Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So much to say

I really don't know where to start, yet again!
I am feeling guilt about some things--
I can't seem to get through writing all the "thank yous" that need to be written and I think about them everyday!
I haven't had time to write the post to my blog dedicated to my dear friend, Tara, who spent a whole week of her lift with me a few weeks ago, along with her adorable 3 year old daughter and 3 month old baby. She organized my kitchen, cleaned closets, made meals, and was a shoulder to cry on all while in the midst of three young children (two of whom, including Caroline, were sick.) Tara, I promise I will thank you, somehow, properly.I feel guilt that I'm letting Caroline sleep in while I write this. (Especially knowing how Thomas was awesome at helping me keep her on a great schedule!)
I feel not so much guilt, but sadness?, that the trip I look forward to so much with Thomas' family to the Great Wolf Lodge is over and it was such a blast for Caroline, but it was so hard for me realizing how all vacations (and life) is without him. All enjoyable moments (watching Caroline squeal in delight at the water for example) has an undercurrent of unbelievable sadness and yes, I will admit it, self-pity that her dad is not there to share it with us. I really do think he can see us at times and is happy for us, but it's not the same as I watch other dads play with their children.
As soon as I think I'm over the guilt, or anger, or whatever it comes back so quickly sometimes it takes my breath away.
I realized how much of my independence in being married and having him there to help is gone and I will forever have to rely on others for help. (Thomas should have been the one to carry our heavy suitcase out to the car. He should be the one to help me pack--he is famous for his packing ability.)
Life is so much more fun when you have it to share with someone as close as a husband or wife. Don't get me wrong, I love sharing life with Caroline as I will with our new baby boy soon, but not having him here to share the excitement of seeing Caroline enjoy new adventures and learn new things cuts like a knife.
Sorry about the downer post, but I've tried avoiding writing it and God or something keeps it on my mind until I do. It helps.
I want to end this by saying that I do not know how anyone goes through any hard time without God. Not just believing in Him, but having a relationship with Him. The hope for our future, the promise of heaven and all it brings, the reason I am able to smile and laugh is all because of Him. It wasn't that long ago that I did not know or understand what the "relationship" meant, but with the help and love of other Christians along the way, I realize it's easy. Just send up a prayer to Him-He's there waiting and listening. Open a bible (or click to one on the internet) and just read. The secure, loved feeling is something you can't get from anyone (not even your husband) or anywhere. The lows are not as low when you have Him, and the highs are amazing! It reminds me of this song that another dear friend gave me when I was going through a hard time years ago.

Third Day Mountain of god Lyrics:
Thought that I was all alone
Broken and afraid
But You were there with me
Yes, You were there with me

And I didn't even know
That I had lost my way
But You were there with me
Yes, You were there with me

'Til You opened up my eyes
I never knew
That I couldn't ever make it
Without You

Even though the journey's long
And I know the road is hard
Well, the One who's gone before me
He will help me carry on
After all that I've been through
Now I realize the truth
That I must go through the valley
To stand upon the mountain of God


  1. I was saddened to hear of the loss of your husband. I lost my mother suddenly & with no warning in August 08 - she was only 60 years old! I understand your guilt & anger and believe it's natural to feel that way - so many tell me it's the grieving process!!! It's hard because I need that love from my mother but NO ONE can replace it. I'm sure you feel that way too with your loss. I've had to come to terms that God is the only one that can give me strength and not my spouse or friends or children. I too am pregnant (18 wks/3 days) and wish I could share this special time with my mother but believe she knows & has a special hand in it! I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

  2. Hi Bonnie,

    I have been following your blog since the Lord took Thomas to be with Him and I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers often. I can't begin to even imagine how you feel or how you hurt, but I do want you to know that there is a blog friend praying for you sincerely in Cincinnati. I am so glad that we serve one God, one Hope. Lots of blessings to you, Caroline, and your sweet, sweet baby.

