Grew, Hoped, Tried.

In the weeks after Rory’s death, I recorded memories.

I wanted it in my voice.

How I remembered my baby girl.

I looked at some of the videos for the first time the other day.

It spoke to me in two ways.

One, I miss Rory! I want a million more memories. At least one for every day I’ve been without her these three years.

Two, I’m not that same Stephanie. I feel like a lifetime has passed in some ways. In those videos I was engulfed in the flames of grief. As flames have turned to embers, I’m emerging reshaped. In almost every aspect of my life.

Who and how I love.

My relationship with God.

The truly important things in my life.





The importance Grace in my life.

Amanda Gorman’s inaugural words rang true to me:

“That even as we grieved, we grew

That even as we hurt, we hoped

That even as we tired, we tried”

Grieved, hurt, tired.

Grew, hoped, tried.

That encapsulates my last three years.

The Power of Connection

I was thinking about an experience I had watching Hamilton last year.

Eliza and Alexander plead with their son to stay alive.

Moments later, he’s dies.

His parents cry over his body.

I know that moment.

I know what it’s like to touch my daughter’s face and hands for the last time.

To pray and scream in my head, please just stay alive.

I glanced around the theater. Tears ran down cheeks and sniffles filled the quiet of their moment.

They were feeling for Alexander and Eliza’s unimaginable loss.

And in so doing, felt part of my loss as well.

For a second we were connected in our grief.

That’s the true miracle of sharing our stories and listening to people’s experiences.

It connects.

It broadens our understanding.

It allows us to grow in who and how we love.

As I looked around the theater, having this transcendental experience, a hand touched mine, bringing me back to reality.

My son.

A physical connection to provide comfort for our shared understanding of that painful moment of loss.

Is there anything greater we can do than truly connect with one another?

Purple Fruit Snacks

As we were rounding out Rory’s Bags of Love with food items, we decided we wanted to include a couple of Rory’s favorites.

Goldfish and fruit snacks were pretty much on her daily diet.

The week before she passed away, she came home excited that someone at her school traded fruit snacks with her.

She got one that was purple!

Her next question was, “Will you get me some?”

She even saved the wrapper to show me!

That night after I dropped her off at karate, I went to Target and got her a big package of purple fruit snacks.

She ate a few of them but the package sat in the pantry uneaten for a long time. Each time I looked in the pantry I was reminded of her excitement and love until the boys slowly ate them.

Now we get to share that love and excitement with a lot of kids.

Chocolate Milk and Regrets

Rory loved chocolate milk.

She wanted to drink it so often we bought Nesquik mix so she would have extra vitamins and minerals.

The day she died she asked me for chocolate milk.

Is there a worse thing for someone who’s throwing up to drink???

I said, “The second you’re better I will get you chocolate milk. The real kind from the store.”


I wish I would’ve given her the chocolate milk.

I’m so sad she missed the opportunity to have one last sip of the drink she loved so much.

If I could give people advise from this new life, one would definitely be to live as closely as you can to no regrets.

It was something I learned my first semester at college and I took it to heart. I wasn’t perfect. I’ve made lots mistakes, but I try so hard to live with no regrets.

Tomorrow isn’t promised.

Take the opportunities that speak to you.

Make time for love.

Watch a show you might not like if it means you get to spend a couple more hours with your loved one.

Don’t wait to make the perfect batch of cookies when you feel like you need to visit someone. Just go.

Tell people you love them. Frequently.

Give compliments freely.

Whether we live to 80 or 8, life is too short.

Spread all the love you can.

With no regrets.

It’s About Service, It’s About Love

Totes filled with donated school supplies.

One of the struggles when someone passes away is how do you keep them with you.

When someone does, they’re gone from everyday life. The concerns, the events, the joys, the sorrows, that person is no longer part of them.

Each member of my family has different ways that we include Rory in our everyday life. But one that we do as a family is her birthday service projects, which we turned into the Rory Ann Moore Foundation.

It’s a time we spend together. It’s a time we gather in her name.

Last night we sorted all the school supplies that were donated the last few months.

The boys were completely overwhelmed.

“Where did this all come from???”

They witnessed people dropping stuff off or see stuff come in the mail but to see it all together.

It brought tears to my eyes.

These were donated by people that loved Rory.

Donated by people that love our family.

Donated by people that have been touched by our story and the love we try to spread in Rory’s name.

I’m so happy to announce:

We surpassed our goal for school supplies!

If I said this a million times, it would never be enough.

Thank you!

Thank you for your love and support.

Thank you for reaching out.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

If you are still wanting to donate, we need the following food items to include in Rory’s Bags of Love: Goldfish, Cup of Noodles, and juice boxes. You can find details on the following page: