Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Mom would have been 57 today. We would have talked. We would have talked about our month-ends and about how having birthdays at the end of the month is no fun with our jobs. Then, we would have giggled and said that we secretly like it that way. Dad would have been planning to take mom out, and mom would have been scurrying to get things done at work so she could be ready. I would have told her that she is the best mom anyone could wish for and she would have said, "I know honey, you are lucky to have me," and then we would both just giggle.

I don't feel like she's been gone for four months, and yet I long to just talk to her. I miss her so much that my bones hurt. My sweet, sweet grandma called this morning, and just simply said, "We will get through it today." I can't even begin to imagine her pain or Popsie's. As much as I yearn for mom I cannot imagine losing my child.

57 reasons why I think my mom was THE BOMB!

1. When she would get really tickled, she would simulate holding her nose like she could somehow hold the tears of laughter in by doing that.
2. She was always using fake tanners and turning her eyebrows orange, and then she would say, "Well at least I don't need an eyebrow pencil."
3. She was my best friend.
4. She had great style yet insisted on comfy shoes---like naturalizers and clarks.
5. She could laugh at herself.
6. She read The Scripture everyday.
7. She'd always say "That's my gift" when talking about her temper or other weaknesess, because we always were in search of ours since singing and playing the piano were definitely in our makeup.
8. When she loved, it was unconditional.
9. She would buy way to much clutter, and then call me to tell me, "I just bought another thing you're gonna hate."
10. She supported me in EVERY aspect of my life without judgement.
11. When referring to Carder's temper tantrums she would say, "You just don't understand how mad we get, and if you did you wouldn't punish him."
12. She would often say, "God love him." or "God love you." in the most affectionate way.
13. Daily she prayed for my family's protection by God.
14. For years she thought Robert Redford was the hottest thing walking.
15. She would affectionately talk about Daddy and say, "Oh honey he is just sweetest, prickly guy ever." What she meant was, Dad has his own way of doing things, but a SUPER Great heart.
16. She loved Diana Ross.
17. She taught me a long bath can cure almost any ailment.
18. Chocolate and sweets were her diet.
19. She drank bitter red wine and called my wine syrup.
20. She had grit.
21. She knew how to be a great friend even when others didn't know how to be it for her.
22. She cursed out many, many fast food drive thrus after pulling away to find the wrong order.
23. She never complained.
24. She would say about Kaden, "He is going to do Great things, Rachelle."
25. She didn't like crowds.
26. She didn't like to be looked at, so when she got her new "bug" she got so embarrassed because everyone kept looking at her that she drove dad's vehicle.
27. She called her parents everyday.
28. She would always laugh and say, "You can have XYZ when I die, but now that doesn't mean you should tell them to pull the plug if I sneeze."
29. She was clumsy.
30. She didn't mind if people didn't like her.
31. She was drawn to intelligent people, and stretched herself to grow.
32. During chemotherapy when she was 35 and I was 14, She was so sick, but wanted to go places. So, I would drive her around and it was "our secret."
33. She loved daisies.
34. After Christmas she would buy tons and tons of JUNK, then the next year bring it all to me and tell me I could give it away. I would say, "Why don't you give it" and she would say, "My friends are classier than yours." We would just laugh and laugh.
35. She loved RED.
36. No obstacle was ever too big in her mind. NONE.
37. After her brain injury from the car accident, she would take IQ tests to make sure she was still smart.
38. Everytime we would get ready together, in my teens or even the last week of March, she would say, "Keep working, you are almost as pretty as me."
39. She flew overnight and changed planes twice just to spend an evening with me for my business last year. Little did we know it would be our one and only time to share that part of my life together.
40. She was hilarious.
41. She learned to text just so we could talk more.
42. She was completely fair and honest.
43. She was a runner.
44. Even though I was her only child, she never thought or expected me to be perfect or to be her life. She gave me what she had so I could live mine.
45. She was the ultimate GaGa.
46. She learned to cook and bake when I got pregnant because, "All grandma's have to learn to cook."
47. She learned to Scuba Dive.
48. We always wanted to go to the Holy Land together.
49. She was the ultimate worrier. After Grandma Bertha died, she became the world's best worrier.
50. She was a prayer warrior. She prayed all of the time all day long.
51. She would often say, "My Father will take care of that for you." She was speaking of her Heavenly Father.
52. She loved polkadots
53. She taught me that laughter is the best part of every marriage.
54. She loved Gatlinburg but hated country music.
55. She was adventurous.
56. She was great at balancing all life brought her.
57. She loved me, and she was and is my hero.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Moving Forward In BABY Steps

