Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Finding The Light Amongst the Darkness

Hey friends, it's been quite some time since I've been on here. I've been MIA from both blog land and IG this past week and want to explain. As ya'll know back in June my sweet mother-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This was such a shock to all of us.

Well last Tuesday we got the call that we were never expecting. After a 4 week battle with horrible infections her poor body was just too weak to fight them anymore. My precious wonderful mother in law passed away peacefully Tuesday, she was surrounded by all of us that loved her most.

The pain is still so very real and raw. It's hard for me to even type this with out tearing up. I had the honor of speaking at her service on Friday. I am slowly trying to get back into my routine. The boys start school today and I know with each passing day the sadness will become easier to handle. My sweet mom has been with us for the past week and truly has held us together. She leaves today and I'm already teary just thinking about it.

There is no better way to describe just how much Donna meat to me than through the words I spoke on Friday, which I am sharing here. 



There will never be a way to accurately describe just how wonderful of a woman Donna  was. 7 years ago Donna welcomed me into her home and into her heart. She has never strayed from that.

 Donna was the kind of mother-in-law that made it so easy to love her. My sisters have always said that I won the mother-in-law jackpot. I have always told them that I knew it! Looking around you will not find a single person who has anything bad to say about her.  I don’t ever remember hearing her have a negative thing to say about anyone, which is a true rarity today.

 Donna loved Patrick and David more than anything, but her grandsons were the light of her life. She would drop anything and everything to be with them. Never missing one of Carson’s sporting events, a school function or even Jack’s tumble observation this past spring. Any time I called on her she was there, including one unfortunate night when I had to wake her at midnight because Patrick and I both started with the stomach bug 15 minutes apart. She hopped right in her car and came to nurse all of us back to health. 

Selfless is the only accurate word to describe Donna. Aside from the boys, Steve was the love of her life. I have never seen a love like theirs. Spanning 49 plus years Donna and Steve were the epitome of a Christ centered, loving marriage. She loved Steve with all that she had and has shown me that while marriage is not always easy, it is worth it. And Steve loved her, she was his world. Watching them over these past 10 weeks has shown me the meaning of  “to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health”.

Family was so important to Donna.  Her sister Patsy was her best friend. Together they overcame so much. Donna was with Patsy through her cancer diagnosis and treatments.  While it didn’t seem fair that they had to go through it again when Donna was diagnosed, Patsy was with her every step of the way.

 Jack and Graham may never truly remember the wonderful Nana they had, but they will certainly be told day after day about her. They will know that she was the kindest, gentlest, most loving woman. They will know that she made you feel so special just by being in her presence. We will tell them how she always had their favorite snacks, foods, and toys just because she knew it would make them happy. We will talk about how every Christmas we would have a family baking day and Donna would get the ingredients to make any kind of cookie that we wanted. The kitchen was always left a mess and there was flour everywhere but seeing us all together baking with love brought a smile to her face. 

These past 10 weeks have felt so surreal. How could a healthy woman become as sick as she did? In times like these we often question “why, God?” While we wish so much that we could turn back time, we simply cannot. I find comfort in knowing that Donna is whole and healed now. No longer suffering from the pain of the cancer and the horrible infection. 


Not a day will pass that we won’t think of our beloved Donna Nana. I will never be able to walk into Steve and Donna’s house, and look at her chair without thinking about one of my favorite Donna questions, “What’s the news around town” She always knew more than I did, but she wanted to be invested in our lives and to be in the know. She may have been sick with cancer but one of the last conversations I had with her she was still asking and concerned about others. That’s what I loved about Donna. Her heart was always thinking of everyone around her. There are no words to describe how much we will miss our Donna Nana. But we can all find comfort knowing that she walked right on through those gates of Heaven and will forever be looking down on us and watching with a smile. 


Thank you so much to all of you that have sent me texts, messages and prayers throughout all of this. I truly think your prayers are what has helped us get through this. Please continue to pray for us as we begin to navigate life without her. 

18 comments:

  1. Thinking about you guys and praying for you continuously. I know she is smiling down, so very proud. I can't imagine how hard this time is for you guys but find comfort in the fact that she is completely healed in Heaven and you will see her again one day. Love you girl!

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  2. Oh Emily. I am so very sorry for your families loss. She sounds like an amazing woman. We will certainly be praying that you will be wrapped in comfort that only God can give at a time like this.

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  3. I'm so, so sorry for your loss. While you don't know me personally, I'm a blog and IG follower who admires the relationship you've shared between both you and your mil and your boys and their nana. Sending thoughts and prayers your way. What a touching words you shared!

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  4. I'm still praying for you guys and you're constantly in my thoughts. I can't even imagine how you and your family is feeling right now, but I do know how much you all were loved by and loved Donna. So thankful she is in Heaven and her body is healed again, and she's at the hands and feet of Jesus rejoicing. And I'm so thankful to know you'll see her again one day. We love you guys so much!

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  5. What a beautiful thing you wrote about your MIL! You're right--she sounds like the most amazing woman ever. Praying for y'all as you adjust to a new normal.
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

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  6. Your words are just so beautiful! Donna sounds like the most wonderful lady and I am so sad for you all that she had to go so soon. Continuing to see lots of love and prayers!

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  7. Oh, Emily, I am so sorry for your family's loss. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this incredibly difficult time.

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  8. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. What you wrote about your mother in law is absolutely beautiful. Keeping your family in our prayers.

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  9. Constantly praying for you, Emily. She really does sound like the most amazing woman, that you were so blessed to have in your life. I pray that God gives you and your family peace and healing, and I am sending so much love your way.

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  10. I have been praying for you and your family, Emily. I can't even imagine what a shock this must have been. I hope that you guys can find some peace and healing soon.

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  11. I am soooo sorry. I love what you wrote about Donna. She seemed like an amazing person, MIL and grandma to your boys. I am keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

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  12. I'm so sorry for your loss. I read about it on another blog and have been thinking of you.

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  13. What a beautiful tribute. I have tears and I don't know her personally! Praying for you in the days to come. Thankful she knew Jesus and you will be reunited again someday! ❤ erin

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  14. Hugs sweet friend. I am so sorry that this has happened to your family. I'll be praying for you and hugging you from afar.

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  15. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know you did an amazing job giving your speech!

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  16. So very sorry for your loss. It truly does sound like you hit the jackpot on MIL's!! She sounds like a lovely lady!

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  17. Such beautiful works friend! I am so sorry for your loss and send lots of hugs your way. She sounds like an amazing woman and I know how much she meant to all of you.

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