Friday, December 2, 2011


At least that is two things I can tell you so far.

1.  You may find out the healing is not quite done... even if you think it is. Because once you hit a safe place in life... your body may decide to finish the crying it started and never finished.

2.  Sometimes your past comes back to bite you in the butt!  My husband went in for a routine procedure today... and all I could think of was last time I took my husband in for a routine procedure... my life changed.  Thankfully, today the procedure is over and life is just as it was before.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I think it was probably perfect that I was ornery and crabby to the dear man the night he proposed.  It sets the stage for life in all reality... right?   He cannot say he didn't know what he was getting into.  :)

We had a perfect wedding.  He, me and our six kids, a friend to marry us and two friends to witness.  Right in the living room. A dinner with just us and the kids followed in the dining room and a couple months later a summer picnic to celebrate our new life, our new beginning on our lawn.

I am so grateful for him.  I try everyday to not take him for granted and to remember all the good he brings to my life.

He is a blessing.  But it has been an emotional roller coaster... in a new way.  I worked for years building up systems and structure that kept me standing.  Now I have to change those systems and knock down that structure and build new.  It is hard.  Really hard.  He is tender and allows me to move slowly and listens to me cry about closing bank accounts, even though there is no way he understands why that makes me cry (I don't even get it 100%).  I just know and feel that I am making myself very vulnerable again.  Vulnerable to loss.  But it is worth it. Because every day I have joy and love.

It comes again.  It really comes again.

Now... years of 'bad' behaviors used to help me survive... I need to learn to thrive everyday.  It is a journey... and I'm not sure how to really get there.  A journey many of us need to take. We endure hardships and come out the other side stronger... but not always thriving.  Just happy to survive.  Help me learn how and share your wisdom to EVERYDAY THRIVING!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I was ready.  I wanted to marry him and I had been praying about it for 11 months.  I knew it was right.  I knew he loved me and my kids.

But, he had not proposed.  We talked marriage like it was expected.  But, he had not proposed.  There were times I was bothered by this.  I was in deep.  My kids were in deep.  It had been 11 months.  He only had one month before our proposed "timeline" came due. 

I didn't want him to feel pressured. I wanted to be patient. But I wanted to shake him and say what is the hold up?? Do you want it or not?  I convinced myself I would wait until the one year mark... THEN... then we would have a serious conversation! :)

One year and one day from when we met I was crabby.  He had planned to propose.  I am certain the evening did not go as smoothly as he had planned.


Dating as a parent is challenging. 

1.  I was always exhausted.  Any conversation that we tried to have after 9pm was useless.  Neither one of us could think stratight.
2. Seeing eachother before 9pm and actually being able to talk without one of six children needing to interrupt... impossible
3. Dates? Vital, but are they realistic?
4. Most times of trying to sit down and relax and enjoy the other person turned into both of us falling asleep sitting up on the couch within minutes of sitting.

It was hard. How long do you keep this up?  It seemed like a month would pass and I would have to ask myself... has anything changed in our relationship in this past month?  Often, the answer was no.  That was good because we were in a good place. That was bad because I wondered if we were moving forward.

One evening we discussed the issue and the time-frame.  When kids are involved in the relationship and you see them getting closer and closer to the guy you are dating... it is a little scary.  My kids loved him, and I loved him.... but what if something happened and he and I went our different ways?  How much of a blow would that be to my kids?

One year.  That was the time frame we decided on. 

After 9 months I started to panic a bit.  Life as a single-parent is challenging and sometimes so challenging that you focus more on the day-to-day then you do thinking long-term.  Were we doing that?  Was the sheer challenge of spending quality time together hampering our progress and dragging this out?  Or did we already know that this was it and we just needed to focus on it and make the necessary steps.?  I didn't want to see my kids hurt.  R and I needed to make some moves so there was no longer this unknown... But, being the sole person in charge for six years.... giving that up was also requiring some tough changes on my half.  I no longer had to do it all.  I no longer could call all the shots.  I have to admit some nights I was happy to go home and be in charge and in complete control... just for a moment.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


That was the beginning.... and bit by bit we moved ahead. We told the kids, began to integrate our lives a bit, and took "test" trips to see how everyone did when crammed in a car together.  We dealt with broken down cars and last minute changes to our schedules.  We had kids who loved each other and then didn't.  There was an entire side to this relationship that was good and wonderful and fun to watch how it wove together.

Then there was the other side...Getting close to someone meant they saw me for how I really was.  They saw my flaws in parenting and in life.  And... someone seeing it - made it very real and made me more accountable.  It was uncomfortable.  That feeling was only exaggerated by having a man in my kids life who was a father and was keenly aware of all the "boy" things I had never done with my boys or exposed them to.  It became extraordinarily clear the gap that had been created from years of single-parenting... from years of not having their father.  There was sadness and pain in that.  My first reaction was to run... but I knew I needed to face this reality that was our life.  There was great things in our life and for years I had just focused on that and had lost sight of what we were missing.  The process of dating "R" caused me to mourn and grieve for the experiences... the simple pleasures my children had lost in their childhood.

One day I stood in the driveway and watched as R played catch with a football with my boys.  I was sad to think my boys had never done that at home before that day.  There was happiness and joy in their eyes.  There was a fun that returned that had not been felt for years.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


R left for Chicago the next morning and I tried to clear my head with no luck.  I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep and I had no idea why.... it was the craziest thing.  

Sitting at work 'the day after', I was paged by the receptionist.  That could only mean one thing.  She always called your office line if she needed you.  Only upon hearing 'Kim, please come to lobby" is it known to all who work there what is up.  I had flowers.  I worked for a company that manufactured juice.  The card read.... Have a fructuous day !

I am not one to typically care for flowers.  They are pretty... but have always struck me as a waste of money... But this day, I was very good with the choice to have flowers sent.  I texted him a thank you and for the next couple days we exchanged some text messages.  Thursday evening he was stuck in Chicago... delayed flight.  The confines of the airport with hours to kill created the perfect setting for him to pay me a lot of attention.  We conversed via text and he confessed his disturbed sleep since our encounter.  I revealed I was having the same issue.  We went back and forth for a couple hours, and arranged that depending on what time his flight arrived.... he would stop over and see me if I was indeed unable to sleep again that evening.  I showered and headed to bed.  But, for hours there I laid.  He texted me a little after one in the morning to see if I was sleeping.  I wasn't.  There was no great purpose for his stop over - nor did he stay long.  I think I was hoping that if I saw him again it would clear my mind. Nope... only made matters worse.  I thought perhaps I would scare him off as I answered the door in my pajamas and some major wild fresh from the shower then bed head hair.