    Love, Rachel

  3. I love it that your so honest. It's only natural to have bad days. I pray that the Lord continues to strengthen you. Time heals all wounds. I've never had to walk the road your walking, I've lost my Dad, and a younger brother. But that's not the same as a spouse. But on dreary depressing days, I always enjoy listening to upbeat praise and worship music.

  4. I continue to lift you up in prayer everyday - My mom went to heaven almost 3 weeks ago and sometimes the hurt & pain are almost overwhelming... I laugh and than realize I will never hear her laugh again, I go somewhere she use to love to go and I feel guility for being there. God gently brings to mind that she has a beautiful life with him in his Kingdom & that I should rejoice and find comfort in that. I know that she would never want me to sad but instead to use the time that I have remaining on this earth to be happy & living my life for our Heavenly Father. I pray that God will bring you comfort & help you again enjoy all the things that you use to enjoy when your precious Thomas was here. He lives on thru the memories you shared, Caroline & new baby boy! God Bless You!

  5. Please don't feel as though you have to continually be positive about everything. I have been through numerous losses in my life and it is normal to be sad and angry that the one person who should be there is not.

    And the Lord is, has to be, our strength. Otherwise, we'd never make it on our own.

    Continuing to pray for you, Caroline and your new baby.

  6. This is not a 'downer' email but reality for all of us, life is precious and can be taken at any moment. I hurt so much for your hurt and I think we all wish we could take it away from you. I love that you write out your thoughts and than you can seek encouragement and strength from God and others.

    You do not ever need to apologize to anyone for showing your hurt and your honesty, it is all beautiful and I love you for it! You couldn't be a negative person if you tried

  7. I've been thinking of you and wondering if you are ok. I'm glad you posted and I'm glad you are just "putting it out there."

    You have to know that people would be horrified to think that you felt you had to write those thank you's. There is so little we can do to mitigate your pain...If it helps you to write them, do; but you don't have to!!!

  8. It is your blog to say whatever you want. Just pretend you are talking to God and let er rip - we will be here to support you.

    As for being sad, guilty, and angry, who wouldn't be in the same situation. I can't even begin to imagine how incredibly hard just getting out of bed would be - and yet you do everyday! Just let the emotions do their thing....what other choice does anyone have?

    It does sound like you have an excellent support system behind you, so lean on them and do what you need to do to keep LIVING for Caroline, sweet baby boy, and yourself!

    Always BELIEVE,


  9. Bonnie, I have been thinking a lot about you. Every time I am driving around our town, I see all of those trees that lost major limbs and branches in the ice storm. Not that you are a tree :), but it reminds me of you. A major part of you was clipped/torn away from you. The thing that amazes me the most is that those very same trees, some just a fraction of what they once were, are blossoming now that it is spring. They aren't as full as they once were, but they are still blooming. God keeps reminding me that life does continue even in that pain and darkness. I look at you and see that life continuing...not always a happy or worry free life, but it continues. My heart still aches for you. I wish I could take those raw emotions from you. I have said it again and again, I hope you know you never have to apologize for who you are or what you are feeling. (And I am pretty sure nobody is expecting thank you notes...I am terrible about those even under good circumstances) I am thankful that you know Him and that even in all of this, you still find Him. I will continue to pray.


  10. I am glad you are honest about the reality of your loss. Be;ieve it or not; it is helpful to know you are smiling some and finding the path of your new "normal". In my Beth Moore study of Esther, she makes the comment about a time when terrible things happen and you just think you can't make it through and after you get up off the floor, wipe tears away...God says, "Okay, are we ready to put one foot in front of the other and begin to live." She reassured, trough scriptures, he will hold our hands and bring us through anything and I loved the fact she put it right out there to everyone- we don't have to like it or want the situation, but God will deliver us from the pain and never leave us.

    I thought of you and your blogs of honesty, pain, thanfulness, happiness, answered prayers, encouragement, questions, anger, and tears. Readers can see that you are beginnning to piece your life back together and find some joy, but don't let anyone, even yourself, make you feel guilty. I didn't know Thomas well, but seeing him interact with students and our faculty at Kelly, he enjoyed life to the fullest. At different times, he would come to the library and sit down with the group I ate lunch with and he would talk about you. You were in the middle of the National Board process. He alwyas had such encouraging comments about you as a person and a teacher. He, most of all, would want you, Caroline, and this sweet baby boy to be happy.

