coping with death of a loved one, death, Faith, family, God, Heaven, Jesus, losing a loved one

Missing My Dad tonight

My mother was cleaning out the back room this evening when she found something that my dad had written. It was like hearing him talk through her as she read aloud. This made me turn on the song So Far Away by Avenged Sevenfold.

Man, it hurts…

But in reality, it shouldn’t because of the quality of life he had, fading away, slowly. I wish I could hug him. Even the hugs that weren’t the best while he was in that adjustable bed at the nursing facility would be Heavenly. I want to fully embrace him…Oh, how I miss him tonight!

Over time his smile slowly faded. But It was awesome to see him smile despite being in such a horrible state of life. I’m wearing his dimples until I go home, too.

But, hey! Christmas is gonna rock for him this year in Heaven! He will be celebrating with the Star! Jesus!


Christianity, Christmas, coping with death of a loved one, Depression, Faith, family, God, Heaven, losing a loved one, Personal Journey, prayer

The first Christmas without you, daddy

Weatherman is calling for snow on Christmas day.

But a white Christmas isn’t as lovely now that you’ve gone away.


I miss your smile, and how this holiday made you grin.

Christmas was a lot brighter with you here, now its sort of dim.


But everyday in Heaven is good, and your days are far, far brighter.

God took you Home to Heaven, my daddy, my solider, my fighter.


We never made it to the I-Hop to celebrate a college graduation,

But someday, I will rejoice with you in Heavenly celebration!


This Christmas we’ll light a candle before that empty chair,

In fact tonight I’m thanking God for you in my bedtime prayer.


I’ll see you standing with new legs there by God’s amazing River,

Don’t worry ’bout all us, daddy, our God, He will deliver.


Now I end this poem with a smile on my face.

Wearing your dimples, until I get to that Place…


Merry Christmas, Daddy!

I love you!

 photo DSCN0056.jpg








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You Are Someone’s Miracle

We begin as blank slates, fresh from the womb, knowing nothing, spotless. Wherever we wind up after that and a bunch of psychology to boot determines how our personality, and the very perception of ourselves develop. There is so much information, theory etc… with that sort of thing. That’s not my point tonight, though. Even on my best day, at this point in my life I would be unable to really deliver a textbook explanation.

But you know, no matter what, we are absolutely 100% able to rise above and beyond our childhoods, troubling life lessons learned the hard way throughout the years like bullying or abuse. I’m not saying it will be just wiped away from our hurting minds and hearts. What I am saying is that though you may still carry the dark or troubling events & people that have hurt you, and the fact that even now, after all these years it still stings…You can rise above it all. The lingering pain can be healed. You can come to a true place of peace in your heart, despite all the memories. The thing is, we have to do some work to find that peace and carry on that work to maintain it.

Reaching out to others, trusted loved ones, friends, family, a significant other…and professional help. I am a living testimony that therapy does work. It will work for you-but you will only reap as much as effort you put in with your counselor. Developing insight is just huge. Sometimes meds can make a dramatic impact. It may take time with trial and error as we are all made differently, but if it works for you, it is worth it. *All credit goes to Jesus Christ, The Son of God. He is the Great Physician, and the one I choose to serve. The things He has done for me I could never count on this earth.* The healing of my weary soul has everything to do with this.


No statistics, no linking of articles or anything tonight. I just want to offer hope. That is the blessing that I have as an overcomer. If you are struggling with anything that haunts you, interfering with your daily life, and leads you to believe a lie, do not give up. Miracles happen every day. There is light within you, whether you see it or not.

You have it in you, precious soul, to be someone else’s miracle.

God bless

Salvation is free


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Pass Along…The Meagan Napier Foundation: Doing Something About Drunk Driving

The Meagan Napier Foundation

From the official website:

“The foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the memory of Meagan Napier and her friend Lisa Jo Dickson who were killed by drunk driver Eric Smallridge on May 11, 2002. We have formed this foundation to raise awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and to promote forgiveness and healing. Our families: the Napiers, the Dicksons, and the Smallridges believe it is extremely important to educate everyone about the horrible consequences of drinking and driving. Meagan and Lisa were loved so much and we miss them more than words can say. Their lives were taken in a senseless car crash that could have been avoided. One decision, one moment in time, and many lives were irreversibly changed!