Aaah, the smile of one cast being removed. While it wasn't the day or good news we were expecting, we are all relieved for Kaden that his wrist has healed and is showing to be in perfect working order.

Then, there is the leg. The good news: the bone is still straight. He didn't experience great pain at the removal of the cast. The bad news: he had to have the whole leg cast put back on. The bone regrowth was minimal.

We put on great faces, smiled and ate lunch as a family. However, inside I am just so angry. I am so ready to be done with all of this. I don't understand why my little peanut has to always be the worst case scenario. 1% chance of surgery, that was him. 1% of pain after surgery that was him. Most probable to have bone regrowth and be in a smaller cast today, guess what? Yep, didn't quite meet the norm. I just hate it for him.

I hate it for all of us. It is wearing on us as a family. It is wearing on my business, Nate's passion, Carder's patience. And poor Kaden, he is so tired of this.

Ok, enough for the whining. The way I should be looking at this is that we will be healed. He will run and play again next spring.

What I wouldn't give to just have one more happy day with mom. With all of this knowledge, all of these trials, I would go back and live it up. What a lesson to be learned. Live a GREAT life every moment you have the chance, and don't let ANY silly circumstance cheat you of a minute of true happiness.

Praise be to God for his goodness. Please join me in prayer for bone regrowth to be amazing in Kaden's leg.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Great Living is Such a Choice

Friday night dark clouds gathered, the temperature dropped incredibly, and, yet we loaded our vehicle with sandwiches, snacks and sweet tea and headed for Cellular Field. It was FIREWORKS night, and Kaden was so excited. Never mind that we couldn't sit down close, never mind that he had to be wheeled in and sit uncomfortably for hours, never mind that when he had to use the bathroom as a nine year old his dad had to help him! Kaden was GRATEFUL, KIND AND FULL OF SWEETNESS!

That was completely his choice. He could have said, "Never Mind" when we brought up the idea. He could have complained of the long travel in traffic, the bad seats, the uncomfortable seat or the bad weather, but instead he CHOSE to enjoy the evening.

Because of his decision, it will probably go down as one of our favorite nights as a family. I know it will always be one of favorite Sox games. Yes, they won. He even got to see a grand slam. But more than the game, it was just his attitude and the spirit of our family that I will remember.

I still struggle on a daily basis to choose greatness. At mom's service I was struck by how many people thought of her as a GREAT woman and a GREAT friend and a GREAT leader, yet I know in the day to day grind she didn't feel that great. It really isn't a monumental accomplishment or goal achieved that causes greatness. It is the daily decision to be the better person, take the higher road and love more deeply.

I find that lately my nerves are just shot. I'm on edge. I know part of that is grief, but ALL of it is a choice. Kaden has taught me so much with his attitude, and I only hope to live a life with some degree of joy that he exudes.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Crazy Driven OR Driven Crazy

Of all places I heard this statement on a commercial on the Disney Channel today.

I am crazy driven about my business. I love my business. I love what I do. I love feeling the emotions of accomplishment. I love having something that says "Rachelle" instead of "mom" "wife" or worse yet "pastor's wife."

I am crazy driven about being a mom. I love hearing my boys say, "You are the best mom in the whole world," or the unprovoked, "I love you, mom." My boys are my world, and I cannot imagine a day not filled with their sweetness.

I am crazy driven about being a good wife. I love Nate. I love working hard at helping him accomplish his dreams, and I love knowing I am being the helpmate God designed.

