Friday, January 21, 2011

My daughter gets a gift

Yesterday I was watching my daughter Emilee who is 20 and my youngest son Jake who is 13 talking and jabbing each other. What I came to realize was that my daughter had gotten a gift and didn't even realize it.

When my son DJ passed away he was 13 years 4 months and 20 days old. Emilee was 15 at the time. They were absolutely the best of friends. When one was angry or upset I would send the other one after them because they would tell each other their deepest secrets. I was never concerned that I wouldn't be able to know something because the other was always capable of pulling important information out of one another for me. There were no secrets between the two. When DJ passed away she lost her best friend. She was crushed and I don't think even now she has truly worked through it. It was easier for her to quit talking about DJ then deal with the pain of losing him. It has impacted her life through and through though I doubt she would agree or admit it.

Jake is now 13 years old 2 months and 27 days old. He is not her brother DJ, he will never replace DJ for her but she now has that brother back in a mild way. They were harassing each other, they were laughing till it hurt and it made me happy.

Emilee has got a gift from her youngest brother that I don't think she will ever realize. She has the gift of a younger brother who will always love her and always tease her and will be there for her. She hasn't had that in over 4 years and it is bringing great joy to me to see their relationship evolving into something she can hang onto.

I am sure Jake doesn't realize the importance of his relationship for her. I am hoping this will be one of the first steps to her healing. She will be able to have that friendship that was taken away from her at DJ's death. I didn't know that she would ever be able to have that friendship again and it honestly brings tears to my eyes to see our world revolving and changing in a positive way.

In this matter time has helped- it may have taken over 4 years for the gift to be received but my daughter got a gift that is irreplaceable.

(Got a call from printer yesterday, actual books will be coming soon--till then ebook is at

Also--will be starting a Writers Group if anyone is interested--locally ofcourse- email me at

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Spring cleaning for the Soul

I have been decluttering my house lately. Getting rid of things in my cabinets I don't need anymore. Cleaning the cubbards and just general organization. It must be the hope, thought of spring that is in my brain making me Spring Clean really early.

While I was cleaning out the cabinet where my coffee supplies are stored-cups, coffee filters, sugar, etc it occurred to me that there was another area in my life that needed decluttering badly. What area may you ask--well it is the area of lack of faith. What an odd thing to declutter you are probably thinking but I realized that I am struggling with my faith lately. Not in the fact that I know Jesus personally, not in the fact that He has held me up especially the last 4 plus years since DJ passed away. But the fact that I just don't have the faith in my prayers anymore.

What, am I so stupid to forget all the things God has done? All the answers to prayers He has given me. All the times He has kept me safe even beyond my own knowledge. My head knows all of these things. I have no doubts that Jesus is there for me but the older I have gotten the less I have discovered that I know and lately it just seems that I have lost all faith in prayers. All faith that He is listening or will do anything to change anything in my life.

Then, duh it occurs to me that I do not have any right at all to be doubtful of God. It is not my place to question whether or not He is listening to me. I need to declutter the junk in my brain that is not giving me the confidence I once had in my prayers and in God.

It is not God cluttering my brain with doubts. It is not God that has placed that anger and frustration and depression in me. It is me. I used to have those assurances of faith memorized. I used to know the scriptures that would hold me up when I was doubting or in pain or puzzled.

It my choice to declutter my brain, my heart, my spirit. It is my job to fill up my brain, fill up my heart with His words, with His assurances, with His presence.

I have taken old useless coffee filters out of my cubbard. I have wiped away all the crumbs of sugar and coffee. I have replaced the free space with coffee cups and jugs....

I need to take out all the doubts out of my heart and soul. I need to wipe away the anger and frustration with God's Holy Spirit. I need to replace these hurts and disappointments with God's word and His assurances. I am wonderfully made, He has chosen to me to be His. I need to remember, I need to KNOW this.

I am working on decluttering myself today--if there is anything you need to rid yourself of I challenge you today--Spring cleaning is for the soul too!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Broken hearts to mend

Broken hearts to mend

I watched my young son Jake walk into his guitar lessons yesterday and my heart was broken into a million pieces. It can happen that fast, a heart can be shattered like glass in just a whisper or in just a glance. Yesterday was such a day for me.

