Now What?

img_9164Spent the last couple of days traveling 3 hours to Marshall Texas, leaving around 5am in order to get there by 8:30, then traveling back the same 3 hours in reverse to Bonham. Traveling companions, Preacher Man, KFo, pop tart bites and coffee. The silence was introspective and the conversation full of truth and new revaluation. Did we hurt, oh my yes! Were we happy to be doing this together, again, yes.

It’s been a long 22 months, waiting for closure, waiting to hear all the details of how your niece was killed by a man that didn’t start his day off to kill her. Life is nothing short of a series of choices that we make everyday! What choices will we make today?

It was painful to see the pictures! Oh good Lord! Then the diagrams followed by the experts and the constant disrespect, disregard and the phantom tire. We had a down day followed by an up day followed by oh my gosh, who is this witness.

He’s name is Moyies. (Moses) He was the man that pulled the first wreck out of the way. He’s trained in safety and other stuff, but the most remarkable thing was he was truly the Good Samaritan. The prosecution had been looking for him for 22 months and finally found him on Facebook. His testimony on the last day, was heartfelt, honest, truthful and sealed the case! The family will be forever grateful to this man named Moses, who lead us through the wilderness.

So, Mr. Woods got 35 years, 20 for Sylvia, 10 for Sheri, and 5 for Justin. And he never showed remorse. .08 alcohol, 2.5 THC, and .5 Meth. Choices we make everyday change outcomes.

Have I forgiven? That’s not my job. I just need to ask that God give me the desire to forgive, and I’m working on that, He will do the hard stuff. My take away from this is- we live in a broken world, where we are all broken in some aspect. People like Sylvia are formed through the family that raise them and the kids they grow up with. Think about it, why are you the way you are? Did that dude in 5th grade make an impact on you? Or your Grandmother?Those times and choices are what make us. All I’m saying is start making good choices, life changing choices!

My friends, the end of the trial has come and justice was served! Does it help? Some. Is there peace? It’s starting. Will life go on? Yes, until it doesn’t. Am I glad for who has come into my life because of Sylvia and the accident? Hell yes I am! We are sojourner in this thing called life. We are the chosen few that were changed by Sylvia and her choices to be bigger than life, happier than a clam and just full of love, I beg you to make the life giving choices that come your way. Be a Sylvia or Moses or Trooper Hargett or Henderson. Be a Justin or Sheri or Jerry Beeson, or Kortney. Make the choices that will define your “Now What?”

Learn vs. Know

Know, to perceive or understand as fact or truth

Learn, to acquire knowledge of or skill in by study

So I think it’s safe to say that we learn first. After some time passes, we study what we learn, we become to know it.

I’m going to share a few things that I know, and some that I have learned.

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I know we are fast approaching Sylvia’s birthday and that 8 day’s later it will be the one year anniversary of her death. I have learned that not talking/thinking/remembering someone you love does not make it any easier to deal with your loss.

I know my heart still hurts so much, I feel like it will surely crumble in a million pieces. I am learning that it will not crumble and I will always have this hurt.

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I know that we love Sylvia, we miss her, we still can hear her in the corners of our hearts. What I am learning is that we all have a common love with and for each other, because of her. I’m excited about weddings that I’m seeing pictures of and those to come. I do the “hands to nose” when I see babies being born and life’s accomplishments happening. Graduations and new jobs, things that I’m learning go on without her. We are afraid to let go of each other because we don’t want to forget her!

But friends, how will we ever forget someone as bright and shiny as Sylvia? She lives in our hearts and in our memories, and most importantly, with her savior! We are all headed (hopefully) where she is. This I know!

I know that I am older and wiser but I am learning so much about joy and love from Sylvia even today through you. So thank you, those that read and know. I will be learning about grief for the rest of my life, as I continue to know where my joy is!

 

Facts vs. Attitudes

I find myself staring, not at anything specific, I just stare. So I look pretty calm on the outside, almost like I’ve got it all figured out!

