Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Son, We sure do miss you...







Saturday, December 13th. Philip would have turned 24 today. He was a Christmas crazy man. He loved Christmas and everything about it. He would have started decorating in July if anyone would have let him. Now that he is gone, we celebrate his birthday by going to the Christmas tree farm; we pick out cut down a tree, have some hot chocolate, take lots of pix. Malachi and Madison came over Friday to spend the week-end, Matt, Kacey and John-Philip came over on Saturday. We ate some "hot chili" and then were on our way.

It was a little cooler this year so we picked a tree a little faster than usual. We had a great time.
It was John-Philip's first year and that was fun for all of us. It meant so much to me to have Kacey and her family, and the twins. It made the day easier. There were tears, but there was much more laughter and wonderful memories shared and new memories made.

I got home and saw that Daniel, (Philip's best friend) had called. It means a lot to know that other people miss and love him too.

At home we decorated the tree and Malachi and Madison made oatmeal raisin cookies with Poppa. I rolled Madison's hair for the first time with sponge rollers and that was fun. We had a really great day.

I am so thankful to God for my family and the cherished memories of my beloved son Philip I thank God for the 20 years, 11 months and 6 days that I had him to love.































Wednesday, November 19, 2008

RESTORATION DAY

Some of you that read this blog know that today is the day my son, Philip passed away. November 19th of course will forever be a date that stops my heart for a moment, floods my eyes with tears, and fills my soul with much pain. First the day was referred to as "the anniversary of my son's death", then it was "the anniversary of Philip's home going". Neither of these titles fit any longer. For this week God has done something miraculous in my heart and my soul. November will and forever more be referred to as "Restoration Day".

satan (and yes I most certainly meant to put a little s) has stolen from me ENOUGH! I am no longer going to sit on the sidelines and watch as one after one of the people I love are destroyed by the enemy. It is time for Christians to wake up to the death and destruction that surround each of us, that has affected each of us in one way or another. It is no longer enough to: put them on the prayer chain, pray for them when they cross our mind, begin earnestly praying for them after they have gone so far that their life is utterly destroyed. No, I am not waiting, I am fighting. There is time for praying (which is always) and there is a time for Fighting and Praying!
My friend that time has come in my life.

Every November 19th from here on I will Celebrate! I will celebrate that Philip is with Jesus, and I will celebrate the souls that I have seen restored over the year! I will see Philip again soon, and I am taking with me his Dad, his sister Kacey, Matt and John-Philip, his Wife Rhonda and his Children Madison and Malachi. YES I AM!!! But that is not enough. I am taking his grandparents, his cousins, his friends, his aunts and his uncles. YES I AM!!!

I am not sitting back any longer. I am running out of time. My alarm has gone off, the wake-up call has been received. I have answered and I am on my way to work.

This is where you come in...PRAY FOR ME! I am not naive enough to think that it will be smooth sailing, but I know who my Captain is. I am working for One who speaks and the winds and waves obey his voice. As a matter of fact He made them.

This simple and heavily quoted verses says it all. This is what God is doing in my life.
"He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." Psalms 23:3
.
I want to tell as many as I can about the love of Jesus. I want to tell them about the great "Restorer", He can restore and He wants to restore lives. I am living proof.

People don't just wake up one day and say "you know, I think I am going to quit on God today, I don't want to serve Him, I don't trust Him, I am going to get as far into sin as I can and leave God and destroy my family. No it happens over time. It happens after a few hurts, some anger, some disappointment. But it happens...every day, it happens. I want to tell them and make them believe that they can be restored through the Great Restorer my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. These things could just as easily happen to me or to you. We make decisions everyday to serve God, to do right. I don't have to tell you how fast it can happen. If you have been around any length of time, you know it. Don't let it take death and destruction in your own family to realize the pain of those around you. I don't have the time to preach an entire sermon but you get the jist of it!

I have been earnestly praying for God's divine, perfect will for my life and this is where He has lead me. I don't know yet what all it entails. I am just taking one step at a time. I know I have a work to do. Call it a Ministry, a Work, whatever you want, I call it God's will for my life.
My dear friend Nina named the "Ministry". I told her the new name for November 19th, then I shared with her my heart, my burden, and my excitement to go after my family, friends, fellow Christians, and strangers. She said with a big smile Operation Restoration. So there it is my friends please pray for "Operation Restoration"!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Pictures

Malachi
Madison

Madison, John-Philip, and Malachi
They love their baby cousin
Well, it is getting a little more difficult to get the grandbabies to sit still for a pictures, but they are still adorable. I thought you guys would like the pix anyway. It was getting dark and we were getting ready to build a campfire and roast marshmallows. We had a wonderful time. It's hard to believe how big the twins are getting and how much John-Philip has already grown. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"To Grieving Mothers"

I don't want to by any means minimize the significance of "grieving fathers". I know that my husband grieves over Philip, I know that Kacey, his sister grieves, I know Rhonda his wife grieves. However, I only know how my grief feels, I only know my thoughts and my struggles, because they are mine. So if you are reading this and you have buried someone close to you, don't take this as minimizing your grief.

After talking to some friends who know other people who have recently and not so recently buried a child, God has really spoken to my heart about trying to reach out to them and others through this blog. After all, that is why I am writing these things and bearing my heart and soul to friends and to strangers. All of it is in hopes that someone else that is going through this horrific pain can be helped in some way by knowing that there are others who know how you feel and are willing to share.

Each time that I share this way two things happen. One: I re-visit the pain as if it were new. Secondly: God strengthens and blesses me. So it balances out alright.

As mothers we put a tremendous amount of pressure on ourselves and our expectations are most times way beyond our reach. Although our responsibility is great and I feel being a parent is a honor and a calling from God, we are still, after all...human.

We are going to fail as mothers, probably not as often as we feel like we do, but we do fail. I know people who really believe that they have done nothing to fail as a parent. They truly believe that they did everything right, and if asked they can even make a verse from scripture back them up. Trust me when you have "friends" like that around, pointing out your failures, the pressure is overwhelming. (I got a feeling this is going to be a long post, so just stick with me.) I feel however, that I need to finish this train of thought.