That was the beginning.  I was way up in the clouds somewhere and did not see myself coming down.  It was time I called for back-up.  I called the sister who is not only a realist - but has the ability to play 'devil's advocate' very well.  She was no help.  Everyone I talked to (including her) commented on the energy in my voice... blah, blah, blah.  I needed help.  I needed someone to make this go away.  I was falling and was falling fast for this guy.

Following one of our dates we were back at his house.  I was laying on the couch and he was sitting on the floor leaned up against the couch.  He was drifting off to sleep (which single working parents do often) and I was looking at his face.  In that moment I said a prayer.  I know I said I wanted to be single... but I didn't imagine I would find someone like him.  He was exactly what I wanted.  It was possible that the Lord was only using me as an instrument for some other end that did not have to do with he and I - perhaps I would simply help him bridge the gap to a different course in life.  But, I wanted him.  I loved him.  I didn't know him completely - but knew I loved him.  With faith in a loving Heavenly Father I turned it over to Him.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I contemplated my choice for the last hour at the office.... There was a very big part of me that wanted to say yes... just my doubting mind that thought I may be starting something that will be awkward to end kept me from an immediate reply. 

I got home.  Kids were good and healthy.  I sent him a text letting him know I would meet him there at 7:30.  Having my own escape car was a must.  I called my friend I had said I would fix up with him and let her know there had been a change, I would be doing some 'inside investigation' work.  I told my kids I'd be out with my friend Wanda.  I was certain I didn't want to tell my daughter.  She would be mortified.

I arrived about 7:29.  He was not there yet.  I bought us tickets for the movie.  Somehow that helped me feel better.  I paced the hall.  I read the bulletin board. I paced the hall. He sent me a text.  He had been delayed getting back to town that day.  He was coming.  He told me not to buy tickets.  I smiled and replied that the tickets were bought and we were ready to go..

A few minutes later I watched him walk swiftly up the front stairs. Dress pants, a shirt and a sport coat.  His hair seemed to be a little damp from having just showered. He smiled, greeted me and we went in to the movie.

First dates are a little awkward.  There seems to be careful placement of the hands and elbows and arms.  As I sat there I was overcome with his smell.  Aroma?  Odor?  How do you say that positively?  It was consuming.  I found my shoulders pressing closer and closer then firmer and firmer against his.  As if I needed to be closer to breathe in his scent.

Part of that was completely unconscious... but then I realized what I was doing.  I tried to reason with myself.  "Kim, move over... you are almost on top of this guy".  "Ummmm... nope can't do it"  "Kim, move over"  "Yikes... I can't". On occasion he would make matters even worse by whispering a comment about the movie in my ear.  What was happening to me?  He seemed to have this power over me that made me melt... I continued to try to reason with myself.  "What is your problem?  You don't even know this guy!  Cut it out and move over."  I couldn't.  It was useless.  Ever see Twilight?  I could completely relate to how Edward felt (minus the desire to suck his blood). 

I was grateful for the fresh evening air following the movie... I could breath and the breeze took his scent in a different direction.  Thank you!! I can think again.

He revealed the research he had done on "Mormons" and his apparent loss for what to do next.  No coffee... no drinks... glass of water?  We headed to his house to visit.  He sat on the sectional style sofa.  I sat as far away from him on the opposite end of the couch as I could.  It seemed safer.  We visited for quite awhile, enjoying engaging conversation.... the night grew late and I said good bye... so I could go home and not catch one bit of sleep.... That would be the first of many sleepless nights to come.  Something had just happened.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

MAY 11, 2010

After finding his photo on Saturday night the fun was over and we were back to life.  I still figured months down the road when my friend's divorce was final that I would set her up... he was too good not to match him up with someone.

Somehow my great plans changed when I received a text message.  The message was sent at 3:07 on Tuesday afternoon.  It was R.  He wanted to know if I ever made it to see Date Night, and if not if I would be interested in going to the Opera House to see it with him that evening.  I was not in my office when that message came in, but I froze with disbelief when I casually sat at my desk thirty minutes later and saw a missed call, voicemail and text message all from him.  I did what any normal girl would do under such circumstances... I ran.  I went over to my friend's desk and divulged the secret.  What should I do, what should I say??  She followed me back to my office where we could discuss my options... of course she felt the obvious answer was GO!  I froze. I don't date. I don't want to date.  I am so done with that part of my life.  She continued to prod... Go!!

I was fearful and answering a yes made me incredibly uncomfortable.  I just didn't want to go there.  If I say yes, eventually I have to say no.. and that is hard and some guys don't get it when you do say no, if you said yes once before.  Ugh.  I was not about to start that nightmare.  But... I was intrigued.  There was a big part of me that WANTED to say YES. 

I sent my reply.  I let him know I would need to check in on my kids after work.  One had been under the weather and I would need to check-in to make sure all was well.  I said I'd get back to him after 5:00.

I had just bought myself an hour that I could spend weighing the pros and cons of accepting his date.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MAY 8, 2010

The plan was to pick up my daughter around 2pm.  My phone rang at 12:57pm with the caller-id showing the caller was the home where she was.  I answered expecting my daughter on the other end.  It wasn't.  I had a five minute phone call with the father.  Just confirming I'd be over to pick her up.  He was willing to bring her home, but I politely declined and said I'd be there in an hour.  I'm not sure why that took five minutes... but I just confirmed on my cell phone bill it was a five minute call.  I think there was a desire to linger on the phone from both our perspectives.

I was timely.  2pm I was ringing their door bell.  The 8 year old brother answered the door, invited me in, told me the girls were upstairs and then left.  It is a large home.... built in the 1800's. The kind that seems to go on and on from room to room.  I stood there waiting, expecting that the girls would be down.  No one came.  I hollered out a "hello".  No one answered.  I walked in one room from the den to the kitchen.  I hollered again.  No one answered.  I stood there waiting and glanced down at the papers on his kitchen island.  There was a pamphlet listing the movies that were playing at the Opera House in town.  "Date Night" was scheduled to show that night and the upcoming Tuesday.  I read the description.  Sounded funny.  Then I continued to stand there... waiting.  I hollered out again.  No answer.  Awkward.  Should I go to my car and try calling them?  I chose to wait a little longer.  The father... "R" walked in.  It was obvious he was fresh from the shower.  Clean shave, wet hair combed back, Saturday looking jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt.

