a gravestone and chocolate cake...

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!!


I know I usually post a what I wore post on Sundays but I just wasn't feeling it today. I will double up next week. I promise. 

Courtney's headstone was blessed this afternoon. Surrounded by family and some very close friends, holy words were spoken over the stone that stands atop the remains of my girl, her forever resting place this side of heaven. As the Deacon prayed, my heart broke wide open with torrents of joy and sorrow all in the same moment. 

Joy that she is in heaven, free, whole and dancing at the throne of Our Lord. 

Sorrow that she is not with me, in my arms, laughing and smiling. 

As we stood in that graveyard, the sun beating down upon us, holy water being sprinkled upon Courtney's name carved in stone, I thought back to a year ago, when we were celebrating Courtney's birthday

I knew it then, that I would be standing at her gravestone sooner rather than later. I can't tell you how I knew, I just did. That's why we celebrated the way we did. I felt so strongly (thank you Holy Spirit) that we needed to mark the day and now I know why. 

It would be the last birthday I would make a cake for my daughter and she would eat it. Cake was not something Courtney had often. Sugar could bring on seizures so she only got it three days a year. Christmas, Easter and her birthday. 

Oh how she loved cake. Especially chocolate cake or pudding or a brownie or whatever. As long as it was chocolate, she was happy. 

I decided right then, that this year I would still make that chocolate cake on Tuesday. I need to make that cake for me. Courtney  feasts at a heavenly banquet, the glory of which I can only imagine. She has chocolate for an eternity. 

Standing there, I knew I needed to do something concrete with my hands to celebrate. 

So chocolate cake it is. 

This is so hard. This celebrating but not. This missing her but knowing she is always with us. This yearning to be with her bit knowing that only God can determine that timing. 

It's OK not to be OK. 

I know that. I embrace that. It doesn't prevent me from smiling or laughing or loving my family and friends. It's just where I am right now, today, this moment. 

Not stuck in the dark tunnel of grief, just OK with not being OK.

Jerry and I wept at our daughters grave. We wept during Mass when they sang "In Christ Alone". Holy mackerel did those lyrics take us both on a ride! By the time we returned home this afternoon, we were all spent and ready for a quiet evening. 

This week will bring ALL the feels. 

So not looking forward to it and yet I know I must face each wave of grief with faith, hope and love. 

It's what Courtney taught us to do everyday of her life. I would not want to disappoint my girl now would I?

Never once did she disappoint us.  

PS. I have fielded many questions about our current financial situation and taken suggestions as well. Thank you so much for your concern. We are using the Dave Ramsey method of debt reduction. It will take us several years to be completely out of debt and that's OK. The last five years of Courtney's life were the most expensive amazingly enough. It's also when ObamaCare started and our health insurance plan changed three times, not in our favor. It's also when we tried several different experimental treatments to help Courtney have better control with her seizures as well as to help her gain wait. None of those were covered by insurance.

We have paid all the large hospital bills and now we are working on paying off the credit cards that were used to pay smaller ER/Hospital bills, medicine co-pays, therapy co-pays, special footwear and therapeutic clothing, therapeutic equipment not covered by insurance, special bedding for her spinal scoliosis, her special food and formula, and the list goes on. We used them when we did not have the cash to pay for all of these different components of her treatment plan.

You can see our current fundraising effort directly below. As each card is paid off, I will put up a new one for those who feel called to help. Thank you so much for your prayers and your practical help. I don't know where we would be without it. Truly I do not. Blessings and Grace to each of you...

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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