Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘news’

Well…here we are. 20 years since my boys were taken away from me. 20 years past the day I didn’t honestly think I could live through. 20 years have passed and 20 years of life has been lived! …..and yet…I can still see so many things so vividly in my mind….as if it were just yesterday.

In preparing for this anniversary….God placed it on my heart to do something different. You see…I’m VERY private on these days. VERY! I take off work, I stay home…I don’t make phone calls…and I don’t take all the phone calls I receive. I allow my self to “go there”. I give myself permission to go back, to remember….to hurt and cry…and fall apart. I do fall apart…usually pretty hard. I usually wait until my husband and kiddos are gone…and I release it all. I cry out to God….I cry and allow myself to feel the ache…to feel the emptiness. I allow my mind to go to the places I try to keep it from on a daily basis. These are usually the days I reserve for me.

But this time…this time God reminded me of some very true realities.

This…didn’t just happen to me. They weren’t “mine” only. There were other family members, friends, neighbors, schoolmates, teammates, teachers, coaches…..just a lot of other people who also experienced the loss of my wonderful boys. And…there are people that have never met them….didn’t know them while they were here with us on this earth. These people didn’t know them…but they know us…and so they know their story. And..they love us!  And…this being such a momentous anniversary…I needed to do something…something to include everyone.

So, I took it to my kids and hubs to see what we should do. This was at the beginning of February…we talked about it…but then life happened and we got busy…and the next thing we knew…we were about a week away and still hadn’t planned anything. In talking to each of my family…..it seems we all had the same idea. We should do a balloon release to celebrate their lives! We agreed to release blue & silver balloons, the color of their school. Then, where to have it? We talked about the school….or the ball fields where their trees are planted…but ended up deciding on the cemetery. It was decided.

I then created a graphic for each of us to share. I remember my daughter asking if I thought there would be a lot of people there. I said…”maybe”. And by “a lot”…I was thinking 30-40!

Little did I know…this would get bigger than I ever imagined. I wanted to just get together…play some music and release balloons. And that is what we did…but it truly…turned into an event. Not an event I had envisioned…but in looking back…it is exactly the kind of event my heart needed!!!!

In listening to God and opening myself up to others on this day….He did a work and a healing on my heart through others!!! I’m so thankful for His provision!

We had news coverage, 2 professional photographers, friends helping plan, donated balloons…..and friends and family….there to support us.

It was overwhelming…the love I felt.

I told everyone…that 20 years ago…on that awful, dark grey day…I had crawled into the lap of God and let Him hold me. But on this day…..it was their texts, calls, facebook posts, faces and sweet messages that I felt…and it felt just like the arms of God were wrapped around me again! It was them….who gave me my strength. And it wasn’t a dark, grey day at all…. There was a beautiful blue sky, with wispy, angel-winged clouds….that evolved into one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.




We had close to 150 people gathered to remember…to celebrate the lives of my sweet angels! It was overwhelming to see so many people from so many different facets of my life represented there with me! Seeing the love…and you could truly see love….was more than my heart could have imagined. The hugs I received….were just like the hugs I received 20 years ago today.

20 years ago today was the funeral. I remember it being dark and cold and grey…again. But I also remember staying there….and hugging every single person …..long after the graveside service was over. I remember the hugs…the love…and the way it made me feel supported and that I was not alone. That…is exactly what happened, again….at the balloon release. The hugs…the love….the smiles…the stories…the tears…the presence….of those who loved the boys…of those who love me…and my family…were like raindrops in the desert! They were the salve my wounded heart needed on this anniversary date.

I’m hoping these links work….because if you are reading this…no matter where you are in the world….you are now a part of my story….of their story and I want to share this day with you. I thank you for the time you’ve taken to read my blog…to allow me and my part of His story…to reach into your life. This is a video…of the day I had…of remembering…of loving…and of being loved. These are just some of the small reminders…that God shows up!!! He showed up 20 years ago….and He has continued to show up…through the hands and feet of the people who love HIM!

Click here to watch the coverage from News 9. A big shout-out and thanks to Steve Shaw for being so kind and respectful of my family while covering the event.

And this video is a small representation of the day we had…taken by my sweet friend Mary from ToMorrow’s Memories Photography! Please take a few moments…to watch…to see God…and to thank God…for life…for love…and for each other.

So…if you can still see this…through the tears…I know you are really wonderful and I thank Him for you! I ask that you share…so that others can see the goodness in life after death……in hope after tragedy….in love over hate!! I am asking God to do big things…in and through this day of remembrance! He….has done such a good work through this tragedy…and I know…He is just starting to “show up and show off!”. I’m just praying….I’m strong enough…and up for the ride He has in store!!

There is so much more to share…but for now…this is enough. Until then……………

Much love and thanks! ~c

 

 

Read Full Post »

I don’t even know where to begin!!

First, I MUST say thank you to all of you! Thank you for the words of encouragement! Thank you for sharing with others! Thank you for watching the show with me! Thank you for allowing me to open up my home and share with you and your friends and family!!! I love each one of you…and thanks just isn’t enough for all you’ve each done for me! Your words of encouragement mean more to me than I can adequately express!

