Commotion dressed in COMFORTS clothing!

Rabbit Trails Inc. bunny7


“In the multitude of my anxieties within me, YOUR COMFORTS DELIGHT MY SOUL.” Psalms 94:19


Have you ever experienced a difficult situation that normally would ‘rock your boat,’   turn it upside down and leave you wading in the deep waters, filled with dismay, fear and angst?  This time though, when the hardship tries to overtake you, your boat is perfectly still, the waters are calm, the sun is shining…You have to pinch  yourself to make sure your awake….then it hits you…God Himself has rescued you before your familiar responses to the adversity you are facing,  present themselves. The calamity is still present, what has changed is your reaction and all the natural emotions that you expected to surface, did not materialize. Your in total amazement at the supernatural grace of God.


mailThe Lord does do this for us and I personally call them “Special delivery’s.” SPECIAL, because they are an ‘out of the ordinary,” wondrous gift  of God’s  grace. I wish this experience would happen each time trouble comes knocking on our door, but more often than I’d prefer,  my boat does gets rocked, sometimes I stay on  board, sometimes I flip with the boat, and cry out to the Lord and He brings me out of the water, ministering hope , peace, and His mighty strength, bringing me back to His perspective of the circumstance at hand.   I love this promise of comfort from God in Psalms 94, when things are not going as we had hoped,  expected or we are hit by one of life’s tumultuous  storms.  Life is full of stresses that cause us to be anxious, worrisome and tempt us to take matter into our own hands, instead of making the choice to depend upon the Lord,  and wait for the comforts He has in mind to minister  to our souls. Sometimes His peace alone is our comfort as no-thing can bring us the peace of Jesus, not even another person. Other times, He may chose to give us His peace accompanied by a tangible gift, to bring our lives a joy and comfort in the midst of a trying time…Its His choice and that is where I long to be all the time, letting Him choose for me and not trying to comfort myself.



Susan, Kit and our BIG BOY Grantham.

This story takes place at a time in my life when my husband was in a tremendous amount of emotional pain from a great loss… I felt so inadequate of how to make his pain go away or to console his heartache. I had prayed and asked God to comfort his hurt, but watching his pain broke my heart, thus, instead of persevering in the Lord, (and waiting and trusting in Jesus to comfort Kit,)  I decided to DO SOMETHING I thought would  bring him comfort as well as our household. All I can say is two things…Thank the Lord that He works all things together for our good and that He loves us unconditionally and is in the business of fixing the things we mess up…(OK I guess that is three things! ) :-OS


At this time, we were living in a little 2 bedroom home, on the back of my cousin Mikes, ample acres nestled in the beautiful countryside of the Carolinas. He and his family lived in an historic Antebellum home, (which we all called the “Big House,” ) that Kit Graham and I frequented often. :-OS One afternoon, the phone rang and as I saw Kit speaking to his younger sister, his countenance competently changed.  His father, Al, who livedapples10 in Arizona, had died. We both knew that he had been ill for some time, but even with that preparation and knowledge, a heart is never truly prepared to lose a father.   Kits dad was many wonderful things in his life, a mentor, confidante, fishing buddy , a hunting partner, an encourager, but most of all , he was his best friend. The joy on their two faces, when Kit asked his dad to be his best man at our wedding was an endearing sight I will never forget.   Al was a cowboy at heart, lived on many gorgeous acres of land in the mountains of Arizona, loved horses, his family and was an amazing father in law and great dad.  It was a very sad time in our lives.

The memorial service would be held in Arizona and both Kit and I had a knowing that he was to fly out to be with his family and I would stay home with Graham.

During the few days before Kit would be flying back to Arizona,   Mike and Ellie offered to take Kit and I to one of their favorite eateries, Percy and Willies, for lunch. Bless their hearts, they both loved Kit so much and desired to spend some quality time with him, to ask him about his father and how he was doing as well as if there was anything they could do for us.

loveconnection1As we drove into the parking lot of this popular restaurant, wouldn’t you know a pet adoption organization had set up it’s beckoning display of cuddly, animated, and lovable puppies.

Pulling on Kits arm, I asked him; “Please honey, can we just go over and  look at the puppies?

