Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Have you ever wanted to just quit something? anything?  everything?

We have a thing with PERSEVERANCE in our home... for the  last 7 years we have had to persevere through some of life's most challenging things-  losing our son, losing my health and my career, losing our businesses in Hurricane Katrina just 5 weeks after we buried our son... That was just from July 2, 2005 to August 29th, 2005!

Can you imagine what came next?

Well... let's just say it was the most challenging times of our lives!

And there are days, honestly, it still is.

I have said to many bereaved parents that although today may be a hard day, and tomorrow and yesterday... I made it through the WORST day of my life and that was the day I kissed Matthew goodbye.  Period.

There has never been or will ever be (God willing he keeps my boys with me) another day that will compare that moment, that day, that feeling of letting go and giving him back to God.  Period.

I made it through that day with GOD, my husband, my family and wonderful support of friends.  (as I do so daily)

And yes, there are some days that the hurt is there, incredible pain and sting of death, like the daunting memories of being very pregnant this time 7 years ago... and on June 28th, 2005, I worked my very last day as a healthy, hairdresser whose belly was so big it hit my customers in the head when I was cutting their hair! I had to stand 3 feet away for a man's haircut!  Matthew was a big boy!!!  SO, don't think for one second that the memories aren't flowing and that the anxiety of Matthew's birthday is not settling in... because the raw truth is-  that it is.

When I lose my focus on the 'prize' which is being reunited in heaven with Matthew,  I get lost... really lost. And it is then I find it hard to persevere... because the abstract pain of losing him becomes too much for me to handle... so when my focus is on the prize, perseverance is not always easy, but I must say, I do my very best to press through knowing the result will make me stronger and more compassionate for those who are hurting.

Nathan, ALWAYS reminds me to PERSEVERE!  At my bedside, many, many days, even at the age of 5, (when I was so, so sick)  he would lean in and say, "Mama, you just have to persevere... don't give up, please mama."  And that friends is enough to motivate me to stand on my head for 7 hours if I had too!  Of course, if I ever did that, I would like some red  bottom shoes as my prize... just sayin'!

Back to the point... A while back, RW and I were talking about a big decision we had to make and face... and I was freaking out a bit because I was scared... and didn't want to be disappointed and I wanted to quit. We were talking over and over and he was so awesome in encouraging me, but I just was on the edge...

(insert this- a few weeks before this, my boys and I were making a collage for Nate's room- we took newspapers & magazines and cut out words that would encourage Nate daily to persevere... and at the time, this was sitting on my desk- now back to story)

I told RW I just wanted to quit and I was too scared to keep going... well... what do I speak of a lot in my book? FEAR!  God HAS NOT given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind!  I cannot tell you how many times I have been wheeled into surgery repeating that scripture!  But I was full of FEAR!  And full of wanting to QUIT!  WHY???  Because I LOST MY FOCUS! I took my eyes off of the prize!

And I finally just hugged RW as we were sitting on the edge of the bed and looking straight at me were the very words on the collage we were making to 'encourage Nate' as he is learning to persevere through life as a pre-teen... and low and behold I found this very thing we made for him, speaking to  me.

As I squeezed RW's neck, I turned his head around and we set our focus back where it needed to be and PERSEVERED through our decision... and stepped in faith and out of fear!   (Get that friends- AS YOU STEP OUT IN FAITH YOU STEP OUT OF FEAR!)  I knew deep down I couldn't quit and didn't even want to, but I was afraid to persevere!  But God knew that... and He had my back!  

I hope today that if you need to persevere through something you are experiencing that you will know there is hope!  There is an answer for you when you seek HIM with all of your heart!  

It may be found in something as simple as a homemade sign... but it is there!

I am 6 days away from Matthew's 7th birthday in heaven...  I know I have to persevere through this time... and that when July 2nd comes, the day Matthew came and left me, it will be followed by July 23rd, the day I held my baby for the first and last time... the day I kissed him hello and goodbye.  The day the dirt was freshly piled in that heartbreaking heap on the ground...Seems so not fair and so wrong, yet I know where my prize is and I will persevere until the very day I get there!

Don't quit today!  Don't give up!  And persevere!  You are so worth it friends!

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I never knew...

I never knew I wouldn't get to bring you home...

I never knew I would stand beside your grave...

I never knew I could live with half of my heart missing...

I never knew I wouldn't have your hand to hold...

I never knew I wouldn't watch you walk into kindergarten as I cried in the car...

I never knew I wouldn't hear your first cry...

I never knew it was humanly possible to love someone so much...
or miss someone so much, as I do you.

But I knew you were gone when I woke up...