He seemed surprised that I was standing in his kitchen when he walked in.  I told him I was waiting for my daughter.  He asked if anyone had gone to get them.  I reported the details that I knew and he invited me upstairs to their third floor to see the space the girls had been playing in.  I asked my daughter to get her things together and R and I returned to the kitchen to wait for her.  In an effort to make small talk during our wait I asked if he had seen the movie "Date Night" as I pointed at the pamphlet.  He had not... we continued with some other talk and then he started to apologize.  He didn't have to get far and I knew very well where this was headed... he must have found out I was widowed.  I knew the tone.  He only got a few words with an apologetic tone out before the girls came bounding in and our privacy was no more.  We continued to talk for a bit and he offered to show me some of the other fun spaces the house had to offer.  We went to his barn with the girls in tow.  After a short tour the girls found themselves playing on the lawn and he and I found ourselves with some privacy to talk.  As I expected he expressed sympathy for my loss... we talked for almost an hour.  I figured if he was comfortable discussing my marital status... he could discuss his as well.  So we did.

I left there that day completely intrigued with this man.  I felt a huge amount of respect for him and wanted to know more.  His divorce sounded identical to what my best friend was in the process of going through.  She came over that evening and I told her about "R".  I told her I would need to fix the two of them up once her divorce was final.  I could feel how good this guy was.  She... wanted photos.  I pulled out my best 'google stalking' abilities but was having trouble finding a photo.  Gratefully we live in a small town.  He had told me where he went to church and I recognized it as the same church my girlfriend went to.  That girlfriend happened to call as we were in the process of trying to google stalk him.  I told her I was looking for a photo of him as I would like to fix him up with my other friend.  She inquired why I would do that... I should be interested.  I reminded her that I don't date.  I am done with that phase of my life.  She directed me to her facebook photo albums.
I found him.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MAY 7, 2010

I think due to the craziness of life over the past several years, my kids have not had the opportunity to foster very many friendships with the children at school.  I was hesitant to have them go play at others' homes as I did not know the parents, and I was not home enough it seemed to have friends over.  Every minute of every day just seemed packed full.

My daughter seemed to struggle the most with this.  It seemed to have stunted her ability to have close friends like the other girls in her class had. Just a week or two before this she had the opportunity to go to play at a friends house.  I did not know the parents, but felt inclined to let her go.  I had dropped her off at the girls' mother's home.  The mother seemed very nice and I instantly felt at ease with the girl.  I was curious about the family, as I had never heard of this girl before and I didn't quite understand where the friendship had come from.

On May 7... a Friday... my daughter came home from school inquiring if she could have a sleepover at her new friend's father's house.  I must make the clarification here that sleepovers are just a no.  End of story.  Stay 'till late - return in the morning, no problem.  But, we sleep at home. Curiously, when she asked, I didn't hesitate and said "sure".  I didn't think about it at the moment... but I had, in reality, just agreed to let my daughter sleep over at some man's house... who was single... who I had never met.  I am not sure how that happened.

Forever etched in my head is the moment I pulled in the driveway... He had a long circular driveway.  He was on the lawn playing baseball with his 8 year old son.  My daughter's friend was out on the lawn as well.  I pulled into the driveway far enough to get the car off the road and stopped.  My daughter hopped out of the car and I followed.  I stood there half in the car and half out with the door open.  He walked over and I briefly introduced myself and chatted about the girls' intentions. He was tall, salt and pepper hair.  He struck me.  I was intrigued.  We exchanged phone numbers so we would be able to contact each other if needed during the overnight. It seemed like a good excuse.

I pulled away.. leaving my daughter playing in the cherry blossoms on the lawn with her friend.

Monday, May 9, 2011


I set aside the first Sunday in May 2010 to fast and tell the Lord my decision.  I spent a lot of time on my knees that day going over the evidence I had created for myself to validate my decision.  I felt confident and sure that it was what I wanted.

I finished my fast and felt excited to see where life would be taking me.  A day or two later I was thrown off when I had the distinct impression that the Lord had marriage in mind for me. 

I know I am a better person married than not.  But, remember... we have to work on this vision in my head.  These few specific needs I have... I think I have created something that doesn't exist.  I knelt in prayer and told the Lord I was willing to do His will.  I told Him my little list of traits I truly desired and then prayed for humility to accept what the Lord had for me.

My decision was made. I'd like to marry again.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


One of the things I have loved about this blog has been the ability to do it retrospective... I have been able to look back and take the embers... just bringing with me the good and leaving most of the bad and ugly behind.

The last year of my life has been.... life changing... it is time to tell that story.

Last spring in March and April I had many nights that were sleep disturbed as I woke with a question penetrating my mind.  The question was "Do you want to re-marry or do you want a career?".  For many nights I dismissed this until the episode kept repeating itself and I could not deny the feeling that I needed to answer it.  I went to the Lord in prayer and told Him I felt this was coming from Him.  I want to be an instrument in His hands.  I will go and do what He wants.

This did not seem to satisfy as the episodes kept on.  I began to truly study it out in my mind.  The more I did that, the more positive aspects I saw about me being single.  I have the ability to influence some I may not otherwise be able to.  I have friendships I would not otherwise have.  I accomplish and do things I would not be able to.  And, knowing that my desire for a career was to work in television. ... certainly that circle of influence could be powerful. 

I spent weeks prayerfully contemplating this and making a mental list.  I considered the other side... marriage.  I have dated some, and have found it to be too difficult.  It was like when I was preparing for my junior prom and I had a vision in my head of what I wanted my dress to look like.  I looked and looked and could not find the right dress.  My mother was a seamstress and so I visited the fabric store and could not find a pattern to fit what I wanted.  In the end I picked out five patterns... one for sleeves, one for a neck line, one for a bodice, etc and asked that mom combine them to create the dress I had in my head.  My "man" was much like that prom dress.  I had determined over the previous years in trying to date that there were certain "must-haves".... traits that seemed a bit specific and extreme.  Certainly I would need to change that vision in my head to have a chance at finding someone who I would want to marry....

My decision was made.  I'd like to have a career please.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


As I was preparing to speak a few weeks ago, one of the many subjects I contemplated speaking on was the atonement of Jesus Christ and how it works to ease our suffering.  In The Book of Mormon, Alma 7:11 reads:
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

My sister advised against such a subject on such a sensitive day at church.  Surely we wouldn't want to indicate that even if you lose your child, you need not suffer, because the Savior already did that.  I didn't want to give the impression that they should be just fine.

I did however spend a few weeks contemplating that.  How does that work together?  Is it sinful to mourn at the loss of a child or spouse or another loved one?  Certainly not.  Does it show a lack of faith?  No.  Then how does it work exactly?

I have come to this conclusion:  I can testify that I have felt my burden lightened.  I know I have been able to turn it over to the Lord and He has suffered that pain for me.  I can also testify that despite my faith and trust in the Lord I have morned deeply the loss of my husband.