    At the service his pictures said it all with that huge smile on his face. The exact same smile I see in Caroline's pictures. If I had one wish in the world, it would be to take this pain from you, but all I can do is pray for you and strive to be a better Christian through your amazing example. You are such a hope and light for so many.--Nicole

  11. I am thankful that you are having times of joy and happiness in your life! (Thomas would definitely want that for you!!) I wish you didn't feel any guilt at all, especially about thank you notes! Those who know you, know how very thankful and grateful you are! I continue to pray for you, Caroline, and new baby boy,and Thomas' family! Your strength and grace amazes and inspires me. Please know I am here if you need anything.

  12. I have been following your blog but I do not always leave a comment. Congrats on the good news. I do pray for you and reading your blog makes me stop and think about what a blessing that my husband is. You are really a strong person and through all that you have been through, you still find it in you to minister to others. God bless you.
    Love in Christ,

  13. Bonnie

    -You are thought about and prayed for daily! Can't imagine how bitter sweet that was for you to experience. Bless you and your sweet family!

  14. I am so glad you guys had a good time on your trip. It's so fun to see those sweet pictures of Caroline having such a good time and being such a big girl. I even noticed a little pony tail! :)

    As for the "downer" post...I appreciate your honesty about what you are going through. It gives the people that care about you a small glimpse into your life and what you need prayer for at the moment. We love you so much and I know there will be lots of good times and hard times. I want to walk through them all with you Bon. I love you so much! -Ashley

  15. Bonnie,
    Through dealing with some pretty intense depression over the past couple of years of my life, I have become quite familiar with lament myself. I don't know if it is the same for you, but for me, music speaks volumes to my soul that nothing else ever can. If you are looking for something that you can really identify with, not something that will try to superficially cheer you up, but rather something that will embrace who you are and how you are feeling in the midst of your pain while reminding you gently that God is your rock, then that cd from Third Day - "Wherever You Are" - is one that you cannot do without. It helped bring me through some difficult times, and if you don't already have it, I'd love to send it your way.

  16. oh bonnie, i don't need a blog entry dedicated to me, so please, don't worry about it or feel guilty. like many others, i am just so sorry that you have to walk this difficult road. it absolutely breaks my heart. i pray for you often and that is not going to change. can't wait to see you again!! LOVE YOU!!!

  17. Bonnie you are a constant reminder that life on earth is precious, but eternal life with our Father is more precious. I am so sorry that some days are so hard. I just continue to pray thta God will heal your hurt and lift you up each day.

  18. You have touched and are continuing to touch so many people that you deserve as many thank yous as you think you need to write. This blog is a place for you to lay it all out there, so don't keep thinking about how everyone else will feel when they read it. We are all in this together and we all can learn from your honesty. I love you and Caroline and that precious little boy who I can't wait to meet!

  19. Thank you for sharing with us. You are an inspiration to many of us to live and cherish the moments we have with our loved ones. My relationships with my husband and children have greatly benefitted from your openness and honesty. THank you again!

    I am so glad to hear that you have such a wonderful friend by your side. She sounds like a blessing. We will continue to be here for you and pray for you.

  20. I check in on you now and then. I think being real is so good for your soul. I wish I could do something to make this easier but you are correct . . . how can anyone get through something like this without a relationship with the Lord??

    prayers & hugs from Australia.

  21. I loved the pictures. The smiles were so heartwarming!

  22. At times I feel quilty reading your blog....almost an invasion of your privacy. I read a few different blogs nad never wrote to anyone. I feel that your strength and courage needs to be commended. You are an amazing mother and should never feel quilty about being happy or enjoying a moment. It in no way minimizes your love or sorrow for your husband. Continue with you strength....your husband is proud.

