I was privileged to be in the room and bear witness to the passing through of my mother-in-law from this life into the next today at 3:33pm. There is this space between life and death- this reverent, holy, peace-filled, silent space. You feel in every cell of your own body if you pay attention. I noticed my breath as she struggled with hers. I noticed my heart beating as her sped and slowed. I noticed the solemn in the moment as those who loved her looked on, let her go, and carried her to the beyond of this earth.

The body is so resilient. It fights until the last breath to live on. As her breath slowed, her heartbeat quickened, pulsing for each moment to live longer. The desire to stay is strong! There is so much here to leave behind and the ahead is so unknown, quite scary, if we are honest. Even as “believers” we still don’t know – there’s no certainty about what is after this adventurous, painful, joy-filled life on earth. We believe in the something, the something better but…

Where do we go?

What happens to us?

Who is there with us?

How do we leave all the loves of our lives behind?

My mother-in-law was scared. I went to bed last night praying that those on the other side would visit and reassure her. That she would be comforted in the transition between now and the inevitable then.

As I watched her slip away today – her breath slowing – she began to struggle a little and Marc (her son, my husband) stepped in as her hero once again. Leaning over, ever so tenderly, he rubbed her head and whispered the things her heart needed to hear to quiet and let go. It was a beautiful, intimate moment to witness. With each promise, her struggle lifted and peace flooded in. So much love in the room – sister, brother-in-law, daughters, daughter-in-law, son and husband. Carrying her to what comes next. Her eyes opened for a moment at the end as she looked toward her husband and son standing together, loving her! Oh glorious sight indeed!

She was a lovely woman who loved big! Many who knew her knew her love for original art, her flowerbeds and her pocket angels that she shared, when prompted, with strangers. She loved Mardi Gras, I would dare to say, it was her favorite holiday – rich with memories, so it was quite fitting that she “chose” today as her Home Going! I imagine God had it all prepared for her- parade and all – to welcome His beloved into Heaven. She loved a good parade, she loved being the center of attention, and all the fanfare and carrying on that came with being the center of attention. She missed her mom and dad and has for a long time, so the reunion must have been amazing!

Can’t you just see it?

—the longest, most decorated, decadent parade

with angels and loved ones

throwing real gold doubloons and beads of pearls, sapphires, rubies and emeralds.

Nothing fake about this parade, not for this daughter!

I am thankful for the years I had with her. We definitely had our differences of opinions and warred at times, over the years, but we loved each other. She loved and accepted me and my two first babies before Marc and I were a “real” family. She loved us well, all of us! She was a special lady – she made the earth a better place. She will be missed!

I got to visit Smith Lake in Alabama this week and sit on its banks for a few days. It is a beautiful place full of peace and quiet. I practiced silence and solitude for the first half of each of the days here and was inspired to write again this short thought.

One morning sitting on a screened porch, I listened to all the sounds nature offered. Birds singing a tune, leaves rustling ever so slightly, the water on the lake still and serene. It was a quiet, undisturbed scene. I was mesmerized by the peace that enveloped. I like these moments in life – you know those moments when all is right in your world, you feel the love, joy, peace that those quiet, undisturbed moments can offer. It feels good to sit with these and be grateful – kids well, marriage secure, business growing, friendships sweet, food choices healthy… all the things that make my heart thankful and at ease.

In the distance the humming of something approaching, something that will invade this space with its speed, noise and movement. Something that will break this spell of peace surrounding me.

A boat is rounding the corner on this lake, speeding through my silence.

Breaking through the glass top of the lake it sends ripples rushing, water moving rhythmically towards the shore. These ripples affect everything! The shoreline awakens with sounds of rocking and slapping – everything disturbed – new sounds captivate my attention. The lullaby of waves dancing against objects they contact.

So necessary — this movement!

I am reminded that life is active, changing, dynamic. We are not allowed to stay in our peace cocoons forever – we must MOVE with the ripples when they come. AND they will come, it is inevitable.

Life is


and at times, unbearable.

These ripples ravage us, leaving us heartsick, heartbroken, heart-aching to be back in safety and that coveted peace but it is in these heart moments that our hearts beat again for a the new things that come in the rippling dance that shakes all things loose and leaves us weak-kneed. These ripples break the silence to set all things dancing, rearranging, and opening us up to the MORE God has for us. These ripples open our hearts to beat again for new, impossible things to come to our shores. Awakens us to the things we have been asleep to, ignored because of our fear, pushed away because it’s too painful. We are forced to come face-to-face with the ripples that shake the shore, making us dizzy, unsure footed, and toppling over.

Stepping into the waves, going deeper, what we find is that instead of drowning we are washed clean, made new, stronger and braver.

The ripples provide us with

radical resilience,

capacious courage,

passionate possibility.

Acadiana Nature Station

Walking early Sunday morning through the Acadiana Park I came across this sign – “Do not pick wildflowers” and it got me thinking. I love wildflowers and definitely agree with this “rule” because I like to see them growing and if you pick them I will miss them and vice versa but this sign brought me down another path of thought as I walked pondering the “wildflowers” in my life.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “wildflower” as the flower of a wild or uncultivated plant or the plant bearing it. In most cultures around the world the wildflower represents joy. Urban Dictionary defines it as a free spirit., uncultivated by the mainstream, independent thinker, bravely growing wild and free in a world plagued by conformity. The scene from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll adds to this definition when Alice finds herself in a flower garden shrunk to size of the flowers around her: “Do you suppose she is a Wildflower?”, said the Daisy. “We don’t let wildflowers grow here, Independent minds and wild hearts are not encouraged”.


I have been blessed with so many wildflowers in my life.

Beautiful women forging their own paths,

finding their own ways of being,

searching for the untamed,

going against the grain,

wild and free.

These women have helped to pollinate so many of my thoughts, expanding and stretching me to include and investigate out of my comfort zone. These women have cultivated a safe place for me to find myself learning to settle into my own skin and embrace the beauty I hold. These women have burst through the what is to the what could be. These women have been the honey to some of the bitter lessons of life. These women have been a community for growth, healing and finding treasure.

I am so thankful for the wildflowers that have grown across my path over the years. I am so thankful for the bending to take a closer look. I am so thankful for the picking of each wildflower I was gifted to hold close, to smell the fragrance and to appreciate the beauty! Thank you WILDFLOWERS past and present – thank you!

So…YES! Pick the wildflowers!!!