September 10…life changing moment.

describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn…{i have 2}
+ It was really hot for the middle of July – like really hot. Mom was at work, my brother and cousin Jade were at the neighborhood pool behind my house. I was sitting in the lazy boy recliner with the tv on eating a big ol’ bowl of ice cream…something i was not supposed to be doing. I heart the front door open – crap mom is home early – i stashed my bowl beside the recliner where it couldn’t be seen, i really didn’t want a lecture. I heard two sets of heels, my mom walked into the den followed by my aunt darlene. “Amy, where are Bo & Jade?” …uhhh down at the pool? i answered. “Go get them please”. I thought i was in more trouble than just sneaking ice cream. what have i done now? i thought as i walked down to the pool. I got Bo & Jade to come back up to the house – they kept asking me what was happening…i didn’t know, i couldn’t answer. When we got back to the house, Aunt darlene held jades hand and pulled her to the living room – mom took me and Bo back to her & dads room. At this point my parents had been separated for a small season – trying to work some things out together while needing some space to do it, it was a complicated situation. Mom sat down on her bed and put her head in her hands, she took a few deep breathes. I remember her sitting up straighter – looking back now i could only imagine her trying to gain some courage and strengthen her spine to deliver the news. We sat in front of her, indian style, and just looked at each other. What was going on? Mom took our hands in hers and said “You know I love you…you know Jesus loves you…and you know your daddy loved you…” I was only 13 at the time but i was old enough to pick up on that one small letter…that ‘d’ that changed a word from present to past tense. She said loved not love. “Your daddy has gone to be with Jesus – he is in Jesus’ arms.” I remember Bo busted out in to tears – at 9 years old not fully understanding what that meant, but knowing enough to know that Jesus is in Heaven…and that is where Dad must be too now…i sat there for a minute just looking at my mom – stunned, not fully understanding…not really wanting to understand. Does this mean i’m fatherless? Where is my dad? He just wanted to see me a few days ago…but i wanted to hang out with my girlfriends. The tears came slowly. I was 13 years old – less than a month from starting high school – and i was now without a father. 
+ Mom had been sick for over 6 months now. I hated cancer – leukemia. The summer and fall had consisted of hospital visits, phone calls, and a brief season where she was home for two weeks. I was living with my aunt & uncle some days/weeks and others i was living at home – too anxiety ridden to be away from what was comfortable to me – what was my normal. My grandmother (mom’s mom) stayed with my mom every. single. day while she was in the hospital and my grandfather stayed with me most nights (some other family members/friends stayed other nights). Some nights i remember going to sleep to the sound of an empty house…hearing my own heart beat…wondering what was next. The night before i was at youth group. We prayed for my mom. All of my friends and youth leaders surrounded me, laying their hands on me, prayed for me – my family – my mother. At one point my friend Niki said, “God, if Mrs. Donna is meant to be with you…then that’s ok, she can go be with you.” I remember being furious with Niki, how could she say that…that was like wishing my mom to die. My friend Andrew prayed something similar…i was still angry. 
That night i was laying in bed, my next door neighbor aunt Gayle was staying with me that night (my brother had been living with my aunt and uncle), and i prayed to God. I finally understood what He had been pressing on my heart. You see, i was down to one parent – my mom – she was in the hospital for my 16th birthday, promising a “blowout 17th” for the next year. She still heckled me to clean my room…and do dishes, and learn how to cook something other than mac and cheese from a box. She still talked to me about Jesus and asked how school was going – how was i doing with my grades – all while she was confined to a hospital bed. At this point mom had been in a coma in the ICU for about a month…i hadnt’ seen her. I had the choice though – but my family warned me that she didn’t look like herself. She had put on a lot of water weight (my mom was a petit 5/3 115lb woman), her eyes had gone from brown to blue, she had lost her hair a long time ago…my mother wasn’t herself. So i didn’t go – i didn’t want to see her like that. As i was thinking about all of that, i whispered some words to Jesus. Jesus…i’m ok if you take my mom. i don’t want her to be in pain anymore…if she will be better with you in Heaven – then i’m ok with it, i won’t like it, i’ll miss her….i really want her to stay with me and Bo…but i’ll be ok. 
I fell asleep.
Hands were on my shoulders, my body was slowly being shaken awake, “Amy, wake up”. 
My eyelids peeled open, my bedside table lamp was on.
My grandmother was sitting at my side. As my eyes adjusted i looked around my room – aunt darlene, aunt diane, aunt debbie, grandma…my aunt darlenes eyes gave it away – she had the same eyes when she walked in with my mother to tell me my father had passed away. My grandmother opened her mouth, “Amy, your mother went to be with Jesus, she is in Jesus’ arms…” i remember becoming fascinated with the popcorn ceiling in my room. “Mom, do you think she heard us?” …one of my aunts said.  I’m an orphan? i said out-loud. They all started crying – i started crying. Where is Bo? does he know yet? They told me he was at my aunts house – still sleeping – it was 3am and they were trying to let him sleep some more but they wanted me to know, to wake up. I went out into the den where my grandfather was sobbing, my aunt gayle and uncle dave were crying, my moms boyfriend was there in pieces. I remember going back to my room, sitting on my bed, and being silent for a long time – thinking i’m only 16, what do i do now? I remember 530am rolling around and ashlee calling to see if was running late or on time since i was her and kaylees ride to school. I told her i wasn’t going – she asked why – because my mom died. She started crying – asking if i wanted her to come over, no, not right now…but thank you. They came over later as did many other friends and family. I won’t go into detail today about when we told my brother later that morning – but that was almost as hard as hearing i was parentless. 

