Thursday, September 12, 2013


I was wondering what the most difficult thing you've ever been through has been (actually, I can understand if you don't want to share it with me), and the various things that have helped pull you through the most?

I'm just curious.

Thank you so much : )


  1. My brother, two grandparents, dad and mom getting cancer. Only my dad survived. In a four-year span. Before I finished grade school.

    My life got way, way better - there really wasn't anywhere to go but up. (Have straw, will clutch).

    1. Hi Sandee ~

      I cannot imagine living through a 4 year span like that. I am so very sorry. I am happy to hear your life got so much better though. I love your saying!

      P.S. I don't have many fears, but for clear cut reasons - cancer is my #1 YUCK.

      Thank you so much for being here.

  2. The lost of my first son Denver very hard to make my way then the m/c's that followed. Losing a job that I loved because of people that have nothing better to do than bully and lie. Leaving us so broken and broke that had to sell everything that wasnt nailed down to get by. My mother passing away and the last words we had spoken together was a fight.........

    1. Oh my Chelley...that sounds like a whole lot. I was deeply saddened too by what you last wrote. It's terrible that sometimes we just don't know and I'm so sorry that is the way it ended for you. I hope somehow, someway (even though I'm sure much easier said than done and you've heard it thousands of times) you have been able to make peace in knowing it was just awful timing...

      I am so sorry for all you have been through. I sure hope things have gotten better.

  3. Watching my baby go through a battle with bacterial meningitis. We almost lost her several times. Watching her live with the resulting brain injury...she's now 5. She's just amazing...but it's still hard to see all that she lost.

    1. I am so sorry. Ugh...brain injury. I can relate to so much of what you said, but of course I cannot understand what you are going through. I can only imagine. If Aviana was able to do more, I'm sure I would have a whole other set of tiny daggers - set of loses. Counting blessing, but seeing all the differences at the very same time.

      Your daughter sounds amazing!

  4. This isn't necessarily the hardest thing I've gone through, but it's one I'm willing to share. :) After the birth of my son, Casey, I experienced severe post partum depression. It came on very fast, and very hard. I literally thought I was going crazy, and spent the better part of a month pondering how my children would be raised while I lived the rest of my life in a mental institution. I clearly was not in my right mind! It was so scary because my thoughts and emotions were so out of my control. I couldn't find my bearings and didn't think I would ever return to "normal." The guilt was immense. After a month or so, the meds kicked in and I slowly but surely became myself again. But it was such a sobering, humbling experience and gave me a real respect and empathy for those that struggle with mental health issues. In terms of what pulled me through, it was definitely medication, help from others, and time... I am now facing these issues head on again (as I am expecting my third in two months), and my mantra to myself, if I happen to be struck by PPD again, is "this too shall pass." I also am going to try to remind myself that I don't have to go it alone - that I should reach out to my "village" if I need to.

    1. Hi!

      I can't believe how time has flown by and you are due so soon! I loved every word of what you wrote. That would definitely be such a scary feeling. It sounds almost more like an out of body experience. The more hardship we all go through, the more empathy and compassion we gain, right? That's the name of the game.

      I am wishing you the best with your 3rd, and am so happy you know exactly what to do, and are so open, and always so honest on your blog. That should be the norm : )

      Love to you!

  5. I think the most difficult experiernce was letting a little boy leave that I'd had for 2 1/2 years. I knew I'd miss him terribly, but I didn't expect to feel devastated. He's had a very hard life and I feel more than ever that I should have adopted him. Now that he's lost his adoptive family, he's part of our lives again.

    I really feel like I've had a pretty happy life and I'm always thankful for that as I watch friends deal with so much worse.