Now….. I must say..the last week has been an emotional whirlwind! The actual show and seeing that video always brings back so many emotions. To say it is hard to watch, is a little bit of and understatement….to say the least. The part where they show one of the boys being wheeled out of the house is so hard. I remember being on that first show and seeing that video for the first time! (remember…it was a surprise….so I had no clue!) I remember when it got to that point I looked at Oprah and said I had never seen that before and didn’t know if I could go on…..she quickly grabbed my hand and turned me around and I didn’t see the rest of the video…just heard it….. You see….my family didn’t allow me to watch television for over two weeks after they died. I had asked my family to not speak to any media and had absolutely no idea that the story had made national news. So…all those images….were some I’d never seen or imagined.

Then, my dad had sent Oprah the video of the boys…….the part with them at SeaWorld and to see them waving to me…..every time…it just grabs my heart and makes me stop breathing…for just a moment. Seeing that….is always hard.

But then came the update part. I have to be honest….this was where I was holding my breath. It is hard to give someone else control of my story…..and that is what I did. I did the skype interview…and talked with them for almost an hour. Then…we sent lots of videos and pictures and from there……it was all the producers and production crew at HARPO. They were totally in charge of how the update would go and what it would portray.

I must say……I WAS THRILLED! I was so happy with the way it was put together and how respectful they were of my story. All of my fears were gone and thankfulness set in! I couldn’t have asked for a better segment!! What a blessing the HARPO staff is to me and my family! I am so thankful for each one that I came into contact with….and for the ones behind the scenes who helped!

You can view the first part of the segment here.

The second part with the update is here.

Now…..although this was not my first Oprah appearance…..this WAS the first time I’ve done an Oprah show with Social Media going on!

What a crazy thing!

20140726-114203-42123194.jpg

I was having a Twitter party with the producers of the show…leading up to and during the show! I had my iPad on my lap and my phone at my side! Before, during and after my segment…..each of my devices was beeping and dinging at a rate I just couldn’t keep up with! I’d attend to one…and come back to the other and there would be over 80 new items to review!

Facebook….Twitter…..my texts…..all were going off! And, I’m so thankful that every single word was extremely encouraging to me! I don’t think everybody realizes how much I am encouraged by others… When I feel down or like I am stepping out too much….I see all of the sweet encouragement you have given me and I am reminded that I am an ambassador for His Kingdom and am just doing what He has asked of me!

Finding out Tuesday evening that the story was on the Huffington Post main page….literally knocked the wind out of me. I received a message from a friend who told me it had come across her feed….sure enough….there it was! As of now…..there are 2.9k Likes….and 376 shares on this story! I am totally blown away! Talk about humbling! You can see it here!

But I want you to know what I see from this…… I see people that are craving happy endings! I see people who want and NEED hope in their lives! I see that the message God has given me to share….is just that! It is HIS story! His HOPE! That is what people need….and that is exactly what I’m here to do!

Then…Thursday afternoon…I received a message on facebook from someone who had seen my story on a mutual friend’s page…and she wanted me to give her a call to do a “local” update! I called my family to see if they were up for it…and they agreed! So we did a whirlwind interview with the reporter and her wonderful camerawoman…..and then sent out messages for our friends and family to watch the 10:00 news that night!

Again, I have to thank the reporter and her crew for their fabulous editing…..in less than 2 hours I might add….and the way they respectfully put together my story! Again….I couldn’t have been more thrilled with the way she told my update while leaving the emphasis on Christ….instead of me!

You can see the news interview here.

But…..to me…the most amazing thing about this past week….are the messages and private messages I’ve received. From people finding hope from hearing my story….to others wanting to start sharing their own trials, tragedies and triumphs…because they’ve realized God can take them and use them for good…. Those are the moments I’m going to cherish forever. I’m printing each message….and using them as my own messages of hope. So again, I thank each of you for reaching out and touching my life in such a positive and encouraging way.

As always…I am asking you to pray. Please pray for myself and the wisdom to know what my next step is. Yes…I’ve revved up the writing process and kicking myself for not having more done….but all in His time. Please pray for God to open doors of opportunity for me to share and for me to continue to be strengthened by Him in order to share.

Please pray for my family. In less than a week they’ve been the focus of two news segments and this is new to them. I have felt God holding me back from taking this message to the world…and I have believed it was to protect my children. They were so young and didn’t know the whole truth when I began to share. They are still young, but I believe God has prepared them for what is ahead…and I truly believe their part in His story…could very well be bigger than mine!

Please pray for my sweet husband and our marriage. He is my safe place…the one I take all my emotions to and the one who comforts me. Yes….God is my Father…but He gave me my husband to feel the presence of His arms around me! My husband is so good at this….he comforts, cries with me, encourages and strengthens me continually! Please pray his cup is filled to overflowing for all he has to endure with me! I’ve told him….I’ll never be “normal”…..and he chose me anyway! 🙂

But mostly….pray for this message. Join me in praying Ephesians 6:19-20
“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Pray that I boldly enter into the arena God is preparing for me and walk through the doors He is opening!

Friends~ we all have a story. Remember….it’s your part of His story. He is the author…but you choose some of the chapters. Your story….just might….be the hope and change….someone else’s story needs. It takes many parts…to create the whole! He has made you……and given you purpose! Step into it! It is freeing to know you have a purpose….and living it out……is ……well…..try it. 🙂

Many blessings! ~c

Read Full Post »

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: