Monday, November 7, 2011

What a Year Can Do - my final blog

I'm not sure where to start...

Well, here we are. November 7th.

It's hard to believe Brad has been gone a year today. Every day can have it's own challenge, but this particular day has been in my's been my finish line. The night that Brad died, I vividly remember telling myself that if I can just make it to see the sunrise - I was going to be okay. I stayed awake all night (and many many nights after that), just looking out the window and waiting for the sun to appear. I made it. Then I set a goal to survive the funeral. Made it. One week-Two weeks...One month...Two months...Three months......and finally, make it through a full year.

Made it.

I've learned so much - about myself, my faith, friends and family. There have been so many tears that I think I have maxed out a lifetime limit. There has also been so much joy and appreciation for this life - I'm blessed to be here, and I will never forget that.

Here's the deal. I do not pretend to have this figured out, but I do know I have gained some wisdom that it could have taken me a lifetime to learn. Do I screw up every single day? - absolutely, but this is what I know:

- Faith in Jesus is everything. You without a doubt CAN DO ALL THINGS through Christ who gives you strength. In Him you find peace, rest, and the best part....everlasting life. Every time I tried to do things my way - I crashed and burned. And when I finally decided to hand over my decisions, thoughts, fear and heartache to the Lord - I could see hope and a future.

- Live YOUR life. You answer to one person and one person only - GOD. People will always have their own ideas of who you should be and how you should act, and they will judge the hell out of you. Guess what? It doesn't matter. My entire life I was convinced there was a certain order of how things should be done and how I should go about life. You know....go to college, get married, buy a house, have kids and so on. Well you know what...that's lovely and all, but it's not reality. Keep it simple - God's got a plan for each and every one of our lives - it's all stop getting all worked up when things don't go your way - and just enjoy the ride.

- It's about relationships - not stuff. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't see just how amazing my family and friends are. I still haven't sat down to thank everyone personally for all they've done for me. Phone calls, letters, care packages in the mail, hugs, and goodness -what a blessing. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone that has reached out to me. I know a simple thank you is a bit lame, and it will never do justice, but please know that's what has helped me make it this far. Your encouragement kept me moving forward. So this is what I'm getting at. When you hit a wall - rock bottom, stuff isn't going to be there to help you up...and it won't even comfort you. Make it a point to invest in your relationships with friends and family - every single day.

Brad's parents had a beautiful grave marker made and I think they did a great job capturing some fond memories of Brad....Dallas is even on there with his big ol' tongue sticking out as usual. It's not out at the cemetery yet, but should be before the end of this year. The background is from pictures of some of our hikes through the Tennessee mountains. I think Brad would like this.

I know a lot of people are hurting today especially, and I know Brad could have never understood the hurt and severe pain that he left behind for all of us to face. He wouldn't have wanted that. I miss him everyday - and I'll always hold on to the great memories we shared. I have hope that I will see that sweet smile of his again one day. And oh what a day that will be.

I'm wrapping up I appreciate all of you that have been kind enough to actually read my rantings over the past several years, and follow me through the most difficult time in my life. I'm so thankful that I've had this blog to document the last couple years of Brad's life, and to keep friends and family posted this past year. I've had some encouragement to keep blogging, and I have thought of starting a new blog. To be honest, I'm on the fence about it. If you have an opinion either way, let me know :) If I start a new blog I'll post the new web address on here and facebook. Thanks again.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pursuit of Happiness

Happiness is good medicine.
Proverbs 17:22

Lord, You give true peace to people who depend on you,
to those who trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3

There is a time to weep and a time to laugh.
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
Ecc 3:4

He heals their broken hearts and bandages their wounds.
Psalm 147:3

Don't remember what happened in earlier times. Don't think about what happened a long time ago, because I am doing something new! Now you will grow like a new plant. Surely you know this is true. I will even make a road in the desert, and rivers will flow through that dry land.
Isaiah 43:18-19

The Lord has chosen me to tell good news to the poor and to comfort those who are announce that the time has come for the Lord to show His kindess...
Isaiah 61: 1-3

But respect Christ as the holy Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the HOPE you have.
1 Peter 3:15

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'll Let You In My World


Yeah, that's me.

I am not capable of living a normal life....whatever that might be. So it was a fun Friday night with friends...and get this....

Dallas gets hit by a car!

WHAT the ....!!!???

Don't worry! He is fine, but I lost it. He was in hot pursuit of a ball and ran out in the street before any of us could do anything. I saw it - then dropped to my knees and cried like I've wait...yeah...I cried kinda like that. Also, it was May 7th - exactly 6 months since my world turned upside down.

I should probably have my blood pressure checked out.

I feel compelled to share something very private and dear to me. When crazy or difficult things come my way, i.e. Dallas being struck by a vehicle, I so badly wish Brad could be here to handle it. He could remain calm while I'm a basket case. He always knew how to ease my fear and my occasional hot temper. I found this note not long after Brad died. He gave this to me when we were in college, but it sure seems like it was meant for me now. I hope you can see his tender heart through his words.

In case you aren't skilled in translating Brad's handwriting, this is what it says. Also, that is probably 8 year old cereal stuck to the page.

Hello. I know you're stressed right now,
just shut it all out while you read this. No one
said that life would be easy. No one said that
we are perfect. It may seem like you're confused,
but I assure you that's the way anyone would
think in your situation. It's part of it. The
only thing that will help is going on with your life
every second of every day. When you get frustrated
because you can't concentrate, pray about it. You may
have to pray every second, but eventually it will get
better. I'm praying for you, every part of your being
I'm praying for. I know it's hard to see that school
should be important right now, but if you try, and
keep trying, you'll realize that you're capable of
doing things you didn't expect. One thing that that will
make you feel better is to confront your stress, one
step at a time. One page at a time, then one chapter,
then one class, it will require you to challenge yourself,
but I believe in you with all my heart. Just
know that God would never give you anything
you can't handle. Like you always say to me: "I can
do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Every time

you get frustrated, say it to yourself, and believe.

Keep it up sweetheart, You can do it!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Back in the saddle

First week back to work - a success!

I'm so thankful I was able to take the past 6 months off of work to just be. It was necessary. I've faced a lot and worked through it. Many sleepless nights and difficult days - so much that I wasn't sure how I would function back in the real world. You think I would have learned this by now...God's timing is perfect.

It felt great to be back at the office last week. I had missed feeling productive...the feeling of contributing to society or having a role other than "the 28 year old widow". It was nice...even if I had to end my 6 month love affair with sweat pants.


Now for something different.

The following is my sincere apology to all of my friends and family that are frustrated with my lack of communication.


I get that it doesn't take that much effort to answer my phone, check my voicemail, respond to texts, or check my email. I GET IT! Perhaps I don't initiate going to lunch etc blah blah blah. All true. All I can say is:

I'm lazy, tired, and me not talking or responding to you is no reflection of how awesome you are. I am just a difficult person to be friends with for this season - but I will get better. The somewhat attentive version of me will emerge one of these days and you'll be happy you stuck it out.


I'll go ahead and step down from my soap box and get my butt to bed.

If you aren't familiar with the iPhone format, this is a screen shot of my phone showing just how lazy and unresponsive I am. Yep...18 unchecked voicemails.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

I am so very thankful that Jesus died and rose again for me. It's hard to grasp the depth of that love. Incredible.

Happy Easter - from my goofball family to yours.

Lookin' good Kristen and Taylor. Typical....

I just love him so much.