    Love you guys,

    1. I'm sure that was beyond difficult. My heart absolutely broke for Aviana's foster family. It was written all over their faces, as we could barely speak to each other really due to the language barrier. They only had her for 11 months too. I don't know how you've had all these babies Dixie. As I've told you so many amaze me ❤

  6. The worst thing that has ever happened to me was my daughter's brain injury. Sixteen years ago she was a perfectly healthy and happy child, able to do anything and everything that a 4 year old should be able to do. And then one day that all changed. After her accident, I was so, so sad. I had never felt grief like that before. Nothing had ever hurt me so badly, where I just wanted to curl myself up in a corner and stay there. For weeks and months I went to sleep crying, and then in the mornings I woke up crying. Actually, when I woke up it took me a second or two to "remember" what has happened to her, and then it would hit me all over again. She changed completely after her accident. She couldn't walk or talk, and her facial expression that I had grown to know and love were gone. I had a new child, it seemed. And I missed the old her SO VERY MUCH that it physically hurt me. Friends and family didn't understand me. How could I grieve for a child who was technically still here with me? I felt so alone in my grief. It truly was the saddest I have ever been. What got me through it all was my daughter. I HAD to keep going, for her. She needed me to help her to get better. I had to get up each day to help her walk and do all the things to the best of her ability. I worked the Institute's program every hour of every day for almost 3 years. It kept me focussed. It gave me hope. But "acceptance" was a word that I dodged daily. I simply would not accept that my original daughter wasn't coming back. I HAD to turn this new daughter into the old daughter in order for me to ever be happy again. I convinced myself of this. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was going through the stages of grief and had been stuck in the DENIAL part of it for a couple of years. Then one day it just hit me: she is never going to be that same 4 year old again. Ever. No matter how hard I work with her. She'll improve but she'll never be the same. She's been altered from her original self, and that is just the way it is. Things slowly got better after I decided to face that truth. I started to live in the present instead of wishing for the past to return. We began adding on to our family, and that was very healing for me and for my husband. Plus, we gave our daughter eight younger siblings to grow up with! She already had an older brother, so that made ten kids for us. My daughter is 20 now and doing very well. She's an awesome big sister and her siblings bring her a lot of happiness. And that makes me happy.

    So what pulled me through the most? in the first three years after he accident, being devoted to her therapy helped me the most. Like I said, I was focussed on getting her better - I had a job to do! And the Program gave me much needed hope. I needed hope to keep going. Then the years that followed (once we stopped the program) what pulled me through were my other kids. Just being a mom and carrying on in life really helped me. When we stopped the Program we began LIVING again and doing "normal" things with our daughter instead of just a day of therapy. Joining in on the "normal things" in life is what got me through.

    1. Hi Trina ~

      Everything you said makes absolute, perfect sense. I am so happy you were able to 'LIVE' again and find joy in all of your beautiful children : ) I agree with you about the "normal things" they do feel so good. I love being part of anything and anywhere that is normal. Out and about, shopping, being places where no one knows my story or who I am. Unlike 'Cheers' ; ) sometimes. Just normal. Nothing brain injury related. It feels so good.

      I love you. You have been here from the very beginning and you are. Thank you so much, always!

  7. When I was 22 I was diagnosed with cancer. I ended up having a massive surgery and am partially disabled because of it. Subsequently, I was diagnosed with a rare bone disorder that causes massive amounts of pain.

    When I was 25, my husband and I decided to have a baby. I had a typical pregnancy till 36 weeks when they said my son had a spot in his heart and I had gestational diabetes because he was large. I did not. I gave birth and fought with the nurses for 3 days that SOMETHING was wrong. They told me I was a nervous first time parent. Finally, on his discharge exam the pediatrician noted red flags and sent him to the NICU warning us that he was most like seizing and could stop breathing at any moment. The NICU team showed up, got him stabilized in the isolette on a guerney and wheeled him so that we could say good bye. I think that was the hardest moment of my life. Saying goodbye to my son whom I had just met with the possibility that I may never see him again.

    Turns out, he wasn't seizing but has a rare genetic disorder. We searched and searched for a diagnosis and nothing showed up for a long time. We decided to have baby #2 after being assured that whatever it was, was probably de novo. I got a positive pregnancy test the day after I turned 27. The next day, we received our son's diagnosis. 8 weeks later we were told, I was a carrier and that if this baby was a boy, he could have a 50% chance of having the same issues.

    I spent 12 more weeks on my knees praying for a girl. I finally found out, the baby was a boy. I spent another 20 weeks praying he wouldn't receive my bad x-chromosome. I gave birth to a beautiful boy who was "a little stiff" and couldn't latch on. However, he grew, he wasn't severely hypertonic like my older son and we could take him home from the hospital.

