Tag Archives: death

A Life Well Lived

9 Jun

Our lives are like a crashing wave, here one moment and gone the next.

When going through the day-to-day of life it may seem as though time drags on. But when you look back, you realize how quickly this life goes by.

My family’s world was shaken recently by the passing of my sweet grandfather. He was 88 years old and boy did he live each one of those years. Losing a loved one is the hardest thing a person could go through. Death has removed that person from your day-to-day, week-to-week life and there is no getting them back physically.

On May 6th, my grandfather was dancing and singing to Frank Sinatra (his favorite) at my beautiful cousin’s wedding. We danced as an extended family; we laughed, sang, and made memories we soon realized would be our last happy ones with my grandpa. He was full of life. Always telling a story, always making people laugh, and always making each person feel important.

The following Monday evening, my grandpa fell and broke his hip. Naturally, we were worried, but never imagined the outcome would be so terrible. He was scheduled to have surgery that Wednesday. Surgery went fine, but that afternoon he was having a difficult time coming out of his anesthesia.

On that Thursday morning, there was no improvement. That afternoon, we found out the terrible news that he had suffered a massive stroke and had lost all use/feeling of his right side. We had almost lost all hope that he would get better. The doctors certainly didn’t give us any reassurance.

Minutes turned to hours and hours turned to days. He made no improvement and he never woke up from the deep “sleep” he was in. The decision was made to place him on Hospice.

My eyes are filled with tears as I type that word. Hospice. I’ve had such a bad experience with it before when losing my Daddy. Speaking of that, through all of this so many terrible memories have resurfaced as I watched my once full of life grandpa slowly slip away from us. The noises of the hospital, the smells, the tears; it all brings back such painful memories of the 50 days my Daddy was hospitalized.

And then, on May 14th, my grandpa went to be with Jesus. Our hearts are shattered. Just a week before he was dancing and laughing. I truly believe that the shock of it all has made the situation that much harder.

Through all of this, the words from Even If by MercyMe have been on my heart and in my mind:

“But God, when You choose to leave mountains unmovable, oh give me the strength to be able to sing “it is well with my soul

I know You’re able and I know You can, save through the fire with Your mighty hand, but even if You don’t, my hope is You alone…”

I was honored with the privilege of writing the eulogy and creating the slideshow for my Grandpa’s funeral. As I began writing, learning, and reflecting on his life, I realized something I already knew; my Grandpa lived such a full life! While I still feel 88 years wasn’t long enough, I realized that he truly lived each one of those 88 years. He has traveled the world, owned and managed his own business, and so much more.

I can’t wait to give my Daddy and him the biggest hug when I get to Heaven someday.

Hug your loved ones a little tighter. 

Blessings,

Mrs. Hannah D. 💔

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“The Shack” and My Thoughts 

11 Mar

Let me start this by saying, if you have yet to see the movie The Shack or have not read the book, then stop reading right now. I want you to see this for yourself and not spoil anything. That was your disclaimer.

This post is quite different than anything I’ve ever written. My sweet husband and I went to see The Shack last night; my one word to describe it? Phenomenal. It was hands down one of the best movies I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. I was so inspired that I had to write about it. There is a lot of criticism surrounding this movie right now, I was skeptical before seeing this because of all of the criticism. I knew that people had criticized the book and the movie as well saying certain things about it and how they disagreed on some of the ways that it portrayed God. But let me tell you I was so impressed. In the movie God was often referred to as Papa, the representation of Papa in this movie was a very sweet black lady. I really think that that is why so many people were upset, they didn’t understand why in the world God would be portrayed as a woman. At first I didn’t understand it either, until last night. 

The main character had been through terrible things in his life. No point in going into great detail here, check it out for yourself. The way this movie portrayed God as someone so familiar, someone you knew and were close to, a Papa. It was beautiful. God wants to be that to us. He wants to have a daily relationship with each of us; I believe He wants us to be familiar, so much so that we could refer to Him as our Papa. Because He is, He is our Father. 

