Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chasing the Sun

Well, it's been a while since I've written....again. Almost 3 months to the day. And sooooo much has happened in that 3 months. I'll apologize now it the length of this blog.....I'm sorry.

I had posted before about a Medical Missions Trip that God placed in my lap back in April. On May 14, 2013, I boarded a plane for Yerevan, Armenia. I had no concept of where I was going or what I was going to be doing there, I only knew, that I was supposed to go and that it was RIGHT for me to go. It was going to be part of my healing as one doctor told me. There was nothing I could do at the scene of the wreck where my baby girl & father-in-law died BUT there were going to be children & adults that I could help & love in Armenia. And so, I went.

I could write tons about the trip and it was exactly what God wanted for me at the time. It was hard. It was sad. It was scary. It was fun. It was rewarding. It was humbling. It was beautiful & ugly at the same time. It was everything it was supposed to be until May 21, 2013 (2 days before we were to fly home, back to the good 'ol USA).

You see, I received a facebook message from brother, Brad. He said our mom, who lives in North Carolina was in critical condition, on a ventilator and sepsis had taken over her body. I was in complete shock. How could this be? What happened? WHY ARE YOU LETTING SO MUCH BAD HAPPEN TO MY FAMILY, GOD?!?!?!?!?! WHY???????? I can't take another death of someone I love so dearly. I can't make it through another tragedy......please, God....please, don't let her die too....

2 days later, I boarded a TransAtlantic Air France plane that would fly me back to the states and I had changed my final destination from Little Rock to Wilmington, NC. I prayed she would be off the vent and better by the time I got there but the last word I had gotten from my brother didn't sound very promising. And so, I wrote the following as I followed the sun back home to my mom:

Lake Sevan, Armenia

 Chasing the Sun

It's such a subjective thing depending on your circumstances, your place in the world. It will be specific just for you, wherever you are in life. It's a "love/hate" relationship for me.

We left Yerevan, Armenia this morning at 8:40am. We will arrive in Paris, France at 11:50am, just a 3 hour difference. However, this flight is over 5 hours long. 
When we arrive in Paris, I will have an hour and a half layover until I board my transatlantic flight to Atlanta, GA. That flight will be 9 and a half hours long. A total of 16 hours travel time once I reach the US at 5pm EST.
Then I will have another 3 and a half hours of a layover until I board my flight for Wilmington, NC to see my mom. I board that flight at 8:30pm...the sun will have just set in the east.
What this all means is, I will have had 19 and a half hours of daylight. Then I don't land in Wilmington until 10pm. By midnight, my usual 24 hour day will actually be almost 30 hours.....amazing. 
Even though I left on a Thursday, May 23, was still Wednesday, May 22, 2013 in the US.

When I think about my mom and how sick she is right now, time seems to stand still. I can't get there fast enough. I wonder and worry about her perspective of time. She's been on a vent for days now and she will have no concept of what day or time it is when she is taken off the vent and wakes up.....and as horrible as it sounds....IF she can come off the vent.

I can't help but think about Maci & David. 
My time with my baby girl was only 10 and half years. 
My time with my wonderful father-in-law was only 2 years.
My heart still aches with a depth of pain that cannot be described. I really don't think that that feeling will ever go away, but I am handling it better at times. 

What do I plan to do with the time God will allow me to have on this earth? This medical missions trip to Armenia is just a start. Honestly, I do believe my perspective on life and truly living started in February, after the wreck, when I went back to Maci's school for Valentine's Day. Giving those children their valentines from their "Angel, Maci Harris" and loving them was my first step. Then again in March for St. Patrick's Day...another step. In April when I took our family music/dance videos to show the class and also the seashells I had gotten them from the beach in NC. Now May....the morning that I was to fly out of the country on this trip, I had to stop at the school and hug those children before I left. 

In the minds of children that are so young, it's distorted and very inwardly focused. Their concept of time (as I remember it as a child) is lengthy. It seems that a year is so long. It takes 'forever' for Christmas to arrive. Family trips, where every second together should be savored, are long and boring. But my goodness, how things change with age and circumstances. 

