Saturday, February 26, 2011

Remember when

That song makes me cry. It always has even before Rick was diagnosed with the "C" word. And yet, each time I hear it, though I cry, I have such fond, vivid memories. There are sad ones too especially right now. The good times we had far outweighed the bad ones many, many to one. I am so very full of emotion right now. It is a very difficult evening. I wanted to go out to eat after work, actually to get takeout. I went to China Express. That was the last place Rick and I got food together. He couldn't eat his. The next day he went to the hospital for the last time. I didn't really think about that until after I ordered my food and sat down to wait for it to be ready. I looked at facebook from my iPhone. Quita had posted on a post Val posted in my name. Then I remembered what the day was. He moved out of ICU one week and one day before he died. One week from tomorrow he will be gone a year. I miss him.

I love y'all.
To be continued.........

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


In less than 2 weeks it will be a year. I am having quite a difficult time tonight. I can't seem to stop the tears right now. It just started when I saw this post:
Itll soon be a year since you left me here. There isnt a day that goes by that i dont wish you were here. I love you and miss you Dad.
I don't always read Nick's posts, but when I logged onto facebook tonight this was the first post I saw. It is sweet and it is sad. I know how he misses his dad. I miss him too. If he was here so much would never have been. I wish I could help him with his grief.

I am having flashbacks to that Saturday night March 6, 2010. It was so hard to let them have him to take him away to prepare his body for the last time we would see and touch him. But then again, he was in a better place, no more pain, no more struggling for every breath. I wouldn't put him back through that ever. I wish that someone would find a cure for that word I really don't like. That word requires lots of decisions to be made. That word means pain. That word means surgery. That word so many times means the loss of the life that has that word.

I know for sure that March 6, 2010 through March 10, 2010 were the most difficult days of my life to this point. I also know if it wasn't for God, family and friends I don't know how we could have gotten through. We are so blessed to have so many in our lives. Sandy, I didn't even have to call you. You knew just when I needed you the most. I wouldn't want anyone to feel left out. There were so many others who were there too. Y'all carried us through the most difficult time in our lives. We could not have made it without you! We will never forget y'all! I would hope none of you ever have to experience these things, but if you ever do, I hope we can be of help to you the way you were to us!

Who knew on March 22, 2008 that just less than 2 years later we would have to mark another grave in the same cemetery? Who knew that cancer would kill father and son? (though it was 2 different kinds of cancer) I know death is just a part of life. And it has always been - and always will be. But why would it have to hurt so bad if it is the natural course of life? It is all because of one little four letter word! It is, really! One four letter word. LOVE! Love is what makes our life worth living. Love cures lots of problems.

There is an ultimate LOVE, too! That love comes from the Father who loves us with everything He has! He proved it 2000 years ago when He sent His Son to die for us. And that LOVE has given comfort to so many people who have been through this very thing.

Nick, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish the same thing. You are so not alone! I am here if you need me.

John 3:16 (King James Version)

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

I love y'all!
To be continued...............

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Today was a wonderful day at church. We had a good service then went down to the fire department to celebrate the birthday of a church friend who is turning 50 very shortly. They did pull off a surprise! It was very cute the way they put it together. I have always known of them, but really got to know them in the past 5 years or so.

And today was a first for me in a very long time. I got up and actually took my place at the beginning of the service. I have been on my seat too long and I felt last night that it was time to move up and keep moving up. If I don't move up, then I will move back because we can't just stand still. Gotta move up and do what I know is right. I received a promise about midnight on Christmas Eve 2008 and I have to do my part for that promise to come true. I also made a promise to Rick that I wouldn't back down. I gotta keep that as well.

In two weeks from tonight it will be one year since Rick passed away. It is hard to believe it has been that long in many ways and in some it seems so much longer since I saw him. I still have his cell phone active and I will call it several times a week just to hear his voice. I may never turn it off. No plans to do that right now anyway.
"Hi you have reached Rick Sanders and Nick's Mowing Service we can't come to the phone right now but if you'll leave a message we will get back with you as soon as possible. God loves you and have a great day."
He made that his message very soon after he got saved. That would have been 9 years ago this May out in his garden I was in Atlanta at a conference. He was a different man from that day onward until the Lord called him home. I am so thankful for that change. I am thankful for the many times I witnessed a heartfelt testimony from him. Those are assurances that one day we will see him again. To know our journey from the beginning until the end and to know him in 1984 and to know him in 2009 was like knowing 2 different men. He spoke of his wasted years sometimes with me. He was truly grateful he found the Lord. He didn't really know for sure what he was looking for out in that garden. He just knew he couldn't go on. And the Lord had mercy on him and lifted him up and he lived the rest of his days for Him. And I missed him today. He would have loved the service today.

