Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Another Year

It's hard to believe we've lived 3 years without our Abby. There are still many times I wake up after a vivid dream about her, thinking she is still here. I am not sure how I have made it without her and know that everyone's prayers, love, and support are what have gave us strength. Our trip provided a wonderful distraction, giving us other things to occupy our minds with and talk about on a day that is so painful for us.

As we begin another year without her here, I am not expecting to feel any differently than in the past year. I had hoped there was some magic date or timeframe in which the pain would ease, but have come to realize that those are unreal expectations.

**Hopefully I will feel like sharing more about that day soon.**

Monday, March 29, 2010

That Day ~

Those of you that have heard me tell my story at either the Treatment Center or the DocuDrama for the school, know more of my story than I have shared here. You have seen the horrific pictures. You have heard me tell of that day as the tears flowed. And hopefully you have been touched enough by our little girl that you have made some conscious decisions in your life.

I am going share a few more bits and pieces of that day, but not the detail I still relive far too often.

*I thought somehow that if I pulled the steering wheel hard enough I could avoid a collision or maybe just clip mirrors or something minor like that. I never imagined the extent of what was about to happen.

*I pulled and pulled on Mady's door, trying to get it to open. She was screaming hysterically. I finally slid my driver seat all the way forward, leaning it up to give her enough room to climb out.

*My first response as I reached Abby was to unbuckle her and pull her out so I could hold her and tell her it was going to be okay. I had to fight this impulse as I just supported her head, applied pressure to the gash in her forehead, and wiped the blood that kept coming. I yelled to the other driver as I stood there with my little girl, but there was no response.

*I had not even felt my injuries until in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. It was then that I could feel pain, but I was concentrating on Mady who was riding with me. She was still sobbing uncontrollably and grabbing her stomach.

*The thought never entered my mind that Abby would not make it (until later in the day). In fact, I had just the opposite thought at the time. I knew that she was my strong girl and if one of my girls had to be hurt, I knew she would be the one to pull through. Even after I received a phone call from the trauma nurse at CMH after she arrived there telling me she was very critical, I still did not let that thought creep in. At the time I had been admitted in the OB ward for monitoring and was doing my best to stay in the hospital as long as I could. After a second phone call from Marc telling me Abby was going in for surgery for a depressed skull, I decided I was needed there, by my little girl's side. It wasn't until in route to the hospital that I began to feel a strange feeling and for the first time, I realized how badly injured she was. A phone call came saying they were having trouble stopping the bleeding.... We knew we needed to get there NOW.

Those horrible thoughts were confirmed as a chaplain met us at the front entrance of the hospital with a wheelchair for me. He hurried me on ahead, telling me she was out of surgery and explaining to me what I would see ~ swelling from the injury, a raised bump on the right side of her forehead where they connected the skull back together, stitches on the big gash on her forehead, drainage tubes from her brain, a ventilator, ... The list went on as he tried to prepare me for the sight that would not look like my little girl I saw a few hours ago. Somewhere in the midst of this list, I reached back, touched his hand and said, "I know." I'm not sure that he knew what I was saying, but somehow I knew our Abby was gone before we ever got to the room.

That's all I can share for now ~ enough tears for awhile.


The day is here. The day our little girl went to Heaven. Maybe by this evening I will feel more like reflecting on some things, but for now, just keep us in your thoughts as this is one of those really hard days and there is no way around it.

Friday, March 26, 2010


One of Beth's co-worker has been wonderful about making donations of stuffed animals for the Foundation and she never had the pleasure of meeting Abrielle. Thanks Candy!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The last ...

Saturday, March 24th, 2007 was several "lasts" for our family. This was the last time we gathered at my parent's house for a family dinner with our Abby still here. We spent the afternoon playing outside with the kids, all 4 of the cousins together for the last time. I am so glad someone grabbed a camera as we played (and surprised it wasn't me) to take these, the last pictures we have of Abrielle. She is smiling, laughing and having so much fun on the swingset. She had to help "Baby Tyler" on the slide, even though he was just about as big as she was.

I know it's hard to see, but the outfit she is wearing is what we buried her in. It is a long-sleeved pink shirt and skirt with a flower print. It was one of her favorites, so I'm sure most of you know exactly what one I'm talking about. The outfit came with matching panty cover, but Abby considered those her panties and would refuse to wear any under them. So, that too is how she wore them in the casket.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Message to My Abby

As you look down today and see us, your family and those that love you, I hope that you can see that it's only physically that we have been able go on without you here with us. We still miss you every second of every day and long to have you in the midst of all of it too. Our family still has a hole in it and always will until we are all joined together again. We want you to know how blessed we feel to have been able to spend almost 4 years with you and to be able to call you our daughter, sister, granddaugther, niece, cousin, and friend. We love you so much Abbers!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Thank you to the Ross family for these Valentine cuties!