I want more time with my family....with my mom, dad....with Paul, my girls, Caleb, my precious mother-in-law, with what's left of ALL my family. I NEED to spend time with them.
I wish I'd had more time with Maci.....I miss my sweet, precious daughter.
I wish I'd had more time with David.
Then at the same time, I wish God would come back and take us all home to Heaven where time will never be a thought again. We will all be time. What an utterly wonderful thought and hope for the future.

I am chasing the sun today, in order to get to spend some "time" with my mom. My days will go on for as long as the Lord sees fit. And during that "time", I will continue to seek out the essence of the life He has given me. I will continue to give of myself to show His never-ending, "timeless" love. That is my purpose. That is what I will do with "Time". 
The good news? Mom is home. She was on the vent for 10 and a half days. On day #9, I "knew" she was dying. As she tells it now, she knew she was dying too. Even though sedated and on a vent, she was aware of 2 large "men" behind her bed. She also saw Maci, standing on a hill, waving to her. She now calls them dreams or "crazy things" because she was on so much medication. I call it, 2 angels guarding her and a granddaughter waving to her to prove that there IS life after death. 
She's been very sick and even now, at the end of July, she has a lot of healing ahead of her....but she's doing so much better and I am so thankful to still have my mom. To still have the privilege to come to NC and help care for her.....Praise God for answered prayers and another chance to see the sun rise tomorrow.

Also, just this past week, the drunk driver that hit and killed my daughter, Maci & my father-in-law, David, and injured my husband, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and step-son, was finally arrested. Our prayers now turn towards justice & accountability for the actions of this man. I hope you will pray with us & for our family. Pray for the man that killed & hurt our family. Pray for his family. Pray for the prosecutors & victims advocates. Pray for God's Will to be done. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Conversations at McDonald's

It's April 30th, 2013. Today I have the privilege of attending an Honors Achievement Awards program at Kori's school. She has straight A's and will be rewarded for all her hard that's been difficult over the last 4 months. But she's so strong, even on her weakest days.

I dropped her off at school at 8am but I need to be back for the program in less than 2 I decided to go to McDonald's, read my Bible and blog because tomorrow will make 4 months since the wreck. The 1st of the month seems to be one of the hardest times for our family to deal with. Not only that, I know that Mother's Day is only a couple of weeks away. But, as I sit here, I can't help but listen in on all the conversations that are taking place around me. The majority are the retirees sitting as a kindred group to my left. One man, with an obvious hearing problem, talks loud and his other friends keep asking him where his hearing aides are. The men talk "war stories and the craziness of cell phones". The women laugh at them, take their cell phones and show them how to use them. It's cute to watch this theatrical production.
I've been here for over an hour and in that hour, they have spoken of death multiple times. "HEY DEE! IS LIILIAN STILL ALIVE?!" the loud voiced man asked. Then outside we hear sirens from a firetruck and more stories ensue about old tragedies and new.
They all look to be late 70's early 80's. Wow.....the stories they have. And they still laugh. Enjoy every second they have with each other, as friends and comrades, they are soaking up every little bit of "time" they have with each other. And laughing. Women laughing at the men and the men laughing about crazy things they've done over their years.

I'm sure if we were to sit down with each one, they would have so many "stories"....some unreal for my generation and certainly for my children's generation. But, along with those stories, they have wisdom. Wisdom that I've prayed for. Wisdom that can only come with trials of this life.

I remember listening to my grandpa & grandma Teeters telling all their stories from their horse-drawn buggie runaways, WW11, and list goes on. I savored listening to those stories, still do with my grandmother. I always knew, even when I was young (and "knew it all") that their wisdom was something priceless. Something that could only be "earned"......And I miss them.

My prayer today is that God will use me to Glorify Him. Even though the weight that I carry in my heart, seems a little heavier today because tomorrow is May 1st.
And for today, I will have "great joy" in watching my beautiful Kori receive her awards for all her hard work. Today, I will PRAISE HIM.......regardless of pain and sadness.

