Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Day We Celebrated Honey

I want to tell you about March 1, the day of my mom's Memorial Service.

I woke up that morning around 7:30 am and though "What do people do on days like this?"  I mean, "what's appropriate?"  Honey's funeral wasn't going to start until 2 pm, so I had a lot of time to kill.  

I went to a morning yoga class.  I can't remember if I cried during that class, but I remember taking a pile of tissue in with me and placing my mat at the far end of the room--just in case.

After the class, I went home, and it was oddly empty.  My husband and brother were running errands.  It was a beautiful morning - sunny and just the right temperature to sit outside - so I did.  I threw the ball with my dogs while listening to Praise & Worship music on Pandora.  At one point, some neighbors walked by and started talking with me, and even asked what I had planned for the day.  How do you tell someone that "in a couple of hours, we are celebrating my mom's life"?

All too quickly, the house was busy again with people, and I needed to get ready to go.  I walked out of my bedroom, ready to head to the church, and saw my brother standing in the kitchen looking out into the backyard - reflectively.  I don't think I'll ever forget how he looked.  "I must not cry, I must keep it together" became my mantra.

Flash-forward to 2 pm.  Pastor Joe left my siblings and our spouses in his office as he headed down to the sanctuary to being my mom's Memorial Service.  We didn't want to be in the sanctuary prior to the service beginning- you know, to avoid people, really.  We were going to have Praise & Worship first, so we decided to sneak in during the first song.  It was Phil Wickham's "This is Amazing Grace".  Then we sang "Shout Unto God" and ended with "I am all He says I am".  During this time, I let myself cry as I sang with all my heart.  

During the Eulogies, I was able to stand up and speak about my mom.  I didn't cry, so I was very proud of myself.

Oh - did I mention that my mom planned her own memorial service - down to every detail (including the songs we sang)?  Yes, she did.  She even recorded a video a week before she passed away that she wanted played during the service.  I'm pretty sure the whole church cried as it played.  After the video was show, there was an alter call, and 13 people were saved.

I want to share the video with you, so you can see how faithful my mom was, even in her final days.

My mom wanted to be "famous for God" and she wanted to share God's love with as many people as she could, so I find it fitting that even after her passing, she was leading people to Christ.  What an incredible legacy she left for me and my siblings.    

After the service and after going to dinner with my in-laws, I went to bed earlier than usual.  I turned on the fan I keep next to my bed, turned out the lights, and finally allowed myself to cry my eyes out as I drifted to sleep.   

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Grieving: What I've learned

Mom and I this past summer after one of our favorite things to do - High Tea

I read this post today, and wanted to share.  I'm still learning about grieving.  It comes in waves...usually in the early morning hours (4 - 5 am) or driving home from work.  It comes when people start talking about who has cancer.  It hits hard when someone talks about liver cancer.  Or when someone talks about my mom's memorial service.  One day, soon, I'll share that day and service with you all.

Here are some things I've learnt about grieving:
by bM contributor Toni Pearen

 1. Time passes but the days seem so slow when you're grieving. Take your time and honour yourself
and your own sadness. 

 2. Give yourself permission to grieve {or in my case a friend gave me permission...the best words spoken to me during the hardest times.} 

 3. The pain never passes but it gets easier to handle. 

 4. Seek therapy if desired or required. Sometimes you need to talk. 

 5. Don't avoid grieving. It is not something to be ashamed of. It is a part of life. 

 6. Never lose sight that life goes on and this is YOUR life to live. 

 7. Be kind to yourself and others. People grieve in different ways. 

 8. There is no remedy or ritual to make the pain stop. It's all the passing of time. 

 9. Never judge someone grieving. It is a dark place to pass through. Let them talk if they want or let
them sit and be silent. 

 10. If you are grieving, your heart will feel heavy, your body numb. The words are hard to find. Somedays you will feel sick, exhausted and unable to function. Feel assured one day you will smile and laugh again.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's been a Month

It's been a month since my mom died.  I am still trying to get "Thank You" notes out.  I can usually whip them out within a week, but writing these are draining.  "Thank you for ......  Mom would have been so honored..... "  It's hard writing to people and speaking "for" Mom at the same time.

