Love of my Life

Love of my Life
Happy moments... Praise God. Difficult moments... seek God. Quiet painful moments... Trust God. Every moment... Thank God.

December 26, 2010

Christmas Day - Community Outreach

As you might imagine, Christmas wasn't the same for the Morris family this year. We thought about how joyful the holidays of 2009 were as the family continued to celebrate Lindsey and Greg's engagement along with the rituals of the holidays.... Christmas Eve Service at church, my parents spending the night, brunch with our good friends Curt and Jo Marie Jones and their children and a big family Christmas dinner.

Our hearts continue to ache as we mourn the loss of Lindsey. I am reminded of a quote of C.S. Lewis, "The act of living is different all through. Her absence is like the sky, spread all over everything." I could not sleep Christmas Eve. Lindsey was on my mind.

Christmas traditions were altered this year. Those who were up to going to church, went... my parents spent the night, Santa arrived and we opened presents.However, the trees were not decorated, no stockings hung on the mantel. We surpassed on the annual brunch with the Jones family and the big family Christmas dinner. Instead of taking time to prepare our own family meal, we volunteered at Emanuel Community Center on Friday and Saturday. Friday we set-up, decorated and wrapped presents. Saturday we served a sit-down meal to approximately 300 people in the community. Todd in his tuxedo pants and white shirt, Hannah in something similar, taking orders, filling plates and serving others. It's the type of thing Lindsey was so good at... it came naturally for her.

During this time we are reminded of the Bible verse... "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." I'd add to this, blessed are those who learn self compassion during times of grief, for they shall go on to discover continued meaning in life. Death puts life into perspective.

Part of the self compassion for the females in the Morris/Jackson/Jenkins family will be a girls weekend get-away at the Lodge of the Four Seasons, the first weekend in January. We'll spend Saturday in the Spa and the rest of the time doing whatever we need to do to grant our self time to reflect. Part of the time will be spent mod-podging a memory table of our sweet Lindz. The boys will most likely take part in some indoor car race event.

As I close this update, I'd like to share a couple of notes from the book I'm reading:

* "Death ends a life, not a relationship"... by Jack Lemmon. This quote served as a good reminder for me to focus on the relationship I had with Lindsey.

* Borrowed Tears - You cry because your heart and soul are hurting and your emotions are tender. Your heart is broken now and anything that touches your heart even slightly may hurt. This statement explained why I'm finding myself more tearful than usual.... it's why the commercial about the dad telling the daughter to go change clothes makes me cry.

We hope our readers had a wonderful holiday with family and friends. Thank you for checking in.

December 21, 2010

We will never be the same....

We will never be the same...eventually we will be better, all because of Lindz. She lives on...

A friend shared this video with me... how cool. Thank you!

December 19, 2010

Understanding Your Grief

A good friend gave me a book and journal, "Understanding Your Grief. Ten essential touchstones for finding hope and healing your heart." I'm reading it, and have purchased a couple more books for family members. I love the way this book is written and how the author speaks to and addresses how I am personally feeling. It's compassionately written and is helping me understand the normal and necessary journey called grief.

While I'm learning a lot from this book, two things have stood out... the books definition of grief and mourning:

Grief: the constellation of internal thoughts and feelings we have when someone we love dies. Think of grief as the container. It holds all of your thoughts, feelings and images of your experience when you are bereaved.

Mourning: is when you take the grief you have on the inside and express it outside of yourself... or "Grief gone public" or "the outward expression of grief." Talking about the person who died, crying, expressing your thoughts and feelings through art or music, and celebrating special anniversary dates that held meaning for the person who died are just a few examples of mourning.

A major theme in the book is rooted in the importance of openly and honestly mourning life losses, in expressing your grief outside of yourself. Over time and with the support of others, to mourn is to heal.

"Sometimes when one person is missing the whole world seems depopulated." That's the feeling this morning....

December 14, 2010

Lessons from Lindz

People have asked if we intend to continue updating Lindsey's blog. Our first thought was no.... this was her blog. It was created by her initially, and then updated by family members to keep those who care about her informed. And, quite frankly, we thought it would be to difficult, emotionally, for us to continue with the updates.