Have you ever had a "Godly friend" that everything "appears" to always work out for them? On the surface they did everything right, their kids are doing just what they are supposed to. Let me give you a news flash...everything is not always as it appears. When your faults as a parent are pointed out, it usually because your kid got caught. "if you would have done this or that your kids would have never gotten in to that sin" Guess what most, not all, and I mean that as sincere as I know how, most kids have done their share of the same sin, but didn't get caught. Before you think that is a horrible statement let me say. Praise be to God for those kids who did stay straight, who did have enough of God in them to do right. And yes, I totally believe it can be done. ABSOLUTELY! I have seen it and I pray for the young people in my life because I am for them and I know how bad satan wants to destroy them.

There is really not an easy way to say what I am trying to say. I just want you to realize that even well meaning people can hurt you deeply even after you have been devastated by the death of a child. We have enough guilt as mothers because our child died and there was nothing we could do to prevent it, the last thing we need is someone else pointing out our failures.

The "What if's" will absolutely destroy you if you let it. You want to hear some of mine? Okay, here goes...

What if I had called Philip back that night and told him I loved him one more time?
Why didn't I know how bad he was hurting, he was "MY SON"?
Why didn't I see what was going on?
Why didn't I go and be real spiritual and pray for him in front of him like I was doing at home, maybe if he heard me praying it would have made a difference.?
Why was I so hard on him?
HOW COULD I NOT HAVE KNOW, AFTER ALL HE WAS MY SON!!!

Yes, I know how haunting it is. I know that feeling in the pit of your stomach like someone kicked you, I know the shortness of breath because my heart is ripped apart. I know lying in bed not wanting to go to sleep, but then again not wanting to wake up. I know "Mom", I know, and so does God, He really does know our pain. Almost 3 years and as I am writing this I am about to stop for a few because I am weeping now, I can't breathe right and I just want to hold my beautiful boy and love on him, just one more time. I want to hear him laugh and tease me. I do know how you feel "Mom".

Here is another feeling and thought I have from time to time, I don't like it, but I'm just being honest. You look around and you know kids that have done the same thing. They have done it more, and for a longer period of time. Why do they get by with it, but my child didn't. Why do they get second, third, fourth, and so on chances. Why?

If you didn't read my earlier posts, my son died of a drug overdose. He had been in church from the time he was six years old, got saved at 12 years old, on Mother's Day. Volunteered at youth camp for six or seven summers in a row. Great kid, married, twin babies. His life fail apart, the pain was too much. Bad decisions, one after another. In a matter of 4-6 months his life as he knew it and dreamed of was over and so was his physical life. How quickly satan can destroy a life.

I feel like this is where I need to end this. Take you grief and your experience and in time through God's grace let Him show you how to help others and most importantly how to cherish what you still have. Don't push away your other children, your family, or your friends. Just cleave unto God and He will see you through this. Are you still going to cry? Oh, most certainly. Are you still going to have a huge hole in your heart? Yes. Are you still going to get angry because your child is gone? Most definitely. But, as with every experience in life we can use it to grow and get better or to wilt and get bitter.

Hang in there. Let's make it through this journey of grief together.
Love ya in the Lord
Lora McGee

A Giant Step toward Normality

This is Matt trying his best not to gloat at half-time
John-Philip with Poppa for his 1st Ala/GA game
poor baby had on Alabama shirt and Georgia socks!

I know that lately I have written things that seemed to be "normal", just everyday life for most folks, however, I feel the need to re-visit the original reason for this blog...GRIEF.

Yesterday I took a really big step toward "normality". Alabama Football! This time of year is really hard for me. This November will be three years since the death of my son. Yesterday for the first time I felt like it was okay to get back into the game. Since the day my son was born we watched Alabama Football together. There were only a few games that we didn't watch together. Those were the ones after he was married, but we still spoke to each other by phone and some point during the games. He was so funny, such a big, faithful, Alabama fan. He told Rhonda, "there are two things our kids don't get a choice in...going to church and being an Alabama fan. He was serious.

We were going in to the grocery store to get some food for the game. Kacey, Matt and JohnPhilip were coming over to watch the game. 90% of the customers had on their "Alabama" game day shirts. I felt myself getting in the spirit of it all, then there it was...No, not without Philip. As quickly as that thought came I just had this overwhelming feeling of Philip saying, "Okay Mom, it's time to get back in to the game...cheer for me." I know that sounds silly, but it was very special to me. Philip will always be in my heart, a part of my spirit, a part of who I am.

We had a great time watching the game with our daughter and her family. It wasn't as fun in the same kind of way as with Philip because Kacey is a Georgia fan. However, it was fun in the fact that we kicked their tails! Kacey was very quiet during the first half, and finally spoke to us the second half when her team got on the board.

So, no, nothing will never be the same, but in life what ever really is? I will always cherish my football memories with my son, but I will also cherish the new ones with the rest of my family; even if they are confused about which team to cheer for.

To the other parents who are grieving. You cherish those memories, share them, but don't forget to make new ones.





Thursday, September 11, 2008

John-Philip - Prayers Answered!



John-Philip just turned 4 months old. What a joy he is! The hole in the upper chamber of his heart is completely closed, and except for some acid reflux he is a healthy 15+ lb baby. Thanks to those of you who prayed for him. He is such a happy baby, a little rotten, but very happy. I was worried that he wouldn't smile because his dad doesn't smile (much). But you see in the picture that is not a problem. He smiles all the time. As soon as you catch his eyes and say something, he is smiling. Thank you Lord! Don't get me wrong my son-in-law is a sweet guy, he just don't smile a lot. It is not even because he is not happy, they are just not a "smiley family". Don't worry if Matt ever reads this I will not be in trouble, he knows. You should see what I do to make him smile when I am taking pictures. If I had someone taking a pix of me taking a pix of him it would be pretty funny.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Through the eyes of a child

Is it just me or is that some beautiful eyes?

Malachi and Madison came to spend the night with us and we had a blast. They are so much fun. Isn't it amazing how much more fun they are when they are your grandbabies. I guess that didn't sound too good did it? What I mean is you have reared yours and now you have more time to appreciate the grandkids. Oh well, if you are grandparents you know what I mean. There is just nothing like it.

So on with the story, morning came and we had breakfast and Poppa was getting to spend the whole day with them. I had to go to my shop and do some work. They weren't going to miss me because they had a day planned with Poppa. Playing on Booker's Fort and getting "tickled". They love it.

