The Healing

                             Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. Psalms 116 : 15

      Nestled safely in her resplendent southern bed with my father beside her embracing her frail, tiny body and all of her 7 children surrounding her, my mother spent her final few hours on this earth enveloped in the love of her family. It was truly a 'God thing' that we were all together for this significant and monumental moment. The Lord had allowed her to have a special goodbye with each one of her children and husband before He called her home to be with Him in heaven. When she took her last breath,  we all began to endlessly weep...all that I could see or feel as I closed my eyes was a big black hole and an arduous emptiness. Would life ever be the same again with the light and Matriarch of our family gone from our lives forever?


     Autum TreeThis story begins in the Autumn of 1989. I was newly engaged, on cloud 9, in 7th Heaven, filled with an unspeakable joy and excitement as my fiancée and I had decided on a 1990 January wedding in Dana Point California... Ahh the delightful season of autumn!  The  time of harvest embellished with a cornucopia of reds, oranges, yellows and golds gracing our eyes at every glance had arrived.  I loved the chilly breezes blowing on our faces, the welcoming roaring fires burning in our hearths and warm mulled cider comforting our hands and souls...This majestic season is one of my favorite as nature sings out the glorious handiwork of the Lord! This particular fall was a time in my life I will never forget. It was when I had a double whammy of hardship and had to turn to the Lord as I never had before.


      I was hurriedly on my way to pick up Kit, my fiancée of less than two  months. Capriciously, reaching into my purse that was positioned on the floor of the passenger seat, I was astounded when I looked up and saw that a pick up truck had stopped directly in front of me. Slamming on my breaks only buffeted my impact with the copious, over sized jet black truck. The Lord was gracious with me as I had not worn my seat belt and easily could have broken my nose as well as teeth as I was thrown into the steering wheel but fortunately, I only hit the gum area above my teeth at the blow of our two cars colliding. With blood everywhere, I was not only in shock but feeling quite the bemused one with my lack of good sense to have allowed myself to be distracted while driving. The man that I hit was quite angry at this mishap as he slammed the door of his truck and walked back to check on me. It just so happened, (But we all know that with the Lord there are no ' just so happens.') that one of the witnesses of the accident was a paramedic who was off duty at the time. She came to my aid and stayed until the police and ambulance showed up 

      I remember when the police arrived to the scene as if it were yesterday. The officer was a middle aged man who took down the report and then so kindly spoke these words to me;    “Susan, why are you crying? For all purposes the injuries from this accident to your body should be a lot worse, yet you are going to be just fine.”

      Replying back to him, ( and  I really meant it at the time) I spoke; “Because my car (a BMW my brother had sold me) is now totaled and I know I will never have one of these cars again.”

     He just  just shook his head in bewilderment. (When I look back on this scenario now, I guess it really was silly...I was safe, the other driver was safe and yes, I lost my BMW but I was really quite blessed.  (Still to this day favorite car of all time is the BMW I was blessed  to drive, if even for a short time.) I received stitches in the ER and was told to rest and take it easy for a week or so.

      During my recovery time when I was unable to work due to a very swollen upper lip and bruises, I got a call that changed my entire life. I will never forget as my mom spoke the news. I felt as if my stomach dropped and fell to the floor. After her check up, the doctors feared she had esophageal cancer. She had more tests to go through but it was as if somehow I knew inside my spirit that it was true. My life was filled with a cloud from that day on...the cloud that lurks over you...bringing forth fear, presumptuous thoughts, worst case scenarios. My heart was beyond heavy. Yes, I said all the right things to her, my mom and best friend in all the world...I told her it would all be OK ...God was going to heal her....we would all stand as one and fight this disease together. Our bond was so close that we both, no matter how brave our words were that we spoke to each other, (trying so hard to convince ourselves inside) felt the fear lurking deep within our hearts and heard that constant voice that said, “WHAT IF???”

     Saddleback hospitalHer surgery came quickly! The plan of attack was to remove a large part of her esophagus and start chemotherapy and radiation if needed. There on a weekday afternoon at the hospital waiting room, our family and some friends gathered together. Time seemed of no essence. We sat drinking bitter, over brewed coffee, our stomachs swimming with butterflies  as we waited for the doctor to come through the doors to tell us our 'awaited declaration.' A sigh of relief filled our hearts as we heard the words; “We believe we got it all, the surgery went well and we will decide what further plans we need to make after she recoups.”

