Sunday, February 28, 2010


Asking everyone to send prayers up for the Fast family as their little Dane was called to Heaven.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Meeting and Bagging

The next bagging and meeting will be Saturday, March 6th at 7 pm. Hope you can join us!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Healing Tears?

Tears. I've been shedding them a lot lately and have been unsure of the reason. Maybe it's a few added stresses right now. Or maybe it's because March is looming on the calendar. Or maybe it's because all the snow is keeping me from visiting Abby's grave as often as I would like. Or maybe it's just the way my life will be from now on ~ full of tears. I was given a little article about tears that I keep re-reading, looking for answers.

Healing Tears
by Pat Andrus
Do you wonder if the tears will ever stop? They steadily fall, unpredictably and unexpectedly. Like spring floods, these human raindrops pool into streams then seemingly flow into rivers. Like spring showers, they pop up, beat us down for a time, then just as suddenly, they dry up.
Often inconvenient and unwanted, these signs of mourning, sadness and pain also signify caring, love, joy and even relief. At times, we clearly understand their meaning in our day. Other times, nothing is clear. Everything is jumbled, confusing and meaningless.
Perhaps we just cry for no acknowledgeable reason. Is that so bad? After all, we've suffered a loss. Perhaps the death of a person or the death of dreams, hopes and plans leaves us feeling hopeless and powerless. Maybe we pity ourselves. Maybe we're frustrated and powerless right now.
We know of others who haven't cried, which may make us angry, worried or even jealous. Does it mean they don't care, or didn't care as much as we? Does it mean we cared too much, that we are too soft and sentimental? There are no simple answers to why some of us cry and others don't.
We remind ourselves that tears are not the only signs of grieving. There are so many others. Humans are all different. our closest friends and relatives will grieve in their own ways, with their own time frames, rhythms and patterns. Just as we grieve uniquely, so will they.
Others may tell us to stop crying, as though we can command nature to change course. How burdensome this is. We must, and will, cry as long as we need to cry, as often as we feel the dampness of moisture, as many raindrops as our body produces. Not to cry when our very nature demands release is to deny our humanness.
What we, and those around us, may not know is the healing physical nature of our tears. Our body produces tears for biological reasons. Chemically, the composition of tears of emotional pain differ from tears of laughter and joy or tears of physical pain. Tears help wash out negative chemicals building up when our body experiences pain or stress. Tears cleanse.
How many tears doe it take? Why, just as many as are needed. Just remembering that there is a physical as well as emotional benefit to crying may help us accept our unique patterns of crying - or not crying.
Nowhere does it say a person must cry to be healed. Or that we must cry in front of others. Some sob, others wail and keen; some remain silent, tears flowing inside. Some select the time and place where they will release the flood. Others find themselves incapable of controlling the tide.
Many have wanted to cry and just felt they couldn't open the ducts. They might substitute a healthy scream for the effort. Screaming can release the emotions blocking the tears, suppressing the buds of healing from surfacing.
So can journaling, or writing about our grief journeys. Sitting quietly, allowing ourselves to focus, relaxing into our pain may stimulate the tears. But if it doesn't, perhaps we simply aren't ready to cry. Be assured, humans cry. And, like grief ebbs and flows, so will our need to cry.
And, what if we suddenly find ourselves enjoying something, actually laughing until tears flow again? Shocked to think we might be forgetting our pain, forgetting our loved one and moving forward, we may suck our breath inward, gasp our tears back, feel guilt and remorse instead of gladness. Is this the way it is to be forever? How long before we allow ourselves to anticipate good things even while succumbing to periods of grief and longing? The answer seems repetitive ... as long as we need..
Life is full of sorrow, from birth to death. Life is also full of wonder and joy. We experience so much in this world. Tears are small miracles of life, for tears of joy and tears of pain both heal.
This spring we will watch bulbs blossom, trees turn green and grass peek through. perhaps hidden in our grief, almost without our acknowledgment or our awareness, we will sense our own growth, too. We will celebrate our humanness by honoring our need to cry or not to cry. We will laugh when we can, cry if we feel it, and allow others to do what they find healing, too.
Spring is about deluges of raindrops, sunny days pushing past huge, gray clouds, impatiently waiting for the weather to get better. So, too, is grief. Out of great pain and sorrow comes learning, possibilities and growth. Maybe even a deeper knowledge of eternal spring.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Meet "Abby Bear"

I don't think I've introduced everyone to "Abby Bear." "Abby Bear" was a gift from a friend to help Mady in those first days and he has been with her every night since, as you can tell by the way he looks. She slides her arm through the loop made by his arms, placing Abby's picture and poem on top, tucking the bear under her arm. This is how she goes to bed every night. So without further ado, here's Mady's special "Abby Bear".

