Friday, June 12, 2015

Abby's Purpose

By now, most of you know what happened with Abigail.  If you don't know the whole story, you can read the blog  >>  here .  <<

On Friday, June 14, 2013, Abby was pronounced dead.  We had already made the decision to donate her organs, so she would be kept on the machines in order to maintain organ function until the next day.  I was able to stay with her body on Friday night and on Saturday morning the man in charge of coordinating the surgeries for Abby and her recipients came to me with a problem and asked me to make a decision.

The child who was supposed to receive Abby's heart was too sick and could not be cleared for a transplant that day.  He explained to me that there was another little boy that was a match and her heart could be gifted to him, but we would have to wait one more day for his surgery team to prepare.  This meant that everything would be delayed one day.  He told me that he understood if we wanted to just go ahead and do the transplants that day because it would be very difficult emotionally for me and her dad to delay the inevitable for one more day.  I asked him if all of the other surgery teams would be able to wait until the next day so that Abby's heart did not go to waste.  She had a perfect little heart and without being able to donate her heart, none of it would have felt worth it.  To me, the answer was obvious...we wait one more day so that another child would live.

I had the privilege to stay with her body one more night.

I hovered over her and stroked her hair, studied her face and kissed her.  I held my face close to hers and I finally had a chance to ask God the most obvious question...WHY?

I said, "God, she is only 7 years old. Why was she only able to stay here for 7 years? What was the purpose? Why would she be given to me and then taken away?"

God's response was this.  "She has fulfilled her purpose.  She was here to save lives.  I entrusted her to you, but she was never yours. She was always mine."

Immediately, a peace and a thankfulness that I can not quite understand or explain came over me.  At that very moment, I felt incredibly special. I felt chosen. God trusted me with the most amazing soul that I have ever known.

I made a deal with God.  I told him that I would never question him and I promised not to be angry with him.  All I asked was that he would take the unbearable pain that I felt and lessen it.  I needed to be able to continue to raise my other children and I needed his help desperately.

He has never failed to keep his end of the bargain... I have done my best to keep mine.

After that conversation, I sat back in my chair and let God speak to me.

He told me that he understood my pain.  He knew exactly what I was feeling and he knows what it is like to lose a child.  He chose to lose his son to save souls, and although, I did not choose this, my daughter also lost her life to save lives.

The parallel that I was able to draw between the two, made God's sacrifice for my salvation more personal than I could have ever imagined.

If given the choice to be Abigail's mom for almost 8 years, knowing that I would lose her so that she could give life to others and be the answer to countless prayers, I can say with certainty that I would say NO.  Herein lies the difference between God and me.  He CHOSE to give up his one and only son because he loves us so much.  I am tainted with selfishness,  He is the absolute definition of love.

I am thankful that he knew not to give me that choice.  I am grateful that he allowed me to be Abigail's mother.  I would not give up the years that I had her here with me for anything.

God purposed Abigail for miraculous things and to be the answer to desperate prayers.  He knew exactly what he was doing and my heartbreak is lessened by the fact that she and her perfect little body did exactly what she was purposed for.

I can only hope that the same can be said for me some day.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Life's not fair. Don't forget it

            Today, June 4, 2015, this memory was on my timehop app.   Exactly ten days after I declared this on twitter, I was proven right in the most horrific way.  I don't remember exactly what made me type this out for social media, but today, this statement makes me cringe.  It sounds so callous and uncaring.  Maybe I was trying to make myself feel better about something I was going through, maybe I was being a sarcastic jerk... I'm not sure.  This post however made me feel enough discomfort to finally write another post.

I've been thinking about other cliche' sayings, such as, "hurting people, hurt people" and "you can only give as much as you have to give".  

No one said that life was going to be fair, but sometimes, the unfairness of it all makes me want to scream.  In 10 days, it will have been 2 years since I lost my youngest daughter.  She would be 10 in July.  I miss her every day. Some days are easier than others, but the number one challenge that I face nowadays is that I fear I am doing irreparable damage to some of the closest relationships that I have.

I have a very difficult time being around young girls.  It felt normal at the beginning to feel jealousy or sadness when Abby's friends or cousins would have birthdays, dance recitals, cheer competitions, play-dates, etc.  However, I thought those feelings would decrease with time.  Unfortunately, those feelings have increased with time.

 I've RSVP'd for birthday parties that I can not bring myself to attend.  I feel guilty that I let these feelings interfere with the relationships of my friends/cousins/sisters that have daughters.

I am thankful that I don't ever have to apologize for not being able to give more than I have.

I am thankful for the people in my life that challenge me and help me through the things that I can not get through my self. I am also thankful that I am surrounded by people who understand that I am doing my best and that are gracious enough to let me fall short without judgement.

