Monday, November 14, 2011

A Child of Mine by Edgar Guest

"I'll lend you for a little time
A child of Mine," He said. "For you to love the while he lives
And mourn for when he is dead.

It may be six or seven years,
Or twenty two or three;
But will you, 'till I call him back,
Take care of Him for Me?

He'll bring his charms to gladden you
And should his stay be brief,
You'll have his loving memories
As solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay,

Since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught down there
I want this child to learn,
I've looked the wide world over
In My search for teachers true,

And from all the throngs that crowd
Life's lanes I've selected you.

Now will you give him all your love,
Not think the labor vain,
nor hate Me when I come to call

To take him back again?"
I fancied that I heard them say,
"Dear Lord, thy will be done.

For all the joy Thy child shall bring,
The risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness,
We'll love him while we may.
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay;
But should the angels call for him
Sooner than we've planned
We'll brave the bitter grief

That comes and try to understand."

Edgar Guest

I love these words so much. I truly think that I can find comfort here and in God's word when my heart gets broken. I know it will be broken, but I am ok with that. I understand a little of Hannah's heart when she gave Samuel back to God. Something that struck me recently that made me think of her in a new way. I've always wondered how she wanted a child so much, but just weaned him and sent him away, even to give him back to God. I mean what's the point?  A few weeks ago, I suddenly realized that I was basically signing up for the same thing... "Please God, give me a child, I know I'll probably have to give him back to you, but please let me have him for a little while". I recently realized that her years of instruction while she weaned him, helped him to be the man that he was. Even though he lived in Eli's house, he grew to be godly, while Eli's own sons grew to be wicked. Her training in his early years lead him to be a man of GOD. I pray that I can be someone's Hannah. Even if these babies go home, I pray that my influence will be as hers was. I also pray so much that I can be an influence to the birth families. Mama was such a good example of that, she tried to be someone that those single moms could call on for support, well after those babies left her home and went to their birth mommies. I hope that I can be like these two Women of God as I become this scary thing called a foster parent.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nostalgic Day

I've been crying a lot today again. Some days are just bad! It seems so weird to say that, because even though I've cried literally every day since we lost Mama, there are still days that I consider to be good days. Some days I cry for a few minutes here and there, but I am comforted by the fact that I believe that she lived her life in a way that ensures her eternity with God. I truly believe that I will see her again in Heaven. Some days, like today, that thought isn't enough. I still believe that and take comfort in it, but I just miss her so much. I want to talk to her and be with her. I dreamed about her the other night and I think that's what made me sad yesterday and today. I dreamed that she was here, but always right out of my reach. She was busy with other things and though she was here, I couldn't really talk to her and she couldn't talk to me. I dream of her often and the dreams are getting more and more frustrating. In the beginning, I would dream that she was still here and the dream itself was so happy and peaceful. Once I woke up, it took a bit to remember that she was gone and that was a hard transition from dream to reality. Now I am realizing that she is out of reach even in my dreams. It makes me wish I could have happy dreams again, even if I have to leave the dream when I wake up. Sometimes it is helpful to look at her pictures. When I see pictures of her, it's easy to imagine that she is still here, she just looks so full of life! It is bittersweet, I guess, but more on the sweet side. I'm going to share a few of the pictures that I found recently:

Mama and the three oldest. She was pregnant with Suzanne here.

She was probably about 18 here. That is baby Angie in the background.
Mama and me on my 1st birthday. She was 7 months pregnant with Sam!

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Our second class was on Thursday night for three hours. Again it went by so fast. Jonathan and I are like sponges, soaking up all of this information. We were getting ready to leave class a little after 9 and he looked at me and said, "I thought tonight was three hours." I said, "It was supposed to be. Why? What time is it?" And he looked at the clock and said, "Oh, it's 9:15. I thought it was 8!" We have two more night classes and one all day class next Saturday. Then we have 4 home studies. We got a packet of information about the requirements for the home study. Lots to do there, but we will get it done. One little shocker, we have to get a land line telephone. What a blast from the past! :) We haven't had one since we got married and it had been years since either of us had one before then.
We finished our homework late Wednesday night. I let Jonathan cheat... Just kidding. I did finish before him, but we all know how slow he is! :) So much of what we are learning is common sense, but at the same time, it's nice to know the expectations that the state will have for us as "resource parents". Some things are scary, I can't remember what all I've told you all about it, but in TN over 50% of children go back to their birthparents. That still leaves about 48% that need forever homes and that is still a LOT, but they are really stressing that so many children go back. It is our duty to have a good relationship with those families as long as possible. I can say that I know myself enough to know that it will be hard to look at another adult or two and know that they've done something so bad that the state of TN has TAKEN THEIR CHILDREN AWAY from them. I know that I need to love them and knowing so much of what my mom went through, I know that will be hard, but I also know that sometimes people can change and they DO sometimes love their children enough to do so. Just pray for us in this. I know that the parenting will be hard, but the liaison between birth parents and kids can't be any easier than I think it will be. I'm counting on it to be much harder... Even with all of the heartaches and heartbreak that I am realistically thinking it will cause, we are SO EXCITED to travel this path. (Ha Ha, I just made a funny by accident. Our parenting classes are called PATH Parents As Tender Hearts... You know they just made that up so it would say: PATH!)
It's been a super busy weekend so far. I hope we can have a little bit of a lazy afternoon tomorrow. My cousin got married today in Nashville and she had a shower last night. I drove to Nashville and back to attend the shower last night because I knew I wouldn't make it to the wedding. It was a super rushed trip, but I was glad I went. It was nice to visit with my mama's family a little bit. My Aunt Ann and I cried talking about Mama for a minute, but that was kind of expected. I knew that I would get emotional if I went, but I needed to see her sisters and sisters-in-law even if it was just for a few minutes. PLUS I actually did want to see the Bride to be since I wasn't going to make it to her wedding tonight! :) I passed Jonathan's parents on the interstate last night on my way to Nashville. They were headed here for the weekend. They are here this weekend for his birthday. His parents and his brothers went in together and bought him a very nice grill for his birthday. We are excited to try it out tomorrow! Well, if we can find a propane tank that is!  Part of my family will probably join us after church as well. Doesn't really sound relaxing, per se, but at least it should be fun! :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Our First Class

