“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Though I may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23
Hello my dear COLOs. Danielle here. I thought that verse is fitting for our final blog post; it’s Mom’s favorite.
Yes, you read correctly. It’s our final blog post tonight. Dad said to me, “We need to do one last post.” I jumped at the chance to once more connect with all of you diligent readers. We both thought it was fitting it ends with a post from me, since it began with a post from me.
I was driving home trying to think of what I could say to end this properly. At Mom’s services yesterday, Dad pointed out that there is no way to honor Mom’s entire life in just one hour; it’s simply impossible. I feel the same with this final post; there is no way that I can sum up the past 6 1/2 months in one post…I sure as heck am going to try though.
I have had many things end in my 20 short years on this Earth. Things end and we are forced to say goodbye to them along the way. Saying ‘goodbye’ is a part of life. Some goodbyes, however, are easier to do than others. In the past month, I will have had to say two of the hardest goodbyes yet. On November 16 I had to tell my mom “Goodbye” and tonight, December 12, I have to tell this blog “Goodbye.” I’ve found over the past 6 months that words don’t take away the pain, but they do help ease the sting a bit. I turned to Google to try to find a quote that makes this goodbye a bit easier; I found a quote that perfectly explains, in my opinion, what this goodbye means.
“Ends are not bad things, they just mean something else is about to begin. And there are many things that don’t really end, anyway, they just begin in a new way. Ends are not bad and many ends aren’t really an ending; some things are just never-ending.”
This blog is never-ending. These posts that we have written, would not mean nearly as much without the dedication, love and support you all expressed through your views and comments. This blog has meant so much to our family, and that’s all because of you. I know that this blog will help me through the rough days ahead. Today was the first day that I haven’t had a thing to do since Mom passed away. Over the past 3 1/2 weeks I have had either volleyball, school, or planning the services to throw myself into. Today, I had nothing. I was scared and overwhelmed and sad and a little lost. I was getting ready to leave the house and head back to my apartment and I was thinking that I was going to end my day feeling just as icky as I had felt when my day began. When Dad brought up the blog, I knew my day was going to end well.
Yesterday was a beautiful day. Over 1,000 people showed up to Immanuel Baptist Church to celebrate the unbelievable life my mom lived. Pink was all around us and so was the love of all that showed up. And we felt the love of those who could not be there as well. It was a beautiful service. We laughed and we cried and cherished the memories that were laid out before us. I had to get up on stage to introduce my coach (she was reading the poem I wrote for Mom) and when I got up on stage I did what you’re supposed to do when public speaking: look out and scan the crowd as you speak. The moment I looked up to begin my 15 second introduction, I was overwhelmed and humbled and grateful. I barely made it through those 15 seconds because I couldn’t stop thinking about how many people were there to show their love and support for my mom and my family. I was so happy to meet some of you for the very first time, and finally be able to put a face to the names I am consistently seeing pop up in my email.
I’d like to thank each and every one of you. You have given this family a gift that will live on long after we are all gone. This blog is something that I will proudly pass down through the family I’ll have one day. I’ll read it to my kids when they ask about their Grandma Patti because this blog will teach them all the lessons I learned through this. On days when I’m feeling down, I’ll turn to this blog and the comments you all shared and I’ll remember how loved Mom is and how loved I am. You have truly blessed this family, and I can’t thank you all enough.
I am sad that this blog is finished, but like the quote above says: some things are never-ending. We did something great here, COLOs. There are tough times ahead, but I know that each one of you is right there with me going through it. Right now, it’s about putting one foot in front of the other; we’re taking baby steps here. We have reached the end; I am at peace with this ending because I know I did everything I could do and I know you all did too. We loved deeply, prayed fiercely, hoped truly, and trusted completely. I know Mom’s proud of us.
So as we say “goodbye” to something that has been such a large part of our lives, I ask that you do one thing. When you feel that ache in your heart, that lump in your throat, and that twist in your stomach, remember that gorgeous smile that she loved to show off. Remember the way she always wore her baseball hats. Remember the way her nose would crinkle when she would laugh. Remember the first time you saw her without a baseball hat on and how gorgeous you thought she looked. Remember the good times. Let’s take this next step together COLOs. We may no longer be posting on the blog, but we will receive all of the comments you post. If you feel like writing to one of us, please do. And please, feel free to comment to Mom. I write letters to Mom on a daily basis, and I encourage you to do the same. I know she can read them. 🙂
I love you all dearly, and I am so happy to have taken this journey with all of you. I would like to end this post with mine and my mom’s favorite quote; this quote was very dear to us throughout this journey and I hope you cherish it the way that we did.
“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.” Winnie the Pooh