    6 weeks later we received the news that he did in fact, receive my bad X-chromosome. The pain of this diagnosis is still with me today.

    My husband, children and my faith are the only things that get me through this. If I didn't have a church foundation I don't know how I could be where I am. I've learned to find the beauty in the minutae, to enjoy the things everyone else looks past, to appreciate the little things, and to celebrate every moment.

    1. I was so taken by your comment...honestly. I instantly thought about where I was in life at 22 and couldn't imagine. I don't like when I say that, but really. You amaze me. I understand the will and fire within. And when you are left without a choice, the choice is to fight, but you just kept having to continue on and you sure have.

      I am sorry for all you have been through thus far, but am in awe of your attitude in light of it all. I will be here wishing you and your family well : )

  8. Dealing with my now 21 year old son who still has no ambition and no remorse for anything he does. He was misdiagnosed his first 7 years of life which put him very far behind. He is adopted from the US, his dad and I divorced when he was 2. His dad and I had joint custody and really tried to work hard together to raise him well. Once my son reached high school he got with the wrong kids. His dad gave him a car...I don't know why, because my son never graduated high school and couldn't keep a job because he stole things. Anyway it is a repeating pattern. Our hardest part is when we have to stop. Due to his medical condition (Congenital Myasthenia---takes meds 5 times a day) it is very tough. He is a thief, ends up in jail and gets bailed out by his dad, is into drugs (pot---so not too bad but still illegal), and I just found out he stole all the money I had in a bank account for his future (whenever he got his act together). Well, $5,000.00 is GONE! We have made an appt. with a counselor - his dad and I - so we can find out our best course of action as parents of an 'adult-child'. Is it okay for us to stop bailing him out of trouble? I am already detached emotionally as I wait for the day I get the phone call he is dead somewhere. I love him to no end, but I really do not like him right now. I HATE this feeling about my own child.

    1. My gosh...I am so sorry! Starting with the misdiagnosis. That must have been SO frustrating from the beginning. It must have felt like one big set back.

      I would imagine it is also incredibly hard if both of you aren't on the same page. I am hoping the counselor can help, because (I can tell you know) a united front is one of the best ways to help your son.

      And in my opinion...YES! I agree, it is okay to stop bailing your son out. But as you said, I'm sure his medical condition makes it more difficult.

      My brother has been an alcoholic for most of my life. I can relate to what you said about detaching emotionally as you wait for the call. I love him so very much, but in some way - I feel it helps guard my heart.

      I know exactly who you are, as you have written me over the years in support and about your son too. My heart ached for you as I read every line of your comment, especially the last two. It is completely understandable though. I can't imagine anyone in your very same position not feeling what you're feeling.

      I will be keeping you close and hoping you and his dad can come together, and then divide and conquer.

      ❤ ❤ ❤

  9. Adopting our son from Guatemala and then finding out 5 months later that my husband has a rare form of Thyroid cancer. He has been fighting it since 2005. God and my church keep us from losing our minds. Great support system.

