"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween -Switching out of "Pause"

"Michelle" made this in Honor of Ariel1

I woke up this morning and it was a instant Ariel moment. The tears came quick.
I checked my phone...No Call. No Text.
I then checked Facebook like I do a dozen times a day. I just want to feel her, I just want to touch her. I want to listen to her.
But as I got on Facebook the very first post was from "Scott" . This was Ariel's step brother. What he meant to be nice could have easily been taken out of context if the wrong person read it. It even hurt me to read it.
That wasn't the only message that I struggled with. There was another one farther down that I looked at and just had to laugh. I am not sure the intentions but there is another person who maximizes the relationship she had with Ariel. I do not trust her. She is untrustworthy though. I have never had to deal with people that perform like this so it is crazy to me. Wolves in sheep clothing. "Charlie" describes it best "Some people want to be part of what so many others were a part of that that is how they grieve, they make up a relationship that was never really there."
This person hardly even knew Ariel. It is just crazy. I do not trust her..or them.

I actually sent "Scott" a really nice message just explaining that his post could be taken wrong and may hurt some one. (I had prayed beforehand for God to give me the right words and to be loving.) That it actually hurt to see it because I was concerned it would hurt some one in the family. He was very receptive and responded, apologized and even took it off.  I thought that was really sweet. He didn't have to do that. He didn't have to even respond back to me but he did.

Today was Halloween. I love Halloween but I hate the last week of October.
  1. My mom went into coma at the end of October and never came out.
  2. My Grandma passed away the last week of October also. 
  3. And now Ariel. 
Totally emotional mess the month of October.
I didn't want to do anything after dropping the boys off at school but crawl back in bed. I wrestled with the idea and after looking at a million pictures of Ariel I decided I needed to be productive. I took a deep breath wiped my face dry and headed up to fold laundry and mop floors.

I had a table full of bills I have let go and a half dozen emails and messages that were requiring responses. No matter how long I want to pause life -it just doesn't work that way.

Kim was on my mind a lot today. I have been praying so hard for her. She is getting so much conflict from Ariel's dad about the lawsuit he is pursuing. She can hardly grieve because he calls her all the time about it. Kim wants Nothing to do with it. It is not right. And Kim is hurting from her loss and does not need that drama or that ugliness. It is amazing what money means to people. I think it is disgusting.
The unfortunate fact is they have came out with video that Ariel ran that red light. Yet He continues to pursue.
Please keep Kim in your prayers. For God to give her strength and peace. For God to give her wisdom to know how to react and respond properly to Ariel's dad.

Halloween. Austin stayed back and passed out candy at Maw Maw and Paw Paws while Andy and I took Alec Trick or Treating.
Alec loves being alone with dad and mom. He was in his glory! His costume cost me $3.50 at Goodwill!
I bought him a flannel shirt. He got more responses  and laughs from his costume than I can remember ever getting.
I love Halloween and enjoy dressing up to. We made the best of it but it seemed like there were less houses this year and it was a lot colder!

Snap Fitness 
Treadmill walk .5 mile
 Run 6.01 mile pace 8:00
Plyometrics legs

Please continue to pray for the family.
The funeral on Kim's side is PAID OFF!! Thank you to those who have helped our family to get this paid off.  Now we are working on getting a headstone. We have a family at our church that owns a company that does this and said they will give it to us at cost. Special THANKS to our friends that have generously gave Andy and I money to help with costs. We have over 500$ given to us that we will be putting towards the headstone now that the funeral is paid. (Kim's part is paid)!! God really has supplied.

I just want Ariel to have a Headstone. But it will not be until spring now because of the weather. But that is Ok. There have been so many blessings that have been birthed from this horrible tragedy. But that is another post!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Most people Quit before they ever get Started

NO POWER in Clarkston!! My day really started out bad. 
I pulled into work and noticed everything looked really dark in the buildings. 
I could barely open my car door the wind was so bad. And I should have taken that as a sign to just stay in my car had I known the confrontation I was about to collide into. 

I park my car on the other side of the entrance into my work to let parking spaces be available for clients. 

I park in front of a arthritis clinic. They actually have 2 home-aid signs in front of where I park that they have made themselves. They also have 2 handicap parking spots directly in front of their doors.
So I am heading into work feeling a little weary and this woman comes out and starts yelling at me. 
"Yes...." without much time to speak or RUN!
" Ahh, EXCUSE me? I park all the way on the other side of the building and walk half this building for other people to have a parking spot." 
"I am so sorry you think I do not care about elderly, you do NOT know me. Glitz does not have 1 reserved parking spot, and you have 4 directly in front of your building 2 of which you made yourself." 
And again she repeated herself interupting me AND speaking to me in front of her patients!
AND again, I apologized that she felt that way about me. Saying she did not know me and finally decided she was not a nice person and it didn't matter. 

There are some mean and miserable people out there. It is crazy how people can justify bad behavior. 
I have had my moments but to be purposefully  mean to some one I wouldn't do.

As I got into work I was greeted by glow in the dark smiles! I got to go back home, No power!
But before going home I asked "Ali" if we could change our 5pm coffee to a morning appointment. 

"Ali" and I met at Tim Hortons and had a really nice visit. I have always had a heart for youth. "Ali" is the same age as Ariel, 21. She is such a sweetheart. I usually do most of the listening. "Ali" is a great story teller and ALWAYS has a great story. She is a lot like Ariel in that way. But today she let me do a lot of the talking. She wanted to know how everything happened. It was a little easier to share but many of the details were so vivid it felt like that day all over again. It felt like it wasn't real to me again. It confused me but it was good to speak to "Ali" about it because she is so close to our family so she is like a "safe place."

I had a pretty good day. I had my moments and my moments "had" me but I was functional. 

I lead a group at church on Tuesday nights for Addiction which was butting up against my son's "upward ceremony."
I separated the two trying to make both of them but the Addiction group was very important to get to on time. "Jeremiah" was speaking about Ariel and me and how I never quit on her. It was such an honor. The tears streamed down my face in  his observance. 
He has been Ariels youth pastor and our good friend for over 7 years now. Ariel was 14 and very active in the youth group. We used to have small groups at our house and she played a very active role.
We never quit. It was because of Ariel and Brittany that Andy and I were so active. We wanted to be close to them. We wanted to be a influence in their lives. We wanted to be part of their lives. We did all nighters, we were camp counselors, we had over nighters at our house, we did devotionals, we prayed over those girls and NEVER NEVER quit on them.
Even having my own children I never quit. But you have to start FIRST.