At times my mind races so fast with memories, it’s hard to keep up!

There are still things that happen that are 100% made to be shared with Sylvia, but where do we go with that? Do we get in the car and drive real far? Do we sing as loud as we can those songs that we shared? Take a run? Lift some crazy amount of weight? Stare?

So this is what I know; facts don’t change, attitudes can! Sylvia is gone from our sight, beyond the veil, perfect! That is fact. The attitude I choose, can change, and should change as time goes by.

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This “grief stage” is going to last my whole life, and it’s just going to get more full with people who have made life with me! That is fact. The attitude I choose, can and should change.

We are fast approaching the 1 year mark, our next Landmark on this journey. That is fact. The attitude I choose…..

So everyday, I choose the attitude of expected joy! Is it easy, you may ask? Hell no! I answer. But my attitude isn’t a fact yet!

Expected joy comes from living with the future in view. From knowing I will see, not only Sylvia, but all the people from my “grief stages”, all hanging out together with Jesus! (Hands to nose, fingers wiggle, “EEEEEEEEEE!)

Does that not give you Joy?!? Does that not make you want to give them all a spiritual “High 5”?

Be encouraged! You are not alone! Breath!!

Love you,

Aunt Kim

Let me tell you a story…

So, I’m sitting here on  my day off, still in my house coat, cuz, yeah it’s my day off. I’ve talked to the people I needed to talk to, I’ve had plenty of coffee, let me take a minute and tell you a Sylvia story.

Preacher man and I lived in Colorado when Phillip and Sylvia were young. Not seeing them as much as we wanted to was hard, so when we were together we made them our big deals, our main events. However, we are also the Aunt and Uncle that for some reason could give them perfect gift’s. One such gift was Anti Monkey Butt Powder.

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Now you may ask, why in the world would you give your very athletic, sweaty, smelly (at times), big butted niece Anti Monkey Butt Powder? Well, let me tell you, It’s because

#1. It was on sale,

#b. I wanted to help her not sweat as much and not have friction (cuz it says right there on the side “Anti friction and sweat powder”), and

Q. it was something she knew she would get every Christmas.

Then when they came out with Lady Anti Monkey Butt Powder, boy oh boy did we have a good time with that one!

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Jump to today! I’m looking at Twitter and I see Slaterhater has a pic up of Sylvia with a WooPigSooie Hog nose on from 3 years ago. It’s such a cute picture of her with that awesome nose on! And under her arm is a pillow pet, that I’m told “saw many things and went everywhere with us!” from her team mates and closest friends.

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Guess who got her that Pillow pet? Yeah! That’s right!! This girl!! That Monkey replaced the Anti Monkey Butt Monkey!

So be encouraged friends!! Look and God will show you! Ask for His peace and He will bring it. Seeing this picture of Sylvia with that monkey under her arm, let’s me know that God’s got this. He see’s me. He knows my pain. He keeps my tears.

Sylvia is part of the “Great Cloud of Witness”. She is just gone from my sight…

Hard Truth!

The melody that the loved one played upon the piano of your life will never be played quite that way again, but we must not close the keyboard and also the instrument to gather dust. We must seek out other artists of the spirit, new friends who gradually will help us to find the road to life again, who will walk the road with us.

~ Rabbi Joshua Liebman

This is hard truth. Don’t know if I’m whole heartedly embracing it yet, but it’s truth.

It’s been a hard month with hard truths in it. The realization of the depth of this loss becomes real and deeper, and it threatens to smother my light, my joy, my smile…

Sometimes all I can do is sit and weep and whisper, “Come Holy Spirit”

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Gone?

 

I have mentioned before that I’m reading things that have to do with grieving, hoping for some insight, or peace, or understanding. When I find things that touch me or change something inside of me, I want to always make sure you know where I got it.

 

Gone from My Sight

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

The someone at my side says, “There, she is gone!”

Gone Where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says “There, she is gone!” there are eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!” – and that is dying.

