Saturday, October 6, 2018

Observations from a mom....and a mimi

Last night we went to Addy's game at Reedy.  Goodness, we love watching our girl play!  Some things have happened this year....not fair things and it's been hard...hard to understand, hard to hold emotions in, difficult to not have some really hard feelings in our hearts.   Trying so hard to forgive - 70x7 - asking daily for God to redeem it all with this varsity coach.  I KNOW He has a plan for Addy and it's an amazing one - better than any of us can imagine.  I also know that it's in the valleys - that's where He molds us and makes us more and more like Him.  Trying hard to understand and remember that.  Hard when i see the ones i love so much hurting.  Hard when spirit is lacking because of it all.

We got there early last night so we could watch a little of the varsity team play.  Just before Addy's JV team started their first set, Chase came in.  As is his sweet nature, he's "working the room" as my daddy used to say.  He's finding friends and talking as he comes in.  He was standing in front of me with his back to the court, talking to someone close by.  I look down on the court and see Addy staring at us.....she keeps looking up at us and finally motions to me to get her daddy's attention for her.  Mind you not a hello to me or Papa, but "will you get dada's attention" - so i tap Chase on the shoulder, but he's in mid sentence.....she motions to me again to get him - well by that time i am thinking it's something she needs right then.  Maybe advice, maybe a water or i tap on his shoulder a little harder - and he's still talking (i am even beginning to feel a little bad about interrupting at this point) but finally i say "Addy needs you" - he turns to her and no,  it's not a question, no water or instruction she's needing,  it's just the sweetest smile and a little wave.  "Hi dada" she's saying...."so glad you are here" -  Nobody else got that.  Not Angie, not me, not Papa, not Farrah or Alan....just her daddy.

It makes me think about their relationship....makes me realize JUST how much she loves him and loves his much she craves his approval.  When she's warming up, she ALWAYS looks up to the stands right before she slams that ball or when she serves.  Sometimes it might be a side ways glance, to not be so obvious, but she's ALWAYS searching her daddy out....needing that attention, that approval and it's just the SWEETEST thing ever.

Since she was born, Chase has been there for that sweet girl.  Sweetest hands on daddy ever.  He has ALWAYS been (since birth) her confidant, her play mate, her hero, her security.....the one she looks to for advice, for instruction....He's the one that helped her pray and ask Jesus into her heart.....nightly devotionals, instructions on sports, homework, her biggest fan, her biggest cheerleader.....Chase is the one she runs to.  Still to this day....sweetest relationship between these two!  This relationship is the basis for every relationship she will have in the future.  He has set the standard high for her future husband.....she will have to look long and hard to find a man as sweet and kind as her daddy.

I am SO thankful for the relationships that both my boys have with their children and now grandchildren.  Just so thankful to witness the sweetest love last night on the court - i saw just a glimpse of the little girl in Addy...searching out her daddy.....just to say "hi glad you are mine".  What a precious young woman she's becoming.  What a precious daddy/daughter love.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Touch my heart...

This weekend.....lots of things brought tears....happy tears.

My weekend started out on Friday - finally a day to spend some time with Angie and celebrate her birthday!  I met Angie and Chase at Hayden's school - it was his "Fun Run" day and just so happens it was Chase's "Watchdog" day there too.  Hayden was SO excited!  We took Hayden and Chase Chick-fil-et and hung out for just a bit with the boys.
He had SO much fun and it made it extra special that his daddy was there all day long with him and that Angie and Mimi came for lunch!

After our visit, we headed to Lululemon for shopping for Angie's birthday gift and then this AMAZING lunch at a new restaurant in Legacy West called "North" lunch in a LONG time.  We had wine, and aps and homemade pasta - and a dessert to celebrate our sweet daughter-in-law!  Yummy lunch but oh the time spent one on one with Angie - just the sweetest!
We had the best long lunch and precious time together.  Love when i have one on one with my girl!

That night was "family night" at Addy's volleyball game.  Papa met us at Reedy and after pictures, we watched Varsity and then watched Addy's JV game.  Don't even get me started on all that....SO many things happening regarding Addy and that hard hearted Varsity Coach....makes me sick to think about it.  God is working though.....big time....making HIS plan for Addy so clear.  

She played she always does - they won in two and Addy scored the last point on both games.  She does that a LOT!