I believe these two can co-exist perfectly naturally.  The scriptures teach us to "mourn with those that mourn" and "comfort those that stand in need of comfort".  I know that mourning is needed and natural.  I also know that we can turn some of that pain over to Christ.  He has suffered it for us.  We do not need to feel it all.  If we hold on to all that pain and harbor it - we are simply denying the gift of the atonement He gave us. 

The atonement is what makes good days still come and healing come completely.  It is what makes one know on a bad day, that a good day will soon follow.

Mourning the loss of a loved one is natural.  Missing them.  When we harbor the pain - that is when we need to remember that the Savior suffered this for us.  We can give that burden to Him.

Monday, April 25, 2011


So very much has happened lately.. and I have a few thoughts I want to share.  A couple weeks ago a friend of mine suffered the tragedy of losing her son.  He was seven.  His death is unexplainable... the question of why from the perspective of science may never be answered.  He was a healthy little boy one day and not the next.

I had an assignment to speak in her ward at church the day after he passed.  I have never prayed and studied so hard for a speaking assignment.  I didn't know what I should say... so many angles and approaches to view it from.  I felt such a weight.. a burden of responsibility that was exaggerated because I felt this was not by chance.. that I would be speaking there on that Sunday.  Me.  Me who knows death.  I have felt the sting and I have felt the peace.

I have never walked into an assignment having spent more time preparing but with so little clue as to what I would say. I wish I would have prioritized the time to write that day - to capture what I said... but I didn't.  I would like to capture a few thoughts on it here...

I know I began by talking about my own experiences with death.  I did not know death until my grandparents died in my mid to upper 20's.. just a year or two before Chris.  The sting of that death could not compare with what I felt when Chris passed.  I shared of the peace I felt and talked about the fact that we spend a lot of time coming to church.... learning of Christ and testifying of Christ.  But, it is not until you feel that sting of death that you really FEEL it.  You have to look at yourself in the mirror and ask, do I believe it?  Do I really believe it?  Because all of the sudden it REALLY matters.  I talked about that peace and joy of being able to feel Chris' presence after he passed.  Those moments... those tender gifts of his presence.  Where I could feel him holding me... talking to me.... sustaining me.  Tender mercies from God.

I talked about fear.  Peter when he walked on the water.  The storm came in quickly.  Life storms are like that.  We don't have any fancy 'tools' to measure when the storm is coming and how bad it will be... we just live everyday prepared.  And when the storm comes, our natural tendency is fear.  But, we need to realize that God is in control.  He is there to comfort and guide us always.  We must put our faith in Him.  

My storm in life began unexpectedly.  Unlike physical storms in nature that can often be predicted - we often can not predict the storm of life.  We must be prepared always.  Spiritually steadfast and armed with our faith in Christ.  Armed with confidence that we CAN DO hard things through Christ.  Armed with testimony and knowledge of His gospel.  We can walk on water. We can do what He wants us to do and be who He wants us to be.  Through my personal storm the Lord has been there for me.  My heart at times has felt to burst with gratitude for His ever watchful eye and love.  There were times that the storms felt so intense I could not see how I could possibly take another step. My "morning" and "night" prayers were not the same as I felt a constant line and continued communication with God.  I understood more than ever the concept of "praying always" and I felt the love of my Father in Heaven. 

He did not answer my pleas  for peace by calming the storm for a long time.  I felt often that, in contrast, it intensified.  But strength was given to me for every step I took. I felt like Peter on the water and I prayed for calm and was granted the ability to take another step.  The calm did come.... after a long, long storm and many many prayers and petitions for peace.  I distinctly remember receiving a priesthood blessing wherein the elements were commanded to calm.  Once that calming began, I suppose I felt much like one may feel following any treacherous storm.  I was grateful for peace.  There were still cloud covered skies - but I could begin the long and demanding course towards building new again.  The road was long... the work was hard.. but my spiritual muscles grew and eventually I felt I had come out of the clouds and could feel the soothing rays of sunshine. It reached my very core and I felt stillness. 

Despite all the faith we have in Christ... we still feel the pains of life.  He can shoulder much of that pain for us - but that does not mean we will not have bad days... that does not mean tomorrow we are better - never to feel the pain again... it means that we can have more good days than bad days.  It means we can hold on because we know "this too shall pass".

I then talked to the congregation about what they could do.  Henry B. Eyring said we "turn our feelings of sympathy into a decision to act on your covenants". I am confident that any member of that ward, given the opportunity to help or assist in some way, each would be willing.  I encouraged them that each of them would be willing and ready to be instruments in the Lord's hands to serve.   As each of us prayerfully turns to Lord and requests to know how we can be instruments in His hands.. he will guide us and direct us.  We should 'pre-determine' how He wants us to serve... just be humble to follow what inspiration comes, when it comes.  Sometimes that answer may be to serve someone else... we just need to follow what comes.  Continuing the thought of "what to do" I encouraged them to ask.. Know that when you say "let me know how I can help" - it is well meaning buy meaningless.  Ask specifically... "can I mow your lawn", "can I bring you a meal", "do you want to talk".  We should not be afraid to talk about death (the elephant in the room).  Understand if they don't want to see you (this is not about you... space may be needed... it does not reflect their love for you), and finally... memories.  My favorite card I received after Chris passed was from the Rhoton's.  In it Charlotte (their then teenage daughter) shared with me a list of memories she had of Chris.  Priceless.  No matter how trivial it may seem to you... memories are big to those who have lost. 

And when there are "to-do's" there are also "don't-do's"...  Don't try to make sense out of something that doesn't make sense.  Don't tell me God needed him more.  Don't think I deserve what I am going through.  Life happens to each of us.  I don't remember the positive things people said to me after Chris' passing... they just offered comfort.  Comfort from the love I felt in your reaching out.  But, I remember a few that were crazy comments.  I know the people meant well... but they were trying to make sense out of it... or trying to assure me God needed him.  I don't buy either. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I was messing around a bit online yesterday and came across a blog of a recent widow.  In the part I read she spoke of her loneliness.  I could so relate to what she was sharing.  I remember that feeling that she described and I remember having those emotions.  I am glad I read it - because in so doing I saw how far I have come.  How that is starting to feel like a memory.  It is no longer a part of my life.  I can't say for sure when the switch flipped for me... perhaps a little over a year ago.  My poor girlfriend who is recently divorced just looks at what a slow healer I have been and always says "I hope I don't have to wait that long".  I think my 'waiting' so long was due in large part to my way of grieving... put it all in a box and when there was a spare second... deal with it.  I somehow was very good at not having free seconds.  I think it was when my oldest was living with his uncle... life really slowed down and cleared out.  The clouds parted and I could start to see what was left in that box to deal with.  Today life is filled with challenges beyond grieving.  Mostly I deal with challenges associated with single parenting. 