He smiled and said “Yes.”  (Perhaps with a little reluctancey in his voice, but he was already walking over to the grassy knoll.) :-OS

comfort7Seeing these little guys was beyond heartening…besides my comments of “Oh my goodness look at this one,” and “Oh Kit, this one is so adorable,” Kit already had his eye  on a chubby little Saint Bernard pup. I have to admit, he was by far, the cutest of the bunch and would grow up to be a gentle giant just like Grantham.  I was imagining the two of them, running through the yard, frolicking and playing together, their hair blowing in the wind…before my imagination got to wild, Kit kind of burst my bubble when he said;

“Susan, I think we need to really pray about this and go have lunch. We will make a decision and if we feel its a “yes” from the Lord , we will come back after eating and get the puppy.”

Being denied my “instant gratification,” accompanied by the possibility this cute little tyke would already be adopted when we came back, I hesitantly said, “Okay.”

comfort11Our lunch  with Mike and Ellie was eminently refreshing. The food was absolutely delicious and  I could seek how much it meant to Kit to have Mike and Ellie seek him out and ask him all kinds of questions  about his father, as well as express their heart felt condolences.  Mike and Ellie were both close to their fathers and had a great empathy for Kits loss. After sharing a decadent dessert, and one last cup of southern coffee, we headed back to the parking lot, (and the puppy adoption,) as Mike and Ellie drove home to be with the boys.

When Kit and I went back to look at the pups… Lo and behold, our little St Bernard was already adopted… my heart just sank. Why was I so head strong on having to get a puppy  that day? The day before, it was not even a thought in my mind. In hindsight, I know that I had this overwhelming notion that a puppy, (an iconic symbol of love and joy all wrapped up in one,)  would bring our household some lightness, hope and some added felicity to help bring healing to Kits aching heart.

Neither Kit nor myself had really stopped to pray about this decision..sure we sent up a few hopeful thoughts to God like “Please Lord let us have a puppy,” or “Lord this puppy would be perfect for Graham.”  (OK, I shot up those thoughts.) :-OS In all actuality, we could never say that Gods assurance of peace filled our hearts that it was a “YES”, in fact, Kit was ready to head back to the car, when suddenly, I found ANOTHER puppy that caught my eye. Don’t you know that my emotions were getting the best of me?  I was seeing the joy this little puppy was bestowing to us and I just assumed God was saying YES to our prayers. This captivating and winsome little creature came right over to me wagging her tale like crazy. She jumped up on my leg, summoning my heart to pick her up….she began kissing me, putting her head on my shoulder and everyone around me was saying, “She has just really taken to you two, you guys should adopt her.”

I looked at Kit and he was shaking his head as he  gave me a half way smile…We began talking back and forth of the pros and cons… then he said;

“OK  Susan, but this little puppy is your responsibility. Are you going to spend the time training her and taking care of her?”

Of course I said yes! (My belief factor being very high that she would bring wondrous  comfort to our household.) Now if that St Bernard had still been there, I bet Kit would have jumped on adopting that  brawny, manly little guy,  in a spit second. :-OS

adam200Griffin (yes, we named her immediately ,) was  already asleep , her head softly laying upon my shoulder as we drove home. she was an 8 week old yellow lab puppy with the biggest brown eyes you have ever seen. We made  a quick stop at the pet store to get some puppy food as well as Natures Miracle, (just in case she had any accidents.) A cleaning solution that got us through our training days with Graham. :-OS   I could hardly wait to introduce her to her new big brother. As we were driving on the country road that led to our home, Kit  reached over and rubbed Griffins forehead a few times and said how cute she was, as he reminded me; ” Now she really is YOUR dog,”


The first sign of a ‘red flag’ that perhaps we may have made a  mistake, was Grahams unpretentious,  “Oh my gosh, you have got to be kidding me,” reaction as he saw her. (I was still in the overcoming stage) so I didn’t allow it discourage me. :-OS

Graham upon seeing her and trying to decide if she was just visiting or was going to move in, barked continuously at her, growled, bared his teeth, turned away from her (and us) and pouted . Griffin on the other hand, tried to kiss him, played with his (non-wagging)  tail, jumped on his back and flirted profusely.(To no avail of course.)  When she saw he was not interested , she just moved on to other things, exploring her new home, eating a little lunch, checking out her crate and finally fell fast asleep. Graham was still pouting.