This life is about people. Whether you are like the above woman and are abrasive and condemning or you want to be a positive influence  in someones life it takes ACTION. What kind of ACTION are you going to take???

Ariel and Brittany. So beautiful

Take ACTION. Get Started! Find someone you want to be a good influence to and work at that, be that, own that.
 If encouraging someone else make YOU a better person than why not get on board?!
You are constantly influencing someone whether you know it or not. I told this to Ariel about 6 months ago when I softly approached her about knowing the life she was hiding. 
" Everything you do affects someone else. When you think you are not hurting anyone that is a lie you tell yourself to go sleep easier. YOU ARE." I used an analogy. "Ariel, how would you feel if I told you Uncle Andy and I were getting divorced?" 
Ariel responded "Well I would be upset, it would hurt me." 
"Well Ariel, think about it, it isn't about anyone technically but HIM AND I but look how others would be affected!"
Influence is powerful. It means that while others are watching you and riding on your shirt tales you have the power to make and break others too!
But there is a sweetness that goes with the sacrifice that out weighs everything.
 I wouldn't take back one hour of sleep, one all nighter, one head ache or handicap or one heartbreak for the Memories I have. 
For the Relationship I had. 
For the Influence I had.
And I encourage you to try and do the same. If you want a blessing be a blessing. 
It is about people.

“The purpose of influence is to "speak up for those who have no influence." (Pr.31:8) It's not about you.” Rick Warren


Monday, October 29, 2012

Starting the morning off right!

Monday to do list:
  • Read God word. 
  • Get kids off to school and house picked back up
  • 8 am client I had to go in for ( special occasion)
  • Put a gift basket together for Ariels fundraiser from The Captains Club. I donated a basket with a bunch of services and some products to help raise money to pay for her Funeral costs.
  • 9 am coffee time with dear friend "Jill".
  • Sam's Club: Pick up refreshments for the Upward banquet at church. 
  • The Captians Club- drop off donation
  • GYM!! somewhere I Have GOT to get to the GYM!
  • Get house cleaned more. 
  • Alec Basketball practice
  • "Mo" and "Charlie" coming over for dinner
And I got it ALL done!!

I was covered by great people today. People that kept me focused and on my game. This is key."
Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." 1 Cor 15:33

I am so blessed for those people that spoke greatness into me today. "Jill" set my feet on in the right direction as she sat with me. She had the table set beautifully with homemade muffins, fresh fruit and coffee on the table. All of that filled me belly but also on the table sat the bible and the devotional "Jesus Calling".
"Jill" took the time and read the days devotional with me and together we read the scripture that went with it. It was perfect, It was all about the days plans! 

Ephesians 2:10
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them"

Hebrews 12:3
"For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds"

We are to linger in his presence for a while. Rein in out impulses to plunge into each days activities. Beginning each day alone with God is essential preparation for success. Our time in Gods presence prepares us for our day ahead. Only God knows what will happen to us each day. He has arranged the events of each day that we encounter. If we are not adequately equipped for the journey we will grow weary and lose heart. We can relax in God as he prepares us for action.

Your surroundings are your greatest influence. Be careful who you let enter into your circle. In order to achieve greatness you have to bond with greatness. You have to link with positive, encouraging and loving people. Be careful for friendships that are hurtful, draining, negative or toxic they are like a vacuum, they will suck the joy right out of you!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Balancing act. Pulling myself out of the Pit

Last night was a mess. I was a mess. My fears, my hurts, my confusion and  my demons got the best of me. I lay alone battling my thoughts. My mind tormented me and my wheels were spinning. I couldn't shut my mind off. I cried out in confusion and sadness. I thought I would never fall asleep.

I felt hands around my body. I lay limp and weak like a rag doll. My body was drained, there was nothing left in me. My mind had fought battle after battle till it finally shut down in exhausting.
Andy was carrying me now up another flight of stairs. I felt so bad for Andy. He doesn't know how to "Fix" me. As he carried me I just sunk deeper into his arms.

Luke 2:52 - And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
 Our bodies are made up of 4 components..Like legs on a chair.
Jesus grew in these 4 ways. This is how I have found I am at my healthiest is when I am balancing on these 4 legs. 
HE  GREW SPIRITUALLY - favor with God
HE GREW SOCIALLY - favor with man

Physically I have been way off my game. Running almost 50 miles a week your mind and body begin to rely on that. There is a certain amount of serotonin that your body releases and your mind relies on to function healthy. 
I knew I needed to run today. 

The wind was blowing leaves through the air leaving them dancing all around me.  It was beautiful. Dressed warm the cool October air left my cheeks chilled. I tucked my hands deep in my sleeves and let me legs lead me. My feet felt light as a feather and I instantly felt my body thanking me. My mind was slowly releasing the garbage it had been collecting the past few days. 

The weights were coming off. I heard myself talking to "Ariel". 
"Ariel I will fight. I will not let these demons own me." 
My thoughts were strong and concise. I am stronger than this. I am no good to anyone and I am my own biggest enemy when I let Satan hijack me. 
I thought of the things I would tell Ariel. 
"Ariel, You have to believe in yourself, You have to believe that God has plans for you and God knows what you are capable of." 
My legs started out steady and smooth. 
I thought of all the questions Ariel would ask me about working out and eating healthy. 
I gave her that above equation in the midst of a depression spell she was in back in the spring. 
And here I was thinking "Practice what you preach Aunt Nita."
And my legs began turning over faster. My cheeks started to warm up and my hands were peaking out of the sleeves of my shirt. 
"I am strong, I am powerful, I am not a quitter, I am a FIGHTER. I AM A FIGHTER!"
I am going to fight. I need you God. I need your strength, I need your promises, I need your deliverance from these hurts and discouragements and disappointments. I can do this..But only with you GOD. 

So here I am, crawling out of the pit. I have so many words that I have given Ariel that I have coming back at me. So many times I gave her Gods promises and his truths hoping she would seek him and trust him. Now here I am needing to do the same.

Pull your self out of the pit. Run your body and your mind through this grid:

Are you balanced? Where do you feel off balance? 

My eyes are still full of tears. Tears are good.  They flush out the heart and keep it from hardening. Today I put things in their proper compartments.  I got in the ring and fought. We are going to have to do this. Satan wants to steal our Joy, our Sanity, our Comfort, our Passions, our Confidence and so many other things he knows make us the best "us" we were meant to be. 
He gets us when we are wounded. He sees my heartache and is going to try to use it against me. But I am going to fight.