Jake was wearing a stocking cap and dark straight leg jeans. As I was watching him it occurred to me that he looked just like his guitar teacher. They were walking into the building together to prepare for the lesson and I realized that Jake was beginning to take on this young man's walk and dress. Jake's teacher is a fabulous kid, a great example of honest character, a good Godly young man BUT what broke my heart is that Jake is looking up to him, dressing like him because he doesn't have his oldest brother DJ in his life. Jake did not get that chance to evolve into his older brother. DJ was 13 when he passed away and Jake was just 8. There were lots of play times, lots of being together for the two; but during Jake's formidable years he doesn't have his brother DJ to look up to and get guidance from.

I'm not wanting Jake to turn into DJ, I just was so saddened by the fact that he is not here to be with Jake. That Jake got completely robbed of the relationship with DJ during his teenage years. That Jake doesn't have that confident in a brother that only siblings can have and it just further breaks my heart for him.

I am thankful Jake has his guitar teacher and other young men to look up to--every growing teenage boy needs good examples of men.

But here is my challenge today to you all...Who will all the other children that lose siblings look up to? Who will become their guide in their life besides their parents? So many children pass away every day but the entire dynamics of the family change after and most likely a sibling has lost a friend in a brother or sister. Maybe you are that person. Maybe you should be that person. Maybe you aren't even aware of the fact that you are already that person. There is no way to replace that sibling ever! But there is a void that needs help being filled.

Jake's guitar teacher has become that older person for him. I am sure he is not even aware of it and I don't want to tell him. I don't want him realizing that a heavy burden has been placed upon him by Jake-one I don't even think Jake realizes. Jake is fortunate that we have found good young men for him to be around but what if we didn't? The world is full of so many challenges and people are constantly searching for something to numb the pain or to help the hurt.

You may be that person today--look around you and see the world. Look around and see the children that have lost their siblings. Just perhaps you are that person to help that child along the way. So many people know that mother's hearts are broken after a child dies, but guess what? So are the siblings hearts that have been left behind. Perhaps you can help mend one.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

No guarantee of a tomorrow

Today I am flooded with memories...

A song came on the radio today-it was a song that my daughter liked when she was little. It was a cd that we all listened to as a family when we were whole. DJ, Emilee and Jake were all safe and sound. When we were all safe and young and no problems seemed to be in front of us--the sky was the limit.

A piece of tape today--I was pulling a piece of freezer tape off and the end was getting stuck and tearing. Why did this remind me of my mom who passed away years ago? I have no idea but something in my memory system some where far off has a connection with tape and my mom.

A car on television--DJ loved the movies Back to the Future-he was a huge fan. He had model car of the DeLorean that spun around with lights and noise. He was such an avid fan--he loved that the main character used a skateboard in it (ironic in a sad way). Anyway, on television this week there was a documentary on the DeLorean and it took me right back to DJ playing with that model car. Again, when he was young and safe and I could hold him tight in my arms.

A movie--The movie Beverly Hills Cop was another of DJ's favorites as he got older. The last Christmas before his death we bought him the jacket that Eddie Murphy wore in the movie off of ebay. He loved it, one of my favorite pictures of DJ is him wearing that coat right after he got it on Christmas day. He has beautiful green eyes that are staring straight into the camera, his hair is thick and dark brown and just flowing on his head. This is a day I remember because it was the last Christmas he ever had. Another day of safety and fun.

All this said---look at your family today and make memories today. You don't know if this is the last day or last year you will see them. During those times I didn't know how precious those exact memories would become but they are forever with me now. How many memories are you pushing aside? How many opportunities to spend time with your loved ones are you putting off because there is always tomorrow? I cannot stress this enough--THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT THERE EVER WILL BE A TOMORROW! Take life and enjoy those moments for they may become last cherished memories of a loved one.

You can find my book Flowers on a Child's Grave...Now What? at It is still in ebook form. In it 14 families speak about what they did to honor and cherish memories of their children--quilts, legacy rooms, events. Perhaps it will help remind you to keep close those that you love. Lisa-forever DJ's mom

Friday, January 14, 2011

Time is true and false

Time will go on...
Time will make it easier...
Time heals all pains...
It takes time...

After a parent loses a child we hear these kind of statements all the time. These statements are very true and these statements are false.

Time does keep going on...

True--People kept going to church, birthdays happened, holidays came and went, homecomings were planned, anniversaries were celebrated. Time does keep going on and on even when we wish it would stop.

