Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Lori's Lullaby"

Almost 7 years ago, I (we) started this (for lack of better words), "journey"... Many times it has been like a great big detour, roadblock, traffic jam, or falling off the cliff on this crazy, broken road.  But somehow, (through God's grace) we have been able to persevere... day after day... month after month, year after year... through the rain, storms, sunshine, hurricanes, laughter, tears, fears, joys, sorrows, hurts, disappointments... all of that and more,  we get through it because we know when we reach our final destination, we will be with Matthew again!

The really hard days when I would like to run away, find a safe place and keep to myself are the days I think persevering is most important for me... those days when it seems like it would be easier to quit, well, it probably would be easier to quit- but it would not be what I know that I need to do... and that is to journey on... to find strength on those days, to overcome them, sometimes with tears, okay, a lot of times with tears, but finding the hope in my faith that I (we) can do this...  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  I know I (we) can, I (we) have done some really hard things... and I didn't do them in my own strength.

Having the passion within my heart to share Matthew, our 'journey' or crazy road trip, whatever you wish to call it, has led me to be able to embrace being "Matthew's Mama."  Not in the way I thought I was going to be when my little guy was kicking so strongly in my belly... Not in the way I ever wish it would have been...  but this is what I have, and I will never let it go... I have his sweet memory, the gift of love he left me, and I have what he inspired me to do within 142 pages of Facets of Life, the book I wrote in memory of our precious baby boy.  The book that has helped so many mothers, fathers and families to grasp hope, when hope seems so far away.

I cannot express how many times my heart has been touched / affected by families who are hurting, broken, and just wanting peace in their hearts... some comfort when their heart is bleeding.  And that brings me right back to knowing I need to carry on, pick myself up, dive into the hard days... I read a  book a while back about the loss of a child, and a mother said "we can do hard." - I cannot remember which book it was in, but I will never forget that statement!  We can do hard!

Doing hard (for me) means doing another day... another day without my boy... another day of ups and downs, spontaneous waterfalls of tears at the drop of a hat... whether it is my hat or someone else's!!! 

It seems to be on the doing hard days, the worst days, I am encouraged by so many others in this great big world. The world is full of kind, generous people who care!  Who hurt when we hurt and who are affected by what has happened to us and what we do with the brokenness...  Brave mothers, fathers and families who have stepped up to share their stories so that they can reach out and help those searching for survival tactics, kind words or simply an "I understand and you are not alone..."  many of these precious people you will meet at  Still Standing Magazine, where loss is our connection.  

I often think of the 'ripple effect' that these stories have on people... the stories shared by mama's and daddy's with broken hearts, fighting to preserve and protect the memory of their children, and standing up for the cause they so believe in through advocacy and awareness, writing and art, and I know it is hard!!!  Yet so worth the fight... worth the perseverance and the endurance to keep going.  For it is within these moments the ripple effect goes far beyond where our eyes will ever see...

My mama heart is filled with joy when I get a glimpse of the ripple effect that Matthew's life has...

But this morning, I didn't just get a glimpse of the ripple effect, I felt it ...  as my day started 'doing hard,' my broken heart was hushed when I heard this beautiful melody and song written by 2 very special people to me!  Friends, singers, songwriter's musicians, and 2 people that can bring the house down, Dustin & Jenny Hinkle!

Below are words shared by Jenny...  my precious friend.
"There are times in life when someone touches our heart and it doesn't let go. I met Lori long before her life changed forever. She has always been a bright light and a joy to be around. Before I wrote, "Lori's Lullaby" I took time to see what had been on my heart. I have experienced a lot of loss in my life and had recently been hearing of families struggling with the loss of a loved one. I have read Lori's book and although I knew her story already I was touched by her words. I too could understand how loss affects a life. When I was 16, I watched my mother greive over the loss of my brother who was tragically killed in a accident at the age of 14. With all of that in mind I put myself in that place and from that came, "Lori's Lullaby." I felt God put the song and words in my heart and couldn't rest until I completed it. The emotion that I felt after hearing it completed was overwhelming. I hope it touches many hearts that have an empty spot and are longing for their loved ones. Lori... you inspire me everyday and it was a pleasure to write this song in honor of you!" ~ Jenny Hinkle

I am forever grateful, beyond humbled and blessed by the gift of "Lori's Lullaby."  The ripple effect has traveled down the road into the hearts of 2 brilliant songwriter's and made into music... beautiful, soul healing music.  I know that so many of you will relate to the lyrics of this song.   I promise, it will touch your heart!  It may make your 'doing hard' day a little better...

Please take a moment and listen to "Lori's Lullaby" here ~     

You can visit Dustin & Jenny Hinkle at to hear more of their amazing music!  And join them on Facebook here.  I am so blessed by the passion that they both have had for many years to touch the hearts and lives of everyone they meet through their music.

Wherever you are, I know that doing hard is really hard... I wish you hope and  encourage you, when the time is right, to find a way to carry on the memory of your precious one...  I understand the depth and the importance of that love living on  and inspiring others, encouraging others who are behind us, beside us or in front of us on this journey as we all strive to reach our final destination.  

Dustin & Jenny... Thank you... Thank you from the bottom of my heart... For caring and sharing this gift!  For adding another ripple... 

As I am laying down to sleep tonight, I feel my eyes tear up as I hear the beautiful words echo in the song,  "I'll make it through one more night, but baby, I'll miss you..." 

Sweet dreams friends... sweet dreams! 

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