Renee Napier, Meagan’s mom, has made it her mission in life to share this story with as many people as possible. She is passionate about saving lives! Since March 29, 2004 she has presented this story to over one hundred thousand people, young and old. In her presentation Renee tells the story, talks about the healing power of forgiveness, shows videos that feature Eric in prison and since April 22, 2010, she has been allowed to have Eric join her as an inmate, bound by shackles and handcuffs, to share his powerful testimony. They conclude with a compelling slide show featuring Meagan, Lisa and Eric. Afterwards, the audience is invited to go outside and take an up close look at Lisa’s mangled car… the car in which she and Meagan died.

It is our desire that all who visit this web site will be touched in a positive way. We hope you decide to make a difference in this world by choosing to: NEVER drink and drive, NEVER let your friends drink and drive and NEVER ride in a car with an intoxicated driver. We also hope you will encourage your family and friends to do the same. Make the DUI Promise: “I PROMISE TO NEVER DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE”…Help us STOP DUI!!”

I first heard of this wonderful foundation from the song that it inspired by Matthew West called Forgiveness.

This is an awesome campaign to prevent all that can happen as a result of drunk driving. The truth of it all is amazing. I encourage you to listen by clicking  Forgiveness to hear how this inspiring story inspired the song.

“The Meagan Napier Foundation has been awarded a grant from the Florida Department Of Transportation (FDOT) for $25,000. We must have that amount of money in the bank in order to receive the funds. While we do have some funds in the bank, we don’t have $25,000. The funds we do have are being used in the mean time to help us travel so we can continue to raise awareness of the dangerous consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and continue to promote forgiveness and healing. We need to raise $25,000 in October to receive the funds from the FDOT. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your contribution is tax deductible. We appreciate your contribution! Thank You!”

Help The Meagan Napier Foundation Foundation Get The Grant Money


I really encourage you to share this link. I know that we are all living by our different means, some of us blessed with very much, a little more, enough, or less, poverty line. Regardless, even if you do not plan on donating for whatever reason, please share this. Right now the foundation has only raised 5,000 dollars–20,000 dollars behind the amount needed to be matched with the same by the Florida Department Of Transportation that would be granted. And even though it is October 24th, your help and the Will of God can make this happen. She only has until the end of this month.

Actual Photos from the website.

Thanks for reading 🙂

coping, coping with death of a loved one, death, Depression, God, Hope, Jesus, Life, losing a loved one, Personal Journey, relationships with parents, short life, Soul Searching

A Few Moments With Dad…



Yesterday on the way back to my mother’s house (a 3 hour drive southeast into the Appalachian mountains) when taking her back home after a month of medical tests, appointments and adjustments, I made an unexpected stop along the way. We drove up on the hillside of a huge cemetery where most of our family is buried, including my father.

This photo is what it looks like from where I sat on the ground beside his grave. The tombstone isn’t placed in yet, but there was an old, American flag  and a little plastic, mount displaying the dates of my dad’s birth and death along with his photograph. Once I made it up the hill, I couldn’t just stand there. I sat down on the ground, on the grass beside where my dad was laid to rest. I talked to him, like many people do when visiting the graves of loved ones. I have no clue if he could hear me from Heaven above, or if God allows that, but I released my pain. I cried. I’ve been grieving for almost 3 months now.

Finally, I prayed before getting up and going back down the hill to the car. I thanked the Father for all of the great memories and times spent with dad while he was here. I gave him thanks with all my heart that my dad is no longer suffering. He’s no longer bound in bed, without legs at the nursing facility where he couldn’t even watch the little TV on the wall.  No more horrible 4 hour Dialysis days. However, he did have something that he looked forward to. My dad always finished every meal while there and then some! He really loved to eat and it brought him some comfort, to expect.

This was truly a blessing. A bit of extra closure-type feeling. That evening at the hospital on June 7th, I was there with my hands patting his chest, rubbing his chest that was covered with medical tubes and such. I gave him my consent to go on. I don’t know if he needed it, but I wanted him to know that we would all be okay and that he was about to meet Jesus, looking down at a new set of legs. With my mother and sister at his bed side before he passed, he was surrounded by the important women of his life. I believe his spirit heard me despite the unresponsive body and brain activity.