False--In your head, in your memory system time has stopped. It does not continue because that day, that event, the death is played over and over again in your head. A parent may look like they are paying attention to the outside world but inside, inside their heart and mind they are somewhere back in time. Back to when their child was alive or back to the day of the accident or back to the death. Even back to the day of the funeral, back to the cemetery. We are often back in time in our mind and certainly in our hearts.

Time will make it easier...

True---I believe there is a slight hint of truth in this statement. Time does not necessarily make it easier, make the loss or pain easier but it does make it more manageable. After time we have the knowledge, the history that we have survived 10 days, 8 months, 4 years. With this we know that we will be able to survive 15 years, etc. We know that we will be able to survive the birthdays because we survived 3 previous ones. Time gives us the assurance that we will live through the 5th anniversary of their death because we have survived the last 4. History does repeat itself and in this case the history of survival or the history of breaking down will repeat itself.

False---Time does not make me miss DJ any less. I miss him with every ounce of my being and will never stop missing him. With this all said I remember someone telling me that the pain will be worse after a few months of DJ's death. I couldn't imagine this could possibly be true but unfortunately it was. After such a severe trauma your body, your mind goes into survival mode. It shuts down and is numb, there is a chemical that is released and it protects us from the pain. I know I certainly didn't think I felt numb after DJ passed away but apparently I did because a few months after his death the pain was worse. The chemical had worn off, time had released it and the pain was much more intense. I would never had believed it if it hadn't happened to me but time did make the pain worse.

Time heals all pain---

True--It heals the deep pain, the pain that comes from the soul. It heals the pain that comes from deep in the heart that only a parent that loses a child can feel, can understand. It heals some of it.

False--The pain doesn't go away fully ever!! This statement probably bothers me the most of all because a parent is never healed of the loss. It is always just a memory away. The pain is just below the surface and can remain hidden down for long periods of time but boy it can jump to the top of the heart in a flash. The pain can spring like a coil and tip us over and knock us about.

It takes time---

True--It takes time to figure out how to handle situations, how to handle the pain. It takes time to walk through the walk of loss and find your path in it. It doesn't happen over night, it does not happen quickly, it takes time. How long? It depends on the person, it depends on the day. Some people seem to quickly figure out their path, what to do and how to do it. Others it takes years. Of course some things are easier to figure out then others. What to make for dinner is easier than what to do with my child's clothes after he passes away. When to send the remaining children back to school is easier than what will we put on the headstone.

False--Just when we think we have things handled, just when we think we have the death of our child tucked safely away in our hearts something will hit us and all that time is gone. It is as if our child is dying again in front of us or the funeral is playing freshly in our brain as if we were there. We can go back in time in an instant, we can relive it all over again with just the touch of a button to our hearts.

Everything takes time--pain, joy, despair, healing, loss, tears, laughter, reliving. It all takes time so do not judge a parent that seems to be taking more time than you think is necessary. It all takes time and even time of our friends to listen to us, to love us and support us. No one knows the time line, their is no instruction manual except to say it all takes time.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Candles led to letters

I never understood why people did candle light vigils after someone died until DJ passed away. After his death there were over 100 people in my front yard with plastic cups with holes in the center for the candle to keep it from dripping on people's hands. The words "We love DJ" "We miss you DJ" were written on the cups in black marker print letters.

I remember it like it was yesterday, it was the evening and was dark. The people's faces glowed with the light of the candles. There were many people I didn't recognize, many I did. Stories were told, people laughed and most wiped tears off their eyes. I went outside to listen to the people's words, it was cool outside, I had to wear a warm coat. I don't know where they parked, as I look back I have no idea where all their cars were.

Stories were told and the one I specifically liked was this---DJ had wanted me to buy him skinny jeans for months before he passed away. I didn't want to, I didn't like the look of them personally and really didn't see why in the world he would want to wear them-this was just before EVERY boy on the planet was wearing them. One day while taking DJ to school I remembered looking over at him and commenting on how good his jeans looked that he was wearing. He had his backpack on his lap and I couldn't see the jeans fully but thought they were the newest jeans I had bought for him. Well, during the vigil it was divulged that those jeans were actually my jeans he chose to wear that day because they looked skinny on him. He only weighed 105 pounds at 5 feet 4 inches so nothing was really skinny on him, everything was baggy.

I have always told my children that eventually I will find out everything, it might not be right away but eventually I will know it. I have told them that God is a great tattle tale!