Distance: 7 miles
Pace: 8:25 


Saturday, October 27, 2012


Like I am not on the cusps of complete depression as it is.. I have to look at myself ever so often and deal with the visual of what stress does to the body.
Seriously, I work at a salon and desperately try to avoid looking at myself in the mirror. My skin has broke out - placing pimples in the middle of wrinkles is a cruel and evil joke. My grey hair has multiplied and I have skin that is just drooping off my bones. I look 10 years older. I don't even have a smile to try to manipulate the ugliness.


Mom and dad came home yesterday.
They stopped at my work and brought me a coffee from Tim Hortons.
I have not spoke to them since my big blow up at them and everyone that packed Ariel up last Friday. I am still deeply hurt.
It was an Ugly scene. I lost control and let 7 days of hurt and disappointments explode. I do not regret anything I said. I speak very open and honest. Sometimes people just push you and push you and know that you will just take it. But everyone has their limits. 
I am upset because it made me really loose trust in people. It made me not trust the people I have always trusted.
It is a reminder of who I am and who I am not.
But it is also I reminder that I am HIS. And that is my Place. That is my Value. That is all that matters and I have to not put people where God should always be.

Even Andy is constantly mad at me. He wants me to just snap out of it. He wants me to be something I am not capable of right now. He gets mad at me everyday. It hurts to have your husband hang up on you because you are not the person he wants or needs.
It had been 2 weeks and 1 day.... How can I be normal?? How can I be the person everyone wants me to be? My whole world has changed.
What happened to "Love is Patient Love is Kind"?

I do not know who I am right now. I just know this hurts and people are hurtful and I feel so alone.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Ariel Challenge.

I walk up stairs this afternoon to see Andy resting on the bed with Alec. Andy was trying to survive on 4 hours of sleep and Alec just wanted to hang out with his daddy.
Andy looked up at me and very calmly says "Mmm I just want my wife back."
I didn't really know what to say but Alec had no problem responding " Oh your talking about how moms personality has changed?!"
Out of the mouth of babes.

I do feel changed. I am different. I will never be the same.
But I am trusting God to put me back together again.

I met "Danielle" my running partner at Indian Springs. I am so thankful for her friendship. We agreed to run 5 miles and I asked if we could walk a couple more.
As we were coming to mile 4 a woman with a bright yellow jogger stroller was approaching us. She shouted me name and startled me. I knew right away who this beautiful stranger was. "Hillary". Though I have never met her I met her husband this week. He brought us dinner from Holly Hotel. I expressed my thankfulness, we chatted a few minutes and we even  invited her to run with us.
We finished our run and went into a fast stride walking it off. It felt good to walk and talk. It felt good to share my heart and not have to disguise it or protect it. "Danielle" loves me for me. I am not perfect, I am far far from it and I haven't ran her off yet! But lately I really have to protect my heart.

After leaving Indian Springs I stopped at Caribou Coffee and brought "Kim" a pumpkin latte. ("Kim" is Ariel mom, Andy's sister)  It is the small stuff that can make a bad day a little better.
I quickly left there to go get Andy a little something for his birthday coming up on the 1st of November.

I was on a tight schedule. I had a 12:00 lunch date appointment with "Charlies" dad and a 4 pm coffee date with "Mo", Ariel's best friend.

My day was packed solid with wonderful people so what happened?
How did I forget "Jeremiah and Maria" were coming over at 7? They showed up as I sat in a completely black house. Alone. I could see it in their eyes "Anita...Are You OK?" I quickly started turning on lights afraid they may have me committed.

And again God heard me.

Ariel's Challenge: It is often the small things that make a big difference. I have had the most thoughtful things showered on me and I challenge you to do the same. "Things" are not necessarily material. often it is a smile, a hug or a loving comment.
People have sent me a kind text message.
Brought over gifts with my favorite tea and Ariel's Scripture on plaques.
I have been taken to lunch and people who have never spoke to me have taken the time and courage to approach me. All in 1 day.
I encourage you to be someones Smile. Be a Ear, Give a Prayer, Take on the Challenge. I would love to hear about it!

I made a apple Pie...Thats one big piece! Apple pie is a good band aid

"Bear ye one anothers burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ" Gal 6:2

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Even the Sun still Shines

God always answers. His word says he hears our murmurings. My heart was crying out so loud this morning. It was just 10 hours ago.
One of the last conversaations that I had with Ariel went like this:
"Ariel, BREATH. Just breath. Just get to the next hour, then make it to the night and breath. One day at a time. Just Breath."

It sure is a different story when you have to follow your own advice. This morning I could hear my words... Only this time it wasn't me speaking them. It was Ariel  "Aunt Nita, Just BREATH."

As my emotions engulfed me and I didn't know what to do when my phone rang.
It was Aunt Lois. This is Andys Aunt from Chicago. This phone call came out of the blue in my blues.
She was was taking off guard by my weepy voice. She was trying to convince me to get out of the house. I knew she was right but I didn't know where to go. We chatted for a few minutes and I was treading water no longer feeling like I was drowning.
Almost directly after hanging up with "Aunt Lois" my phone chimes in again. This time it was "Jeremiah"
He text messaged me. "Jeremiah" and his wife "Maria" were Ariel's youth pastor and wife.  We are close to them and they are very broken up from this.
His words are encouraging and kind.
I sat on the couch with my bible on my lap and felt the waters calm all around me. God heard me. He heard me!
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
There is a great story that I was reminded of today when I felt God show himself through people. Check it out: God will you save me? 

I got ready like I promised "Aunt Lois" and headed out the door. I had a list of things that have been neglected and pushed to the side for a couple weeks now that needed to get done.
The sun was shining out. "Even the sun is shining Anita." I thought to myself.
As I drove out of the driveway I thought "Will I ever feel happiness again? "Will there be a genuine Smile I can share?"
 "Even the sun shines again."
Nothing stays the same. The seasons change, the days hold a new sky and the waters are never still.
So I thought " I will smile again."
"I will laugh again"
But not right now. And that is OK. This is a rough season but the sun will shine again.

The day was so beautiful it convinced me to see how the old legs would feel for a easy run. I needed to get them moving. The warm air is my element of comfort. It feels like I am being held in the arms of God. The warmth of the sun against my skin is soothing and peaceful.
After running a big race you have to give your body time to recover.

Your body recovers a whole lot different then your heart. 

