We are doing the best we can…

We are doing the best we can…

There are days I wonder if any of the words I pour from my heart are ever read, much less, make a difference in someones life. As I wrote in my first blog, I write for my own therapy and also in the hopes that my experiences, my grief, my way of handling the passing of a child may help someone else. There are times when I struggle to make it through another day and there are days when I can manage a smile, or even a laugh. There is not a day that I don’t think of Lindsay, her love of life, her willingness to help others and the sacrifice she made to save and bring a better quality of life to many. I think about the recipients of Lindsay’s gifts and I know they are alive today, celebrating this joyous season with their families, because of the decision Lindsay made to be an organ donor. The way I make it through everyday is by thinking of how proud I am of her, thinking of  the lives she touched and the lives she saved.  The way I plan to make it through Christmas day again this year is with Kelli, Jarrett, the rest of my family, friends and the thought of Lindsay being in my heart, my thoughts being with the people she so selflessly gave her gifts to. She loved Christmas so very much and what better way to honor her than to remember the lives she saved. We, as a family, will also celebrate Lindsay by speaking her name, telling stories and smiling because we were able to have seventeen Christmas’s to share. To be perfectly honest though, I would so much rather have my daughter by my side than be writing about all the wonderful things that have come from her passing. Life has become very bittersweet.

I was a approached by a very nice lady at our business on Saturday, she comes periodically, but she always makes her way to Kelli and I both to say hello. She began to tell me that she reads my blog and how much she truly enjoys them. She told me a short story of how one particular blog touched her life. “Your blog ‘Chiseled in Stone’ touched my heart,” she said. “I have a family member that has been estranged and distant, I am sending them a copy of that blog, and it is my hope, that it touches their heart as well.” She continued “You are an amazing writer and you have helped so many people by writing from your heart and with such honesty.”

Below are other comments and stories form a few of the readers of my blog.

Below is an exert from the blog “Connection to Purpose”, a story told to Kelli and I by a friend.

  • “My sister is going through a bitter divorce in New York, where they both have let anger control their reactions, sometimes losing sight that the love for their beautiful daughter is most important.  Both my sister and her husband are wonderful parents.  They have gone to court ordered counseling, a mediator and co parenting classes. I sent my sister and her husband Brad’s blog, I will admit I included some of mine own “stern words”.  I grew up with divorced parents who in nice terms couldn’t be in the same room without a disagreement.  I did not want that way of life for my niece. I, myself, have 3 boys, 2 of my heart and one of my body.  We all have found a way to co parent because that is what was best for our boys.  Brad’s blog spoke to both of them, my sister and her husband, they both showed up at their co parent counseling appointment with a print out of my email and have made steps to work together. When my sister and her husband appeared back in court with the counselor the judge asked, “What has caused this change? Why should I believe that they are going to work towards the best interest of their daughter?” The counselor handed the judge a copy of Brad’s blog. After reading it and with tears in her eyes she made this statement “In my line of work it is easy to forget that angels do exist.”  I’m very grateful for Brads honesty and heartfelt blogs.  He said today that he started this to help him heal but in doing so you ALL are also helping others in ways you may not have imagined.”
  • This blended family has given me faith in people again. My admiration for Lindsay’s Mom , Kellie & Dad Brad is so secret. Your strength inspires me.
    Kelli ‘s role as step-Mom really warmed my heart. Kelli always seems to know when to step up & when to step back. Her love for Lindsay is so apparent & felt.
    As I’ve said so many times this blended family has inspired me to be a better person , open my heart a bit more & “step up” when I️ need to but to “ step back” also when necessary
    Love this family.
  • Reading your words reminds me to be more present with my 7 year old. Thank you for sharing
  • Tears and heartache for your loss. Thank you for sharing your soul and your experience. I know Lindsay is so proud of you and her loving family and friends. I will probably always ask why her Lord?…such an amazing young lady…she sure did make her mark in this life, she lives on in so many hearts. Prayers for you and Kelli, Kelly and Jarrett. May God give you strength and comfort day by day. Peace.
  • I can never thank you enough for sharing the personal and intimate journey you and your family have been on. It is taking me several tries to get through today’s as my eyes won’t stop leaking and my heart is breaking. Please don’t ever stop sharing with us. Hugs and gratitude to you!!
  • Your baby girl is so very proud of you! I am amazed each time I read something you have written! You make me laugh and cry; but more importantly you make me think. I love you dearly and always have you in my prayers.
  • You don’t know me, nor you, I, but thank you.
    I do understand exactly what you mean.
    We have had to bury not one, but two, children.
    Our only children.
    3 years apart from each other, exactly 3 years + 3 days.You’re right, there is nothing normal about it. However there is a new normal for us, but every grieving parent must figure that out on their own time, and not be told.I also wrote a sort of how-to blog on caring for a grieving parent, but it was definailty not as well written as yours. Thank you for putting into words the thoughts I couldn’t. ♡♡♡So much love to you & yours.
  • My thoughts and prayers go out to you and thanks for writing this, I hope it helps you. We too lost our 20- year- old daughter 6 months ago so I can relate to everything you say! God bless you and comfort you.
  • Wow. I write through tears. Your words are very powerful and your connection to purpose even more so. Thanks you again for sharing.
  • Thank you once again for sharing your heart. This is an awesome testimony and I am sharing with many that need to hear it. God bless you .
  • Wow!! I have know you for 6 months now-I learned your story almost immediately-it was still so raw and fresh to some of the people I knew! As sad as it was/is, I felt like I was given a special gift just saying hello to Kelli and eventually you!! Each week I read your blog-listen, feel your message-and pray for you and your family! We are connected-your pain in private, unimaginable, but you have opened your heart to help others!! You give when you are at you lowest of lows-lows that you know are never going to get any easier! Please know as hard as it is, and is still getting-you are doing great things! You are helping so many! The holidays are the worst! With joy, merriment, blessings, and promise of the season, sadness, heartbreak and a loss as great as yours is impossible-but here you are, blessing us with your words, helping others-truly a gift. We are grateful for you, your strength, your wisdom, and your ability to word things so well! Your story is changing people and reminding them what is important!! thank you Brad and Kelli and your family for blessings us!

When I thought about writing this blog I told Kelli I did not want to come across as bragging about my writing abilities, as simple as they are. I wanted to show how a grieving father could somehow put into words what he and his family have gone through. I hope people read what I pour from my heart and I hope it helps someone though another day.

Merry Christmas form my functioning dysfunctional family to yours and my God bless each and everyone of you with love and happiness this joyous holiday season. I told Kelli today, I wish I could go to bed tonight and wake up Monday, January 1st. The Holiday Season is not joyous for a grieving parent. Have patience with us, try to know our limits and don’t expect too much from us.


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