Monday, January 9, 2012


New family photo
of those at home.

I was reminded that I haven't blogged in ONE WHOLE year!! It was a long and sometimes difficult year and once again I am at the anniversary of Rebekah's death. Yet this year I choose to celebrate LIFE. Rebekah's life... My children's granchildren's lives!! Each and everyone of them are so worth celebrating!

I have had the privilege of bringing twelve remarkable, eternal souls into this world. I guess my life would have been easier if I'd only had a few children. However, I would not trade a single one of them because they have brought a richness to my life that could have been gained no other way.

How else would I have learned that love is unconditional? Or how God could love so many of us with the same amount of love, yet uniquely? Or understand the pain the Father must have felt to watch His Son die for all of us? Where else would I have learned about self-sacrificing love?

Now I have the blessing of watching my children have children of their own. I'm not sure how to describe the pride and joy that is in my heart watching them become parents. They are all so amazing. My grand kids fill my soul with joy!! I love being a grandma : )

Ryan, Abby and Finley
Christmas last year.

Finn was adopted from Uganda
First time to meet him!

Miss Bentlee growing so fast

Mr Finn

Grandma and Bentlee
beach in SC

Finn and Cousin B

Smelling the dandelions

They act like twins : )

Together again in Charleston
October 2011

Lyndsie, David and Bentlee

Finn and his Bobos

Ryan, Abby and Finley

Nana and Finn
at the hospital with new cousin

First photo of Francesca
So glad she made it finally!!

Uncle Ryan and the proud Daddy

Lovin' his sweet girl

Kisses from mom

So sweet!!

Nana and the new cousins
Finn fixing her bow.

Birth announcement

Tired baby

Number four grandchild on the way.
Arrival April 2012!
Did I mention that I love being a Grandma?!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011



Thirteen years ago today my life changed forever. Standing in the hospital ICU looking down at my infant daughter lying there completely hooked to machines, the only thing keeping her little body alive, is an image that will never leave my mind.  When my mind transports me back it feels so real that I can not keep the emotions nor the tears that start to flow from taking over.

I can still see the look on the nurse's face as we entered the room that morning. How she wanted to avoid looking in our eyes. The catch in her voice when I asked why she had socks on her little feet, telling us we would need to speak to the doctor.  

A team of doctors showed up.  Our doctor told us that he didn't understand why her organs were shutting down, that it was really a simple operation to fix her heart.  I remember asking him if he was asking us to make a choice to unhook her from the machines. I can still see the compassion in his eyes as he sadly told me no there is no choice to make. All I could do at that moment was hug him and thank him for trying to save Rebekah's life.

The next few hours felt like a living dream.  Some phone calls were made, some friends arrived.  Totally amazing to me thinking back because we had only lived in North Carolina for three short months!  Some tears were shed but there were some moments of joy as well.  Making the molds of her tiny hands and feet will be etched in my mind as one of those happy moments.  As the process began more and more staff arrived until Rebekah's bed was completely ringed with observers.

In a blink of an eye the time to remove her from the life-support machines had come. Steve requested that I be able to hold her while this was done. The technician said that just is not possible, but in the end agreed to break the rules and let us. Holding her there in the rocking chair my heart was breaking.  There are no words to express the pain that I felt saying good-bye to one that grew in my heart for nine months and in my arms for three.  How do I let go of all the hopes and dreams that I had for that little girl in my arms?  A mom should never have to do that!

As we made the four hour drive back from Duke University to our home, our arms were empty, the car seat was empty and our hearts were empty.  The thoughts running through my mind at that time were for the nine children we were headed back to. How would I ever help them walk through the most tragic thing of their lives?  How could I get past the ache in my own heart to lead them trough their grief?  In God's grace and mercy He would see us through.  It has been a very long journey through all the 'what ifs' and the 'if onlys'.  Some say you never get over it you just get through it, day by day!

At least twice a year I stand at the threshold of the door looking into the past. Sometimes there are more tears than at other times. I don't really know why.  Sometimes I can remember her short life and all the joy she brought me and other times I am overwhelmed with the loss and the pain that lives in my heart. Someday when I hold her in heaven I will understand.  Thankfully here on earth I have children to hug me, grandchildren to love, a husband and dear friends who understand and let me weep.

Those of you that know me well, know that I am no writer!  Sometimes though I am overwhelmed by emotions and that is when it comes out.  Remembering Rebekah even if it is with tears keeps her alive in my heart.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Bentlee Nina Riddle
She was born
on August 30th, 2010
in Charleston, SC

Dad, mom and Bentlee

Aunt Lorissa's first look.

Grandma's first look.

David's nightly routine- playing video games
with Bentlee sleeping on his lap.

Her room was fixed so sweet with
white aspen trees adorning the

Her cool 'space pod' swing.

Content in Grandma's arms.

At night she was swaddled in this...
but she is a little 'Houdini'
and always mangaged to
get a hand or arm
out somehow!

An outing to the Market in Charleston.

Too many nights up!

Her bath!!!

Her bows always managed to come down
over her eyes in a 'face mask'.

Her birthday cake!

Lyndsie, Bentlee and Lorissa

Three generations of women!
Oh yeah! Look out world!

David, Lyndsie, Bentlee and Grandma

A trip to the beach for Grandma's sake!

Their house in Charleston.

The living room from above.

My absolute favorite so far!
I love being a Grandma!