James 1:2-8

New Living Translation (NLT)

Faith and Endurance

Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

This is a picture of my grandpa Teeters and Kori at grandpa & grandma's 70th wedding anniversary party. What a blessing.

Friday, April 26, 2013

God's Timing.....not mine

I'm part of a support group for parents who have lost their children. I've yet to be able to go to one of the support meetings but I still receive so much support from mom's and dad's who feel or have felt, what I feel. I just want to quote something from this group and a special mom named, Jill. ".....we talked about how easy it is to lose our faith when questions and doubts assail us. In the face of great loss, like we all have experienced, how do we keep from losing our faith? To me, it all comes down to holding on to what we KNOW. Last night, we discussed ten things we can KNOW to be true, regardless of the circumstances in our lives. Over the next ten days, I thought I would share them here. So, here we go. #1 -- We KNOW that God is sovereign. He is not surprised by anything that happens here on earth. Each one of us has a specific number of days to live, and this was determined by God before we were born. "My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:15-16"

 I recently got onto our church website to see if I could listen or watch some of my Father-in-law's last messages before he & Maci went to Heaven. I had remembered him preaching about the "seed we plant" and on what types of ground it fell on. So I went searching for that sermon, instead, under the Live Streaming/Video Archive tab, I found our Christmas Candle Light Service. And I watched it. Seeing my wonderful, handsome, snow-white haired, FIL greeting us with the joy of Christ's birth just made me want to jump through the screen. To hug him. To talk to him one more time.
 But, then I began to listen to his words. It wasn't a typical "born in a manger stall" message. His message was definitely divine and Heaven sent....God knew I would watch that sermon just the right time. HIS time. David spoke about God's timing and how perfect it is. He even went on to say things like "even in your most horrid times, God's timing is precise, it's whats meant to be". I couldn't help but think that 1 week from that message, that the most horrid time would strike our family and we would lose him & Maci at the same time. But I continued to watch the service, his smile, his silly jokes, his body movements, the congregation. I could see my precious Mother-n-law Christy, my husband Paul, myself, and our oldest daughter, Kelsy sitting on the front row. The lighting was so pretty and we all had candles in our hands. "Going out, and being a Light for the world". David & Christy sang with our choir director and his wife as we exited the sanctuary.....

 Fast forward, 4 months later. FOUR MONTHS LATER......
 Our family is still trying to find our "new normal", still trying to make sense of it all. Still questioning God's timing (although, I know HE makes no mistakes and for whatever reason, His timing was exactly as it should be). I find it hard to cope with the fact that the driver that hit and killed David & Maci has yet to be arrested.....but again, it will come, in God's timing.

 I think about what a miracle Caleb is. How he is healing so well from such a horrific wreck and he injuries he sustained. And the same with Paul, Christy and Beth....PRAISE GOD they are still here with us.
 And, of course, every single day, I think about my 3 oldest girls, Kelsy, Mekenna & Kori. What beautiful gifts they are in my life and those that know them. How they have excelled in school and been shining lights for the Lord. I couldn't be more proud of the women they have become. God's timing has been perfect for them as well. Even when it didn't seem right for choices that they made (for those people looking in), God's timing has been consistently perfect for my girls.

 Kelsy will have the honor of going to Morocco with her beloved boyfriend, Jonathan, and seeing where he grew up and spending time with his parents. What a true gift Jonathan is to Kelsy and the rest of us are blessed to have both of them in our lives. I can't wait to see what God has in store for their lives.

 Mekenna will be moving home. She has grown so much at the university she is attending now but her heart is telling her she needs to be home....and I don't question that at all and especially considering what we've been through. She wants to be with her family and spend time with Kori (before she graduates high school & goes who knows where) and simply be HOME. I admire her sense of adventure and spontaneity. Of course, she misses Travis, but once again, they will be together again when God says "it's time".

 Kori is has blossomed into the most gorgeous butterfly and certainly "come out of her shell". Watching her lead our praise & worship for the youth in our church just blesses not only my heart but everyone who hears her sing and worship her Creator. She's amazing at 16.....I can only imagine what awesomeness will come from her by the time she's 40!