It's been a month, and I still pick up my phone to call her on my way home from work.  Her phone hasn't been cut off, so I call anyway just to hear her voicemail message.  I also still dream about her like she's still here.

It's been a month, and I am still wearing waterproof mascara, because I never know when I'll burst into tears.  Driving home from work is typically when you can find me crying.  At our doctor's appointment, when we were watching the sonogram, all I could think was "I wish my mom could see this!"

It's been a month, and every Tuesday, I think "Mom died [x] weeks ago."  When will I stop counting?

It's been a month, and we still haven't completely cleaned out Mom's room.  I liken it to "Empty Nest" syndrome---you know, like when your kids go off to college?  We're keeping it set up just in case she decides to come home.  I walk past the room and feel empty.

It's been a month, and people stil ask me how I am.  WTF?!  How do I respond to that?  How do I put into words how I am?  I'm devestated.  But, you can't say that to people, because it's awkward for them.  So, I just smile and say "I'm doing great."

It's been a month............

Monday, March 24, 2014


Paul and I are so excited to share with you that we are expecting a baby boy this August!

As of today, I am 21 weeks pregnant, and I feel great...minus the sore lower back and stuffy nose.  I actually can't believe I'm so far along.  Where has the time gone?

Yes, my mom did know I was pregnant.  She went to my very first doctor's appointment with me and got to hear the heartbeat.  A few days before she died, she said something about having I figured then that she was speaking prophetically and that I was having a boy.  I wasn't shocked in the least bit when we popped the balloon and the blue confetti revealed what my mom had already told me!

We are over the moon excited and can't wait to start this new chapter in our lives!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mom's Memorial Service

It is with great sadness that my siblings and I let you know that our sweet Honey passed away this morning at 3 am.  She was an exceptional, faithful, loving, and wonderful woman who never doubted for one minute that she would one day walk the golden streets of Heaven with Jesus.  She's up in Heaven dancing with HIM right now---we just know it. 

We welcome you to come celebrate our beloved mom with us. 

Details for her memorial service are below: 

This Saturday, March 1, at 2 pm
Trinity Church Dallas - 4300 Cole Avenue, Dallas, TX 75205 

Per Mom's wishes, a contribution can be made to You Can Free Us in lieu of flowers.  This ministry was incredibly near and dear to her heart. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Life Changes Quickly

I've been debating whether to write a blog about this, which is why it's taken me so long.

2 weeks ago, I took my mom to the ER because she was in an unbearable amount of pain.  During the visit, the doctors found that her entire liver was consumed with cancer.  To repeat what the doctor said, "There is so much cancer that you can't distinguish the cancer from the liver."

She came home a couple of days later and we immediately set up hospice.  So, for the past 2 weeks, we've been living through her declining health.  We've been dealing with her decliding liver function.

It's all happened so quickly--the decline, that is.  One minute you are having High Tea at the Arboretum (top picture), and then next, you're helping her do daily tasks, like get in and out of bed.  Talk about her Memorial Service find their way naturally into conversations.  Her precious jewelry sits in the jewelry boxes of my siblings and me.

I find myself making breakfast in the morning, crying over my cup of tea.  Blow-drying my hair - crying.  Driving home from work - crying.  Waking up at 3 in the morning - crying.

There's no book written on how a 27 year old should handle losing her 52 year old mother.  So for now, I'll continue to cry my way through.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Elie Saab: Haute Couture

I am totally in love with Elie Saab.  Every collection he's produced has been fabulous, in my opinion.  His most recent 2014 collection, which just debuted in Paris, has not let me down.  I can only dream of the day I'd have a chance to wear one of these beauts to a gala!

Wouldn't the white pearl jacket & skirt be just amazing to wear to work???
What about that little purple number?  I'd wear it as my Easter Sunday dress.  
Which is your favorite?