Blurry i know, but that's the last point in the first set and she NAILED it!  SO love watching this girl play!  God, i just pray so hard for YOUR hand to arrange things for her regarding her years in high school.  Jeremiah 29:11.....YOUR best Lord.  I pray redemption for all that's been done to her and God please, i pray....keep her spirit true and lifted.  She's keeping all her feelings deep inside and i just know she's hurting.  God take that hurt and mold and make her stronger because of it.  Her heart is yours Lord.  She belongs to YOU and YOUR plan for her is the very best.  I just pray redemption. 

Such a fun Friday....and then Saturday, Hayden had a football game.  We haven't seen him play yet this year and i was excited to go.  

HOWEVER....his little heart just hasn't been in sports at all.  In fact he told his daddy "You know dada, i am not really a sports kinda guy....i am more of a sword guy!"  

Last year, we saw no interest whatsoever in sports and we so hoped that this year would be a growing experience and maybe some interest in a sport, in competing.  

Last game, Debdeb was here.  Chase coaches, which is what he's wanted to do his entire life.  I am so glad he gets to do this just a bit! Chase and Jim have Hayden as center.  Last game, he was down in his stance and apparently he was in an ant pile.  He got into those fire ants and that was all it took.  He sat on the bench and refused to play.  Long after the ants and stings were problem at all....he still refused to play and oh my goodness, Chase was SO upset.  They were a man short and Hayden just wouldn't go.  I could tell when i saw Chase later in the day - he was just crushed and SO upset.  Debdeb said it was just an AWFUL experience for both.

This has hurt my heart for Chase.  As a little boy and to into his adulthood, Chase Corley has always been a "sleep, eat and breathe" sports kinda guy.  His determination even as a young boy was SO strong.  He always LOVED it and he tried his very best to BE the best.  I know he had hopes for HIS son to follow in those footsteps.  That said....he has never forced it on Hayden.  They have encouraged and tried all kinds of sports for him though - as a learning experience, taking instruction etc. The hopes have been there, especially for Chase, but nothing has ever been forced. 

On to Saturday.  The game was at 11 and when i woke up Saturday morning it was POURING down rain.  They didn't cancel the game though so i drove through the downpour to Frisco and the heavy rain stopped as 11:00 came near.  I was so pleased to see, as the game unfolded, that the little team has really GROWN....they "get it" this year and i was so proud of them and especially proud of Hayden - he ran the entire field each play....offense and defense, and he really seemed to "get it" too!

It just does a momma's heart SO good to see her son on the field, coaching HIS son.  Chase, from the time he was 5 or 6, always said he wanted to grow up, teach math and coach football.  That was his dream.  As a little boy, you could go by his room and hear him playing.....and you would hear this sound from him.....if you peeked in you could see his Starwars figures, situated just so in his hands - so their legs could run and he would have one in each hand.....the sound he would make was the crowd roaring as one of those Starwars figures made a touchdown!  His mind was ALWAYS running plays.  In their bathroom on Runningbrook?  You couldn't walk in there without finding a notepad laying there with ALL kinds of plays drawn out.....x's and o's.  And guess what.....that habit i'll bet STILL happens today!  Oh my goodness, both my boys love football SO much.  But's the PLAYS....he just loves trying to figure out the very best plays.  I remember later on in college, he and friends played on a flag football team....he shows up the first game with laminated cards on ropes to put around their necks with all the plays he's drawn up!  I can kinda see that happening with Hayden's team =)

Hayden really seemed to listen and understand the plays.  So what does his dada do?  He draws up a play - Hayden hikes it to the QB and then runs to the end zone and the QB throws the ball back to Hayden.  First try Hayden catches the ball but they get his flag just shy of the end zone.  Try another play....nope, the other play didn't work, so let's try the throw to Hayden one more time....and oh my gosh....that little boy caught the ball for a TD!!!!  I don't know who was prouder....Chase or Hayden.  Sweetest thing is Chase immediately looks over to Angie with the biggest grin on his face EVER and mouths "i drew up that play for Hayden".....high fives for Hayden from Coach Jim....I think it took Hayden just a minute to realize he made a TD!  Oh my goodness, he was so excited!  Afterwards as we were walking to the car he says "and i was trying to block the throw too" (when he was on defense)....He's "GETTING IT!"
So i am standing on the sidelines....really close to the play....with tears running down my face.  Tears now too as i write because it was just the sweetest moment....for Hayden but oh my goodness, for Chase.  He was just SO proud.  

Sweetest moments and i am SO thankful the rain didn't detour me from going.  I am SO blessed to have been there.  