You know God can reveal Himself to us in whatever form He wants. He came to Moses in the form of a burning bush.

 The movie dealt with many issues that are really hard to talk about, for example death of a loved one. Being someone that has gone through a tragedy like that this movie absolutely touched my heart. The main character didn’t understand the reason behind the tragedy of losing his daughter. Understandably so. Often times we don’t understand why we have to lose a loved one. But in my short life I’ve come to discover, that maybe we don’t have to understand. Maybe we just need to step back and let God be God and know that He is working everything for our good. He is a God that can bring goodness out of the darkest tragedy.

We spend so much of our life judging others and trying to understand and make sense of what happens in our lives, but we really need to just trust God. And trust me when I say that that is a lot easier said than done, why? I don’t know. For some it’s hard for us to trust our lives to the God that created them. 

I could talk about this movie and all that it meant to me for hours. But I know that not everyone would have time to read it. So my suggestion to you is to go see this for yourself. Form your own opinion, go in with an open mind, and bring lots of Kleenex. 

I’m not writing this to start a debate or to argue my opinion with anyone else’s. You are all entitled to think whatever you want. I was simply just so inspired that I had to share my thoughts.

Now I can’t wait to read the book!

Blessings, 

Mrs. Hannah D. ❤️

Recently

11 Nov

It has been way too long since I’ve blogged. I’m sorry to any dedicated readers. Just a lot going on.

Where to start?! This time of year brings back a lot of memories. Some good, some bad. 

Just a warning, things are about to get real…

Take Halloween for example. This year brought back so many painful memories. A loved one had surgery a couple of weeks ago (on Halloween) at the very same hospital my Daddy spent the last 50 days of his life. We spent the day there, praying for good results. Surgery went well but my heart hurt all day. Everything about that hospital made me sad. I couldn’t understand why it panned out the way it did. Why there? Why that day? Was God using this to bring closure? I’m still not sure. I’ve been pretty off ever since. 

Remember several months ago when I blogged about weakness? And how Houston had been my should to cry on?  Well that is still pretty accurate. I’ve been pretty discouraged lately. 

However, on Sunday I heard a sermon I believe was written just for me. It was titled “Not An Expert.” Our pastor spoke about how God has a plan for us and how our current location (physical or emotional) is not a mystery or barrier to God. 

I think what touched my heart most was this:

“Realize that God sees what you see. He hears what you hear. God cares far deeper than we care. And He has a great plan.” 

Hit me like a ton of bricks. I needed that. 

How do people live this life without the hope of God? I will never know. 


Anyway, on a lighter note…I’m so excited that Thanksgiving & Christmas are just around the corner!! 

You know what I’m most excited about? Spending time with the people I love most. More and more I realize how blessed and thankful I am to have the family I have. Nothing makes my heart happier than spending time with them. I could never thank God enough. He has truly blessed me beyond measure! 

I know I say that a lot…and probably sound like a broken record, but…I don’t care! 😏 

Well you’ve made it to the end of the post…sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written! Hopefully that will change. 😊 

Blessings,

Mrs. Hannah D. ❤️

Time is Precious

9 Sep

A lot has been going on lately; staying busy with work and family. It has always been easy for me to get stressed and caught up in everything that is happening in the world around me. 

A few weeks ago I wrote about my husband and I purchasing our land. We are still so excited about this new adventure! We went to a local credit union to get our loan. We worked with a very sweet lady. She helped us tremendously and was always willing to explain anything we didn’t fully understand. She spoke about her son starting Youth at our church and how nervous she was about him playing football. Casual small talk, nothing out of the ordinary. 

Then on Sunday, a couple of weeks later, we found out the tragic news that she had passed away. We couldn’t believe this because we had just recently talked to her and she was so helpful and kind. 

It was the same day that we found out that someone else we knew passed away. Someone we had seen at a restaurant just the month before. Two people, in such a short amount of time, gone. 