My oldest turned sixteen today.  Sixteen!!  Sixteen is nothing like the nine year old he was when his father passed... It seems like a world a way. He is a young man.... looking forward to driving and talking all kind of car talk that has me glazing over.

Seven years ago today Chris was diagnosed with cancer.  The funny thing is... I hardly gave it a second thought today.  Seven years. 

I do believe the blog has been very therapeutic... I have captured the embers from the journey and in so doing I have left the ashes and shut some doors.  Life is not all easy street now... and sometimes when it feels hard I wish Chris was here to take care of it all. But, life is good.  Really really good.  So, for all the newer widows out there hold on to that.   I love my life.  As a whole I really do. 

Happy Sweet Sixteen my son.. I love you, I do.

Friday, March 25, 2011


It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is.
It all works out. Don’t worry.
I say that to myself every morning.
It will all work out.
Put your trust in God,
and move forward with faith
and confidence in the future.
The Lord will not forsake us.
He will not forsake us.
If we will put our trust in Him,
if we will pray to Him,
if we will live worthy of His blessings,
He will hear our prayers.
- Gordon B. Hinckley

Thursday, March 24, 2011


My daughter (the middle child) came home from school today and asked if I would help her with her schedule for next year... her HIGH SCHOOL schedule. As I sat listening to her tell me what was and wasn't working and what questions she had, I just kept thinking how small and young she seemed to me. High School? Really? In less than six months. And as I sat there thinking that... I realized how far away we are from what we were when Chris was here.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I can't believe I have been unemployed for ten weeks now. I have rested some. In fact this morning I went back to bed after I got the kids off. It was a busy weekend and I just felt the need for a tad bit extra rest. Of course I laid there thinking of what else I have to accomplish. I have cleaned out the basement (just need to paint the walls), cleaned out the attic, the closets, my bedroom that collects all.... but there is some painting and a garage and lawn that are still calling my name (of course it will have to stop snowing and raining for me to get out in the lawn).

It feels really good. Physically it changes the way I feel, having taken the time to get my life in order. I am not there yet, but I am surprised at the physical change it has brought on me. It gives me more energy and life. I feel less trodden down. I want to catch up my personal journal on the events of the past year or so, I need to reach out to a couple friends I have not seen, I need to make it to the temple this month, and I want to start working on some family heritage activities (namely trying to see if I have any pictures of the children from the past ten years that I should organize).

Oh... and I need to find a job. :) I think Hollywood is calling... gotta run.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


The amount of healing that has taken place over the last year plus is huge. The cloud is gone, that once was a constant. The time I have had these past couple months not working... but just cleaning up my life... have been a tremendous blessing - but there is more to do.

I need to THRIVE. I need to LIVE my life in such a way that I can look at it and know I am doing my best. I need to break out of the patterns and behaviors I have adopted in my attempt to survive... and I need to return to THRIVING. My friend "S" is going to help me do it. Actually, we are going to help each other do it. She is not a widow.. but many of us for all sorts of different reasons find ourselves simply surviving in life and forget that we should be thriving.

We have six areas of focus: Spiritual, Emotional and Physical health, relationships, work (home or me actually finding a job again... I do need to do that), FUN, and service.

I am looking forward to our adventure together. I will write about it some through the process. I encourage you to join us. Take stock. How is your life? Are you thriving?? :)

Monday, February 28, 2011


As I sat in church yesterday, a young family got up to perform a special musical number. The father was on the piano and the mother stood with the children. As I was watching them I was so touched by the sweetness and completeness of this little family. I looked at the three oldest. 9, 7, 5. I was suddenly overcome with feelings of grief. Grieving the years that have passed. Those innocent and precious children were the age my children were when their father passed. So young, so sweet. So wonderful to see this family - we were once a sweet little family as well. The tears started and wouldn't stop. I started getting strange glances from my children. The tears just kept coming and coming. Long after the musical number was over, I was still crying. I felt like I was holding back... allowing the tears but blocking the sobbing that so wanted to come out. I contemplated making a run for the bathroom but felt like I was already making a spectacle of myself and thought that may just exaggerate that. So, I sat and let the tears continue to fall.

I can't say for sure what brought it on - but I can say that the topic of "mourning the years gone by" has been heavy on my heart lately. In moments of frustration the kids have retaliated at me with 'facts from the past' concerning my bad parenting behavior. It has left me reflecting on years I don't care to think about again. Years that I can't re-do. Years that have been wasted. Or so it seems.

The question is really... what would / could I have done differently. My 'bad parenting' is a reflection of trying to be a parent to children who were reacting with anger to their father's death, while trying to grieve the loss of my husband. My patience was short. I was trying to process through my own grief and that left little brain capacity for disobedient children. I was quick to yell, to lose my patience. I was incapable of of doing it.... well. I became this crazy mother that was nothing like I had once been. I look back and wonder what could have changed things. How could I have maintained the happiness and love in that little family and just continued on? Perhaps there is another widow out there that has considered this more or been more successful that could share some tips. For me... I need to forgive myself. I need to let go of the thoughts that they have been years wasted and I need to make the most of the years I now have.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


The grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
Mosiah 16:8

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I don't know the particulars of how it works when you "invent" something. Do you get to keep collecting money every time that item is sold or improved on? Is it like Hugh Grant in About a Boy, where the next generation doesn't have to work because they can sit back and collect the royalties?

I hope so. Especially for those who invented things like dishwashers and indoor plumbing. As a widow, with very little 'extra' time for leisure type activities, one of my favorite inventions has been 'books on tape (CD)'. That is fabulous. I would not have 'read' one book in the past five years if it wasn't for that invention. But, instead I have 'read' several children's mystery/action books, some inspirational ones for me, and even Twilight!

I was driving in the car last week and started to click through the CD's in my player to see what was there for me to listen to. I stopped at The Book of Mormon and decided some on-the-go scripture study may be just what my soul was needing. I was in 2 Nephi. Lehi is getting ready to die. He is talking to each of his children to counsel them and bear his testimony to them(reminded me of the day Chris passed when he had an opportunity to do that for his children). I got to Chapter 2 and it began... "And now, Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my first-born in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of thy brethren. Nevertheless, Jacob, my first-born in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions‍ for thy gain. "

I stopped, went back and listened to it again and again. Then I did as Nephi did, when studying Isaiah, as recorded in 1 Nephi 19:23, "I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning."