Our first class went well, I thought. We were supposed to meet for two hours. We actually stayed longer than that, but I really thought that it went by really fast. It was very interesting and everyone seemed so excited to get started. It was kind of hard to believe that the 2+ hours passed so quickly. I half expected our class to be boring, but I wasn't disappointed to be wrong! We ended up having homework and apparently that will be a weekly thing. I didn't expect that, but that is ok too. We have 3 more Thursday classes and then an all day Saturday class. After the Saturday class we have 4 home studies to do. One with just me and one with just Jonathan and two more with both of us. They have 90 days to approve or deny us. We are hoping to be approved by the end of the year and pray that we can begin taking care of kids very soon thereafter! Just because I know that some of you are curious, I will go ahead and say that we have to be foster parents for 6 months before we can adopt. They are really stressing that babies are not the norm for adoptions in the system. They also gave us a statistic that over 50% of the children in the TN foster system are reunited with their families. A couple of years ago that would have really, really scared me. It still does, to be honest, but I can also look to my parents example and others that I have known who are in the system and see their experiences and know that sometimes birth parents can change for the better and it is my job to love them and their children through that. I know that it will be MUCH harder to do than I'm thinking right now. I'm just praying that we can be the example to the children and parents that we need to be and when the parents can't or won't change then I hope that we can be the parents those children need. I also pray that when the parents DO change and are able to be parents again, that we are able to let go. We know that it will be hard either way.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I'm so excited... And I just can't hide it!

I wish my Mama was here. I have some very exciting news that I would LOVE to share with her!

Jonathan and I begin classes next Thursday to become Foster parents! We are so excited about this opportunity to become parents. I'm so giddy that I can't even think about sleep at 11:30. (In case you are wondering, Jonathan is sleeping just fine... at least he was until I went and jumped on him and told him again how excited I was!) He is very excited too, he just knows practical things like someone who works two jobs needs sleep even if he is excited. I'll try to refrain from waking him again in my giddiness! ;)
I've been getting a little discouraged about this whole business. I haven't really heard from CPS lately and I wondered if we were still in the process of doing this. I have been super excited all along, but hearing nothing is discouraging sometimes. I DID know that I needed to be patient, but I my patience was running a little thin. I've been praying about it lately. A LOT. Then, this evening, Jonathan came home from the church building at about 7:45 and asked if I had gotten the mail. Nope. So he goes to check it and there are two bill-like envelopes. I didn't think much of it until I noticed the huge grin on his face. I wondered what he was so excited about, but "Wipeout" was on, I was babysitting 4 kids, AND my phone just dropped a call from my sister, Suzanne, making me more than a little distracted until he handed me the letter.   It was a one page letter telling us of the times and dates of our classes to become Foster Parents AND they start NEXT WEEK!!! I was so excited! I told Jonathan that I felt like I finally took a test and it was positive!! I'm not really sure about the process. I don't know what happens after the classes, or how long until we have little ones in our care. But I DO know where we will be every Thursday night for the next few weeks. And then one Saturday class that lasts ALL day. I'm sure that I will know more after our first class next Thursday night! I'm super excited and a little scared, and I really miss my Mama right now. But mostly, I am excited! Please pray for Jonathan and Me and our journey into parenthood!

Friday, August 12, 2011


Sorry that it has been a little while! We have  been super busy 'round these parts. We got Daddy and the girls moved in. Hannah and Heather have been tested and they have gotten into the right grades at school. They had been home schooled for the past few years, but without Mama at home that was too hard to continue. Mama always thought that home schooling them was best. They had been behind when they were with their birth families and they still have a lot of struggles. I am still worried about them being able to keep up in their classes, but we will help them as much as we can. They are very happy with their new school and their new classes. I am excited for them in their excitement. Beth was happy to realize that her band Director from Bowling Green was a former band Director at her new school. She knew that he was from somewhere in west TN and she found out on the first day that he previously taught here. She was glad to have that connection.
There is still a lot of work in getting everyone settled. Everything is moved here and all the basic things are in their new places. There is still a lot of cleaning and rearranging to do, but we will get there. It is good to have them here.
I have switched from babysitting during the day  to babysitting most evenings. Every evening, except Wednesday, I am picking up Hunter, Angel, Scott and Azlee from after school. These are the same kiddoes that I kept during the summer, we just have a different schedule now, and since they are in school, I am keeping them at their home instead of mine.
Wednesday, I drove Daddy back to BG so that he could get his other car. We left later than we intended, which gave me a chance to visit my brother and sister-in-law, Stephen and Mary Anne, and my sister, Brittnye. Stephen and Mary Anne have the cutest little older house and they have done a lot of work on it. Brittnye also has an older house that she and several girls from school live in together. Brittnye's room is pretty cool and even has an old fireplace. Since I was running so late and wouldn't make it back home in time for Bible Study, I took advantage of the opportunity to visit with my old "Home" at Lost River. I am always encouraged while worshiping with the members there and love to visit whenever I can. It was a late night of driving to get back home, but it was worth it to visit with my Brothers and Sisters at Lost River church of Christ!


My new ring

 I was browsing on Ebay the other day and I came across a hummingbird ring that I loved. Mama loved hummingbirds. She could just sit and watch them for hours. Every time that I have seen once since she died, I have thought about her and smiled. So I found this ring and  decided on a very small limit and bid. I was so excited a couple of days later to see that I had won!
 My sister Suzanne liked my ring so much, for the same reason, that she ordered one today. Her's is the same style, it just looks much newer than mine. This is the one she ordered today. I couldn't take a picture of mine because I have misplaced my camera. It looks exactly the same, only more vintage-y. I really like it a lot.   

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Yesterday Was Plain Awful... you can say that again....

