Ornaments I Have Made

Sharin’ Ornament Photos December 20, 2015

I am not sure if this is going to work. Folks have been sending me photos of their ornaments from me. I thought it would be fun to share them.  I am going to post those photos here and update when a new photo comes to me. I will not use names unless given permission.  I do not know why it has been fun seeing my ornaments creatively displayed, but it has been. I hope others will get the word and send me photos. I am sending out my last batch,  for 2015. Now I can start on the ornament for 2016. I do not know how many folks remember the song: “This Little Light …”  ???

Here is the photo that gave me this idea:

Velinda's Ornaments

Here is another one:

Lisa Poindexter

And Sign

Paulette's Ornaments

And Sign

Okay folks, send me some more photos !!!


I am still  hoping Mom will send a photo of her tree so you could better see how things are displayed.

And Sign

Dawn 1         

My beautiful cousin Kathy Million-Kitzmiller makes these ornaments every year. Always a different on. I love it Thank You !

Swiss Cross Wall Art, Cross Print, Blue Swiss Cross,Plus Sign Printable, Scandinavian Print, Modern Printable Art, Geometric Art, Blue Cross

My Aunt Alice had fun fixing a place for the ornaments. We learned that she is missing one. Guess I have some work to do !!!      a.-alices-ornaments.jpg.jpeg IMG_25251

My Grief Challenges

A Sub Driver May 16, 2015



No offense, but several days before Mother’s Day, my gut was grinding. At every corner I turned, realization slammed me in the face.   It was finally Friday. I was in line-up for elementary pick-up. I had  finished opening up some of the bus windows. I realized the driver in front of me had parked differently—d-oing—a sub driver. No matter-things would work out just fine. My usual is to sit in my bus and wait.     For whatever reason, the driver came up to my bus to talk.  Somehow, we started talking about him stopping smoking. Then he told me about his wife stopping and how she is now in better shape than him. He told about all her activities. He mentioned how she kept track of all her movements. My mind stood still. I told my friend how I enjoyed using my “WalkLogger”, but I had to carry my phone-everywhere. It didn’t calculate my steps for the walk videos or my rebounding moves. My friend said even when his wife did her Jazzercise class, her movements were calculated. He said the device could be worn and not seen, and it was small. I was so excited.  He told me the name was: FitBit  Zip.   I was so thrilled to hear about this small device. Now I don’t have to have my phone with me for every step.      

Somehow the topic was changed. I think I thanked my friend for talking cuz I had been getting pretty bummed about all the talk regarding Mother’s Day. He then asked what caused Shawn’s death.          I told him the hardest thing had been getting through the guilt. He asked what I meant. I told him I felt bad if I had made Shawn suffer because I couldn’t have the machines shut off.                 I told him I cannot get it out of my mind, what if Shawn just needed one more day. I feel like I murdered my son.          

 Here is what my friend told me. “Kathy, I do understand, in that I had to decide about having the machines shut off on my Dad. He was in a coma, and other complications. I understand the guilt. I had to tell my mother what I had done.  Plus, my daughter came back from the war. She survived and many of her fellow heroes had not. She is working through PTSD.  We are both better, but it took years. For me it took years for the nightmares to stop. So, be patient, you will get through this.        You have to excuse me. I have not teared up about my Dad in years.   Kathy, I have to be honest with you.  I cannot imagine having to make or give the doctors the life ending decision about one of my children.  I cannot imagine being able to do it.     Kathy, you are going through a type of ptsd-it is going to take awhile. We are here for you.”  

My friend did say  to not be surprised if I found myself having a hard time getting life in order or prioritizing. He said that for some time it will be hard to find sense in life’s goings on. He told me that many things will not matter, like before. He said, “Kathy, that is okay. You have grief stages to go through and they will take time. You will be changed. Kathy, that is okay. One day you will realize you are getting through this without as much crying. Kathy, that is okay.”