I helped Kit get packed for his trip and made our Sunday dinner…We were all feeling a little melancholy that evening. Kit and I because we hated to be apart and he knew going back to see his family would be both a comfort as well as  a difficult  time emotionally.  Graham was still offended that we would even think of bringing another dog into our lives. (He had always been Numero uno.)  :-OS   Little Griffin was on cloud nine…she would wake up from her naps, and instead of being playful and full of energy, (like new puppies are,) she was  serene, calm, docile and extraordinarily loving.  All she seem to want was to be held.

As we  got ready to leave for  the airport in Raleigh to see Kit off, Griffin was acting a bit strange…she was lethargic and eminently quiet. Kit and I both could feel in our spirits something was not right.  We loaded up our jeep, Griffin in her crate with Graham beside her on his tapestry bed . She slept the entire drive to  North Carolina. We prayed over her in the car, hugged each other and said our goodbyes to Kit and  headed back to the house.

griffinGriffin began to get worse… she did not want to be out of her crate, eat,  run or play. She paid no attention to Graham and when I  did take her out of her crate, she would just lay limp in my arms.

Kit called to say his flight was great and that he was with all of his family. I let him know how Griffin was doing and he reassured me he would be praying for her. (And Graham and I.)

By 9:00 PM Monday night, I called up to the “Big House,” to ask if Ellie knew of a good vet in town and shared about how Griffin was acting. Ellie wanted to see the puppy for herself and upon holding her, she agreed that Griffin was very sick. She called her vet but there was no answer, so I waited until the next day.


I am at my best when I am praised and admired!

Early the next morning I drove to the vet, Griffin in her crate and Graham in the front seat. We all went into the office and as we were waiting, Grahams mood picked up… I don’t know if it was because the others waiting for their appointments  fell in love with him and kept telling him how beautiful he was, or that he had an ingrained sense that Griffin was sick and his heart was beginning to care about her. (That was my hope.)

Upon Griffins examination and blood work, the vet’s face revealed her diagnosis, before he spoke the words out loud.  A disease I had never heard before, Griffin had the Parvovirus. He said he did not expect her to live through the night, barring a miracle, as this disease, especially  in puppies was fatal. He said she needed to be kept over night so he could put her on an IV and then administered the vaccine to Graham as Parvo was highly contagious.


Graham and I  got back in the car to go home  and I felt nauseous… This new little bundle of joy was sick with a highly contagious and fatal virus and may die. My predominate thought was clothed in fear…What if Graham has the disease as well? Just the thought of losing our precious Grantham had me in tears.     Never in a million years had I thought about this possibility when we adopted our new puppy…It was then I wished that I knew for sure, adopting this puppy was the will of God and that we had heard a great big ‘YES’ from Him, the day we brought her home, as my heart was filled with a gripping angst.  As we drove back to the house, Graham kept looking for Griffin in disbelief that she was not coming home with us.

Now, if there was one thing I was sure of, it was God is in the business of MIRACLES…I called Tina and our friends in Milford, Mike and Ellie and everyone I could think of to pray for this little, sweet puppy as well as Graham…The Lord gave me such a peace and my heart embodied a hope.

Graham slept with me that night, continuously looking for Griffin…



Th vets office called the next morning for me to come in…As Graham and I entered his examining room, he brought Griffin out and said; “I have never seen anything like this…it is truly a miracle. She is functioning 100% and the blood work is showing no signs of the  parvovirus left in her body. ”

Griffins eyes were beaming…she was full of energy, kissing me and wanting to go home. I thanked God for his graciousness and healing.  I was shocked when Graham put his head up on the exam table and kissed Griffin, but quickly turned his head, not wanting to get her hopes up, (that he cared.) :-OS

