Personal Stories

Post Funeral Family Update…

Here are a few updates from Facebook….

FROM AUGUST 29TH

I know I haven’t posted in awhile….or returned most emails, messages, or texts.

I am TRULY thankful for the love, support, food, cards, and kindness you’ve extended to our family.

I feel compelled to share this little story/insight with you….

For those of you who knew Lori – you know she was never without her phone. It was attached to her hand. Every call & text seemed ever so urgent even if it’s was midnight. Even if it was in the middle of dinner. Even if it was during scheduled family fun.

She promptly responded to everyone – always making herself available. So many people have introduced themselves to me as “Lori’s best friend”. And it makes me smile because I know WHY they feel that way….it’s because she treated each person as though they were the most important person in the room.

Let’s be honest… Lori sacrificed and did for others what they would NEVER do for her…but she did it because God was good and she wanted to represent Him in all ways.

Scott and I tried really hard to help her set boundaries. The problem was – it’s embedded deep within us. It’s how we were raised growing up in the ministry….to try and be all things to all people. There’s no such thing as a 9-5 job when you are in the ministry.

Around May I was SHOCKED as I noticed Lori began to put her phone down. She stopped responding to every message she received. In fact, she started handing her phone over to me. For awhile she wanted to know about every single text, email, message, etc…. and let me tell you that was a full time job just managing her phone.

Then when June came….she no longer asked about who was writing her or what was needed. Mainly because her mind had started to grow fuzzy. But I still read through the texts & messages that were full of love, prayers, and encouragement.

What I watched, was that something that meant everything to her – no longer matter – – because she knew something we didn’t know.

Though we tried to stay so positive – I think she knew she was dying. I had more serious & real conversations with my sister this past year than I had my whole life.

I left Haiti in July 2018 after her initial diagnosis and spent most of this past year right by her side as her sister/fighter/nurse.

There were times where my flight landed at 3am….and when I pulled into her drive – she was up waiting for me. She was waiting for me to talk through her latest drama and what I thought.

She told me I was her security blanket….if I was here then it meant that I would fight for everything on her behalf….so she could let go….because I had her.

She had limited time left and I watched priorities shape differently than before.

What I realized was – so much of my time too has been spent the same way. If I don’t respond within 24 hours – then people think I must be sick…because I prided myself on an empty email box every night. It didn’t matter if it was vacation or midnight. I booked tickets for a team the day of my twins c-section! Seriously!

I too responded right away as though everyone was the most important person in the room. But it comes at a price. Being fully available often means being rarely present.

None of us know how much time we have left…and I have learned SO much as I cared for my sister.

But the one thing that continues to stand out to me is that when it came to “what mattered” – it was those who were physically present in her life. Not social media/emails….not work. i don’t say that to shame any of us…. but that we should live with boundaries and enjoy the company of those present in our daily lives.

The past few weeks I’ve tried to step away from an online presence…but in doing so I know I have worried many. Sorry about that.

I’m still trying to find my way in this world and through this never-ending heartache.

I can however – transparently say – the struggle is real… the panic attacks are paralyzing… the counseling is helpful…. but I continue to remain broken in every way.

 

**

FROM SEPTEMBER 3RD

While we are in daily counseling, the therapist suggested we start school now… as a way of gaining back some normalcy for our family. We usually do school in Haiti but we started back yesterday. (In the states).

Today I was researching something for our history class and this quote popped up.

I was caught off guard and overcome by emotions.

You see several times a week… every time Lori went to the hospital…. whether it was for labs, ct scans/tests, surgeries, checkups, ER visits, IV’s, blood transfusions, etc…. I saw this quote on a bulletin board in the elevator.

I had memorized it from those COUNTLESS elevator rides.

While it brought me to tears today… it also made me smile… because Lori and I talked in the elevator about how much better this world would be if we would ALL aspire to live this way.

And the thing is…. she really did live this out daily….I just don’t think she ever realized how influential and generous she truly was.

Categories: Personal Stories

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