Friday, March 28, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JENNIFER!

It is so hard to believe that my baby would have been 36 years old today, harder to believe that she has been gone for eight years.  I miss her every second of every day!  She was truly the light of my life and she touched so many lives of others. 

When you lose a child, you think that you will never be able to breathe again....you think that your world has just stopped.....which it seems like it did.  With the love and grace of God, you get the strength to go on....knowing that it comes from Him!  You are so grateful for the promise that you will be with them again.

I do my best to keep her memory alive.  We still have the Jennifer Project in her honor.  I know that she would be pleased that we are doing this.  ACH was such a huge part of her life....she would love knowing that we are trying to make hospital stays a little brighter for the kids.  I am still sending sunflower seeds each year to be planted in her memory.....I cannot see a sunflower, without thinking of her.

Happy Birthday, Jennifer!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

WINTER IS NOT OVER!

We were teased with a taste of Spring!  You could just feel it and hear it!  It didn't last long, and we are having another round of cold weather.  I know after talking to my relatives in Illinois, I have nothing to complain about....they are still having single digit temperatures.....can't imagine having that kind of weather for an extended period of time!

Spring was one of mine and Pete's favorite times of the year!  We could sit on the porch for hours and talk about our dreams for the garden and flowers and of course, the anticipation of the return of our beloved hummingbirds....those little guys kept us entertained for hours.

I miss him so much....always....but there are certain times, it just hits you like you have been run over by a truck.....and you never know for sure what triggers those feelings or when they are going to come.  With Jennifer's birthday and the anniversary of her death coming up, these feelings just seem to be stronger.  I always had Pete to help get me through the bad days.  I just take it day by day and do what I can to keep their memory alive and to do something for others.  Kimberly and I have been working hard on items for the Jennifer Project bags....so glad that we are still keeping this project alive after eight years.  Jennifer spent so much time in the hospital, I know that she would love this project.   I will choose a bush or tree and plant it in her memory. 

Spring will soon be here and I am looking forward to the dark and dreary days of winter turning into beautiful colors and sounds.  God is good and He is good ALL the time!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2 of #48 WALKS

Since my first walk on this challenge, I have been pretty much homebound because of the ice and snow!  My driveway going up the hill is still ice and snow covered.

I still have to walk using a cane.  When I go grocery shopping, I always ride in one of the electric carts.  I hate doing this, but get tired easily when walking, and don't want to take a chance of falling!  Yesterday, my sweet nephew...Bobby...came over and took me to the grocery store and to do some errands.  When I got to the grocery store, I decided that I would not use the electric cart, choosing to walk and push the buggy instead.  I know that this doesn't sound like a big deal to most people, but it has been a couple of years since I have walked while grocery shopping.  These are baby steps for sure, but thanks to Alison's inspiration and encouragement, I walked!  YAY ME!

Our weather is going to be gorgeous and warm this weekend.  I will be under the bridge after church, helping feed the homeless.  I hope to get in another walk while there.

Taking baby steps, but trying!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!


It is hard to believe that it has been a year since I lost Pete!  At times, it seems like it was yesterday, then at other times, it seems so much longer.  The days turn into weeks and then before you know it, a year has gone by.  I miss him everyday.....when I get up in the morning, all day long and when I go to bed at night.  42 years is a long time to share your life with someone, and I am so grateful for those years....there were good times, as well as bad times....but we got through them.  I will cherish those memories forever and be ever so grateful that I will see him again.  I have peace in knowing that he is no longer miserable trying to get through the days, feeling so bad...but he kept trying.  He is now healthy and happy and is with our precious Jennifer and other loved ones.  How could I not feel at peace knowing that?

I have learned so much this past year, and am cetainly still in the learning phase with so much more to learn.  I have learned to do things for myself, that I never thought I could learn to do.  I have learned to be able to be alone and not let that upset me (I know that with God, I am never alone)....I am ever so grateful for my sister, Kimberly, who is my rock and my precious friends that help me get through the rough times.  I am grateful to have my sister-in-law, Barb....she became a member of this widow's club just two months before me.  It is good to be able to cry on the shoulders of each other and understand how it is.  I am trying hard to strenghten my relationship with God and to study His word more and have a better understanding.  I have taken on a challenge to get out and walk a little...which isn't easy, but as I have learned most things worth doing are not easy.  I am sure that with each walk, it will get easier.

Yes, today is a sad day to remember, but I am grateful for the memories.....they can't be taken away.  Pete was such a good hearted and caring person. 

Tell your loved ones that you love them and make sure they know that you mean it!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

My First of #48 Walks

I finally did it!  My first walk of  #48 walks!  Thank you once again, Alison.  You are so inspiring.  I went to Gulph Gorge National Park....such a beautiful park in all seasons.  My walk was short, but sweet!  I wanted to go before the rain and winter weather that is predicted got here.  I am determined to go a little further with each one and since I started late, I have some catching up to do.  I am happy that I finally got out and began! Baby steps.....but steps!  LOL!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

#48 WALKS

My friend, Alison Chino, is so inspiring!  I love her writing, her recipes and her beautiful photography.  She and her family are in Scotland for the next three years.  Her husband, Taido, is one of the pastors of our church and he is going to school there for the next three years....they are such an amazing family and so inspiring!

Alison has started a group called #48 Walks....she is inviting people to take 48 walks this year.  They can be anywhere you choose.  She has a wonderful blog....Chino House.  I have been thinking about this since the first day I read her post about it.  I have decided to make the committment to do it!  I am still pretty shaky walking and must use my cane when out of the house.....but I am going to do it.  I will have short walks, but hopefully, I will build up my stamina and be able to increase them.  There are so many beautiful places here in Hot Springs to walk and such gorgeous scenery.  I could probably do all my walking right down the road from me in Gulpha Gorge National Park, and see something different with each walk.  Like I said, I will starrt out slow....even if I can just park a little further away from the door at the grocery store.  I know that the benefit of the fresh air and the beautiful scenery will be good for me emotionally and physically.  I am sure the dogs will love going with me at times and getting out of the house.  Anyone want to join me?

Friday, January 17, 2014

JANUARY 17th!

Two years ago today, Pete and I had to stand and watch our home and 41 years of our lives  go up in smoke, as we lost everything in the fire.  I remember feeling so helpless and wondering what we would do to start to rebuild our lives. 

Yes, we lost all our posessions and personal things like pictures, scrapbooks and special things that were Jennifer's and my parents.  We lost our two precious dogs....we had thought they had gotten out of the house, but had run to hide in the bedroom closet.  You can eventually replace material things and you learn to be grateful for the memories of the things you cannot replace. 

I have always believed that every hard struggle makes you come out a little bit stronger....this has proven to be true with my three battles with cancer.  The fire has certainly strenghtened my faith in people and the love of God.  I could never express the outpouring of love and support from friends, family and many strangers after the fire.  We even received our home from a wonderful family that had seen our story on the news....what an awesome family and angels from God.  We had many people that came and worked for weeks, helping us clean up after the fire and get moved in to start to rebuild our lives.....it was amazing.  We were given clothing, furniture and all the household items we needed.  It still amazes me the outpouring of love....increases my desire to serve God and help people everyday.  I am so blessed that this horrible experience left me with new friendships.... friends that were there for me when I lost Pete last year.  God's love is so awesome....there really are angels among us and I will always stand by....God is good and He is good ALL the time!!  I don't know why things happen in life, but I do know that God is always in control and He has the plan for each of us.  He is always there with us, and for that, I could not be more grateful!