From broken to shattered

I haven’t posted in a while because I thought my brokenness was healing as much as possible. In 2017, we welcomed our first grandson, Preston James Nelson! What a beautiful life we were blessed with. God had sent us this little angel because he knew this family was sinking under the pressure of losing Richie. He quickly became known as Peanut, Lil Buddy, Stinky, James Leroy and many other names. He didn’t even know to respond to Preston. I became a Granny, Jeff a Grandpa, Luke became an uncle. Our life was coming out of the darkness for the first time in 4 years!

I often felt as if there was any way the cracks in my heart were going to heal it would be because of this sweet boy. I didn’t cry as much. And when I did cry it was because Preston was missing out on his Uncle Richie not me. My mourning went in a different direction. I mourned for the loss of what an amazing uncle he would have been. Savannah was the best Mom! She doted on him and made sure everything was just perfect for him. She gave him Richie’s middle name so he would have a piece of him always. Luke, my Luke, became the Uncle every boy should have. Preston was in the yard getting dirty before he could walk. Luke was his hero! If you could have seen the way Preston got so excited when he heard Jeff come home each day! His little feet would go so fast they never even moved. This baby healed our family. We laughed now! Our how was noisy!!! Our house was scattered from one end to the other with toys! Pure Joy!!!

I can not describe or even begin to explain the joy and pride I had as a Granny. It is all I ever wanted to be in life was to be like my own Granny. And now by the grace of the Lord Almighty I was!

I say was because on October 15th, my sweet little Peanut was murdered. For reasons I am not even sure of (investigation still pending), the last of my heart was completely shattered beyond any repair. I watched my daughter go through a pain that I knew all too well. I could not save her from this tragic heartbreak and pain. I could not save my own son and now my grandson. Talk about feeling like a three strike failure. The only thing worse than watching your own son die is to watch your daughter watch hers die. Watching and knowing there is nothing you can do but hold her hand and watch.

At 8:23 pm on October 16, Preston was pronounced. October 16, what was his Uncle Luke’s birthday. A day that I was supposed to be watching Luke and his Little Buddy eating cake, riding on the Polaris and pretending to hunt.

Why God Why!!!!????? Why our family again? And to lose a 21 month old to murder?! I have been walking around scared to even try to comprehend any of this. Do I want to know the answers? Yet can I live without the answers? I feel as if there is a belt around my heart that keeps getting tighter and tighter each day. I pray. I thank the Lord for the time I had. Bless the Lord’s heart, he must think I am the most messed up minded person he ever made. (I hope he broke the mold after he made me) I cry, scream, question, praise, thank, rejoice and show every emotion in one prayer multiple times a day. I just cannot even begin to understand any of this. Why Preston who was the most happy toddler in the world? Everyone that met him became instantly in love with him.

So now I am a broken Mother, a broken Granny and just broken. Please pray for our family as we make sense of this tragedy. God Bless you all.

Happy Birthday To Me!!!!!

Yep! I am 29 again this year! I have been 29 for so many years that I cannot remember what my actual age is. I have to always ask my husband! I haven’t been writing lately. I have been caught up with life. Caught up in my own problems and self-pity. What a better day than today to get back at it. I thought I would do a year’s review and let everyone see a summary of how life can change, rise, fall and flourish.

We have had many happy events this year. Some major life milestones. Savannah graduated high school! Krista got to sing the national anthem twice at Atlanta Motor Speedway. I got baptized! Luke has been working hard at being a firefighter. We got to meet Richie’s heart recipient Lance. We also met a tissue recipient Morgan. Luke bought his first truck with actual payments and even got lasik surgery. We have a new addition to our family. Maggie. A great dane/ german shepherd mix. Richie’s dog Sam and his hamster Pippin are still alive and kicking. (Pippin is now living beyond normal hamster years.) We have Jeff’s stomach issues under control and that is a relief. Will started college! We are officially settled into this house and preparing for some remodeling.Jeff and I have attended many Donate Life events in honor of Richie. Just to name a few for the ones in the house.

Other good news! Sydney is about to head off to University of Alabama! Dillon and Lauren got married! Kaelyn and Nolie are walking! Hunter is still awesome! Briggs is adding more fish trophies to his name. Brandy is about to bust with boy #2. Josh has found him an awesome lady that we have just fallen in love with. Wesley is playing his heart out on stage in Florida. Ingles got to meet Lance! My family got to meet Lance! So many of Richie’s friends have just been out and tackling the world. I love when they call me to tell me what they are doing!

I have made many friendships this year. I have met many people that have touched our lives and hearts! Tonya and Robert have become close friends that we cherish like family! Debbie M and I have become like sisters. Misty started coming to my church and has quickly become my sister in Christ and confidant! I have made many friends through my blogging and Donate Life journey. I have gotten very close to our piano player at church after we bonded when she lost her son. I have also become very close with people in the community that reached out after Richie passed and have become more than acquaintances. they have now become people that I can depend on and reach out to share the good and bad. Our small circle of friends has now grown abundant.