After the vigil it made me realize that those faces I didn't know had stories about DJ that I didn't. That they knew things I would never know and I needed that information. It spurred me to get into touch with DJ's Junior High English teacher. I asked her if it would be possible for her to ask the kids that were in DJ's class to write stories about him. He had only been in the junior high for 2 months and I didn't know many of his newest friends and really wanted to know their stories of DJ.

A few weeks after my request a large envelope came in the mail and it was full of stories of DJ. The English classes had written letters to me telling me how great DJ was. That he was always nice to them and always encouraging them at school. He would help people open their lockers -he had struggled with this so much at the beginning of the year that I bought him a lock to practice on so he completely understood their frustrations. He would help kids pick up their books when they all fell in a heap in the hall. He was telling the kids they could do it, no matter what it was--a test, an assignment, a science experiment--he was a great encourager. One of the best stories was that DJ always had a joke for the kids at school, he always came with a joke he memorized to make everyone laugh---later I found a notebook he had written in that said "DJ's jokes", he had written some down, memorized them and shared them with his class. He was a happy, funny always smiling, always encouraging kid and boy I loved him and still do.

All this said, you never know what is going to result from a candle light vigil. Mine resulted in letters from his classmates with stories that made me proud of my boy.

You never know what will happen when you reach out to a family that has lost a child. Something that you see as small may become a prized possession to these families.

Don't think that anything you do for these families is too little, or too much. Just do something for them--if no one had organized the candle light vigil I might not have thought about getting stories from DJ's class. The stories I received may have never escaped those children's memories and come to me. The small things are important.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


In a town near me this week a senior high student entered a high school and shot two people. He drove away and shot and killed himself right after. The two people shot were staff and so far one, a woman has died from her wounds.

A friend of mine on an internet social website said "Let us all be that person that keeps someone from going too far." What unbelievable truth there is in this statement. For lack of a shorter phrase, here goes...Pay it Forward!

This is what we all should be doing. But what should we be paying forward? And who should we be paying it forward to?

Our Love
Our sincere love, not the kind that is selfish and not the kind where we are expecting to get love back but the SINCEREST type of love. Love the people who are obviously hurting. Love those that are maybe hurting. Love those that appear to be happy. Love those that seem unloveable. What do all these people have in common? They are people and All People need love regardless of what we think or don't think about them.

Our Friendship
This is different than love. We can love people but not be their friend. Perhaps if this young man had that one friendship that he could have confided into then this tragedy wouldn't have happened. Friendship is walking along with someone during the good, the bad and the ugly. Friendship is the next deeper step to love. There are people in my world I love but I haven't spent the time to create the friendships I should with them. That is my mistake and not theirs. Are there people you love but don't stretch yourself to get to know them enough to become their friend? This is the time to probably re-exam those friendships in your world-in my world. You-me may be the one person through friendship to help someone stand one more day, to exist one more day.

Is this a heavy burden I challenge you to? You bet it is, absolutely! But without challenge, without each other, without friendship and love we all just exist. How boring, how selfish is that of us. To just exist in our world is wrong-to just watch those hurting around us and not reaching out is almost criminal. What if this young man had one friend? What if he had the one person who looked past their own selfishness and looked into his eyes and saw pain and struggle and grief? Maybe today two people would still be alive, one person would not be in the hospital, hundreds of children would not be traumatized.

Don't get me wrong, this young man picked up the gun, loaded it, drove to the school, entered the building. He chose to shoot these two people, he chose to end his life. He made choice after choice that was wrong BUT where were the friendships? Where were the people that loved him, where was the unselfishness of the world to reach him?

My heart cries out for the parents of everyone in this tragedy. The two older people that were shot are someone's children. This young man has parents who are now walking an incredibly painful trail. I can't even fathom all of the fall out that this family will have to deal with. But again, here is a challenge--Who will be these people's friends? Who will love the young man parent's? It is easier to love the victim's families but this family is victimized too.

