Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Remembering Holly!

Life takes little detours. We have taken the past few months off from remodeling our home to spend time with Holly. We feel it's important to let those you love know how much you love them while they are here and it's important to give of yourself and your time. This Saturday we will host an official Memorial to honor and celebrate Holly's life...Today I share a recent memory and journal post. Teresa Stephens Harvey
I wrote this one short month before Holly would leave this world.. I did not have a clue at that time that we would be saying good-bye so soon.

We miss her dearly. We still seek to honor her by finding our happy and thankfully for a life of great memories and stories we share we all laugh often with her as the common thread in those moments of laughter. We will have tears. We will feel moments of loneliness and loss. But, we will never ever forget the amazing gift and spirit of Holly. Our lives have a light and an extra layer to them because we were blessed to experience the gift of having Holly in our lives.

Our journey was not perfect. The walk with Cancer is never easy. We pray none of you ever face this journey but it Cancer enters your world we hope you remember to look for the moments of happy. The gifts to be found along the way.

This is the journal entry I wrote on April I look for my happy and my hope is that all of you look for yours too. ~Teresa

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Lessons learned along the way...
There are days that are hard. You learn that in life rather quickly. Days you don't feel all that well. Days that you feel kicked before you get up.  That is just part of life. Sometimes you are left with the darkness after a thunderstorm without any signs of a rainbow.

If you're a caregiver you put those days behind you as quickly as possible because you see first hand that your worst day is a piece of cake to the one you are caring for.

Our family talks about choices a lot. I believe that life is made up of a thousand choices and depending on the ones you make with a whole lot of help from God behind them that regardless of your circumstance, your health or your position in life you can have a good life. You can have a life that makes a difference.

My sweet Holly has terminally ill cancer.  The statement itself is like a stone in my heart.  However, until a few months ago that seemed to be such an abstract statement.  We have an amazing faith, prayer team and support group. Doctors that have kept up with every trick in the tool box to keep this cancer at bay! No one wasn't willing to do whatever was physically possible to fight this fight!

However, sometimes, the physical fight isn't enough.

Holly's cancer has advanced. The tumors in her brain have refused to respond to treatment.

Now we have another choice...

Cancer takes away many dreams in life. Holly will never get married, have children, watch her family grow.  God gives back in other ways. Holly has spent her time being an awesome Aunt to her nieces and nephews. Holly has spent her extra time volunteering at Children's Hospital rocking babies who are ill and need love. It's amazing to see one dream be answered with NO and have another dream provided.

Holly has had the opportunity to travel, to build amazing and lasting friendships, and to work in a job she enjoys and that challenged her. Those are blessings that both enriched her life and led to enriching others.

 I have watched a feisty, funny, beautiful spirit become more so.  Holly has never wallowed or let Cancer define her. She has instead chosen to walk with Grace, to look for joy, to seek ways to fill her time and mind with positive things in life. And I am so thankful that I get to share this journey with her.

So, when we sat down for our family meeting recently the heartbreaking reality that sometimes Cancer wins hung heavy in the air. Our kids listened with mixed tears glistening in their eyes as they bravely held them back. My son sat in stoic silence. Several questions from our curious lot finally surfaced...but what did not ever surface is that this was defeat. We may not have our happily ever after this time but we will have our happy. We will find our joy and share our time with Holly in love. We will continue to enjoy our great family and AMAZING friends. Our choice is to lean on faith, to find joy, to look for the best in every day. We prepare now to explore that we may have to let Holly go. To let God take her home and to lean on our faith that we will share time with her again in a different place, setting and time and it will be filled with a new HAPPY. We will pull together as a family and look at the lessons we've been gifted and look for the new ones we will learn.

Psalm 41:3
The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness. (NIV)

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