They were dressed and ready to go out. I was folding some towels just in my own little world..I thought. I heard them go outside, but I looked up and Malachi was just looking at me. I smiled and this is where it all began...

He walked over and gave me the biggest hug, and said I love you MeMe. I love you too Malachi, I love you so very much. I had really been struggling over the last week with some emotions but I hadn't shared them with anyone, especially my four year old grandson. Malachi is very sensitive and perceptive. If he feels something is wrong he will not leave you until he knows you are okay. So he said are you okay MeMe? Yes baby, I am. I am so glad that you are here Malachi, you know since your daddy had to go on to heaven I am so glad that he left you and Maddie here for me. It helps me so much. This entire time he is looking at me eye to eye with those beautiful blue eyes. Then, he reaches and hugs me again. He says, I don't know why God took him but I think he might be watching over us. I grabbed that baby and said "I know he is Malachi, I know he is."

With that all being said he followed me to the bath to put away the towels and when we got back to the living room he gave me a once over, hugged me again, and then said he would go on out to the "Fort" now.

I really believe sometimes God just lets him give me a hug from Philip. He is so much like him.
I can't imagine how much worse it would be without Malachi and Madison. I am so thankful that their Mom has stayed close to us. There is never a problem with getting the kids anytime we want them. They live 5 minutes away, another blessing. I am just so thankful for that, I think if it were any other way it would be unbearable. So hats off to good daughter-in-law's. We sure love you Rhonda!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Bookers!




Wow, I can't believe they are four. They are so precious. Grandbabies have to be the biggest joy in life. We had a small birthday party this year at "Josie's Place". It was fun, but we fooled around and let it get too dark for many pix. However, being me, I do have a few to show.

They got to have a hay-ride and ride the horse, and feed the horse apples, and tour the farm. It was a really nice time. Very different from the previous parties. The birthday babies and baby JohnPhilip all three came home with MeMe and Poppa after the party. First sleepover with all three. By the time we left the party it was 8:30, not much play time left but they didn't care. I felt very honored because it was too dark for them to open their gifts but they sent them home with mom and they came with us anyway. We took them by to see their great-grandmother (Granny Slatton), they got a card with $5. They kept saying "Wow, a dollar", we tried to explain the difference, but they really didn't care they were just wide open playing, laughing, celebrating being FOUR years old!

I always tell Jimmy we better savor every moment because before we know it they will be too busy for MeMe and Poppa.

If you haven't figured it out yet...I'm crazy about my grandbabies.

So, we made it through and it was a little easier than last year. I suppose that it will get a little easier every time, but, as always we sure missed their Daddy being there to celebrate with us.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

His "Babies" turn Four years old Tomorrow

Madison and Malachi turn four years old tomorrow. The only birthday they got to have their daddy was their "First Birthday". The second birthday was just "weird", I went through the motions, but I think it was just strange for everybody. The third got a little better we had a big party at "Booker's Fort", that is the huge two-story fort their Poppa and I built for them last summer in our back yard. We did the cowboy-cowgirl theme and it was a blast. Poppa took them on a somewhat modern day hayride which meant his 16' trailer being pulled by the suburban.

I actually caught myself more than once looking for Philip. I know that sounds really weird. It's just that sometimes life feels normal for a minute, a minute when you're not hurting, and the natural thing is to turn to share something with that loved one that has always been there but isn't any more. To just watch them, to look for the joy in their face, just to watch and take it all to heart. That is something we do more when we're older I think, as we watch our children and see whom they have become.

For a split second it seems so natural that that person should be there, and when that split second is over the heart just feels like it will burst...again.

Then there are times when I just stand still and feel as if I am outside looking in. Everything is in slow motion, I am looking around at all the people there but I can't find that one face in the crowd that I desire to see more than anyone else. The face is missing, but it's not just his face. I don't have the expectation of catching up with him later on in the party, it's not like he's just lost in the crowd...no he's just not here.

It's hard to explain if you've never been there, but if you have ever been there then you know exactly what I mean.

Grief is a very strange thing. Sometimes you understand it and feel like your progressing just the way you are supposed to; then sometimes you don't have a clue what to do with all those emotions. That knot in the bottom of your stomach is just big enough to let you know it's still there and then sometimes it is so huge you feel like everyone sees it.

I guess there will always be "triggers"---birthdays, holidays, special memories, songs, smells, foods, movies, books, the list goes on as do the memories. Thank you sweet Jesus for the beautiful, priceless memories! Those memories get me through the toughest times.

Signing out for tonight, getting ready to face tomorrow.

Lora McGee - just a Mom making my journey through this grief, but not alone, always with God close by and His Grace covering me all the way.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Journey Continues


Well, I thought I would start back on my blog. I originally started this to share about my "Journey through Grief", hoping to give others hope and to help myself deal with the (at times) overwhelming pain. So here goes.

Just when I think that I am past some things there they come again in hurricane force to assault me, to shake me to my core, to weaken me. It's unexpected most times and stronger than expected always.

I was getting back into my car and on the radio I heard a young girl giving her testimony about being at "Teen Challenge". Teen Challenge is a place about 25 miles north of Birmingham, Alabama, and about ten minutes from my home. They take young people and put them through a program for alcohol and drug rehabilitation. It is done with all emphasis put on God and His word. Our church supports them and a few of our preachers preach there on Wednesdays. I have a friend in our church whose son is in there now. Please pray for him he has been battling this a very long time. His name is Joseph.

So, whats the big deal, this is a good thing. I was only able to listen for a moment to her shaky, tear filled voice of remorse and then of victory through Jesus Christ. Though very happy for the young girl, I felt that old helpless, angry feeling come back. The same old questions that you would think would have been put to rest.

Why didn't someone tell me about Philip?
Why didn't those people that care so much about him realize how much trouble he was in?
Then the questions that always leave me drained and broken...

Why God, why couldn't you let him be a success story?
Why didn't you let me see what was happening? ( I am his Mother, I should have known)
Why did he have to hurt so bad that he turned to drugs?
Why do you let others go on for years and then get to turn their life around?
WHY? WHY? WHY?

I don't know whether or not this is the "norm" for a grieving parent, or if I am supposed to have settled this. Sometimes it seems very settled. Sometimes I am very "spiritual" and can say things like "God knew what was coming and this was best" or "God loved Philip more than me", and even go as far as to "Thank God we are not like some parents with their kids still missing, that would be horrible". But..you know what? A lot of days this is still "horrible". I still sometimes get sick at my stomach. Sometimes anger comes from another direction. Pain, missing him so badly, sometimes it just feels unbearable.

