Happy Birthday!

today is Holly's birthday. what can i say? i called her parents and husband today...and on both answering machines/voice mails, i heard holly's voice. i just wanted to keep calling and keep hearing her happy-go-lucky, loving voice. it was a gift for me to be able to hear her. i'm sure she's never had a more magical, supernatural, loving birthday. she's with our Father. she gets to sit at His feet and be clothed with his love and affection for her. as certain as i am that there's no better place for her to be today, i am also certain the rest of us wish we could be sitting there right next to her. her husband had gotten her real diamond earrings for today. holly had picked them out, but jeff was saving them for today. today never came...maybe your today or my today may never come, either. God certainly has numbered our days. i'm thankful for that. i really am. happy birthday to my dear, sweet, missed, beloved cousin- holly jane.

Bright Pink Rose

A bright pink rose sits in a small glass vase in the center of my oven. It’s a beautiful rose. Just like Holly. As is the rose- Holly was full of life, loved by so many people, gorgeous to look at, but just as gorgeous on the inside. Dear, sweet Holly never knew a stranger. She reached out to any person, and she loved every one she met. Holly loved God, and she loved people.
The rose that sits on my oven is from Holly’s grave. The funeral service man handed it to me right off of her casket. Her casket was gold and sparkly…representing Holly perfectly. She was bubbly, cheery, happy, and loved to laugh. We laughed together for countless hours. We had countless sleepovers together…being silly and talking about all kinds of things.
Not only was Holly my cousin, she was my friend. I have known her for my entire life. There is not a time in my life when I didn’t know Holly. She had the Cricket Doll that I longed for as a child. We braided Pretty Pretty Crimp and Curl Cabbage Patch Doll’s hair together. We went bowling and had silly pictures taken. We did our thumb dance together, we sang karaoke.
I’m sitting here at my desk, and her email address is written on a note pad. I was just about to email her before I left for vacation two weeks ago. I hadn’t emailed her yet. Hadn’t asked her about married life. Hadn’t even said hi! I never would have thought…and here it sits. Alone. Pointless.
There is a bright pink daisy in a petite glass vase on my kitchen table. I picked it off of Holly’s grave myself. HOLLY’S GRAVE. Why does Holly, my 21-year-old cousin have a grave?
I miss Holly, and my heart aches in her absence. I miss her. This is something that happens to other families. Not mine…but, yet it has. It has happened, and it hurts so much. Hurts to remember the way she looked lying there. I know she’s with Jesus, I know that. But there’s something about seeing a lifeless body of a person that you loved so dearly that just rips your heart to pieces. I can’t shake that imagine, and it grieves my heart.
I don’t question God. Her own parents say, “It was not an accident.” I mourn though. I mourn her loss, and I know my Jesus weeps with me. Jesus weeps with Aunt Char, and Uncle Tim, and Eric, and Jesus weeps with Jeff, and He weeps with Grandma Fern, Grandma Mildred, and Grandpa Gene. I hope Holly’s is sitting with Grandpa M. I already know she’s sitting with our Father. But I hope that Grandpa and Holly are having a reunion and I hope they’re looking down knowing how much they’re loved, and missed. This is something that you never get over.
Until we meet again…

He Weeps

Jesus weeps with you.
He weeps for you.
He weeps so you will know;
Mourning is not disbelieving.
He understands the tears.
~Max Lucado

Truck of Sorrow

your prayers are our lifeline right now. God is using you, hearing your prayers, and we are so thankful for you.

holly's funeral is tues. at 10 am. there is a visitation on mon. from 3-7. my flight doesn't arrive until later that night, so i am upset that i will be missing that part.

is this really happening? how can she really be gone? my sweet cousin, my FRIEND? my family will never be the same. my heart is a mixture of greif, dread, and fear. part of me is terrified to arrive tomorrow and face the reality of it all. to see my aunt and uncle...their son, and her husband. what will i say? how do i act?

we will cling to our God together as a family.

my mother is having her heart checked, tested, looked at, etc. because she is having problems. she has been having heart problems but did not tell us until yesterday morning. therefore, she can not go to the funeral...but will go to IA later this month. it's terrifying to me to have this happening to her. i want to weep and wail and make it all GO AWAY.

plus, my grammy is having a serious surgery this week...so dad is staying with her.

it's just too much...overload. i want to take my over loaded truck of sorrow and dump it.


Holly is with Jesus. pray.


pray...please pray. i can hardly write this email as i sit here at the beach in nj with my mom, dad, john mark, and aunt keren....hearing sobs mixed with people running to the bathroom, mixed with silence that makes you shake...please pray.

we just got word that my cousin, holly, was in a tragic car accident and has been on life support...my relatives are on their way to the hospital, as they are going to have to take her off the support tonight. i have no details.

holly just got married in may to jeff. please pray for jeff. and for holly's parents...tim and char mendenhall, and her only brother, eric. they all live in iowa.

i don't even know what to say...i just beg you for your prayers...please. we're waiting for the next call.....


Life Is Good At The Beach

life is good at the beach. to be at the beach is to be home. in other words, home is where the beach is. some day, some how, i will live on or near the beach. there is some thing about the ocean that just reaches deep down and touches my soul. i connect with the ocean...
the deepness of the sea: it has parts that are so deep no one has ever explored there
waves: high or low, the waves reflect the heart of the ocean- whether in turmoil, or at peace
complexity: the ocean is full of all kinds of creatures- beautiful, colorful, and amazing; but also scary beasts
consistancy: the ocean is always there, it never goes away- year after year it remains the same
i love the ocean. i love the beach. i belong here...

No More Internet

it's gone. my connection to the outside world has been yanked from my fingertips. literally. i no longer have internet access in my home, and i feel completely cut off from society. i hate going to other places to check my email, or write emails. i feel rushed, and unable to relax. and i really hate trying to write a blog at a coffee shop or something. blogs have to be spontaneous...something that hits me any time, day or night. it is with sadness that i inform you my blogging existance will most likely not be very frequent. i was on such a roll, too. oh the sadness. what's a girl to do when she comes home to her apartment...normally to check her email, her blog, and write to her friends? now she'll come home and....sit on the couch. maybe sit on the couch and eat cookies...so long, farewell. good-bye every one. life as i knew it now ceases to exist.