Ahhhh! I had a bad day yesterday. I could not stop crying! By the afternoon I had cried myself into a terrible headache and I was just so worn out from the crying. I just missed my Mama so much! Some days are just so hard! Most days are so hard, just easier to manage. I got "caught" crying several times yesterday by Azlee. I think that she was worried about me! :)
Yesterday was actually a good day, just a hard one emotionally. Daddy bought a house here in Tennessee much closer to me and across the street from my sister Suzanne. I think that we are all excited about it, but it is hard that they are closing the chapter on living in Bowling Green. Mama would have loved to live here across the street from grandkids and so close to me and Johnny and our future babies. She would have LOVED it. Knowing that she will never be here, living this close is super duper hard. BUT, it is so exciting for Daddy and the girls to be so close. I think they are all so excited about it too, but there is sadness even in our excitement. It's just a little hard to be as excited as we want to be.
Actually, I am having a much better day. Yesterday was just one of the days that I was just sad and I was just gonna be sad no matter what. Today I am  just my normal, "I can't believe that we "just" lost Mama" sadness. We knew that she was leaving us 30 weeks ago today. It still seems unreal. The night before I had just opened her hospital door, popped in for a minute and said, "I'll see ya in the morning, Mama, Love you". I never dreamed that those would be the last words she would ever hear me say. That night she went to sleep and never woke up. I do see many blessings in the way that she died.  I just wish it had been 50+ years into the future! I am so glad that, as far as we know, she never knew that she was dying. She didn't worry about all of us being helpless without her and have the same sadness about not being able to see her grandbabies grow that we have. She wasn't scared. She just went to sleep, and then she went Home.

Soooo, anyway, We are moving Daddy and the girls this weekend. From BG, KY to the woods in TN. Wish us luck... the whole lot of us have bad backs! :) Mama was always the packer. She could pack things into a car/truck better than anyone I ever knew. When Angie, Sam and I went to FC, she got all of us there, all of our things for the year and we were in the car with the rest of our 9 person family, who also had to have clothes for a few days! Maybe my brother-in-law Ethan can help us. He is actually a close second to Mama in the packing department. We hope to get the whole thing done this weekend!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blessings in Disguise

Two years ago Jonathan and I were excitedly awaiting the arrival of our first child. We had decided to adopt and we had heard through one of my good friends about a birth mom who was looking for adoptive parents. My friend's mom set up a meeting with the birth mom. We sent her letters and pictures and she sent us ultrasound pictures. We finally met and talked for a little while. We told her how excited we were to possibly become parents soon and she told us her fears of raising this child alone. Though she wasn't a christian, her parents were and it was important to her for her child to be raised in that atmosphere. We seemed like a good match to her and it wasn't long before she let us know that she had chosen us to raise her child. We were so excited! She was due on January 5th and she told us that we could be at the hospital when her baby and ours was born. She wanted a few minutes with the baby before giving up her parental rights. She seemed very aware of the sadness it would cause her. Though it is hard to see someone else in pain, I loved the love she had for that baby. She was considering the best for her child and it was great to see that she had no lack of natural affection, even though choosing to let someone else raise her child.  I was on cloud nine. I was so incredibly excited! Finally, I was "expecting"!
Within a month after choosing to let us be her child's parents she changed her mind. We got the call on Jonathan's birthday. While we had only "known" for a month that we were going to be parents, we had known of the possibility of being able to raise this particular child for almost 3 months. There were so many emotions that I was experiencing in this. A lot of the time, though it seems foolish now, I hoped that she would change her mind again. I really thought that she would. I was happy at the thought that if she were able to raise her child, that child would be with a mother that weighed her options and thought about what was best for her child, even if that meant letting someone be the parents. It was easy for me to think of trusting in God's timing through this. I really thought deep down that this was part of His plan. I thought that her changing her mind was just going to be part of the process. I thought a lot about the fact that she changed her mind once, she might change it again.  I really really thought that. It was hard to hear the initial comment that she had decided to raise the baby herself. She let us know at the same time that she was having a boy.  My heart was broken at that time, but soon I was back to thinking, "In God's time". I wasn't sure how it would happen, but I was pretty sure that she would change her mind again.
She didn't change her mind again. Her little boy was born on New Year's Eve 2009. We have never met him, or seen pictures of him and we don't know his name. I think of him often. "Losing" him was the hardest thing that ever came my way. I grieved for him for nearly a year after his birth. I cried all the time for so long. I felt like my grief couldn't be understood by most people. I mean, it wasn't like I had a child who died. It wasn't even the same as a miscarriage. My child still lives, only not with me. Never with me. I never even got to meet him. 2010 was the hardest year of my life, start to finish. For most of the first part of the year, I was grieving over the loss of "my" son. By the holiday season, I was starting to be "ok" and then tragedy struck. I lost my sweet Mama on what would have been his first birthday.
Though it took a while to see the blessings in NOT becoming a Mama when I wanted to, I have been seeing little blessings all along. Losing this child helped me face the greatest fear that I have always had with foster parenting. I know that when you become a foster parent, you ALWAYS run the risk of allowing a child that you love go back to his or her birth family. That is heart breaking and I thought I'd never be able to do that. You want to love the children in your home with everything you have, yet it's scary to think that they might not always be there. Mama and I had many conversations about this before she died. She had wanted us to become  foster parents for a long time before we were open to the idea. But we, and I especially, were worried about this very thing. She let me know again again that it was the hardest part of the process. BUT she always stressed that no matter how long a baby or a child was in our life and home they could be a blessing to us and we could be a blessing to them. She also told me that people make hurtful comments about it all the time. Saying things like, "I don't see how you do it, I could never give a child back to a bad situation". She always said that she would let those people know that the point isn't that you "let" them go back, it's that you let them in in the first place. Sometimes things are out of your hands, but you pray for God's guidance and you do whatever you can to help others, even if your heart is broken in the end. That was hard for me to get. I mean, I saw her be so sad every time a child left her home, but I didn't think I could do that. Before Mama died, I knew the heartbreak of losing a child that no one but you really considers to be your own. I've done it once, and it isn't so scary to me now. It is still terrifying, but I know that I can do it now, because I've done it before. It's way scarier to think of having a child in my home for a long time and then having to "give them back", but I know that I can handle what I'm given. I know that it will be hard, but I've faced loss before and came through it. One thing that Mama liked to remind me of, was that you never know what might happen with your biological or adopted children. You aren't guaranteed to raise them to adulthood either. In that sense Fostering isn't much different. There's a greater chance of suffering the loss through Foster care, but the risks are there regardless. I think the "loss" of our first baby will bless us in the future as we become Foster parents. Sometimes I feel like this may be the answer to WHY we weren't able to become parents on New Year's Eve 2009. Another little blessing, though I admit that it's a little silly, is that my baby's first birthday wasn't the day his Nana died. Though now, none of my children will ever get to meet their wonderful Nana, I think that first birthday would have haunted me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Back in the Day

My cousin Keith found some old pictures of my parents yesterday. I cried really hard when I saw them, but I was so glad that he found them and posted them on Facebook.
He started falling in love with her at 14!

I kind of remember them like this, so maybe this was in my lifetime.