Then....inevitably I hear a plight so much worse than my own. I pray and I begin thanking God for the good things in my life. You know what I have found really helps? I begin thanking Him for what didn't happen. It's amazing how many of those there are. I feel like I have to do this over and over again just to continue to be a productive part of society.

I don't know, maybe it will never be settled only to a certain degree. I am human, I am a Mother and I had to bury one of the best parts of me and a very big part of who I am.

So I will go on, and I will serve and I will try to lead others to Christ, I will try to help other parents, I will warn them about the danger signs that I missed, I will do everything in my power to keep another kid from ending up like Philip, and I will do everything I can do to share others burdens and their griefs.

Just as I am sure I will do all of the above, I am just as sure that I am always going to miss my beautiful son, Philip. I would give anything just to hear his laugh, especially when he would get really tickled. He was so funny.

Though at times I seem defeated, I get a little weak, I get a little shaky...I WILL NOT QUIT ON THE LORD. I know I look like I might be a goner sometimes, but GOD is so good to me and He picks me right back up, and He puts my feet back on that solid rock and He reminds me that it is just a little while then everything will be GOOD!

So in closing, just remember, I will make it through this journey of grief, as you will also make it through whatever you're going through. It will all be by the Grace of God.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Okay Thanks Miss Nina... You could have skyped me and warned me about your latest blog game.

I have been tagged as a meme, which is funny because I am a MeMe, anyway here are the rules and who I am tagging:

1. Link to the person who tagged me
2. Mention the rules
3. Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself
4. Tag six other bloggers by linking to them
5. Go to each persons blog and let them know that they have been tagged.

Okie Dokie -here we go

1. I always cover my lap with my towel when I take my hair down after a bath. Weird huh.. but I really can't start doing my hair or make-up if I've dropped it. (security blanket). The one day that I left it laying and started without it I laid a curling iron on my leg. If my towel would have been there I would have got burned. Now!
2. When I fix a cup of ice to pour soda over I always rinse the ice first. It tastes better and don't fizz as much.
3. I start sweeping and get distracted by another project and leave the pile somewhere to the side or sometimes right in the middle of the floor. DRIVES MY HUSBAND CRAZY. There is probably a name for this, but I don't really want to know it.
4. I impulsively roll my eyes when someone says something...shall we say... ludicrous. I am working on it, especially in church.
5. I arrange my spices in alphabetical order. Come on, I bet some of you do that one.
6. Everytime I hear some story or something that gives me chills, I always point to my chill bumps. (My husband always points it out to me that I point it out.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

John-Philip - May 7, 2008



Update! John-Philip is at home and appears to be doing great! We are still waiting on some test results regarding a disease that I can neither spell or pronounce. However, we have not thought much about it or worried about it. It's in God's hands He knows all about it and whatever He decides is best He will equip us to deal with it. We go to the cardiologist on August 7th to find out if the hole in the upper chamber of his heart has closed. As of 2 weeks ago it hasn't. Then again, God knows.

He is growing, he is Rotten, and is eyes are hung in between green and brown. I am pulling for brown, but I guess we will see soon enough.

Kacey and Matt love being Mommy and Daddy, they are so cute. What a blessing!
Kacey was leaving my store yesterday and she asked if it was o'kay (not against the law) for him to leave in his car seat with just a diaper. The AC went out and she didn't want him to be too hot. It is so fun to watch her especially realizing how close we came to losing her.

John-Philip spent his first night with us a couple of weeks ago. It took her 30 minutes to give me instructions on what he was to wear after his bath and what to wear to church the next morning, and what lotion to use where, and "you do know mom, that if you do 3ozs, it is 1 -1/2 scoops of formula?" I just smiled and tried not to roll my eyes, I don't know how successful I was because she can read me like a book. She asked if she was being too protective, I said "no, your good." I didn't bother telling her that I would not have dared let her spend the night away at 1 month. I wasn't about to miss my night with my new little buddy.

The twins-Malachi and Madison adore their new little cousin. They just don't understand why he can't play on Booker's Fort yet. Madison holds him and watches television at the same time. He is kind of boring to her. Malachi on the other hand wants to feed him and kiss on him.
They are so adorable. I have yet to get good pictures of John-Philip and none of all three. Supposedly I am a photographer. Makes you wonder huh. I must really be busy to not have a 1000 pix already.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Counting My Blessings

How many times do we just count our blessings? I mean every single one we can think of; not often enough I am sure. This is going to be like a live blog. I am going to write all the blessings that pop into my head and I pray that through this you and I both will see how much we take for granted. So here goes:

1. I woke up this morning!
2. I climbed or rolled out of bed without any assistance from anyone else!
3. I had a bed to roll out of!
4. I went to the bathroom and had running water!
5. I had clean towels and clean clothes, due to the fact that I have a washer and dryer and I had detergent and SOFTENER!
6. I took a nice hot bath and had soap and shampoo and conditioner!
7. I had hot water because my water bill and power bill are paid because God blessed my husband with work in which to pay them!
8. While enjoying my hot bath I actually began to talk to the Creator of the Universe. WOW!
I begin to thank Him for some things and that's when He put it on my heart to "blog" this today.
9. With that same electricity I was able to blow dry my hair, straighten my hair, and see to put on my make-up. AIN'T GOD GOOD!
10. I then got dressed walked into my living room and sat down in a nice comfortable recliner that the Lord let me buy for my husband last father's day.
11. I leaned back threw an afghan over me, grabbed my Bible, grabbed my glasses, and then began to do my Daily Bible Reading. What a Blessing!!!
12. After my Bible reading, I cooked some breakfast for me and my husband.
13. Yes, my husband is a blessing. He loves God, he loves me, and he loves his family! What a blessing.
14. We are so blessed with food, that my husband and I are on the Adkins diet to try and lose some of that blessing.(ha!ha!)
15. My husband came in from doing one job and left in his "Suburban" to do another job.
Did you catch the double blessing? More than one job (he's a contractor) and a vehicle to drive there.
16. I left in my Mother's car since mine is blown up. Ah Ha, so you say. How is that a blessing... Your car is blown up. My Mom has loaned me her car. That is a blessing!