 And now, in God's timing, I will be going to Armenia on a medical missions trip. I have always been passionate about missions but it has been hard to find the time & the money to go. Well, this trip was "given" to JUST THE RIGHT TIME....God's timing. It won't cost me a dime and I get to go be a nurse and care for those people, all the while, loving them with the love of Christ. I dream about Maci going with me and how SHE would love them. She loved ALL people and wanted them to know the love of God. She would work hard at learning the basics of their language (just like she did with the Spanish children in her class), she would make them smile and bring joy to everyone she would come in contact with. I plan on doing the same. God knows my heart and the love I have inside of me. This trip is a part of my's perfect timing. God's timing.

Friday, April 12, 2013

An Unexpected Trip

Psalm 139 (The Message)
1 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. 2 I'm an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking. 3 You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of your sight. 4 You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence. 5 I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too - your reassuring presence, coming and going. 6 This is too much, too wonderful - I can't take it all in! 7 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? 8 If I climb to the sky, you're there! If I go underground, you're there! 9 If I flew on morning's wings to the far western horizon, 10 You'd find me in a minute - you're already there waiting! 11 Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I'm immersed in the light!" 12 It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you. 13 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. 14 I thank you, High God - you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration - what a creation! 15 You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. 16 Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day. 17 Your thoughts - how rare, how beautiful! God, I'll never comprehend them! 18 I couldn't even begin to count them - any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you! 19 And please, God, do away with wickedness for good! And you murderers - out of here! - 20 all the men and women who belittle you, God, infatuated with cheap god-imitations. 21 See how I hate those who hate you, God, see how I loathe all this godless arrogance; 22 I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred. Your enemies are my enemies! 23 Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about; 24 See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong - then guide me on the road to eternal life.

Dan Allender wrote a book titled, The Healing Path. I only know this because I read the Foreword by Steven Curtis Chapman in his wife's book, Choosing to SEE. A truth from Dan Allender's book is that as Christians, when we suffer tragedies or loss, sorrow and pain, we won't embrace it and go through the journey that God has entrusted us with. Instead, we often deny or sweep it under the spiritual rug of 'God's sovereignty'. I don't want to do that.
Instead, I want to travel through this journey....most of the time with the pain and heaviness and tears that invade me to my soul, then use all "this horridness" to help others see the Glory of God.....and also come out of this tragedy, somehow better. Somehow new. Somehow an inspiration and source of Hope for all those who will suffer such pain.
This is my transparent hiding it, no sweeping it under the rug, but facing it, and learning what it is that God intends for me to learn.

I happen to be on my first vacation of 2013 from the hospital. It was scheduled last year when all the nurses on my unit got to choose their weeks.
Me, being the 'low man on the totum pole' really wanted Spring Break week but it was taken and I had to choose another week.
"April", I thought. Spring. Flowers. Even though my older girls, Kelsy & Mekenna would still be in college, Kori & Maci would be home after school and we could enjoy the beginnings of all the 'new life' that we would be seeing. Maybe take afternoon walks in the wooded trails that weave through our subdivision, start a garden and plant LOTS of flowers. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom for that week and have cookies ready for them when they got home from school and have supper together as a family every night and enjoy the laughter and silliness that has always taken place at our dinner table.

Well, obviously, things have changed.

Since the wreck, I've cooked only one time. I haven't baked any cookies either. Somedays, I've looked at the 'new life' of Spring and see the flowers blooming and trees budding and am still perplexed as to how  can the world keep going when my world has been thrown off it's axis?
Other times, I look at all those things and smile (especially when I see my favorite flower, the daffodil, blooming in my front yard, a special secret surprise that Paul & Maci planted last year for me).

