a fathers grief...

Have you heard about our little project to take back the joy of Courtney's birthday? PLEASE JOIN IN!!  Project Blessing has begun. You can read all the details here. Pass it on and let's celebrate life, love, faith and hope!!

This morning my honey and I went to the graveyard where our beautiful daughter Courtney is buried. What a gorgeous summer day! Birds were chirping, the humidity was low and the sun was out in all it's glory. 

This is the first time Jerry has seen Courtney's gravestone. I wanted him to have a moment alone with Courtney before I joined him. 

I looked up and saw this...my heart broke one more time...

Oh Papa. 

How you loved your girl. How you miss her. 

I just could not hold back my tears. 

He stayed this way, weeping for a good fifteen minutes. I just took this photo and then set my phone down and prayed. I know that his grief is as deep as mine, but he keeps it hidden most days. It's how he makes it through the day. 

I don't blame him. I wish I could hold mine back a little more. It makes for some awkward social situations. 

Later, we took these videos...

Courtney's Gravestone - Papa from Mary Lenaburg on Vimeo.

Courtney's Gravestone - Mama from Mary Lenaburg on Vimeo.

The mail is trickling in for Project Blessing. It is wonderful to read your words on how our girl has changed so many hearts and brought them closer to Our Lord. I am humbled and in awe of my daughters legacy of love. 

I asked for prayers the other day. Thank you to all of you for holding our family up to the Lord. We can feel your love, truly we can. We sat down this morning with ALL the bills and finalized a plan to dig ourselves out of this monumental hole of debt. The cable is gone and dry cleaning. There weren't many "perks" to cut to begin with, but whatever was there is no longer. We are determined to pay everything off in the next five years. 

Yes, it will take that long. 

What was interesting is that when we were going through everything, we reminisced at the same time. There is one credit card that was used exclusively for her PT, OT, Speech co-pays. We talked about how strong Courtney was for so long. How awesome our team at GUH was and how much I miss seeing Miss Pam and her crew a couple of times a week. 

We also added up how much her special food cost. for the last five years of her life, it was about $100 a DAY for all the specific, fresh items we needed to help keep our girl as healthy as we could. HOW did we do that?? Thanks Master card and Visa. Thank you very much for helping us keep our daughter alive. 

The final numbers were hard to take BUT we will soldier on, this family of mine. If you feel moved to help financially (so many of you have and we are so humbled by your kindness) there is a link at the bottom of the post. We will face this as we have everything else, with joy and a lot of creativity when it comes to having fun together, date nights, perfecting the the art of the ironed shirt, celebrating special events, gift giving and anything else that may require $$$. 

It's a challenge we are going to conquer...together...Please Lord!!

We will face the coming week of Courtney's birthday, her gravestone blessing, a trip to Oklahoma to celebrate my in-laws 60th Wedding Anniversary and spending time with extended family that were unable to come for Courtney's funeral.

We will smile, we will laugh, we will weep and we will praise God for the gift of our daughter. The elixir of life is always filled with a bittersweet concoction of joy and sorrow. I am getting pretty good and pouring that sucker into a tall cool glass and sticking an umbrella in it. 

Cheers my friends. To life! To love! To Courtney!


help pay off medical debt from caring for our beautiful Courtney  

Our current fundraising goal is $3,209.00 which will eliminate the balance on credit card used for Courtney's PT, OT and Feeding therapies and supplies used over the last five years. We have raised $720 of it so far. Only $2489.00 to go to pay this first one off. If we can raise the full amount, we can pay it off and be that much closer to our larger goal. One thing at a time. Thank you so much for your help. 

The entire medical debt is extensive, now approx. $67,3000. It's a lot and will take years to whittle down. Anything helps. Anything. So, I will keep it at the bottom of my posts for awhile. You all have already given so much to our family. Our prayers are with you and we are so very grateful. We can never repay that kindness. So thank you...just thank you. If you would like our mailing address, please just email me at mary_romance@cox.net and I will send it.

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