This all happened before 9:00 AM and there are probably, no I am sure there are things that I missed.

Oh yeah
17. My daughter called me and told me that she is praying about ...... I can't tell you what, but the point is MY DAUGHTER IS PRAYING!!! That was the biggest blessing today. If you only knew where we were with her just a little over a year ago, you would be shouting now too.

18. How could I overlook the computer? Everybody has a computer; it is a necessity in today's world. Isn't it? I don't think so, it is just another blessing that God has blessed me with, and I want to always use it for His honor and His glory.

I think now is a good time to tell you about the color coding. It's all about HIM and that is in red. Red, because it is because of the shedding of His precious blood that all things are possible. It is because of the blood that I am here today, that I have Hope, and that I have the strength to face everyday regardless of what a day brings!

I have just realized what time it is and that I could take this entire day and not even be able to cover the blessings of God! I am going to take a break to prepare my lesson for tonight. I teach 3 & 4 year olds at Kings Kids. Woops, there it is again...another blessing.

The Lord has blessed me with the opportunity to tell children every week that Jesus loves them. That's not all...two of them are my Grandchildren. How much better can it get?

Stay tuned, I will try and finish my list in a little while, but for now, just think about the blessings in your life. I dare you to try and number them. There are so many in-between the ones I listed that I dare say it would be impossible to list the goodness of GOD!

God bless you and I pray you have a wonderful day. If you are reading this and you do not know the God that I am bragging about please leave a comment. I would be more than honored to introduce you to Him.


Friday, May 9, 2008

MeMe Again


May 7, 2008 at 2:51 pm John-Philip was added to our family. Yes, of course he is beautiful. He was 3 weeks early and weighed in at 6lbs 14ozs and 18 3/4 inches long.

My daughter Kacey is a mom now! She ended up having to have a c-section. Never a dull moment during this pregnancy. She had some scary moments that we thought she was going to have a big seizure, (she has epilepsy)but there were a lot of prayers going up and she made it through. She does have an infection but is doing better. John-Philip is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. His respirations are irregular and fast. He has a small chance of having meningitis due to how long Kacey's water was broken before delivery.

She named the baby after her brother, so his first name is John-Philip. It was a happy day and also one of those missing Philip days. We were all here, Rhonda, Malachi and Madison, and we believe Philip got to peek down at his name sake.

I know this a rather dull blog considering I just became a MeMe again, but I've had just a few hours sleep since Tuesday morning. I will try to make the next one a little more interesting.
Lora

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Peeking down from Heaven!

Wednesday night after church Jimmy and I were working on Kacey's nursery after church. John-Philip is due anytime and we were trying to get things ready. Well it was almost midnight and Dad and Poppa had rolled up the tools and retired to the living room and Kacey and I were still "playing". One of her cousins had given her the white wooden letters to spell out John-Philip so I took them all out and set them above the window to see how they would look. They fit perfectly and were the finishing touch to the nursery as for as we were concerned. As we stood there looking at the letters JOHN PHILIP, we both began to tear up. I looked at my daughter and said, "you think?" Yeah, she said, I definitely think so. (you'll get this later) I hugged her and told her I loved her and we called it a night.

I remember thinking not long after Philip went to heaven, wonder if God would let him look down every now and then? The twins were in the back yard playing and I was thinking how much they are growing and learning. They do new things all the time. Some things they do are so funny and so special and just like their daddy. So I wondered if just maybe God said, "come over here son let me show you something." Just a theory.

Several times on several occasions I just can help but think that God does let Philip look. When I first said it to Rhonda (my daughter-in-law) we both stood there and cried, analyzed it for a moment then we agreed, I bet He does. I say it to my daughter a lot and we just agree on it. His dad and I say it to each other all the time. So that is our little thing now. We just look at each other and look toward heaven. Sometimes we laugh and say "you think he saw that?" Sometimes we cry and just look at each other and say "I HOPE he saw that." Sometimes there are no words we just know. It's funny because it is a Mom, Dad, Sister and Wife thing, we don't have to explain it we just all share that bond and that hope together.

It is so amazing how much someone is a part of you. You don't realize it until they are gone. You think you do, but not really. It is the little everyday things. The private and special things. There is just so much to miss when someone you love so deeply is not there anymore.

I remember Jimmy ragged Philip mercilessly about putting hair spray or gel in his hair. "You big sissy" he would say. Well Jimmy was getting ready for church one morning and had a new hair cut and he picked up my hair spray and sprayed his hair. I whipped around in my stool in front of the mirror and we both just burst out laughing and immediately tears were in our eyes at the same time. "Philip". Jimmy said you know he's having a good laugh right now. Since that time it was a stepping stone to help me convince him to lighten up and add a little gel to his naturally curly hair which works wonders. He finally admitted, "maybe I was a little hard on him."

There are so many funny things that happen that we just know he has to see or we know he would have loved to see.

Back to my theory.


I love the line from the the movie "Facing the Giants" where he says: "God is so big that He can do Whatever He wants to, Whenever He wants to, and However He wants to." When people think things are impossible or at the very least improbable I throw those lines at them.

I have always been kind of hard on people that seem so gullible, they just believe whatever they choose and are not realist. Well now I guess they could say that about me, but you know what that's o'kay too. To all you other grieving parents and loved ones I say this: If it's God were talking about...All things are possible with Him!!! As long as it is not contrary to the Word of God, I'm safe. So that is my justification for looking to the heavens quite often and saying "did ya see that Son?" Hey the Bible says if we're Christians we are supposed to be peculiar, huh?

Someone said that God probably wouldn't let anyone look down from heaven because it would make them too sad. I understand what they are saying and they may be right. Then again I think that once you're in heaven it will be all joy. The only time there will be tears in heaven is at the judgment seat. So, who knows? I'm sure there are some theologians out there that could probably come up with a pretty good answer, but I'm equally sure that there are probably not any theologians reading my blog. (Ha! Ha!) You know what else? Call me crazy but if believing God does let them peek, helps with the pain, and helps the emptiness more bearable, then...Crazy I am!

REMEMBER...We will make it through this "journey of grief"...
only by the Grace of God

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

All the Firsts...


There are so many firsts. You think they would all be over in the first year or maybe two. But there not. There is always a new first.