Precious weekend.....and the icing on the cake would be a Cowboy win today.  Hmmmmm, that's a long shot!

Sunday, August 19, 2018


In church, during the praise songs, Michael and I usually are pretty still.....i might bring my hands up under my chin.....i may discreetly open then down in front of me....but we are just not the hold your hands up in the air type of people.  For me, i feel it's bringing attention to me instead of the i quietly worship and often tears run down my cheeks in praise and worship.

But this night the praise team just BROUGHT it.  The songs were amazing....the team very often bringing us scriptures between the songs.  Toward the end of the last song, the words say "i will lift my hands" - and the leader asked us all to lift our hands.  Michael and i held hands at the time so when we raised our hands, they were still clasped together.

Michael can't sing.  Because of the loss of his voice, he can't sing.  He sometimes mouths the words, but usually just stands quietly and listens.  Oh my gosh.....the song we were singing was SO powerful....i was already tearful....but bless his heart.....our hands linked, we raised them together in praise.....and as the song got stronger and louder - Michael punched our hands up over and over again.....just putting a stamp on the only way he could offer his praise to the Lord.  It was the sweetest thing.....and of course, my tears just rolled.

We are dealing with this voice thing.....we are learning to deal.  Life has changed quite a bit, but it's okay.  He tends to shy away from restaurants and gatherings where it's going to be loud.  He depends on me a lot too.  But it's okay.  He's here, he's cancer free......and he's my Batman!!  Love him so very much.  So thankful for non growing lung nodules and low tumor marker levels.  Praying those stay right there and that old age will find us side by side.  Love my sweet Michael.....SO much.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Camp Mimi

We picked up our sweet boy and our first stop was Bahama Bucks.  Our curly headed little bundle of energy LOVES sweets.....and this one hit the mark for him.  He wasn't able to finish the entire thing....but almost =).

On to the house.   I have started something.  I am wondering if when he's a teenager if he will still love coming to "Camp Mimi" and if he will expect his scavenger hunt?  I am kinda thinking the answer is yes!  I have it all set up when we walk in the door....but one thing i love.  He didn't ask immediately....he was so happy to see Sammie and played with him for quite a while before he explored the house.  I always lay out his sleeping bag somewhere and on it i have the note to begin the scavenger hunt.  Oh he had such a fun time going from place to place and finding craft supplies, goodies and a box full of magic tricks.  Such a sweet time with that little boy.  I love his energy....i love his joy.

It was a late night....we watched a movie - up late - almost midnight.....but me on the couch with him on his sleeping bag right below me.  I didn't sleep well at all - guess that couch was not made for sleeping....but i wouldn't give anything for that time with our little buddy.  

Next morning, i had made his favorite - breakfast casserole - he had THREE helpings!  This was a Thursday, and that's my serving day.  Our little man went with me and Kim to deliver meals to our meals on wheels clients.  I was wanting to share with him the joy of serving....of being God's hands and feet....i came away seeing a side of Hayden i haven't seen before.  Oh my goodness....that little guy was SO kind, SO gentle - when we got to Papaw's, he gave hugs all around....he told papaw stories and sat so quietly while listening to Papaw's stories.  It was the sweetest time.  What a precious boy we have.  Thank You Lord.

That night we stayed up late again....watching movies.  Not quiet as late this night....only 11 but said our prayers and off to sleep.  Waking up with Hayden is a time i just love.  He loves to snuggle in the morning and those hugs are just the sweetest.  We then decided to put to use some of the craft items he found while on the scavenger hunt.  I just love Pinterest....and the ideas i find there!  I loaded paint into water guns i got at Dollar Tree - and then he painted by shooting the paint on canvas.  The paintings reminded me of the kind used in psychology testing.  He was quite impressed at his work and so was i!  His feet look like they had a disease when he was through!

Then we painted rocks.  I had planned on going and hiding the rocks on Rockwall Square, but Hayden wanted to keep them.  It was so much fun.  He loves crafts.  He loves art.  Thinking he got a little bit of Uncle Shawn and Avery's genes in there =)  because he's really talented!

I love this little boy so much.  LOVE his heart, his energy, his gentleness, his tender heart.  One on one time with him is treasured and i hope and pray that when he is older, he will look back on his Camp Mimi with fond memories of a Mimi and Papa who love him beyond measure!