Sometimes seeing things like these pictures or revisiting memories of her can just take my breath away with sadness. I had a little bit of a hard day after seeing these yesterday, but they are so special to me. I am so glad that Keith posted them. I think that each burst of incredible sadness is part of the grieving process and so when it hits me so hard, I just go with. I think that tears help. God over all, but also memories, tears, prayers, my family and my Johnny are getting me over this loss. It is a huge loss, some days are so much harder than others, but I know that we are going to be ok.

One of my best friends' sister-in-law lost her mom last night. I don't know the details, but her mama was 55. I know that she is going to have some really hard times ahead. Please keep her in your prayers. Her name is Lisa and I know that your prayers will help her. Knowing that so many were praying for our family was so comforting to me. I was so thankful for facebook of all things in the days before and after losing mama. The constant reminder of friends and family keeping us in their prayers was amazing and it was such a blessing to me. Imagine, facebook being a blessing, but that was exactly how I saw it in those days. Knowing that literally hundreds of people who love God were mentioning our family to him was priceless. If the "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" as James said (And I believe that with all my heart!) then so many praying was definitely availing much!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Whoo! I have been so tired lately! My family being in town last week wore me plumb out! :) I loved every minute of our visit, but I still haven't recovered from the lack of sleep. Being so tired meant that  I was not a fun babysitter last week. I'm still tired on Sunday night, so this week isn't looking too good in the fun department either! Actually, I think I'll just take naps with the babies and maybe that will be enough  to help. I have plans for a few projects this week, so hopefully I will be a little more fun than last week anyway. 

Friday, July 8, 2011


I have a new guilty pleasure. It reminds me of circling things in my Nanny's Sear's catalog when I was a kid. It is Pinterest. You have to request an invite but it is so much fun once you are in. I have wasted too much time on it already. It is a place for new ideas on food, home decorations, crafts for kids or just about anything! I have even tried some of the things that I have pinned. I just click on things all day long that I like, or I'd like to do or try. It really does remind me of when we were kids and Nanny would give us her Sear's catalog and tell us to circle what we wanted for Christmas. We would each circle just about every toy in there and write our names beside it. She was always able to find just what we wanted with that system. By the time that Christmas rolled around we had forgotten half of what we circled so we were still surprised at what we got.
Request your invite and get to pinning! :)

Fourth of July

Most of our family was able to get together this past weekend for Independence Day. We had a really good time, even though we missed Brittnye, Mary Anne and Clay. We were all able to get together at Suzanne and Ethan's, affectionately referred to as the RNCC, or the Red Neck Country Club. They have everything there. An awesome Tree House, which had the grand opening of The Shark Bar, Emilea's and Abbie's restaurant, on the lower level. Regretfully, I never made it to the Shark Bar last weekend, but I heard that it was AWESOME! I wish that I could have at least made it to the Free Popsicle event that they had, but I was too busy trying to make my awesome cheesecake. It was delicious, but not quite as awesome as I had hoped.  Definitely should have made an appearance at the Shark Bar in any case.

This is the awesome tree house. The Shark Bar is located on the lower level.

The RNCC also has a pool and Four-wheelers and I spent a lot of time in the pool with the water babies. We LOVE the pool in our family! We had the babies birthday party while most of us were together. Kaylea and Amos are two this year. Kaylea turned two in April and Angie didn't have a family party, so we decided that now before Amos' lucky birthday of 7/11/11 we would have a family party for the two of them. The theme this year was Cars. They are both interested in Cars right now, because of a certain movie that I have yet to see, and it made a great party for the two of them. I got them both Cars pillow pets.
Emilea also had a race this year. It was supposed to be a 5K but we knew early on that it was much less of a distance than that. The course was supposed to be from her tree house to Papa's new house and back. I doubt that's even a 1k, but we were humoring her. It rained really hard for a little while right before we were going to do the race, so when we finally were able to do it, it was pretty soggy out. .We decided with all the mud, it wouldn't be a great idea to run up and down a hill in the mud, so the race was just on the road to Papa's house. The kids all had fun with it. I'm not sure if they would have wanted it much longer than that anyway. I think that the adults who were signed up were a little disappointed in the "5K", but I am not a runner, so I was all for the shorter course! :)

Family weekend

It is always so nice to be with my family and to get to spend more and more time with them. It is so good in a way, but in another way, it makes Mama's absence so much more noticeable. I don't know how that is so, because the fact that she isn't here anymore is never far from my thoughts. I had to choke back tears so many times on Monday. My heart breaks for all of us, but sometimes I try to put myself in Daddy's shoes and it is too much to handle. He does good to try to be here for all of us when we get together like this, but you can just tell that it is hard for him. On the way home from Suzanne's on Monday I was by myself in the car and cried nearly the whole way home. I cried so much that I threw up as soon as I walked in the door. I hate it when I do that and it's not the first time I've done that since she died. Daphne and I were talking about it later and she said that when she gets like that she knows that Mama would have said, "Calm down, you are going to make yourself sick". I know that Mama would not want me to be that upset! Mama would want us to enjoy our time together without thoughts of sadness because she isn't there.


We are still trucking along in the foster process. We have sent in some paperwork and are kind of waiting right now for things to progress. I worry a lot about how to interact with the biological parents of the children who will be in our home. From my own family's experiences I know that there are several kinds of parents. The parents that worry me the most right now are the parents that love their children the best way that they know how. You or I would think that the care they give their children doesn't translate into love at all, but they feel like they are doing the best that they know how. I was talking with one of my sisters about this the other day and I mentioned that I wish I knew what Mama would say about it. She said that she was with Mama in a situation like that once and she told me what she did. ...
In May of 2007, Mama got a call saying that there was a newborn baby girl at the hospital for her to pick up. My sister went along with Mama to pick up this precious baby. Georgia was a 4 pound baby addicted to drugs and with physical problems more than likely associated with Fetal Alcohol syndrome. My sister said that she was so mad at this mom for treating her unborn child in this way. It is, obviously, very irresponsible to use drugs and alcohol, especially when pregnant. This baby was so tiny and was jerking from the withdrawals of drugs that she was experiencing. My sister said that as they were leaving the hospital room with this tiny little baby, the mom was crying like her heart was broken and after telling mama to take care of her she said, "Please don't cut her curls!" My sister said that she was so mad and wanted to hurl back... "YOU have no say in her life anymore! YOU did this to her!" BUT in that moment, Mama looked back at her with love in her eyes and said, "I would never do that to YOUR baby" And then she turned to walk out of the room and almost as an afterthought, she turned back around and said, "All the babies in my house call me Nana. You are her Mama." Mama reached out to her and helped comfort that grieving mother all the while caring for her infant daughter. Georgia's mama said that she didn't know that her activities would have such an effect on her baby. That's hard to believe, but Georgia's mama took parenting classes as often as she could and got into every self help program that she could find. In the months to come, Mama invited this young mother to church with her and she came. She went with her to doctors appointments and mentored her as she turned her life around.  It wasn't long before Georgia was back at home with her mom. But Mama was always Georgia's Nana. Georgia would spend some weekends and vacations and Holidays with us. She really was part of our family.  Georgia got to spend her birthday weekend with Papa this year. She misses her Nana so much, but she loves her Papa too!