They all started immediately. We buried our Son the day before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving day we forced ourselves out of bed at about noon. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law were still in town but they did wake us, they just stayed quiet and very thoughtful. I'm sure they didn't know what to do, but they were great, they were just there and that was comforting. I really don't remember if I even thanked them. I hope I did. Philip's best friend Daniel came over and when I came out in my robe he made me get dressed, I guess he thought it would help me and if I was doing what I was supposed to do on Thanksgiving then maybe he could too. Neither of us did.


The first birthday without Philip was to be his 21st, just three weeks after he died. My daughter will be 21 on Saturday and yes about three weeks ago I was thinking...what if...? I quickly asked the Lord to please take those thoughts and those fears and He did.

The next biggie was my first birthday without my son calling me and bringing me the goofiest card he could find. He was very serious about picking out cards, he didn't just grab one, it had to be exactly right. (he got that from me)

Another first that really overwhelmed me was Mother's Day. I don't know why I didn't expect it, but I really thought I would be okay. I awoke to just an onslaught of grief that kept me in bed and out of church, weeping. I believe God understood that it was just a little much.

Jimmy had planned our usual dinner; rib-eye steaks, asparagus and baked potato. Kacey, Rhonda and the kids were coming. Jimmy wanted to call and cancel, but I really needed to see a part of Philip that day, so they came and it went well. Nobody really knew what to say, just the love and the hugs of the day made it all okay.

Then came Father's Day and I have to say Jimmy did better than me but his heart was breaking. It's one of those things where people say how many children do you have? Now you hesitate in your answer fight back the tears and begin with "I have a Son with Jesus" and then you go on. Looking at the twins and knowing they will never remember his laugh and his smile and no conscious memory of the one Father's day they had was very heart breaking. But we will always tell them how much he loved his babies.

Well you get through the obvious days that are gonna always be hard, and eventually you learn to adjust a little better than the time before and then here you go again.

Great firsts, great memories, but always bitter-sweet.

The first time the twins stood in front of church with their little class to sing "Jesus Loves Me", the first Bible verse they quoted, and loads and loads of firsts for the rest of their lives.

The Twins are 3 1/2 now. Malachi started playing "Rag Ball" (tee-ball). Everything is fine. Me is in the fence with the camera, great spot, great shots. The tears begin to flow. Philip should be here. He should be on the field with Malachi, showing him how to bat, how to catch, and high-fiving him at every play. I sometimes wonder...Does God maybe just let him peek down and get just a glimpse at these firsts? Who knows, maybe so.

It was a beautiful sunny day, blue skies, and a beautiful breeze, my grandson playing his first game. How could it get any better than that? Well, me waking up and this all being a horrible two-year nightmare we be a good start, but since that's not happening; this would be good.

It would be to know that Philip was standing right beside Jesus and saying, "look Jesus, that's my boy". People may say that is ridiculous but you know what...it makes me feel better and God can do whatever He wants to, whenever He wants to, and wherever He wants too. NOW!


So to you other parents that dare to believe what seems impossible to others; just go ahead and dream, you deserve a good dream!

REMEMBER...We will make it through this journey of grief...
only by the Grace of God!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

They Always Ask ....HOW?

I hate that question. It is a completely normal response when someone finds out that you have a child that died. However, I go through so many emotions each time it is asked. Each time,my heart breaks, the tears come, the defense mechanism kicks in, then, scrambling for a different answer. Always back to the truth...My Son died of a drug overdose. There, it's out. But, please let me explain I always say. You have to know. That is not who he was. He was so much more. But I'm his mother that is what people expect me to say.

Will I ever get passed the need to defend his honor, his name, who he really was? I don't think I will.

Why can't I just say "car wreck", "cancer"? Because it's not the truth. I even try to say "He died in his sleep", which he did. I have tried saying "his heart", which it was... in a sense.

There was this preacher friend that I see every year. He knew Philip from Summer Camp. Philip volunteered every year as a teenager and he loved it. When I saw Bro Darrell for the first time after Philip's death, I shared with him how I felt about telling people how my son died. I'll never forget what he told me as he wept with me. He held out his hands as to measure and said "This is Philip's life and it was a wonderful life, a great young man". Then he took his two fingers as to show a small part, and he said, "this is the part right before Philip died, don't take away that long beautiful part because of the little bad part." That really helped me, and still does. He suggested I say something like, "his heart stopped", which it did, but let me tell you what happened the first time I tried that. Not only am I a really honest person, but my timing is terrible. I had gone back to work at the hospital and I had a patient that I had gotten close to. She found out about Philip and asked the question, "how did he die?" Well, I hesitated a second then I said, "his heart stopped.". She was a doctor! That answer was so shallow. She asked one more question then I began to cry. I told her that wasn't really the truth. I told her the truth and then told her why I tried to avoid it. It ended up that she was a believer and she and I wept together and prayed together...(yeah, I probably broke all kinds of rules). That's okay the job didn't last long anyway. I was in no shape to work. I never noticed before Philip died that all my patients would ask about my children, I just always answered. Now when they would ask, I would always cry.

As always, when I write something on this blog, I learn something. It's amazing. I know that as painful as it is, I have to tell the truth. How else could I help another without honesty. And as painful as it is that truth opens the door to help in ways I couldn't imagine. So...I really don't have a choice.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Going to the Party Anyway


Saturday, we had a big birthday bash for my Mom's 84th birthday. Lots of preparations. We have a huge family. Sixty people showed up throughout the day, and most were there all at the same time. We set up the volleyball net. I picked a good spot to take some great individual and family photos for everyone. My sister and I put together a book real quick for my mom, for everyone to sign in and then I would later stick the photo in.

Then there it was...the overwhelming grief. That huge knot in my stomach, the fluttering heart, all too familiar feeling that comes out of seemingly nowhere. Family events, family photos, someone is missing. I don't want to go anymore. I know its awful to feel this way but it is the way I feel. Everybody there with their kids and grandkids, complete family photos. I actually was hoping I would get "whats going around" and have an excuse to stay home. Sometimes during these days you really just fake your way through and smile and pretend everything is just fine. It's kind of funny that even when you're faking it God comes through for you and actually turns your tears into real smiles, and if your not careful you might even laugh and have fun. Thank you Lord for putting enough in me to make this day special for my Mom.

