Monday, February 14, 2011

Don't Be Afraid.........

This Thursday it will be 12 weeks since we said bye to Jessi. Alot of things are different now for us. However, differnt didn't just start the last day we spent with Jessi. Different for us started June 26.....Day of Diagnosis......

The last weekend in January The Cure Foundation has an Annual Bereavement Weekend for parents that are unlucky enough to have a child with cancer and even unluckier to have lost a child to this dreadful disease. I really wanted to go in hopes of maybe making some new friends, visiting friends already made and hoping that I could find some comfort after the weekend was over knowing I'm not the only one and be with others who truly understand this pain. I really had to pursuade Bud to go, he really wasn't up for it. On the first day after listening to one of the speakers, talking with other parents and then going to the candle lighting ceremony I had had second thoughts and at one point remember thinking this wasn't such a good idea. During the candle ceremony it was like reliving Jessi's service all over again. I sat in my chair hoping that they were not gonna call her name, that it wasn't real. But they did call her name, showed her picture on the power point and we lit her candle. As I type this I'm reliving that very moment. I remember looking at the screen and seeing her name and the dates........

I will say this......For once in weeks I didn't feel like I was different. I felt like I could cry and it was ok. I could talk about Jessi and it waas ok. I realized my thoughts are not crazy ones, as many people have the same thoughts as me.

I'm writing this post for one reason.....In hopes that when you are done reading this if you see me or Bud out at a store, or a restuarant, getting gas, at the post office, or wherever it may be you wont't be afraid to say "Hi" or wave or give a hug to us.

The worst thing in the world is to see one of us and then look the other way then walk away because you don't know what to say. Guess what??? We don't know what to say either......Nobody has to say anything....Actions speak louder than words and we love hugs. Will that hug bring on tears? I can tell you as for me that is almost a sure thing. But, tears are not a bad thing because even though the root of my tears are because of Jessi, I can cry happy tears too because thats what hugs do for me.....they do make me happy for a moment.

Bud and I have both experienced being at the store and having people we know see us and then having them turn away. I just want everyone to know that we are approachable. Don't be afraid to say Jessi's name....Please don't pretend that you didn't see us. So if you see us out and you don't know what to say, don't say anything a hug will do just fine......

This whole tragedy has really showed me many things......I'm thankful for all the special people that are in my life....Friends that have been there for many many years and God has brought some new people along to help Bud and I thru this unthinkable journey. People I never expected to step up and check on me everyday. My dear friend YoYo that texts me and Bud every morning and every nite and many times throughout the day.....And Carm, who I call when she leasts expects it than has to endure listening to me cry on the other end of the phone. Carm cries with me. Crystal and Leslie who randomly text me just to let me know they are praying for me and they luv me.

Last Wednesday I opened the mail and we received Jessi's death certificate....Let's just say, Bud and I did not handle it well. We decided to go to church that nite and I think I cried the entire time from when we got the mail till I went to bed.....I'm not sure how I looked but I'm sure by the time I got to church people could tell I was not having a great day.....Well something special happened to me this nite and I'm about to share it with you.......during service there is a time to shake hands and I made it through part of that but got to a point that I needed to get myself together so I went to the restroom. I don't think I was in there a minute and while I was trying to clean up my face through the tears in enters Joanne Galloway....she didn't have many words for me but she gave me the biggest hug and didnt let go. She even said I just dont know what to say. You see, theres more to this than Joanne jsut being there with me......she must have seen me sometime before and during the beginning of the service and knew I mite be having a bad nite....she was watching out for me.....I finally went back to my seat and thought about that the rest of the nite.....Joanne knows she cant take mypain away, but she just came to be there with me and hold me up....Miss Joanne I hope your reading this because I wouldnt be able to say all this to you without crying.....I love you and I thank you for having my back....
One more short note and I will be done......Jacob Berry is another one who's actions have left a mark on me. We saw Jacob at Camp Meeting in Seffner about a month ago. FOr those of you who dont know Jacob he is an evangelist you can check out his website at Jacob Berry Ministries. Jacob is in a wheelchair and has been on a respirator his entire 22 years of life. Jacob knows our story and Jessi was privileged to hear him preach. While at the camp meeting, Jacob asked us if we wanted to go eat after the service. We told him we would get with him after service and let him know.....As we went and sat down I remembered Pastor Chris mentioned at the last Youth Retreat that Jacob had never tasted a cheeseburger, or ate food like we do. So you see, Jacob didn't want to go eat with us, he just want to be with us.

Again, actions speak much louder that words.........There are alot of friends and some family who have surprised me by doing just the opposite. I have not heard from some at all.....Not a text, email, phone call. Nothing. I don't understand this. Friends don't let friends grieve alone......There may be days that I don't return your text, and Im sorry for that. Sometimes its easier to just pretend things are different. But be assured I listen to every message I get and read them all. They always put a smile on my face.

Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. James 1:19


  1. Loving you guys from here in Gray --- there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about you, grieve for you, and pray for you. Our hearts will forever be connected and I am thankful for that...

    Love and blessings,

  2. Ms Kathi-
    Praying for you all always. I live a little over 4 hours away but i send you virtual hugs :) I look forward to meeting Jessi when i get to heaven! As i said, still praying for you. Love and Hugs, Sarah