Nana and her Georgia at Daphne and Austin's wedding
(This picture was stolen from Beth Murley!)

The families that Mama and Daddy fostered don't all have happy situations like this one did, but Mama always tried. She was always aware that the children who came into her home had a likely hood of going back to their families, so she tried to have a relationship with that family. Sometimes that was impossible, but the better the relationship with the birth families the better she felt about their situation. I'm still trying to figure out how to do this when we start fostering. We are intending to foster to adopt, but we know that there will be cases where we will have children into our home and they go back to their birth families. Either way, I am praying that the relationships between us and the birth families are as good as we can make them.

Monday, June 27, 2011

James 1:27

I've kind of regretted telling anyone about this blog yet. I've had a few rough spots since my last post and I couldn't bring myself to write about them, knowing that someone might actually read this now! After thinking about it, I think in the future if I need to write about my sadness, I'll go ahead and do it, but I'll follow that post with something happy-ish. Maybe that will help me get over my "stage fright" a bit.
 It is crazy to me that sometime memories of Mama can make me smile all day, but sometimes they just take my breath away with sadness. The very same thoughts and memories that make me smile or laugh out loud can break my heart with sadness the next day or even a few minutes later. Boy, I miss her all the time! Sometimes I realize that I'm being selfish to want her here with us now. Most of the time, I am not in that frame of mind. Even believing that she is better off now, I miss her so much and wish she were still with us in this old crazy world. Of course, even writing that, I realize how selfish it is, and I am glad that she doesn't have any earthly problems anymore. It's just hard without her. I hate not being able to call her when I want to. My sister Brittnye said once that she told us everything we needed to know, and if she didn't she told someone else, so we can just ask our siblings. I thought that was pretty smart of her!
Mama and I talked a lot about Fostering before she died. She brought it up nearly every time we talked for several months. It was such an important work for her and she wanted it for us too. One of Jonathan's favorite verses about Mama is James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world" (KJV). She would always reach out to people who needed help, ESPECIALLY the fatherless and widows. She physically cared for more than one widow in her life. At times even letting them move into her already crowded home so that she could care for an older lady while also raising her own children. For example... We had an older aunt who lived with us when I was really young. My sisters and I would tell our friends that she was a witch and we would charge them a quarter to take them to see her. Her room was always dark and she had a chain on her bed for some reason and she would yell at us with a crackly voice and shake her chain when we would peep in the door. I think our friends got their money's worth. BUT, then our parents found out about our little enterprise and put a real quick stop to that! :)
 Before her biological children left the nest, she and my dad began fostering. They did a lot of good in the years that they were foster parents. Through no fault of their own they had to get out of the system abruptly a few years ago. After a year or so recovering from the trauma of that situation, Mama's heart was still there. She still wished that she could be a foster mom and told me over and over again what we could do to prevent the problems that she and my dad had through the foster system.  They were such good examples of "pure and undefiled religion"  this is another way that I can follow her example as I follow Christ.  In the beginning Jonathan and I were so against fostering. I have three sisters through the system, but there were scary situations that I knew of too.  It kind of reminds you of the saying, "No good deed goes unpunished". Jonathan and I have really wanted to adopt for awhile, but we did NOT want to foster. Through Mama's patience, guidance and excitement for us we became excited ourselves. Now we WANT to become foster parents and we can not wait until we are able to start bringing little ones home. We never thought that we would be excited about becoming foster parents, but we are!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sacred Selections

The Dinosaur Quilt
Sacred Selections is a non-profit organization that is close to my heart. It is a charitable organization that helps Christians with the finances needed to adopt. Last Friday night there was a Sacred Selections fund raiser in Memphis that Jonathan and I were able to attend. We took Emilea and Mike, our niece and nephew, and met Sam, Clay, Amos and June. This particular benefit had a BBQ dinner, a couple of silent auctions and a live auction. These events are lots of fun and for a great cause. It is neat to go and meet adoptive families who have already benefited from Sacred Selections, and to hear success stories of others that have been helped as well. Hopefully, Jonathan and I will be able to have Sacred Selections children in the near future! Jonathan and I didn't win anything at the auctions this year, but we did buy a t-shirt. Sam and Clay had some money to donate and they won a beautiful quilt! It was in the shape of a dinosaur and it was so soft and cuddly.
Amos staking his claim

The stories of the night really seemed to move Emilea and Mike. At one time during the presentation, I looked over and saw that Emilea was crying. She was touched by the kids needing forever homes and loved the happy endings that she heard of. Even though we didn't realize that Mike was paying much attention, we realized later that he was listening and taking everything to heart. He was a little melancholy, which is not like him at all and he kept wanting to bid on things at the auction. Much later that night Mike and I went to Walmart and I suddenly realized that he wasn't right behind me like I had thought. I turned around and saw him parting with his hard-earned change. He was donating it to a children's charity that was set up there. Mike likes to keep his coins close. He is constantly saving for something, so to see him parting with his money was enough to choke me up a little. I asked what he was doing and he told me that he was "Donatin' money so that me and Uncle Johnny could get a baby for cheaper!" I was already choked up, but that almost made me start crying right there in the front of walmart! I explained to him that money he donated there would help babies, but it wouldn't help us get a baby. He was ok with that, as long as it was a good thing. He told me that he donated money earlier too. I'm not sure what he did. Maybe left some change on the table at the benefit, or something. But whatever it was in this case it is for sure the thought that counts! I love my nieces and nephews. They have such sweet little hearts! I benefit from their goodness all the time.
Emilea, June, Amos and Mike

