Finding the courage to soldier on




Long over due blog post…..I’ve missed sharing with you all. So much has happened since I last wrote…..continued twists and turns through this cruel life.

We lost another one of Skylar’s friends to a sad and horrific tragedy last month. The call I received the morning of his death brought every single one of my emotions crashing in on me. Before I knew it my house was filled with her distraught and grieving friends. So much of it mirrored Skylar’s death, my heart  was shattered for all of them. There we sat on an early Sunday morning crying in my living room, just as we had 2 years prior. I looked around at these sad and shocked faces and silently asked God, “why…why this group again?!”  Haven’t they been through enough?”

I never got my answer of course. But I prayed…I prayed for all of them and I prayed for myself. I felt as if I was reliving my own nightmare. I selfishly struggled with attending his viewing, knowing it would create flashbacks that I wasn’t sure if I could handle just yet.  I entered that room and looked around and saw so many of the same faces that showed up and cried for Skylar and Sophie and I thought my heart could not possibly break anymore… I was wrong. Sweet Jesus, life is cruel, unforgiving and comes with zero guarantees. Thank you God for your forgiveness and your guarantee that there is more to life after death.

I’ve faced some criticism over the past 2.5 years because of my willingness to forgive and I won’t apologize for it. Who am I to not forgive when God forgives me daily?  Seems so cliche, I know…”I forgive because He first forgave me.”  I don’t need to post a bunch of Bible quotes to emphasize my point, but I think it is safe to say that Jesus is big on forgiveness.  If you have any faith at all, I would hope you could agree that we (human race) would be no where without the forgiveness and unconditional love from our Heavenly Father.  How could I possibly sit here and have faith that Skylar is in Heaven and yet refuse to free my heart from hatred and bitterness? This is my journey and for the bulk of it, it is a journey that I travel alone. Not for lack of having loved ones surround me but for the simple sad fact that it just IS a lonely journey. And on my journey I will do my best to focus on what God has waiting for me on the other side and my biggest encouragement is to see Sky’s smile, hear her laugh and feel her sweet loving arms around me.

I know that I travel this alone….but I’m also not naive enough not to realize that HOW  I choose to travel will ultimately affect those in my path; mainly my children. “Lead by example” they say…….I hope and pray that I am showing them the best way to their eternity. It may not be the easiest….but I think all of us who knew and loved these girls, learned a long time ago that life sure as hell isn’t easy.

Since I last wrote, we celebrated Skyar’s 19th birthday. If you’re reading this and you have lost a child then you know how significant birthdays are. I woke up the morning of March 25th feeling like the weight of the world was resting on my chest. I knew I had to get up and make the day count. As I have done for her last 2 birthdays, I spent the day with Lexy, so very bittersweet; wanting nothing more than to be able to put my arms around both of my beautiful girls, but knowing my reality was waiting for me at the cemetery. I bought balloons that morning and wondered if the check out girl had any idea that I was taking them to a grave.  It broke my heart as she asked me “does the birthday girl like yellow?”  I was too tired to say otherwise and just shook my head yes, inside my heart broke.

I hope my posts remind you to love a little harder, forgive a little quicker and be grateful for a loving Father that promises us a perfect eternity.


Thank you to all that supported Skylar’s fundraiser and birthday party last weekend ….. you warmed this mother’s heart.

On May 20th , 2015 we will award 2 graduating Bellbrook Seniors with scholarships in Skylar’s name.

We also have her 2nd Annual SKY IS THE LIMIT 5K planned for Sunday August 2nd — here is the link to register:


Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

2 corinthians 2:5-8 NIV

If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.


I love you more Skylar, Sophie, Julianna and John


5 thoughts on “Finding the courage to soldier on

  1. Kelli, thank you for these beautiful words and for helping us learn what forgiveness means. My heart, too has ached for you and our kids. I’m so grateful that you have supported them and surrounded them with love. This family has so much love for you and yours.

  2. This mom is so proud of you and that you continue to share with others. Skylar is proud of her mom. Love you my daughter! Mom ❤️

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