Friday, March 19, 2010


We received these cute little bears from Judy. Thanks!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Abby's Room

The day I entered Abby's room to find clothes, I was joined by the girls. I am usually in the room alone the whole time I am in there, but not this time. I had been sitting on the floor in the middle of her room, taking in all of her possessions still waiting for her, when I heard Mady calling. I answered, but she did not know where my voice was coming from, so I opened the door. She said, "Oh, you're in Abby's room." in a surprised voice. She came in too and rubbed on my back. As she was entering the room, I could hear little footsteps running in our direction. Elly rounded the hallway towards our bedroom, running right past Abby's room since she has never seen it open. I spoke her name, making her stop and spin around to find me. She said, "What's in there?" and came running. I immediately scooped her up and held her to prevent her from touching all the fun things. "I want that baby," was her first request for a toy, followed by many more. I tried to explain to her that it was Abby's room and her toys. She stopped fighting to get out of my arms then, looked at me and the tears running down my face, and was content to just look around the room, pointing out each little thing she saw. "That's Abby's duckie." "Abby has a Princess dress!" "Is that Abby's baby?" In her almost three years, she had never seen the door open, much less all the fun stuff kept behind it. We left the room together, not disturbing anything, except for the dirty laundry in her hamper I always try to inhale as much of her scent from, locking the door behind us.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


When Darbi came out tho help us at the bagging this month, she brought along a box of stuffed animals she had gathered in her drive at Maryville Dance Academy.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just Clothes, Right?

So, the day I have been dreading has arrived ~ Elly needs clothes from Abby's room. I knew it would happen soon, but was not sure what I would do. As we were working on getting things ready for our trip, I started trying to find warm weather clothes for Elly, some of which were still in her closet and dresser. After only finding a few items, I went to the basement to pull out the tubs of clothes. As I looked at the tags on the clothing in the tubs, I felt my stomach drop as I realized where the spring clothes that I needed were. I remembered that the weather was warming up and I had pulled shorts and capris out of the tubs in the basement for her to wear just weeks before the accident. I decided that I had to look, just to verify that what I needed was not hidden somewhere else in the storage room. I entered Abby's room (which I still can't do very often) and couldn't bring myself to open her dresser drawers. It was just the fact that her little hands were the last to touch the things in there when she put them away three years ago. I found several shirts and shorts in plain sight, folded neatly on her Little Tykes table, waiting for me to clean the winter articles out of her room. More was laying folded on her bed. These were from the laundry room, washed just days after the accident by one of the family members helping us. We couldn't bear to put them where they needed to go, so that is where they still lay. The little sizes I needed were there, out in the open. I wouldn't have to open any drawers or closets. I could just take theses for Elly. But I couldn't. No matter how I reasoned with myself, I couldn't do it. I kept thinking, "If she was still here, Elly would be wearing them." But she's not and I can't bring myself to take them out of her room. Is this strange for me to want to keep her room as a shrine, so to speak? Is it wrong of me to be so possessive of her things? Afterall, they are just things and clothes, right?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Benefit for Deryk

Deryk Degase Benefit
Prime Rib Dinner & Auction
Sunday, March 21st
4 PM
Maryville Elks Logde (115 N Main)
Tickets $20/ person

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Girls' Art

We are able to take the girls with us to our CMH support group meetings and they really enjoy their time there too. They do not realize they are doing play therapy most of the time. At the meeting on Saturday morning, they painted flower pots and planted symbolic forget-me-nots.

They also made boxes to store special items in.

Some of the information we were given on Saturday was about sibling grief. There were some things listed that I had not given much thought to, but make so much sense now. It even says that sometimes people forget the importance of siblings in our lives. Here are some of the characteristics of our sibling bond and why losing them is hard.

~ It's the longest relationship we'll have in our lives. Siblings are typically only a few years apart in age, meaning we know them longer than our parents, spouses, and children.

~We witness more life events and life changes with our siblings than anyone else.

~They teach us how to function in society and communicate with others.

~ We share a sense of family, belonging and culture.

~ The time spent together in our early years is greater than with our parents.

Unfortunately, feelings of sadness were stirred up in Mady that day and she was quiet and reserved on the way home. She also found one of Abby's toys and clung to it that afternoon at home. They little bunny also slept with her that night.

Friday, March 5, 2010


We are still planning on bagging Saturday night at 7 pm at our house, but please come in from the North since the road is sloppy with the melting snow. Also, we will have our first big planning for the Celebration, so bring you new ideas!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Here is another wonderful donation of stuffed animals. This one came from Tom Parker.
Tom works with me here at work and right next door to where Abby went to daycare. She would yell at him anytime she saw him outside and would pick dandelions for him.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

3 wishes

It's been a while since I have shared any of the pages I've made for my memory scrapbook, so I thought I'd post one today. This one is titled "3 wishes" and contains Mady's artwork from 3rd grade. They were to make a 3-sided shamrock mobile to hang from the ceiling in the classroom. (The shamrocks were glued together, hence the reason they look the way they do after I peeled them apart.) On each shamrock, they were to write a wish. All this was done in the classroom and I did not know about any of this until after St. Patrick's Day when the artwork was taken down and brought home. Here are Mady's three wishes in third grade.
The journaling reads, "Mady's third grade class made shamrocks to hang in their classroom. On them they wrote their 3 wishes. It brought tears from me to see her wish. 3/2009"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Angel in the Sky

Standing out against the crisp blue;
This Angel in the morning sky.
Face so beautifully soft and radiant;
Not a trace of pain.
Only peace and love showing through.
Wings outstretched; inviting.
Eager to embrace.

This Angel in the sky; free.
Frolicking happily amongst wispy clouds and rainbows.
Reuniting with family and friends of days gone by,
Along the way.

This Angel in the sky;
Forever guiding our footprints;
Forever holding our hands;
Forever brushing away the tears of sadness from our eyes,
And kissing our lips with love.

This Angel in the sky;
Forever having a sacred place of honor;
In the hearts and minds of those who love them, on earth.

This Angel in the sky, forever a blessing.
Never to be forgotten.

~Joy Mixon