Thursday, June 16, 2011


 Jonathan and I have officially begun the process into becoming foster parents! I have been trying to get the ball rolling for almost a month now. Every time I called for a couple of weeks the girl was "on vacation". When I finally got in touch with her she said she just started. So I am guessing that "on vacation" is code for we don't have anyone in that position yet! Who cares, though? We have filled out our first tiny bit of paper work and we are now getting into the system. She asked what we were interested in and I said under school age. So she goes, "So you want me to put you down for ages 0 thru 7 or 8" Uh, no... Kids go to school 'round these parts at age 5 so I was thinking more along the lines of 0-4. I didn't really say all that first part. :)  Just reiterated that I meant under age 5. Then she tells me that since we are young with no children that maybe we could consider preteens. Again I say no. I am so glad that Mama and I talked about Foster care before she died. This might have been a discouraging conversation to me otherwise. I knew to expect them to push older children at us. I know that the older children need help too, but as first time parents we don't want to start with teenagers, I don't know if I will ever be comfortable with older kids b/c of what my parents went through, but I'll take care of all the little kids that I can! The past few weeks have seemed harder without Mama. I crave her advice so much! I am so glad that we discussed this last year. I don't think I could do it without that. But we are so super excited!!! I know that there will be bumps in the road. I know that heartbreaking situations will be presented to us. I know that my heart will break at times too,  but I also know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Phil 4:13

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The joys of babysitting

So I started babysitting recently to make a few extra dollars for our family and the little girl I am keeping is a live wire! I love her so much, but she really keeps me on my toes. Jonathan too for that matter! One day last week she spilled a completely full bottle of syrup on the kitchen floor. She didn't tell me about it, so by the time I found it one minute later it was all over the place! She denied it at first, but once she realized that I KNEW it was her, she said it was a "assident". Whatever! :)  It took three times to get that floor good and mopped! That same day she dumped out all my clean and folded laundry and knocked over a rack of clothes hangers in my laundry room. I had intended to get some things done that day, but all I got done was mopping syrup up, cleaning clothes hangers up and refolding laundry... my favorite chore! She has been telling Jonathan every day to "doe to da torner!" She tells him that she is going to "whoop him and put him in the torner!" his crime, though I have yet to see it, is biting the dog. You think he'd learn his lesson by now, but he has been getting in trouble for the same thing every day!

The good and the bad

I am trying to make this blog be about more than losing Mama. I want to be more like she was. Jonathan and I have decided to be Foster parents. We have thought about it for a long time and we are trying to get started. I've been calling the past couple of weeks to try to get started but the lady that I need to talk to is on vacation. It's frustrating! :) Now that we are ready to go down this road we are ready to get started! I am very thankful that this was in my heart and on my mind before Mama died. She already gave me so much advice on getting started and how to be a foster Mom. She was a great example of it herself. I can't wait to get started. My new goal in life is to follow in her footsteps and use her as an example. She followed Christ in her life. By following her while I follow HIM, I can't go wrong!

In my Bible readings lately, I came across a verse that I absolutely love.
Psalm 113: 9 RSV "He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!"  

Today has been an ok day. I've been crying a lot lately and I think my lowest point was calling Daddy yesterday and upsetting him! I thought it would help to talk to him, but I think he was in tears by the end of the conversation. We did have a good talk before I just couldn't choke back that last sob. I stopped crying after I got off the phone with him and I felt so bad for crying to him, of all people. My siblings and I lost the world's greatest Mama, but he lost the world's greatest Wife. I am so sad for him a lot of the times! I called him back to let him know that I was ok, but he sounded a little choked up. I talked to him again today and I think that he was ok. I know that he has had really tough days too  and I hate to think that maybe I made it a  little harder for him. I know that dealing with her loss will get easier with time, but for right now it is still harder than I thought it would  be. We will be ok, though.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Life and Death

Things have been really hard since my last post. My uncle died unexpectedly last month. His funeral was really hard to attend, but I wanted to be there for my aunt, his wife and my two cousins. I now know how hard it is to lose a parent and my sisters and I made to trip to be there for them. It was at the same funeral home in Nashville where Mama was and it was just a hard couple of days. After the funeral, my sisters and I went to Mama's grave. The first time back for most of us. Her stone had just been placed and it was so unreal seeing that there. As I was walking up I couldn't help but cry. It was so sad to see the proof that she was gone. I live with it every minute of every day, but that made it real in a way that it hasn't been so far. To see her name on that stone just broke my heart. My sisters sat there and talked to her for a long time. It was a little therapeutic, I thought.

That weekend, my nephew Andrew was born. Andrew is my husband's brother's baby. It was so wonderful to travel to KY to see our precious new nephew. We were so excited to get to meet Andrew and hold him for the first time. We also got to play with his 2.5 year old sister Anika. It was just a really fun few days. Welcoming  Andrew to our family, helped to diminish some of the sadness of the previous week. We love to get to see our nieces and nephews whenever we can, they just bring so much joy into our lives. We had lots of fun with Anika and were so excited to get to meet Andrew in his first few days.
Uncle Johnny meeting Andrew

Aunt Trishie meeting Andrew

Anika being a little crazy! :)

While we were still in KY there was a horrible tornado that went through Tuscaloosa. My sister and her husband live there and I was so worried about them. One of my sisters had talked to Daphne since the tornado hit and she was ok, but we found out that night that one of her friends was missing. We were so saddened in the next few days to discover that her friend had lost his life in the tornado. There has just been so much sadness lately! Me and two of my sisters went down to Tuscaloosa a couple of days after the tornado to see Daphne and take her a few things that she needed. It was so nice to see for ourselves that she was ok and to give her and her husband HUGE hugs!