Ariels Dad is looking for anyone he can SUE. It is disgusting. He went and got the car and is storing it for evidence. 
Ariel would just flip out if she saw what he is doing. He is putting all his money and time into trying to collect on her death. It is just disgusting. 
Him of ALL people. 
He didn't even pay child support.  He didn't even co sign for that car, Charlies DAD did!
UGH.. He contributed nothing but tears and heartache in that poor girls life. Ohh the tears I saw her cry. Yes, people deserve second chances but to do this??? People are so motivated by money and things. People invest more  work to collect things than they invest in people. 
I do not understand it. It is going to get ugly. He is looking for any loop hole he can find to get as much money as he can. 
He is putting all his money into a lawyer while there is no headstone on Ariel's grave. He is paying to tow the car and store it while there is still thousands of dollars still owed on her funeral bill. People are out doing Fundraiser to pay the cost and he is counting on all that money. Horrible simply horrible. ....Call me Mara.



Call me Mara

"Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, (which means bitter) for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me." (Ruth 1:20) 

I saw the beautiful woman in the school parking lot smiling. How can I smile? This morning there was no smiling. I have moments of smiling but I can't find the happiness. 

I sit here on the couch listening to the water drip in the sink and the birds chirp in the trees. The house hums in silence. I am left alone in my head. 
I am so scared. I am afraid of people. People are acting so crazy right now. People are acting up and acting out and not thinking of others. 
We all get so consumed with our hurts we often do not realize we hurt others in the process.

Ariel and I could in our hurt  look out and see people scurrying around acting dysfunctional in their pain. Their pain was just as relevant to them only it was based on feelings and insecurities and hurt people. 
I would try to get her to find compassion, patience and love.
But sometimes.. It is so hard. 

I am feeling quite alone. My bible lay next to me. Closed. It has been closed for almost 2 weeks now. 
God Forgive me.  

Please God Guide me. Pull me out of this pit. Settle my belly.

Calm my thoughts they feel like raging waters. My mind is a whirlwind and it is tossing me every where. I feel like I am out to sea and these waves of helplessness and loneliness are beating me. My thoughts are drowning me.... 

I hear the water drip..

Monday, October 22, 2012

Strength and Trust. I have issues with them BOTH!

"He giveth power to the faint: and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." Isaiah 40:29

God gave me this scripture today. I wake up so weak and lifeless. 
I am still in shock. I look at Ariel and I think I am just looking at photographs of her and that she is still here. 

I have moments of life. These are times I feel alive but many many more where I feel flat. Catatonic.
I ask myself  "What is strength?" 
"Anita, you are so strong." I hear others say.
"What does that mean? " I hear myself mumble. 

Strength can be a blessing and a cursing.
Strength can be mirage of what you want others to see but you are falling apart inside. 
Strength can run so deep you become brittle and breakable almost unfix-able.
Strength can lead you and Strength can confuse you.

I have always been told I am strong. I had to be strong. I had to toughen up in order to survive. There was no one on the sidelines going to save me. And there was no one sending me a life line. I learned at a young age it was up to me. 
25 years later this world will still kick your teeth in and it does. But now I can see where God was taking care of me through the chaos of a alcoholic home as a kid. It wasn't all on me like I thought.

So you are always told to "Trust God". But then like "Jill" says today how do you put all your trust in God when He takes part of your life away for no reason. If someone else did that would you trust them?? 

This is where strength has to come in. 
I am strong enough to get through this.
But I am weak enough to fall down on my knees and cry.
I am strong enough to see God shine through the darkest moments of my life. 
But I am weak enough to admit I need direction out of my pit of despair.
I am strong enough to hold someones hand in my hurt.
But I am to weak to ask someone to hold my hand in my hurt.
I am strong enough to to follow my own rules
But I am to weak allow myself to break them when need be.
 I am strong enough to appear strong and capable.
But I am to weak to feel insecure about sharing my character defects.

I used to talk to  Ariel all the time about being "Too Strong". I would say "Ariel, life will make you bitter or life will make you better." 
Life is going to deal you a crappy hand at some point of your life. But the only way to get through it is to GET THROUGH it. Is to feel it. To engage in it. To handle it and respond to it. But if we hide it, if we swallow it down or throw it under the rug  it was destroy you. It will own you. It will steal your joy and disillusion your perception of LIFE. 

Today I am strong enough to feel the pain. I hate it. I have had my fill of it and it seems so unfair. I am strong enough to remind myself that God is Not finished with me yet. That in my affliction God can use me and this. I pray God uses my tears and heartbreak to encourage someone else in their pain. 

Very sore. I walked 2 miles at the gym and went home. I spent the afternoon with Kim. She asked me to come over. We had a nice visit. 
 I have some concerns but then I have a lot of  "trust" issues. That is me. I do not Trust Anyone. I just don't.

Are you considered "Strong"?  How have you learned to cope with the loss of someone very dear to you??   

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Wind Beneath my WIngs: Detroit Freepress Marathon

The boys were in awe of the hotel we were staying at. We were at the MGM Grand. This was no "Comfort Inn" they were used to staying in. They just walked around looking in every corner and touching every gadget. It was hard for me to get excited. There was something broken in me. A crucial element that supplied life filled with  joy and it seemed to be malfunctioning.

I wasn't tired but made a valiant effort at trying to get some shut eye. I was awakened to Austin getting up and going to the bathroom about midnight. "Oh, no Austin." I cried to my 13 year old with his head in the toilet vomiting his Pizza Papalis dinner. Like a little man he has always made it to the bathroom or a bucket. Everything continued to spew from his mouth and there was nothing I could do but get him a cold rag and hunker down for a long night. It didn't matter sleep had seemed like a novelty.

I ran my fingers through Austins hair till he fell back asleep. I was wide awake with my thoughts in hyper-speed unable to disconnect my mind or close my eyes.
I was up till 2am.

We overslept!!!It was 5:45am and the race started at 7am.
It is good I am not a fortune teller or I would have crawled back in bed.
I felt terrible for Austin but there was NO way he could stay in the hotel for 4 hours alone.
I forgot a sports bra! I could have gotten away with band aids if I had them!
I forgot my Juice Plus chomps.
I forgot my Motrin.
And the topper...I flushed my Ipod down the toilet!! It was clipped to my capris and when I went to go to the bathroom it unclipped.  I felt a tug on my waist and saw the water suck it down the black hole.
No Music for over 3 hours of running. This really stinks. I really needed that music today. I was able to fish it out because the eaarbuds were tucked in my elastic wasit band but it was to late. I had a "Ariel play list" I was going to listen to and now I had nothing but my own septic thoughts.

Here we were "Team Harless" in our circle praying for protection and safety. This was a new running prayer. I really was praying for it to. I was uneasy about this run. I was concerned my body would fall apart when I needed it most. I have never been in the Med Tent and really had no desire to now or ever. I had been having a hard time breathing the last 10 days as well as eating, sleeping or any other affiliation I was going to need to run.