~ Back to my vacation~

I had wanted to surprise my mom and make a trip to Wilmington, NC (where I hadn't visited for almost 7 years). But, my mom had said she wouldn't be there so I had settled for staying home in Little Rock and cleaning my filthy house (another thing I haven't done since before the wreck).
Much to my surprise last week, my mom called and said she would be there afterall and she wanted me to fly there on a one-way ticket because she wanted to give us her car (since we lost our vehicle in the wreck, we've been unable to purchase another one).
This new change of plans was certainly a surprise and a blessing all wrapped into one. However, it would mean I would only have one solid day in NC with my mom before I would need to drive her to Kentucky to my brother's house, see as much of my family as I could in one day there (My dad, step-mom, grandma, sister-in-laws, nieces, aunt, and friends) then start my drive from Kentucky back to Little Rock BUT, I knew that I wanted to scatter some of Maci's ashes at the beach where my mom lives. It has always been a special place for all my girls and me and I literally had to work up the "nerve" to do free or release a part of my little girl is part of my healing. And so, I did.

I left eastern Kentucky yesterday evening around 5:30pm. I passed through Lexington and went past the horse park....beautiful white fences with thoroughbreds grazing....a part of my heart lives in that part of the country and I wanted to stop so bad but I also wanted to get home to my family (I did get to stop and see my cousin, Darren...a spontaneous detour...spontaniety, a part of the 'old me' before before all this mess happened...a good thing for me, since I have felt that the spontaneous side of me had been snuffed out.
After saying goodbye to Darren, I was back on the road. The sun was setting and of course, I was driving west. But it was quiet. It was peaceful. I had time to pray and have outloud conversations with God. My goal was to make it to Union University where Kelsy & Mekenna were waiting for me but I knew it was going to be late.
Then Paul called me. Curious about where I was and concerned for my safety, he talked to me for almost 3 hours, keeping me company until I reached Jackson, TN. It was so nice to talk to my husband for that length of time, especially since it has been difficult to communicate our grief and thoughts to each other about losing his dad and Maci. This is something that I know will take time and I'm committing our relationship to Christ, trusting that we will come out on the other side of this better...closer...bonded in a way that only God can accomplish.

I did make it back home to Little Rock with Mekenna following me in her car. She has decided to move home....I cannot even express the joy that fills my heart to know that she is coming HOME. Not only that, I got an early Mother's Day gift from her.
A HUGE canvas picture that my father-in-law, David (who passed away with my baby girl, Maci) took  of our family almost 2 years ago. This is our family through His Eyes..........
I know this is a very long blog and now I am realizing how important it is to do this on a more regular basis.
God is working in our lives.
God is still good.
And I know that He loves me and my family so very much.
Pray for us as we travel this journey.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Weekend 2013

It's Easter weekend....Saturday, March 30, 2013. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus died a horrible death, on a cross yesterday (over 2000 years ago) must have been a day of silent but sometimes very loud weeping for those that loved Jesus. It must have been a day of questioning- "Did that really happen?", "Is this a dream?", "Why?". Why would someone we love so much, that loved everyone else so much, die or be killed? 

As most of you know, on January 1, 2013, my family was in a fatal car wreck. My husband, his parents (David & Christy), and our 2 youngest children (Maci & Caleb) both 10 years old, went to the airport to pick up my sister-in-law, Beth. It was an exciting time to see Beth and spend a late Christmas with her and kick off our New Years together, as a family.  They picked her up around 8pm and were on their way home. They had to slow down and go around a wreck that had happened on highway they were traveling. Apparently they had gotten around the wreck but were still traveling at a very slow pace (no more than 12-15 MPH) when Paul saw headlights in his rearview mirror. 
The rest is history. From what I am told, with the impact of the vehicle that hit them, my precious father-in-law, David and my beautiful 10 year old daughter, Maci were killed.  

