Saturday, October 23, 2010

When Your Heart Is Broken

   Dear Bloggy Friends, I hope you will bear with me, I always want my blog to be uplifting and a happy place to visit but this is always a very difficult week for me. You see, thirteen years ago this very week, my world was shattered and my heart broken when I lost not one but BOTH of my beloved parents, both suddenly and both unexpectedly. At times I thought I would never get past the shock and grief, the hurt so bad at times it was not just emotional but physical as well. But as they say, time heals all wounds and I have been able to move past the sorrow I felt in those days, months and even first years. Through my parents deaths, I returned to God and through his love and grace I have learned all things are possible if I fully rely on HIM! As much as I have moved past the grief, I have never had "THAT" moment.  THAT moment when the realization that you are NEVER going to see this person in this lifetime again, hits you like a sack of bricks up side your head. I've always been this way, someone I know passes away and a year later, or two or five, something will happen to remind me of this person and WHAM, I truly realize they are gone! Sometimes I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, that some day I will be washing the dishes or driving to work and all of a sudden I will realize my parents are gone and I will fall apart. Do any of you experience this?
    But rather than dwell on the bad, I would like to share a little about my parents. Both of my parents came from very, very poor families and even though they grew up in the same small town, they didn't really know each other until they were young adults. My Daddy had just returned from serving in the Pacific during WWII and my Mom was a Senior in High School. They met at a little diner and I think it must have been love at first sight because they never looked back. They were married a year later during a very small church service, no money for a fancy wedding dress or big reception.

Daddy was attending college on the GI bill and worked when not in class and Mom also worked to help support them. They lived above the theater in a small apartment in the sweetest little college town. Ironically, my youngest daughter now lives in the same apartment! Daddy finished his undergrad program and went on to Law school. By the time he graduated from law school, Mom was expecting my oldest sister. Two more babies would follow in the next two years and the little family was finally getting settled.

    My Daddy was such a kind, generous man, nothing like the bad rap most attorneys get these days. He was more concerned with helping people than he was making money. They never owned a brand new car and they never lived in a big fancy house. Many of his clients were farmers or blue collar workers, if Daddy knew they couldn't pay, he just never sent them a bill. He had one client that sold rubber bands for a living and that's how he paid my dad, with rubber bands! When we cleaned out his office, we found boxes and boxes of those rubber bands and this client must have been dead for twenty years.
    Both of my parents felt deeply about giving back to the community, Mom volunteered with our Brownie troops and the Child Conservation League and later as a Gray Lady at the hospital. Daddy devoted countless hours to the VFW, American Legion and even taught Sunday School to a group of Elderly ladies. But most of all they had a deep devotion to their family and each other. My parents made every Holiday so special. My mom decorated the house for every holiday but Christmas was the best! Mom had to make sure everyone had the same number of gifts under the tree at Christmas and she and daddy would spend many, many nights the weeks prior to Christmas making peanut brittle, caramels, popcorn balls and more cookies than I can remember, which they always gave away. My mom made many of our clothes and I can remember the matching Christmas jammies she made for us.
 Christmas 1956

    Now in case you are thinking  I had this perfect, idyllic life growing up, think again! We had our problems like every other family but I think the values my parents instilled in us, are what kept us strong and were the basis for so many good memories. They adored my girls and I think this is what saddens me the most, that they weren't here to see my girls grow up.
  Mom and Dad with my girls, 1995

We love you Mom and Dad, you are forever in our hearts! XXOO
This is the last professional picture taken of my parents 
and was taken at my Sister's wedding 
about 5 years before they passed away.
You can click on the picture to bring up a larger, sharper image,
then right click and save!
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  1. I understand how you must be feeling. This would have been my parents 73rd anniversary. Your parents look like wonderful people with genuine smiles.

  2. Oh Nan, reading this post made my heart hurt, too. I am sorry for the sudden loss of your parents and I understand that even after many years, we never stop missing them. Their wedding photo is beautiful...they look so happy and their smiles tell a story of true love.
    I am glad that you are feeling the arms of our loving Father, surrounding you with his care and protection. What sweet assurance we are given in the promise that we will see our loved ones again in paradise.
    Peace to you~

  3. Nan this was beautifully spoken! I wish my friend who just lost both of her parents last weekend..could read do know how she is feeling right now.
    It is God's arms that comfort us..It is God's Love that warms our hearts and keeps the memories alive. My thoughts and prayers are for you today.