WE NEED TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER, WE NEED TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER, WE NEED TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Have I said it loud enough? This is my challenge to myself and to you today. Pay it forward and maybe save a life, maybe not. But pay it forward, stop being selfish and LOOK BEYOND YOUR EYES AND LOVE WITH YOUR HEART--this is paying it forward.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I feel like a Lifetime Channel Movie

I feel like a Lifetime Channel movie sometime and apparently I am not alone. I feel like I have had a beginning, am in the middle of the middle and there will be an end. I was speaking to a friend this week who was having some struggles and she wished she had a crystal ball to figure out the outcomes. She felt if she could see the end results that all the issues she was dealing with would be easier to deal with. She wished she could see the end of the movie to have the strength to work through the middle. I so related---

I often feel that DJ's death has become the beginning of my story-it is the opening scene of the movie-it is a tear jerker and it creates a chain of events that alter the main characters forever. I feel my story is the beginning of the movie and my books, blogs, struggles, children's struggles, depression, full out life is the middle of the movie. The middle part where all the characters are unsure if they will ever get through the junk, if there will ever be a positive outcome. If we, if I, if my friend, if the characters of the movie could just fast forward to the end of the movie than they would have strength to keep fighting and keep going on.

I have seen some of the end of the movie--or atleast a few scenes, a few minutes of it---I have seen some of DJ's friends accept Christ. I have seen people's relationships with their children change after seeing our son lose his life. I have seen families require their children to wear helmets to keep them safe, safe from tragedy like that of DJ's accident.

But what is the end result? Will my book or blog someday help someone struggling to overcome depression, overcome the loss of their loved one? Will their story then become the beginning of another movie--one with a new middle and new end?

I have to be honest, I liked my old movie--my old life--my old me. I didn't want to be a blip on anyone's radar screen-I liked having my family intact and no one knowing the story line of the movie. I liked DJ being in the beginning, the middle and the end. I liked having my son to look at, touch, talk to, hug and plain out enjoy. I don't like this new movie and I certainly don't like the fact that I feel like I am in the middle and have no end in sight and no fast forward button to see the finish-to see if all the struggles were worth it.

My story and that of my friend and of so many others seems to be just a story of loss and struggle. Is all the pain and struggle worth it? If I were answering from a religious view I would ofcourse say Yes and that we all have to have strength and faith--yadee yadee yadee. I am not meaning to discredit the relationship I have with Christ but some days those are not the answers that really help. I get the spiritual side of it and that is why I stand up today but somedays I want the fast forward button and I want the answers to the end of the play, I want a crystal ball to let me know that all this pain has a happy ending somewhere-for someone--if not me than for someone far reaching, a few scenes away.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Creating a legacy at a high cost

My husband Donnie and I were talking the other day about what we have gone through over the last few years, throughout our marriage. We were looking back because the anniversary of our first date 24 years ago was coming up--it made us reflective.

Anyway the result of the conversation was that we are going to be leaving behind a legacy, one at an an extremely high cost but a legacy for the generations ahead of us.

What is this legacy?

It is that we have survived the death of DJ. We have survived physically, mentally, emotionally. We have survived on so many levels. Our marriage has survived so far and our children are still intact and we haven't gone into the loony bin yet.

We aren't perfect, we haven't walked a clean and easy road. It has been full of bumps and bruises but we have so far survived. I say so far, I use the word yet because this walk isn't over yet and any given day may change the outcome of this survival--I am not a pessimist but a realist and I have seen too much to take anything for granted. All this aside--we have survived and this is the legacy we have set in place for our family and even our friends.

Someday when my children or friends are struggling in their marriage or their lives seems a little tougher they will be able to look back at our legacy and see that we worked through far worse. We stood on the strength of Christ and kept our heads up even when we wanted to dig a hole and stay in it. There is no pride here, there is no "look at me" here--this legacy has come at the highest cost a parent can pay--the loss of our boy DJ. I know exactly where my strength has come from and there is no pride in it--only humble spirit and thankfullness.

My legacy, that of our family, that of my children will be that we survived and that is the legacy that we all have an opportunity to create. Don't give up if you are struggling, don't allow the pain to become too much that you cannot stand anymore. Find your strength-mine is Christ-mine is knowing that someday there will be a reunion between DJ and I, mine is knowing that God is in control and holding me up everytime I fall. Find strength, find a legacy to leave behind--the cost has been so high for us as parents but that legacy can continue on for generations to come.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hans Christian Andersen's words

I came across this writing by Hans Christian Andersen--he must have lost a child or knew of someone who did because his words are unbelievable( if anyone knows the facts feel free to comment them to me) and it made me cry reading it--I cannot do writing like this, I am in awe but I can certainly share his heartfelt and touching words---