We drove home and everyone was elated to hear the good news that God had saved Griffins life.  Now my docile, serene and peaceful puppy was full of energy, running like crazy all over our home, she would not sit still. She no longer had the desire to cuddle and  trying to get her into her crate was a losing battle. I discovered that Griffin was a runner..meaning, when she pushed her way through the screen door, she was long  GONE. Living on acres of  land with a busy  highway on one side and the  undomesticated woodlands on the other,  her traveling adventures were limitless.  Graham and I would  go out together searching for her. (No she did not respond to my calls.) Upon finally finding her, I tried to secure the screen door, but she always found her way out acomfort15gain. This was a daily activity that was not pleasurable, nor comforting.  The next morning, before sunrise, she managed to get out through the door, (even though I thought this time it was positively secured.) I threw on my  bathrobe and grabbed some slippers and began our search and rescue attempts. :-OS Her choice of a morning run was the woods.There we were, tromping through the wet mud, (yes, we had a rainstorm the evening before,) calling out her name and trying to listen for any sound in the dark to tell us where she was … the farther we went into the woods, the darker is got…suddenly, not seeing a fallen tree stump, I tripped and fell on my face in a mud puddle. Graham just stood there looking at me as I began to complain out loud to the Lord… (Why do we always murmur to  Him when He has nothing to do with the little mishaps we get ourselves into?) Still searching, to  no avail, in tears and totally frustrated, I headed back to the house and there she was… wagging her tail, her feet covered in mud and looking at me as if to say ,”Hey, I have had a great invigorating time of exercise and would like my  breakfast now.” :-OS

Kit would call several times a day from Arizona…he shared how much God was ministering to him and his famiy and that the trip out was such a comfort for him as they all were sharing  stories and happy memories of their dad. He assured me he’d be home soon and would help with little Griffin. I had to smile as Kit spoke the words of how comforted he was, spending time with his family…God was already doing what I had asked and it certainly was not coming through our new furry addition. :-OS

That night, between Griffins barking, cries and  constant movement trying to get out of her crate , accompanied by Grahams sighs and discontent, I didn’t sleep…

doggieMy days were filled with thinking up creative ways to bring about a “love connection” between our two precious cargo’s… I took Grantham, (who was not a runner) outside without a leash and Griffin , I put on a very long leash. In hopes that they would play together, I threw them a ball,  gave them their play toys, an tried to implement positive thoughts within Grahams mind to PLEASE give her a chance.   It was just not happening. In bringing them inside , there was no peace within our little abode, unless Griffin was sleeping, which was not often as she truly had the energy, (all day long) of a person who had just consumed five double espresso shots! :-OS

Vito was near North Carolina on one of his ministry trips so he kindly offered to pick Kit up and bring him home from the airport… Graham and I were ecstatic to see them both…I could finally take a shower and have a half hour to myself while Vito and Kit did Griffin patrol. Graham could not get enough of Vito and Kits attention…finally he was feeling like a part of his home was back together.

Vito prayed for us, Griffin and Graham. (They were both fighting for his attention.)  We asked Vito if he felt we had made a mistake adopting her, (hoping he would ease my guilt,) and he would not say.  He just kept encouraging us to look for God in the midst of the circumstances going on.

After Vito left, Griffin got kennel cough…  Which meant that every night when we were all going to bed, ( her crate next to my side of the bed, and Grantham laying besides Kits,) and entering into that glorious moment of “I’m just about to fall asleep,” the loud coughing and hacking began, and it went on all night long.  Kit would get up and go out to the couch, but our little abode was so small, it didn’t really matter…it was keeping him up all night. We got her the liquid vaccine drops for her cough but were told it would take a while to heal.

Kit was unable to concentrate on his work during the day as he was so tired from all his sleepless nights.  We were beginning to get short with one another, Graham was still ignoring Griffin and our household was not happy.  The comfort I had so hoped and believed would come with this new little life, was not occurring.

After sitting down and assessing all the ‘positive verses negative affects’ going on since Griffin arrived,  Kit and I prayed and felt to call the woman at the adoption agency and tell her what was going on. She reassured us that Griffin would not be put down but would be adopted again and that “these things do happen.” We had asked Tina and family members in South Carolina if they wanted to take Griffin…they all did, but felt they could not, due to the animals they already had.  It was difficult at most, but  Kit and I both were in agreement that we needed to take her back to the agency .