I decide to join a pace group. I liked the idea of someone pushing me and encouraging me and all I had to do was follow. I liked the idea of just moving my legs and someone directing me and keeping me on pace. I did a moderate pacer, a 3:40 pace group. "Clark" was our pacer. He was very slender and lean. He had the body of a junior high kid but I think he was in his 40's or 50's by the gray haired patches and the laugh lines around his eyes. He was soft spoken with a very soothing voice. "I think this is a good idea." I decided.

Our corral began to move towards the starting line. My cheeks were wet with tears and I was somber. I couldn't muster a smile no matter how hard I tried. I whimpered for the first 3 miles letting the tears gently roll down my cheeks. I couldn't fight them. So I just accepted it. Oh how I missed my Ariel. 9 days ago felt like yesterday I got that awful earth shattering, life altering news.

Then people started asking about my "Wings". So I told them about my sweet Ariel. I felt a spring in my step as I spoke of her. I decided with the words of one of the runners to embrace the 26.2 miles of pain. To let that pain challenge and fuel me to the finish line. That the pain of running would disguise the pain of heartache.
 I liked that idea.

At about mile 16 I was feeling pretty good and running into a good rhythm when I got a new spirit. As I ran I listened. I listened to the other runners in our pace group. I listened to their stories, their goals, and their concerns. It was in my listening that I found myself giving a shout out to the runners. I started owning their goals as my goals. I found myself wanting so bad for "Patrick" to PR and "Ericka" to qualify for Boston.   Even in my distress I  could feel the need to encourage others. The more I encouraged another runner the more I was able to discover another exit door for my sadness.

"Clark" was a Running Rock-star. This was his 49th marathon. His pacing consisted of encouragement, stories, listening and even sharing his pacer pole with the runners for fun. He offered advice about the course and tips on when to drink, take goo's and help cramps.

As we approached mile 19 "Clark" said that he liked to dedicate a mile to someone. He suggested we dedicate a mile to Ariel.  Mile 21 we decided because that was her age.
This was a great idea for me to have her to run towards.
To remind me of why I was running.

I could see "Mile 21" up on my right. I focused my eyes directly on it like it was Ariel. I felt strong. I felt capable. I reached my hand out like it was Ariel and touched the sign. Oh how I wish it was her.

5 miles to go. Some of our group was falling back. "Patrick" was doubting himself. I turned my head to him and yelled " Patrick, LOOK at my WINGS. Do NOT take your eyes off my Wings. Do NOT let them get out of your sight." And he responded quietly "Ok".

The group was still together when I felt myself pulling away from them at mile 23.
I thought of Ariel pulling three jobs. I thought of Ariel and I claimed her verse "I CAN do all things through CHRIST who strengthens ME."
I thought of Ariel as she was against the odds and fighting all of Hell to get through the next day or to do the right thing. I thought of Ariel and I dug my feet in deeper. I pulled my feeble shoulders back in confidence and decided to run this strong.

I came unto a guy that was running with us back at the beginning of the race. He was a comic. I enjoyed his company. He was struggling now. In between deep breaths we shared our stories briefly, enough to silently decide we would help one another for as long as we could. This was "Sam's" 60th marathon. I felt like a infant in comparison. He stayed with me till about mile 25 where he moved in on this guy about 30 feet ahead of us. I let him go but watched. As I watch him pull this extra gusto I heard a "OH NO" from the other guy and "Sam" started laughing. He was in hysterics laughing so hard.
It was a ARIEL moment.
I had no idea what was going on but I had a grin across my face at those 2 clowns. "Sam" was loosing his place he was cracking up so loud. Finally as I giggled I shouted out   "Seriously?! WHO laughs like this at mile 25?!!!"  Now all 3 of us were tickled.
Then "Sam" replies to the guy, "This is Anita, and she helped me catch back up to you!"  They were chuckling because they had a friendly competition going on that I was unaware of from the beginning of the race..
I  needed their contagious laughter.
".6 of a mile to go" I heard someone say.

Joy, Peace and Love. That is what I felt at that moment. I knew this is what Ariel would want me to feel. She would not want me to run this race solemn and sad.
I would finish STRONG and Powerful filled with Victory and Love. I had sweat out the demons and they were not welcomed back. Ariel was the WIND Beneath my WINGS. She was my focus and my drive.  Failure was NOT an OPTION. Quitting was no part of this EQUATION.

Picking up my pace I began passing people. I heard "Sam" yell at me now from behind "Run it In Anita."

And God Supplied me. God Strengthened me. He Protected me.

I heard my family on my left. This was the 4th time I had seen them on the course. "Team Harless" Rocks. "GO Mama, GO" I heard my children screaming.
"Yes, baby I will" I thought and kicked it up even faster. I heard the crowd begin to scream at me. People saw me passing others and their excitement built. It flooded me ears and I continued to pick up speed across the finisher mats.
DONE. Finished.

As the runners came across the mats, people came up to me thanking me. These people thought I was a pacer and were saying "Thank You's" for motivating them. Funny I had no idea.
"Clark" came up to me with encouragement. "Ericka" qualified for Boston and "Patrick" PR-ed and said "Thank you for your WINGS!"

 I found myself smiling. I WAS SMILING?! "Look Ariel, I am SMILING" I thought to myself.

Ariel was the Wind Beneath my Wings. I looked out and saw her. I ran towards her. I always believed in Ariel. Today I had to believe in myself and God to get me through just like she had to so many times.

I took my medal to Ariel's today and left it grave side. I love You Ariel.
Gun Time

TIME: 3:37:51
PACE: 8: 19

Special thanks to my incredible family. "Austin" was such a trooper. He really didn't want to miss my race and he didn't get sick again by the grace of God. I have a great bunch of boys. 

Thank you to "Deb". She left me a text that was uplifting and comforting. It really was sweet. 

Thank You to all those who have encouraged me the pass few days. It really is very restorative. I can feel God using people to patch me back together. Some of the stitches hurt but I know he will heal. 

How Have YOU thought of Ariel This WEEK??? What Ariel MOMENT have YOU HAD???

BTW I don't post everything to Facebook. If You want to get everything I encourage you to subscribe. It is really easy and only takes a couple minutes. You can set up a Google account which is the easiest. 

 This is my way of healing and some things are very transparent. I am not perfect. I am far far from good and I am writing my heart.
 "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" Jeremiah 17:9. 
Some things I am ashamed I feel. But it is how I heal (by writing). Please understand and give me some grace. 