I’m thankful that I was able to have such a great daddy for many, many years. He loved me so much. I know he would tell me to hang on to the Lord and cry no more.

God bless.



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Still The Same Mandy Inside…

It’s going on 2 a.m. here at our place. Sleep has become non-existent over the past few weeks. My cognition is slightly impaired as I took my P.M. meds over an hour ago, including my sleeping pill and Xanax (both prescribed btw). Now I’m sitting here because I am still too restless to go to bed. It’s like I just do not want to rest. I’m sittin’ here with my Sarah McLachlan playlist going strong. My personal favorite for the time being, Sweet Surrender.

The death of my father and the new blindness in my mother’s left eye this summer have just now really hit me. My mood isn’t quite exactly stable now, following these horrible circumstances and how I am handling the pain. It’s so difficult to choose between the matters of doing right, using coping mechanisms as recommended in therapy to handle the grief, verses just self-medicating with particular beverages and other out-of-character things.

This life is short. According to my Christian faith and all I’ve ever known, what matters the most is being ready to face judgement, the determination of where we as individuals will spend eternity. What matters most is the work we do out of love for our fellow man to help everyone, treating them all with the greatest amount of kindness, love, and consideration in the most humble manner. We must forgive even the cruelest of hearts in order to be forgiven ourselves by our God. God is love. I need God right now. My prayers have decreased in number lately, but I’m hanging on to my faith.

I’ve given my mother such a hard time by talking and acting in manners that make her worry so much about me and my well being. She was right there with me from that day I was diagnosed in that office to every hospitalization (every set of visiting hours with quarters for calls home and flowers to bring cheer), countless therapy trips, successes, failures, and getting back up. My mother knows how far I’ve come. She loves me more than anyone else in the human form. I cannot let her down anymore by consuming foods and beverages containing Caffeine that cancels the manic-relapse power of my medication. Things are very difficult right now, and in my engaging in anti-complying activity is just going to send me back down…

That being said, I am getting back up. I’m tossing the rest of this can of Caffeinated soda pop into the trash.

It’s hard being a Christian in a world like the one we live in today for anyone. I think its especially hard for people with any type of disability. I know that for me, personally, I am not a very reliable person at times which makes it hard to keep a great attendance on Sunday’s for obeying the Word. I would love to be a Sunday school teacher someday, but right now I seem to change my mind a lot based on how I feel.  After all, I have a mood disorder. Some days the Bipolar has more pull than on other days. Sometimes it feels like I am in the middle, torn between the opinions, values, and deepest desires of two very different beings. Mood disorders can be so exhausting.

I recall a quote my sister reminded me of the other day that I said when I was around age 6 and had just lost one of my front teeth and also been prescribed glasses.

I said to her, “Sis, I may be missing one of my front teeth and I have to wear glasses now, but I’m still the same Mandy inside.”


Thinking back on that line (which I do not remember) a moment of sadness overcomes me. Emotion. I guess its just touching. The wisdom of a child.

I may be managing life with Bipolar disorder and the scars that remain, but I’m still that same Mandy inside.

Don’t forget who you are.



Coping with death, coping with death of a loved one, God, Hope, humanity, Inspirational, inspirational TV, Life, losing a loved one, Love, Personal Journey, television shows

Testify To Love: How Touched by an Angel Was My Blessing-Episode “The 151st Psalm”

Since I was a little girl, I’ve always been so inspired and blessed by the TV show Touched by an Angel that aired on America’s channel CBS for years beginning in the nineties. It always brought joy to my heart and tears to my eyes-but they were tears from the awesome encouragement given by the show. Looking back now, nearly twenty years later, all of those story lines, and great messages still linger.

My most favorite episode which really stands out in my mind, living in my heart, is called Psalm 151. One of the main characters in the story, the child with Cystic Fibrosis mother Audrey, says in the beginning of the episode how none of the 150 Psalms in G-d’s Word, The Holy Bible, could express the greatest joy she felt when her son Petey was born. Sadly, due to the troubles and hardships that were laid before them, she was unable to finish the song. One day in her son’s bedroom she discovered a list of things that Petey wanted to do before he died. Number 5 was for his mother to finish that song.

Above Petey is pictured being held by Andrew, the angel of death.

