Thursday, September 29, 2016


Since I was a very young child, my idea of entering heaven began with me walking down the street I grew up on. I envisioned a beautiful light at the end of the street, felt the love and beauty awaiting me, and then my glimpse of heaven would end, feeling as though my mind had processed all it could handle in that moment. I had that vision into my adulthood, until the morning everything changed.

I spent much of my childhood at my grandparents' house and property, learning to swim in the river, water ski, fish, take care of and love animals, and appreciate the importance of family. After I became a mother, I naturally wanted my children to have the same enriching experiences, and they did.

Fast forward about 25 years. Both of my grandparents have passed away, my youngest daughter is married and my oldest daughter is engaged but still living at home. We get a call from my aunt and uncle (who have always lived next door to my grandparents), asking if we'd be interested in buying the property of dreams and memories. From that phone call to the day we closed was approximately six weeks!

We left the only home my girls had ever known and moved into a little slice of heaven on earth. Our street has only six houses, dead ends into a preserve, golf course in the front, river in the back. My oldest daughter, Kady, loved everything about being here and didn't want to ever leave. After she was married, she stopped by at least four days a week to eat dinner with us, spent many of her weekends playing in and on her beloved river, brought her friends and co-workers here, and helped me plan and host many large family gatherings. We discussed, strategized and fantasized about ways for us all to live together forever.

Back to my view of heaven. If you drive down our street in the morning towards our house and look through the Spanish moss, you'll see a brilliant, bright light. It's the sun reflecting off the river like millions of dancing diamonds. Shortly after Kady died, I saw that very familiar sight through my newly acquired grief lenses and was instantly overcome by the beauty surrounding me. I stopped my car on the street and sobbed. I sobbed in the anguish of missing my daughter. I sobbed for all the hopes and dreams that were stolen from her, from us.  But I also sobbed with gratitude, fully understanding that I was experiencing a gift directly from the hand of God, because in that very moment I was overwhelmed with the comfort and peace that passes all understanding. I sat there for a while, continuing to feel the full weight of my grief but also being comforted in knowing that nothing takes God by surprise.

I will never be able to make sense from the nonsense of losing my beautiful, vibrant daughter to Triple Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer at the age of 30 but, thankfully, I don't have to. The ending to my story has already been written and, when it's all revealed to me on the other side, it will make beautiful, perfect sense in that brilliant light with dancing diamonds, where Kady will greet me.


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