Saturday, October 20, 2012

I saw Ariel Everywhere.

As I walk into the Detroit Freepress Marathon I am normally stoked. My heart flutters in anticipation and the more people that surround me only gets me more hyper. I normally love going up and down the isles shopping and laughing with the venders.
But this year I went through like I was at the grocery store. My heart didn't skip a beat, I struggled to smile, and I felt more like a zombie-emotionless.

Tomorrow I will run with Ariel. I am not sure how my body will perform. I am going to run hard for her. 
I am going to try to sleep. I woke up this morning at 4 am. You would think I would be exhausted but I can not turn my wheels off. I see my sweet Ariel everywhere. I hear her in a song, I saw her in a 50% off rack, I saw her in shirts the color purple and I laughed when I saw a big chicken and saw Ariel in a goofy photo!
But where I missed her was in a text or a phone call. She tried to shoot me a little message before my runs. I am going to miss that call of encouragement.

Here is a link if you have a Iphone. It is a free AP if you have a Iphone. The Ap lets you see exactly where I am at on the course if you want to track Ariel and I!
Praying for strength,stamina, and perseverance.

night, Anita

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Painful Ugly

I am so hurt. Angry. I hate who I am right now. I fight all of hell to prevent myself from turning into this person. I try so hard.
It is that pain..When the pain is so rancid seeping in your bones it begins to slowly destroy you. Only today it broke me almost instantly. It came hard. The pain came with a blow. I was helpless. I was useless. I was abandoned.
I pulled up to Ariel's house and began shuffling towards the front door. I felt instantly cautious. Insecure. I felt scared to walk in. I could feel ugly creeping up in me.
Ariel's roommates answered the door. As I walked in I felt ugly creeping farther through my body. I tried to swallow it down. I walked towards Ariel's bedroom and there they were gathered. Her room in cardboard boxes, The smell of packing tape sifted through the air. The walls were bare with nails hanging out of them. I stood in the doorway speechless. Crushed to dust. I couldn't breath.
I turned around slamming the door in disgust and rage.
I just turned UGLY. I just turned into the person I hide, I bury and  the person I hate. I just turned into rage anger and bitterness.
I walked out and felt weak and sick. My stomach was in knots and my flesh burning  in fiery. I saw red. I wanted to throw something, I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs. I wanted to break something hit something I just had no where to go.
Ariel was like my daughter and no one thought of me. No one thought I might want to be with her in her room for just a few minutes. THEY NEVER THOUGHT OF ME!!!!! My baby girl. My sweet sweet Angel. No one ever even thought of me.
But they sure thought of me when I realized they need my truck. That is what I was a vehicle to use.
Oh the Pain made my skin burn. 
"Dear God walk me off the ledge." I thought.
And words erupted from my mouth I never use. Emotions spewed like venom poisoning me and everyone around me.
So deeply hurt.
No one ever asked me if I would like to just sit there in her room.
No, but they sure got mad when I was there with Charlie a few days ago.
I am thankful for Charlie. Because he saw this before I did. He thought of me and asked me to go with him then. I didn't spend much time in her room, it was an agenda. Charlie was told to go there and get all her financial documents. He asked me to go with him and I knew not to be there long and don't touch anything because I was gonna be big trouble if I did.
They are so afraid someone is going to take something.
They are soo afraid someone is going to remove something that they couldn't see beyond themselves to see that other people were hurting to.
Poor Charlie wasn't even invited.
It is all packed up, in boxes. I am sick.
Ariel was like my daughter. I knew the personal of personal things. I felt her tears, I heard her cries, I ran her baths, I nursed her cold, I would stop my world at any time for her. And I did.
And I got "I didn't think about you."

Her Sorority sisters went to give a picture of Ariel and I couldn't even take it because they might think I "Took it".
What does a 21 year old have I would take??? Seriously? It is stuff and they are protecting it and hiding it like it is theirs: hurting people in the process. I don't get it.
I wanted a touch, I wanted a smell, I wanted to an opportunity. I WANTED A THOUGHT. I wanted to be more that a vehicle.
If Ariel could have seen what I saw she would have rolled over in her grave. This I know.
What am I going to do with out her? She saw this life the way I did.
This is probably why she had trust issues too. We were so much a like. One of the last things I said to her after sharing some incredible Ariel wisdom with me was this:

I never quit thinking about someone else. It is to a default I think of others. Even in my deepest hurt I am afraid for others and their pain.

I am Ugly right now. I already had ugly creeping up. Glenn Jr..Her dad..Decided he was going to get a couple lawyers and get a lawsuit going against MTA! He hasn't been a father to her in 15 years and didn't make any investment in her life others than tears, abuse, and heartache and now he is going to collect on her DEATH?!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?????

I am in a bad place. Someone talk me off the ledge. I hate who I just turned into.
I am not this person. It hurts.
This is why I have such terrible trust issues. I don't trust people.
 But God I trust you. Help me. Please God help me. Pull my out of this pit of ugly. Clean me and create in me a clean spirit. Remove this guttural angst. I wonder if I will ever find my way out of here? Out of the ugly.
Please help me.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

What a 10 year old hears in a tragedy. Alec


The day started out in a slumber. What did this day hold? If my day was defined by the current weather conditions I should just bury myself in the blankets and throw in the towel. The sky was dark grey and the wind as moving the clouds. The autumn leaves were no longer glistening they were wet and soggy like corn flakes left in a bowl.
Danielle and I decided to have coffee due to  the current weather conditions. It was just what the doctor ordered. I am so blessed to have such good friends.
I knew she really loved me when I looked at her watch and realized she let me hijack her for over an hour and a half! I could have talked about Ariel for hours. I not only came with stories I brought pictures! Such good therapy.

It seemed unfair that I had to live life. It didn't seem like I should have to go and run errands. I can  not imagine what would have happened to me if I did not have the boys to be responsible for. I remember when my mom died the world completely stopped for me for months. I did nothing for a very very long time.

I came home, turned up my music as loud as I could blasting David Crowder Band and grabbed my cleaning rags. From one room to the next I scrubbed the floors clean. On my hands and knees I methodically polished those floors.
The music was deafening. It blocked out all the voices in my head. It was so loud I couldn't hear myself think. I didn't want to think. It hurt so bad to think, to feel and to reminisce. But with each song I found such comfort. The music was healing. I have always loved music. It drives our emotions and echos the direction of our heart.