I hadn’t realized how attached I had become to this rambunctious, mischievous :-OS and adorable little heart ached as I held her and said my goodbyes.  Graham and I stayed at the house as Kit took her back to her original home.

comfort18As I sat there on the couch, thinking about the last 11 days of our life, I was totally exhausted.  I felt very  blessed that Griffin was healthy, that God had healed her of parvovirus  and that He allowed us to be a part of that miracle.  I was also pleased that we were able to send her back with plenty of puppy food and a crate. I did believe God had a new family for her, one that was ready for her, that would love her with all their hearts and perhaps even have another dog that would take her in as a little sister.(As that was not gong to happen with Grantham.) :-OS

Mostly, I knew I owed  God, Kit  and Graham an apology. My desire to bring some joy and comfort to our-household was not at all what I had done. I had brought chaos, extra expenses,  sleepless nights, opened the door for Graham to get sick, and had turned his world upside down. I never thought it through that being “an only child,” and so closely knit to Kit and I, (the Three musketeers through our journey,) that Graham would feel vehemently threatened by a new addition to our family.  I believe if I had been still and patient, choosing to trust that God , in His way and time would bring our home and Kit, comfort in the loss of his dad, and listened for His answer about Griffin and not assumed, that I would have heard the Lord say; “No, this is not the right time.”

Being the gracious and loving Father that He is…everything worked out for our good… our home was back to normal and filled with peace.

graham102You know Grantham was elated as he thoroughly enjoyed being the king of his castle once again.

Kits heart was healing as God ministered to him in many ways…( God knew far more than I, how to meet Kits needs in the loss of his dad.)

I felt relieved of duty, able to work  on my writing without wondering what Griffin was doing or what she was up to. (Though I did miss holding her, cuddling together and her bright, voluminous brown eyes.) :-OS


Now, I  think twice before taking on something that I think would comfort my heart or the heart of someone I love who is in pain. I am making every effort to leave this job in the department it belongs in…The God department. :-OS I  still believe that often times the Lord gives us palpable things for our comfort and puppies are a great joy. (When we get a big ‘thumbs up’ from heaven.) :-OS

I will never forget one of the Lords tangible comforts in my life while my heart was  experiencing a great case of the “homesick blues.” My mom and best friend in life, moved with my father to South Carolina. Naturally, my mom and I thought I would be going with them…well, the Lord said no. He had blessed me with a promotion in my job in California and told me to stay. My mom and I were heartbroken to say goodbye…I was barely 19 years old and had never lived away from home.

One fall evening, a friend asked me to go to a dinner  party with her. Reluctantly I said yes, but was not looking forward to it as I was missing my mom so much. When we sat down at the beautifully set table the hostess began serving the main entree for the evening…I could not believe it…she hagriffin18d made the griffin5very meal that my mom made me every year for my birthday…my favorite dinner. Not only did it have all the exact ingredients my mom used, but it tasted just as if my mom were in that kitchen cooking that night. I could almost hear her endearing southern accent , speaking the words I’d remember forever… “Suzie, (only she could call me that,) :-OS we may not be together in person right now, but we will always be together in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.”  I know the Lord was smiling and my eyes welled up a few times at the graciousness of God to care about something so small  and bless me with a touch of my mom as we were each living on  separate coasts. To the Lord, His comforts are not measured by how significant they seem to others, He only cares that He is comforting the very need within our hearts as we are His precious kids.

I am finding as I grow older, (and am maturing in the Lord,) that I am thoroughly content in the comfort of His presence as He hides me under His wings of peace in my trials, giving me comfort through His songs of deliverance within my heart.  He is the God of all comfort and in His presence, we are comforted in a way no person or thing can match. I do enjoy His tangible comforts along the way as they take me right to His heart and I smile that He would do something so thoughtful for me. His loving kindness fills my heart  with gratitude…Tell me, how can fear, dismay and angst stand tall in the midst of a heart that is filled with indebtedness and thanksgiving?

Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah. Psalms 32: 6,7

Turn your speakers up and bask in the reminder that the Lord is YOUR comforter,  safe hiding place and your deliverer. ENJOY!


