Thursday, August 30, 2012


A daily climb 

Each new day brings with it a new mountain to climb. Every day I wake up and decide how strong I feel and how big of a climb I can make that day. Lately, I have only been conquering tiny little mountains because I haven’t been up for the climb of a big one. I have stayed away from our usual stores and restaurants, avoiding the looming questions like “Where’s Bubba?” or “How’s our boy doing today?” I have not gone through any of Bubba’s things yet, other than his medical equipment that needed to be picked up because of insurance. I plan on doing that after Regan starts back to school. So, other than going to Church {which was emotionally draining} I haven’t chosen to conquer any huge mountains.

Until today that is.

Regan received a very kind gift from my Uncle Terry and Aunt Susan, a gift card to Build A Bear. She has been begging to go from the second she opened the card. ;-) Nana, Ms. Sherrie, and I took Regan to Build A Bear on Monday so that she could make a new friend. She was in Heaven! While we were there we decided to also make a new cuddly friend for one of Bubba’s friends who was just hospitalized. When we saw the dog we knew it would be the perfect gift since she has been begging her mom for a real one FOREVER. ;-) After stuffing our new friends we headed to lunch and then called it a day. {Disneyland was in close distance but that was more than this Mommy could handle that day.}
Regan's new friend

Making Liz's new friend.


Why did we want to get this young warrior a special gift you ask? You see this amazing girl has not only been a great friend to Bubba but also to Regan. When we returned home from our trip the first stop that we made was to see Bubba at the cemetery. When we walked up to his special spot there was a big red heart balloon that this BIG hearted friend had insisted on bringing. There were also necklaces with Regan’s name on them from her as well. When we pulled up to our home the front door had a big sign welcoming us home from her as well and lots of happy balloons. This sweet young lady went out of her way to make Regan’s home coming as happy and bright as possible.


So, I sent our friend’s Mommy a text and let her know what we were doing. She quickly responded by saying that she loved it but not to push myself by coming to see them before I was ready. Ah, what a smart friend. ;-) I wasn’t ready Monday… Tuesday… Wednesday…. And then today came.


I woke up and felt a little stronger and felt the need that to go, today would be the day that we would go and visit our friend. I prayed and then asked my Bubba to help me through this one. I knew that this was going to be a HUGE mountain to climb.  I asked Regan if she wanted to go with me and she quickly responded with “of course I want to go mom!”


Today was the first time that I have been back to “Bubba’s” hospital since I left it empty handed twenty one days ago.  The massive height of this mountain was made clear from the second that I stepped into the front door. At the front desk was one of Bubba’s girlfriends, a sweet lady that loved him and that he loved flirting with. When we stepped up and told her where we were going she looked at Regan and me and then looked up at me and asked “Where’s my boy??” Tears filled my eyes as I told her that her boyfriend had passed away. While we were talking one our buddies from admin walked up and said “Hey, we haven’t seen you guys in a while… where’s my friend??” I didn’t answer right away. I was trying so hard not to break down in the foyer of the hospital. He looked at me and then asked me if I was ok. Our friend “the secretary” grabbed his hand and gave it a squeeze. He looked at me and I just nodded. The three of us had a silent moment followed by hugs. They could tell that I was trying to be strong for Regan and were very sweet.


It would have been so easy to turn and run. No one would have blamed me, right? In that moment I felt a sweet nudge, no doubt from my boy, letting me know that it would be ok. On the walk across the hospital to her room I was able to pull myself together, grateful that we did not run into any other friends. Before opening the door I begged my sweet Bubba to help me and quickly put a smile on my face. Regan and I walked in the room and as soon as we made eye contact our little warrior friend started to smile. Regan quickly gave her our presents and explained why we got the dog… we are all working on her mom to get her that darn dog she’s been promising. HINT HINT. ;-) Liz pulled out her pictures from her trip to Boston and went through every single one of them with us as she laughed and told us stories about them. I looked over to see our sweet friend’s Mommas eyes filled with tears but didn’t give it much thought. Regan and I had only planned on staying a few minutes but we ended up being there around two hours. The time just flew by and I didn’t even realize it until Hubs started texting me, worried about me.


After all of the pictures had been discussed we said our good byes and made our way home. I was amazed at how “easy” and wonderful the visit had ended up being. I walked away feeling so happy and blessed by the extra strength my Bubba gave me in those few hours.


Later I received this message from Liz’s Momma….

"Julie, your visit was such a blessing to Liz; she hadn't talked to us and has been so upset since last night. Like a switch turned on, it was amazing how she perked up and didn't stop talking once you and Regan got here. The nurses and child life are talking about how much you two made her snap out of her funk. Grateful!! I can only imagine how difficult coming here was and I pray that in some small way this visit gave you a tiny bit in your process. As painful as it must have been, once again, even in your pain, you (and your Bubba) brought comfort to someone. Love you guys.
PS- in response to what you wrote on the card, Liz read it and said "I know he was here" : ) Such hard things that have brought such wonderful friends into our lives. "

So, the tears started again. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for MY sweet little angel that pushed me to keep going despite how hard the climb started. That sweet angle of mine new that his friend was having a hard time and was angry, he knew that a smile could make all of the difference.  I am grateful for this crummy hard road that we have traveled over the past twelve years because it has brought amazing people into our lives. I am grateful for my sweet little girl that new that comedy and a smile would make all the difference. I LOVE that Regan isn’t fazed one bit by a hospital room. I LOVE that she was wanted to pass on the smile that her sweet friend had given her the day that we came home from our trip. I am grateful that I am still learning from my sweet boy.