We took Hayden back to Chase and Angie.....On to Camp Mimi for Avery and Addy!  This has been a tradition....they started Camp Mimi years ago.  That first Camp Mimi - they were so tiny.  Well into the teenage years now and we still have the best time.  I love how those girls love to come and spend time with us.

We started our time a little late in the day because Addy had a volleyball tourney....lunch time and Northpark are always a hit because we LOVE the Nordstrom Bistro!  Lunch and then a little shopping.  Each one had 100.00 to spend and we searched all over to find things they would love.  They are different as night and day so shopping is interesting =)

One thing we have incorporated into our teenage Camp Mimi's.....a food basket challenge.  Instead of competing against each other, i give them a basket of ingredients and they have an hour to create a delicious dish.  This time I decided on an appetizer.....the ingredients?  Marinated shrimp, roasted garlic, seasoned croutons, mozzarella cheese, avocado, olive tapenade, roasted tomatoes and PUFF PASTRY!  They didn't cringe as i thought they would....they took the challenge head on!  And in less than an hour, they came up with the most delicious appetizer!!  It was so sweet to hear the giggles coming out of the kitchen and the "mimi don't come in here!".  The outcome was fantastic and they proudly brought their creation to the dining room table.  Papa had two servings and with two left over, they presented them to our neighbors behind us.  She called the next day wanting the recipe!  So proud of these girls!!

So after our little snack, nobody was hungry.  Addy wanted Chipotle (and oh how they make fun of the way i say it) - so Papa did go and get her Chipotle - but the rest of us just had chips and bean dip.

That evening we played lots of Spicy Uno (oh my goodness, we are all addicted to that game!) and then a movie.  Staying up late is a must.  We watched "The Princess Diaries" but lost Addy during the last few minutes....i am guessing that early volleyball tourney was quite exhausting for her.  Avery wanted to try and watch "Jaws" because she's never seen it....we tried, but soon we both felt the sandman's midnight saw us but not for long.

The next day was Sunday and it was a very special day for my Meals on Wheels favorite guy - Papaw.  Avery and Addy have been surprising Papaw on his birthday for years.  He even has a picture of him from their first visit proudly displayed in his office, along with the words to the song and dance they performed for him.  I told them ahead of time on that first visit that Papaw was special....and that he had a twinkle in his eye that just couldn't be explained.  As we were leaving that visit so many years ago, i looked into the back seat and asked them both "Did you see the twinkle in his eye?" and without a beat Avery says "oh yes, Mimi....i saw it.  It's in his left eye!"  We laughed so hard.  This Sunday they were having Papaw's 95th birthday party.  We surprised Papaw with a visit....Suzanne, Kim, Me and Avery and Addy.  They were so sweet with him.  He was SO excited to see his "girls" - all of us!!

Because of all of their activities, we only got one night and two days with Avery and Addy.  That Sunday afternoon, Addy taught us how to make bracelets out of string.  Avery caught on so quickly, Mimi took a while but i finally got it.  While we were learning this craft, Mimi found the DVD i made of our trip to Disney World when they were just 3 and 4 years old.  Oh my goodness....sweetest trip and i must say, it brought tears to my eyes.  They have grown so much.  Those little bitty girls are turning into precious women.  Love their hearts....their little quirks and characters.  Love their sense of humor.  LOVE them so much.

This time with Avery and Addy - just so sweet.  These are sweet girls.....seeing bits and pieces of the little girls growing into wonderful young women.

LOVE - so LOVE my time with my grands....wishing for time to spend with Haley and Audrey and Matthew.....hoping that will happen soon.  God has blessed me with the sweetest babies in my life.  They are my heart....they are blessings from God and i am just SO thankful for each one.

Lord i just pray so hard for YOUR hand on each of my grands and greats.....leading them, guiding them, molding them as You write their stories.  I thank You Lord for the gift of each one.  Your gifts are SO good....SO sweet.  I am blessed beyond measure Lord.  I love each one to the moon and back!

Friday, July 27, 2018

little things Michael brought to mind....

