Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thank you.

Butterfly Catcher

The night before Steph's funeral, my mom was in the pool and she was starting to get stressed about a detail that was not working out like we had thought. She said, "OK, I'm starting to stress." As SOON as the words left her mouth, a butterfly landed on her head then flew away. (a brown and gold butterfly to be exact!) That butterfly just flew around all evening. The next day, as the limo was pulling up to the graveside service, a butterfly flew right up to the window and then fluttered away. Mom and I were looking at a catalogue talking about decor, and a butterfly landed on the corner of the page and just sat for the longest time. Since Steph passed, we have been visited at LEAST once a day by butterflies. Just last week, mom was in the pool with Drew and Levi when they got their daily visit. This butterfly landed on Levi, Drew then my mom. They decided then and there, that Mommy must be sending these butterflies to let us all know that she is watching over us. With all that said, I wanted to share this video that Greta took yesterday. It speaks for itself.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Moment.

I have shared this story with a few people IRL (in real life) and I decided it was time to share it with our blog family. It's about a moment when God revealed himself to me in a very tangible way. A moment that was very special, and some people may think too private to reveal on a blog, but I am willing to share. I want to put it out there so people who don't already know can understand more about the God I serve. The God who knows when we have hit our limits and when He needs to throw us a rope. I will set the stage.

It was a Friday. Ashley and I had been at the house with Steph while everyone else was at the funeral home making arrangements. The Hospice nurse showed up before they returned. I was nervous about mom and Scot not being there. They were the only people who knew EXACTLY what to do. They were the ones who were there 24/7 so I was slightly terrified that a situation might arise where I wouldn't know what to do. It did. I was faced with a situation that I wasn't prepared for and it upset me...bad. (Let me be clear, it was not anything the nurse did. She was AMAZING. It was just a situation that came up that was out of our control.) Then they told us we only had a few days left, I had a chore to do that I was glad to do but it was very hard and someone threw a Bible verse in my face regarding my tattoo. All the while, I had a heartbreaking image running through my head. I went home and felt completely defeated. There was A LOT of sobbing and ugly crying. I wasn't sure I had the strength I needed. Until the next day.

Saturday. Back at mom and dad's. We were in my old room. Just me and Steph. She looked at home next to the orange walls and homemade art from Claire and Drew as well as the sports sheets I found during a retail therapy trip to Target! It was quiet. I gently stroked her forehead and tried to tame her wispy locks of hair. I prayed over her and told her what the boys were doing outside. I kissed her face and started to cry. I already missed her. She had not been talking much during the previous few days and the week before was filled with a lot of talking...but not much of it made sense. I whispered to her, "Oh Steph. I just love you so much." Much to my surprise, she whispered back, "I love you too." She paused and said, "I am so grateful for you." I couldn't believe it. She was having a lucid moment, and I was blessed enough to be sitting there when it happened. I asked her if it would be okay if I read to her. She nodded. I grabbed my Bible and said, "Okay God....give us something good." (It never fails, I do the "open and point" expecting God to send me this amazing passage and I get a family lineage passage or something equally as confusing!) He heard my cry. I opened to Ecclesiastes 4:9

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

I cried harder. I grabbed her hand and said, "STEPH! HE sent this for US! WE are going to takecare of you and WE are going to make sure these boys are okay. ALL of us!"

She whispered, "Thank you."
I whispered back..."No, thank YOU."

Those were the last words she spoke to me and I will treasure that moment for as long as I live. God knew I needed that moment. He knew I was torn down. Isn't that amazing? Isn't HE amazing? I think so.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just plain strange.

Life is strange right now. We are going about our lives but it's weird. I walk into a restaurant full of people, and no one knows that just weeks ago I listened to one of my very best friends take her last breaths. Or worse, I am walking through the grocery store and see someone I recognize (as someone I should know but can't quite place their face) and I see in their eyes they notice me too. They DO know what we had to do just weeks ago. My stomach flips and I fight back the tears....then go get cinnamon rolls, maybe that will help. PS, it doesn't.

We are doing okay, really we are. Things are just so weird. Brian and I went with our kids and the Phillips boys to ride go karts and play putt putt. The guy working was watching Drew (of course, not knowing our "situation") and made the comment, "I think that boy is having more fun than anyone else here!! LOOK at that SMILE!!!" It made my heart happy and so sad at the same time. SHE should be here watching this. Then last weekend we all went to White Water. Had a BLAST. We get in the car to head home and Drew starts singing "What's New Pussycat" but thinks the words are "Watch you Pussycat!" Levi takes a sip of his Orange Julius and says, "MMMmmm this tastes like vanilla orange juice!" Pretty impressive for a 3 year old! My mind immediately tells me, "Don't forget to tell Steph that when you talk to her." Only that sucks because...I don't get to. Boo.

Scot is very busy getting ready for the new school year. He is excited about his new job and is looking forward to working with the Kickapoo family again. But he also misses his football guys so we will make sure that he gets some "man nights" with the old crew!! When Steph was nearing the end of her journey, we could sense that Scot was getting worn down. My dad made the decision to rally the troops and have a little guys night for him. So his coaching friends grabbed pizza and headed over. I hope they and their families realize what an important night that was. He was able to escape for just a few hours....even if it was just to the back yard, and recharge. These guys (you know who you are), are a great group of gentlemen...thank you.

Drew told my mom that he was starting to get nervous about school starting. She asked him if he had been praying. He said, "Probably not as much as I should be." So they decided they should pray. He bowed his head and folded his hands and said, "God, please let Cross be in my class this year. If he's not, I know you will help me make lots of new friends." Wow. We are praying for a smooth transition this year. Drew is going to miss his teacher so much but I'm sure his new teacher will be wonderful too. PLUS, we will surely still see Mrs. M on a regular basis. Especially since there is a 50/50 chance, Cohen and Levi might need to teach someone in her family to play the "guitar." **wink wink**