Then as I listed to the scripture again I heard "And now, my children (specifically my three), I speak unto you. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the passing of your father. Nevertheless, my children, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions‍ for thy gain. "

I knew in that moment very clearly and strongly, and I will testify to each of your now. That is true. I believe that when we are subjected to afflictions and much sorrow because of others or because of things that have happened to us in our lives, that God will consecrate those afflictions for our gain. I know that I need not worry about that pain and suffering my kids have endured, because every tear of suffering and sorrow will be returned a hundred times in the form of a blessing to them. The Lord knows, cares, and loves us. He will make right any affliction that is placed upon us.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


All widows should be unemployed... OK, not really. Especially if you are a widow like me that wasn't wise enough to end up a widow with a large life insurance policy. And especially if you are a young widow with children to support.

I have enjoyed my past few weeks of unemployment. I have had sick kids, snow days and regularly scheduled days off from school that have given me a household full (vs. the moments of quiet I had dreamed of). On the days that I have actually had to myself I have been brushing up on my ability to "sell myself". The joys of looking for a new job.

What I am discovering, is that in order to "sell oneself" you must KNOW oneself. I got started on that process this last year as I have written for my blog... but now it is getting down deep. Not just seeing my weaknesses, but now I have to see what is good in me. Why someone would pay me, hopefully a lot of money, for me to work for them.

This is hard. But since I am not the same person I was six years ago. Since I have new strengths that have come as a result of the path I have trod... the experience of getting to know that person... is good. Very good. All widows should do it. It is good to look back and discover you have become someone you would have have otherwise. And while we KNOW that... it is good to discover and admit the POSITIVE aspects of that!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


School was cancelled on Monday as the morning temperature read a balmy -16 degrees. It is fitting.

January is always cold... well, because it is January. The week after Chris passed I remember frigid temperatures. There was no deisre to hang around at the cemetary... it was too cold to be outside for too long.

I don't remember January being so bitterly cold in years before Chris' passing.

But since his passing, I remember that week in January following his death. I remember how cold it was. That was the week our back patio cracked from the bitterly cold temperatures (or as a statement of sadness over its' owners' death).

The cold sticks out to me now.... the temperatures in the negatives. It seems very fitting for the events that transpired in my life in the month of January.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I have made a few trips to the Cancer Center about an hour from here in the last few weeks. I have had the opportunity to continue to accompany my husband's cousin to her doctor appointments and treatments.

I have been pleasantly surprised at how well I have done with it all. It seems every time we go, we walk into another place that has memories that takes me back. Amazing how many waiting rooms I sat in years ago. Each for a different reason, a different test or scan, a different doctor, a different treatment. When my stay in the waiting rooms was long, I would sometimes walk out into the hall. Each floor in the Cancer Center (aside from the hospital room floors) has a balcony that overlooks the lobby. There are volunteers that come in and perform in the 'background' their various musical talents. I remember the piano. I don't know who, and perhaps it was several different people, but I remember laying on the bench floors above the lobby, passing the time while listening to someone play the piano. It was soothing.

A couple years ago, I had stopped into the Cancer Center around Christmas time as I was looking for a particular item I knew they sold there in the Gift Shop. When I walked in, I was struck by the sound of the piano. I walked into the gift shop, but was overcome and I had to leave.

With my recent visits there I have seen guitar players and other instruments, but this past week I walked in to a pianist. It felt good. He was young and talented. I watched him. He was casually watching the hustle of the lobby while playing a beautiful and soothing piece. He caught my eye, and I smiled. I was grateful. Grateful that time has passed enough for me to feel the soothing peace in the music and grateful for people like him that share their talents so people like me can feel some peace in their storm.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I was just watching the movie The Last Song. I didn't know anything about the movie... it just looked like a good clean family movie to watch.

My father-in-law died in an industrial accident years ago, before he was my father-in-law. Our families were friends, so I still remember very clearly when I was told he had passed. There had been an explosion, he was burned badly. He had survived a couple days, but then passed.

In the early days of the TV Show ER, I used to enjoy watching it. My mother-in-law would watch with me. I remember one time the subject matter of the show was a case involving a burn victim. My mother-in-law left the room. She couldn't watch. I understood, but didn't understand what that felt like.

Tonight as I was watching the movie, I found it was about a father who had been estranged from his children. He has them come stay with him for the summer. As the movie unfolds you discover he is dying from cancer. It is still hard to watch that. I find it impossible to watch it - without feeling those feelings all over again. Without looking at the 'reality' of life as I know it.... as my kids know it. Without feeling the pain all over again of my kids growing up without their father. Now, years later, I can truly understand what that must have felt like for my mother-in-law. Why she preferred to change the channel on those nights.

In the movie the older sister comments regarding her younger brother that her dad won't get to see him grow up.

I would just like to disagree with that, if I may. My kids are not the little kids they were when their father passed. They have grown up. They are turning into teenagers, young adults with mature thoughts and decision making power. They have missed the daily interaction with their father. Had he been here, they would have become someone else. But, even though he was not here... I know that he has watched them grow up. He has been there for them in moments he could not have been otherwise. He has not been able to physically hold them or discipline them, but he has been able to help them feel his love for them when they needed it. He has watched them grow up. Death takes away many things, but that is not one of them.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


As I read the following story told by James E. Faust, it reminded me of how I felt facing my life alone after Chris' passing. It reminded me of the gratitude I felt (feel) for a loving Father in Heaven who knows me and loves me and walks beside me. We never are alone... unless we choose to walk away from Him.

"One young woman became much more aware of the wonderful relationship we have to our Heavenly Father when she left home for the first time to go to college. Her father gave her a blessing and expressed his love. Then she writes:

'I clung to his words of love and support as I said a painful good-bye to my family. I felt alone and scared in those uncharted waters. Before I left the apartment that morning, I knelt down to ask for help. Desperately I pleaded with my Heavenly Father for strength to be able to face the college world all alone. I had left my family and friends and everything familiar the day before, and I knew I needed His help.

'My prayers were answered as I reflected on the tender experience with my father the day before. A wave of comfort fell over me as I realized that I had not come to college with the blessing of just my earthly father. I suddenly felt that one day, not so long ago, my Heavenly Father had held me close in His arms. Perhaps He gave me words of advice and encouragement and told me that He believed in me, just as my earthly father had. And at that moment, I knew that I am never without the perfect love and endless support of my Father in Heaven.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


On my last day of work a couple weeks ago, I came home to flowers from a friend with a note that read, "To brighten your day and celebrate a new door opening in your life!"

I feel as though that has been my theme this year. Moving forward... new doors opening... I have gained tremendous strength and finished much of the healing process. I am liking the person I am becoming and accepting myself in all my weaknesses. My kids are stronger.. they are better. It truly felt like a milestone year.

