Thursday, July 29, 2010

On SEEING a MIRAGE & Note from my 9 year old EVENING

Yesterday was a bad day , but the very, very end...a OK day. I'll start with a little of the bad, not all, as it is tedious. Just know that I had some issues come up that made the day very stressful, and then I got back home with my little boy.
He always makes me smile. I did get Sarah's butterfly painted for her garden. Not a professional job , but I like it.

It was painted with love, and no skill . Sarah often put a heart above her name like that.

I had been cleaning up Sarah's things, going through them for days now, a draining experience. An experience I can honestly say I would not wish on my worst enemy .That early evening, my little one wanted pizza for dinner, I had a gift card, and we got in the car and went to our favorite restaurant. I have not been out much, do not want to run into anyone , see anyone, talk with anyone. But my husband was out, so we did it together. The place was packed, I left my sunglasses on and pushed through the crowds to the take out area. I saw people look at me, I knew some knew who I was.
I wanted no one to speak to me.
Then the girl goes, " That will be 22.00 more dollars. " I look up at her, and realize I brought the wrong gift card inside, tell my son to stay go back to my car to get my debit card.
Then my mirage appeared.

A very beautiful young blonde, who looked like my Sarah, I completely froze as she stopped me , arms out...and said, " I am so, so sorry."
I could not breathe, I thought it WAS Sarah.
Then in a few short seconds, I realized it was a young friend of mine, another beautiful blonde, who had her sunglasses pushed up on her head, had her arms out like my Sarah used to do.
And my heart almost stopped.
I hugged her, said, " Oh my God, you look so much like freaked me out.. "
Then I rushed out to my car. I could barely breathe, got back quickly, looked at my son, he was curious why I was crying.
I told him what happened , he told me lots of Sarah's friends look like least to a 9 year old.
I then turned to leave, and ran into her again ! Told her she really freaked me out again ( wasn't that dumb to say twice or what ?), and then drove home crying.
You see I believed, for a split second...that it may have all been a mistake. That I may have my Sarah back, that she was right in front of me.
I really believed that.
The grief people call that being in the denial stage still.

Then when I got home , we ate our pizza, took Maxine for a walk, and then I kept remembering the feeling and what happened. I was trying to compose myself, still shaken up. A bit later, my daughter and son-in-law stopped by to take Maxine for another walk. My son-in-law that I adore...tried to make it to Sarah's funeral, but it took him 5 days to get back from Afghanistan. So he missed it, but has helped us with getting her apartment cleaned out, and many other things that needed to get done. ( Plus my daughter has helped tremendously, I will write about that another time, so much work on her part that first week especially ).
You can not believe the things you need to do after someone dies , and they have to be done quickly.
Anyway, he is shown above last night, he and my oldest beloved daughter...I told them what happened and they go , " How could you think she was Sarah ?' They thought I was bonkers.
I could concur that I feel crazy and bonkers , out in left field , looney , at present, but I insisted she did.
Then my son-in-law goes, " I was like a mirage. "
 I looked up at him and said , " Yes, I desperately want to see her, it was like a mirage."
They saw my sadness and decided to try to cheer me up.

Then he and my other beautiful daughter sat around and entertained us with stories, and they are both delightful to be around.

He is very dramatic and entertaining , they had been walking at 8 PM, and it was about 90 degrees still and 85% humidity. I still wanted their pictures.
Love these two bunches.
Young love.

Finally it was getting late, I had to get our little boy to bed...and got him all tucked in with Maxine and a prayer and a kiss.
Then later on, got upstairs in my bathroom...was leaning over to get my toothbrush...and I see this note. It was a note, that my 9 year old left me...concerning getting his dad out of bed early ( 6:20 AM ), to go play baseball at the field near our house.
here is the note:

He wanted to make sure I got his dad up, and it made me smile.

