and so was mean to me at recess today, but I played with my best friend and we played Miss Mary Mack,” my dramatic daughter retells with wild inflection, grand hand motions, and endearing facial expression. As she is telling her story, part of her pork chop flies off her waving fork and lands on the floor.
I'm frustrated, but we find the humor in the situation, we all laugh, and my son begins to talk about Forge of Empires and Pokemon. I try to pay attention. I really do. I watch the freckles on his nose dance as he talks about his latest passions. He's adorable, but I can't stand either hobby.
That's his father's area of expertise. And just on cue, from my left comes my husband's deep, smooth voice, adding input to recent improvements made on their “FOE” villages. I feel a soft affection for him bubble in my soul as I listen to him converse with our son. He's a great dad.
Then, without warning, the tears flow.
So was my dad.
But he's gone now.
So, there I am, the rest of my family chattering away, and tears just start flowing down my face. “Why can't I hold it together?” I chastise myself for being 'so darn emotional' which actually makes me cry more. And before I know it, I'm sobbing into my purple cloth napkin that my daughter picked out especially for me that night.
All my family stops their conversation. My son comes and stands at my right side, gently supporting my elbow with his hand. My husband steps away from his plate as well, and rubs my shoulders as I sob from the middle of my heart. My little girl says quietly, “I miss him too.”
I cry for another minute. Everyone returns to their seats. I take a deep breath and we begin to discuss playing Monopoly as a family after dinner.
Anecdotal proof. Happiness is really short lived. Especially now, in the middle of grief. Actually, most emotions are at this point in my life. All these feelings come and go and change without warning.
All but love.
Love is right around me. I give it. I get it. I treasure it. And somehow, even in the middle of all these floods of emotions and unsteadiness, love is what I seem to have a choice to choose.
Love doesn't cure all my sadness, but it soothes it, until the next short lived happy moment comes along.
You know, like when I win Monopoly later that night.

So, win or lose, love is what I want at the center of my life, not happiness.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Writers Write

I'm a writer.
Writers write.
Well, this morning, this writer had to take a walk to remember that.
I slept horribly last night.  However, I consider that a blessing, since I was in prayer most of the night.  I prayed about big decisions I have coming up.  I prayed about my future.  About employment.  About Lydia's cough.  I lifted up my lack of energy and how often I feel sick, and how I'm trusting God to light the fire under me to get me more active and healthy again.  I thought about my dad and losing him.  I told God how hard it is to not worry about my mom, and surrendered my concern about her over to God in prayer too. And I prayed about what honoring God looks like in my life.
I woke up still having no idea what any of that entails.  Even after a sleepless night.  So, I took a walk.  One of those beautiful morning walks where almost the entire world is still asleep.  It always amazes me how when you initially step out the world seems so sleepy and still, but as you walk you become more aware of how many animals, birds and people are already awake and making their mark on the day.  As I continued on, I prayed for my neighborhood, the houses I passed, and for the safety of the people who work at the prison near my home.  I listened to the crunchy sediment beneath my feet, left there by piles of snow that had melted from our recent warm spell.  I was startled by a squirrel hopping from creaky tree branches to a power line.  And, a group of crows (I'm sure there's a name for them) mocked me as I walked slowly down the hill, surveying my beautiful little town.  
And as I turned my last corner, I realized my entire walk I had been "writing" prayers to God.  I had been composing my experience in my mind.  I imagined how it would feel to put what I was experiencing down on paper (or screen).  And, in the dawn of a new morning, God reminded me to keep on writing.  It's how I make sense of my world.  
Because I'm a writer.  And writers need to write.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

He's Gone

It's been two months already.  Or, it's only been two month.  Or, how can two months feel like a lifetime ago?

Man, there's just no poetic way to write this.

Two months ago, today, my dad died.
And, I feel so many conflicting feelings.  Because, I  know that my loss is not the only one in the world.  On the same day, 3 people in our church family passed away.  I've had friends lose husbands.  I've had ones I care about lose children. We've had other family members die. Even in the celebrity world, the losses have been so great lately.  And every time I hear about another person dying, it makes my heart ache more.  I am totally aware that I'm not the only one hurting.  And, so sometimes, my personal grief feels so very selfish.  Yet, I can't shake it.  That man, my daddy, he's gone from this world now. And, my world just feels really empty.

Adding to my grief, is seeing my mom, alone and hurting.  We both try to be grateful.  But, on top of losing dad, there is the heavy burden of how to handle dad's loss financially.  Mom is truly having to live life by faith every day, and sometimes worry is easier to come by than faith.  It's hard to be so limited in what I can do.  I have to resign myself to let God do the work that I can't.  It's hard to watch my mom, my beautiful, wonderful, caring, sacrificial mom hurt so bad in so many ways.  And, to have to go through all of it without Dad...

I just miss him so badly. 

I try to be thankful.  We had such a great relationship.  Even during the really hard times, I realize how blessed I was to have the ability to communicate with my dad.  And, those of you who are close to me know what our relationship was like.  I miss joking with him, teasing him, hugging him, and pouring my heart out to him.  

I can't stop thinking about how well he loved my kids.  And, how deep their hurt is.  

But, my biggest fear is that the world will forget about him.  It feels like they have, sometimes.  I know that's just a part of grief, but the way the world keeps moving, when my heart would do anything to go back to November 12th.  Back to a day where my dad could talk, he could hug me, and where there was hope.  November 13th, he had a stroke in the hospital, where he had been admitted was for other issues that were never found out...and from that day he "lived" until November 19th.  

I kept trying to tell the nurses who were caring for him how funny he was.  How much of a joker and a "pain in the butt" he could be.  I tried to make him smile at me, just one more time.  And, it never happened.  He just laid there, silently, passing from this world into the next.

I can't describe the void in my heart.

I just needed to write this down.  To honor him.  To remember him.  And, to ask you all, to please, don't forget him.