I guess that is one of the hard things about grieving. It's private, but yet it seems like you really are not allowed to have that private time, because somebody else needs or wants a part of you. However, that could very well be a safety net that keeps you from just fading away.

Hang in there parents, we will make it through this "Journey of Grief".

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Special Days-Sad Days

Well, today is my birthday! It's my mother's birthday too so I can't feel too sorry for myself because I have to celebrate her birthday too. I had lots of phone calls, but not the funny one that I would always get first thing in the morning. Philip would always make me laugh but then always end with something sweet to make me feel special, I sure do miss that!

I guess there will always be that spot that can only be filled by the one who is not here.

As I was reading what I had just written I just realized something...My brother Ronny called me early this morning, and I did laugh, and it was good, it started the day off good.

Thanks God, I'm sorry I overlooked that. I guess there was someone else that wanted to make me laugh this morning. Thanks Bubba.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

ANGER!

I remember my sister made the comment that she thought I went through all the stages in the first hour. I think I did too. So this is good huh? Get through the stages, trust God...after all I am His, a child of the King and all... why not? Simple, then life can be "normal" again. What people don't tell you is that you go through the "stages", and you go through the "stages", and you keep going through the "stages". I think that no matter how much time passes, and no matter how strong you are, there will always be moments, maybe even days of visitation to the stage of anger. They get you when you least expect it. Like reaching for something at the grocery store and realizing I don't want to make that anymore, that was the way Philip liked it. I remember the first time I saw "lipton onion soup mix" , I broke down in wal-mart. Philip loved to make us hamburgers and add this. He was always trying to out do his dad's burgers.
You know, as broken-hearted as I was.. God knew...He did care. God sent a friend right around the corner, she just hugged me and held me for a few minutes in Wal-mart. God is good and I know that and it is in those moments when you know how real God is. I have found that if I try to remember God's goodness when I feel so empty and broken it sure seems to make it a little easier. To be honest though, sometimes the anger over-rules the truth that I know in my heart.

I am not a psychologist, but I am a mother and there is part of me that is always going to be mad that I don't have my son anymore. Here is some of what makes me mad:
I don't get to watch him be a father to Madison and Malachi. I don't get to see him loving Rhonda and throwing her over his shoulder like she was a bag of potatoes. I don't get to watch him tease Kacey endlessly and then make her laugh about it. I don't get to watch him wrestle with his dad or look down at him and remind him how much taller he is, but of course being 6'3" didn't stop 5'11" dad from taking him to the mat. I don't get my goofy birthday and mother's day cards. I don't get to call and hear his ridiculous voice mail that tricked me every time. I don't hear him laughing and making everyone around him laugh.


Having said all that let me tell you how I overcome til the next time. It's like salvation. I don't always feel saved. My husband would probably say "she don't always act saved." Nevertheless I know that I am saved. How I know goes back to trusting God! He cannot lie. He said in His word what I must do to be saved and what He would do. Romans 10:9,10. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. This is what I know to be true. Now as that applies to dealing with the death of my son is this: I KNOW that God loves Philip more than I do. I don't understand how, but I know it and I believe it. Therefore, God wanted what was best for him. When Philip trusted Jesus as his personal saviour, God became his guardian for lack of a better word. Philip had his free-will but God ultimately made the decisions. God decided that He couldn't let His child continue down the road he had just ventured onto and God decided it was better to Take Philip home. I KNOW and BELIEVE all I just told you, however, it doesn't make me like it the least bit better. I even tried to tell God there was a better way. Then I remember God spoke the world into existence, His ways and His thoughts are so much higher than mine. Again, I KNOW this.

You may have somebody that is oh so spiritual, but has never buried a child,tell you, " Well, just give it to God and don't take it back, it will be alright." Parent, don't beat yourself up by telling yourself, "I must not really trust or love God, because I still get angry. God knows you He knows how much you loved your child, He knows how big the hole in your heart is, and even though there will always be a hole there, God will also fill all around it with love and blessings that you don't expect.







Thursday, March 13, 2008

Minute by Minute

This journey through grief for me has taken a new turn. I am going back so that with the Lord's help I can help others through this horrible time. I am still going forward in my own private grief day by day, coping more, accepting more, and being covered more by God's grace and mercy. My hope for you who are reading this is that you too will understand a little more and experience a whole lot more of God's marvelous grace. In all honesty I must say...no I have not always felt this way, so don't feel guilty if you are a Christian but you don't feel like giving God the glory right now. Like every part of this journey that you are on, it takes time. I think that by you knowing that what you are experiencing is completely "normal" it may help you to take a step back and not be so hard on yourself, and who knows things may seem a little clearer.

For someone reading this who hasn't experienced this grief, my prayer for you is that first of all you never do experience this and then secondly that God will give you the grace and compassion you need to be there for your friend or loved one who is on this journey. Let me state for the record that those of us who are grieving parents do know that you mean well and we know that you want to help but don't know how sometimes. It's alright. Really. I guess the only "don't do" would be...don't say, "I know how you feel", if you don't. This blog is all about complete honesty, so let me say that, that statement is insulting. I will say that I have been blessed in that area. Most people say ,"I can't imagine how you feel." My response is always the same. "I hope and pray that you never do."

Now, having said all that... back to the grieving parents.

Everyone tells you "just take it one day at a time." That seems reasonable enough, to someone who hasn't buried their child. Let me just tell you my friends it is not one day at a time, it is one moment at a time. As a matter of fact it seems to be one second at a time. I remember thinking, after someone said that to me, "tomorrow, what about tonight when I have to go to sleep again?"
What about that huge knot in my stomach and that aching in my heart that is there as soon as I awake, after I finally cried myself to sleep.

I remember the night after my Son passed away. Basically everybody from my church came over after Sunday night service. I think I remember now everyone that came in. You know how it is. It is very hazy, it's like a dream, very foggy, and you are there but you don't really feel anything. Mainly numb, then pain, then numb again. But I remember sitting at my kitchen table with loved ones all around me, but I was looking for one particular person. I was looking for Sheila, because I knew she knew how I felt. I just wanted someone there to tell me what was happening and what was I going to do now. I looked and saw her coming down my hallway, and I got up almost running to her. Sheila's son had passed away a couple of years earlier. She just held me and wept. I remember asking her, "what do I do"?. She said Lora, you are not going to be able to think clearly, make decisions, you will feel confused all the time. That proved to be so true. You know, it helped me though. When I would feel like I couldn't complete a sentence or everything was just foggy. I would remember that, and I would think, "it's alright, I think this is normal". I soon realized that nothing would really ever be normal again.