I will have to get myself used to seeing young blondes , that are not my little girl.

thanks for listening to my rambling, bless you,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I WISH I was my DOG

  Everytime I look at Maxine lately, I wish I was her. No worries, tons of love, lots of long naps , happiness prevails with this dog.
I will also tell you, that I have always been a cat person, way before a dog person. My husband is the big dog lover, he does not like cats nearly as much. We have always had BIG dogs, German shepards, Black labs, Irish setter-lab combo, big large dogs.
I am not a let-my -dog-kiss-me-on-the-lips person, or let- my- dog -lick the- sweat- off- me person, or a I -don't- care- if- my- dog- drools- on- me person, or a let-the-dog-sleep-in-the-bed-with-us person.
That would be my husband again.
So you see, me wanting to be my dog lately is ironic. I will admit she is much sweeter than I am.
But with all the turmoil and tragedy of the last few weeks, I look at her and wish I could just simply ' be ' in this world , accepting the love I have offered me from who is here or she does.
Not concerned about someone she has not seen in awhile.
Accepting the day as it comes , no concern or worry about anyone that is not in her direct line of sight.
Unlike me.
She knows she will be fed, she knows she will get the love she needs, she knows that life is good.
She is present , where she is.
No sadness, no anger, never irritated.
Unlike her mom.

Even in the 100 degree weather we have been having for weeks, she will come out with me , when I go out to my garden, which is not alot lately..and she will lay and watch me take a few pictures.
I planted a few plants that came during Sarah's funeral, around my shade garden. I do not know if they will grow, I just took some out of the pots, and sat in the dirt around my shade garden...and planted them.

Two hydrangeas , some ivys, some tropical something or others...and just put them in the dirt.

I also took my large metal butterfly stake, that I had to the side, and placed it in here. In my previous post, about seing the floating/flittering butterfly in Edisto...I did not write in the eulogy about my daughter...that I saw that butterfly the morning of her accident. On a beautiful stretch through a shaded area that she always ran ahead of me , when she was with us there. She was so much like a butterfly .
My heart is aching for her.

I am going to paint on this butterfly, " Sarah's garden ", in pink. Pink and purple were her favorite colors.

My cupids will oversee it.

My lady plaque on my river birch will also be around.

Sarah always loved my garden, front and backyard. She always told me so.

I really do appreciate all your comments , and am surprised that anyone is reading my blog lately. There used to be a fun , nutty ( or rather goofy ), assertive , inspirational  woman who wrote on this blog.
Now she is not around , my concept of time is off-kilter , my world is off-kilter.
Faith is still a struggle for me now, and God is either getting annoyed with me or wants to hold me , I am fluctuating with what I think He wants me to do, or how He wants me to act after our daughter's death.
Since I always say God must have given me a certian grade on whatever lesson He wants to teach me...I am suppposing I am either getting a C- or an F-. Probably the F-.
I would give me the latter.
I would like to leave you with another picture of Sarah and her boyfriend who came and cooked me an extravagant birthday dinner last month of steaks, shrimp, stuffed tomatoes ( she made those  & the garlic bread), and shish-ka-bob vegis. They were very proud...Sarah could not cook much at all...but she did help and she was so happy and proud that night.
I can still see her smile.


It was one of those sweltering 100 degree early evenings, but they brightened up our day. Made my birthday very special.

Enjoy everyone in your life , relish every minute of time you have with them. Every moment.

Bless you,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


It has been an extremely difficult time in our family, the most painful that we have ever had. I appreciate all of your comments from my last post about my baby girl, pictured above with me when she helped cook a birthday dinner for me last month. I wanted to write to explain to you about my daughter, she was my youngest daughter , named Sarah, and as you can see...very beautiful as is my oldest daughter, that one is married and lives in our city while her husband is in Afghanistan. It is almost impossible to explain what my Sarah was like and I am worn out , so I have decided to include what I wrote for my pastor to say at her funeral which was held last Friday. My daughter had over 400+ people at her funeral, a 21 year old , we were floored by how many people have been impacted by her tragic early death from the car accident.
I can tell you also that we have discovered who are friends really are through this, and who truly cares about us and about her.
I can also tell you that my faith is being sorely tested.
Thank you all for your kindness to me , and your concern.

              Our Sarah ,
             written by her Mother

Trying to write about our beautiful Sarah is a very hard thing to do , as she was so full of life, so effervescent , so bubbling over with energy and love...that it makes me  unbearably sad to consider that she will not be in our lives anymore.  That in turn makes it painful to write about her, but also a must to express our Sarah to you. That the joy of her very being , her very presence... has been  taken from us all so suddenly and tragically is a burden we will all carry in our hearts and souls for the rest of our lives . To try to explain a person such as Sarah , is a daunting I know that I cannot do justice to her . She was a one of a kind original masterpiece.

Sarah was young and very  beautiful, inside and out. She loved to exercise and run all over the University of Carolina, she loved hanging out with her friends and laughing, going out and dancing. She loved music, loved to sing and she was a very good singer as well. She worked hard at her job at California Dreaming, she was very friendly and had a bright beautiful smile to welcome people at her tables. No one could forget Sarah once they met her, she had many regular customers who requested her for their tables.
If I had one word to describe her, instead of beautiful , it would be loving. When she was very young, little Sarah would knock on the window when I was going out for my walks and wave and wave at me , and scream I love you , through the glass...over and over. I loved it, and she did it all the time. Of course she would see me within and hour when I came home, but she would do that as if I was going off for a week long trip every time. She loved dressing up in crazy costumes of her own design , dancing around the house and pretending she was a famous singer as well. 

 Later on she was a cheerleader at Dreher High school, she was active in the drama department and in many plays, nominated for the beauty pageants there, all of this while making good grades and working part-time. Sarah was also a Christian , and told me many times about praying and asking God for help and guidance . Whenever Sarah was confused about her life, about why God does do this or doesn't do that, I tell her we could not in this lifetime answer many of those questions. I told her God loves her, and all of us , way more than even I loved her and that she will have a very good life. She did have a very good life, but from our human standpoint, much too short of one.

She attended USC for  short time, and then ended up working full time at California Dreaming and living away from home, working hard and paying most of her own bills . She was learning to be responsible, and we were proud of her. She was very popular at work and she was helpful, and showed such care for her co-workers and supervisors. It was like a second family to her there.

Sarah's very favorite place to go was Edisto Beach, South Carolina. We had many family vacations there for about 13 years , and she loved the beach, playing in the ocean, the sunsets, running in front of me on her jogs , and being with her family. She really enjoyed time with her family, and always told us so, which I know is sometimes unusual for that age group. When I was in Edisto this past week , I saw a beautiful floating butterfly, ahead of me on one of my walks...and as I saw it flit and flutter  , to and fro , still staying just ahead of me through a small road in the woods area made me think of Sarah. Always flitting and flying around, light and beautiful...floating from activity to if on air. A happy butterfly reminded me of my baby girl on that day.

In 2006 , Sarah's maternal grandmother died unexpectedly of a heart attack, and that and some other factors with our family made her do a complete turn around in her focus in life. She had been focusing on so many of her friends and having fun , that family time was dwindling , like it does for many young people at that stage in life.  But after my mother's death, Sarah took it very , very hard...and she changed almost overnight. She learned a lesson that most people of all ages from 5 to 85 don't ever learn. That lesson was to show the people that you love, that you truly love them, with the time that you are given.  After that happened , Sarah typically texted or called me about 4-8 times every day, and always told me she loved I did her.
She also was known for telling most of her friends that she loved them, I would tell her to stop telling everyone that she loved make it mean something , to say it to a select few.
But no, not Sarah. She told me, " But I do love them. " And that is how she was...over flowing with love.

That focus became what it was when she was a very young child and continued, and that was  expressing love.

Her life was going well, she had just made the honor roll at Midlands Tech, and was eager to continue her career as a physical therapist. She had such promise , such potential in life. She loved her father dearly, her big sister was very special to her and she adored her as well, her big brother and she had gotten closer over the years and she loved him very much, and she absolutely adored her little brother and wanted to hug and kiss him all the time, which he half the time refused on account of being a 9 year old little boy still.

 Unfortunately , all we were allowed was 21 years of her in this life . We were all blessed beyond any words that I can try to use to express to describe her or describe her impact on each of our lives.

