Friday, November 19, 2010


Thanksgiving is this week and I have so much to be thankful for this year, despite losing Mike (or Mike gaining heaven might be a better way of saying it).

I am so thankful that God in His infinite wisdom knitted this marvelous daughter, Elizabeth out of Mike and I. She is a beautiful reminder of life, Mike, and what really matters.

I am thankful for this house that we managed to buy (by God's grace) this time last year.

I am thankful to the USAF and all those we served with over the years who still consider us family.

I am thankful for my family that continues to be near when I need them to be and to back away when I need space to grieve by myself.

I am thankful for the nieces and nephews. I love being near them and being apart of their lives.

I am thankful for my friends - both new and old - who continue to pray for me and support me and listen to me no matter where in the world they live.

I am thankful for my church that allows me to serve Christ in all ways and for a church that strengthens my walk with Christ.

I am thankful for wonderful husband who loved me probably more than I deserved and who lived his life so fully. I am thankful for the incredible memories and the journey that our marriage took.

I am thankful that I got to love Mike to his very last earthly breath.

I am thankful that I found Christ and that I know that someday I will be with Mike in Heaven.

I am thankful .... I am.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day Tribute

So this is my tribute to all those serving and all those that have served. I have thought a lot today about the men and women who serve this country no matter what. They leave family, friends, spouses, children in a moments notice and know what it means to serve. Thank you.

Picture of Mike coming home in Spring of 2002. A happy Dad and a happy daughter!

Picture from Mike's funeral. My heart is so full of gratitude to each of you for being there for us and honoring Mike.

Mike is front at Change of Command Ceremony in Fall 2007

Freedom isn't free. It is bought and protected by those willing to go at all costs.
(we miss you Mike!)

Monday, November 8, 2010

8 month marker

The holidays are fast approaching. Every where we step, there are firsts all around. Elizabeth and I are slowly evolving into a team. She helps with typical things like laundry, chores, and cleaning. But now, she is climbing the ladder to replace one of our filters for the air conditioning (one is too high for me!) and helping put up lights outside on the trees. (yes.. we put up some christmas lights this weekend. The weather was great!).

I can't believe Mike has been in Heaven 8 months now and the whole is still turning. Sometimes you get mad that the world still turns, but it does. I have just finished pulling Mike's name off of the last account today. It took a letter from the lawyer, but it is finally put to bed. I am still waiting on the VA to respond to our DIC claim on Elizabeth. But that will happen in VA time. It was an oversight on their part and now we just need to wait in the que to get processed.

I have put going back to school on hold. I feel like I have to apologize for still not working yet. To who I don't know! But I have a lot of baggage that I am working on and I feel I need more time to pull my self out of the trauma that has unfolded since the word "cancer" entered our world.

Elizabeth and I are slowly functioning even though there is a big hole. We laugh, we retreat, we talk about the future, and talk about Mike/Daddy all the time. I really believe we are as normal as you can be in this process or just OK - which is fine. I find that not only has my relationship with Elizabeth evolved since Mike's death, but my relationship with Jesus has evolved as well. When Mike passed, I lost my teacher and someone who really knew how to apply the bible deeply in life. Now, I am on my own, and it really has made me struggle with my beliefs. My relationship with Jesus and life is so much cleared and very black and white. When Mike was sick, Jesus was so tender, so real and so close to the touch. As I have struggled to come to grips with Mike passing, I have wrestled with Jesus; wrestled with myself. If I love Jesus so much, why do I want Mike to come back? I have really wrestled, and in the end, Job speaks so loudly..
where were you when I laid the foundations of this earth? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off its' dimensions? Surely you know?
God is God. I am not. AND yet, as much as I questioned, as hard as I have pushed, he has not let go of me. He has not let go of Elizabeth. He is still treating us tenderly and blessing us in this storm. And somehow, 8 months into this new, uncharted, unwanted, unplanned journey, there are times you get the very slight glimpse of hope/light in the tomorrows to come.

I don't know who wrote this song, but I wonder if this song came out of tremedous grief. It speaks better than I do!

Oh no, you never let go
through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, you never let go
in every high and every low.
Oh no, you never let go
Lord you never let go of me!

I can see the light that is coming
for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
but until that day comes
we will live to know You on this earth.

And I will fear no evil
for my God is with me.
And if my God is with me
then whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?

Oh no, you never let go
through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, you never let go
in every high and every low.
Oh no you never let go
Lord, you NEVER let go of ME!

So that is is where we still are.. The Lord is holding on to us and he won't let go. So as it was in the beginning, we are ever in His Hands and Holding on Tightly!