     Life seemed a little brighter...hope filled our souls and we began to get back to our lives with a little bit more vigor. My wedding was only a few months away. There was an abundance of events to plan and a lot of dreaming to do!

     After my moms recovery from her surgery  the doctors began her chemotherapy immediately.  She was extremely tired and of course with the major part of her esophagus being removed, hardly had any appetite. There were plenty of times that Kit and I felt we should postpone our upcoming wedding in January. She would not even hear of it as it gave her something to look forward to. 

      Though weak as she recovered and began her therapies, the Lord was gracious in that she was able to come to one of my bridal showers. She looked gorgeous and very regal in her bright red blazer and stylish black skirt. It comforted my heart so to see her sharing with all my friends and our family, the joy of my marriage to Kit. You know to look at her that evening, you would never guess she had just come out of surgery and extensive therapy to kill any lingering cancer cells. Thank you Jesus for your miracles.

      Susan and her MotherOne of my favorite memories of ALL TIMES was the day of my Bridesmaids luncheon in January held at my parents lovely home in Laguna Niguel. We all blanketed ourselves in the beautiful ambiance our two hostesses, (my sister and mom) created for us that special day. Cloaked in fancifulness, all of their inventive details created a magical atmosphere ...a milieu of love, warmth and celebration. The menu was exquisite with chicken curry salad, fresh fruits, croissants with fresh butter, ice tea accompanied with sweet garden mint, a traditional groomsman cake with hidden treasures inside, topped off with freshly brewed coffee accented by delightful wintry flavored creamers. My father had built an enchanting fire to warm our souls as well as toes as festive music and glowing candles filled each room. My mom looked radiant in her classy red dress and pulchritudinous jewelry to match.  She was a hostess with pure southern charm as she made each of my bridesmaids feel pampered, convivial and esteemed.

      January 27th arrived in all of its excitement, splendor and fulfillment. My long awaited promise from the Lord finally coming true. I, being one who can never sleep in excited moments, asked my mom for one of her sleeping pills so I could sleep the night before my wedding day.OH MY!!! I slept, slept and slept some more...I was late to my own wedding and a bit spacey the whole day.(But hey, at least I looked rested!) The ceremony was more than what I had dreamed it would be. It was magical, blissful and a fairytale come true . My true knight and shining armor watched me with loving and adoring eyes as my father walked me down the aisle... It seemed so surreal. It was quite the comedic moment, (me being the emotional – drama queen that I am),  when Kit spoke his unbelievably breathtaking vows to me.  I was so touched that I began to cry...and each time I thought I was through shedding my tears of joy, Susan and Kit...  Loving that Garder Belt... I would begin crying some more, delaying our wedding ceremony for a diminutive amount of time! Everyone laughed... including Kit, myself and my brother Dan who performed our ceremony.  Eventually, I was able to get control and speak my vows to Kit. Our guests were relieved! After being proclaimed with our new title of  ' man and wife,' we took a long stem red rose to Kits mother and then to my mom.  My beautiful elegant mom, all dressed up in her Linda Evans designer suit with matching shoes and stunning jewelry. As I looked at her and gave her a kiss, I could not help but think of how many days she and I had sat and talked and dreamed together of my wedding day...she adored Kit and was so thrilled that I had waited and received Gods highest for my life. She had lost so much weight...was so fatigued from all of her treatments, but she looked like a movie star and was such a trooper.

      The reception followed and was again, a dream come true as it drew us into a sweet place of reverie. There was a delicious cuisine of savory beef and chicken entrees , vegetable casseroles, fresh greens and plenty of hot delicious breads and butter as well as an abundance of ambrosial champagne for toasting and celebrating. All of our guests  had the time of their lives   swaying, twisting and grooving to the songs of a wondrous band with the first dance of the evening being Anita Baker's 'Sweet Love”...Kit's and my special wedding song...Kit and I began our blissful dance and before we knew it, the dance floor was filled with all of our guests. More highlights of the gala being a money dance, special dances with my dad, brothers, Kit's dad and his brother Alan, my brother Rob dropping me on the dance floor, (but he picked me up with out too many people noticing...I hope) and a fast getaway in my brother James Mercedes, (with heated seats to keep us warm on this chilly winter evening) to our honeymoon night at the Marriott Hotel nestled above the Newport Dunes. (The dunes were one of my  favorite childhood places as  my father would take us  there on weekends and the summer seasons to recreate in our boat, water ski and enjoy many a scrumptious picnics. It was also  the very place I was baptized in the 1970”s.)