I knew you were gone because as I was in and out of consciousness, I could feel your breath leaving the air... I could feel your struggle, and the pain in my body was so great that I promise I could feel your pain... I didn't see you at all... just the image of your 2 little feet... your little perfect feet as the medical staff were surrounding you to help you fight for your life... and I screamed "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"  And I remember yelling and screaming and hurting... and then everything was silent and gone...

I was gone for a while...  I left the earth 2 times on the operating table... I so wish I could remember that time.  Maybe one day I will... But I do often think of what your daddy says and believes... he believes I got to take you to heaven... Oh what a sweet thought!

And then when I woke up, no one knew if "I knew..."
If "I knew" you were gone....

But I did..."I knew..."

With your daddy by my side, I was laying in the hospital bed 4 days after you left me, and I woke up...  I woke up with a ventilator in my throat, tubes everywhere, pic line, IV's, and complete sensory loss to my lower part of my body... my eyes were open... and your daddy looked at me... he didn't have to tell me you were gone... I couldn't speak because of the tube in my throat, but tears flowed down my cheeks as your daddy realized "I knew..."  His soft words... "Lori, I am so sorry..." as he held my hand so tightly, echo in my head... as I can still, to this day, hear the ventilator pump as it was going up and down in the background... I was helpless and damaged... my heart and body were broken... I knew life would never be the same...

That day, sweet Matthew, when I opened my eyes and knew I would have to live my life without you was so hard.  I had to fight to live... I had to want to live... and it was hard.  Some days, it still is...

I fought for your brother and your daddy...

I fight every day to be healthier for your daddy and your 2 brothers now!  I still have many physical battles I face daily with the injuries that I sustained, but baby boy, I would do it all over again, just to "know" I am your mama.

Before you were formed in my womb, God "knew you" by name... Matthew Clark Weatherly

Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My thoughts on pregnancy...after loss

There are a few thoughts I would like to share about pregnancy... I may step on a few toes, but I cannot help but speak what is on my heart.

If you are blessed enough to become pregnant without IVF, AI, or some other kind of hormone therapy and seas of doctor visits in the midst of it all... Please stop here and be grateful.

If you are honored to carry a child, a baby, a precious life, please do not abuse the absolute PRIVILEGE that it is...  Many mothers would give everything they had to do what you are doing right now.

Please don't smoke, don't drink and don't do drugs of any sort when you have this little life inside of you. They are not asking for that... what they need is for you to take care of your body, which essentially means you are protecting them... they cannot protect themselves.

Don't take one second of pregnancy, life within, for granted.  You never know what is going to happen... you never know if this second right now will be your last with life inside of you.

And you know, as "fat" as you may say you are when  you are 7-9 months pregnant, don't rush it...  I so wish I wouldn't have.  I couldn't wait to get the extra weight off, to be un~pregnant... who knew on the day my son was born, I would never have the opportunity to be pregnant again, nor would I have the opportunity to take my 8 lb 14 oz boy anywhere but to the cemetery.

Take pictures all of the time... you never know, but some mothers like me, that is all we have.  I have very few pregnant pictures, and that makes me sad.  I wish I would have documented  my pregnancy better.  I did my first pregnancy... but didn't do it so much with Matthew. (sad face)

(one of the very few belly pics I have)
After all, I knew I would have plenty of time for pictures of Matthew... right?  WRONG!

Pregnancy is a gift that many cannot receive without a struggle, and some not at all, and they have to seek out other ways to become parents... and I am so grateful for those beautiful gifts of life that are given through adoption, I know, we have a beautiful gift like that.  He is priceless and amazing and a beautiful gift.

Don't think by reading all of the 'text books' on pregnancy that they for one minute prepare you for the unexpected when you are expecting.  I read them, believe me, I must have missed the pages that said what I was to do when my healthy baby boy died unexpectedly.  There are risks, there are complications that occur, there is life and there is death... and you never know if that will happen to you.

When I see a pregnant woman, I want to run to her and say CHERISH this time, CHERISH the heartburn, the kicks, the full bladder, the feeling of complete exhaustion!!!  Please CHERISH it and PROTECT your baby!  Be gentle with what you do to your body and be grateful for this blessing of life within. CHERISH today and walk into tomorrow with the deep understanding that this baby depends upon you, needs you and please don't abuse that right that many wish they had.  It can all be taken away from you in one second.

(Well, I was right about one thing...I have plenty of time to take pics...these pics)

Life is a gift that not everyone gets to unwrap and many don't get to keep...

Signing off with much love to you all...


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fly to Jesus...

My heart is so heavy tonight...2 days ago, my precious friend faced the 1st anniversary of the passing of her son and today, my sweet friend, is facing the 1st anniversary of the passing of her son.

My heart hurts so badly for my friends...  Are you approaching an anniversary of the passing of your precious child or loved one?  Are you a friend of someone who is experiencing this pain?