In turn, I have learned grace in dealing with others.  I am constantly reminded that some people are dealing with things that I could never comprehend, and they cope the only way they know how.  They can not give more than they have to give.

These past 2 years have been challenging in every way.  I have been challenged to be slow to anger, I have been challenged to be patient, I have been challenged to remain full of faith, I have been challenged to love people where they're at and not judge them, I have been challenged to deny my pride and admit when I need help and I have been challenged to choose joy.  I don't always succeed, but I will never give up.

Monday, October 13, 2014


I've been having dreams about Abby lately.  Normally, I can only vaguely remember them.  I always wish they were more clear and it always worries me that I'm actually forgetting things about her because I can't remember the dreams very well.

I want to remember the way she smiled, the way she talked, the way she laughed and played.  I know that I will always have a general memory of her, but the scariest thing is forgetting the small things that made her MY Abigail.

Maybe it was a conscious effort on my part, but last night I had a dream that seemed to last the entire night.  A dream where I made sure that I looked at her face and in her eyes.  I studied her smile and the way her mouth formed her words. I memorized the goofy faces she made when she was talking sarcastically and making jokes.  I kissed the bridge of her nose between her eyes, sideways, like I always used to do.  I did that again remembering how my kiss seemed to fit perfectly there, and I did it again just to make sure I could remember.  I cuddled with her and could actually feel the way she would mold right into me and how she was the best cuddler in the world.  We sat on the couch and we watched Paula Zahn on T.V. because Abby loved the way she talked.  

During the dream, I knew that she was dead, but I contemplated living in a fake/crazy world where I could just pretend that she was still here with me, no matter what people thought of me. It seemed like a great alternative to reality.  

Last night made me more thankful for sleep than I've ever been.  I'm hoping that I can continue to use sleep as an alternate reality so that my days don't hurt so much. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


There is so much that I want to write.

First of all... Through this blog, I met an amazing woman named Lacey and her family.  Her son, Collin, had an AVM rupture late last year.  I had the privilege to visit them and spend some time with them in the hospital.  Collin survived his rupture and now faces struggles that I can not even imagine. You can follow his journey and progress at Collin's Journey .
Their story (and faith) has amazed me and I believe that Lacey, Jamie and Devon possess strength that none of us can comprehend.
She has been an amazing support to me and I am very thankful for her.

Secondly... I came across this picture of Nate's prayer while Abby was in the hospital.  He has been the only one of my children that will not talk about the day Abigail got sick.  It breaks my heart that he has internalized so much and I pray that one day he will open up.

Third... My sister, Liz took the picture of me holding Abby's hand while she was in a coma.  I had absolutely no idea that she did and I am so incredibly grateful that she did.  It is a heartbreaking picture, but it is the last picture that I have of me and my baby.  She also put together a photo book for me that I am able to look through time to time.  Sometimes, it's too painful...other times, it is comforting.  I absolutely love that book.

Next... My first Mother's day without my sweet Abigail came and it began with me waking up in tears.  My boys heard me crying and dropped what they were doing to come and comfort me.  They were precious.  They hugged me, rubbed my back, told me that they missed her too, and started talking about fun memories. They are the best sons that a mother could ever ask for.  Calla made me a collage poster with pictures of all 4 of my kids, and it was the best present I could have imagined receiving.  My kids, who I am supposed to be so strong for, were my rocks and I am so proud of the strength and love that they possess.

Lastly...  Tomorrow marks 11 months since Abigail passed away.  I am terrified at the prospect of the year anniversary of her death.  This next month may be the hardest one yet and I do not know how to prepare.  Please keep my family and me in your prayers, send me pictures of her if you have them, and or memories of her.  I would love to read about the impression that she left on you.  She was amazing, inspiring, full of life and excitement... she will always be a part of who I am, but I am scared that I will forget things about her as time moves on.

Thank you all for your love and support.  I would not have made it through this past year without you.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Calla's perspective

I'm hoping one day Calla will be able to share with me the nightmare that she experienced the day that Abby was screaming about how much her head hurts.  She and my dad were watching Abby that horrible day.  I would love to be able to help her deal with the things she experienced and the heartbreaking emotions that she felt.  Until then, I think what she wrote about Abby is beautiful and it is a great start.

This is what Calla wrote about her baby sister, Abigail.  It is beautiful and it breaks my heart at the same time.  I love my daughter with all that I am and I hope that someday she will be able to realize what an amazing sister she was and how much Abby adored her.

