Thursday, October 25, 2007

My brother is a GRANDDAD!

By the way, my brother is MUCH older than I am! However, as of 10:30 last night, he has a gorgeous, healthy, adorable grandson. Mommy and Daddy are doing well, too. Congratulations Erica and Joshua!

Nathan and I went up to the hospital last night to wait for the baby to be born, and it was like a family gathering! It was good to see everyone, but it was difficult in some ways, too. It was the same hospital where all our children were born, same hospital where Joshua (Daddy) was born, and unfortunately the same hospital where Todd had some of his tests and his biopsy done. Lots of memories.

Today we took the new baby a teddy bear and a big balloon to welcome him into this world. God is good. A new life...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Toby Faith

Toby Faith turned 4 years old today. It was the third birthday she celebrated without Daddy. It's all so hard to believe. We missed Daddy so very, very much today. When the other kids were younger, we used to celebrate birthdays at Chuck-E-Cheese. I just couldn't do it the other years, but this year we took the Tobster to Chuck-E-Cheese for her birthday. Lots of memories. Toby loved it. The older siblings were wonderful. Toby's oldest brother bought her a Chuck-E-Cheese teddy bear. It's hard to imagine that in a crowded noisy restaurant, one can be so lonely.

Happy Birthday, Toby.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Yes! Can you believe it? Yes, indeed. There is joy.

Lately I've been living in another deep, thick cloud of sadness in missing Todd. I've been crying a lot more. My heart is heavy. I hate the nights. I can't sleep. The mornings come and I don't want to see another day. I have trouble moving through the next hour. Everything seems so overwhelming. I feel so alone.

HOWEVER, after hearing a message from God's Word in the book of I Peter last night, God showed me that there is still joy. How can this be? It lies in the fact that I have a hope, a security, and "home" in heaven. I pray these verses (I Peter 1:7-9) bring encouragement to whomever reads:

"That the trial of your faith, being much much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full or glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." (HEAVEN!)

Remember that song from Mercy Me, Homesick? "I've never been more homesick than now!"

Saturday, October 13, 2007

No more letters

I can't. I was sitting here thinking of what I would write to Todd, but there are so many things that I just can't put into a blog. If I could truly write to Todd, the letters could not possibly be much to tell him, so much to share, so personal, so boring for anyone who doesn't understand.

I suppose the best I can do is write here the tales of my children, and unfortunately that may mean the inclusion of some great heartache and pain as I continue to try to raise these children without their Daddy and my best friend.

The last few days have been filled with conversations about Daddy and things he had done or said. I think it's because of the change in seasons and all that we did together as a family this time of year. We put our summer lawn things away: the swings, the porch furniture, the toys... "Daddy would always give us one last swing before he took the swings down." or "Daddy never put the chairs away without taking the cushions off first and putting them in a bag." ugh. I want to scream, "I'm not Daddy!" but I don't.

I was scrubbing the tub today, which used to be something Todd did for me all the time. I was tired, and I couldn't stop the tears, when Toby came behind me and asked what I was doing. I blurted out in frustration and exhaustion, "One of Daddy's jobs." She answered quickly in return, "But Daddy's in heaven, him can't do jobs." Her sweet answer to my complaint made me stop and thank God for Todd and for heaven. She is right; Todd can't do jobs here on earth, but he can praise His Savior and God continuously. He is enjoying our ultimate goal and hope in this life. He's finished his jobs on earth. He is so blessed. It makes me long for that day when we are all in heaven together praising our Lord and Savior, and the jobs on earth are done! Oh, what a day. I pray for it to come soon.

Dear Todd: God is good!

Hey, hon. God has been so good to us. I guess you know all about His goodness now, walking side by side with our Saviour, enjoying the ultimate of His goodness in heaven! I can't wait to join you some day. I miss you. We all miss you; you were in our conversation a lot today.

The kids are doing well. They've been asking me to take them to the zoo again. I hope to get them there sometime next week. Toby especially loves the zoo.

Speaking of the Tobster, I wish you could have been with us Wednesday night. She has started attending the club at church with the "big kids," and she has been so much fun to watch. She says her verses, and this week was "Do that which is honest." When the teacher asked if the children had ever heard someone tell a lie, Toby's little hand went straight up in the air. "Abey told a lie and said I was stinky. I wasn't stinky. Him told a lie." She's growing up. Next Friday will be so difficult without you here. Four years old, Todd. Can you believe it?

God continues to be so good to us. He is watching and caring for us in your absence. It's not easy without you, but God is faithful and so good. The kids are doing well in school, and Abe is having a good start to his college days. Love you so very, very much...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Letters To Todd

I think I solved my dilema of wanting to write "tales" about the children, yet constantly finding myself writing about Todd and how much we miss him. I'll write to Todd, telling him about the kids! Brilliant, I know. So here's my first letter:

Hey sweetie,

It's been 29 months and 3 days since we said goodbye here on earth. I know you are enjoying all the blessings of heaven, but I wanted to let you know how things are here.