It just so happens, that my oldest daughter, Kelsy, had chosen to stay with us in Little Rock this year for Christmas. My 2nd & 3rd daughters, Mekenna & Kori, had traveled to Ohio to visit with their dad and had traveled back (after staying for Christmas and several days after) as far as Tennessee to where Kelsy & Mekenna attend college. Our plan was that I would bring Kelsy back to college and drop her off and pick-up Kori and bring her home (to save that much more driving for Mekenna). It went as planned, I had a wonderful time with my 3 oldest and then Kori and I headed west on I-40, back towards Little Rock. 
Our 3 hour drive was uneventful. We talked and laughed and couldn't wait to get home to see everybody.
We were getting close to the airport when we received a call from my sister-in-law stating that they had been in an accident. Kori & I were only 10 minutes away, traveling the same highway. My first thought was, "Ok, no problem, we will be there to pick them up and take them home" but Beth stated, "It's bad, Shannan, really bad. They are trying to get dad and the kids to breathe." Her voice was shaky and I could tell that she was trying to remain as calm as possible for my sake. 
"We will be there in just a few minutes, Beth. We will be there!" I could suddenly feel the tightening in my chest and the sense of urgency that I "HAD TO GET TO MY FAMILY". Kori remained calm, touching my hand and saying "Mom, it's gonna be ok. We will be there soon. We're not far." It was somewhere around 8:30pm and dark.

Within 7-10 minutes, I could see red tail lights in the distance. The traffic had backed up and was at a complete stop on the 3-lane highway. I tried going around on the right side of the highway but the truckers thought I was just trying to "cut" traffic so they moved their rigs to the side and I couldn't get around them. I then rolled down my window begging the cars in the lanes to my left to let me through yelling "That's my family in the wreck up there!!!" a car finally allowed me over and I was able to get to the far left lane and travel until I reached a fire truck parked in that lane. I remember turning the car off and that's it. Then, I ran. And I ran. And I ran. Kori running beside me the whole way until we reached the wreck. 
There are so many details that I could write here but this blog is not about the details of the wreck itself, it's about my feelings.

I am a mom, a step-mom, a wife, a daughter-in-law, a granddaughter, a sister, a sister-in-law, a niece, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a follower of Jesus Christ and I am a nurse. And in that moment, where I stood looking at scene going on around me, I couldn't "be" anything. I was helpless. I couldn't help my family even as an RN. I begged a fire fighter to at least let me help work on my father-in-law and do chest compressions....I couldn't. In a very professional and respectful manner, the life saving personnel there, made me stand in one spot and "not move from that spot" until I was told I could. Kori was there beside me saying "Mommy just do what they are telling you to do. They are going to take care of them." She was 15 years old and showed the maturity of a full grown woman with many experiences under belt. She knew what was best for the situation. She knew what was best for me/us. So we waited and watched and cried and prayed and.....knew.....I knew they were gone.

My feelings? I cannot describe them. Pain, panic, shock, fight or flight, hopelessness, helplessness and more. All at the same time. And nothing I could do, could take it away. 

I ended up riding in the ambulance with Maci to Arkansas Children's Hospital. I knew. In the ER, there were 4 child victims all from the same incident but 2 separate accidents. Social workers, EMT's, nurses, doctors hustled to care for each one. I knew. On one end of the ER was Maci and a 2 month old baby....I knew. On the other end was my step-son, Caleb and a little black boy across from him, both crying and screaming. I went from room to room, reassuring Caleb that his mommy would be there soon and that his daddy was ok. Then I would walk back to Maci's room where they had put her on a vent. So many people, so many questions.........and so alone. 

I had remembered placing calls to certain people while riding in the ambulance. To a friend from work and to my brother in Kentucky and to one of my daughters at college. I wanted to know how my husband, mother and father and sister-in-law were doing. I needed SOMEONE! And where was Kori? I had left with Maci in the ambulance. Kori was still there and the car was in the middle of the highway. 
Before long, people from our church arrived at Children's. And one of them had brought Kori....I was so thankful to see her. So thankful to see nurse friends who sacrificially went back to the wreck sight and retrieved our car out of the middle of the highway before it was towed away.
I needed to see my husband and in-laws, I needed to see my  older girls from college, I needed to have my "blood" relatives; brother, mom, dad, aunt, cousins, grandmother.....and they were so far away. My best far away. 
Once they moved Maci to the PICU on the vent, we waited in the waiting room. I called some of my best friends here in Little Rock and they came and sat & prayed with & for me. I remember a neurologist coming out and telling me that Maci had a fatal brain stem injury and that she had a bleed in her belly. That they could take her to surgery to fix the bleed but there was no hope of her survival. 
I wanted to wait for my older girls to get there to see her before we took her off life support but once I went back (Kori had gone back to see her as well) and saw how bad Maci really was, I didn't want their last memories of their baby sister to be "that". So, I demanded that she be removed from the vent....she was gone....I knew. She was giggling with her brother minute and in Heaven the very next when that wreck happened. "Take her off! Take her off right now! Don't waste any more of that precious blood you are pumping into her. Save it for a child that is ALIVE!" 