    1. I lost my brother seven years ago. He was 57. His wife had passed away suddenly four years before that. My own loss was hard, but watching their children and families, my parents and sister grieve was extremely difficult. Helping my parents in the last years of moving from their home of 53 years, adjust to assisted living, issues over their health, dementia, elderly phone scams and financial loss, etc, that was extremely difficult. I live nearest and needed to be the one to physically be there for them. It was a lonely time, even with the help of my sister and family. Seeing them be needy and vulnerable was a switch in roles. My sister traveled to our home state to help and was of great support and encouragement through phone and email. But it mostly fell to me, with our older brother deceased. And now, most recent, we learned our daughter was drugged and raped earlier this year and will soon deliver her baby. This has been shocking and surreal. Seeing her through this, trying to keep the anger at bay for her sake at present and our own sake and health in the future has been challenging. We have great help and counseling. We will all get through this. She is making an adoption plan. We're very familiar with adoption, being adoptive parents ourselves. Just never imagined we would need to help a daughter deal with all these losses. The blessing, in disguise, is that because she was drugged, she remembers nothing of the assault. We pray she never does. But in all of these things, we have definitely seen God's grace in helping us deal with our grief and loss. We are dependent on Him, step by step. We knew before this happened that we are often called upon in life to live our days and moments one step at a time. Our faith reminds us that God is with us every step of the way. This experience has driven that home in a very real way. Lessons and life are once again coming through to our hearts and heads in very vivid ways. If anything sums it up, that is is currently very vivid, very real and up close. If that makes sense. Maybe these tragic situations just make life raw, open our entire selves to expose our nerve endings to experience the pain more intensely. Everything we knew to be true about God is still true, even in the midst of our experience. If anything, this has proven those truths even more. We know that God doesn't plan or execute anything that is evil. That is impossible, from what the Bible teaches about His character. But we also know He has not yet "made all things new", that for a time yet, evil remains in the world and can effect any of us and does. We believe one day, He will make a new heaven and a new earth for those who have trusted in Him. And there, He will wipe away every tear. There will be no more grief, no more sadness, no more evil. This is our faith, I am not trying to preach her, but share what we believe and have seen true in our lives and others. We know that good can come of our latest situation and have even already seen some of it. We know none of us will ever be the same people because of this. We only pray that we can be used in the lives of others who might experience similar circumstances in the future, that we will be more compassionate and understanding for having suffered these things ourselves. We also desire to only speak truth about God and represent Him correctly, as we live through this and share our hearts and hurts with those who ask and want to help. We are so thankful for our faith, as we are once again experiencing some of the pain that comes from living in a world where sin and evil effects us all simply because we live in this temporary world.
      anonymous because this is still too raw

    2. The Lord used you just now to continue to reinforce my beliefs as well. I will be 67 years old in about 2 weeks, and I have lived through much joy and a whole lot of sorrow. Never in all of my life did my Lord and Savior leave me. He sometimes seemed far away; Sometimes I blamed Him. On occasion I have been very angry with Him. But never, ever did He leave me. He has been my rock and salvation for all these years. He can bring a peace that completely passes all understanding. Blessings to you, my friend in Jesus. Vicki, the Grammy from Memphis

    3. ^ ^ ^

      I think back to that time, jumping through all of those various adoption hoops, the waiting upon waiting and then - finally the day. Such an incredible high, to finally be traveling to bring the little one the place we had been setting up for what seemed like forever.

      I'm sorry you went from a high to a low in such a short period of time. I am happy to hear you have all the support you do though, because battling without (like you said) would render the mind useless! Useless minds = double ick : ) I hear you!

      Sending you and your family love!

    4. ^ ^
      Wow. You have been through an awful lot of loss and heartache, and it sounds as though you are the one who has had to/chose to, be there and hold it all together. I understand the role. I am so sorry for all of your losses.

      I have no idea what it's like to see your parents as you have described and am definitely not looking forward to it. We have only been witness to a small amount of what you said with Dave's parents in the phone scams, which is so unbelievably horrible. They have a MIGHTY hold on them!! And also in the form of beginning stages dementia. So much more to come though, and I know you know first hand.

      With every word I read about your daughter, my heart was honestly reaching out to you. I am so very, very sorry for everything. I was left speechless by what you wrote. I am so very sorry. I know...but I can't say it enough. I too, am so thankful she doesn't remember anything and am right there beside you hoping and praying she never remembers...ever.

      I completely agree with you. There is beauty in the breakdown. I think it is so important to take our tragedy (as bad as it can often times feel) and grasp every positive we can from it, or it was for nothing. So many blessings and lessons have been learned and will continue to be learned from it. So many kind, loving, caring, people have crossed our path. And exactly what you said, we have a deeper compassion and empathy we would never have known had we not lived these 4+ years with Aviana.

      Grief and loss can cause such ugliness at times, but it can also provide such beauty. It sure shows us to be more appreciative for what we do have - the teeniest, tiniest things we do have : ) Because we have been whittled down, and reduced to almost nothing...truly brought to our knees, huh!

      God is good. In all ways, and through all....God is good.