In talking about some of the memories in the blog today, Michael asked me if i had put in Shawn's debut on stage.....2 years was a Christmas program at his daycare.  Michael is seated next to camera in hand (and back then they were HUGE - and HEAVY) and the music starts.  From the back of the church, here comes this little line of babies....Jingle bells being played on the piano....and they have little bells tied around their wrists - so here they came....and here comes our little boy with that gorgeous brown hair in a bowl cut....smiling so big as he walks by.  Then they get on stage....and if i remember correctly, Shawn was on the front row.  They all get into place and then another song begins to play and they are all starting to "sing" and jingle their wrists.....except our Shawn.  He has his shirt in his hands and pulls the entire thing over his head!  For the next few minutes they are up there, we see nothing but his tummy - AND his belly button!  He had a hernia and it was a EXTREME "outtie".  Michael was laughing so hard that when we got the video home to look at it, it was all blurry because it was jumping up and down - his laughing so hard!

So then fast forward....this is a memory when Shawn and Deb were first married.  They were going to spend Christmas with Diane and Ed in Michigan.  He didn't know them hardly at ALL....and we didn't either.  So i am wanting to send a little Christmas gift and decide to make a "movie night" bucket for them to share.  It was a round popcorn box thing and i filled it with candy etc. and some movies.  I had remembered a really good Harrison Ford movie where he was the president and in an airplane and trying to get the bad guys on the plane - when looking for it i found one called "1600" something and it had Harrison Ford in it so i grabbed it.  We get a call from Shawn and he says "MOM.....what in the WORLD were you thinking????" - apparently they all popped the popcorn, got their drinks, sat down to watch the movie and the opening scene is x was NOT the movie i thought it was.  Michael and i were just sitting here talking about that....and we could both hear Diane's voice saying "Oh DEAR!!"

Then there was the time we were ALL invited to Camp Winter's summer picnic.  The kids were fairly new to the company and totally worried about the parents embarrassing them and both told us "whatever you do, just don't say anything that might call attention or embarrass us" - that was mostly Shawn.....but i am sure Deb felt the same.  So they have this photographer set up in this certain area to take pictures of the families....i mean this was a HUGE deal.  Roger had invited all the out of town parents to come and actually paid for plane tickets and expense was spared.  Anyway, we all find our way over to the part of the beautiful park where they have the photographer set up.  There's a picnic table there and since there are 6 of us, we think what a great idea to all sit on the picnic table.  Diane and i are helped up by our hubbies....then one by one the rest of the family begins to find a spot - until the picnic table totally falls to the ground....with a HUGE k-BAM!  You can see people all over the park turn in our direction =)  Oh yes, let's not do ANYthing to embarrass Shawn!! Oh my gosh, i am laughing out loud as i type this.

Then there's the time Shawn decided to sneak the car out - he was 14 and Memaw and Papaw Corley were staying at our house with the kids while Michael and i were away.  Our Youth minister tells us about a week later that he overheard Shawn telling the boys in the youth group about taking out our car late one night and picking up Elliott Barner....driving through Whataburger and then back home.  He never could find out how we found out about his little escapade.....but grounded he was....for quite a while!

That's all for now....just want to write stuff down as i remember.....because i NEVER want to forget!!
Oh how i love my sweet family!!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Birthday Fairies

Birthday Fairies

It was time of day when magic happens.  The moon was beginning to cast her yellow glow in the evening sky and the cicadas sang the last notes of their sweet songs for the night.  The stars were beginning to wink in the navy skies.  

Avery perched on the rocking chair near her window, and gazed intently between the branches of the mighty oak tree growing in her front yard.  She hoped to see tiny lights peeking through the leaves.  Where were they?  Had they forgotten it's August?  

"Avery Grace?" Momma sang from the kitchen.  "Have you brushed your teeth?  It's time for bed honey. Daddy's on his way to read your bedtime story, so hurry and get your pj's on and get those teeth brushed!" 

Avery climbed down from the big old chair and hurried to the bathroom.  She loved Daddy’s bedtime stories.  He would tell her great tales about kings, castles, and princesses.  She loved to hear his voice go up and down, loud and soft, as he told her tales of  ‘Once Upon a Time‘.  Daddy made the books come alive and Avery imagined herself running through a forest path or up the staircase of a beautiful castle on a hill.  

She brushed her teeth and hurried to her bedroom.   Grabbing Teddy Bunny, she  dove into bed and pulled the covers high over her head.  She giggled in anticipation as she heard her daddy's footsteps.

"Avery Grace?  Where are you?" 

Daddy picked up a pillow in the corner.  

"Nope, she's not under here," he growled in a low pitched, bear-like voice. 

Walking over to the closet, he peeked inside.  

"Nope, not in here, either," Hmm, I can't find my Avery at all."

"Here I am."  Avery yelled as she threw off the covers.  "I’m ready for my story, Daddy!"