I am crazy driven about being a good daughter. I love pleasing my parents. I always have. There is nothing more precious in the world than to see them smile in true admiration of respecting something I have done.

I am driven crazy by trying to juggle grief, caring for my child and the expectations I put on myself as I try to wear the hats of friend, biz owner, mom, wife and daughter.

A lot of people think I need to slow down in my business. However, the funny thing is that is where I feel the best. I know mom always felt that way too. I recently had some things happen in my business that made me feel like a failure, and I know mom would have had the right words. In fact, I just pulled out an email from mom today. In it she said,

"I'm struggling here. These past few weeks have been an onslaught of workload, change and responsibility. I have a new boss, new plant manager and utter chaos surrounding me. Just this past Sunday, the sermon really spoke to me and I realized the root cause of the problem is my lack of faith. This week has been better. I ask the Father each morning to help me turn to Him for EVERY issue - big or small. And, I ask Him to let me see Him and I do (when I look)."

I miss mom. I really miss her. She loved to work. She loved her family. She loved her friends and she really loved God and trusted him. She never judged me for loving to work, because she realized religion, rules and stereotypes don't have any place in our lives, only faith. When I had a bad day I could call her, and she really, really understood. I feel like my life source is gone, and I don't know how to pull myself through the crazy days anymore.

It used to be that when I had been driven crazy, I'd call mom. Now, it seems I just go crazy. Uggghhh...

Monday, July 6, 2009


Daisies have been a special flower for me for years and years. As a little girl going through my mom's hope chest there were all kinds of them that were pressed and crumbling.
Mom would get out the wedding album and the GREAT BIG Family Bible and show me the flowers from the day she had married Dad.
Later in life, daisies gained a new meaning to me because they are also July's flower. Oddly enough my mother's birthday is in July. However, a special little boy named Devin was also born in July, and as a group of loving friends and prayer warriors, we would meet daily to pray for him daily, we posted a large daisy on the door of the classroom where we prayed, and above the daisy it said, "Flower Power."
My sweet, sweet husband gives me a present on the first day of every month. On July 1st he gave me daisies to plant in the backyard. He was not aware of the significance of the month, but he did know that daisies were my moms favorite.
Today as I walked out on my patio, I smiled as I watered the daisies in full bloom. I think about mom and Devin in heaven, and I know they are in full bloom enjoying greatness we cannot fathom. It doesn't take away any of the hurt, sadness or longing, but it does give me strength to complete another day.
I look forward to the day that it is not so difficult to just focus. I look forward to really enjoying a day again. Not too long before mom died, she said she enjoyed seeing the sparkle in my eye again. She recognized I had found true happiness and satisfaction in my business, children and life. I ache to feel that again, I ache to be the daughter she raised me to be.
I know it will come for me, and now I'm just resting in the peace of knowing she is in full bloom.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

So, It's Been Awhile

The last two and half weeks have been anything but normal. I struggle still every hour of every day missing mom. I miss her advice. I miss her constant presence. I miss her humor when life just sucks. I just miss her. I had a really bad event occur in my business this month, and I can just hear her say, "Well honey, if it is going to happen to someone, it is going to happen to you."

I could complain, I could describe the stress or trials, but really why? Here is the important piece: Kaden is ok. His leg will heal, and our family will be just fine. What is money? Really, it means nothing at the end of the day.

Thanks to all of our wonderful friends and family. Really, how could we get through day by day without them. We had friends from our church build a ramp so we can wheel Kaden out the front door. We had others bring movies, cards, flowers, games and just about anything you could ask for. We had people praying all over the country for Kaden as he entered surgery.

If there is anything that mom taught me it was, "Life is not fair! But God is Good." He is.

As the 4th of July dawns every year, I think of sweet Devin Cole. He only graced this earth 23 months, and yet his courageous parents and grandparents live a life that honors who he was. I'm sure Devin looks down from heaven with pride, and I can only hope to live that type of life for mom as well.

May God truly bless anyone that is reading this that is struggling to find the purpose of living in joy. I pray that you will find the strength to live a GREAT life no matter your circumstance.