Well, I was going to share the bad that has happened this year also but now I think I will just let it rest. Why should I focus on the bad? No matter what happened in the past year, nothing can be as bad as the day we lost Richie. So why focus on them? I think that is a big problem for the world today. Rather than focus on all the good things in life we tend to get hung up in the bad. The dishwasher broke, the tire was flat, JimBob didn’t get the promotion. Who cares! You still have life, your world didn’t stop turning. There are very many little blessing that should be celebrated each and every day. Even if it is just the fact that you and your family woke up and were able to put your feet on the floor. It would be very easy to get sucked into a world of self-pity and I have to stop myself daily. Life’s problems can consume us and make us miss God’s little blessings and rainbows. So what is the past year had hiccups along the way. I have been through the worst and none of it equaled that! So here is to turning 29 next year! May it be filled with many more milestones and many more friends!



First I want to say that I am not wanting sympathy or anything! I am just posting this because I am having one of those days. I have to get the feelings out of my head, through my fingers. So please, don’t pity me and let my written emotional diarrhea begin!

It is only noon and I have already been through every emotion I can. I am angry, sad, happy, worried, hurt and all in between. I have no idea what has triggered this day. Maybe lack of sleep or a slight sunburn from the extremely fun day in the sun yesterday. Maybe it is guilt because I had fun yesterday. I don’t know what it is but I am just over it. I am missing my son so bad that it feels like I have been gut punched today. I am missing my living children because they are always gone living their life. I am upset that the boy was snappy at me this morning for no reason. Aggravated because the girl decided to wash clothes on the one morning I could sleep in a little. Frustrated because I have no clue what to make for supper with no desire to do it anyway. Depressed because I am just not wanting to fold the massive pike of laundry that has built up. The dog has been spazzing out and running up and down the hall all morning and when she does get still, she farts constantly. I am hurt because I feel like I do not get any recognition of pride from the ones I look for it most in. I feel like nothing I do matters to anyone around here. I feel like I am not as important to most of the people that I put first and on pedestals, I am sick of hearing about the latest Monticello scandal when people should be rallying around a little girl in town that lost her father in a senseless shooting. I want to go back to the beach. I want to go to the mountains and sit on my Uncle’s porch and have him tell me it’s all going to be okay. I want a back slapping hug from my Granny. I want to eat a bowl of strawberry ice cream with my Grandpa. I am wondering if I was as good of a Mom all these years as I should have been. Did I give my children all they needed growing up? Do they resent me because I could not give them all they wanted? I am worried about my Mother, what reason I cannot pinpoint. I feel fat. I feel ugly. I am mad at myself because I have those superficial feeling. I am at a loss to fix a relationship that just never comes easy. I am at a loss as to how to make some things at home better. I miss Dillon who has moved to another state. I miss my house being filled with teenagers during the summer. I am mad because I feel the empty nest. I just ate a handful of Cheet-Ohs so now I am feeling really fat. I feel like a failure as a friend for not being there for everyone like I should. I feel like I am too needy at times. I am tired of keeping things inside when they make me want to explode. I am terrified of making changes soon that will benefit me for the better but may upset other people. I am sick of saying yes. I dread saying no. I just want to go back to bed. I just feel UGH!


Dear Savannah,

Dear Savannah,

I sit here on the eve of your high school graduation thinking about the past almost 18 years. There is so much I want to say but words just escape me for once. I will start at the beginning.

You were a surprise baby. I had the two boys and wanted a girl. And I got one. My baby born on 6/14 weighing 6/14. You were bright eyed and happy. I do not ever really remember you crying a lot or being a difficult baby. But when you started walking was another story. There was nothing that you did not get into. You thought that you were just as big and strong as your brothers. Every where they went, you were right behind. Spiderman and GI Joe now had Barbie as a bride. I just wish you didn’t listen to everything they told you. Remember when Luke told you to stick a Lego up your nose and me and Aunt Angel spent the night at the ER with you? Remember Aunt Angel almost knocking the doctor out because she was mean to you?

When you started school you were something else! You kept the teachers on their toes from Pre-K to 12th grade. You got in trouble in Pre-K because the kids wouldn’t do anything unless you told them to. Remember when you got in trouble for smarting off and told the principal that she shouldn’t call me because I didn’t like her? I learned real quick to watch what I say around you. Everything you set your mind to, you accomplished. You went out for cheerleading and made the team every time. Four years of color guard with the last year as captain. Even with problems reading, you made good grades. I am proud of the way you did your best in all of your school career.