We attended church today, my oldest went home with a friend following church and the younger two are snug on the couch with each other watching a movie. Chris died on a Sunday. It is odd thinking the years have gone by enough for the 16th to fall on the same day of the week. It has my mind thinking forward to the events of the days that followed.

I asked my kids today to tell me some 'stories' they remember about their dad. This is what they told me... in their words:

Wrestling on the furry white carpet at Grandma's house.

He woke us up late at night and made us finish our chores.

Packing us a lunch box to go to grandma's and then watching him work (he packed pringles).

When we worked with him he gave us cracker sticks with cheese (in the little packages).

In the winter when he plowed at Grandma's he would make us big hills to sled on.

When we went to the hospital to see him they gave us popsicles.

When he was sick I (daughter) would come home from school and sit in his blue chair with him and watch TV with him.

He made me (youngest son) fried bologna for lunch.

We wanted to play in the sprinkler but he made us clean our room.

He put the train around the Christmas Tree.

He read us Harry Potter every night.

He told us ghost stories.

He took us to plane shows and car shows.

He took us out on the boat and when he turned fast our sister would cry.

He had dogs.

He showed us a stick bug.

Six years and moving forward. Life goes on. The Lord compensates for the loss. Joy is felt.

I think I am going to put in a fire.... and join the kids for the movie. And tonight when I say my prayers... I am going to express my gratitude for the tender mecies and the blessings that have made my cup to 'runneth over'.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


My phone rang yesterday around 2:50pm. My oldest son was on the other end of the line. I was finishing up some errands and he had just arrived home from school. He recounted a story to me about a visit he had with the neighbor when he got home from school. He had walked over to his home as he saw him shoveling the six inches of snow that fell and thought he may be able to help him. The neighbor declined the assistance as he was a few scoops away from being done, but engaged in some conversation with him. As a mother I felt proud that my son had been so thoughtful as to offer his assistance. When he was done telling me about their conversation, I said, "You know... there is this widow that actually lives at the same address you do. Perhaps you should consider giving her a hand. I know her driveway needs to be shoveled." There was a pause. "What? No. You don't count."

"What do you mean I don't count?"

"You can't keep calling yourself a widow."

"Why, he is still dead. I AM still a widow."


"Yes. And the widow would really like her driveway shoveled."

Friday, January 14, 2011


My girlfriend just walked in the house carrying a priority mail box. I glanced lightly at it, assuming it was another of my youngest son's many airsoft guns. He has become obsessed with the sport and spends every dollar he gets on a new gun or accessory.

On my glance it caught my eye as saying "Kimmy" not "Kim" or "Kimberly", so I got up to take the package from my friend. I knew right away it was from family. No one else calls (or could get away with calling) me "Kimmy". Upon ripping the package open (I am still like a kids when it comes to opening presents) I started screaming and jumping up and down. My girlfriend just watched curiously. Then I got teary eyed. They love me. My family loves me. They know what I want, they know what is important to me and despite the many miles between us.. they do what they can to lend a helping hand. I pulled out the card, and read it "Kimmy, Just a little something to let you know we're all thinking of you. It's been six tough years- Here's to moving forward, reaching your goals & being your best self. Love, your siblings" My voice cracked as I read it. I am so blessed with such a loving and supportive family. My girlfriend was so excited to be here to witness the emotions... the teary eyes.

The gift... A Body Media FIT Armband.

The "Thank You" I say does not come close to expressing my gratitude for all they do.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


As the title indicates, this post is for the ladies only. So, if you are of the male variety... move on. I guarantee you DO NOT want to hear what I have to write here. But, I find the message very important... so I am drawn to writing this. For those of the male variety out there who are curious what exactly the message is, let me just start with that, then you can turn away... and not read any further. Lesson: Take a day to take care of you... you will thank yourself.

Enjoying my extra time to take care of life, my girlfriend and I left after putting my kids on the bus and made the two hour drive to attend the temple this morning. We made a day of it and stopped half-way home for lunch and some shopping. My girlfriend indicated that while we were shopping she needed to stop at a certain specialty shop to look for certain undergarments. I thought that would be fine and knew where this particular store (let's just call it VS, for somewhat obvious reasons) was located in the mall. So, after lunch we headed over there and I commented to her, that perhaps I should have them measure me while we are there, as I was somewhat suspicious that I was not wearing the correct size of undergarment (let's just refer to this as a 'b' for simplification). With the weight that I had gained I had picked up some new b's over the years - in a larger size than I had once worn - and for years assumed it was correct. For some reason in the last week-and-a-half when I have not been in such a rush dressing in the morning, I began to wonder if I was perhaps wrong??

We made our way to VS and my girlfriend inquired on the location of specific b's and then we headed for the dressing room. Once there I asked the associate working if she would mind measuring me... just for my curious sake. I was right... I had been wearing a size too small for all these years. I hopped in a dressing room and was pleased with the results of the larger sized undergarment. I looked fabulous. I tried on a different style... I still looked fabulous. Who knew such a simple thing could make such a difference. I debated. If I loose weight I won't need the larger size. But, in the meantime I could look fabulous.... I decided to hit the clearance rack and look fabulous without spending a fortune.

I have to say, I do look fantastic. I keep checking myself out in the mirror. I can't believe I have gone all these years not looking as great as I could have! In fact I may not need to lose as much weight as I thought I did... I somehow look slimmer with things all in line. So, ladies... do yourself a favor... get measured and get fabulous.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I mentioned a couple days ago that watching me.... is painful. At least when I am functioning in life on my "own". When the Lord is not using me, and therefore not making me better so I am usable... it is truly a painful experience. I have come to find that if there is a way to draw attention to myself in a negative way, I seek after these things. Not intentionally, mind you. For instance, my last day of work I was walking up the stairs from the lobby and I tripped on the step and fell on my face. It made quite the racket and the receptionist jumped. But, when she turned and saw that it was me, she just shook her head. That is a move she has seen too many times before from me. There was another associate in the lobby who was startled, but relaxed once I rolled over onto my back laughing at myself. I felt it appropriate that I would go out that way. I have made that move in front of numerous visitors who were patiently waiting in the lobby over the years.

I have a new way of drawing attention to myself these days. A couple days before Christmas I had returned with the children from Christmas shopping. My oldest, with an agenda I am sure, announced that he would be happy to clean out the car. I was grateful as we had accumulated quite the amount of garbage in there. I called a friend to pick me up and went to his home to wrap gifts. Christmas Eve we were going to dinner with friends and as we got ready to run some last minute errands before heading out of town, I realized I could not find the keys. I questioned my oldest regarding where the keys were. A blank look spread across his face and despite the hours spent that day, Christmas day, the day after Christmas, the week after Christmas... we never found the keys. So, celebrating my free time to take care of such inconveniences, I spent unemployed day two having the car towed about 45 minutes away to our closest Subaru dealership. Apparently, my car is full of security features, one of which is a feature within the key that requires having the car in a Subaru shop in order to make a copy (or a key from scratch).I didn't spend the extra $130 on the little push button thing to lock / unlock my car.. perhaps that indulgence will be for when I am employed again.