My heart is broken for the families directly affected by these two losses. Two families, changed forever. It is extremely hard to understand why things like this happen. Especially so sudden. 

I know full well the pain of losing a loved one. It is something that you never get over. The pain gets easier to bear, but it never goes away. 

Learning about the loss of someone you know really makes you appreciate life and the loved ones you have. You cherish each moment and every memory you get to make. You learn to never let the sun set on an argument. You make sure they know how much you love and appreciate them. And you thank God for every second. 

But it is inevitable that we (I) will get caught back up in the busyness and chaos then once again, forget to cherish those we love. At times, it can be a tragedy to remind us, but sometimes it can be the birth of a loved one that can reveal to us God’s continual goodness and grace. This last Friday, we welcomed a new cousin into the family. This sweet baby boy came a few weeks early, but he is healthy and precious. 

Welcome Bentley James! 💙

This new life brings hope and joy, as well as a new perspective. 

Time and life is are both so precious and they are something that cannot be taken for granted. So love those you’re close to and cherish each moment, because each one is a gift that God has so graciously given to us. 

Blessings,

Mrs. Hannah D. ❤️

Plans Change

12 Dec

It has been a few weeks since my last post. My apologies to any faithful readers…I promise to do better! 🙂

I’ve been thinking about plans a lot lately. You see, I’m a planner in pretty much every aspect of the word.  I enjoy making plans ahead of time and making sure I’m prepared for anything. I’m a planner in my career as well. However, sometimes plans fall through. It is that aspect of planning that I don’t deal with very well.

As I get older, I learn more and more that plans change. This happens whether we want it to or not. It is when things don’t go the way you want or expect them to that you have to make a choice as to how you react. Reacting to change is a big part of your character. This is something I’m still learning.

Today is one of the best examples of dealing with “plan changes.” It was four years ago on this day that my Daddy went to Heaven to be with Jesus. Losing a loved one, especially a parent, is not something you can ever plan or prepare for. That was the worst day of my life. My daddy had been sick for a long time. When we got to the hospital to visit him that day we learned that he might not make it much longer. He had been very touch and go for a while, but there was something different about this day. We spent the entire day by his side; telling him often that it was “okay to let go” and that we would be okay. And in that moment you don’t really realize what you’re saying. We knew that he was going to Heaven, that we were completely sure of. But we had no idea how hard it would be when he was gone. And we certainly weren’t emotionally prepared.

Our family...May 2011. <3

Our family…May 2011.

So let’s fast forward to today. Four years has passed and by God’s wonderful grace, we are doing much better. When you lose a loved one, you never ever get over it and you never move on completely. It is something that you adjust to, something that you just learn to live with each day. Just recently, this week as a matter of fact, I discovered something though. When we go through trials it is important that we use what we went through to help others. We must use our pain and grief to bring encouragement to someone else. If we don’t do this, we become emotionally stagnant.

I know that each person and circumstance is different. I’m not sure what you’re going through or what you have gone through in the past, but please let me encourage you. If you have lost someone you love, whether it was one year or 10 years ago; you can get through it. No you will never get over that loss and you will never forget your loved one, but it is so important that you strive to keep moving forward. Surround yourself with the ones you love. Hold on to each memory you have with the loved one that passed and cherish each new memory made with those still here. Don’t be afraid of making new memories either and don’t give up on something that you’ve been working towards. When my Daddy passed I had just finished my first semester of my junior year of college and the last thing I wanted to do was go back to school. But I knew that he would never want me to quit college. He would want me to keep going. And because I did, I know that he is looking down from Heaven smiling because I didn’t give up.

So when you feel like giving up, take heart knowing that God will never leave you. By His grace, He will carry you through each trial in life. Trust in Him. Keep moving forward.

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and loved more than you know.

May God bless you and keep you, always.

Blessings,

Mrs. Hannah D.