    Hugs Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

  4. What a lovely post. Very sweet. And thoughtful.

  5. Nan,
    I lost my parents just 14 months apart ( in my early 20's) and I do know exactly what you are talking about. I spent almost 10 years in a bad haze. Every morning I would wake up and my first thought was "They are gone".... I know they would have been so sad for me....and there are days still that the pain is brand new....but I agree time does help. I will never stop missing them, but I do know we will get to see each other again and that is what kept me going many many times.... I am sorry you are feeling this way right now and I pray it will pass once again....I am thinking of you my friend! Sandy

  6. Hi Nan, That was a lovely post and tribute to your parents. In answer to your question, Yes, I feel the same way and I guess it will never go away. You saw my Pink Saturday post and the dear young handsome man, my husband in the pic never leaves my heart, I lost him at the age of 40 and had 4 children to raise, 2 very young and 2 half grown, I was 39 years old, I don't think you ever get over it, those moments come and go just like the tide, the emotions rise out of now where when you least expect it and then subside until the next time. I think I wrote on one post around Memorial day that my husband lives in the recesses of my mind and remains in my heart forever. I totally understand, as he never saw his children grow up and my youngest doesn't remember his Father at all as he was less than 3 years old. Time heals but the memory only fades, it never leaves you, just remember all the good times and try and stay in the positive. Why these feeling just come out of now where, well I have no answer except it is better to have loved than never at all, whether it be parents, spouses or children. My husband was my first Big loss and after that my parents, his parents and my best friend. I'm blessed as his legacy lives on in his 4 children and 5 grandchildren, keep smiling my dear friend, You are Not alone, Love to you, Marilou XOXO

  7. This brought tears to my eyes. I lost my dad when I was 17 and he was only 42, I still cry over the loss of my dad.
    God Bless you and thank-you for sharing your heart today.

  8. I am so sorry. This is such a nice tribute to your parents. You can tell from your post and the pictures how much they loved each other, you and your siblings, and everyone one around them. I am sure that they are looking at you this moment and are so proud of what you have become. Remember the good times and how much of an honor it was (is) to have them as parents. Hugs, Teresa

  9. Oh Nan, Bless your sweet broken heart. What wonderful, loving and caring parents you had. I lost my mom in May. I cry and want to talk to her everyday. I imagine I would feel much like you in the years to come. I can't imagine how hard it must have been to lose both. I too try to keep my blog light, but sometime you need to get it out. Never feel guilty if you need to. People really do care. Big hugs!

  10. Dearest Nan, thank you for sharing this beautiful story of your parents. I know how you feel about the lost loved ones... i too feel the same... i always feel i never got to spend enough time with my grandma and then she was gone! i still hurt because there were a lot of things i wanted to do with her.. for her.

    thanks for this inspiring post!

  11. Reading this really touched me. I think b/c your parents...both of them loved and you knew that love. I always think.....when someone loves that much....even when they go away...they live on in the person they loved. Your post is beautiful and your memories a great legacy to two people who made a difference.....

  12. As I read this, it brought up alot of emotions. Last Christmas was spent in the hospital watching my father hang on for life as he had triple bypass surgery. For weeks, we didn't know whether he would make it and I'm so happy to say he did. Little did any of us know that my mom had breast cancer (neither did she) and not even a year later would start chemotherapy (she starts this Thursday). I'm so grateful to still have my parents, and can't wrap my head around losing them. But for these times, I can understand the heartbreak and have to face the fact they won't be around forever.

    My heart goes out to you, Nan. I picture them in Heaven though, happier than any of us could ever imagine.

    Remember: Carry them in your heart, not on your shoulders. They wouldn't want that.