  23. Bonnie, we love you. I can't believe how grown up Caroline looks with a pony tail.

    We pray for you everyday. Vivi has started asking me who Miss Bonnie is when we pray because she hears your name in our morning prayers.

    Love to you and Miss Caroline.

  24. Bonnie,
    I thought of you this week as it was the 1st Spring Break that you had without Thomas. Please know it's ok to have such a range of emotions. You owe no apologies to anyone for your feelings. I hope that your blog gives you the much needed outlet. I know many are inspired by your story, your strength and your faith.

    I continue to lift up your family in prayer and think of you often!

  25. Thank you so much for sharing this - what a powerful reminder about how we need to cherish our husbands. We just got back from a vacation, too, and I just realized while reading your post, that I never thanked my husband for all the driving & packing the car, etc. I really appreciate your openness & I'm praying for your family!

  26. I, whom you do not even know, think about you daily and say a prayer for you when I do. Your story has touched me, as I know it has touched others, and your belief in God continues to touch everyone who reads your blog. I know that there is not any comment I, or most others can leave, that would take away your pain. I pray that it helps that you know that friends and strangers are praying for you and your family. I feel pretty sure that those who have supported you and done things for you did it out of love and because you would do the same for them. Those loving friends do not care about a thank you note. They cre about you, your well-being, and your daughter, and your unborn son. They know that you appreciate what they have done for you and they, of all people, would not want you to feel pressure about a thank you note. Take care of yourself, that sweet daughter, and the life that is growing inside you. That's all anyone expects of you right now. laurie

  27. Bonnie,

    I'm reminded so often, as I read your blog (and Tara's) of conversations I had with a dear friend of mine after the loss of her husband (they are in their early 50's; young).
    One particular conversation comes to my mind just now, after reading this post. I hope it can be of some encouragement to you (although I do realize you already 'know' these things);

    She was babysitting her 1yr old grandson within the weeks after Wes' funeral; holding his hands and helping him toddle around the kitchen. He was laughing and giggling and delighting her; but she, in the midst of her joy, suddenly became overwhelmed with sadness, "he should be here" she kept thinking; "he's missing this"

    God spoke and reminded her that Wes is in Glory, in Heaven(!), and anything he is experiencing is far greater than anything we can delight in on earth. He gets to be in the presence of our Creator, in the midst of a million angels; wrapped up in the song of Heaven. He is worshipping our God AT his feet...he is not missing out, we are.

    ...I can't pretend to know how you, or Tara, or my other friend are feeling (I've never been in love, and so can't even fathom what it means to lose it so tragically). But I do know that God is faithful, that He is desperately in love with you, and that he is taking care of and paying close attention to you and your family; even the ones we no longer see.

    I want to add my voice to the many to say thank you for writing this post and being so honest with where you are at; it helps us to pray more specifically.

    with love,

  28. Check out this song Bon.

    I was sure by now, God, that You would have reached down

    and wiped our tears away,

    stepped in and saved the day.

    But once again, I say amen

    and it's still raining.

    As the thunder rolls

    I barely hear You whisper through the rain,

    "I'm with you"

    and as Your mercy falls

    I raise my hands and praise

    the God who gives and takes away.

    And I'll praise you in this storm

    and I will lift my hands

    for You are who You are

    no matter where I am.

    And every tear I've cried

    You hold in your hand.

    You never left my side,

    and though my heart is torn

    I will praise You in this storm.

    (From the Casting Crowns song, "Praise You in this Storm.")

  29. We are going through a difficult time in our family right now and I have a wonderful sister-in-law who is very gifted in the "thank-you" writing process. If you really feel it needs to be done, have someone do it for you. When my husband died nearly 20 years ago, I don't even remember who helped me with the thank-yous...but nobody who has done something for you would want this to be a burden to's ok to let it go. Your true friends will be ok with it...right now, you need to focus on your daughter and yourself.

    You are in my prayers.

  30. Just wanted to say hello and that I love you! Sending up prayers and happy spring days your way! I would Love to get up to fayetteville and see you and meet Caroline sometime in the near future!