      Apple Farm in Northern Ca.We honeymooned in California's vast gorgeous wine country having the time of our lives. The B&B's we stayed at ranged from Victorian mansions, a rustic seaside cottage with the best breakfast in the world, and the honey moon suite at Apple Farm inn where the jacuzzi tub and eccentric fireplace lured us into staying an extra night. Every day was like magic as we toured the wineries, stopped in quaint eateries and dined at some of the finest restaurants in all of Santa Barbara. We arrived home in Laguna Niguel to a wonderful evening with my mom and dad to open our wedding gifts. I could see how tired my mom was yet she never complained , always putting herself into each event 100%. We were all still in a place of HOPE...praying and believing in the miraculous power of Jesus for a full recovery.

       Being newly married was wondrous. Kit and I would go over and see my parents on a regular basis. My mom seemed to be doing great... her chemotherapy and radiation had been successful and though she was tired, her spirits were good and we had many a wonderful  visits.

       **March 11, 1990**  "We are renting the master suite at my brother Albert's lovely town home in Laguna Niguel. Just as I'd  dreamed all of my life it would be, I absolutely love being married. Kit and I don't mind saving our money for our own place while staying with family for a short time...our jobs keep us very busy and we spend a lot of our free time at the harbor, watching movies, or at my mom and dads visiting. I love to cook for my new husband and we have even had my parents over for a gourmet meal as Kit is a fabulous cook! As I am alone in my times of prayer and pondering all that has happened over these last months, I don't feel that same darkness with the roweling thoughts of mom dying. I feel hope. I believe she has a wonderful chance of staying cancer free. God answered my prayer for a husband..Kit is the very best...surely He will hear our prayers for our beloved mom, the cornerstone of our family ...I am happy, hopeful and am thrilled that we live so close to my parents so I can see mom as often as I want. Thank you Lord for all of this joy.”

      Mother's Day with KathrynWe had a very special Mothers day at a resplendent park in Dana Point overlooking the harbor. It was a gorgeous sunny day and certainly a time of celebration. A BBQ, delicious foods , laughter, fellowship and love. Though I had had a lot of hope during these months, suddenly that old troublesome  voice popped up and I found myself battling within my soul... “Will this be the last Mother's day with my mom? Oh how I hated those thoughts.

     What I have come to believe in my Christian walk is that HOPE is not a is a is JESUS HIMSELF. In 1st Timothy, verse 1 it says that Jesus is our hope....In PS. 39:7 It says, “And now, Lord what do I wait for hope is in you.” When I think of hope and the gift it gives us in every unbearable circumstance, I first think the hope is that the Lord will give me what I so desperately want and feel I need but matured hope is getting to the place where I can trust the heart and will of Jesus for me more so than what I think is best. I is not easy...only in the grace of Jesus can we surrender to what He desires  more than what we want.  In my spirit, I had the hope of a child that God could heal my mom in the twinkling of an eye. My struggle? Was  it God's will to heal her and give her many more years with her family? I knew if she died, it would not be the cancer that would be the Lord s time for her to go...Still, I struggled as never before...perhaps my hardest struggle ever! I wanted her to be with us for an abundant amount of time and  could not bare the thought of her being gone, thus the words would not come honestly from my heart...”Lord your will (not mine) be done.”

      The autumn season arrived and once again, Kit and I were so very blessed by God as He opened the door for us to get our own place. Our home was a cozy townhouse in Mission Viejo California, only 20 minutes from my parents home. We had more joy and fun fixing up our new haven and before we knew it, the holidays had arrived. We spent Thanksgiving at a resplendent restaurant in a classy high rise hotel in Irvine. No, it was not the normal Thanksgiving with our enormous extended family at my parents home, where my mom would always prepare a feast that included every delicacy one can imagine. From the butter ball turkey, giblet gravy, sweet potato soufflé to mince meat and pumpkin pie, with real whipped cream and hard sauce, it was a feast fit for a king. Everyone helped out with side dishes and our home looked like something out of Southern Lady or Vitoria magazine. This year the glory of the day was seeing my mom, dressed like royalty and at peace as she sat at our colossal elegant table. She was at peace  and did not have to do a single thing for our celebration of thanks. She was tired most days and still did not have much of an appetite. It was difficult as if you knew my mom, you would know that one of her passions was good, southern food and boy could she cook! Her biggest joy during these days was when she and my dad would take a drive to the charming Dana Point Harbor. He would park by the Jetty and she loved to sit and watch all the waves crashing, the boats swaying in the choppy waters as the strong gales blew, as well as the diversity of all the sea birds flying about and landing joyfully upon the jetty rocks. Their trips to the harbor were a  special time for her and my dad as they sat together bundled up from the cold, enjoying each others company.