Sheba suddenly bounced up and ran downstairs. "Hmm, I wonder if she heard something." I thought. As I walked downstairs I saw mom out front. I walked out and was then greeted by Kim  also. She brought me a gift. So sweet. She brought me a plant. She knew how much that I wanted a plant. I don't have many requests and my requests are heartfelt and Kim knew that. I have 3 plants in my house and they are in remembrance of someone very special to me. Now I have 4 and this one is amazing "JUST" like Ariel!

It is crazy to watch God work miracles in the midst of tragedy. I never thought I would see the day "Kim" came to my house with gifts. God has softened the blow of this horrific family hardship by mending bridges  with love and forgiveness that only HE could do.

Pain will take you places you never thought you would go. It will hold you captive, preventing you from experiencing true joy. Pain will mess with your head and find a way for you to justify your actions associated with it. Pain will become your best friend and your worst enemy all the while destroying you and everything you are associated with. Pain is the catalyst for so many dysfunctional emotions.

But when you experience the pain, the hurt the disappointments of life you will have 2 roads: The one that will make you bitter or the one that will make you better. YOU CHOOSE!!

"Kim" shared sincere honesty with me the last couple days. I have not spoken to my sister in law in 2 years. When she asked me in tears on Tuesday morning for "Forgiveness" I new God was performing miracles.

When Alec came home from school he asked if he could go for a run with me. I really wanted to go on one of the paths that Ariel and I had taken. It had been a few years but it seemed like just yesterday.
As I was getting dressed I got into a bag Danielle had given me this morning, She gave me a gift with a new running outfit in it. I tried on the knew running skirt and it fit perfectly. 

We jumped in the car with Sheba and headed to Sorenson Park. They have a 5k trail.
I wanted to feel a little bit of Ariel. I wanted to see the places with went to and relive a moment.
The trail was beautiful with leaves covering the path and the sun shining through the trees. I loved the sound of the leaves beneath my shoes. I felt so free. I looked ahead of me and saw this 10 year old boy running with confidence. He was jumping over branches and snagging blades of grass in his little fingers. It reminded me of such innocent youthfulness.
After doing the loop twice by accident and getting lost we decided to just retrace our footsteps in hopes of keeping this run as simple as pie.

As we finished Alec sat down on the rock outside of the trail head. It was the same rock Ariel had posed for me over 5 years ago. I had to get a picture. As we walked to the car and headed home Alec says "Mom, I really love running with you. I want to do it again."  Then he said this and it broke my heart "Mom, Will you save that picture and post it on a board when I die." "Oh Alec, Stop that." I replied with a burdened heart. But he was serious, he continued to discuss his photo arrangements and then interrupted himself with a new idea.
"Mom, I want a verse."
"Alec what do you want your verse to say about you?"
"Being Strong."
"Well what about Ariels verse Phil 4:13"
"No, that is her verse, What is your verse mom?"
"Jeremiah 33:3 "‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
"Mommy what does that mean?"
"It means call out to God, seek him, he will answer you and will show you things that you never thought could happen, He will show you awesomeness, he will show you things you never thought you could see, achieve or be apart of."
"Mom, will you help find a verse?"
"Yes hunny, when we get home."

No matter how bad the pain or no matter how hard the obstacles of life are presented to us we have to learn to respond with intention. Intending to try our best, to find forgiveness, challenge ourselves to be better every day. Someone is being influenced by our behavior. There is a hidden audience watching you, defining you and often influenced by you.
Just like Alec. He saw this beautiful girl with all these beautiful pictures portraying her full of life and vitality. Enjoying everything she did. Alec wanted his moments to stand still in time for when his time came. He was reflecting Ariel's legacy, he was inspired by the things that made her Amazing.

Special thanks to the "Cusacks". They brought over a beautiful dinner from the Holly Hotel. I was so blessed I went upstairs crying. Austin must have heard as he shouts "MOM, WHY are you crying? Please don't cry!" "It is a good cry Austin, it is ok." I gently responded.

What songs help you or have helped you the past few days? I would like to add some to my Ariel Playlist. 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Last Words. Honoring Ariel

The procession stopped Clarkston. It was over a mile long!

Eulogy? Eulo..WHAT??? Like seriously what is that?? This word sounds sterile. EULOGY  is like one of those words that make things proper.
And there was nothing proper about any of this. It wasn't proper for a girl so full of life and influence to be ripped out from under us.
I was asked yesterday to speak for her at the funeral. I was so grateful. I wanted so badly to be a part of her. I was dying inside the last few days. I wanted to be a part of something. I kept thinking "How could I be so active in her life and so absence in her death?" "How God can I know so much about her, how can I have a life of memories with her and be in the shadow lands?"
But Kim called me and gave me the greatest honor of my life. I felt Gods healing hand at that very moment. God does know my Heart. God hears my Murmurings. God performed Miracles.

The people walked through The River shaken and scared. Afraid of closure, afraid of the pain and the hurt of losing someone so young and full of life. So many of us confused and in shock that we were at Ariel's funeral. We had appointments with her, dates with her and none of them were under these circumstances.  We were going to see her at work or at church, she was going to call us to hang out or we were going to just get together and catch up on things. But not this. This has done more than interrupt our plans - this has interrupted our lives...Forever.

I sat in the front row. I was not going into the shadow lands. Ariel would want me up front. She would want me close to her and I was going to be. And I needed  this last time to be next to her.
I held some scribbled notes of her awesomeness. Not enough words to describe her and not enough time:

I walked up shaking. I have never spoke in front of so many people in my life. The auditorium was packed. "Stay Strong Anita, Do this for her."

" Ariel was not JUST anything to any of us. She wasn't JUST a Daughter, She wasn't JUST a Sister, She wasn't JUST a Granddaughter, She wasn't just a Aunt, a Friend, a Cousin, a Coworker or a Girlfriend to any of us. She wasn't anything LESS than JUST AMAZING to all of us.

Philippians 4:13 "I can do ALL things through CHRIST who Strengthens me"
What does that mean? To many of us we seek words, mottoes or quotes to help define us. But to some of us we cling to Christ and his words, his promises and his truths.
Gods words are more powerful than the letters on paper. They are miraculous. We seek his words in life and they not only define us they create us. They heal us, give us courage and strength, purpose and vision.
SO it is no great surprise someone as amazing as Ariel would pick a life verse like..

Philippians 4:13 "I can do ALL things through CHRIST who Strengthens me"

From the moment Ariel was born into this world she came out a fighter. With lungs under developed she began to fight from her first breath.
And she FOUGHT.
She fought the awkwardness of life only to discover she was fearfully and wonderfully made.
She fought the crowds only to discover she could walk in her own direction and others would follow her.
She fought the pains and disappointments of this life only to discover they made her better.
She fought this WORLD and all the enticements it has to offer only to find pure JOY lies within herself and not within this world!

