Showing posts from 2022

13 months...

I often wonder, when these time markers roll around, how time has gone by so quickly. 13 months have gone by since my father's death. It seems unreal. I wish it were. Time markers have a way of sneaking up on us, both bad and good. It seems like time is creeping along at a snail's pace and then I look up and see my firstborn...almost 14, in ninth grade, full of questions, worries, and amazing potential. I remember trying to convince her to crawl...and walk...and eat baby food...and all the things. Encourage bravery...cheer on victories...rave over accomplishments. Today marks a 24-hour period in time that will come and go like so many other 24-hour periods. It marks 13 months since my father's heavenly arrival...2 weeks until my firstborn son's 12th birthday...20 days until my firstborn's 14th birthday...27 days until my youngest daughter's 11th birthday...and the list goes on. This 24-hour period will never mark the same significant moments ever again because t

13 years...

Tomorrow marks 13 years since my husband and I lost our second child (third in line) to miscarriage. I cannot begin to tell you how shocking it is to realize so much time has already passed since that day we were in our car headed to Minnesota for a wedding. After having lost a child in 2007, I hoped I'd never have to experience the devastating heartache of a miscarriage again. However, on September 19, 2009, as life would have it, I began to bleed and I knew deep down that our little one was gone. The despair and heart-wrenching sorrow were awful. Tony and I spent the week he had taken off for the trip to Minnesota, mostly at home, grieving. Grief has a way of ebbing and flowing, overwhelming and then settling to a quiet background murmur. It can smack you in the face or creep up in a moment of quiet reflection. Today, as I consider the loss of my son and the many other losses I have encountered in September, I realize that, though I am utterly without understanding of the reasons

One Year

One year. So much can happen in one year. A child can be conceived and born. A house can be built. A team can make it to the championship game and...lose. A family can grow through adoption. A family can pay off debt. A child can graduate high school and step out into the world of college. A president can come into office. A person can surrender their life to Christ. The list is almost limitless because a year can be both long and short. It can feel like a never-ending run or it can seem to have slipped away in the blink of an eye. One year has come and gone since the day I said goodbye to my dad. Four of us gathered around him, prayed over him, cried over him, pleaded with God, and hoped. We were with him when his heart stopped beating this side of heaven. We were with him when he strode into another place. He was walking in the presence of God while we were weeping at his side. That day, in some ways, seems like it couldn't possibly be one whole year ago, yet it is. Today, I have

Eleven Months

Eleven months have passed since that awful day that we had to say goodbye to my dad. So many days I am still overcome by strong emotions and the loss of hoped-for experiences. I am so very thankful for all the wonderful experiences I did have with my dad, and he had with my children and my husband. My joy has shriveled into a tangled mess of hurt, sadness, confusion, and, occasionally, anger. The truth is that when I say I'm okay...I'm not...not entirely. I'm broken...heartbroken. I'm treading water, staying afloat. I put on a brave face and step into the world and live, but the living isn't quite as joyful, not quite as carefree as it once was. The last two and a half years have been full of challenges, hurts, heartaches, unexplainable craziness. So many are hurt, scared, treading water. They may be experiencing loss, anxiety, fear, confusion, financial troubles, medical concerns, family upheaval. Our prayer list seems to grow weekly, if not daily, with another


" The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow / Bet Your Bottom Dollar That Tomorrow There'll Be Sun..." How many of you know that song? Some of you now have the tune and the words stuck in your head. You are welcome. I am not confident in this moment that the sun will come out tomorrow...because tomorrow is my dad's birthday. His first birthday in Heaven. The first time we celebrate to honor his memory not to celebrate with him. Tomorrow, he would have turned 69. So young really. So much to give and share. Yet, tomorrow, instead of smiles and laughs and presents, there will be tears and stories and lasagna and green olives and chocolate cake and ice cream. The reality we have faced so many times over the last 10+ months will, yet again, sink in anew. Another first without my dad here in our presence. Starting with my mom's birthday last year, we have had to celebrate without my dad's smile, without his silly puns and antics, without his heartfelt compliments and encoura

To Be Free...

Freedom. That is what those in the United States celebrate on July 4th. Freedom. What is freedom? According to , freedom is " A state of exemption from the power or control of another; liberty; exemption from slavery, servitude or confinement ." Are you seeking freedom from something in your life? Maybe this is the time to revolutionize your life and gain the freedom you need. Is something other than Christ controlling your life? Are you struggling with laziness, gluttony, anger, bitterness, an addiction? Is something in your life causing you to walk away from Christ instead of toward Him? There is freedom in Christ according to Galatians 5:1 (NIV): " It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." The ESV says, " do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Why do we so easily give into the yoke of slavery? Have you ever

Loss of a Little One

  Many of you know our story. You know the heartache Tony and I suffered at the loss of two children to miscarriage. One child in 2007 and the other in 2009. God has used that sadness and heartache to grow us and to develop an amazing lending library in honor of our two already-home children. About nine years ago, during a correspondence writing course I took, I wrote a "play" and I feel compelled to share it with you here. This piece is not very in-depth, but I think it illustrates some important points. I hope that you will know my heart in it. Be blessed. Remember that you have a story to share with others. Your heartaches and trials and traumas shape you. God often uses those moments in your life to reach others around you. Hugs to you, friend. He cares for you.   From 2013: Losing Hannah An original five-minute play By Jolene Ceravalo Setting: A bed and dresser and chair establish the bedroom. Woman on bed crying, man walks in. MAN: ( Walks over to woman on b