My friend had no idea how much God used him to get me through some rough days. I cannot wait to be where my friend is. He is funny. If he makes a mistake on a route, he says, “I am just a sub.”  He then laughs and  keeps moving forward to the next situation.    

Work was done. Time to go to the grocery store. I had put it off, too many specials for mothers.  I made a plan. Get groceries, then head to the cards to find a card for my Mom. Since Shawn died a few days before Mother’s Day, the card aisle is not for me.  I was looking forward to finding a FitBit and thought it would be a good way to end the day. 


Just a reminder, these warnings are what I am certain Shawn would say if he were still alive.  

Mom, I know I missed a lot of Mother’s days.  I know that picking a card for your Mom, is hard. Your tears while looking for Gramma’s card…        Then there were some young  boys searching for the perfect card. They asked their Dad if they could buy more than one.  It really was cute seeing how excited they were.  I saw how you quickly grabbed a card. AND you quickly found an envelop.   For you that was amazing. You take longer picking an envelop than the card. BUT, that is just one of your quirks that gives me shivers. Someday I want to share all those things that give me shivers, about you-the way God made you.  Mom I wish I could wrap my arms around you and reassure you of my love for you. Mom, look at what you made it through, the last couple of years.  Mom. hold tight to Hope.   wpid-20150503_154540.jpg I love the different messages you made at Rockaway.  I love you, Mom,   your Shawner.  


   My counselor gives me situations or people to pray for.  He doesn’t give names, just enough information to pray about. He might not know, but I know he does it to help me realize I still care for others. I am not so  self-absorbed in my pain that I don’t care for others.  Actually, I cannot describe the feeling, but while listening to the hurts some folks were dealing with,  well, this poster is spot on:   Hugs in prayers 

       FitBit Zip  The store I bought my FitBit Zip from had NO BLUE. So, the lime green will do.   Lime Green

Comfort My Heart

My Grief Challenges, Sharings From Others

Narrow, Curvy Road December 20, 2014


                                                              I am thankful for this time of year, all the joy , hope and love that is prominent.  That being said, I am  still,  going to keep posting which ever issue has been  a bother that particular week.    I may as well let folks know that Christmas card ornaments will not be sent for a few months. For some reason this year has been harder than last year. I was told it is because last year I was still in shock. This year, reality slams or triggers are everywhere. Last year I did not work the week of the fire, Shawn’s b.day  or his death day. I will go back to that plan .     2014  / Dove           2014 / Hope                           I need to train myself to not let so many things hit me so hard.   Here is an example:  A week ago, we had  some very windy weather. Our bus radios were affected, communication was blotchy. I had just finished my last drop, I was on a very narrow, curvy road. I heard: Summer, fire, truck, maybe a few other words, but these are the ones that cut me to the quick.  In panic mode I called over the radio for more details-thinking my house was on fire.  I am profusely ashamed that I used the radio for a panic moment when there were more important details that needed to be called out. I did apologize.                         I  asked one of my helper friends what happened.      It was explained that those words are triggers.  I had no clue. I  have known that sirens, alarms, and seeing fires set me off, but words ?  I get quite upset at myself for letting various things rule me. Apparently, it is just another rut in my grief journey path.  Sometimes I wish God would let some of you stronger people trade places with me, if only for a short break. So, if I haven’t already said it, I apologize, to the utmost, for my being so weak—I call myself God’s biggest wimp.    1eb4f7eb9e072a2af3842a3d48c7f52a   8a78f6f186ad40c93007c1523ac4291c

                                                             For this post,  I ask several folks to give me feedback regarding how they have gone through the grief process, during holidays.  Some have personal experience, some are grieving with a griever.  For some the loss is fairly recent, for others it has been several years ago.


