August 12, 2016

To Our CHE

With every passing day it becomes more and more of a reality that you...well that you will be here soon.

You have taken me on a journey I thought I was done with ten years ago.

And you have already written a crazy unbelievable beginning to your story.

In our kitchen hangs a picture your sister painted which says "every ending is a new beginning."

When your Dad and I were first thrown into shock of our first pregnancy together, it ended before we could fully grasp the reality.

But what that short lived blessing did, was open our hearts to a greater reality.

I still cry the loss of what might have been.

It's a weird feeling because without that part in our journey, we wouldn't have you.


Miraculous, surprise, of you!

And just like your Dad does on a daily basis, you kept life interesting and scary, and us guessing.

But at 12 weeks, you became this strong little dancing baby and we were declared "normal."

That's not a word that will be used to describe our family often.

But the sweetness of it meant so much at that point.

Dear Clare Hope Elliott.

You are loved beyond a thousand years.

Your younger sisters marvel at you and play with you as you kick them back. They are already fighting over who is going to be your favorite.

And you have two older sisters who I think will spoil you rotten.

And your brother. Well he is delighting in your nephew, but will shower you in immense love. Along with your sister Terenca and your nieces. 

Recently we received  a beautiful pair of booties from our friends Linda and Mitch.

I sat there holding the booties imaging you. 

Your little feet and legs.

Your hands.

Your eyes.

Your smile.

Your heart.

And what your life will be.

All I know is that your journey will not be normal, but you will be loved.

And parts of your journey will be tough, but you will be loved.

And you may not always be happy, but you will be loved.

And you may not always understand, but you will be loved.

And we may do a thousand things wrong as parents, but you will be loved.

Love is something we have found and continue to grow.

And you Che are a reminder of that love.

A truly unexpected blessing in the midst of a crazy love story.

So, my daughter. 

May you create the most beautiful life.

For you have revolutionized our world.

February 11, 2016

What Should Have Been Today

I went for my first two mile run in many, many, many weeks today. 

I had planned to start the new year aiming to run a local half marathon and another one in Myrtle Beach soon after.

Micheal was starting a new job and we would be able to pay off some things and get back to where we wanted to be financially. 

Life as we planned was moving forward blissfully and positive. 

It got even more wonderful as we learned that finally after a year of not preventing having a baby we were expecting. 

Actually that is not completely true.

It took a week for the shock to set in. 

We told our family and some friends, but were waiting to tell it to the world until today. 

Well I was. 

Micheal got through the shock faster and embraced the excitement and announced it during a church service. 

Today was the day we would have seen our little blessing for the first time. 

The scribbled out appointment across the page of my calendar for today just sucks as a reminder. 

As Micheal was traveling for his new job the car broke down. 

This was as I was learning that I was indeed having a miscarriage. 

I still cannot put words into what a horrible week that was. 

Knowing my body was saying goodbye to someone I already loved. 

Most days I really am okay. 

I am able to lovingly joke with Micheal that "Well, I almost had your baby."

I don't question God or lose faith.

But sometimes, like what should have been a celebratory day filled with our ultrasound picture, just carry some pain. 

Some numbness.

A friend who lost her husband in a tragic accident a few years ago posted this quote last night. 

"Grief is brutally painful. Grief does not only occur when someone dies. When relationships fall apart, you grieve. When opportunities are shattered, you grieve. When dreams die, you grieve. When illnesses wreck you, you grieve. Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried."

So I ran today after finally feeling like my body is ready. 

Trying to get back into a routine. 

The first mile I struggled to find my stride and breathing. 

The second mile I just cried and cried and cried.

I am still processing the pendulum swing of utter joyful disbelief to utter sadness. 

Sadness doesn't correctly describe the emotion really. 

There are no words. 

I have carried this secret around with me for weeks. 

But running today it all came out. 

And I felt I wanted to tell the world. 

Because that was my original plan. 

Most of the time we share the happy moments in our life and shy away from the pain. 

Pain often scares people. 

They don't know what to say or do.

They don't know how to respond. 

And that's okay. 

There are no right words or correct responses. 

I am not sharing this for sympathy, but with hope that someone feels less alone.