Inside the plush book in his hands, "Abby Bear" holds the picture of Abrielle that Mady chose and the poem "Whispers From Heaven."The picture is from Christmas of 2006 and has been well loved along with the bear.

And here is the poem on the other side.

In case you can't read the poem, here it is ~

Whispers From Heaven

I know you don't understand

What happened to me;

Where did I go - Why did I leave?

Jesus sent an angel from heaven above,

To hold my hand and express His love.

She whispered softly in my ear,

"It's time to go, Jesus is near."

Listen to those who love you,

Say your prayers, each and every night,

When you need to feel me near,

Hug this teddy bear "oh so tight!"

My love, you'll take with you

As you learn and grow.

I'm so proud of you,


~ Al Littleton

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tickle Tickle

Tickle Tickle ~ two little words that were spoke this weekend by Elly, but they carried with them more emotions than I could have imagined. Abby was always doing "tickle, tickle" to us and would just giggle as she came at you with her fingers waving in the air. Elly didn't have the motions with her words, but she was by herself, walking into the kitchen, so it really puzzled me as to what made her say them. Just those two little words was all it took for the emptiness inside me to well with tears.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

He Misses Her Still Too

I have to admit that my own personal grief and the grief that plagues my immediate family is more than enough for me to think about that sometimes I fail to think that their are others that still grieve the loss of our Abrielle too, one of these being her buddy Cole.

The two of them had been together at daycare since birth and then went on to be in the same preschool class. Abby even announced one night at the supper table that she had a boyfriend. Marc put on his "Daddy face" and did the whole "you can't a boyfriend yet" bit, which made her just grin all the more as she let us know that it was Cole. Of course this just made us smile because they were two peas in a pod and partners in crime for most things.

Last week Cole brought me two very special gifts. The first was a dragonfly stake for Abby's heart garden at our house with wings that glow in the dark. The second was a paper he wrote in class. It was all I could do to contain emotions when I read the page, but with little Coley there watching me, I knew I couldn't cry. So, I hope he doesn't mind me sharing his paper with everyone here.

He calls Abby his cousin and it makes perfect since because they were like family to each other. The back says that his sister was sad too.

We love you Cole and you will always hold a very special place in our hearts!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Handmade Bears

We received a box of handmade bears shipped to us from family in West Plains. I'm not sure who made them or any of the info behind them, but they are super cute and soft. I'm sure one of my family will help me out on the rest of the details about the donation.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Salem Church Donation

We received a wonderful donation of $200 from Salem Church at Christmas time along with a note stating they wanted the donation to go towards the stuffed animals given to children. It was in a card that simply stated, "Peace. May it rest in your heart at Christmas and ALWAYS." Perfect card for us to receive and a wonderful donation.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Miss Jackson County

Darbi Furham won the title of Miss Jackson County and will be competing for Miss Missouri this summer. She has decided to use the Foundation as her platform for charity work. She will be helping out in all different areas and carrying our message as she travels to competitions. Currently she is holding a stuffed animal drive at Maryville Dance Academy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Our Snow Family

With all the snow that fell, the girls had to play in it this weekend. They wanted to build a snowman and then decided that we needed to make our family. Of course our family includes 3 little girls, so that was what we had to make. It wasn't even spoken, but we just kept rolling snowballs until they were all there. It was just like everyone knew how many there needed to be without saying it out loud.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Daddy-Daughter Dance

Friday night was the Daddy-Daughter Dance this year. My feelings were pretty much the same as last year in that there should have been two girls going with their Daddy, but I wanted to share what Mady did. This is a rather formal occasion, a little girl's prom with the best date ever. She wanted to wear her Abby necklace. I told her that was up to her and she could look through my necklaces if she wanted to. She simply responded, "There aren't any other necklaces I want to wear" and didn't even look. I also told her to take off her pink bracelet, but she refused to do that too. She replied, "I don't ever take it off Mommy. Well, except for soccer." So, she went to the dance with her Abby necklace and her Foundation bracelet on.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Quote and an Explanation

"Faith is ... believing in advance that which only makes sense in reverse." ~ Charles Swindoll

My apologies everyone, I'm putting in long hours at work right now and the last thing I want to do when I get home is look at a computer screen. I'll have posts ready for next week though.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I don't normally share any donations that we make as a family, but thought I would share these since they were from the girls.