  13. Reading this post brought tears to my eyes.I know your pain. I lost my dad suddenly to a heart attack.The loss is compounded when it is sudden because there is not only not chance to say goodbye there is no preparing for the inevitable as with diseases.
    For several years after my dad passed I would see something and think I need to tell Dad about this, forgetting momentarily that he was gone.The suddeness(a word?) interferes with having "that moment"
    You are in my prayers but know you will see them again and for Eternity. Your time with them here was just preparation for a big ole' family reunion. Hugs and prayers, Annette

  14. Dear Nan,
    Thanks for sharing from the heart with us. What a lovely story of your sweet parents. I lost my Dad when I was only 25. His presence is always with me to this day. You are older than I thought if you were a little girl in 1956. I love the old photo with the three dolly strollers around the Christmas tree. I can see how special your parents made the holidays and how they gave back to the community. Take Care Nan

  15. Nan, Your words are so beautiful to me. They express just how I feel about the early loss of my own parents. I believe the older we get, the more we miss them, and this prepares our way to be with them again. You have chosen the perfect scripture to share with us. Thank you for sharing your love of your parents with us. Elizabeth

  16. What a lovely tribute to your parents, Nan. I don't think we ever get over missing our loved ones. My brother has been gone 19 years and I still will have a moment where I get a sharp pang of missing him. I wish my husband could have know him.

    Your parents sound like wonderful people.


  17. Your parents sound a lot like my parents. I was blessed to have them until they were in their 80s. Daddy died at 85 and mother exactly a year to the day later at 86. It was over 10 years ago, but I still miss them. You are so blessed to have had the loving family they provided for you and all the wonderful memories. This post brought tears to my eyes as I know it did to others who read it. I think sometimes putting your thoughts and heartaches in words like this is helpful. It is not only helpful to you but to others who read it. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  18. Wow! I lost both of my parents 13 years ago this fall--my dad fought in WW2 in the Pacific theatre and went to school on the GI bill--and I always wear corsages on my wrist--Your parents are beautiful and yes, I still miss my parents so much.

    Thank you for sharing about them.

  19. Such a lovely post and tribute to your wonderful parents. I love their smiles in their wedding picture and the last professional picture. It looks as if they are glowing in both photo's. We all benefit so much from Spiritual Sunday's. Have a blessed week.

  20. A lovely tribute to your beautiful parents. I cannot fathom losing both parents at the same time. Between my husband and I we only have my mother (87 years old) left now. Last year we moved across country to live back here to be near my mother. My husband gave us his church and teaching job so I could be with my mother. We now live in a 35 ft. travel trailer,he works for 1/3 the pay at a Christian School. We are blessed and know that God will provide for us. Thank you for sharing. Blessings...

  21. Nan, this was a beautiful, heartfelt post. Your parents look radiant on their wedding day. A big elaborate wedding wasn't needed! It is evident they were beaming with love. One thing I do know...your parents have seen your children grow. They were definitely around for all of their special occasions, and even small magical moments. I never waver in my belief of that. Thanks for sharing all these lovely photographs and memories.

  22. What a beautiful tribute to your loving parents Nan! Their smiles light up the room!

    I lost my Mom in 1991 when she was 66 and I was 44. My Dad followed 3 years later. Then my in-laws in 2000 and 2001. And then my favorite brother in 2002. It hurts to think I have lived almost 20 years without my Mom and almost 17 without my Dad. I also had the sweetest in-laws and not to see them is awful too. I'm still working through the grief of losing my brother - that is still too fresh. I was so close to him growing up.

    My heart goes out to you many of us know how you feel. I wish I had a wedding photo of my parents - they eloped the day before Pearl Harbor was bombed. No white dress or fancy wedding - but they were so in love (Mom was 17 and Dad 20). They almost made it to 50 years of married life before Mom passed. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  23. Oh dear, my heart goes out to you. It is hard enough to lose one parent, I lost my father when I was 22 on Oct 14th to stomach cancer, but to have lost both! That would be a very hard thing to go through indeed. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I'd always wished my father had been able to know my daughter, but I feel in my heart he does. I talk often of him to her so she knows what a wonderful grandfather she had in him, even though she never got to spend time with him on this earth. Your parents look like they loved each other very much.
    Hugs, LisaKay

  24. Such a heartfelt post and sweet, sweet memories of your parents. It is the special times that help me cope with the lose of my parents. Daddy passed away 23 years ago this month and mother will be 19 years in April; they were both in the 40's and I am the only child. It's never easy and can sometimes feel very lonely. The sweet memories and the thoughts of one day being with them again bring comfort. Thank you so much for sharing such beautiful photos of your family. Many blessings and hugs to you!

  25. My heart goes out to you but what a beautiful post in tribute to your parents. God bless you, my friend! ♥


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