Friday, January 30, 2009

Three Years Ago Yesterday

Three years ago yesterday, my world changed forever. On January 29, 2006 Darrell crashed his plane short of the Murfreesboro, Tennessee airport runway. He had had problems immediately after take off from the Smyrna, Tennessee airport and the air control told him to go on to Murfreesboro instead of turning around. With the problems the plane was having, it was incredibly difficult for him to keep the plane up, but he did. And he almost made it. About 50 feet short of the runway a crosswind tipped his plane. His right wing hit the grass, he tried to recover but it tipped again and this time the plane flipped over and at some point, caught on fire.

The previous 2 years I acknowledged the day but this year I refused. For one thing, I feel like I'm moving past that date, in spite of the fact that I'm writing about it, perhaps because I'm writing about it. For so long that date and March 7, 2006 have defined who I am. But I don't want them to define me anymore. They will always mark the most significant change in my life but I want to move on from there.

Our first Father's Day after Darrell died, I didn't go to church. The girls and I were out of town (Ross and Trace were with their dad) and I refused to acknowledge Father's Day. The girls and I acted like it was any other day but Father's Day. My sister-in-law, Darrell's sister, seemed horrified by my actions. But I told her I acknowledged Darrell every other day. It hurt to badly to acknowledge him that day.

I want to remember life with Darrell, not how I lost him.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Will Praise You In This Storm

I've said before that music has always been part of my life. Certain songs help me through different times. If The Valley Song was my theme song for when Darrell was in the hospital, I Will Praise You In This Storm was my theme song for the month of two after his death.

I was sure by now, that you would have reached down and wiped our tears away. Stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say Amen, and its still raining.

As the thunder rolls, I barely hear you whisper in through the rain "I'm with you"
And as your mercy falls, I raise hands and praise the God who gives and takes away.

I will praise you in this storm. I will lift my hands for you are who are no matter where I am. And every tear I cry, You hold in Your hands. You never left my side and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm.

I can assure you that as I sang this last sentence, I meant what I sang, but it was often through choking sobs.

My loss was great. I lost the love of my life but I look around me and see others who suffer too and some days I am overwhelmed by all the suffering. It's then that I need this song again, to remind me to praise Him, even in the storms.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


If I could offer any advice to married women, it would be to be prepared in the event that the unfathomable happens-- your husband dies. And by prepared, I mean financially. Planning how you will live after he's gone. Where your income will come from. How to handle the life insurance. No one likes to think about "what if" but the what ifs of life are very real.

After Darrell died I had a will made within weeks. I could hardly sleep at night thinking What If I died, what would happen to my children? Once the will was finished, I told Trace where it was and a basic run down of what it contained in case What If happened. At first he didn't want to listen but I made him. He needed to be prepared.

I received life insurance after Darrell died and it was a blessing and a curse. I had no idea what to do with it. But let me assure you that several financial planners did. I went through THREE financial planners and every single one of them tried to take advantage of me and my situation. And I lost thousands of dollars. If I had been even slightly prepared, I might have stopped some of the bleeding. If nothing else, I have some unbelievable stories for my book. No worries, there will be at least one chapter devoted to Vultures.

Trust me, financial planners weren't the only ones to take advantage of me. Accountants, insurance sales people, attorneys, banks. All I ever heard was how much they "wanted to help me," all the way to the bank that is. My Pollyanna trust in people has turned to cynicism. I realize people need to make a living, but not excessively at my own expense. Examples? How about the accountant who charged me $1000 to come up with a "budget" for my monthly expenses and the "budget" was never even completed? Or the same accountant who made multiple phone calls to my attorney about the trust income tax returns ultimately generating about a 3 page return with literally less than 10 lines filled in yet presented me with a $2000 bill? There's more, believe me there's more. It's sickening how much more.

And now I am at a cross roads, yet again and I would love to say more, but feel I shouldn't at this time. But I worry that it may be my financial ruin. It's times like this, and over the last 3 years, I that I needed Darrell to help me with these decisions but he wasn't there. But maybe he would have been, in some small part, if we had only been more prepared.