 I LOVE how easy it is to forget your worries when you are in the service of others.  

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Mahatma Gandhi

I desperately miss the service that I was able to give my sweet Bubba on a daily basis but I am grateful that he is making sure to find acts of service that I can still do. :-)

“The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.”
Gordon B. Hinckley,

Today I was blessed beyond measure by a brave sweet young woman.

One mountain down…. A million more to climb.

Hey, speaking of service... {insert perfect moment for a plug} we are having our first service project in Bubba's name. We were planning on doing this "before" but now want to do it on an even bigger scale! We are having a pillow case drive. You see the wonderful child life, the fun people at the hospital that play games, bring movies, and spoil the kids with presents, said that they could use some pillow cases.  Well, we want to overwhelm them with pillow cases in Bubba's name. ;-) The reason why they {and us parents} love the pillow cases is because it just cheers up the room, something as simple as a pillow case can make a big difference. So, what am I asking? Get out your sewing machines people and get to work... wink! Look, a pillow case is the easiest thing you can make.  Grab some kid friendly, fun, and bright fabric and sew a couple simple straight lines. ;-) Ok, so for those of you that don't want to sew... watch for sales and buy some fun kids pillow cases and them send them our way. I can't wait to see how many we get!!!! We are planning on donating them around Christmas time..... so times a tickin'.... ;-)
{notice the awesome pillow case on Bubba's lap... His birthday present just a couple of weeks ago was wrapped in a fun pillow case. We LOVE Child Life and want to give back.}
and here a few more from that day just becuase I want to. ;-)





Kristi said...

What a wonderful act of kindness! I'm wondering if I might be able to sew some pillow cases. My talent is growing slowly, but I just may figure it out before Christmas! ;)

Deb Newman said...

Big hugs to you guys for following the path your beautiful son is nudging you to take. I remember how difficult it was to make that first trip back into the childrens hospital to visit a friend,as difficult as it was it gave me a sense a peace. You are always in my thoughts and prayers xoxo

Katie said...

I can't fathom what strength it took for you to do that. You are amazing. AND pillow cases coming your way! xoxo (they will be most likely store

Shannon & Ricky said...

I totally don't sew, but I am soooo going to make this happen! I'm so excited to give back! Thanks do inspiring me Julie! :) You're blog is incredible every single time...Love you and your family tons!

Melinda said...

hi Julie - can you give us the address and all that to whom we should send the pillowcases to?! that would be greatly appreciated!

Melinda said...

oh - and this is a silly question -- what size are the pillows - as here in Europe they are a bit bigger i think than the american size pillows! thanks again!

p.s. big mountains are def. hard to climb! But once you did it, you can look back at the great achievement and prepare yourself for the next ;)

Susan said...

One of my favorite sayings is "The first one served by service is the server." I think it was Sean Penn who said that in a speech about Haiti. It's so true that being able to serve someone else in some way, and especially if it's in honor or memory of someone you love, is spirit lifting. By being able to do that courageous walk into the hospital, you showed those mountains who's the boss. In the heart of your own darkness you brought light and joy to the world of someone you care deeply about, someone connected to your Bubba who needed your gift of time and loving attention. A day in the life a someone who's grieving can hardly get more rewarding than that. Trust me, Julie, in time you will conquer those mountains. God's blessings on you and yours.

brodiefiles said... This tutorial has great pictures and directions for an easy to make pillow case with no raw edges. I disagree with the dimensions needed though. You only need 3/4 yeard (27 inches) for the main fabric, and 1/4 (9 inches) for the fold over cuff of the pillowcase. All pillowcases donated to hospitals and the like usually have other requirements for donated goods like these-such as absolutely no lingering scent of laundry soap, no aggressive images like fighting or use of weapons, and probably 100% cotton fabric. Julie, can you confirm the requirements that the hospital has for the pillow cases? Thanks, Tiffany

Kenny said...

I'm on it! I love you and am so proud of you. One of these days we're going to climb a little mountain together. I miss you, friend.

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing woman Julie I can only imagine how hard that was for you you are inspirational keep up the great work in honour of Bubba

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that Regan is doing well and is still smiling and blessing others with her sweet generosity. Bubba is as well. :) Sending love and prayers to your family.

Rachel said...

I'm reminded so often that God is the great multi-tasker! He uses us to answer prayers as He continues to work on healing our hearts!

So thankful for the joy that you were able to bring to someone who needed a Bubba moment.

Address please? For the pillowcases? :)

The Gray Family said...

I did cry a little as I read this :<( Glad your big mountain ended up being a good day! I know you will have a lot more in store but I am sure you will handle them all (or most of them can't be perfect all the time! You are allowed to have a good meltdown every now and then) with the same grace. Hang in there!!!

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