Again celebrating my new found time, I left the dealership with my new key and headed for Sam's Club. I manually (OK - by manually, I mean I pushed the button from in the car since I don't have a little remote any longer) locked the door and headed in to do some shopping. When I came out I put the key in the lock and unlocked the car. Upon doing so my car alarm went off. HONK..HONK..HONK..HONK..HONK.. I quickly got in the car and started it - which luckily turned the alarm off. After one more errand with the same results I called the dealership wondering what I was doing wrong. Nothing. Apparently that is just one more security device the vehicle has. For as long as I put off spending $130 on a remote... I won't be able to avoid making a spectacle of myself every time I get in the car.

I have gotten used to it now. But, I just shake my head in awe. It is so me. So painful to watch me trying to function in life. Sometimes I think Chris must get a kick out of watching my insanity!

Monday, January 10, 2011


My last day of work was December 30th. Last week was my first official week home. I had the option of starting a "J Term" class at the college on the 3rd and going right into a full semester. Logically it seemed like the right thing to do. I need to finish my degree. It is no fun providing for a family and being limited due to a piece of paper. But, I couldn't bring myself to do it. I have been running like a crazy lady for over seven years. I was craving the down time. My house is craving some attention. Things to be cleaned, organized and fixed. And my body is craving some attention as well. When did I get this roll on my midriff? (I know... tmi)

After my first week... I can say I exercised three days. Saw two friends I had not seen in a very long time. Made dinner for a family. And watched other friend's kids. I also spent some time in doctor offices as my post a couple days ago mentioned. And I spent a day having my car towed and at the Subaru dealership having a new key made for my car that has been sitting in my garage for two weeks (thank you to the oldest child). So - I still have the roll around the waist and I am sitting here looking at my house wondering how it can be such a mess when I am HOME?? But, the kids did eat more REAL dinners last week. And I made cookies twice and banana bread once. And... in the process of it all I applied for unemployment and looked for a new job.

I am looking forward to a busy and productive week this week. So much to do!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


“It may not be on the mountain height Or over the stormy sea, It may not be at the battle’s front My Lord will have need of me. But if, by a still, small voice he calls To paths that I do not know, I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine: I’ll go where you want me to go.”

Living our lives as instruments in the Lord’s hands is a matter of faith and trust in God that he will direct our paths for good... Henry B. Eyring said, “Trust comes from knowing God.” In Psalm 46:10 we read, “Be still, and know that I am God” I cannot tell you how this faith is developed for everyone, but I can tell you for me it was a process. A process that began with an internal desire and a curiosity. The visual was intriguing. A poem by Myra Brooks Welch:

’Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer Thought it scarcely worth his while To waste much time on the old violin, But held it up with a smile: “What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried, “Who’ll start the bidding for me?” “A dollar, a dollar”; then, “Two!” “Only two? Two dollars, and who’ll make it three? Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice; Going for three—” But no, From the room, far back, a gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow; Then, wiping the dust from the old violin, And tightening the loose strings, He played a melody pure and sweet as a caroling angel sings. The music ceased, and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low, said, “What am I bid for the old violin?” And he held it up with the bow. “A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two? Two thousand! And who’ll make it three? Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice, And going, and gone!” said he. The people cheered, but some of them cried, “We do not quite understand what changed its worth.” Swift came the reply: “The touch of a master’s hand.” And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin, is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin. A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine, A game—and he travels on. He’s “going” once, and “going” twice, He’s “going” and almost “gone.” But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd never can quite understand the worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought by the touch of the Master’s hand.

Often I feel like I am much like that violin. I am simple and often look battered and scarred. Life has me in a rush. I am not someone within my community who anyone would look to as a person of great value.

My daughter plays the violin and I remember the first concert we went to. It began with the “Beginners” and proceeded to more advanced levels from there. When the “Beginners” came out on stage they ‘squeaked’ out the melody “Mississippi Hot Dog”. It was a bit painful. But the proud parents applauded. At the end of the concert the Advanced students played a melody that was beautiful to listen to.

If I am that violin… what tune do I want to have played? Do I want to be Mississippi Hot Dog forever? Because I certainly feel that despite my life experience thus far, I am still a beginner and when attempting to control my own life… watching me can be painful. But I, as each of us, has the opportunity for the Master’s hand to touch my life and use me as His instrument in creating a symphony. When faced with that choice, I want, hands down, to be used by Him… to be a part of something I could not conduct on my own.

Friday, January 7, 2011


My deceased husband’s cousin was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She is single and found herself at the many doctor appointments and chemotherapy appointments that the diagnosis required. Shortly after the diagnosis, I was informed that my job was being eliminated at the company I was working for. I felt very sure that my Father in Heaven had prepared the way for my cousin to have a companion during this difficult time. My first day off from work (Monday) we went to chemo, my fifth (today) we went to a new doctor in hopes of a more clear understanding of her prognosis. I have sat in these same chairs before and heard very similar news. This was not new to me. But for her, facing her own mortality was difficult. I have not sat in those shoes and cannot completely comprehend what that feels like. When the doctor had left the room she looked at me and asked, "what do you think? Do you think I am going to beat this or do you think I am going to die". In that moment I didn’t really know how to respond. I know very well that cancer, especially in its advanced stages, may lead to death. But I also remember six year ago when my husband lay in a hospital bed with health that had seriously declined at a very steady and real pace, I remember the faith that I felt. I knew very clearly that Chris’ life – the duration of it - was not attached to any prognosis that a doctor gave. God had complete control. I knew that he could wake up from the deep sleep the morphine caused and be whole. This was not a game of science. It was a game of faith. Faith to know that no matter the path that lay ahead – I was loved and cared for by my Father in Heaven. That He would care for me and my children and that the course would be according to His will. So, in that moment today… sitting in the doctor’s office when she asked what I thought… I told her exactly what I thought. “I think you are going to die. And I think I am going to die. I think we are all going to die. In fact, I may kill us both just driving home today. Life is not about dying, it is about living. Cancer can be a gift that reminds us how fragile life is. How we should not waste the time that is given to us. But cancer does not determine if you live or die. God determines if you live or die. Your part is to keep living, and do everything that you can to be healthy.”