Skip to main content


I've been thinking a lot in the past two months about a conversation my sister and I had before Christmas. After meeting with her counselor, she had called to ask me a question. She wondered if I thought it would still be really hard when our Mom goes to Heaven because we have already spent so much time mourning our gradual loss of her to Alzheimer's.

Maybe you are reading this thinking, "Wow, that's what they think about?" And, to be honest, it is. That way of thinking, right or wrong, is a lot of how I have grieved. That day, though, my sister shared with me something from her counseling session and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. After asking her counselor the same question, he offered a very interesting analogy. Imagine that you are going sky diving. To prepare, your instructor gives you a manual to read. After you read the manual, you get suited with gear and are taken up in a plane. Without anymore instruction or guidance, your instructor pushes you out. Now, no matter how much you studied that manual, there was no way for it to have prepared you for what you felt when you fell from the plane. Reading a manual about sky diving and actually sky diving are two totally different things.

The same is true of mourning the loss of someone before they are physically gone. While I have mourned the loss of the mom I once knew, I can still hug, kiss, and snuggle up to her. I can touch her hair and face, and hold her hands. I can sit and watch her make a familiar facial expression. I can still hear her sneeze the same way she always has - always so loud that when we were kids it would embarrass us when we were in public. And, I can still see her smile. Because so much of my mom is gone I can hope that it will be easier. The truth is that it probably won't be easier. New emotions and a different kind of grief will one day come.

The next three pictures are from this past Thursday night. It was my first night in Little Rock, and Dad and I went to see Mom. While she was eating her ice cream he asked her if she remembered their Gingie Bain (that's what they called me when I was little) standing on the table out on the back deck eating a popcicle and making funny faces. She remembered and smiled so big!


  1. awww, Mare how sweet that she smiled!
    I think I can kind of relate to the whole mourning thing. It's similar to the feelings I went through before/during/after Drew was deployed. While not quite the same, it's still a grieving of loss. I love you so much and am praying for you! Let's talk soon!

  2. Dearest Mare, I am so glad you are embracing this awful time in your life. I know that sounds weird but I never let my feelings out while my Dad was going though the same process your mom is. I kept it as my own private hell most of the time. Once in a while I would let it out to my Dad during visits but he was just a shell of himself by then. When he died it was a whole new kind of grief for me but I was so happy for him to finally be with the Lord, whole and healthy with all of his mind & body renewed. I know he watches over me from his place with the Lord but I still dearly miss his hugs, being able to talk with him & share my life. I wish he could have had more time with my children. I am praying for you to feel the Lord with you as you go through this. Much love, Aunt Christina

  3. Thanks for sharing Mare, your mom is so beautiful and precious, and your unfolding story grips and moves me every time I read more. Drew and I can't wait to see you and Reid the next time we are in Dallas. ~~Saona


Post a Comment

Past Posts

Mary Grace

At 2:00 am this morning, our sweet Mary Grace was welcomed to Heaven. We found out this afternoon that she had a large brain hemorrhage. Reid and I spent three precious hours holding our daughter tonight. The nurses wrapped a pink bow around her little head and we swaddled her in a soft pink elephant blanket. During those hours, we told Mary Grace how proud we were of her fight, how she fulfilled our dreams of one day having a daughter to call "Gracie," and we even took a little nap, snuggled together as a family. If we told her we loved her once, we told her a thousand times. We prayed over her and gave her back to the Lord. We miss her more than words can say. I feel like we were punched in the stomach today and left with the wind knocked out of our lungs. Its so hard to understand "why?" in all of this. Tonight when we left the hospital, Reid turned on this song by David Crowder Band and we listened to it on repeat the whole way home. Its the exact state of our

One day at a time

For the first time in my life I feel like I'm truly living one day at a time. Reid and I had a pretty good day yesterday. We were able to sleep in which was wonderful. Reid made us lunch and we sat outside in the backyard. It was a beautiful day and being outside did a lot of good for my mental health. :) There were still a lot of hard moments as memories from the night before would come rushing back to mind. We miss our sweet babies so much. Olivia had a good day yesterday. It was uneventful (which is a very good thing in the NICU) and they were able to turn down some of her medicine. We call every morning to check on our sweet girl and her nurse was quick to tell us how feisty our daughter is. We picked up on that in her first day of life, but it was funny to hear that someone else had observed the same. We are so in love with our feisty little Olivia. After we left the hospital, Reid and I went on a dinner date. It was so good for us to get out and feel like we

Madelyn Barrett

I really don't even know where to begin or how to write this post. I've put it off for several days hoping that maybe if I let things sink in a little more it would be easy. This will never be easy. As you know, we welcomed three beautiful little girls into the world on Friday afternoon. We had hoped to continue to "buy time" and hold off on delivery for several more weeks. God has always had a plan much bigger than either Reid or I could ever imagine. I have to chose to believe, everyday, that somehow this all fits perfectly into that plan. We knew from the time of her delivery that Madelyn was struggling the most. The circumstances surrounding her birth caused a lot of trauma to her tiny body. After a day of fighting for a positive outcome, the neonatologist came to visit with us and told us it was time to let her go. Late Saturday night we went to the NICU to hold our precious baby for the first and last time. She was absolutely perfect and looked just like h

Family of Four

If all continues to go well we will be headed home from the hospital tomorrow. I got a little stir crazy this afternoon and walking the halls just wasn't going to cut it so I went down to the gift shop to browse a bit. It feels so good to actually feel good after surgery. I also feel pretty rested and I'm very ready to settle into our new normal at home. My dad and Ann have been taking care of Olivia and have been such a tremendous help to us. Reid's parents were in town until this afternoon and Olivia got to spend some time with them yesterday. She's been very well taken care of by all her grandparents and I'm pretty sure she hasn't thought twice about us. Out of sight, out of mind. She has had a cough for a few days so Reid took her to the doctor this morning. Sure enough the cough is just allergy related but sweet girl has her first ear infection. The good news is that she hasn't run a fever and was able to get antibiotics to treat it. For all the change


God has blessed our family with quite a surprise! Olivia is getting a little brother or sister in early December. We are thrilled! As of today I am nine weeks along. We went to the doctor several weeks ago and were able to see the tiny bundle and hear the heartbeat. Everything looks great and we are so thankful! I'll share more details in the next few weeks. :)