The staff at Children's Hospital cried with me. They respected me as a mom but also as a nurse and allowed me to help clean up my baby girl once she was "pronounced dead". I wiped her sweet face and kissed her freckles. I washed her nail polished finger and toenails, her chest and legs. Then picked out a quilt covered in butterflies to cover her with.......then I layed down beside her and talked to her. "I love you so much Maci. I'm so sorry. I know you are in Heaven with Pappy (David) and Jesus but I miss you already. You were the most wonderful baby girl I could have ever asked for." At that, I kissed her freckled face several times and left her room and didn't go back. There was no need....she was not there. Only the box that held her sweet soul was there, broken and torn apart.
My older girls, along with Kelsy's boyfriend, Jonanthan, had arrived somewhere around 1:30am. I was so glad they were there, even though the circumstances were a nightmare. And I was glad to have all my children where I could see and touch them.

"This isn't real. This isn't happening. This is a bad dream. Why?!"  

They were bringing Caleb up to the PICU at some point during all this and all I wanted to do was get to his bedside. His mom & step-dad were there and they lowered a side rail where I could lean down and talk in his ear. He was in so much pain from his broken legs and face. I reassured him that everyone was going to take good care of him and that he was going to be okay and that I was going to go see his daddy. I kissed him and told him that I loved him. 

Then all I wanted was to get to Baptist Hospital where the rest of my family was admitted. At some point, when I had come out from Maci's room, Kori had told me that David didn't make it either, but....I already knew. But I wanted to see Paul, Christy and Beth. 

Someone drove me there....I can't remember who. I just remember seeing Paul, telling him that Maci didn't make it (which he already knew from the wreck) and gave him the update on Caleb. They had Paul on a lot of pain medication for his injuries but I knew that he understood everything that I was saying and would probably remember more than Kori, he is calm under pressure and can remain reasonable in very insane situations.
I had asked if Christy knew about David. They had said, "Yes, she knew but didn't know about Maci and was in shock". Paul and I both felt that "I" needed to go ahead and tell her about Maci now and not prolong it.

So I went to Christy's room to see her. She smiled and took my hand and said, "I lost the Love of my life. But I can't even cry", I said, "I know....and I'm so sorry and you're still in shock, Christy". "How's Maci & Caleb?" she asked. "Caleb is going to be ok but Maci.....Maci is with the 'Love of your life' in Heaven". There was silence....she needed to absorb what I just said. "She didn't make it, she was killed instantly at the wreck, Christy". She still couldn't cry but told me how heartbroken she was that I lost my baby girl. I kissed her and said, "we're gonna be okay, you get some rest." ~ I don't remember much after that.

January is a blur. I just remember bits and pieces. 

Matthew 27:57-66

New International Version (NIV)

The Burial of Jesus

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.     

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My 1st attempt at blogging

Well, from what I've been told, journaling or blogging can be a great way to heal after or while suffering from tragedy or loss. This is my first attempt.

Our family has suffered a great deal. This journey is not the one I had pictured in my mind but through it all, my goal is to Glorify God and trust that His journey is better than anything I could create in this brain of mine.

And so, this will be my first see how it to post....and simply get the hang of it.
Then I will start from the beginning (from my perspective) and lead you on our journey from Tragedy to Testimony.

Clinging to Jesus,