July 13, 2017

Approaching 1 Year

One year......how can that be possible?

One year......where did the time go?

One year ago I was making almost daily visits to spend time with Daron after he was put into hospice care. I was going with Taylor or with my in-laws to see him. I was talking with his doctor as much as possible to stay updated on how he was doing. I was trying to make every moment with him matter.

One year ago I was writing out the obituary I never thought I would have to write. I was planning out a funeral service I didn't want to think about. I was trying to get the "small" things out of the way so I could focus on my beloved husband.

One year ago I was crying out to God from the depths of my soul. I was asking God to let Daron stay with me one moment & then asking God to be merciful to him the next. I was handing my husband back to God & thanking my Heavenly Father for the years I was given with Daron. I was trying to be strong for those around me during the day & then crying myself to sleep at night.

One year ago I was telling my husband that it was okay to not keep the promise he made to me after we got married. I was telling my husband that it was okay for him to let go of this earth & go Home. I was giving my beloved husband permission to enter Heaven's Glory.

One year....how can this even be possible? It still feels like yesterday....


July 1, 2017

To Daron....

July

Why did July have to come back around?
Why did we have to make another trip around the sun already?
How can it have been 1 year so quickly?
Am I ready for the start of another year without you?

July has so many bad memories attached to it. It makes me wish that this entire month would just disappear off the calendar. July 5, 2011 started July off badly. I still can’t believe that I had to have you put into a facility. I honestly thought that we could have handled everything at home. I thought that you would just snap out of whatever it was you were going through & we’d be fine. But God had different plans for our lives. Leaving you in Battle Creek that evening was the hardest thing I ever had to do at that point. I cried all the way home. I cried myself to sleep for days, weeks, on end. I prayed & begged God to heal you so you could come home. I never told you any of this because I had to be strong for you. I had to let you know that I could handle everything at home alone. But I couldn’t. Life fell apart that day & I still can’t put it back together.

As July 5 rolled back around every year, I still begged God to perform a miracle. I argued with God on a daily basis. I told Him that it wasn’t fair to put us on this path. I told Him that we couldn’t handle this & He needed to change His plans. I’m sure I gave God something to laugh about. I mean, how can I truly expect the One who created the entire universe to change His plans. How can I expect Him to change the plans He laid in place before the foundation of the world? But I begged Him to nonetheless. I came to despise July 5 & I still do. There are times when I pray before bed on July 4 that I can just wake up on July 6…..but that hasn’t happened. July 5 still rolls around & brings all of the memories with it.

Now there are more dates in July to add to the bad parts of the month. More dates that make me wish July would disappear off the calendar. More dates that will bring tears, heartache, memories, pain, regret, remorse, dread. More dates to make me miss you with everything that I have in me.

July 8, 2016 
I found out that you were not eating. To be honest, I wasn’t really worried at that point. I didn’t think anything of it. You were a little heavy & you hadn’t really lost a lot of weight from not eating. I knew that you were on a liquid diet due to swallowing issues, but I still wasn’t concerned. The doctor & I came up with a plan for the weekend & I thought by Monday you would be okay.

July 11, 2016
I got the phone call about having to put you into hospice. VBS started that day & you know that’s always been a crazy week for me anyway. I was excited to see the kids who would return from the year before & excited to meet the kids who would come for the first time. I was excited about our theme. I was just excited for another fun week of VBS. When I got home that afternoon, I was looking forward to a nap. Instead, the phone rang & it was the VA calling. My heart sank to my toes. My gut told me something wasn’t right. Maybe the plan for the weekend didn’t pan out & we needed to make changes.

I tried to tell myself that it wasn’t anything drastic or horrible. I tried to tell myself that you were okay. My brain & my heart were not on the same page. I answered the phone & heard the doctors voice on the other end. I listened the best that I could. I remember hearing the word “hospice” come through the phone & I almost dropped it. I had to force myself to engage in the conversation & help make the best decision possible for you. I agreed with her decision & hospice was put in place. I hung up the phone & tried to compose myself for the task ahead – calling your family, our pastor, my family, friends.