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. Loving you and wishing you the best through everything.

    5. Grammy from Memphis

      Beautifully written : )


      Happy Birthday to you ❤

  10. The hardest thing I've ever been through was nearly losing my 2 year old to pneumonia. I was terrified and didn't think I could handle the situation. And I do realize, that I didn't lose her, she recovered, so I CANNOT compare this to actually losing a child. That I can't imagine. However, what helped me through it, and has remained with me ever since, was accepting her mortality, my mortality, everyone's mortality. I know that may sound morbid, but once I went deeply into the realization that my daughter might die (soon, and will definitely die someday) and I realized then that even when she died, I would not lose her, a lightness and peace came over me. It's very hard to explain. Those days in the hospital with her were sacred, and I was enjoying her presence fully for the first time that had little to do with her physical body, which was weak and lethargic. Embracing death allowed me to loosen my grasp on the future, enjoy the eternal present moment, and realize deeply that life is a precious, wondrous gift- not a burden to bare. Much love to you and your family! Thanks for letting me share.

    1. Hi Chelsy ~

      I cannot begin to explain how much your comment means to me. What you wrote is not morbid in the least, but light years ahead of where I think the majority of us as a society are with death. I certainly was horribly afraid before, and still am in certain cases, but Kama (my dog) and Aviana have and are surely showing me the way.

      As you have perfectly, and so eloquently written, it takes being pushed to the absolute edge (to places you don't think you could possibly handle) and then most importantly, CHOOSING to see the world as you do from then on, to loosen the grasp, to realize the precious, wondrous gifts. You, and every word you wrote...are a true blessing! Thank you.

      We are in the process of having to let go of so much, and I know there is much more to come in the future, as we know our distant plan for Aviana. Her life was a gift to us, and when it's time, her death will be seen as that as well...not something awful.

      Thank YOU so very much for sharing your story ❤

  11. It started September 8, 2008. My son David aspirated in the NICU after I had been discharged after delivering two healthy identical twin boys. No one told us until we got to the hospital. We later found out during litigation that it was 10-15 minutes he went without breathing. Then he went into a coma a day or two after the aspiration, Hurricane Ike hit and they moved the NICU down to the basement, run on generators. Subsequently, he was moved to another NICU, trached and got a G-Tube amongst other surgeries. The day after Halloween he came home to join his twin brother and I had to set up a NICU in my house. That year, David got RSV and was hospitalized for about two weeks. I was all by myself with him, and witnessed extremely graphic bloody scenes and felt helpless and there were people dying of swine flu in there. I'm still not over it. I'm in a rough place now, hooray for PTSD.

  12. The past year and a half has been the hardest thing I've gone through and there's not an end in sight at this point. Last June, my father passed away suddenly. He had a heart attack and died in the car while my mom was driving him to the hospital. He was fairly young and had less life insurance than he should have - he thought he had decades left. His death left my mom without 2/3 of the income she was used to and a lot of bills she couldn't pay.

    We were just starting to feel stable again as we came up on the year anniversary of his death. Then my mom was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic colon cancer that has spread to her liver. There are so many tumors scattered throughout her liver that they don't have enough of a clear area to perform a re-section at this point. She's responding to treatment and feeling good, but it's still serious and I'm terrified.

    In July, I found out that after ten years, my job is being eliminated at the end of October. I currently go with my mom to every appointment and chemo infusion - I won't be able to do that anymore.

    Yesterday, she felt good so we got to act "normal" for a few hours and go shopping for a new outfit for my job interviews. The normal days are great. Between her health and my employment situation, I have moved back in with her. We've both learned not to say, "What else could go wrong?" We joke about that a lot. We have a great group of family and friends who are doing everything we'll allow to try and help us. I am so immensely lucky to have such great people in my life. I also have my Brody (who looks so very much like Rainey). He is my best buddy and the greatest comfort anyone could ask for.

    Much love to you, Dave, Aviana and of course, Rainey! I'm thinking good thoughts for all of you and for everyone else going through hard times right now.