Her Strength came NOT from herself.  Ariel knew it came from something bigger than ever her. It came from God and his Truth and his Words.
That little verse decorated her bedroom and belongings. You could find it scribbled on scraps of paper and personal belongings reminding her daily to FIGHT.

This Little Verse made Ariel LARGER than LIFE.

IT Said 
"I AM ARIEL, I will work 3 jobs and put myself through college."
"I AM ARIEL, and you CANNOT love just a piece of me, you have to love ALL of me. My Good, My Bad, My Happiness, and my Sadness." 

When we close our eyes all we see is this contagious larger than life smile. 
And in the hundreds of pictures so many of us have collected it is not hard to feel her fun spirited joy.
Ariel was not camera shy. From cameras to phones to computers with a camera she felt so comfortable in the lens.

And in the lens of life she was bold and confident as well. We look through her life and see she made that difference.
The difference in other people lives.
We look through these collage of pictures and are reminded of a girl who was a leader. 
A girl of great strength and incredible leadership. 
A girl who was quirky and goofy. 
A girl you could find yourself laughing with only to wonder what it was that she got you laughing for! 
A girl who made the Salvation Army  cooler than Hollister or Abercrombie!
A girl who drew strength in the Comfort of a little verse, Phil 4:13.

And that strength created her as we can see in the quotes and words she wrote:
"Life Aint always beautiful
But the struggles make you stronger 
And the changes make you wise
And the happiness has its on way of taking its own sweet time"

"God has a reason for allowing things to happen. We may never understand his wisdom, but we simply have to trust his will."

"Worshiping, lots of homework, and my beautiful nieces 3 birthday party. Sundays are the best day of the week." 

":After this week...I'm more than ready for church tomorrow and time with my family for my nieces birthday party!

"Life isn't about finding yourself it is about creating yourself."

There was a time when little Ariel started growing up and growing out and away. And Andy and I were concerned for her. We missed her. We voiced our concern to her as we always did. And she responded desperately afraid we were MAD at her. She did not want us mad at her. We  Responded...
..Remember the people that MadeTime for you In their LIFE~ We love you~~~

The memories are so many. I remember going hiking in the woods and she had to smell good and look good all the time including our hike. She wondered why all the bugs were hunting her down only!
Or watching her compassion for children as she always loved on both my children and Aunt Becky's children from the time they were infants.
I laughed seeing Ariel in so many of our Thanksgiving pictures. Ariel would have her hands in the stuffing, helping me prepare the Turkey. And of course Ariel was always the first in line and the one you could never find to help with the dishes!
I love her loving for my children. She taught them so much. She would tuck them in bed and say their prayers with them. She had so much love for children.

In closing
I look out and see now how she made her choices and am so blessed by the love and support of the friends she chose.
I have read so many time the Quote " Live life to the fullest, And live a life without Regret."
I never knew what that meant. These last few weeks I have learned a lot. I have learned what that means.
It means like Ariel to live a life of intention. Live life fully, live life with greatness and live life with peace at the end of the day that you were the best YOU you could be, so you never have any regrets. That is what Ariel would want. And I want you to know her strength came from Phil 4:13. This verse was her. It defined her."

My Marathon is Sunday. Over the course of 5 days my body has been neglected and run down. I am running on fumes and still can not sleep. My diet has been enough to sustain life but not proper for running 26 miles Sunday. I want to run for Ariel. I want to do this so bad in her honor.
Today on my 4 mile run I wanted to run free. I wanted to run hard. I wanted the pain of the run to run deeper than the pain of a broken heart. But I couldn't. Because I knew if I want to run Sunday I have to be disciplined today. I forced myself to eat and eat right. I have to try to recover the last 5 days in 4 days.
God Help me.

I Love you dear Ariel.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Good Night my Sweet Ariel


It is late yet again. I am tired tonight Ariel. I saw you tonight. No, I saw an imposter. It was clearly not you.
I went to the imposter and tried to not be upset. I am sure she wanted to look as amazing as you. I am sure she even tried very hard.
 But Ariel there was only ONE of you and you left this world Friday.
 And this imposter lay in the beautiful casket with white silk lining and decorative flowers but I knew in seconds it was not you. Her eyes weren't larger than life glowing with happiness. Your eyelashes were short, she just used one coat of mascara, so lame.  Her eyeshadow was not glittery and translucent and they put BROWN eyeliner on! You would have gone with out eyeliner before wearing brown. But there was one thing I had to fix, her lips. Ohh my, they looked like something I would put on my grandma. I quickly emptied my purse like we did a million times to put your lip gloss on. 

But her hair. SO beautiful. I touched it. I ran it through my fingers. I held it and never wanted to let it go. She had your hair. I was confused. The imposter confused me. How did she get your hair?
And then I heard a still small voice say "None of this is her, All you have left of her Anita is what is in your heart."
And with that being said I wanted to collapse. I wanted to disappear. I wanted that super hero trait where you just become invisible. Or maybe I could be sleeping beauty and just go to sleep and wake up and everything would be better.
I love you sweetness. I love you so much. I quit crying at the funeral home. I was numb. wordless. Just going through the motions. I couldn't get away to hear my own thoughts. I had so much noise in my head from the hundreds of people that came to see you. They were all grieving. I wanted to grieve. But it was so loud in my head. I couldn't think. My body was just reacting and responding to all the people. I didn't know what I said half the time - I just knew I wanted to be with you. I just wanted to crawl in bed and be alone with you.  As I write you this it is quiet. I hear my thoughts, I hear your gentle whispers, I feel my tears release softy down my cheeks in Awe of you. Today I was reminded again at how you were nothing less than simply AMAZING.
Good night my sweet Ariel. I am so honored to be your Aunt. You blessed me in your life and you continue to bless me as you have left this world.
I am speaking for you tomorrow. I hope I have a couple hours! If you were talking you would need it too! We both sure could tell a story.

Aunt Nita

God Perfect TIMING. Ariel

I woke up with tears in a panic. I slept so hard I forgot the day, the time the agenda. I woke up guilty for sleep and my thoughts instantly went to Ariel. The tears saturated my eyes within seconds. I needed Ariel. I needed to see her. How was I going to go without her? I never did this without her or I never did it well. I wait in the shadow land of her. Wanting to be part of the end. But I hear God Saying "Anita, You were part of her when it mattered.". 
I am trying so hard to listen to Gods truth. *Pain will screw with you. Pain will make the beautiful Ugly and the clean dirty.