I am finding I am having anxious days as the anniversary of his death draws closer. We have church that night and the devil has already been working on me that I won't be able to handle it there that night. And that really lets me know that is exactly where I need to be and I need to be ready to be there too. And right now I am determined that is how I will be there. Ready to do my part whatever my part turns out to be.

I still believe with all my heart when that still small voice says "trust Me" and I do. I really do.

Jeremiah 6:16

16Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

I love you all.
To be continued.............

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I have found myself wishing for things sometimes. One time I wished I could be a manager. I decided I could do that job very well. And one day while I was at work I got a phone call. Debbie wanted to see me. She had been promoted to a higher level. I went to her office. She said, things are changing. Fran and I are not going to be over the units anymore. We want you to manage SICU and Neuro. I thought about it for a few days, discussed it with my family. It meant weekends off (not really after all) It meant holidays off (not really after all). I said yes. And I did a pretty fair job at it, much more involved than I knew for sure! I knew managers spent more time at the hospital than they got paid for, but I thought I could deal with it. I knew there would be many people to please. Thought I could deal with that, too. What I discovered was all the time I spent at the hospital meant time away from home and my family. It was not worth it. And though I received a "pay raise" I really didn't get one. I got paid for a forty hour work week and actually spent 50 to 60 hours a week at the hospital. Add to that an hour and a half travel each way. No, that was not for me. Over the 3 years I spent as a manager, I was over all of the critical care units except one at one time or another. Then gasoline was up to $1.58 a gallon. I was tired of driving. Problem was once you were a manager, you could not work in that unit anymore. I really didn't want to work a floor so I decided to call Sally and see if I could get back in CCU at the Medical Center. Rest is history.

One thing I know for sure, sometimes when we wish for something, God will let us have it to show us we really didn't want it after all. Lesson learned.

Rick was very supportive in all my decisions regarding that job and the "promotion" and the "resignation" and moving my work to Bowling Green. It was a pay cut at first, but it worked out to be not so bad in the long run. After all, I was only 15 miles one way from home instead of 85 miles one way. That in itself was a huge bonus! And the extra time I had with my family has been priceless. Just think, if I had still had that job when Rick became ill, what would have happened? I know I would have had regrets about the amount of time I was away.

Yesterday was Valentines Day. My Valentine is in Heaven watching over us. I miss him every day. I make it day to day, but I really, really miss him. Not just on holidays. I miss him morning, noon and night. There is not a waking hour I don't think about him. He is always in the back of my mind. Today I made a cake. Before I put the frosting on, I thought for a second, Rick won't want frosting on his part, then I remembered. That happens so many times still. I know he is gone and won't ever be back. Doesn't keep me from wishing...............

I love y'all.
To be continued............

Friday, February 11, 2011

It has been a few days

I really didn't realize it had been this long since the last post. It has been hectic around here what with all the snow, vehicles needing repair and the scare with the new baby, who may be named Olivia Grace or Olivia Rhea instead of Evelyn. We shall see. I still vote for Olivia Grace! I think that name just sounds so sweet. Val said "Olivia is a pig" from some childrens show. I think of Momma Walton when I think of Olivia. And she was one sweet lady. I also picture sweetness and a dainty little girl, not a tom-boy at all. Maybe a bit more reserved? Maybe more like Gamma than Mommy? HAHA.

My car had to go to the car hospital twice within a week! It had a water leak, which was first thought to be the holding tank. Later, it was diagnosed with a fractured radiator which had to be replaced. We had an excellent surgeon though and it came through without too much stress. Only without the car for 3 days. The bad part is that Nick's truck is out of commission and in a different "hospital" until ?Monday! Whew! Repairs one after the other! I hope our turn is over!

Also, both our phones have been acting up. Mine (I hope) was fixed by changing the SIM card. Nick's has had a couple of those and was still acting up. They are only a couple of weeks old. We had to go to Green Hills Mall south of Nashville on Hillsboro Road today to the Apple store to have his phone replaced. I do not advise going there if you are like us. They are too snooty there. We were definitely too country for that mall! But the folks at the Apple store were so nice, we did not have an appointment, apparently you have to to be seen, and they took him in within about a half hour and replaced his phone without too much hype. Hopefully that will fix his problem! I sure hope so!

We had lunch at Rivergate in their food court. More like us than Green Hills! The food was pretty good there. YAY!

