Friday, January 15, 2010

Network With Mom

So today for my business, I attended something called EWomen's Network. It is just a group of women business owners that collaborate to network, share and grow. I sat at a table with a woman about 5 years older than mom that said, "I'm 60 and just beginning my life." Immediately tears flooded my eyes. I had to gain my composure.

I have come a long way in my grief. However, I still want to scream, "ITS NOT FAIR!"

Mom was just beginning her life too. We had so many plans, so many dreams, so many things on our bucket list. The week before she died, she said, "Honey you better hurry up and make a lot of money because I'm not gonna live forever and we have a lot of traveling to do."

Oh mom, why didn't we just do it? I watched this woman today say how happy she is. I thought, "I hope her daughter realizes how lucky she is."

Life is so short. There are so many experiences and I intend to live it. I miss you so much that I could crumble today, but I won't because that grit you gave me is strong and real!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Perception is an interesting concept. Someone's perception is their reality. Right, Wrong, Indifferent it is theirs.

As 2010 approached, I looked at it as a fresh start, a new beginning, a way to release myself from all the hurt and disappointment of 2009. I still look at it this way. The sting of missing mom still takes my breath away. The shock of picking up the phone to realize, no I really can't call her still catches me off guard, but the hope of life with joy is in my future.

Funny though, my boys perceived 2010 completely different. They both took mom's death hard, but as all children, they bounced back quick and only occasionally showed grief-filled emotion. I assumed that was just the way it was for children.

A couple of nights into our new year, our boys came downstairs after bedtime. It was an unusual event in our house, and I was the disciplinarian. Scolding Carder and telling him to return to bed before I saw the tears. He simply looked at me and said, "I...I...I...just miss GaGa." He hasn't stuttered in a long time. I realized the depth of his hurt, and scooped him into my lap.

We sat for about 2-3 minutes talking about what we missed, when Nate heard something. He walked to our stairway to find sweet, 9-yr old Kaden sobbing silently on the steps. Kaden explained to us, that we were starting our first year without Gaga. We huddled as a family and wept. Laughing, crying and sharing our favorite mom moments.

In my limited perspective, I had just looked to begin this year with the hope of 2009 being past, in their perspective we were just beginning the grief. I think both perspectives are absolute TRUTH. That is what is so interesting about perspective, it can only change when you do.

I miss mom today as much as I did on April 2nd --actually probably more. I was still the same person then, and there wasn't that much to discuss. Now, nine months later, I have experienced so many joys, so many hurts, so much growth that I'd just like to share it all with her. However, I know that she still teaches me the right direction and choices and whispers she is proud of me when I need it most.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Today there was another celebration of life. Unfortunately, I could not be there to celebrate the life of the man that forever changed our family's life, and my hope in the Lord.

Rick Starr was a man, a dad, a granddad, and he was normal. He had the most amazing gifts and heart, and he also had faults, was human and super competitive in sports. That may not sound like the best eulogy, but you have to understand that it really is.

You see, Rick taught our family that real people can do amazing things for God. Before Rick, we assumed that you had to be perfect, know the Scripture inside and out, and walk a perfect Christian life to change the world, be worthy of a miracle or have real relationship with God. Rick showed us the other side of Christianity - FAITH. He showed and taught us that our God is a POWERFUL GOD of miracles. He taught us that with the faith of a mustard seed we could really move our own mountains.

My mom's mountain was breast cancer. We were not given a good diagnosis. Sarah Sutfin's mountain was brain tumor. They were not given a good diagnosis. Rick prayed with us. He taught us to believe our Father's promises. He stood in the gap for us.

I firmly believe that because of the power of prayer, my mother survived not only breast cancer but a horrible car accident and brain injury. I thank God for Rick Starr his influence in our life, and his legacy of faith that he has left. He taught us to trust God in all things

I only wish that God would give those of us left here a glimpse of the glory in which people like Rick, mom and Ross are experiencing. I can only imagine the great days of talks and enjoyment mom and Rick are experiencing.

I pray for my dad and Debbie. I pray for Sara, Bethany Jake and Josh. The hurt is so raw for them right now. My hurt is still so deep and dark. Yet, because of Rick's way of explaining Scripture, I know there is amazing hope and power in prayer despite the outcome of his battle with cancer.

After struggling so deeply when a friend of mine lost his mom to cancer in college, I asked Rick, "Why did she die, I prayed the same way as I did when I prayed for mom, and I REALLY believed."

Rick said, and I'll never forget, "Rachelle, do you think you are God? Do you think you learn a magic prayer and everyone is healed?"

He went on to explain that our God is The Mighty Healer. He is capable. He can. That is all we have to believe. When we believe that, miracles can and often do occur. But God, is still God. He knows what is best in ALL situations, and our will must always surrender to his.

I only wish I could be a better person on this earth. So many that have invested in my life deserve for me to live with more intention, more passion and more love for others. Thank you Rick, Thank You Ross, Thank You MOM!