Saturday, March 18, 2017


This week is my kids spring break from school.
Hence the radio silence.
We were going to drive to Savannah for a few days.
One little problem with that...
well, lots of problems really...

I couldn't see paying 4k for plane tickets for a 4 day trip.
So we were going to drive...
until right before we supposed to leave.
18 hours in a car each way will make you think twice.
And I'll be honest...
my relationship with my mom was another.
In the end I decided I needed to wait.
I need to finish my class on apology first.
I need to get to the point where I'm not dreading 
being in the same room with her.
I read that as I typed it and it seems harsh.
But its real and how I feel.
I don't like it 
so I'm working hard to change it.
In the midst of trying to change my heart
towards a situation 
and a person
that seems unwilling to change,
so very set in her ways
I know that I have to find a way
to bend my heart towards forgiving.
Its the right thing to do.
It's what I want to do.
I do.
It's the only thing to do.
But right now honestly
my heart is breaking again.
The next ten days.
I gotta get through the next ten days.
I'm already a mess.
I knew it was coming.
Our niece.
Her birthday.
Then ten days until the anniversary of her death.
Yesterday the tears started flowing like a river.
I made it though my morning run today without a tear.
Although I cried on the way to our meeting spot.
I made it home,
then to the garden center,
and an hour into tidying up our front flower beds.
My husband came home from taking the kids somewhere
and I saw him and I lost it.
Right there in the front yard.
Doubled over at the waist so no one could see my face.
God love that man.
He just stood there patting my back.
When I could finally stand up
he asked if I wanted a tissue.
They'll come again.
Maybe they'll just look like sweat I joked.

The waves of sadness incredible,
like swimming in an ocean,
barely able to catch your breath,
knowing another big wave is coming,
that going under is inevitable.
You go under and can barely breathe,
wondering and not knowing for sure
when the storm will stop.
But it will.
With time.
Until the next big reminder.
I know I'm not alone in the sea of grief.
My feelings are no bigger than others'
although others' may be bigger than mine.
I think of my sister-in-law and her husband...
I cannot even imagine the pain of losing a child.
To me there could be no greater pain than that.

always in a southern state of mind

I think you know
that I try to turn lemons into lemonade.
I made the decision after her death to be all in.
Her passing is a constant reminder to me.
A reminder to live life to the fullest.
To be thankful for every breath.
To live every day as if it were my last.
To dream big,
to work hard,
to never give up,
to show up,
to be seen,
to dare greatly.
To teach my kids to do the same.
To show my kids by example how to do it.
To do it in spite of sometimes not knowing how.
To run and jump and leap.
And yes some days I may look like a fool
trying to figure it all out
but at least I'm doing something,
not standing on the sidelines.
Of that I am proud and I will pat myself on the back 
every freaking step of the way.
Life is a journey,
not a destination.
I also made a vow to encourage others to try to do the same.
To quote a favorite song,
"when you get where you're going,
don't forget
turn back around
and help the next one in line,"
That's just how I want to roll in life.
How I am programmed to roll.

About six months after she died,
my husband said all he wanted for his birthday
was to go visit her grave.
His birthday is around Labor Day.
We had already made plans to take our kids
to Lego Fest (think Lego convention)
over Labor Day weekend that year.
Coincidentally (?) it was very close to where she is buried.
So we go to the Lego Fest
and as we're walking out
they were giving free little surprise packs
to Lego Club members.
My kids were like nah, we're good.
Now you know me...
free gift with purchase?
I was on it like white on rice.
I'll take three.
So we get to the car
and our youngest is opening the three surprise packs,
each of which was a little Lego minifigure.
He opened the last one and disappointedly announced
Wah wah wah.
As one of five girls I was like...
Are you kidding me?
I'd love a girl lego.

Give me that thing.
That's so lucky.
Those are so rare.
I'm so glad you passed on it.
I'd be happy to have it.
I fawned all over that Lego
like it was the last treasure on earth.
I stuck it in my purse
without looking at it
so that I didn't lose it in the car.

We visited her grave site that weekend.
She's buried in a beautiful place
unlike any I've ever seen.
In ten days it will be two years since she left.
Another wave.
Hang on.

It took a while for me to look at the little Lego girl
after we got home that weekend.
I ended up putting it on a little ledge above my kitchen sink.
I wanted my boys to see her every day,
to know that I had put her in a place of prominence.
Because I'd thought {wrongly} that they didn't want the girl toy.
Really I don't think it was meant for them.
It took me a few days before I really looked at her.
To notice the little Lego girl had wings.
Like that of an angel...

always in a southern state of mind

And it hit me.
She looked just like her.
Brown hair, pulled back, big brown eyes.
I can't remember how long it took me to tell my husband.
That to me, it was like a sign of some sort.
A little "hey, I'm still here."
He didn't say much when I told him.
He doesn't believe in some things like I do.
Like people still being "around" after they're gone.
He doesn't have to.
I think that enough for both of us.
I will tell you this though...
some time last year
I noticed that the little pink wand was missing.
It may sound goofy but I was upset about it.
I asked everyone if maybe she had fallen
and if they'd seen it anywhere.
Nobody knew where it went.
It may sound weird but it really upset me.
One day soon after
a package arrived in the mail.
I knew from the return address
that it was from the Lego store.
I admit I rolled my eyes.
I thought for sure my husband had ordered yet another Lego set.
I can't tell you how bad I felt
when I opened it up and out tumbled
a single little pink wand.
He's a keeper, my love of a lifetime.
I see her every day, the little Lego girl.
It makes me think of her...
Life life fully y'all.
Show up.
Be seen.
Dare greatly.


  1. Ohhhhh Nancy, I am typing this through my tears. So sweet. Just like you, I believe in those little signs. When my Mom passed away 12 years ago, we moved to Dallas 3 months after. It turned out the street next to ours was the name of the street she grew up in Conn. And then I found out that the name of the girls' new school was her maiden name. I kind of felt like she wanted me to know that she was still there. Grief is a funny thing. The only thing that lessens it is time. It's kind of hard to end this post with have a good weekend, but have a good weekend.

  2. I love the way you are able to share your feelings. I know this must be a hard time for you and your family, but good for you for honoring her memory with the way you are living your life!

  3. Nancy, I'm crying as I type my comment. We don't have children, so I don't know the loss of a child, but I do know the loss of a brother who died far too young and because of a driver's reckless behavior. We had lost our dad to a sudden heart attack just years before. Again, far too young. I watched my mom try to navigate the pain. We couldn't even talk on the phone without one of us breaking apart. I can relate to your pain.
    As for the little Lego girl ~ yes, I believe in messages from the other side. I had just such an experience in December. My husband, who like yours doesn't sense the same, just held me close and assured me that it was indeed a message. The incident is too long to share here, but it was so obvious. Like your Lego girl.
    Hugs of comfort sent your way.


Blog Design by Get Polished