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Forever Yours , HOPE

Rabbit Trails INC.bunny7

FOREVER YOURS, HOPE.beautiful kat2

I will never forget the arduous day that changed my life forever. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, late in the month of June. I drove from Irvine California to Laguna Niguel to visit my folks just like I did a few times each week. I loved going to parents lovely home. Every time I’d open their front door, I would always get that same warm, gregarious feeling.allabaster2 I don’t know if it was because of all the heavenly and familiar aromas cooking and simmering in my mom’s kitchen, (her legendary shriharbormp creole with a ‘southern touch,’ savory brisket stewing together with red potatoes,carrots and onions or  her scrumptious, (secret sauce,)  spaghetti and mouthwatering, “seconds please,”  beef stroganoff.)  Perhaps it was the buoyant and content sounds of laughter, a favorite television show playing,  melodic music wafting from my fathers study upstairs or the voices of one of my 6 siblings, harbor10conversing over a cup of freshly brewed chicory coffee with my mom and dad. All I know is I always got so excited knowing I was going  to my ‘second home.’ I headed upstairs to see my mom as I knew she would be resting. merriment14 Her cozy, southern style, beautiful bedroom had become “the gathering place” for our family since she had been recovering from her illness. Being a southerner and a connoisseur of coastal, daunting yet thrilling, summer lightning storms, (  Southern California did not offer that amenity very often,) :)  she always  asked me to put her “Thunderstorm tape” in her boom box beside her bed …she played it over and over again, as it soothed her body and soul. :-OS ( Twenty-two years later, I find myself listening to that same tape, feeling its magical comfort  each time.)  :-OS Everyday, she looked like a radiant angel, in her pretty nightgown and matching robe, always smiling as she greeted us and asked us about our day… You see, my mom’s whole life was about her family and she was ALWAYS interested in every detail of our lives…each one of us could talk to her about ‘anything,’ and WE DID! :) Even our friends felt the same way!

My dad met me on the stair landing, where he stopped me and spoke the very words my heart had dreaded and feared the most.

“Susan, after your mom’s appointment today, her doctor told me that her cancer has returned and has spread throughout her body. He doesn’t expect her to live beyond six to eight weeks time, though they are going to run more tests.”

All of the hope, faith and confidence I had clung to that her cancer was  healed and gone, deserted  me. I felt as if the wind was knocked out from under my feet, and I truly  believe it was at that moment, that God Himself, filled me with His strength and grace. His arms were holding me on that stairway as I didn’t collapse or run out of the house, screaming in despair.  Without preparation, notice and totally unexpected, I was just told that the best friend I had ever had in my life was going to die. I was flooded with so many fearful and angst emotions. A deep sadness overcame me and I felt that a part of me inside was beginning to die as well. The HOPE was gone. I don’t remember what I said to her that day, (as she had not been told yet.)  I don’t even remember driving home…

merriment13My husband Kit held me close as I shared the news with him that evening. He tried so vehemently to comfort me in every way he knew how, but his loving arms and kind, compassionate, words could not penetrate the pain in my soul. Oh, the awful painI never knew a heart could hold something so massive.


The warm summer days passed. All I remember is  that I was merely functioning. Although brideI was a new bride and should have been feeling blissful joy, and pure felicity with Kit, the man that I had always dreamed of being married to, I felt lifeless. Going to visit my mom , with the knowledge that this time she was not going to recover, I felt empty, helpless, dismayed, fearful and my heart was overwhelmed with anguish, especially because she had not yet been told the full truth. ( Amongst my melange of multifarious emotions,  I TREASURED every moment spent with her, holding on so tightly to everything she said, her smile, touch, the scent of her favorite perfume that she wore everyday, (Carolina Herrera,) not wanting to miss out on even  one moment of the precious time we had left with her.)  I remember the afternoon I sat in my grandmother’s old rocker, caddy-cornered to my mom’s bed. She was sitting up that day, her animated, beautiful brown eyes filled with excitement as she spoke to me in her sweet southern accent about us returning to her home town in South Carolina the upcoming fall.

“Susan, won’t it be wonderful to visit Marion and see all of our cousins this autumn?harbor2 The fall leaves will be so beautiful with bursts of reds, amber and yellows, and the air will be harbor1so crisp and cold. Maybe we’ll get a few thunderstorms while we’re there?  We can drive down to Pawley’s Island and Murrel’s Inlet, see the Spanish moss on the huge old oak trees and eat as much fresh crab and shrimp from the inlet waters as we want.”

My heart was breaking inside as she spoke these words for I knew that this trip would never be. How I hid my pain from her that day, I will never know. (She knew me so well.)

I begged the Lord not to take my mom. I prayed like I had never prayed before for a miracle… (I believed with the faith of a child that God could do anything and I ached for Him to intervene in this paralyzing news my heart kept trying to reject.merriment1 The heaviness in my soul would not lift for somehow,  I knew in my heart, that this time, her cancer was not going to be healed, the way it was the year before or in the way we expected .  I had a knowing, deep down, that the Lord was going to take her home to be with Him and that would be her healing. At other times, when my mom was ill and I felt the fear that the Lord was going to take her home, (her cancer when it first  arrived, and the 90% blockage in the major artery to her heart), He would always assure my heart that it was not her time. This time, He was silent.

My visits to see my mom were much more frequent and more difficult, (yet in a  strange way, a bit  freeing,) now that my dad and the doctors had shared with her how progressively her cancer had returned, spreading throughout her body and that unless God gave us all a miracle, she was not going to live much longer. One of the hardest days of my life, yet now one of my most cherished, was the day my mom and I sat together on her bed talking.IMG_0272  With her captivating and warm smile, ( almost as if she was reliving time, 24 years earlier,)  she told me that she wanted me to have her grandmother’s Haviland rose china, because when I was a little girl, I admired and reveled in its beautiful roses, each time she took it out for special occasions. She cried as she shared how hard it was for her to know that she would never meet my children.merriment18 She and I had always talked about the day that Kit and I would have a little baby girl …’Kathryn Anne’, (named after her of course.)  :-OS She told me that she was so happy for me that God had brought Kit into my life, that he was a great man and that she  truly adored him, and knew I would always be taken care of. Lastly, we both acknowledged that God had given us a bond like no other and what a wondrous and special  blessing it was in both of our lives. Our tears at that moment were endless as we embraced and held each other, allowing our selves to feel the pain and fear of her death, our loss and having to say goodbye,  together.

One evening in the midst of all of the disquieting and daunting  pain and sorrow, Kit asked me to take a drive and get out for a little bit with him. (He is always so thoughtful.) We decided to drive down to Dana Point Harbor. (The place we met, courted, fell in love, and got married, so YOU KNOW it brought great comfort every time we visited it’s maritime charm .)  Upon arriving to this quaint port side community, we drove up to the marina . harbor5There before us were an abundance of admiral boats, tied up at the docks, bobbing up and down from the strong wind and choppy waters. The harbor was astir and alive with all of the summer visitors, bright lights and the sound of musical bands that often entertained during the summer season. I needed and longed for a quiet place where Kit and I could be alone. Kit drove further down the road, and we arrived to the jetty.  This long strand of jagged rocks with the ocean waves  calmly caressing their intricate banks, was perfect.  Kit and I were the only people sitting upon the serene and quiet quai that evening. It truly was the place my soul needed.harbor9 Kit held me so tight as we sat there in silence. It was a bit chilly with the  cool wind blowing off of the ocean,  but we did not care. Together with Kit, yet so terribly alone in my despondency, I looked out into the vast ocean, the grey, damp fog and the darkness. It was then, I cried out to God.


“I need you Lord so much! Please will you speak to my breaking heart.”

Loosing my mother, my dearest friend in life for 33 years was the hardest thing the Lord had ever asked my family or I  to walk through. harbor15 I was so frightened and terrified,  of what life would be like without her. Outside of Him and His power and grace, there was no way that I could go through letting her go. I absolutely, no matter how hard I tried to muster up the faith and BELIEVE we would all be OK without her,  could not surrender her to God.

As we continued to sit on the jetty looking out into the ocean, I saw two brilliant lights together out at sea, looking as if they were floating in mid air. They were the lights upon the main masts of two boats traveling side by side.two lights The darkness and fog hid their forms so that all I could see, were two shining lights nestled together. Suddenly, one of the lights disappeared. I found myself surprisingly impelled to look for the lost light. I searched everywhere to find it, but it was no where to be found. I only beheld the one light.  I felt a stabbing pain in my heart, as the lost light reminded me that soon, my mom would be gone and the ‘fearless duo’ and best friends we had always been throughout my entire life, would no longer exist. In this uncertain and capricious world, she would no longer be beside me to share my heart, laugh, cry and pray with. I would be without her presence for evermore. I became overwhelmed with a sense of devastation and fear, in an even greater amount than I had been feeling since my dad told me the news. I began to speak to the Lord again;

“Why God are you allowing me to feel this horrible pain as I am crying out to you? Where are you Lord? I felt chilled to the bone and so alone… It seemed like God was silent.