The kids are growing so fast! Abe started college last month. He graduated from high school with honors and he even received an award for "excellence in mathematics!" He's adjusting well to college and getting excellent grades. Today he received a 108, the highest in his class, on an English assignment! He also received the highest score in his jazz appreciation class yesterday on another quiz...a 106. He's doing well.

The others are doing well in their school work too. Both Tiff and Winter scored high in their PSSA tests. We have smart kids, Todd! And are you ready for this? I started trying to homeschool the Tobster. She learned how to write her name! It's so cute. She's also learning the other letters (slowly) and how to count. She seems to be picking up things easily. Remember, her birthday is next Friday. She'll be four years old. She misses you and talks about you alot.

Today was a long day. I took Winter to see Dr. Paul tonight. She's been choking again, and he gave us another medicine (besides the prevacid he prescribed in the summer), and he also went over everything with me again. He said we need to have a plan worked out in our head so we don't panic. You were right again....he reminded me that it is important to stay calm, just like you used to say all the time.

I have so much more to tell you, but I'm going to end this one here for tonight. You would be so proud of our kiddos, hon. They are all doing well. There isn't a day, rather an hour, that goes by without us talking about you. We all love you so very much and miss you more than words could express. I'll write again soon! Wendy

Saturday, October 6, 2007

29 Months Today......and life goes on...and on...and on...and on...

Life goes on, yet in some strange way these 29 months feel like a dream, almost as if time has stood still. I can't describe it. Most everyone who knew Todd has continued on with their lives much the same way they had 29 months ago. Life goes on. So now what? I know the truths and promises on which I must stand firm on and cling to. I know God has not forsaken us when Todd died. I know God has a reason. I know God's ways are not our ways. I know God loves us very much and has promised us eternal life when we trust in Him as our only way for salvation. I know I will one day see Todd again. But what NOW? It's so hard to move forward, believing the promises and truths of God's Word, when you hurt so bad and miss someone so much. What does God want from me now? All I can do is trust. It should be easy to trust a God who is all-powerful, all-knowing, so good, and the Creator of the universe. But I'm struggling with it all tonight. One of my favorite songs is from the movie, "Joseph, King of Dreams," You Know Better Than I. If you have never seen the movie, the songs plays when Joseph is in prison, after being falsely accused. God knew the path He had laid for Joseph; God knew what He was doing; all Joseph needed to do was trust. I find myself in that prison tonight. Help me, God, to trust you more and keep moving forward.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Rose

Today I was feeling extra sad, missing Todd and praying my way through the day. Todd never needed an occassion or a reason for giving me flowers, especially roses. If he was passing a flower shop or a place that sold flowers and they caught his eye, he would bring me home roses.

When Todd knew he was going to die, without me knowing, he talked to my sister and told her that he wanted her to buy me a rose bush. He said he wanted me to continue to receive roses from him, even when he was not here physically to give them to me. On the Sunday after he died, my sister and brother-in-law planted that very special gift from Todd to me. It is a treasure.

I was walking slowly up the driveway today, thinking about Todd and how much I miss him, feeling extra sad, and looked up to see this rose in full bloom today, on a day I needed it badly; I had to take a picture.

Thank you, Todd. I love you too.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Changing Seasons

It's that time of year again. There's a crispness in the air. The leaves are changing colors, and many have already fallen, making the walk to the mailbox noisy as you crackle them underfoot. The stores are filled with candy and Halloween decorations. There are cornstalks and pumpkins everywhere. Pumpkins. Yes, it's that time of year again.

Todd loved the fall. To him it was the beauty and magnificance of God's creation, reminding him daily of God's love and power joined in force to bring awe to his heart. It also marked the beginning of all the special holidays for him....Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. These he held dear, each having a special meaning and celebration for the great things his God had done in his life and for his family.

So when the pumpkins started appearing, Todd would be certain to help us find the "perfect" ones to decorate our home. As our family began to grow, we allowed the children to each pick a pumpkin as well.

Todd would spend hours arranging and organizing the pumpkins, cornstalks, hay bales, and corn to make our home the most attractive in the neighborhood. October 1st became a much anticipated day for pumpkin hunting for our family. Todd made this so much fun, as he would need to "inspect" each chosen pumpkin. The children always tried to find the best ones.

Our first October 1st without Todd, the children begged me to purchase the biggest pumpkin at the store on display for Daddy. That was fun lugging home, but we did it. Last year we stayed more low-key, and the boys decorated "just like Dad did." So here we are again, another October 1st. The children are excited. I thought each year things would get easier. The void left is even bigger this year. I'm "feeling" more, so every time I see the pumpkins, hear the leaves crunch, watch the trees changing colors, I ache for Todd's presence, for Todd's touch, for Todd's voice to remind us what an awesome God we have and the tears just flow. I miss him more as the changing seasons come. The chill in the air only serves to remind me of the coldness left in my heart and soul when Todd went to heaven.

I pray for God's strength. I need God's strength. I need to feel His love. As the seasons change....God, please help me.