      ** November 30th 1990 **   "Dear Lord, it is so hard to imagine that I may never have another birthday where first thing in the morning, my phone rings and it is my mom's sweet southern accent sending me her love and wishes for a blessed and happy day. I can't even fathom that our Christmas' will be void of my mom's superb cooking, her eyes twinkling as she opens her gifts with such vigor by the fire Christmas morning or that she and I will not sit at her kitchen table sipping our fresh chicory coffee, or glass of chardonnay talking about all the events of our week. What will life be like without her very presence in this world.. Lord, how can I bare this... Please Lord, send us a miracle...We all need my mom so much...Please, give us more time.”


      “Happy happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth and transport the sailor, the traveler thousands of miles away back to his own fireside and his quiet home.” Charles Dickens

      Christmas here in our home and in yours... :- )I love was one of the happiest seasons in our home growing up...we all needed the HOPE, MAGIC and memories of our Christmas' past this year more than ever. My father did the cooking and it was delicious.(Though he thought he ruined the prime Rib as he cooked it to long but to all of us, it was superb!) It was a sad Christmas in the sense that my mom was upstairs in her bed as we shared our Christmas dinner. She had no appetite and was not feeling well. Dinner was not the same without her. She lit up a table like no one I know could, where amidst her beauty and charm, she shared many a heart thumping story of her southern heritage and childhood with sentences that just SANG!

      New Years Eve was a blessing and a very memorable evening as mom was feeling  well enough for Kit and I to come over and bring dinner and a movie. We all sat together, laughing an enjoying our gourmet pizza as we watched Doc did our hearts good to see her up and enjoying the evening as well as seeing my dad so comforted that she was happy!

      **January 17th, 1991**    " I am sitting on our balcony in Mission Viejo, California. The sun is setting...the sky is a blend of dark orange, brilliant yellow and soft pink....the pain within my heart at just the thought of my mom dying is beyond what I can I deny, pretend, ignore and put the pain in a place that can not invade my soul. The pain finds me when I curl up next to Kit each night to sleep...I long for sleep because it helps me forget...enables me to escape the pain even if just for 8 hours...Oh the horrible, anguishing pain in my soul, Lord I am begging you not to take my mom from us.... Thank you God for sleep."

     1991.....Perhaps the hardest year I have ever walked through....My mom was getting weaker and weaker...she had reoccurring pain and it gave us all a scare.  By spring, as the doctors did their tests, her blood levels were showing that the cancer had returned. No formal diagnosis had been made and just seemed that the awful, unbearable fear began lurking around us all once again each day. Each one of us, her 7 kids, as well as my dad, dealt with this news in different ways. Me? I have always been a firm believer that God can and will do whatever His heart purposes...Nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible with the childlike faith gave me hope and I refused to believe He was going to take her at the young age of 67.

       **May 1st. 1991**   "I am laying in our guest room bed, looking out my vast and wide window...I see the moon and heart is breaking. I can't sleep and I don't want to Keep Kit up. Somehow, coming into our second bedroom with the beautiful, Victorian cozy comforter my mom and I bought together comforts my soul, but still, I can not seem to get rid of that horrible sick feeling that soon, my mom is going to die. Looking at the galvanized sky, I pray and ask the Lord to speak to my heart as He always does... “Please Lord give me a sign, a word, a passage to show me that my mom is going to make it.” After waiting, almost begging Him, (which I know there is never a need to do), He is silent. Oh how I hate His silence...I face my deep fear...I cry..I cry out...I finally fall asleep.."

      Spring, usually a time of rebirth, glory and an abundance of color, was instead a very bleak, strenuous and arduous season for us all. The news we so disparagingly feared came at the end of the season....her cancer had returned. The hope from the doctors was no longer there. Her final diagnosis came in the summer and they gave her only 6 weeks at best to live...Those weeks were beyond challenging. To be honest with you, I did not think I was going to make it. The Lord carried me everyday with His oh -so-amazing grace . We all knew before she did that her cancer had returned, making it the most difficult of days as I would try so hard to not allow her to see the sadness  in my eyes as she would speak excitedly about future plans. Finally when my dad told her, (And I will never forget this day as only my mom could be so humorous, innocent and scared at the same time.) in their cozy living room that her cancer had come back and  had aggressively spread, she sat down on the couch, cracked a smile and said; “Oh is that what all this is? All this time I thought that I just had bad gas....” We all cried, embraced one another and knew that in the time we had left, we would all make the best of each day and would receive our courage and strength from God alone.