During this time of so much loss and sadness, I also realized what a happy time this is for so many. I was in my kitchen one day, crying because of the overwhelming sadness of losing so many loved ones unexpectedly. My mama, my uncle, and Daphne's friend. I was just so sad. But I noticed my Christmas cards still on my fridge. So many of those friends have welcomed or are welcoming new family members this year. I have a new niece AND a new nephew since my mama died. Our best friends welcomed a baby boy in March. 
Meeting Baby Zachary just a few days after his birthday!
Several of my best girlfriends are pregnant. There is so much life and goodness around. YES! There are sad sad days. My mother is forever gone from this world. But we have June, and Zachary and Andrew. So many more babies on the way. Their mama's are healthy and the babies seem to be too. Thank God for new life! I am so thankful that when things get unbearably sad, HE reminds me of his great blessings!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


 (Nana and Papa with Emilea, Mike, Abbie, Kaylea and Amos. At Stephen and Mary Anne's wedding and the day we found out about June)

Mama became Nana on March 6th, 2001. Her long-awaited first grandchild was Emilea Anne. Mama LOVED being Nana and I think that she was the best Nana there could be. She made everything so much fun for her grandkids. She always tried to be there for their important little milestones. She was there for their births, their first birthdays and every little thing she could make it to. She tried to go to ball games, recitals, birthday parties, preschool and Kindergarten graduations. Her grandchildren loved her so much! The oldest three, Emi, Mike and Abbie, are having a really hard time. They miss her so much! My heart hurts for their little heartbreaks. They miss her every day too. Even though none of them lived near her they talked to her on the phone or skyped her as much as they could. They also knew that if they had something cool going on, that Nana would try her best to be there for them.
 (Emilea, Abbie and Mike with treasure from one of Nana's scavenger hunts)

Mama had three grandbabies under two when she died. Kaylea and Amos were about a year and a half and June would be born two months later. The older ones are sad that Kaylea and Amos won't have the memories that they did with Nana. I'm sad a lot for myself because I miss her so much, but sometimes I am just sad that Emi, Mike, Abbie, Kaylea, Amos and June didn't get more time with her. I wish I could have had more than my 32 years with her, but they had such a short amount of time! It's not fair! I know that life is not fair all the time, but this is really hard. It makes me REALLY sad that Mama won't be there for me when I have babies. My babies won't know their Nana, and that breaks my heart too. There is so much sadness with her death. We pray all the time for comfort. I know that she lived her life so that she could be with God in eternity. It does bring comfort to know that. It helps a lot actually. I don't know how I would be now if I didn't think that she was with Him.

Far Above Rubies

  PROVERBS 31: 10-31

10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. 15 She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all." 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Junie B

One of the hardest days for me, was when my niece, June, was born. It was one of the hardest days so far but also the best day this year. Hard because Mama wasn't there when June arrived, but also wonderful because we finally got to meet our June Bug.  It was super hard being there without Mama, but I wouldn't have missed it for anything. 

Mama loved baby June. She called her Junie B. She bought her a little outfit that said "Lil Miss February". Mama was always there when one of her grandchildren was born. She did everything in her power to be there for her daughters. When Amos, her last grandchild was born she and I traveled together to Atlanta, determined to be there until Amos' arrival. My sister, Sam, went into labor within  hours of us getting there and the next day Amos was born. It was great getting to spend that time with my mother and sisters. I wasn't in the room when Amos was actually born, but I was there at the hospital and I had been in and out of the room with Sam.  Mama was there the whole time. Sam had a water birth with Amos and Mama was fully supportive even though she didn't understand it. She just hated seeing Sam in so much pain, BUT she was planning on being there again when June was born. The fact that she wasn't able to be there was heartbreaking to me. I HAD to be there for Sam and Clay. I had been there before to "help" her through labor and had planned on being with her again. I wanted nothing more than to be there with them this time. It just hurt my heart that Mama wasn't there too. I was so excited to finally meet June and witness again the whole birth process, which is just amazing to me. I absolutely think that it is one of the most incredible things to watch a baby come into this world! There was so much joy that day and I tried not to be sad on June's birthday, but I just missed her Nana so much. June was able to distract me for most of the day, though.
Sam went into labor with June at about midnight. I had just gone to bed and she didn't want to wake me, because she knew that I needed sleep. Clay had just gotten home from work and she told him that he needed to get some sleep too, because they just might be in for a  long day. Then SHE went to bed and rested as well as she could for several hours. At about 5 that morning I got a phone call from my sister Suzanne who told me that across the hall from me Sam had been in labor for hours. Sam wanted me to sleep, but Suzanne reasoned that if she were the one across the hall, she's want to know that her sister was in labor. Suzanne said that she and her kiddos were loading up and heading to ATL  to hopefully be there by the time June arrived. So I got up, got dressed and went to Sam's bedroom, where she was reading her Kindle beside a sleeping Clay. She told me that she started labor at about midnight and she was pretty comfortable. She told me that Daphne and her husband Austin were on the way to pick Amos up. Since I was awake, Clay woke up too and we made sure that we had everything ready for the hospital. I got Amos up and dressed and got him his breakfast. Sam and Clay were hungry too so I got them something to eat as well. Daphne and Austin were there by about 8:30 or 9. Without Amos at the house Sam roamed around the house trying to find the most comfortable spot to labor. Clay and I followed her to nearly every room in the house. She was most comfortable in a hot bath, but her water heater couldn't keep up. Her second favorite spot was the rocking chair in Amos' room. At about 11:30 she started calling her doula to come. She needed about an hour to get her kids situated and get there. By 1:00, she was mad that her doula wasn't there yet and insisted to Clay that we just go to the hospital without her.  She finally got there at 1:15 and again Sam insisted that we go to the hospital.  Her doula tried to tell her to wait and reevaluate at 2:00.  Ummm...No.  Sam wanted to be at the hospital right then and started to insist, but threw up instead.  When she stopped, the doula was convinced that Sam was right and that she needed to be at the hospital. (The doula should have listened to Sam and gone when she wanted to anyway).  In Triage, Sam said that she hoped she was close and the nurse said, "you better hope not, b/c there isn't a room available".  When the nurse checked her, she was further along than Sam had hoped - She didn't even care that she didn't get to have a water birth this time.  Thirty minutes later, her midwife came in and checked and realized that the baby was coming. Sam was still in the triage area waiting for a room and the midwife helps her out of bed and walks her down the hallway to this pretty big spare room (not even a delivery room).  Sam  took two steps into the room and started to have a contraction. While she was having  the contraction, her midwife yelled at ME to throw the bedsheets on the floor underneath her and then told Sam to push!  After a couple of minutes of standing and pushing, she decided to get on the bed.  She pushed for two more minutes and our June Bug was born!!  Suzanne got to the hospital in time to give her kids to Daphne and Austin and make it to the maternity ward in time to hear Sam giving birth down the hall. Suzanne took off running and burst into the make-shift delivery room as June was on her way into her new little world. That 4-5 minutes was a little traumatic, and I'll admit that I was more than a little weak at the knees. In fact, if I didn't think that Suzanne was going to pass out, I probably would have done it myself. Neither of us actually did pass out, but we were both a little woozy. But we now had our little Junie B safe and sound!
I think that just the fact that were at the hospital again made it scary that day. Less than two months before we had been there for Mama and we thought everything was great, and we lost her. Even knowing that June was healthy and that Sam was recovering nicely I was still nervous. We thought that Mama was ok too. Thank God that Sam and June ARE doing well. Junie B is a little over six weeks old now and just precious. We are so thankful for her!