My son was gone. How could people just go on with their lives like nothing had happened? Didn't they realize Philip is not here? My goodness, how dare everybody continue on with their lives. Mine is shattered. I remember going to the funeral home to display some pictures for the viewing. How could I put a lifetime of such a beautiful person into a few frames. How could they possibly know how much was missing from a few photos? I stopped back by the store to get some newspapers with the obituary in it. People were pumping gas, buying their sodas, just laughing. What was wrong with these people. Philip McGee just died! How dare they!

Here's the thing. They don't know. They can't understand. But, it's alright. God does understand. I remember saying, "why my son, God, why Philip?" Immediately it was like God spoke to my shattered heart and said..."why my Son?"

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Mom's Journey through Grief - (The Phone Call)

It was "Iron Bowl Saturday", for those who don't know or are not from the South, that is the Alabama/Auburn football game. The biggest rivalry in college Football in the South.

My Son Philip had been going through a lot of stuff. He was really struggling with the toughest of life issues and we had made a date for that Saturday. He and his sister Kacey would bring the twins Madison and Malachi (15 months old) over and we would watch the game and not think or talk about anything but good times.

I had everything for the "wings" today was going to determine once and for all who made the best wings..me or Philip. We all knew who would win, after all, did he forget who taught him? I talked to Kacey the night before making sure everything was still on . Philip yelled out in the background that he wanted me to make him some sausage balls as well. So I did.

I was really excited about the day with my kids. I wanted everything to be PERFECT! I was determined I wasn't going to nag about anything. I was just gonna be cool! Really, I was.

It was getting close to time for them to arrive and I was dying to call, but Dad says, "leave em alone, they'll be hear soon." He knew I was worried about Philip and today was so important for me, but you know how it is the husband is the practical one...don't call em, they'll be here.
"Little did he know I had already sneaked one call, but I didn't get an answer."

A few minutes later the phone rang...Philip's number! "Hello, Son,...Where.....? My greeting was cut short by the frantic sound of my daughter's voice. "Philip! It's Philip, I don't know whether he's dead or alive..." I was sure someone had kicked me in my stomach, nausea, dizziness, sounds from a tunnel I was hearing , but I couldn't speak. Finally finding my voice, "Kacey, what happened? What do you mean?. Is there a gun a knife what is it? "I don't know, the paramedics are here, they're still working on him.

Taking control, needing to calm my daughter, I begin to be a Mom, give instructions. "Kacey you stay put just find out what hospital and we will come there for you and then go to the hospital. We will be right there."

I ran from the house finding Jimmy outside, by then I was crying and shaking. "It's Philip something terrible has happened we have to get to his house. " We jumped into our car and I filled him in on the rest of what I knew.

I had managed to reach Kacey again, I asked her what happened and she said "pills". Pills? Drugs? What? The phone died, no more answers, no more signal. The fifteen minute drive seemed to last forever. I remember when I got signal again I called my pastor and told them what I thought. I thought that my son was on the way to the hospital for an overdose.

We came to the 4-way stop by the Fire Department and the F.D. was collecting money. It seemed as though they would never let us through.

Almost to Philip's house we passed an ambulance...no lights...not speeding...nothing. I began to shake horribly looking at my husband with desperation. He said "everything is gonna be alright, that doesn't mean anything. I was praying "God please don't take my Son, God, Please don't take my Son!.

We arrived at the house there were several cars, police, ambulance, and it seemed like a lot of people. I really don't remember.

We pulled down to the basement where Philip parked. There was yellow- crime scene tape - and a police officer outside the door. We hurried out of the car and up to the officer, I was going to get to see him before they left for the hospital. The cop put up his hand to stop us. "We're his parents."

You can't go in, he told us. I still don't know why this question, but I asked, "Is my son alive?"
The officer looked at me..."No Maam, he's not."

A loud blood curdling scream NOOOOOOOOOO...then I was on the ground, my husband trying to help me up. Who was this awful man telling me this, what is happening? My husband set me down in Philip's car and I remember the officer asking him if he wanted them to get me something. I knew what he meant. I told him not to ever say that to me. I remember I was so angry at that man, looking back I think he was probably a very nice man.

My husband walked back to the door, the officer tried to block him but my husband moved him out of the way and he went to our son. Now it would all be okay, he would find out the truth, and he would come tell me that we were headed to the hospital. I waited a few minutes, he came back out and he just grabbed me and began to weep. This was all wrong. In my heart I knew it would never be right again.

A Mom's Journey through Grief

To every Mom who has ever lost a child...and to every Mom who may have lost perspective of what really matters...

Two years and 3 months later I can honestly say: It is only by the Grace of God! Today it is easier, but...everyday it still hurts, everyday I still miss my Son Philip so very much, and to be perfectly honest...everyday I still get a little angry, but it is short-lived and God's abundant grace and mercy flow over me and take control. If not for HIM I know I wouldn't be here today with a sincere desire in my heart to help others who are grieving.

With that being said let me take the time to explain my current situation. First of all this "blog stuff" is all new to me so please bear with me as I try to journal the most tender parts of my heart in an attempt to allow my experiences to help you.

If you read my first and only blog you realize that I am presently in Portugal with my friends who have been called to the mission field. Therefore, I don't have the luxury of my personal laptop with me or much time for writing and posting while here in Portugal.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I hope the introduction was enough to intrigue or encourage you to stay tuned because I do plan on pursuing this more diligently when I am back in the United States. (Home Sweet Home)

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About Me

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Empire, Alabama, United States
I am happily married to Jimmy McGee, he is my best friend and the love of my life. I have two children. My son Philip who went on to be with the Lord in November 2005, at the age of (almost) 21 and left behind my precious daughter-in-law Rhonda and his twin babies Madison and Malachi who are so very precious to me. My beautiful daughter Kacey who will be 21 on April 26th. Kacey is happily married to Matt Henry and they are expecting their first child John-Philip at the end of May. These are the people most dear to me and make my world the wonderful place that it is! JUST ADDED! New grandson was born on May 7th John-Philip Ryne Henry!

Portugal Bound!

Portugal Bound!