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.

March 24, 2011

Lindsey's Light

Today I received the following email from a friend of Lindsey's. I asked her if she would allow me to post on Lindsey's blog. She approved. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I was deeply touched.


At Central Methodist, we have a magazine of the arts entitled Inscape. I found out last night I received the Thomas F. Dillingham Award for Non-fiction Prose. The reason I'm telling you this is because it's about Lindsey, and I wanted you to read it. Don't get me wrong, I feel honored for winning, but I didn't write to win for me. It's for her. So here it is.

Lindsey’s Light

Focus on that cross up there. “…and she was a beautiful young woman…” You’re stronger than this. “…her smile lit up a room…” Do. Not. Cry. Do. Not. Cry. “…she loved it when she used to visit camp…”

I lost it.

My attempt to maintain the typical stoic face I have when tragedy strikes failed miserably. Chaos filled my body, but I remained stable for my grief-stricken friends who surrounded me. Instead, I stared down at my shiny, black dress shoes.

Saturdays aren’t meant for wearing church clothes.

Drops of salty water burned as they streamed down my face and formed a puddle on my shaking hands. The pounding sound clogging my ears was not from my knees bouncing on the pews. But rather it was my throbbing heart, beating faster than a wolf’s when inches from its prey. The preacher’s words haunted my thoughts as they echoed throughout my brain… “She WAS…her smile LIT…she USED to visit…” Why did he keep using the past tense?

Lindsey Marie Morris. She was 25 years old. Stubborn and clever, Morris never looked like she’d lose a battle. Optimism sprouted from her inner core, and her face always had a smile. She didn’t frown often—only when the “damn Chiefs” would lose or a restaurant didn’t offer ice cream, her favorite food group.

She didn’t frown when the doctors told her she had a brain tumor at 13. Instead, she put her faith in God and encouraged others to do the same.

She didn’t frown when, after ten years of remission, doctors again told her she had a brain tumor.

She didn’t frown at her wedding, which was moved up several months because of her health, even though she knew her marriage to Greg, the love of her life, would be much shorter than she wanted or anticipated.

She didn’t frown when she organized and packed all of the supplies for her future classroom and later donated everything to a new teacher.

When she was still able to write in her own blog, she didn’t frown when she wrote, “Greg and I were supposed to have four kids, buy a house close to my parents, and grow old together.” Instead, she thanked God for answering so many of her prayers.

She didn’t frown when she came to camp for one evening last summer, knowing it would be her last visit.

She didn’t frown when she could no longer speak, especially to her family and close friends.

She didn’t frown when I fumbled with my words and barely hugged her on that stifling morning in late August, the last time I saw her living.

My eyes shift from the computer screen to a glowing picture on my left. The frown covering my face changes into a smile. She IS a beautiful woman. Her smile LIGHTS up my dorm room. She WILL BE VISITING camp this summer because she will be in my thoughts and heart.

A picture of Lindsey resides on my desk and allows me to never wonder if I imagined that grin.

My life is brighter because of the light of her smile.

It was nice to see the blog updated yesterday. I'd been checking everyday since last winter, so it became a habit. The past couple months I kept checking and hoping there would be a new post. I can't believe it's coincidence that I get the award the same day you update. Something little, but still makes me happy.

God Bless,


March 21, 2011

Four Month Update

It's been almost four months since the passing of our dear Lindsey. Even when you think you're prepared, we learn that you are not. We find ourselves now reliving the experiences of 2010, i.e, this was the day of the first accident, the day of the dismal news, etc. The family is learning first hand why the research says it will take at least a year to move through the grief. We try to focus on those days when Lindsey reconciled herself with the reality of the tumor and began instructing us on how to behave, what she wanted to happen once she was gone, and how she wanted to be remembered.

Our dear Lindsey. She made us all better. We grief, we hurt, and at the same time we are learning how to move forward through this time of grieving.

I have joined a support group at the Solace House. Even there I feel blessed. We had time with Lindsey so that she could tell us what she wanted, even down to planning her own memorial service. The other parents in my support group were not so fortunate. They lost their child suddenly. There was no time for either one to depart last words of endearment or to share last wishes.

We were blessed with time with Lindsey... to grant her items on her bucket list, to make sure she left this world knowing how much she was loved.

Lindsey had some requests of Greg after her passing, which he honored. I wanted to share a few. Lindsey asked that her engagement ring be given to Hannah along with a request that the diamonds from the engagement ring be placed in Hannah's future engagement or wedding ring, when and if that were to occur. Lindsey also wanted her wedding band to be buried with her. I will forever remember that day at the funeral home when Greg slipped the ring on her finger, for the 2nd time. Lindsey also asked to be buried in her wedding dress. I remember the day we shopped for dresses and Lindsey and I were discussing her wedding budget. Her response about the price of the dress... "Mom, I'm actually saving you money because you won't have to purchase something else for me to be laid to rest in. How many people actually wear their wedding dress twice?" Lindsey's "matter-of-fact" attitude about her situation caught many people by surprise... often times leaving them speechless. Lindsey also asked that no matter how sad we are, that we be happy on people's birthday's. It's their special day and it needs to be celebrated. If you knew Lindsey very well, you understand why this was so important to her. She loved birthdays, buying special gifts, getting just the right card, and she went out of her way with decorations. The picture is from Hannah's birthday. As you can see, Bob even forced a smile, just for Lindsey, on Hannah's special day. Lindsey would especially like the new personalized yoga mat Hannah received for her birthday - check out the picture... along with a personalized statement about Lindsey - "Make a Difference". (The photo is from Lindsey's wedding.)

While I've joined a support group, I'm also thinking about starting one up here locally. I'm giving it some thought...stay tuned for more information. I can tell you this....I won't be your normal support group.

How is the rest of the family doing? Bob is working like a mad-man... and he's sad and angry...he's reevaluating priorities. Todd and Hannah are adjusting. It's hardest when they come home. It's just not the same with Lindsey not here. It never will be... and probably never should be. We've honored Lindsey's request to have many pictures of her throughout the house.... and at times that makes it even harder. We miss that smile, her laugh, her touch. School serves as a diversion for Todd and Hannah... and Lindsey told them... don't stop, don't give up. Todd received great news in early March as he was accepted into MU's Sinclair School of Nursing. His program will start in the fall. This semester, Micro-biology has become his new best friend. We're so proud of him. His plan is obtain his undergraduate degree and then move on to specialize or get his Masters.

Between the fellow's program at TCU, soriety demands, and work, Hannah is staying very busy at school. The TCU Fellow's spent Spring break in New York getting some exposure to Investment Banking, The Stock Exchange, Bloomberg, etc. Between structured day activities and not so structured night-life, she came home exhausted and I believe ready to return to school.

It's been awhile since I posted anything. Thanks for checking in.