    1. Riann...when I read your comment, I wanted to immediately go to wherever you were - hug you, and maybe sit, eat dessert or pizza, and talk for as long as we wanted. I always think the universe should work in a way that when one thing happens - we should be able to catch our breaths, and carry on for a while before we get ROCKED again! I have learned, as so many others have too, that's just not the way it works. For you, for your mom, my gosh...I was speechless. I am so beyond sorry, for everything you both have experienced and are currently. I am was so sorry to hear about your dad. I look at all you wrote and my mind wonders. I know you will and most certainly have found the strength, but I am so sorry you've had to, and will continue to have to when you just don't think there's anymore. I'm so sorry you've had to be pushed to the outermost limits of your mind, body and spirit. I do know that along with the grief and loss - beauty is found synonymously in those corners too though. Just like you said, in the "normal." It's such a huge price to pay though, isn't it? But I know we have to take it where we can get it, and take it all! I want it all, darnnit!! Every last bit.

      With so many things in such a short period of time, I am wondering how hard it must be to calm the mind. I look for all of the ways to calm mine and sometimes it's just so hard. That's what I was kind of looking for when I posed the question on here. I have been listening to Wayne Dyer. Have you heard of him? I added him to my Power of Now and New Earth reading. He's pretty darn good! I forced myself into yoga too (I'm one of those that can't relax, and now I have to have it...gosh it really helps) I need other ways too though. I think I need an electrician. I need a simple switch installed - on/off. That's the ticket. Okay Riann, now I rambled as I was editing your comment. Back to our regularly scheduled program below...

      As you said act "normal." Yes, the normal moments are amazing. I am going through a lot right now, but not what you are. I hope you know I would, of course, never venture to act as though I understand what you are going through. I can just relate to a whole lot of what you wrote, the joking,,,ahhh, laughter the best medicine of all. Hmmm...I don't know though, the power of the pup is probably much stronger ; ) Brody and Rainey...the greatest gifts ❤

      Thank you for sending all the love and good thoughts. I too, am sending you, your mom and Brody our love!!

      Thank you for being here Riann.

  13. While reading some of these life stories, I realized that what has happened to me during my life isn't as bad as I have thought it to be. Yes have had ups and downs but God and Music have gotten me through the toughest times. In my last few years, I have also started baking (Jen's encouragement) when I am stressed/depressed/worried and giving it to others. I too have my "babies" that have brought me through every thing with their love, wags and kisses and love us unconditionally. Love ya Jen, Aviana, Dave and Rainey! I love your pictures and post and need some new pie pictures!
    Julie n Texas

    1. Awww Julie!! You are the sweetest! I have some pie pictures, someday, sometime : )

      Love you so much!!!

  14. Hi Jen. I don't know if you will even read this or's been a month since you posted the request to share stories. At the time I *thought* I knew what had been most difficult in my life...years of infertility and miscarriages. However I am now currently living through something even more devastating. 2 weks ago my mom (who is by far my best friend in the world) suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. She is so young (just turned 56 last week while in ICU and on a vent) and incredibly healthy. This was so unexpected (duh! I know nobody ever thinks something like this will happen) that for several days I was walking around in a fog of disbelief. Two weeks in and I still can't believe it's happening, but reality is beginning to settle in. Thankfully her physical health is improving well. She had surgery to repair the aneurysm. Now she is off of the ventilator, head drain removed, feeding tube removed, etc. Physically she is recovering well. Mentally/Cognitively/Etc is where we are struggling in the process right now. She has her long term memory, but no short term memory and she is very agitated/irrational/etc. Don't misunderstand me...I am beyond thankful that she survived this, I am thrilled with her physical recovery, I am thankful she is still with us. But it's hard. Right now she is not my mom. I love her, but right now she isn't the same as she was. The doctors tell us that there is a very good chance she will recover completely or at least much more than her current state and I am so hopeful for this. I feel guilty to even type this....look at all you have gone through and continue to with your sweet Avi. My mom is still in the hospital and then will go into inpatient rehab for a while. In the mean time I am trying to balance my time between being there for my mom (2 hours from our home) and caring for my husband and two sons. Oh yeah and I run a preschool that needs my attention too. I'm tired. And stressed. Before this happened I thought I knew what tired & stressed was. In fact on the day this happened I had worked all day, then taken my two fighting children with me to Target. I was grumpy and not feeling very thankful. Oh how I wish I could go back and tell my grumpy whiny ass to just enjoy the normal. To be thankful for kids who are healthy enough to fight with each other and get on my nerves. I wish I could remember what my mom and I talked about on the phone that morning (truly my best friend..we talked on the phone twice per day and texted all day long!) also asked what pulls you through this. Truly right now it is lots of prayer from other people. People who can pray for us when I just don't have the strength or can't form the thoughts and words. And the kindness of strangers...truly we have run into the kindest, nicest people along this journey. It truly feels like God is showing up in the little details and showing us little blessings each day (from kind hotel workers who give us discounted hotel rates since we are in town for an the sweet ICU supervising nurse who took my family under her wing and even spends her time gently brushing out moms hair) I also draw strength in other people's stories, to know others are walking difficult paths too. Your ability to push through the hard stuff and do what Avi needs is inspirational. The way you have loved and parented her is amazing. I love the way you always include her in decisions and respect her opinions/decisions. You are a great mama. My heart aches for you as I cannot even begin to imagine the brokenness of your heart. I've read enough of your blog that I think you believe and have faith in God (and if I'm wrong then I apologize if I offend you) My faith and belief that he carries us (even through these times of shit) is what I hold onto. And the knowledge that one day we will be reunited and whole and happy. This is what I cling to. many blessings, Melissa