The fog began rolling in, becoming more dense.  As I looked out to sea, I could barely see any light at all as the heavy mist continued to thicken. I stopped searching for either light for awhile, very aware of my despairing emotions, until in a sudden moment, I looked up to my left and there to my surprise, adjoined to the shore line, were the two lights together again, beaming ever so brightly. merriment4It was at that moment that a peace, (I had not felt in weeks,) permeated my soul…  I Knew it was Gods presence and I felt the Lord begin to show me and minister to me in a way that changed everything…

This is what I believe He was speaking to my spirit;

” Susan, look. Now the two lights are together again, safely arriving to the shoreline. It was but for a SEASON that you did not see your light that you thought was lost out at sea. Like the fog, hiding from your sight the glowing light out in the ocean, the light was still there….you just could not see it… so it is with your mom’s parting.merriment5 Your mom is only switching places, she will still continue to live, only she will be with me in a new place. It will only be a season of time before you see her again. And Susan, oh what a glorious time of reunion the two of you will have together in heaven.”

With this new revelation, and the peace that had laid rest upon my soul,  my heart felt so much lighter. My spirit embraced a hope it had not known. I felt a new strength to face my days ahead, as hard as they may be. I thanked God over and over for ministering to me as He did, and enjoyed the  HOPE and peace that continued to fill my soul, praying it would never go away.

I  do not believe that it was a coincidence that Kit and I drove to the harbor that particular evening or that God used the ‘lights’ to set my heart free from it’s hopelessness.snomen 19 He knew that I could not bare to loose my closet friend, my mom. Gently, He showed me a new perspective, His perspective and through His mercy, power, grace and kindness, I was able to begin to let her go, with the knowledge that one day, she and I would be together again, and at that time, we would never have to say goodbye again.


It was but a few weeks later when we were all called to my parents home in Laguna Niguel. The day was August 14th, a Wednesday morning that will always be engraved upon my heart. The hospice nurse said that for all purposes, my mom should have died in the midnight hours, but she would not give up, and continued to fight for her life. It was not until the last of her seven children arrived to her bed side, and she had the opportunity to partake in her goodbyes, that she was free to “let us go.”  I remember when all  of us arrived that morning to the house, my father told us, that it was very important that  we each  let my mom know that it was OKAY for her to go. (She needed to hear those words.)   Because of the revelation and HOPE the Lord had given me that night at the harbor, I was ready and able to do just that, truly LET HER GO.

As she and I looked at each other, we both knew with confidence (and I spoke it as she could not) that our goodbye was but only for a season of time and not forever. I told her how much I loved her and would miss her beyond what my words could express, but for her, it would feel like only seconds when we’d all be together again…her yes smiled.  She took her last breath after the last of her seven children said their goodbyes. My father was holding her, and we, her devoted and adoring children, surrounded her as she was laying in her beautiful bed . What a wonderful gift that God gave us all to be with her, as well as with one another, as He took our beloved mother to be with Him.merriment6 She was no longer in pain or sick with cancer, but free and full of joy, already having a marvelous reunion with the Lord, her mother, her little girl,( my twin, Kathy,) her grand parents and all of her loved ones that had gone before her.


I will never forget how God rescued me that chilly summer night… His peace, loving words and the HOPE He bestowed upon my soul and spirit was undeniable.harbor6 His  Hope changed everything. The days were not easy, as grief never is, but there did come a day, I was free of the devastating pain, and instead of that heaviness and mourning, my  heart began to fill up once again with joy and happiness and a grateful heart that I was given such a beautiful gift and stupendous mother and friend  for 33 years of my life. I knew  in my spirit that she was not “gone”, she was alive, just in a different place.I think of her every day, always with a humongous smile or tears of joy, I miss her augustly, but I am assured and looking forward to that reunion day that God so graciously showed me. His wondrous gift of Hope…


Hope never fails…Hope changes everything…Hope is not a word, Hope is God and a very real gift to us, His kids.

***Be sure to check out the “<- older posts” below, to read more Rabbit Trails vignettes. A song that touched my heart, reminding me of MY MOMS LOVE! ENJOY!

 PHOTOGRAPHS: In scrolling over any photo or graphic, it will display where the picture  originated from.