The Child in the Grave by Hans Christian Andersen 1859

It was a very sad day, and every heart in the house felt the deepest grief, for the youngest child, a boy of four years, the joy and hope of the parents was dead. Two daughters, the elder of whom was going to be confirmed, still remained; they were both good, charming girls; but the lost child always seems the dearest; and when it is youngest and a son, it makes the trial still more heavy. The sisters mourned as young hearts can mourn, and were especially grieved at the sight of their parents' sorrow. The father's heart was bowed down, but the mother sunk completely under the deep grief. Day and night she had attended to the sick child, nursing and carrying it in her bosom, as a part of herself. She could not realize the fact that the child was dead, and must be laid in a coffin to rest in the ground. She thought God could not take her darling little one from her, and when it did happen notwithstanding her hopes and her belief, and there could be no more doubt in the subject, she said in her feverish agony, "God does not know it. He has hard-hearted ministering spirits on earth, who do according to their own will, and heed not a mother's prayers." Thus in her great grief she fell away from her faith in God, and dark thoughts arose in her mind respecting death and a future state. She tried to believe that man was but dust, and that with his life all existence ended. But these doubts were no support to her, nothing on which she could rest, and she sunk into the fathomless depths of despair. In her darkest hours she ceased to weep, and thought not of the young daughters who were still left to her. The tears of her husband fell on her forehead, but she took no notice of him; her thoughts were with her dead child; her whole existence seemed wrapped up in the remembrances of the little one and of every innocent word it had uttered.

The day of the little child's funeral came. For nights previously the mother had not slept, but in the morning twilight of this day she sunk from weariness into a deep sleep; in the mean time the coffin was carried into a distant room, and there nailed down, that she might not hear the blows of the hammer. When she awoke and wanted to see her child, the husband, with tears, said, "We have closed the coffin; it was necessary to do so."

"When God is so hard to me, how can I expect men to be better?" she said with groans and tears.

The coffin was carried to the grave, and the disconsolate mother sat with her young daughters. She looked at them, but she saw them not; for her thoughts were far away from the domestic hearth. She gave herself up to her grief, and it tossed her to and fro, as the sea tosses a ship without compass or rudder. So the day of the funeral passed away, and similar days followed, of dark wearisome pain. With tearful eyes and mournful glances, the sorrowing daughters and the afflicted husband looked upon her who would not hear their words of comfort; and, indeed, what comforting words could they speak, when they were themselves so full of grief? It seemed as if she would never again know sleep, and yet it would have been her best friend, one who would have strengthened her body and poured peace into her soul. They at last persuaded her to lie down, and then she would lie as still as if she slept.

One night when her husband listened, as he often did, to her breathing, he quite believed that she had at length found rest and relief in sleep. He folded his arms and prayed, and soon sunk himself into healthful sleep; therefore he did not notice that his wife arose, threw on her clothes, and glided silently from the house , to go where her thoughts constantly lingered--to the grave of her child. She passed through the garden, to a path across a field that led to the churchyard. No one saw her as she walked, nor did she see any one; for her eyes were fixed upon the one object of her wanderings. It was a lovely starlight night in the beginning of September, and the air was mild and still. She entered the churchyard, and stood by the little grave, which looked like a large nosegay of fragrant flowers. She sat down, and bent her head low over the grave, as if she could see her child throught the earth that covered him--her little boy, whose smile was so vividly before her, and the gentle expression of whose eyes, even on his sick-bed, she could not forget. How full of meaning that glance had been, as she leaned over him, holding in hers the pale hand which he had no longer strength to raise! As she had sat by his little cot, so now she sat by his grave; and here she could weep freely, and her tears fell upon it.

"Thou wouldst gladly go down and be with the child," said a voice that sounded so deep and clear, that it went to her heart.

She looked up, and by her side stood a man wrapped in a black cloak, with a hood closely drawn over his face; but her keen glance could distinguish the face under the hood. It was stern, yet awakened confidence, and the eyes beamed with youthful radiance.

"Darest thou to follow me?" asked the form. "I am Death."

She bowed her head in token of assent. Then suddenly it appeared as if all the stars were shining with the radiance of the full moon on the many-colored flowers that decked the grave. The earth that covered it was drawn back like a floating drapery. She sunk down, and the specter covered her with a black cloak; night closed around her, the night of death. She sank deeper than the spade of the sexton could penetrate, till the churchyard became a roof above her. Then the cloak was removed, and she found herself in a large hall, of wide-spreading dimensions, in which there was a subdued light, like twilight, reigning, and in a moment her child appeared before her, smiling, and more beautiful than ever; with a silent cry she pressed him to her heart. A glorious stain of music sounded--now distant, now near. Never had she listened to such tones as these; they came from beyond a large dark curtain which separated the regions of death from the land of eternity.