So later on in the show…

The Angel Monica’s (played by Roma Downey) message to Audrey (Wynonna Judd):

“There’s someone else who wants you to finish that song. You began it as a Psalm-a hymn of praise to G-d. G-d wants to hear it. All of it…You must finish what you began with the best that you have to give. Just as Petey is finishing the life he began with all the love and courage that his heart can give. He deserves nothing less from you…

(Then Monica’s monologue here continues with the story of Audrey’s son and how he needs to come home to G-d and to Heaven to no longer suffer).

That’s why G-d gives us inspiration. He puts into our spirit things that could not come out of our own minds. G-d loves you, Audrey, and He wants to help you write this song. It’ll be your gift to Petey, yes, but it will also be G-d’s gift to you. Because on those nights that seem so long and so quiet, when your arms feel empty, when the table is set just for one, and you think that your heart can’t bear to face another day without your little boy that song of praise for his life will rise in your soul again and again and you will make it through to another morning. Every time you sing the words they’ll lift you higher. And just as every step that Petey took in his life brought him closer to Heaven, he brought everyone in his life a little bit closer to it too. Tell him that. Tell the world you will never forget. Be a witness to a life lived completely and loved. Oh, write it, Audrey! Write the 151st Psalm.”

By the way, as part of the plot, Petey and his best friend meet up with world famous singer Celine Dion. In closing, I read tonight that 100% of all profit made by Celine Dion’s appearance in this 100th episode of Touched by an Angel went to a wonderful organization to help those with Cystic Fibrosis in Canada where she is from. Its all about love. That’s why I love this show. The message is clear in every episode.

“G-d loves you.”

I hope you find this angel’s words as encouraging and inspiring as I did. I could not find this monologue any place on the web, so I watched that show again and slowed it down to transfer it to my post. Hope you enjoyed it, and thanks for stopping by!

G-d bless!


*Image via Google Images

Bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Coping with death, coping with death of a loved one, death, Depression, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus, Life, lifestyle, losing a loved one, Love, Mental Health, Overcoming eating disorders, Personal Journey, positive, Self Help, Soul Searching, Uncategorized, weightloss

Can’t Sleep. Life Evaluation.

Its nearly 1 a.m. and I cannot sleep. I have this weird feeling like I need to throw up, sneeze, and cry all at the same time! Not sure why…

Then again, I was thinking about the last time I spoke with my dad before his passing a while ago. My sleep aid is only working half its strength because of my large Caffeine consumption these past two days. I have been a bad girl. Its like I set goals and then freaked out and ran over them all, ahh! 😛

My stomach hurts because of the timing of my dinner and when I took my p.m. meds. I am most definitely getting back on track tomorrow.

Its like I’ve just had far too many deep, deep thoughts about life, how short it is, what things mean to me, and God and Heaven. The Plan for Salvation. This world is getting crazier all of the time, religion or no. Violence is rampant. War is breaking out here and there, now and then. Things aren’t always viral, and widespread. Regardless, the turmoil is real. I feel that these are the latter days. The world is becoming so unfit for children now. Celebrities are baring more and more on the red carpet, like Rhianna’s little sheer get up that was on which I would have otherwise never seen. Pretty soon there will be no need for nude beaches, or so it seems.

I don’t mean to be negative-just realistic tonight in the quiet.

I’ve noticed that I have been dwelling on my future a lot lately, especially the one on earth-the rest of my human existence. Wondering if I will ever get that job, that degree, make a difference? Just how prosperous is my stay on this planet going to be?

I think the answer is not in the form of paper pay-off. I know that the fruits or prosperity of my life here are the good deeds I take with me when I pass on. People will remember me by the greatness of the legacy of how I lived my life, and how I treated them. Not for my mansion, new car, record deal, or business. More importantly, God, Himself, will recognize me by my actions in this life. It is so hard to realize how short this life is compared to an eternity. I respect all people, but I don’t think I could go on without my faith in God through Christ, and the Gift of the Holy Spirit that I received upon baptism. I have faced a lot of pain because of undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues in my young life. Much happened that could have been prevented had we known. I know everything happens for a reason. The symptoms that really began to show after graduating high school at age 19 led to the office which led to the Diagnosis. A successful honor roll, straight A student, member of the National Honor Society, Drum Major of the marching band and so on and so on… I was destined for success and major achievements. Not necessarily so predictable. We aren’t all the same.