       The Lord blessed those last weeks in so many ways...How many people get the time to say and do all the things they need to in knowing a beloved one is going to die? A bounty of wonderful conversations and intimate moments occurred in those last weeks between our family and mom as well as some of her cherished friends. My favorite day was the afternoon my mom and I sat on her bed talking about how much she loved Kit and she was so thrilled that I was happily married to a Godly man. She cried as she spoke of the children I had always dreamed some day that I would have...her sorrow was that she would never get to meet them or  be a part of their lives. ( She and I had already named them all during the many years I waited for God to bring Kit into my life) My dream was to have my little Kathryn Ann...( named after her and my twins sister that died at 8 months old ) and Joshua Ryan...(Joshua being one of my favorite men of the bible and Ryan after my father.) She shared with me that she wanted me to have her grandmothers china as when I was a little girl and I watched her set our Holiday tables with fine linens, crystal and china, I was awe struck over the Limoges rose design with touches of gold. She was adamant that her 5 boys have all the heirloom family silver, especially the antique candelabra that she inherited from her kissin-cousin Grace from South Carolina. A lady whom mom loved with all of heart! We cried, hugged and spoke everything there was to say from deep within our hearts. Hearts that were both a little numb, broken, fearful and trying so very hard to trust our God in the midst of all the trauma, uncertainty and pain.

      It was mid August...I kissed Kit goodbye as he headed off to work. As I sipped my morning coffee, the phone rang. It was my brother telling me to come as quickly as possible to mom and dads...Upon arriving, I was numb. My two eldest siblings were there with my father as we awaited the last four in our family to arrive.  Each of us got 'our moment' alone with mom...she could not speak..her eyes were barely opened. The hospice nurse said for all purposes, she should have died in the night, but she fought each breath to see her family one last time. God graciously granted this time to us all.  He also enabled me to tell her that it was OK to go. After such a long battle,  finally, because of Jesus and His grace, I could say; "Lord, not my will but yours be done."   It was when the last of her children spoke to her that she then knew it was OK to go...and she did just that. We all hugged one another, wailed, embraced each other for comfort and then cried some more. No one wanted the mortuary to take her body away as silly as that may sound. Yes, we all knew that she was no longer there in her body, but there was something about 'letting her go, saying our last goodbyes to the beautiful vessel that housed such an extraordinary lady ...we all camped out at the house drinking coffee feeling it was all so surreal, talking, then crying. Time was of no essence... Kit arrived from work and as he hugged me, I burst out again in tears...hoping that somehow if I cried enough, the pain and horror I felt would leave my body.

      The much dreaded visit to the mortuary to make sure our beloved mom was dressed in one of her favorite dresses and her make up and hair were true to her elegant style and  appearance, the funeral, graveside ceremony and reception held at their home in Laguna Niguel were all events that carried a numbness and hypnagogic sense to them. All the days following her death passed in a rush, one day mincing into the next. I was seeing a psychiatrist at this time as in my mothers illness and my fear of her dying, I began to have tremendous reactions within my mind, emotions and physical body. I developed an anxiety disorder with harsh attacks where I felt overwhelmed, claustrophobic and could not breath. Often times, my heart raced to where I felt I was having a heart attack. My doctor put me on Zannix and I went weekly to counsel and work out my issues with my fears. My attacks were so bad that I was also on disability as  my busy job at a corporate bank office was beyond what I could possibly put my self into at the time.

      The months after my moms death were filled with some of the hardest days I have ever walked through. Besides Jesus, my saving grace was a very devoted and loving husband , my siblings, father and two cherished girlfriends Kim and Gaylene who each drove down one day a week and took me to lunch just to get my mind off of the pain and give me a change of scenery.  Still, the pain in my soul, the deep grief was almost at times unbearable. The dark  empty hole that occupied such a huge part of my soul seem to drag me down when I was not busy or around people and occupied. I hated being alone. Always a TV had to be on, or someone there to talk to, whether in person or on the phone ...I was running from this horrific pain yet somehow, my avoidance of it did not release it's grasp and hold upon me. I had lost so much weight and my poor husband walked in one night to tell me how very lonely he was for me, his wife...I was retreating into my grief and like an addiction, it would not lift.