Tragedy happens.
Joy happens.
You learn from both.
I’ve learned from both.
I miss my parents – every. single. day.
Some days are easier than others – some days harder than others.
I find solace in the fact that God knows more than I do.
His plans are greater than my own.
And glory was brought to Him through their passings…people heard the Gospel through their lives.
Jesus was preached.
I’m sure people were saved – or put on the road to salvation.
I’ve trusted in God through all of this – i will continue to trust in Him.

joining jenni today for her blogtember challenge.



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  • Well I'm sure I look like a fool sitting here at Panera crying. Blah.

    Hugs Amy! You are amazing!

  • Amy you are a beautiful person inside and out.

  • Amy!!! When you write about your parents….I get so happy and so sad all over again. Life is so short and we don't ever expect things like this to happen….And then when they do, what happens next is where God gets so much glory.

    Thank you for sharing these words. Thank you for letting us see your life as it has been anc as it is. I'm happy for the tine you had and sad for all that is "lost" and yet, the strentgh that comes from God overwhelms me when I read your words here.

  • You should be so proud of the woman you are – a true woman of god.

    You are strong, powerful, beautiful and awesome you are inspiring so many other girls and women to be strong when things should make you weaker, and to know that there is hope and there is a brighter future and that god has a plan.

    God has an amazing plan for you Amy, you have so much of a fab life ahead of you and I'm excited for it!

    x

  • Oh, Amy! I know that looks like a weird sentence to read after a post like this, but I'm only saying this because A.) I love your heart, B.) I love your brave + courageous voice, C.) I adore your writing and the way you write so real and so authentically, and D.) because I am so privileged to read these stories in your life.

    Your conclusion to this post is so admirable. There are good days and bad days and there are things to be learned from both. God's plans are DEFINITELY greater than ours. You are amazing, my friend. Your trust in Him is a wonderful quality to have and one that I admire in you everyday! 🙂

  • Oh, dear Amy! I'm so sorry for the losses you've had to go through. You are such a strong woman!

  • Amy, I can't even begin to imagine what this is like. Especially being young. Like others have said, you are so brave and courageous to tell this story. You are also inspiring for the life you lead now, for how you were able to handle this and to not lose faith.

    And like Kiki said, I'm privileged to be able to read this as well. And happy that I found you in our blog world. 🙂

  • What a strong girl you are! I had no idea! Thank you for sharing your story and your heart, I am sure it's not easy to revisit those memories! You are an inspiration to me and to everyone!

  • Love how you told these stories. So detailed. I know your mom & dad are both so proud of you & your brother, how amazing you have become even through such hard times. You are an amazing woman! xoxo

  • You are beautiful and strong. Thank you for sharing your stories and the things you've learned from them. Your faith is astounding and a wonderful example.

  • Thank you for sharing this. I'm so blessed to get to know you.

  • Oh sweet Amy, my heart aches for the loss you experienced at such a young age. I'm sitting here wiping away tears as I finished reading this. I love the way you summarized this at the end. You have such a beautiful heart. I am honored to call you friend. I love you!

  • Tears. Love you.

  • I just got to read this.. not sure how it slipped past me before. I felt so many things! Sadness, for your loss, joy for your strength and your faith, pain, because i've seen what cancer does to families. I thank you for sharing this… I know it couldn't have been easy, but i'm glad to know a little more about you!

  • your story is meant for big things. you are wonderful and so beautiful.

  • Oh my goodness, I can't stop crying. I am so sorry for your losses. I had no idea. I can't even imagine the pain you went through during these two life-changing moments. You are such a strong woman and have such a real, honest, and beautiful view of God and I know that He will continue to comfort your heart.

  • I had to cry at this. Reading your post makes me appreciate my parents even more. I'm not even sixteen yet and a I can't imagine life without my parents. Everytime I think about it it makes me cry. You're so brave, you're so strong, you're so amazing. God knows what He's doing, and through you He's going to do amazing things. Wow…stay blessed and keep inspiring <3 xx