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.

From Missing to Moana

We went on a Dolphin/Turtle Excursion a couple of days ago in Hawaii.

We were so excited!! A new adventure for the boys!

As the boat took off, my thoughts turned to Rory.

My breathing accelerated.

Tears were prickling my eyes.

But I didn’t want to miss this moment with my family.

I wanted to stay in control.

I didn’t want them to worry about me.

I started praying.

Help me.

Help me feel her.

Help me know she’s around us.

Help me know she’s here.

Send her to us.


I miss her.

I miss her so much.

I took a deep breath.

In my mind I could see her next to me. Her hand on mine.

Then Moana came on the boat’s stereo. Not the whole song just a couple stanzas.

The movie that was on repeat before she died.

“The line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me
And no one knows, how far it goes
If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me
One day I’ll know, how far I’ll go”

The line between Heaven and Earth.

It calls to me.

I’m grateful it blurs somedays.


I went to Time Out of Women, an inspirational women’s conference, a couple of weeks ago. Michelle Schmidt was there. She is the wife of one of the Piano Guys, who made national news when their daughter, Annie, went missing in an Oregon forest a couple of years ago.

As she was telling their story of looking for Annie, she said that she would get “assurances.” Not assurances that Annie would be found alive. But assurances that Annie was okay on the other side.


I’ve been searching for that word for a while now.

I receive assurances. Assurances of two things.

First, it tells me Rory is okay.

That she’s happy.

That she visits us.

She’s still here.

But also good there.

It also tells me that I’m not forgotten.

In my grief.

In my despair.

In my missing.

It reminds me that I have loving Heavenly Parents.

It reminds me that I have people on the other side looking out for me.

A lot of times my assurances happen in snapshots. Just a quick view of her from time to time.

It happens in unexpected, quiet moments. Most of the time when I’m not even actively thinking of her. They never last long.

It’s like someone took a Live Photo and sent it to me.

Heavenly Live Photos.

Best Live Photo ever.

I’m so grateful for those assurances.

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. 💜

A Moment

Eating some McDonalds in her honor.

Emotions are draining.

So tiring.

The 13th was exhausting.


In the middle of the day. I was sitting in the chair that I rocked all four of my babies with.

I had a sense of peace roll over me. A lift of my burden. For a few seconds.

In the year, this has only happened twice. Each time for only seconds.

I know it was the wave of good thoughts, of prayers, of love being sent our way.

Thank you.

Love you.