One of my grieving friends gave me this response: ” It is a pleasure to be able to help other grievers who at a different stage of the grief journey. and  it is encouraging to think I could help someone else. ”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4.0.-Dark-blue-rose                                                                                                “Be gentle with yourself.  Don’t feel like you have to do all the things you used to do. Your life has changed and it is okay if your traditions for the holiday season change.”                                                                                                                              4.0.-Dark-blue-rose                                                                                            “We buy decorations for the children, we talk about the children, hang stockings…We help other children. Is the big one…we share the love we had for them, helping another child smile. We buy ornaments with something they liked, like ice skates or there names…We decorate their gardens…We remember them with all our LOVE to Heaven and back. We play music! We do what they loved to do. It helps us feel them with us. Love is eternal! Death can’t steal our LOVE! It gets deeper! It reaches Heaven! Hope that helps..helping someone else helps you.                           Don’t feel you have to be bridled by traditions or dates. Don’t be overwhelmed by expectations from others. Do only if you are up to the task. Do only if you like what needs to be done one does not want to have the negative unfulfilling memory where there could be joy. Maybe it is good to find ways to include the help of others to listen ones load. Maybe finding a new way to celebrate if the reminders of the one gone are too emotionally challenging.  Don’t be ashamed. Don’t judge yourself too harshly when emotions take over. If someone extends a caring  hand and you cant receive. Be thankful the person had the courage to try and care.”

                      I find that, as time passes, most of the time people simply don’t ask about how I am handling the loss of loved ones during the holiday season.  This is now true of my dad’s passing, which was in April of this year and has been true for many years of others I have lost.  I understand this, since folks have their own lives to lead and each heart alone knows its own grief.                                                   This is also probably good and helpful, since it aids me in focusing on what good I can do for those who are in front of me during the holidays.                     I find that photos are helpful to remember Christmases past with those I have lost even though in a lot of cases those are mixed memories of joy and sorrow (we were a pretty dysfunctional family).                            Watching old Christmas movies like A Charlie Brown Christmas and White Christmas also help bring to mind the holiday times growing up with family.              Going to Christmas Eve services brings back good memories of attending midnight or early Christmas morning Mass with my mom.                            Since we have lived far away from family for a lot of years, not much has changed as far as how we celebrate but this will be the first year we don’t call either of my folks to let all of the kids talk with them on Christmas day.  I will miss that.      
4.0.-Dark-blue-rose          4.0.-Dark-blue-rose        4.0.-Dark-blue-rose
Here are  thoughts from others I have come across on the  air waves:
  Gary Roe (  http://www.garyroe.com/   )  has been a campus minister, church-planter in Japan, and pastor in Texas and Washington. He currently serves as a hospice chaplain in Central Texas.                Thank you for taking yourself seriously and downloading I Miss You: A Holiday Grief Survival Kit.If you found I Miss You helpful, you may want to consider Surviving the Holidays Without You. I Miss You is a brief introduction to the more in-depth content of this easy-to-read book on how to navigate grief during the holidays. You can click here and read the introduction and first couple of chapters.  


                       A good song:    https://www.youtube.com/user/greenshoestudioinc                                         4.0.-Dark-blue-rose                                                                                                                                                                                                        This Pastor’s Wife Wants You To Stop Sending Happy Christmas Cards. When You Hear WHY You May Agree!


 034fdbbb3a227940347292c077e5fdfd      Regarding Exercising:                                 Finally Friday. The last day of loopin’ for a couple of weeks, *Christmas * break.  A few drops of rain, otherwise  very calm. I was just about to finish the first loop = lap, to the rest of the world. The wooded area was at my back. All of a sudden I heard a “whooo, whooo”  I about  jumped out of my Crocs.  What is it about the sound of an owl ?  Scarey, while at the same time, comforting ?  All the days I have been loopin’ , not once has an owl made any noise.    The owl kept up it’s haunting sound. Suddenly, at loop 5, total quiet. As I neared the wooded area, I asked “Mr. Owl” to keep up the noise, to which the owl gave shout outs until I was finished.    On *Christmas* break, I will be going through some of my walk DVDs by Leslie.     I have worked so hard, I can’t ruin  my routine by not exercising for a couple of weeks.     K