    1. Melissa…I want you know I have thought about you every single day since you wrote. I feel we are forever tied together by such a special day ❤ I have felt so bad that now is the first time I could write you back.

      I am so sorry you are experiencing the cold, hard, reality of knowing someone and then having to re-know them again…as possibly someone different. To have them 'come back to you' and hope with all your might they do. To experience the 'in an instant' switch of a new life. Yes, while the new life might look different…as you have already been witness to…there are so many blessings along the way, as you already know. And yes, as you so perfectly said - those are what we cling to. That's all I had through this entire time too - love, blessings, appreciation, and God. I happen to be one of those who believe everything happens for a reason. Everything happens as it should and in its perfect time. Every time I accepted something for what it was and surrendered into it, everything became much easier, life became a whole lot easier. Every time I fought against what was, life pushed back harder. I know you know what I mean…not fighting for therapy, and fighting for a better quality of life, I mean fighting against what really was…the writing on the wall. the reality, against what was, what is. I could never do that for long, because what is, just is. But that was learned early on, because before the accident, I was a control freak, but I learned early on…the brain, yeah, not to be controlled. The brain laughed in my control freak face.

      There are so many wonderful people in this world and in the face of tragedy, they sure step up and in, what a beautiful thing.

      I have been thinking of your family every day since and I will continue to pray for you, send you love and every single good thing I can.

      My email is if ever you need someone : )

      Thank you so much for every sweet word you said, I so appreciate you ❤




      My heart went out to you in indescribable ways when you wrote of your mom's birthday in the ICU on the vent. Ache and heartache was all I felt and feel as I type these words. I was out shopping for Aviana's 3rd birthday party decorations when her accident happened and we ended up 'celebrating' her birthday in the PICU. Every birthday since has been the hardest day of the year for me. So…my heart to you…on a platter.

  15. Revelation 21:4
    He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
    There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

    God's promises and his people have brought me through the loss of a job (March 2003), the loss of a pregnancy (December 2004) and the loss of a teenage sister to suicide (March 2005.)

    If I thought the God of the Bible was a myth, there was no reason to endure, no future beyond the pain and trouble of this current world, I'd have given up long ago.

    But, I do believe in the God of the Bible and His promises. He is my strength. I know the troubles we suffer hurt Him as this is not the world he intended for us.

    You are an amazing writer.
    Truly, truly gifted.
    Thank you for being so willing to write it all for us to read.

    I pray you are able to rest in His peace that passes all understanding.

    1. My gosh Jessica…I am in awe of the loss you had in 3 short years. Endured you have. YOU are amazing! Thank you for being here : ) Thank you for your compliments ❤