"My sweet, darling mother," she heard the child say. It was the well-known, beloved voice; and kiss followed kiss, in boundless delight. Then the child pointed to the dark curtain. "There is nothing so beautiful on earth as it is here. Mother, do you not see them all? Oh, it is happiness indeed."

But the mother saw nothing of what the child pointed out, only the dark curtain. She looked with earthly eyes and could not see as the child saw--he whom God has called to be with Himself. She could hear the sounds of music, but she heard not the words, the Word in which she was to trust.

"I can fly now, mother," said the child; "I can fly with other happy children into the presence of the Almighty. I would fain fly away now; but it you weep for me as you are weeping now, you may never see me again. And yet I would go so gladly. May I not fly away? And you will come to me soon, will you not, dear mother?"

"Oh, stay, stay!" implored the mother; "only one moment more; only once more, that I may look upon thee, and kiss thee, and press thee to my heart."

Then she kissed and fondled her child. Suddenly her name was called from above, what could it mean? her name uttered in a plaintive voice.

"Hearest thou?" said the child. "It is my father who calls thee." And in a few moments deep sighs were heard, as of children weeping. "They are my sisters, " said the child. "Mother, surely you have not forgotten them."

And then she rememberd those she left behind, and a great terror came over her. She looked around her at the dark night. Dim forms flitted by. She seemed to recognize some of them, as they floated through the regions of death towards the dark curtain, where they vanished. Would her husband and her daughters flit past? No; their sighs and lamentations still sounded from above, and she had nearly forgotten them, for the sake of him who was dead.

"Mother, now the bells of heaven are ringing, "said the child, "mother, the sun is going to rise."

An overpowering light streamed in upon her, the child had vanished, and she was being borne upwards. All around her became cold; she lifted her head, and saw that she was lying in the churchyard, on the grave of her child. The Lord, in a dream, had been a guide to her feet and a light to her spirit. She bowed her knees, and prayed for forgiveness. She had wished to keep back a soul from its immortal flight; she had forgotten her duties towards the living who were left her. And when she had offered this prayer, her heart felt lighter. The sun burst forth, over her head a little bird carolled his song, and the church-bells sounded for the early service. Everything around her seemed holy, and her heart was chastened. She acknowledged the goodness of God, she acknowledged the duties she had to perform, and eagerly she returned home. She bent over her husband, who still slept; her warm, devoted kiss awakened him, and words of heartflet love fell from the lips of both. Now she was gentle and strong as a wife can be, and from her lips came the words of faith; "Whatever He doeth is right and best."

Then her husband asked, "From whence hast thou all at once derived such strength and comforting faith?"

And as she kissed him and her children, she said. "It came from God, through my child in the grave."

May you all find strength in Christ, God Bless you all, Lisa-forever DJ's mom

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy Words?

Happy New Year everyone! Words, words, and more words...

This week my family had dinner with a close friend who has had a few family members pass away in the last couple of years. For some reason unknown to him for the last two weeks people have been coming to his work and telling them how sorry they are for his loss. These same people then continued to tell him story, after story of his loved ones. Not just a few stories but novels of them. By the end of the work day my friend was completely exhausted, he had heard way too many words for the week.

A few months after DJ passed away I went to a business meeting for my company and from the time I stepped out onto the parking lot and left 6 hours later person, after person felt the need to tell me how sorry they were for my loss. I couldn't wait to leave the meeting and was absolutely beat up by the words at the end of it.

I want to explain what I am trying to say here...We love hearing stories about our loved ones. As you also know from reading my blog we love to hear the names of those that have passed away. We know you want to express your sympathy to us and to console us as well. However, please consider the environment where you are expressing those the middle of a work meeting isn't probably the time to tell us over and over again how sorry you are. We don't often have the energy to hear stories for hours, especially when people say "I don't mean to make you sad BUT". Well, honestly what do you think is going to happen after this kind of comment?

We don't want to be mean to you, we don't want to be harsh to you. We appreciate the words you say to us but please take time to consider the location, the amount of words you say, the type of stories you tell us. Please consider our feelings before you express yours.

(You can find my ebook at and I am going to begin my cookie blog this week--watch out for peanut butter cookies)