I remember staying locked in the bathroom while I made those calls – it was the only quiet place. I remember tears & shock. I don’t remember what was said to who or exactly how many phone calls I made. I remember making the conscious decision to not tell any of the VBS staff until the end of the week. I remember putting the news on Facebook so people could be praying, but then hoping that no one from VBS would bring it up. I spent the rest of the week going to VBS during the day & then to visit you with your parents in the afternoons. Yes, it made for long days, but it was worth it. I remember bringing Taylor to see you during that week & having Jon come along. I needed the extra support. Taylor needed the extra support.

I remember telling you that it was okay for you to break your promise of growing old with me. I remember giving you to God & asking Him to work Him perfect plan your life. I remember the tears I shed every night. It was a good week at VBS…...but it was a rough week at home.
Between July 11 & July 27 I heard your voice for the last time on this earth. Your brother Mark was the last person you talked to over the phone. It was a tough phone call on both sides of the phone, but it was needed. After that, to keep you comfortable, I asked the doctor to medically sedate you. I knew that was the best thing to do, but I missed hearing your voice from that point on.

July 27, 2016
Life as I knew it was going to come to an end. There was a care team meeting that day & your mom went with me. I remember the mood in the room when we arrived. Everyone was there & the looks on their faces said it all. I didn’t want to believe it though & chose to ignore the pit forming in my stomach. I sat through the doctor telling me that your skin color was still good, you weren’t running a fever, you had a rapid heartbeat…...it was all normal care meeting items. The only difference was the mood in the room. I took the time to thank each person there for all the time they had spent taking care of you over the years that you were there. Your mom & I left that meeting & went to see you for a little bit. It was the first time I started to cry in front of you. I forced the tears to stop. Even though you were sedated, I didn’t want you to see me being weak. I still needed to be strong for everyone around me.

We went home & went to Wendy’s for lunch with your Dad, Taylor & Chase. We laughed, we talked, we made a few more plans to go visit you the next day. Little did we know all those plans would drastically change over the next few hours.

When Taylor & I got home, I called the doctor to ask her a question. I had to leave a message & wait for her to call me back. My gut was trying to tell me something again & this time I had to listen to it. My head & my heart wouldn’t let me ignore it. When the doctor called me back, I asked her if your time on earth was nearing an end. She said she believed so & I told her I would be there as soon as possible. I asked for a bed & a comfy chair to be brought into the room. We ended our phone conversation & I immediately started packing a few things for myself. I also started packing a bag for Taylor. I called my brother & if Taylor could stay with them. Of course, they said yes. I called your parents & let them know. A little bit later, you mom asked if she could come with me & I agreed. I dropped Taylor off & then picked up your mom. We headed back to Battle Creek. That night our Pastor came & so did your dad. We weren’t expecting either of them, but were glad they were there.
The next few days were spent at your bedside. The staff came in to say their goodbyes & to share stories with us from your time there. We laughed with them & thanked them for their care. Your older boys came on Thursday to say their final goodbyes. Your brother & his wife came on Friday evening. We laughed together while sharing stories.

Did you know that we were there for those last few days?
Did you hear us talking, laughing, crying?

Each evening the doctor said she wasn’t expecting to see us the next morning, but you held on. On Friday, she said she would be surprised if she saw us on Monday. We thanked her for all her time & care before she left for the weekend. You dad had been driving back & forth each day, but decided to stay on Friday night. We could all sense something was changing.

Saturday July 30 rolled in with rain. Was God crying with us? The rain cleared up & the sun came out. It really is odd what you remember that you kind of forgot. Your mom was on the phone with your brother when your breathing started to change. I dropped my book & was immediately at your side. She went to meet your dad at the door & I got to say my personal goodbyes to you.

Did you hear the cry of my heart in that moment?
Did you feel the love I had for you as we parted on this earth?