As we reflect upon Lindsey's goals and desires to be a teacher, it seems there may be an opportunity for us to "teach" so to speak, or more appropriately, share what we're learning as we begin to understand our own grief. In addition, as we're reading through the hundreds of cards, occasionally we find an extra note, or comment that really touches our heart... one that we would like to share with others as it keeps Lindsey's legacy more alive. What follows is a note we received at Lindsey's Memorial Service, from a person we know, but don't know well. What wonderful insight and perspective she has on Lindsey's journey.

There are no words to express my sympathy in your loss of your beautiful Lindsey. So many times during her fight and since her passing she has been on my heart and in my mind. I can't help but think that she has reached her ultimate goal and she continues to teach daily. I imagine her with children sitting at her knee listening to all she has to offer them. It came to my mind that there could be a book written called "Lessons from Lindz". Lindsey not only taught us how to live, she taught us how to die to this world and live forever with our Savior. She further taught us to:

1 - Rant and rave, get over it and get on with it.

2 - Smile and put on a good front but share everything, the good and the bad with those we love.

3 - Love God with all we have to offer.

4 - Live by example.

5 - Fight for what is good and right.

6 - Play the hand we're dealt with style.

7 - Never give up or give in.

8 - Adapt, adapt, adapt.

9 - See the beauty all around us.

10 - Enjoy the simple things.

11 - Curse the Chiefs.

12 - Praise God.

13 - Love children.

The list could go on and on.

Vicki Foulk and family... thank you for sharing what Lindsey taught you. This is beautiful. These lessons will serve as a constant reminder to me personally everyday going forward.

December 06, 2010

Lindsey Marie Morris-Elwood 1985 - 2010 - Obituary -

Lindsey Marie Morris-Elwood 1985 - 2010 - Obituary -

Lindsey Marie Morris-Elwood, 25, known affectionately by friends and family as "Lindz," went to be with our Lord Jesus Christ on November 28, 2010. She passed peacefully at home after a courageous battle with brain cancer. Lindsey was born in Independence, MO and lived her entire life in the Lee's Summit, MO area.
Lindsey graduated from in Lee's Summit High School in 2004 and was a 2010 graduate of the University of Central Missouri where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree. Lindsey was employed by the HyVee in east Lee's Summit for the past eight years where she enjoyed her co-workers and especially her customers. Lindsey also enjoyed counseling the campers each summer at Lee's Summit Parks and Recreation's "Camp Summit." In addition, Lindsey was a substitute teacher for the Lee's Summit School district, spending many summers as a paraprofessional and numerous days in the classroom during the school year.
Lindsey's faith was her anchor throughout her life. She enjoyed all the activities in the church, especially youth groups and summer camps. She spent many summers as a counselor at the United Methodist's Wilderness Camp in Lawson, MO. She loved being with the children and teaching them about faith and being a good Christian. She taught through her words, but especially by her example.
Lindsey's battle with brain cancer began at the age of twelve, a battle she fought with enormous strength. Although she had some post-treatment physical and cognitive disabilities, she worked tirelessly to accomplish her goals. Lindsey was passionate about children and loved to teach. Lindsey was a kind, compassionate, and giving young woman who simply loved to love others, especially children.
Lindsey is survived by her husband, Gregory James Elwood; her parents Bob and Sandy Morris; brother, Todd and her sister, Hannah; her paternal grandparents, Dr. Jay and Mary Ann Morris; her maternal grandparents, Bill and Jan Jackson; as well as her aunts and uncles, Charles and Janet MacLeod; Mark and Joann Jackson, and Mike and Nancy Jenkins; her cousins, Brett Jackson, Megan Alberg, Erin Johnson, Kelsie and Cole Jenkins and C.J. MacLeod.
Lindsey's memorial service will be at 3pm, December 11, 2010 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 350 SW 150 Highway, Lee's Summit, MO. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Hope for Life, c/o Lindsey Marie Morris-Elwood, 1000 E. 50th St, KCMO 64110.
Fond memories and condolences for the family may be left at (Arr: D.W. Newcomer's Sons Floral Hills Chapel, 7000 Blue Ridge Blvd., KCMO 64133, 816-353-1218