And that we can journey together as we learn to carry that which we cannot fix.

January 29, 2015

More Than Just the Blue Birds

Somewhere over the rainbow echoes in my head as I learn the news of yet another friend passing unexpectedly.

Shock is the state I am sitting in thinking this is some horrible joke.

Yet, the reality of the preciousness of life is all too familiar.

Cancer, miscarriages, sudden spinal infections resulting in paralysis, accidents, heart attacks bombard my world with sadness.

Leaving my mind unable to form coherent sentences beyond the exclaimed huh!?!

Time goes buzzing bye as most of us remain settled in the life of status quo.

Getting by resting on our laurels.

Dying long before we take our last breath.

Pacifying ourselves that if only we had more time or if only we had more money.

Waiting for the magical age of retirement that seems to increase in years as the economy spirals downwards and jobs disappear.

You know what?

You’ll never have it all.

The perfect combination of what you think you need to have it all will turn into something more as you get closer to it.

That’s your fear pushing you away.

Because it’s all too much to handle.

You don’t deserve it.

It’s all just a stupid dream anyway.

Self-depreciation leaves us wishing for something more.

I was on that same path once.

I made a written bucket list of things I wanted to experience before I died.

And set out to do one a year.

But everything else got in the way and money was never there.

And then my friends, my young friends, starting getting terminal diseases.

And deaths were too frequent.

So my before I kicked the bucket list seemed dismal.

Each day became a little more precious.

And I cut out all the busyness of what others wanted from me.

And took the time and used some money to start investing in me.

Finding my joie de vivre (joy of life).

Checking things off that list more than once a year.

My whole perspective in life shifting to be more in line with why I’m here.

This is all we got.

Are you enjoying your life?

This life?

The here and the now?

Because I’m sure that Heaven is beautiful.

But I’m also sure that before we touch those blue skies, the dreams that you dare to dream can come true.

Stop the why then oh why can't I?

Because, you know what, you can.

January 3, 2015

What my Heart Needs to Say

I found pictures today of friends I once had. Who meant the world to me. 

And it's hurtful. Because I feel like I didn't do what they wanted so they left our friendship.

When Micheal and I starting realizing there was more than a friendship between us and marriage was ahead...there should have been joy.

Yet from the eight people who celebrated with us, there were ten times the amount who didn't.

She's after your money, he's after your youth.

He'll ruin your girls, she has three kids you're past that point in your life.

She is not Southern. He is not a Christian.

You'll have six kids, it won't work.

Don't marry her. Don't marry him.

A bucketful of dismal sentiments dumped on two recovering hearts believing in a love they began to feel.

Micheal has always forged his own path, but I had not. 

I strove to walk the straight and narrow of what was right in the eyes of the small world I lived.

So when we talked of marriage, it wasn't me pushing him ( yeah I know that surprises some of you naysayers)!

And as my world got smaller and smaller, I realized that most of the relationships I had were based on me doing what others wanted.

Because when I didn't listen to them, they disappeared.

So this straight and narrow small world I lived in became a solo journey of me.

I was forced to listen to myself.

To dig deep into my being and make a decision for me.

I felt selfish. 

I knew what my heart was telling me. Which was not what my head was telling me.

But defying all logic I went for it.

I can still hear the haunted gasps of those who left me.

Just give it a few months and it'll end. It won't last. The age difference.

All these things the world looks at is not what I know.

What I know is that I am married to a man who loves me at a depth I am not capable of accepting fully yet. Because I've never been loved like this.

I am married to a man who has grown to love my three little blessings as if they are his own.

I am married to a man who sits and listens to my rages of anger as another layer of protection falls away from a once broken heart in healing.

I am married to a man who is forever young while I grow older.

I am married to a man who does not recognize he has already given me the world. 

Every single day, every day, I thank God that I was brave enough to listen to me.

That I found a strength in myself to do what I felt was right.

For when the world judged without knowing, it was so very wrong.

There will always be those who have their opinions. 

And I know it hurts.

But if I had to stand alone again to get to here, I would.

Rare is it that we see the true gift of what we have until it's gone. 

Yet some how I am blessed to experience it every single day.