I feel like writing about my sister Abby right now ... She passed away this summer on June 14th, many of you know this. She was my best friend, I told her everything. I told her things I never told anyone else, and to this day I still have told no one else. Even though she was only 7 I could trust her with anything, she was a great secret keeper. She was a very hyper girl and she always had the attention on her. She was very extreme she was never mellow she was either super happy or mad or excited or whatever she was NEVER calm. She made everything exciting (except for cleaning our room). We shared a room her whole life and I miss that . I sometimes look over and try to say something to her, but then I remember she's not there. That's one of the hardest things , it's just like sometimes my brain forgets that she's gone like I don't want to believe it. I had so many plans as a big sister, I was excited I could help her with boys or drive her to the mall when we were both older. You know the things that older sisters do. Sometimes we fight but I would give anything to fight with her again. She was always there when I needed her or wanted someone to hang out with. We used to watch Ghost Adventures together that was one of her favorite shows. I always made her watch scary movies with me because I wanted her to like them when she grew up. I could sit here for hours and go on about everything I miss about her. She was one of the only people I could trust. I will never stop missing her and I will never be able to replace her. I love you and miss you Abby, I hope you're having fun in heaven. <3

Please keep Calla in your prayers as she continues to try to navigate the loss of her sister and best friend.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Firsts and Lasts

I've been having a rough week.  I have been trying to figure out exactly what is going on with me because my emotions have been all over the place and I've felt a bit bipolar.

As I was sitting here, I was trying to figure out exactly what is bothering me.  There is the obvious answer... but what, specifically, is getting to me lately?  I realized that I recently filled out my taxes and that is where it started.  It was the first time that I wasn't able to claim all 4 of my children as dependents. I claimed two, not four and it was the last time that Abby will ever be listed as a dependent of mine.  It was emotionally jarring, but I intentionally ignored the sadness that I felt because I had so many things left to do that day.

Another thing that is cutting deeply is Valentine's day.  Although, as an adult, I don't care about it, Abby loved it.  I keep seeing all of these really cute Valentine's day crafts that Abby would have loved to do.  My boys need to bring something for their class tomorrow, and it will be the last time that I buy cute little gifts for their classmates.  So, this is the first Valentine's day in the last 16 years without a little girl to do cute things with, and the last Valentine's day that any of my kids will care about.

As I was getting ready this morning, I realized that Abby's snow boots are sitting right next to my night stand. First winter without her, last winter I'll ever have little snow boots in my house.

It all just leaves me a little sad.

Friday, January 10, 2014


2013 was full of change for me.  I started the year with a family of 6.  At the beginning of February, my husband moved out and we got divorced.  We split custody of the 4 children 50/50.  So, being alone 50% of the time was an adjustment, but I navigated my way pretty well through that change.  In June, Abigail passed away and I was left with one less child.  My family of 6 became a family of 4... Calla, Trevor, Nate and me.  I still haven't figured out exactly how to navigate this change so gracefully.  As a matter of fact, sometimes the way I deal with it is completely ugly and ungraceful.  I'm not sure how ANYONE would deal with it, but I am doing my best.

We still legally have 50/50 custody of the children, but Calla stays with me and my dad at my house.  There are definite emotional struggles that I still need to figure out how to deal with, but again, I am working on it.

The more "realistic" issues that I've recently thought about that I haven't figured out yet are things like grocery shopping and cooking.  I used to shop and cook for 7 people, and I haven't adjusted to shopping and cooking for 3 people half of the time and 5 people the other half.  I either really over-do the shopping and cooking and have so much left over that even if we eat it for 3 days, I still have to throw food away, OR I under estimate the amount of groceries/toilet paper and cooking and we run out of things.  If I could figure this out, I could probably save a good amount of money.

The other issue that I seem to be failing at, is making sure that my kids have enough of things... socks, boots, gloves etc.   With split custody, I think this can be figured out with time, experience and communication.  I assume that their stuff is at their dad's house and he probably assumes that they have these things at my house.   I recently found out that my kids don't have snow boots!?!  I should know this stuff... I guess there is a lot going on in my mind, but it's just another example of the adjustments to divorce.

3 children is A LOT less than 4.  I didn't realize what a big difference there was between those numbers, but everything take a little less work.  My kids are growing up and need me less, and my baby is gone.  Abby was the one that I had to help the most with day to day things.  It has left me with a lot of time on my hands.  I sometimes can't handle the downtime and just recently realized that I need to be more productive with my healing, especially during these times that I have to myself.  Someone recently told me that I have been spending too much time and energy ignoring the changes instead of dealing with them.  Although that was hard to hear, he was right.   Since then, I have sought help, found information to help me when I'm starting to panic and have made a plan of action.  It's in its early stages, but I am determined to see it through.

2013 took a lot from me.  Now it's time to find out who I am with my small family of 4.  This is going to be hard.