      It was a chilly evening in Late October that Kit took me to a home bible study near by that he heard was really good. The study was uplifting and I was glad we had decided to go. The man who lead the study asked as we were all sitting and conversing with our refreshments;  “Is there someone here tonight that has a broken heart? I feel the Lord has a healing for you.” Everything in me was fighting to speak up as I was brand new to all of these people and I did not want to break down in front of strangers or be too needy our first night at the study...(hey , I think that is called pride!!!!) The Lord prompted me a few times saying to my spirit...."Share your heart with these not allow fear to take over.” So, I obeyed and began sharing. I opened up about my unbearable grief, that I was seeing a doctor, taking Xanax , sleeping pills and felt like I was dying inside.  All they did was listen, cry with me, hug me and pray. I felt so much love and hope....

      A few weeks passed and still, that horrible pain invaded my soul, my home, my marriage, body and relationship with Jesus... I was in our living room dancing and doing my aerobics when I finally spoke out “Lord, why am I even trying to exercise and live my life  with this devastating and overwhelming pain...I just give up.” With that declaration I fell to the floor sobbing. I was alone, Kit was at work...I sobbed and sobbed...suddenly what happened next is an event that will forever fill my heart....A warmth came down upon me, entered my whole body and soul...the warmth felt so wonderful as with it came a peace that I had never felt...every bit of pain, grief, sadness, fear and depressed emotion left me and I was filled to overflowing with an unspeakable JOY..I got up and felt like dancing...(this time praising God, not doing aerobics.)  I hardly knew how to act, think or feel as that horrible grief had become my inseparable partner for so long...I wanted to put on a cute outfit, go to dinner with Kit, call up my friends and family to say that I was Susan again....but did I dare??? Have you ever had the fear that something is just to good to be true? That perhaps if you speak it out in public, it will be jinxed? I kept thanking God, but said nothing. The next day I woke up and guess what? It was still there...I felt life, joy, love and peace...each day and night it new found friend....Finally, Kit spoke out one night and said ; “Susan, I know something has happened to you...You are not that same sad woman any are vibrant, filled with life and joy and love...I have my Susan back.” I hugged him and cried finally telling someone for the first time what happened on the Living room floor.

      That epic day happened on November 7th, 1991...less than 3 months after my moms death. To this day, that oppressive grief has never come is perhaps one of the most voluminous healings the Lord has ever done for me. I truly knew the meaning of the passage in Song of Solomon....verse 2:6....His left hand is under my head and His right hands embraces me. With the hands of Jesus holding me, I came into a knew assurance that He could take care of anything that came against my soul and spirit. He quickly healed my anxiety disorder as well and I never took another Xanax again. (My psychiatrist was in shock that I never had to be weaned off my medications and that I no longer needed grief counseling). I was so happy to be able to tell her that is was all Jesus...a miracle and that I was whole again through no efforts, power or strength of my own.



       **November 14th, 1991**  " My moms been gone now for 4 months. I miss you mom each and every day. I know now that I am going to be OK.” Jesus has touched that dark, barren place that hurt so bad and has given me joy and life..His life and hope...I am getting ready to have a magnificent Christmas drop in with 40 would love our home...all bedecked for the holidays...I am fixing all of the dishes you made for Christmas...I am playing all of your favorite carols, we will have a convivial fire in our fireplace, candles lit filling our home with the fragrances of holly and gingerbread....I will bake your special rum balls, and serve eggnog warmed with whip cream...Forever you will be in my heart for you are absolutely one of the most cherished gifts God has ever given me...I had you for almost 33 years of my life...and I know we will reunite in heaven with a party like no other....Thank you mom for the gift of your love and your love for Jesus...thank you Jesus for my mom...I know Lord that she is up there telling one story after another, the story teller that she is...I can sleep tonight...I will curl up next to Kit and do not have to run away any longer  from the old ghosts of fear, pain and grief for I am whole... I am at peace and fully healed...Thank you God for all of your mighty works in Jesus!"



Grantham, A story for all dog and God lovers! The Lord blessed Kit and I with our dream come true and a gift that would bless us more than we could imagine. 
An Appearance to Remember It was a dark, stormy day.....
The Letter I will never forget this night for as long as I live...God's grace is awesome.
You Can Never Out*Give God...My gift of Addison There she was, unabashedly standing in front of our home, beckoning me.... 
A Transformation of Every Kind. What happened next was beyond my comprehension.