Words that Stay with Me

I’ve had so many thoughts and feelings swirling around me this week with no energy to write them down.

My heart is so full when I think about Rory.

I love her so much.

I miss her equally.

I’ve been thinking about the notes she used to leave me.

On thank you cards.

On index cards.

In notebooks.

On hotel notepads.

It was always the same, in her perfectly messy handwriting.




Rory doing what she did best, spreading love.

She wrote them so frequently that I threw them away for a long time.

A few months before she died, I got this feeling.

Start saving those notes.

How grateful I am for that inspiration!

They are some on my most precious possessions.

As my life is hard. As I struggle seeing positive. When the future feels bleak.

I have those words.

I know someone is always in my corner.




My sweet angel baby girl.


One year, five months ago the gravity around me changed.

The gravitational pull that grounds me to the Earth increased.

Where once I could walk freely, now taking every step is work. There’s so much additional pressure pushing me to the ground.

I had a reminder come up on my phone this morning that two years ago today we were at the Red Woods.

There, surrounded by the largest trees we’d ever seen, the kids ran through the forest.

I remember walking across a log. It was a little scary. I could do it though because gravity was less heavy.

I remember lifting Rory onto a log so she could climb along with her brothers. Before she got scared and jumped right back down. And I could lift her because she was there. And life wasn’t so weighty.

I remember Rory running and standing in front of Lance and I when we asked one of the boys to take a picture of us. We shrugged. We were happy to have her in a picture with us. Happy is something that came easier when gravity didn’t have such a pull.

This new existence takes me to my knees. The new gravitational pull tries to keep me there.

Luckily, I have the love, prayers, and strength of those around me, and those above, that lift me up.

Thank you.

So much love to you all.

Christmas Eve Story

My mom and I were talking about something new for me to read to my boys and nephews this Christmas Eve. I want something that not only acknowledges the grief but gives the boys an activity to include Rory in our celebration. So I wrote this:

A Brother’s Christmas Note

Time has ticked by.

Second by second.

I’ve waited and waited.

Sometimes patient, sometimes not.

But it’s here.

It’s finally here.

Christmas Day.

I run to the tree.

My eyes wide open.

I see my name on presents.

Picking one up, I give it a shake.

I dash to the fireplace.

Our stockings filled to the brim.

Except one.

I touch my sister’s.

She’s no longer here.

I leave hers hanging and take mine to the couch.

It’s not long before the rest of the family trickles in.

My brothers.

My mom.

My dad.

We sit in a circle,

Like we do every year.

Each opening a present.





We each pick our favorite,

And open it up.

I pick my new car.

On my knees, I race it across the room.

Zooming it into the fireplace.

I look up, one stocking still hangs.

Taking it down, I gaze around.

She can’t play with toys.

She can’t enjoy candy.

What can I put in her stocking?

I find a paper and pen to write a note.

“Baby Sister,

I will give mom a kiss for you.”

I place it in her stocking.

Happy, it’s no longer empty.

Dad followed me over,

“Can I see what you did?”

I nod and he reads.

With eyes filled with tears, Dad announces,

“Each of us will give service to your sister this year.”

Handing out more paper and pens.

We each write one down.

Giving love.

Giving care.

Her stocking is fuller than any of ours today.

She is our family’s angel.

We realize.

We know.

And this is our Christmas miracle:

She is here.

I can feel her

In each hug,

In each kiss.

She is a part of our family,

Part of our love,

And because of Jesus Christ,

Our love has no end.

Because of Jesus Christ,

We’ll be with her again.


Thank you for loving us. Caring for us. Praying for us.

I wish you all so much happiness and light.

I love you. We love you.

Merry Christmas. 💜

My Relationship with Grief Today

Grief is isolating.

We mourn with others.

We grieve alone.

The pain is the missing.

Her voice.

Her sweet smile.

Her laugh. Even the fake ones.

Her snuggles.

Her winks.

It’s in the quiet moments.

Those soul crushing quiet moments.

Banging on the steering wheel.

Pounding the bed.

Dropping to your knees, pain.

Curling up in the closet, crying.

Grappling with the could of’s and the should of’s.

That will never be.

Trying to find contentment.

Trying to be as whole as possible.

Never quite successful.

But I want to be.

I have hope.

Not always on the surface.

Not always accessible.

But there.

I have hope that I will see her again.

Because of Him.

One More Angel in Heaven

After we moved across town, we attended a different congregation of our church. On that Sunday, the first people to introduce themselves was a cute older couple, Dick and Donna Pexton.

They were kind and welcoming.

It wasn’t long until we realized we had something in common. We’d both had a child pass away. Ours was fresh, theirs was 60 years ago. But it bonded us.

A few weeks ago they realized Donna’s cancer would not be cured. I had the opportunity to sit with them. Talk with them. Love them.

Last week, Lance and I had the opportunity to sit with them again. This was different. She was near the end.

There was such beauty, in a hard situation. I witnessed a daughter laying next to her mom, holding her hand, caring for her. I witnessed a loving husband, looking after his lifelong sweetheart.

I’m sure that situation didn’t change much until Donna passed away Sunday night.

My first thought was how happy that reunion must have been between Donna and her baby boy. He’s been waiting a long time to hold his mom again.

As I sat there with Dick and Donna that day, my spirit cried out to her spirit, “Give my girl a hug too. She gives really good ones.”

I hope Rory’s found Donna. She’s spunky too. They’d really get along.

Love you, Dick and Donna.