Monday will be St. Valentines Day. It will be our first without Rick. I miss him. I miss him every morning when I wake up, I miss him every night when I go to sleep. I miss him not calling me during my work day. I miss getting a heart shaped box of chocolate that I don't like anything in the box, but pretending I do so he can eat them all. It IS the thought that counts, after all. We are getting very close to the time when it will be one year since he died. And 4 days ago was the 12th anniversary of our home burning. WOW! In ways I can't believe it has been that long and in ways it feels like it was longer. I surely hope that whatever else God has in store for us, we can face as a family with the love and support of our friends and family who have been so there for us through a lot already. I only hope that when our friends and family have to face issues of their own, that we will recognize it and be there for them as they have been for us.

Love y'all!

To be continued...........

Friday, February 4, 2011

Just a few thoughts

This time last year we were spending every day in the ICU at the Medical Center. Rick would have good hours and bad hours. And always there would be dear friends and family right there to help. Didn't even have to ask. Y'all were just there. It is hard to believe that it has been a year since he was so very sick. Time has passed so quickly in many ways and so very slowly in others. I don't know what to do with myself some days. And others are so very busy. We have been busy changing some things around here, nothing big, just things Rick and I had started to do when he got sick. Nick has been a big help to me. Val is so busy with the babies, they take up her day. Tobi was up until about an hour ago. She just did not want to go to sleep. She thinks she is as big as anyone else! Mini Val!

There has been so much sadness around this past week. A friend from school passed away this week. I had really lost touch with her, don't think I had seen her since high school, and that was 33...almost 34 years ago! Oops, that means Julie, Jennifer and Joanie are 34.....they were born our senior year! I digress. Please remember the Renfro family in your prayers. They have been through quite a bit the past year and now the loss of Jo. And Robin VanMeter asked for prayer today. Her daughter is sick in the hospital. Please remember that family as well. And Sally Sanders is fighting cancer. Please remember that family. And there are others with serious illness. Please just pray for your friends and neighbors. We are all in need of each others prayers. God knows our hearts. All we need to do is ask. He will supply our needs. He knows what we need before we do. He is so good to us....much better than I deserve! He always answers our prayers....just sometimes we want different answers! He always knows and does what is best for us. Always! Trust in Him. Listen to that voice when He speaks to you.....not with a natural ear but in the ear of your heart. He will guide you. Just ask!

Valarie is doing well since the scare! She is distressed now over naming this little one. She really loves the name Evelyn. I have wanted Olivia since we found out about October. I thought she would name this one Olivia. She decided on Evelyn. Now, Brandon has decided he likes Olivia better. We will see who she is when she gets here. I almost feel bad for pushing for Olivia. I do thing gammas should have a 2/3 vote on the name. I really do!

I think this is all for tonight.

I love y'all.

To be continued................

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thank You Lord!

Miss Evelyn Grace Sullivan
Today was a good day. Little Miss Evey got a clean bill of health. She has 12 more weeks before we get to meet her, and she is a big girl weighing in at 2.3 pounds already! She is several ounces bigger than her siblings at this age. Glad its not me! And I can not convince Valarie to name her Olivia. I reminded her that "Evelyn" is Charlies mom's name on Two and a Half Men. She doesn't care. She likes the name and Evelyn it is. For now anyway. I am not giving up until she gets here. If you have Val on your facebook friends list, send her messages with "Olivia" on word, "Olivia". Thanks.

God is good. That is all I can say besides thank you for your good thoughts and prayers regarding this baby. The doctor said there is not problem she can find. That is a good thing! And we are truly grateful!

The following is a song that Kathy sings at church sometimes. I thought the words were appropriate! He hears us when we pray, He answers prayers in His time. Sometimes we don't believe He has answered our prayers because we didn't get the answer WE wanted. He answers in His time in the way He deems is appropriate for us. He loves so much He sent His Son to die for our sins. What greater love could there be?














There are a few things I know in this life. One is if we slack up in our serving the Lord He will get our attention in some way. I know that I love the Lord with all my heart. I don't always serve Him the way I should. I have no real excuse for it either. But He knows my heart and He knows what is on my heart and mind. He knows the obstacles I face (and yours too) and He loves us just the same.

Tobi and Bubba had a hard time today for the 2 hours Valarie was in the doctors office. I thought I would drown in all the tears! Then, we went to Barnyard Cafe and Bubba ate a lemon and he giggled and laughed and played with his food.

I think this is all for tonight. I want to say again: "thank you for any thought or prayer you put up in our behalf" for this episode and for everything in the past year + and actually any time you whispered our names in prayer we are grateful for every prayer that has ever been said!

We will try to remember you and your families in our prayers as well!

I love you all.

To be continued............