I remember so vividly the days approaching Matthew's 1st anniversary in heaven... and oh how I thought I was going to die... and sometimes I wanted to die.  I felt like I was being suffocated, literally suffocated.  Breathing was all of a sudden an option... really.  The immense pain I felt as Matthew's mama was so horrible.  Flashbacks of the day... the time, the moment of death!  The screaming, the pain, the horrific images tainted with the smell of the hospital room... this is what happens as we repeat the date, year after year.  I have done this 6 times, and yes I still get like that... You can't erase the heartache of losing a child... no matter how much time goes by or how many years pass...

I know there are so many out there reading this who know exactly what I mean... I am so sorry sweet friends... so sorry.  I wish life didn't happen like this... But for too many of us, it has...

It was God's strength and grace that got us through years 1- 6, and in just a few short weeks, we will be looking at 7 years without our baby boy.

I had no idea how or what would happen on the 1st anniversary because a cemetery is the very last place I thought I would ever be on Matthew's birthday... but now it is the only place I KNOW I will be on his birthday.  I had expected to be watching him dig into a chocolate cake while I frantically took photos of his "first" of everything... That didn't happen.

So, for Matthew's 1st birthday and the 1st anniversary of his passing, we had all of our family come to the cemetery where we prayed together and stood together loving each other through the pain.

Me, Ronnie and Nathan held hands and balloons that were tied together and  as we played the song "Come to Jesus," we held onto one another and the balloons... and when the song said "fly to Jesus..." we let the balloons fly to Jesus and to Matthew.  I thought I would be "okay" but my heart BROKE!  Absolutely BROKE!  I hurt so bad as I released those balloons that I literally thought my heart was ripping out of my chest... I wanted to go to Jesus and to my baby...  Oh the pain and the agony of releasing those balloons was not what I expected to feel... but then somehow, when I couldn't see the balloons anymore, there was peace... great big tears but peace...

Tears engulf my face for my precious friend as I write this... Madella, you have been on such an incredible journey of loss with me in my own life, you embraced "Facets of Life," from cover to cover... you cried with me many late nights while I was writing the book. You were always there with a hug or encouragement at any given time...  You were a God send to me and to "Facets of Life..."  I hope and pray that I can be that kind of friend for you... and that through this facet of your life, you will be enveloped in God's grace and care with every step you take.  You and your family are so very loved, supported and cherished.

Today, as balloons are released in memory of one very special boy, Christian Blue, aka "The Beast," I pray  peace for his family, for surrounding arms that will uphold them, and for love to fill their hearts as Chris' presence remains in all that they do.  Blue, Madella and Vivian, we love you and honor Chris today (and every day) with you... 

In loving memory of Christian Blue Jordan...  sweet, precious Chris, we love and miss you!  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

tic toc... tic toc...

Just having a SAD day...

You ever have one and not know why?  Nothing really to blame it on... just sad.

Well, I do not have to look at a calendar to tell you why my  heart is on the brink of tears so often these days.... because I KNOW what the calendar says... and it says July 2 is approaching like a freight train.

And literally the closer the freight train gets to me, the heavier my heart feels.

That freight train runs full throttle for me.. from the beginning of June until July 24th... Matthew passed away on July 2nd, and we buried him on July 23rd...

You see, when a mother (or a father) buries their baby / child, their hearts ALWAYS know when the day of the anniversary is drawing near...  Within our hearts are like little clocks that tic and toc as the hour draws nigh... tic toc... tic toc...

You can hear the silent rocking chair sway... back and forth.

But no crying... at least not tears that you would expect to fill the nursery... not an infant's tears but a mother's heart wrenching groans...

Tic toc...

If we could only rewind the time... WHAT IF???   If you lost a child, I know you have replayed the scenario time and time again... "IF ONLY..."  If only you knew... and the what if's...

NO matter where you are, what you are doing as the clock is ticking your heart is very aware of the time...

One minute closer to the time of death proclaimed on that horrible piece of paper, the death certificate...

Tic toc...

Sadness, spontaneous tears and buckets of crazy ups and downs are swept in uninvited, yet at the same time, embraced.

How does that happen?  You may wonder if you have never experienced the loss of a child...

It just does.

Grief is no respecter of persons.

I must be honest with you... I have been no stranger to grief now for almost 7 years... and I think that when you lose a child you lose part of you, forever.  And as much as people would, and do 'suggest' to me to get over my grief, I don't want to.  And if that shocks you, please keep reading...

You see, part of being Matthew's mama is very painful, because he isn't with me and I miss him... and as much as God has helped me and healed me, I am forever going to miss him and that makes my heart grieve.  I will never quit missing him, and I never want to quit... so my heart grieves my baby and that is how it works.  I am just doing the best I can and when grief comes, I embrace it... and let it flow.