You have been through so much in your 17 years and have come out smiling and always doing all you can for others. You have lost your friends, a cousin and your brother way too young. You have seen the harsh way adults can act and handle life situations without thinking of the children. You have seen the ones you love most go away and never come back. You have seen the ones you love most choose others when it was the wrong thing to do. You have seen people that should be setting an example for you do the all the wrong things in life. Through it all, your head has been up and your determination stronger. And you learned how not to be as a person. I wish I was half as strong as you on a lot of this,

I know you think that I am hard on you. That I yell way too much. That I am stricter on you than the boys. That I do not love you as much as I do the boys. Yes, I was harder on you. You are my only daughter. I am still scared to death that you will make some of the wrong choices I made. All I want in my life is for you to do better and have better than I did or have. I do not want you to have to work and get little reward. I do not want you have to go through being young, broke and a mess full of kids like me and your Dad. (It was not a bad thing, just want you to be settled and secure.) Sometimes it is hard for me to show you the love that I think you deserve. I did not grow up in the best of home situations and I forget that I have to do better with you. Sometimes, I just do not know what to do so I do things the way I learned as a child. You think I do not trust you. I do. In fact, I trust you more than anyone else on this Earth. I just want to make sure you are safe and sound. You see, I only have one daughter. I only have one “girl child”. From you I will get the grandchildren I desire. From you, I will get the Mother/Daughter trips that I could not do when you were younger. From you you, I will get to see all the dreams that never came true for me, come true for you. These almost 18 years may have seemed like I did not love you or that I was an evil old Mom but in fact, they were years of protecting you in my own way. I am sorry for any hurt or pain that I may have brought to you. My biggest regret is not being a better Mom to you than I have been.

My Dear Daughter, I am very proud of you. You have exceeded all my wishes for you to this day. You love your family with a fiery passion. Your cousins are more like your brothers and sisters. You treat your friends as family. You protect me when I am weak. You are hard-working and never ask for a handout. When something needs to be done, you jump in without being asked. Your church family thinks you are one of the best young people around. You are an amazing sister and daughter. You are a smart, loving, stubborn, beautiful, caring and wondrous fire cracker! You are my hero.

My one wish for you and your future is for you to go further than I ever did. For you to have more than I ever did. You have already done more than I ever have. You have made me prouder than I ever thought possible. I want you to graduate tomorrow and then go on with all your dreams. I want you to be the best teacher you can be. I want you to have a dream life filled with all you desire. I want you to have a huge family with all the kids you can handle. I want you to be able to take your family on vacations that we never got to go on. My goal as a parent was to do better than mine did. I want you to go on and be better than I was. I only ask that you do what makes you happy and is good for God. That you remember God first in all you do. And that you remember your old Mom and let her come around and spoil the mess out of your kids. ( and to let me name a few of them)

My Favorite Daughter, I love you more than my own life and cannot wait to see what you do in the future!

Love You Every Day,


My newborn baby

My newborn baby


My Graduate

My Graduate

Another wreck

Another child, another wreck, another phone call, another panic-stricken Mom. Last Friday morning, on my morning to sleep late, I was awoken to a call from Jeff and he said, “Don’t panic but Savannah has been in a wreck, Get dressed I am on the way to get you.” Well, I panicked. I panicked so bad I kept losing my breath. I made calls to the people I needed to and naturally no one answered the phone, Made sure Savannah’s Dad had made it to the scene. And then left the house before Jeff ever got here. Like I was going to wait. Poor Will had came to get me and I made him jump in my car and gave him the ride of his life. Made it to the hospital and saw that Savannah was ok before I ever really breathed right. She was just sore. She and all the kids were going to be ok. She just over corrected and went off the road and hit a phone pole. Her car was a sturdy one and took the impact and protected the kids. All was well other than nerves.

Well, I say that all is well. But this wreck brought back memories and feelings that none of us ever wanted to have again. Last time I got a call like this, my son died. And as silly as it sounds, I made sure not to throw on the same shirt I did when I got that call. It upset me that I had to put on the same tennis shoes. (I couldn’t find my others. They were next to the ones I put one. Nerves!) I prayed this time like I did last and hoped this time God saw fit to answer them. He did. The kids are fine.

I caught some harsh looks and words when I told someone that no I didn’t thank God he spared my daughter. Let me explain before you judge. I believe that everyone has a time that God is going to call them home. He knows the day we are born how long we are going to be here, He knew when he gave me Richie that I would only have him 20 years. Wish I had the memo also. When Savannah wrecked, she did not die because it was not her time. I have faith in my God that he wasn’t ready for her. I did thank him that she wasn’t injured worse. I did thank him that the other kids were not injured worse.I do not think I should thank God for not doing something he wasn’t planning on doing in the first place. Yes, I know that it seems as if I am ungrateful but I am not. I am FAITHFUL! I am faithful in his plans and in his timing. I do however thank God each morning and each night for allowing me one more day with my family. I was asked if I would still be a faithful if God took one of them tomorrow. I would be devastated but I would still be faithful that God has a plan. I may struggle with it but I will have faith. I still struggle with God’s plans for cutting Richie’s life so short. But I have Faith that I will know one day. Faith that his reason is bigger than me. Faith, just simple faith.

Not a call I wanted to wake up but I thank God that I wake up to my daughter for a little longer. Getting her a bicycle for graduation.

Savannah (L) and her best friend/passenger Destiny!

Savannah (L) and her best friend/passenger Destiny!