Finally, after all these years, it just dawned on me. Not everyone has to have a job or a 9 to 5, kids, and a stereotypical American-Dream-Type-Life to be natural and to be real! The many, many attempts I’ve made to change myself, alter the path of my life, going against the grain of God’s plan, and what would come in Divine time, were an uphill battle without resolution. My purpose in life just happens to be nothing like what I set out for it to be 11 years ago is all. Its not about a PhD, creating treatment plans, lectures, or even a private practice. I have come to terms with the fact that I am not a psychologist. I am a former psychology major whose path changed direction.

I am not going to settle for some type of technical training and the student loan debt that comes along with it just to have a job in this world (so I can feel normal). That is completely fine and great if that works for you though. I just know now, after fighting it for years, that my calling lies outside the school building and typical workplace. I am not sure what the future holds, but I know God holds the future. I have no idea where I will be financially etc.. in 5 years or what not. What I do know is that my marriage is stable, and Fireproof (see the movie). I found my soul mate and have known true love now for over 5 years. The other 2 certainties in my life are: I will always give my all to take care of my family, for us to remain a strong unit. Secondly, I will always have a family, even if I lose all flesh and blood, because of Jesus. The welcoming and loving embrace of a brother or sister in Christ can really heal a broken heart and bring comfort in the darkest of times.

I love writing. I love blogging-doing this. WordPress is very powerful as with it we have the world at our fingertips and can reach so, so many people in so many different places. It is truly a blessing for me. A release, a catharsis.

I am okay where I am now. We all are. We don’t have to be particular somebodies. We must take what we have and try hardest to give the world the best we have to offer. I believe you can make just as great of a difference in this world without a PhD as with one. Its all in how we carry ourselves.

Number one! Love. Share it-for in doing so you will never have too much!

Part of love is to Forgive. You will be set free and get the most out of life. Resentment is poison to the soul.

In a loving manner, with a cheerful heart, reach out to help others, lift them up. We are all brought down enough by the news, the media, and our own self doubt.

Love is the true currency of life, of wealth! I would say that about Judgement Day as well. We will leave this world with as rich of a reward as the love we held in our hearts and shared.

I am working on myself. We are all works in progress, and its not over until that last breath.

Goodnight everyone, and God bless 🙂





Christianity, death, Depression, family, God, Health, losing a loved one, Mental Health, Personal Journey, short life

This Side of Goodbye

I think tomorrow my mother, sister, and I are going to go into the ICU for our final goodbyes to my father. I haven’t cried as much and in the way I had always anticipated. Maybe i mourned ahead of time…I don’t know. I spent many nights in the past crying over my dad’s sickness and situation. I would pray… I have kept praying. In fact, I have especially prayed fearlessly these past few montsh that God would relieve dad of his suffering no matter what it took/that I was okay with him moving on.

dadThis picture was taken about 7 years ago after my dad’s first amputation, before he lost his other leg. His mind was totally in tact, and his outlook was real and his sense of humor was right up to par as always. Things really changed over the years, and here we are.g a few minutes

Seeing him once again on the vent was worse last night as the neurologist stopped sedation to see how he would react. Within a couple minutes, he began having what the doctor called a brain seizure as his brain was agitated due to going without oxygen for several minutes when all of this began with the aspiration on the drink at dialysis. Watching his body react in such a way was horrible. So now we know that not only can my dad not breathe without the vent, he cannot be still, stable or normal without the addition of medicines. There is a lot of brain damage. There is very little functioning in his brain now.

My father’s life wasn’t pleasant at all before all of this happened while on dialysis and just living at the nursing facility, slowly declining and withering away since day 1 of this stuff. Now he is just a body with functioning organs, breathing sustained by a machine, and medicine to make him be still and rest. This is not life. This is punishing.

I told God that all of my trust is in Him and asked for Him to do the best for my dad to find comfort and know the peace he’s been without for years. May God’s Will always be done.

I am not sure, but I think tomorrow afternoon will be the day that my daddy goes home. I have plans on spending a few minutes alone with him before my mother and sister join me to be there with him in his final moments on earth-watch  his final breath.

This is so crazy, but this is life. This is my life. And, its really happening. Its happening right now.