It is just as natural as it is loving someone.  You cannot stop that either.  It is natural for my heart to feel the grief of my baby just as it is as natural for me to love him more every day!

As my heart is doing the countdown... I loudly hear the tic toc... and the echo of the silent rocking chair going back and forth...  as much as I don't want to feel the pain, I do not want to miss it.

Sad... I am sad today.

Tic toc... tic toc...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sometimes & Always...

Sometimes I cry
Sometimes I laugh
Sometimes I dream and don’t want to wake up
Sometimes I cannot sleep
Sometimes breathing is a daunting task
Sometimes faith is hard to grasp
Sometimes I am so sad
Sometimes I am so angry
Sometimes I am scared
Sometimes I am brave
Sometimes I don’t want to be
Always, I love you
Always, I miss you
Always, you are with me
Always, I have hope… always.
Always, I know I will see you again…
Always, with each day that comes and goes, I am one day closer to seeing you again
Sometimes that makes me cry because I wish it were today
Always, (after the tears) it makes me smile because I know that day will come
Always, I am your mother
Always, I love to see butterflies
Sometimes I cry when they fly away
Sometimes I love seeing their little wings take off into the blue skies
Always, I wish you were here
Always, I wonder how tall you would be
Always, I am so grateful to be your mother
Sometimes I feel guilty that I am here and you are not
Always, I want you back... ALWAYS.

When my sometimes and always’ come and go… I know it is okay to be in that moment…
And sometimes that is crying,  but always, it is hoping. 

Hoping tomorrow is a day that I will see a butterfly, a rainbow, or be able to catch the raindrops on my tongue with your brothers...

Hoping tomorrow we will be able to share your story again... your life, and our love for you.

Hoping that when I sleep I will see you and when I wake up I will feel you...

I love you Matthew Clark Weatherly!  You are my inspiration, my heart and my precious baby boy! ALWAYS!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

on the altar...

This morning at church, we had special prayer for an infant that is not well.  There is a possibility that he has Bilirubin Disease.  He will undergo a test on his liver this week.

At the altar call, the father of this sweet tiny baby boy, laid him on the altar, and covered over him as he weeped and prayed for his son.  Tears flowed from my eyes and Ronnie's as we saw the immense pain this father was feeling.  The sweet baby was sucking on his pacifier as his father cradled him on the altar.  An image I will never forget.  A baby, I will never quit praying for.

My heart hurts, literally hurts as I see that image in my head... and feel the pain in my heart.  This baby, this precious baby with a father and a mother who are crying out to God on his behalf, has hit a nerve in my heart and I just cannot get him off of my heart.

As I looked at his dark hair, I thought about Matthew, and how I never got to lay over the altar to pray for him... for God to heal him... and I suddenly found myself so grateful that Matthew didn't suffer.  I just cannot fathom the fears and heartaches of tending to a sick child, how it must feel to be so helpless... the only thing one can do is drop to their knees and say "Dear God..."

I am reminded by the verse that is on Matthew's tombstone..."I prayed for this child and God has granted me what I asked of Him so now I give him back  to the Lord." - 1 Sam. 1:27-28

Wow, how powerful the image remains in my head of the father leaning over his son this morning... and taking this verse and applying it to what his  heart must be feeling...

There is something very raw in the image of that.

It has knotted my heartstrings up.

I know  my baby boy passed away, and I so wish it didn't happen.  I cannot stand the fact that I have to tend to a cemetery plot or release balloons on his birthday instead of taking him to Chuck E Cheese, but there is also a very tender side of my heart so very capable of feeling the desperation of being helpless in protecting my child. And an immense appreciation that my baby boy didn't lay in the bed with tubes and pic lines and monitors...

Every day, parents all over the world,  in our back yards, our counties, and in our communities,  are  desperate to save their children's lives... and they live at hospitals, they sleep  on the couch/ floor/ or wherever they have to to be near their baby or child...  If you are one of those parents, I am so very sorry.  So very sorry.

I don't understand why children get sick or pass away or why parents have to watch their children suffer... but I do understand that they would trade their lives for the health of their baby.  Just one day without suffering... I wonder how  many times a mother or father has said that?  I thought to myself looking at that innocent little boy laying on the alter in his daddy's arms... "God, I would give ANYTHING for him to be healed..."  Can you imagine his parents thoughts?

God please help them... Give them strength.

The desperation I saw in that daddy this morning cradling his baby on the altar is forever etched in my mind and I will never forget that image of the innocent and precious baby boy being prayed for and loved by his father with every emotion within him.

I can only  imagine how our Heavenly Father hovers over us in protection and in love...

Please pray for this sweet baby boy and his parents.

And if you are able to kiss your healthy children goodnight tonight, please understand, with great empathy, millions of people wish they could be doing the same.