As daddy snuggled down beside her, Avery pulled Teddy Bunny close.  

"Tonight, can you tell the story about the birthday fairies, Daddy?   I’ve been looking for them but I think they’ve forgotten!"

"Okay, Avery. I’ll tell you all about the birthday fairies."

"Once upon a time, there was a little girl." 

"And her name was Avery Grace," an excited Avery shouted. " And she had big brown eyes just like me!"

"Yes," said daddy, as he continued his story. 

“Avery's momma and daddy prayed for many years and asked God to send them a little baby.  They both dreamed of a baby girl, what she might look like, and what she might be like.  God heard their prayers and, very soon, a little baby began to grow in mommy's tummy."

"That was me," Avery announced with a huge grin.

"Yes, dear one, that was you." 

Daddy spoke with the sweetest sound in his voice.  

"We started getting a room ready for our new little baby.  We painted her room..."

"Periwinkle blue," Avery added.

"Yes, the softest blue.   We bought a white crib at a little consignment store in town and we found a beautiful blue rocking chair. It fit perfectly in the corner of your room near the window.  We dreamed of how we would rock our baby girl in our arms, reading her books and telling her stories."

" And now the birthday fairies, Daddy?" 

Avery, with her brown eyes flashing, waited anxiously.

"One evening, right before you arrived, Momma was sitting in the old blue rocker watching as I put the finishing touches on the toy box I made for you."  

Daddy turned to look at Avery and smiled as he saw the joy written all over her face.  

"Your momma looked out the window and her eyes flew open wide.  "Shawn, come here," she cried.  

"As we stared out the window into the dark August night, hundreds of tiny lights flew in and out of the branches of the old oak tree."  

"Shawn, can you believe this?  How many fireflies do you see?  It seems like hundreds."

"We both watched for the longest time in awe of what we saw. The tree out front seemed to be alive with the light of the fireflies. I told your mommy I thought the tiny lights were birthday fairies and God sent them to announce the birth of our baby girl." 

Daddy turned and smiled at Avery.

"But, Daddy, I think they’ve forgotten my birthday this year.  My birthday is only five days from now.   I’ve been looking for them since dinner and I haven't seen one." 

Avery whispered with the saddest little voice.  

"Let's go to the window and look, Avery Grace.  It's later and darker outside now.  Sometimes, when there's still a little light from the sun peeking through, it's hard to see them. But when God pushes the sun to the other side of the earth and the skies turn dark, their little lights shine brighter. "

Daddy gathered Avery up in his arms and held her tightly as they both gazed out into the dark night.  

"Look. I see them.  I see the birthday fairies. They didn’t forget my birthday."

They stared for a long time, watching as the birthday fairies danced around the leaves of the tree.  Little lights twinkled on and off, on and off.   

"Daddy, they’re dancing.  They’re blinking on and off and dancing a birthday dance for me."

After a long while, Avery's daddy lifted her into bed and tucked her in tightly.  

She bowed her head and began her prayers. 

"Dear God, thank you for my family.  Thank you for my momma and my daddy.  Thank you for my friends and Teddy Bunny.  Thank you for the birthday fairies in the tree by my window.  Thank you for loving me.  I love you with all my heart.  Amen."

Before your bedtime prayers tonight, look into the dark night sky and you, too, might see birthday fairies dancing in the moonlight!

Butterflies, Melons and Memories

Butterflies, Melons, and Memories

Mother’s day…the day set aside once a year to honor the women that shape our lives.   

I was blessed with a precious momma.  She was a gift in my life for fifty-three years. Even after her passing, bits and pieces of her legacy linger on in our family members.  She had such a presence…such wisdom and love.  How thankful I am to see glimpses of her love in me.  

Recently, I was going through boxes from my parent’s home. Keepsakes they packed away became treasures for me to find after they stepped into glory.   I found every card I’d ever given them, from the cards signed with my awkward childhood scribbles to others with my deepest, heartfelt love and appreciation written as an adult. 

Daddy always made sure Mother’s Day was a big deal.  We hand prepared special meals I’m sure momma choked down with a smile.  We gave her flowers, gifts and cards.  Special cards with just the right words. Words that were “enough.” Words that conveyed love and appreciation for everything momma did to make life so special for us.  