When you parents came back into the room, I was listening to your chest. I didn’t want to miss the final heartbeat. When I couldn’t hear it anymore, I was frantic & prayed that it would beat again. But, it didn’t. You were gone. My heart shattered into a million pieces in that instant & I cried out to God. I kept my tears at bay the best that I could. I didn’t want you to try & come back for me.

Phone calls were made, the staff was called to the room, chaos seemed to ensue. I didn’t want to leave your side for anything. When the staff came in to say their final goodbyes, I thanked them again for their care. Then they played Taps & I couldn’t hold the flood of tears in anymore. I sobbed from the depths of myself for you. I prayed that you couldn’t hear them.

My world ended at 2:27pm on July 30, 2016 – the moment God called you Home. My dreams disappeared. My heart tore in half. My brain went into auto at that moment. My body went numb.
When you parents & I left, I truly felt I was walking away from you & our life together. I wanted to run back to you so much, but my brain wouldn’t let me turn around. My legs kept walking me towards the door & further away from you. I vaguely remember getting in the car. I don’t even know how I made it home without an accident. I think that Jesus was truly driving my car.

July can just disappear off the calendar & I wouldn’t miss it. Maybe I should call the calendar people & ask them to name it something different. July starts & ends with memories of you. I wish they were better memories though. I miss you so much, my love. There isn’t a day that goes by when you aren’t in my thoughts. You will always be a part of me & I am thankful for that. Every time I look at Taylor, I see you. He is looking more like you each day, but in his own way. You would be so proud of the young man that he is becoming. I wish you were here with us, but I know that you are whole in Heaven & that is what matters most. I’m thankful you aren’t suffering anymore. I am thankful that you are whole & well as you walk the streets of gold.

Daron, you are the best gift that God gave me. From the moment we met, I knew that my life would never be the same. I knew that we were going to have an amazing journey through this life together. I just wish it wasn’t so short. I am so incredibly thankful for the years that we were given together. I am thankful that you were my best friend, my husband, father of my son. I will never stop loving you…. ever! You will forever be a part of me & I will carry you with me always. Even on days when I want to stay in bed & cry, I know that you wouldn’t want me to do that. I know that God will continue to give me the strength that I need to get through each day. I wasn’t planning on walking the rest of my life without you, but I will never stop loving you. I love you more than words will ever be able to express.


Until I see you Heaven……

June 26, 2017

New Venture! Exciting and Scary!

About a month ago, I decided to jump back into the world of direct sales. I say that I jumped back into because I have for two different direct sales companies in the past that will not be named. I was hesitant about jumping back into that world because my first two attempts didn't go very well for varying reasons.

But, I am happy that I made this decision & I have found a company that makes it easy for me to succeed. Before I had to meet almost impossible goals that were set by the company every month or I was "fired" from that company. It was very disheartening to say the least. Now, I have an achievable goal from the company that I have been able to surpass every month due to goals I have set for myself.

I made this leap of faith because I need to be able to take care of my son as we continue down this new journey that we are on. I need to make sure that bills are paid, food & necessities are provided. As a widowed-parent who only works 9 months out of the year, I have to do what I feel is necessary to make those things happen. Yes, we are receiving benefits from my husband that were already in place. But it doesn't hurt to make sure things are taken care of.

Also, the company that I am joined is all about helping women feel beautiful. That has come to mean so much to me over the past few years. It really is amazing what a little bit of lipstick and some jewelry can do to helping me feel beautiful!

So.....you are probably wondering what I am selling. I am an Independent Consultant with Paparazzi Accessories!! I sell amazing pieces of Jewelry and Accessories that only cost $5 a piece. That is incredible! You don't have to break the bank to look or feel beautiful! Every piece is also Lead and Nickel Free which helps those with metal allergies be able to wear beautiful pieces of jewelry! I do not have catalogs to hand out because our inventory changes.

If you are interested in learning more about this new venture, please feel free to visit my website any time of the day or night! If you would like to get exclusive pieces & deals that I have, please consider joining my Facebook VIP Group.

I truly believe that every woman deserves to feel Glamorous, but not feel guilty about their jewelry. That is where Paparazzi comes in & I am happy to help you find amazing pieces for an amazingly low price!!



June 17, 2017

It Has Been.....

It has been.....
.....15 years & 8 months since my first date with Daron (Oct. 2001)
.....14 years & 8 months since I married Daron (Oct. 2002)
.....13 years & 6 months since Taylor birth (Oct. 2003)
.....5 years & 11 months since Daron entered the VAMC (July 2011)
.....4 years & 3 months since Daron stopped his MS medication (Mar. 2013)
.....1 year & 6 months since Daron entered palliative care (Dec. 2015)
.....11 months & 6 days since Daron entered hospice care (July 11, 2016)
.....10 months, 2 weeks & 4 days since Daron entered Heavens Glory (July 30, 2016)

I still cannot wrap my mind around how much time has passed since Daron & I first met. I cannot believe that almost 16 years have passed since that first date. There are so many memories that were created in that time frame. 

At the same time, I cannot believe that it has been almost an entire year since Daron passed away. I still don't like saying "Last year" when I talk about the final months, weeks, days with Daron. My heart still prays that new memories with Daron can be made.....even though my brain knows it's not possible. 

There are days when it is a struggle to get out of bed & do life without Daron. There are days when I pray that the past 10 months, 2 weeks & 4 days were just a nightmare & I'll wake up from it soon. There are days when I pray that I could see Daron one last time.....hug him again, hold him again, kiss him again, talk to him again, hear his voice again. I still reach out for him in my sleep & when I wake up. I still talk to him. I still what his advice on tough decisions. 

I'm not ready for July 20, 2017 to come. If there were a way to take that day off the calendar, I'd be all for it. I know that day has to come & I know I have to face it. I have to face the turn of the calendar. I have to face the end of the first year without my husband. I have to face the start of another year without him by my side. I have to do all of this.....even when I don't think I have the strength to. 

I trust that God will continue to get me through the next few weeks. I trust that God will give me the strength I need to face July 30th. I trust that God will continue to carry me through this. I trust God to continue to walk beside me & never leave me.  

May 22, 2017

Time To Stop Blogging???

So it's been almost a month since my last post. There are few reasons for that.....some I can explain & some that I can't for various reasons. Life has been crazy in our household. With school/work getting ready to end for the school year (WooHoo) we are just go, go, go around here. With school getting ready to end that means VBS prep is in full swing. That also means that life is just crazy. So I have been away from the blog just trying to stay afloat. 

I have also been away from the blog because I'm not sure how I should continue the blog - or if I should continue to blog at all. I have always said that my blog is where I can be open & honest with myself & with the readers. I have also said that you, the reader, have the choice of reading my posts or not. This is an outlet for me to get my thoughts & feelings out into the open.  

I understand that it is hard to figure out the emotions that I am feeling while reading words on a screen. I understand that can cause you, the reader, to interpret what I am writing differently. I understand that there are people in the world who don't want such openness & honesty. I understand that my openness & honesty can offend, upset, bother, & push people away sometimes. That is not my intent at all with this personal blog.

Please know & understand that I am not trying to call anyone out, push anyone away, make anyone feel like I am picking on them, etc. I am just working through my thought pattern right now. I am trying to make sure that I am doing what I feel is best for myself during this time of my life. 

I am trying to let others into my life, to get a glimpse of my life, so they can better pray for Taylor & I. I am trying to let God use my struggles, pain, journey, grief as a way to bring others to Him. I know that my blog doesn't always show that.....that is real life for me right now. I want this blog to bring glory to God, not to me. I am trying to help another young widow as she faces life without her husband. I am trying to let her know that it is okay to feel the way she is feeling towards everything in life. I am trying to show others that it is only by God's help, strength, grace, mercy & peace that I am even able to get up in the morning. I want this blog to be a way to help others who are struggling with their faith, journey, life to know that God will always be there right beside them. I'm not perfect & I never claim to be. 

Truthfully, this blog started out as a way to keep our extended family members updated on Daron's health. Many of them are not on Facebook & I don't have their email addresses. But I could easily share a link with my family & my in-laws that they could pass on to others in the family. It really did help & make life easier at the time to just type everything into one place. Now, it has become my solace & my therapy in a way. It allows me to open up & share what I am dealing with & how I am asking God to help me grow through this journey.

I pray over every post before I publish it. I pray before I even start typing the post. I ask God to use this for His glory. I ask God to write into my posts what He wants me to share. There are times when I write a post & then delete it because it is a true stumbling block. Granted, I know there are posts that some would say should never have been posted.....but there are true to life & sometimes life is ugly, gritty, tough to handle. Those posts are ones that I felt someone needed to read to know that it is okay to be angry with God, angry with the journey you are on, angry with the struggles you are facing.  It is okay & God wants us to be open with Him, even though He knows what we are thinking 24/7. He wants to hear us call out to Him & complain, yell, cry, scream, blame, beg, everything that comes with this life. He can handle it! He wants to handle it for us!

But again, for this world, for this life, for those around me.....If my blog has become a stumbling point or has pushed you out of my life for what ever reason, is it worth keeping my blog active? I will continue praying about this, but I didn't want you to think that I was neglecting my blog or neglecting you.

So, with that said.....I may be closing down my blog in the very near future. I haven't decided yet & I am still praying about it. I have always said that I don't want my blog to be a stumbling point for those who read it. But, if I am pushing people away, offending people, upsetting people, bothering people & being a stumbling block in their lives, their faith & their walk with God......is it even worth it anymore?

Please pray with me that I follow God's plan for my life. Please pray that I will continue to grow in Him & follow Him daily. Please pray that I will let the Spirit move in my life & accept that moving. 

April 23, 2017

Music is Healing

I have always been a strong believer that music is incredibly healing. It always speaks to my heart & can express what I can't. For as long as I can remember there as always been the perfect song on the radio when I need to hear it. There are songs that I always go to when I need to smile, sing through the frustrations I'm facing, when I need to cry, when I need to be uplifted, etc. I would like to share some of the songs that have really spoken to me over the years. God has been bringing a lot of them to me as I need them & I am grateful for that. Some of these songs bring back memories of loved ones who have gone to Heaven.....some remind me of God's faithfulness, grace, mercy, strength, love, compassion & will for my life.

Lately, there are quite a few songs that I turn to for reminders of God's grace & strength. They are ones that I love to sing out in the car when I'm by myself. I cry through them as the tears come or I just sing them from the depths of my soul. Depending on what I am trying to convey or remind myself of, I choose any of the following songs to listen to & sing to. A lot of these songs have been on the radio exactly when I need to hear them & I will never stop being amazed by that.

My prayer is that some of these songs will speak to you as well in whatever you are going through in your life.

Disclaimer: I am using all these songs off of YouTube. They are all official videos from the artist/band themselves. I do not own the rights to any of them. 


Even If by MercyMe

I Will by Citizen Way

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danny Gokey

Thy Will by Hillary Scott & the Scott Family

I Have This Hope by Tenth Avenue North

Still by Hillary Scott & the Scott Family

Tears by Matt Hammitt

The Hurt and The Healer by MercyMe

Dear Younger Me by MercyMe

Oh My Soul by Casting Crowns

Just Be Held by Casting Crowns




Daron's Birthday Video

I forgot to share this video with all of you. I shared it on my Facebook page, but not here. So I thought I would. It isn't anything fancy, but it was made with love for the love of my life. I made it to celebrate Daron's 45th Birthday (click the link to watch).

I hope all of you had a blessed Easter/Resurrection Sunday. Thank you again for praying for us as we continue on our journey.

Approaching 1 Year

One year......how can that be possible? One year......where did the time go? One year ago I was making almost daily visits to spend time...