I've never realized how deep grief can be. I didn't know that this raw grief could last so long. You hear to keep so and so in your prayers as they are dealing with the loss of a loved one. You might think to pray for them for a couple of weeks and then it's not so important to you anymore. Not that you don't care, but it's just easy to forget that they are still grieving. At least that's how I've always been. I just didn't realize that losing someone so close was so painful!
Mama meant the world to me. Daddy always said that they'd get 40 calls a day with one or the other of us calling to ask Mama a question or just to talk to her. Not that we didn't want to talk to Daddy, we just had Mama things to discuss. Lots of times, even after we were married, when we would visit we would "make" Daddy sleep on the couch so we could sleep with mama. Not that we ever did any sleeping. We would talk all night about everything. Mama was a fount of wisdom. She knew the answer to just about anything. If she didn't know the answer she knew how to get it. I've picked up the phone several times since her death to call her and ask her something. One time I actually let the phone ring before I realized that she would never be there again. I just crumbled to the floor and cried. It's not that I forgot that she died. It's just that a thought popped into my head and I had to ask her about it.
There have been days since she died that I have just wanted so badly to talk to her. To hear her voice again.

My Precious Mama

We lost my mama unexpectedly on New Year's Eve 2010. She was only 52 years old. It has been such a shock to our family. Sometimes I realize that to the rest of the world it is already April, but to me it feels I am right back there at the hospital telling her goodbye after she was already gone. She had a pretty serious surgery on Tuesday, December 28th. The surgery seemed to go better than expected and she seemed to be doing really well. She even commented that if she had known how easy it would be, she would have done it years ago. She was a little groggy after her surgery so most of us decided to go and let her get her rest that night. Angie, my oldest sister decided to stay with her for the night. We all went back to my parents house for a bit. The whole family, except for Angie's husband Michael, had been in town for Christmas. So we went back to the house and made supper and hung out for awhile and played a few games.
We have a huge family. My parents have 10 children, 5 sons-in-law, 1 daughter-in-law and 6 grandchildren. It's not often that we all get to be together, but thankfully this year, on what was to be our last Christmas with Mama, almost all of us made it.
On Wednesday morning at various times, we all made it back to mama's room at the hospital. She was in really good spirits and was feeling great. She joked that between 1-10 her pain was at a 7 and she could easily handle that. She talked with us and played with her grandchildren. Once she was sitting in the chair beside her bed and she told my nieces and nephew to hop up on her bed. When they did she showed them the buttons to make the bed rise and fold. She lifted the bed as high as it would go and folded it as far as it would go, just to hear their giggles. She was a great Nana. She was always wanting her grandbabies to have some sort of adventure, even if she WAS at the hospital recovering from surgery. That day we talked with her and laughed with her about everything under the sun. We all had a really good day.
My husband and I were going to try to get home that night. He is a preacher and had a class to teach at our home congregation. We had done a pretty bad job of keeping up with the time at lunch and were already thinking that we would have to rush to get home in time for Evening services. We had to go by the hospital to tell Mama goodbye, and to pick up my sister, Suzanne, who would be traveling home with us. We went to the hospital and the nurse had just made mama sit in her chair again. She was on morphine and we were worried that she might fall out without someone with her. Daddy and my sister, Daphne, were on their way to the hospital to stay with her, but we didn't want to leave her alone for even a few minutes. My husband, Jonathan, and I decided that we could stay, but the few minutes that it would cost us would make it nearly impossible to get home in time for services. We decided to call someone else to do his class for him and stay. I'm so glad that we did. We got to spend even more time with her that day than we had planned.
Later that evening, Jonathan and I went to church at Lost River. Several of our friends asked about mama and her surgery and we told them that things went really well and though at first they thought she would be in the hospital for a week, we thought she would get to come home in a couple of days. I was making plans to come back to town and stay with her for a week or two during her recovery. After church that night I went back over to the hospital to spend some more time with mama. When I got to her room she was in a lot of pain. Her veins had collapsed and there were two nurses trying to get her iv back in.  Since it was late and visiting hours were nearly over, I decided to tell her goodbye and come back in the morning, so I told her that I loved her and that I'd be back in the morning. Jonathan and I took Suzanne and her her kids to get something to eat and then we dropped her back at the hospital, because she wanted to stay with Mama that night.
At about 3 o'clock the next morning I got a call from Suzanne telling me to get to the hospital as soon as I could. I asked if Mama was ok and she said, "I don't know." There was so much fear and sadness in her voice that I tried to prepare for the worst. Jonathan and I left as soon as we could and called my brother, Stephen, on the way. He and I got there at about the same time. In time to see about 20 doctors and nurses in Mama room doing what they could to get her to breathe. I saw them use the defibrillators on her. A few minutes after I got there, I heard someone say that they had a pulse. This whole time was so scary to me. It was so unreal. I knew that it was MY mama on that bed in there, but it seemed like it was happening to someone else. Once they got a pulse they transferred her somewhere else to see what was wrong, what caused her to stop breathing in the first place. Suzanne, Stephen and his wife Mary Anne, Jonathan and I were asked to clear out her room. She had get well soon cards hanging on the wall from each of  her grandkids and some of her younger kids as well. As we were cleaning out her room at 3:30 that morning, I think each of us realized that she wasn't coming back. A couple of hours later her doctor came in and gave us a little bit of hope. Most of us, including Daddy, hung on to that hope. We were all hoping and praying that she would come out of it, but it wasn't to be. That day was probably the longest of my life. I "knew" most of the day that she wasn't going to make it. I believe that God answers every prayer, I just felt that He said, "No," very early on in the day, it didn't keep me from asking Him to save her for us, I just realized that HE was saying no. 
We aren't really sure what caused her to die, we haven't really gotten a straight answer on that. I don't even know if KNOWING how she died would be of any help. She is still gone. Knowing won't bring her back.