When I became a momma, my hubby and sweet boys did the same to honor me.  Hand prepared meals and the sweetest gifts.  One year, I remember my youngest taking his allowance to a neighborhood garage sale and buying me the most beautiful “diamond” brooch and matching earrings.  I have them proudly displayed to this very day.   They also gave me precious cards.  Sometimes these were handmade also – my oldest having the talent to really blow me away with his artistic ability!  And like my daddy, I have each one neatly tucked away. Treasures for them to find years from now.  

My boys have families of their own now.  The norm has been to gather around our table on Mother’s day and honor us all…our mommas, my boy’s wives, and me.  It is such a gift to have us all together…my best gift!   But life happens and things change.  

Rewind to Mother’s Day 2005.  My sweet momma stepped into glory on February 20, 2005.  Mother’s day 2005 was going to be a hard one.   My youngest son was going through a divorce.  I knew his three year old daughter would be with her mom that day, leaving Chase to spend the day alone.  We would try, though, and make the day special for everyone.

Then I received a call from my oldest son.  They wouldn’t be coming over that day because of a prior commitment with his wife’s family. My youngest planned to play golf and get away for the day. Family time would be too painful for him on this day.

This day was getting harder by the minute. 

I grabbed my keys and headed for the door, still needing to prepare a celebration meal for my mother-in-law.  As I drove down the country road leading out of our neighborhood, my tears flowed like rain.  My heart cried out to God, as I missed my momma so very much.  I wanted to talk with her.  I wanted to hug her sweet neck.  I wanted to look into those precious eyes of hers and feel her arms around me.  I wanted to tell her about my broken heart.   I cried out to God, screaming in the sanctuary of my car -  “please give my momma the biggest hug from me and tell her how very much I love and miss her!”

All of a sudden, I could see butterflies.  Not just two or three.  It seemed like hundreds of beautiful butterflies surrounding my car.   As I drove the winding road, I was wrapped in a blanket of love, enveloped in the middle of the most beautiful sign from heaven . God’s sweet gift was His answer to my prayers.    

My spirit was renewed and my heart lifted. With such a beautiful day outside, I decided to serve our meal outdoors. Fresh flowers decorated the table for my mother-in-law.  It was a glorious day.  Thanks to the sweet gift of butterflies, I was excited about the festivities.

As we gathered hands to pray, Michael thanked God for the mommas at the table, and what they meant in our lives.  He also thanked God for the momma in heaven that we missed so much.   

Memaw really loved being the center of our attention, and deservingly so.  What a precious woman she was!  She loved the one-on-one time with us.  

As I was about to go inside to prepare our desserts, a butterfly flitted around our table.  I laughed and told Michael and Memaw about my incident on the road that morning, and how God answered my prayers.  Then the butterfly landed – ON MY PLATE!  Michael and Memaw couldn’t believe it.  We were silent, afraid to move, not wanting to disturb the butterfly.  Minutes passed and she stayed right there on my plate.  In a few minutes, I put my finger beside her.  Slowly I moved my finger closer and closer until I was touching her.  She gently lifted her body and climbed onto my finger.  Time stopped.  I couldn’t believe what was happening.  I drew her close to my face to see the details of her beautiful wings.  She stayed.  She just stayed.  The three of us sat quietly in awe of the moment.    

I reached down on my plate and lifted a tiny piece of cantaloupe to the butterfly.  I told Michael and Memaw “my momma always did love her some cantaloupe!” and I kid you not ,as sure as the sun rises, that butterfly began to eat that cantaloupe!   I promise!  We all watched in amazement, not saying a word.  Minutes passed and finally, after gracing our day with her magic and having touched my heart in such a big way, she flew away.  We all just looked at one another and then began to laugh…belly laughs.  Thankful laughs.  Grateful laughs.  

That Mother’s Day was a hard one.  It’s been 13 years and the grief still stops me in my tracks sometimes.  You never get over losing the first loves in your life.  

My momma and daddy are safely tucked away in heaven this day,   I am oh so thankful for the heaven that holds them and the God that promises me in His word that we will live forever with Him one day.  I am thankful, too for His loving embrace by the butterflies He sent to me that day in May, 2005.  Each time I see a butterfly dancing around me these days,  I am reminded of the sweetest momma in the whole wide world and the Father in heaven that loves me beyond measure.  

God sends us many signs of His never ending love for us -  to comfort us in our grief and to dance with us in our joy..... in every sunrise, every sunset, every flower that blooms, every butterfly that races to fill up a grieving heart – He’s there.  Just be watchful and ready…His gifts are there for you – just waiting for you to open them!