~Anonymous

 

I recommend to you “Confessions of a Grieving Christian” by Zig Ziglar

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Blessed are they that mourn – and mend!

There are things I come across, and I feel the desire to pass them along, in hopes that they widen our understanding of this shared grief and to bring comfort in knowing, we are not alone.

A Lost Sorrow

A lost sorrow is a sorrow out of which a person failed to get the blessing which God meant to come out of it for them. Out of ever sorrow, God means there should come submission; a drawing nearer to His own great heart of love; a new vision of the shallowness of worldly streams and the depths of Divine ones; a closer devotion to Jesus than ever before known; a loosening of the grasp on time; and it’s tightening upon eternity. It is a solemn fact which some know all too well, sorrow leaves us either closer to God or further away. It’s a double-edged tool. It either scars or beautifies.

 

So here I sit, thinking about sorrow. It’s almost like a giving in… to walk into the sorrow or sit with it. To allow the pain…

Waiting for the God of all comfort to show me today the blessing He has for me.

So be encouraged my sorrow-filled Sojourners, seek and believe the words of comfort from God! We must put our wills into allowing God to bring us comfort. We must choose to be comforted.

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Say Their Name

Joni has a way of saying it!!

We will never stop talking about them.

We need to remember because the memories are all we have left.

We need you to remember them too.

Talk about them.

Share a memory, tell a story.

It doesn’t hurt us to hear you talk about them.

It’s the silence that hurts most of all.

Say. Their. Name.

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Stage

Wow, the holiday’s just kinda came and went, or is it just me? Thanksgiving was harder than Christmas. Christmas isn’t so bad cuz Preacher man and I have gotten pretty good at just the 2 of us. I look up, and it’s already the second week in January.

I wonder at what stage of grief I’m in sometimes, that sounds strange. I know that I’m not in anger right now. I was, and I remember how close to fury it became. Denial probably happens almost daily, but so does some small bit of acceptance. I remember Sylvia saying, “None of us gets out of here alive!”

I am reading different things on grieving, mainly cuz I want to be transformed, but also because grieving is something we’ll be doing our whole life, so we might as well grieve well. Here’s something I wanted to share…

To continue to dwell on why questions and “if only” conjectures is unfruitful and can lead to bitterness and misery, which are burdens a loving God does not want us to carry. We get beyond the why questions by trusting that He not only has an answer, but that He is the Answer.

But…

Coaches husband said it best, when he said it is time for me to stop mourning the loss of my beast and start honoring her.

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Sadness that follows…

I follow a blogger named Brandy and today I read her Christmas post titled ” I survived Christmas.” I feel that way. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it, but there is a sadness that follows me. I know you know what I mean, cuz I’m betting I’m putting words to how you feel. We did the best we could with decorating the house, preparing the snacks, wearing  the colors, and speaking the words. I am incredibly thankful for God’s mercy, in sending us His son to save us from ourselves! But y’all, this was the first Christmas without her!

So I feel like the wound was healing nicely, it’s still huge and red and tender, but there is a scab and it’s workable. I bumped up against Christmas, the healing scab got stuck on the Christmas tree, was ripped off and now the wound is exposed again!!!!!!! REALLY?!? On top of that, my sweet sister gave me the same Kendra Scott set that Sylvia had….

So today is hard. Preacher man went back to work, I’m still sitting here drinking coffee and trying to put words to the feelings I’m having. I don’t want to be afraid to remember her!

Sylvia gave me a shirt last year that says “Grace upon Grace. John 1:16”. What comes to mind is the ocean surf – one wave coming after another in endless succession. The way I see it, you gotta get into the ocean in order to feel the waves… Come Holy Spirit!

We can’t always be happy, but a rod of joy should run down our backbone! God has an endless amount of ways to bless us, if we but have eyes to see, ears to hear, and an open heart to receive.

So be encouraged, when you back off and look at the sadness that follows, just keep stepping back, see how all of it rests in God’s hand? I do, I’m in God’s hand, with the sadness… God’s got this!

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