You all have your own memories of my sweet baby girl, what I hope you can remember how she showed love and caring , and continue that with the people you have in your lives now. Do not ever wait to tell someone you love, that you love them, do not wait to tell your child or your friend or parent that you are proud of them, that they are beautiful, that they make you happy. Express that to them whenever you truly feel it , as in this life, that time may never come again. Make the most of the time you have, to love. Bless in small ways , as the small blessings make up an abundant life of love.

Thank you all , for loving and caring about our precious, beautiful Sarah.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I was out of town on a short family vacation when I got a call my youngest daughter had been killed in a car wreck yesterday. She was only 21 , it happened in the middle of the day, and our world and our hearts are crushed. I do not know when I will write again ,I have much to take care of. My  beautiful baby is gone.
Please take great care with the ones you love, Gina

Saturday, July 10, 2010

MY How My GARDEN Has Changed--April thru July 2010

I wanted to do one of those entries that I enjoy on other blogs, with pictures how their garden has changed in the Spring to Summer months. I am hoping for some ooohhhss and ahhhhsss , and probably some ' this yardlady needs to get crackin' out there ' comments.
Let's start in the middle, the center focal point of my Lost & Found garden.
Some of these shots I see are almost embarrassing to post my garden looks so forlorn, but stay hopeful and keep reading...they get better.
Here goes- Oh ! this post will be long...sorry, but I'll be gone for a few days and won't post for awhile, 
so that's my excuse:
April 2010- Clean slate

Weeded, ready for planting-fairly bare April 2010

Front shade bed- April 2010

Me in April 2010 thinking ' I have weeded and this garden needs some color ! "

My planters in April calling for a plant to fill them up.

Forgot this, my son and Maxine at Easter , hunting eggs together April 2010. If Maxine finds the eggs first, she eats he has to be quick.

Late April 2010-Yardlady is giving her garden some color, and has high hopes that it will keep looking better.

Late April 2010

As usual, my son watering the air instead of my garden April 2010

May 2010-Wow, already vast improvement , this yardlady starts to smile more when she looks out at this.

May 2010-Beginning of perennials peeking their heads, the brick center I laid with found bricks.

Maxine looking at my tools and lounging. Early May 2010

Mid-May 2010

Mid-May 2010

Mid-May & clearing side path for mulch

Late May 2010

Back shade garden Late May 2010

Late May 2010

Late May-2010

Don't go to sleep out there, I will go thru June and July faster...

Late May 2010

June 2010

June 2010

Side-view June 2010

June 2010-Lush, needs more weeding and trimming  in this shot...that I have done later. But, as usual...needs more again.

June 2010

June 2010-Wowzee, act like you're impressed, God's plants and flowers, my labor.

June 2010

June 2010

early July 2010

Early July 2010

Mid-July 2010

Mid July 2010

Maxine getting bored senseless with me taking pictures out in the hot sun July 2010.

July 2010-Crape myrtles about to envelop my garden

July 2010- Trumpet vine re-blooming

July 2010

Maxine imploring me to stop taking pictures again July 2010. She does this with her sweet brown eyes looking like, " Please, someone take the camera away from my Mom !! "

Last shots-July 2010...Maxine wants back in her air-conditioned comfort.

Now she's getting mildly irritated with me. I wish I only got mildly irritated, I  can get majorly irritated...I need to be more like Maxine. 

Waiting for the door to magically open.
Not letting me take her picture.

Well, that's the best I could do folks. We've only been out her about 15 minutes and Ms. Spoiled Black lab wants another cool nap inside .
Thanks for going on this month by month tour with me, if you hung in there for all the pictures, I would be impressed...if you hung in for half the pictures...I would still be impressed...if you scrolled down to see cute shots of Maxine only...I would not be surprised.

Have a great weekend, blessings and laughter for you , is what I believe is coming your way,


" In You, O LORD, I put my trust;
         Let me never be ashamed;
         Deliver me in Your righteousness.

  Bow down Your ear to me,
         Deliver me speedily;
         Be my rock of refuge,
         A fortress of defense to save me.
 For You are my rock and my fortress;
         Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
         Lead me and guide me.
  Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
         For You are my strength. " Psalm 31:1-4