Monday, July 3, 2017


Although this day held tears off and on, there were many moments of joy and thankfulness. Many acts of kindness. Many people who remembered, even after 4 years. I am truly grateful for how others don't forget us or Rod (Bunky).

I know there are probably a lot of people who think after 4 years we should "move on." There have been people say to me that we can't live in the past. It comes from a place of good intention and they are absolutely right. We can't. We can't stay stuck in the past. Taking time to remember and honor a life and legacy is important. It is far from living in the is part of healing and moving forward, in my opinion. It is letting your memories be brought to the surface, so that you never forget the impact someone so special has had in your life. That impact is exactly what shapes a part of who we are and actually pushes us forward.

Remembering is NOT is pushing pause to take it all in. To reflect. And this "pause" can happen as many times as you need to, in the midst of pushing play, and moving forward with your song!

Rod Cook was remembered well today. I love hearing the impact he had on others and today I got lots of emails and texts, which shared that impact over and over again. We even got a video of some sweet friends whose family released balloons and caught a great sunset to honor Rod. Thank you to those who have shared those things with us. I think one of my favorite texts this morning was, "I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I can remember my last conversation with Rod. I will always remember him, always."

Balloons and cards were left by multiple people on our mailbox this morning! Super special surprise to wake up to! Thank you...the boys really loved this!

 The boys and I went to their dad's gravesite to bring some new flowers. It was quick and that was okay. It was the time in the car, as we were leaving, that we talked about how blessed the boys were to have had the dad they did....even if it was for shorter than any of us would have liked.
Then we decided to go see the Cars movie and eat a whole lot of popcorn and m&m's!
Again, I just want to say thank you from somewhere deep in my heart, for letting us remember and joining us as we do! Oh, and we also got some flowers from our neighbor's garden and had several neighbors and friends who came by today. So, to all those who reached out in any way or even just prayed extra for us over the last few days...THANK YOU! We felt the love and it made a day that's hard, full of glimmers of joy and hope. 

Finally, I just want to say that this is not about us. We do not ever want people to feel sorry for us. This is our story. One that I believe God orchestrated for a reason that I may never know. The story is not finished. I am so certain of that. I absolutely want to make sure it is known that we are not strong. We are not to be admired. I hear that a lot, and while it is encouraging, I want people to know there is so much more to that. It is all about God's glory and His redemptive work in and through us. We are only strong because our faith in God enables us to be. Without our belief in Christ and His perfect plan, we would be a crumbled mess...(and still are in spite of that, sometimes; but we are able to get back up). It is only because He died to set us free, that we have HOPE in where Rod Cook's future lies and where ours does. It is only because of Him that we have peace in our hearts that can't be understood by this world. God uses so many people to be His "hands and feet" and that is a big part of where our strength is. I hope to be even 1/2 to others, what people have done for me these past 4 years. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

July 3rd

July 3rd will always be a day that is difficult in many ways. It is also a day that I want to honor and celebrate a life well lived. A day to laugh. A day to remember a husband, father, son, friend, and incredible person, who made his mark on this world in 42 short years.

His heart for others and the way he encouraged others to be the best they could be, continues to be known and shared by those who were fortunate enough to be the recipient of it. I even just heard from someone a few weeks ago who did not know that he died, but shared the impact he had on him, just as they spent time on the Fellowship Bible Church "parking team" on Sunday mornings.

I'm not going to lie...we are sad. We long for him to be here. If I were really honest, I get mad at him sometimes for leaving me alone to raise these boys, while he gets to bask in the glory of Heaven. I need his wisdom, direction, and input on so many parenting issues. Most of all, I just want him here to share in the joy and heartache that comes with parenting our boys. All week we have just been in a little bit of a yucky place. There have been tears, especially at night, and questions of why it has to be this way.

Tomorrow is a day that we hold sacred and our plan is to visit his gravesite. They don't love to go there and I don't force them to go, but July 3rd is a day that we all just sense that unspoken need to go. They actually have asked if we were going. I think being there (even though it is not often) continues to help with closure in a lot of ways for them. Thankfully, we know his soul is not "there."

Rod Cook's greatest wish was to live a life that had an impact between the "dash" of February 13, 1971, and the day of his death. I would say that he certainly did. In fact, in true fashion, he made an impact even after his death to those who benefitted from his organ donations.

(As a side note for anyone who might be reading this....please talk to your loved ones about this. It's so important. I truly consider it a gift that I knew exactly what he wanted and that he made it clear. It is not a decision you want to be considering in the midst of your shock and grief).

I found the letter from Tennessee Donor Services today, and along with sharing information about the individuals who received life-giving organs from him, I was reminded that he made history in the state of Tennessee, as the 1st person to ever donate his lungs after cardiac death. I was also reminded of the many people waiting for lungs on the transplant list and how hard it is to place this. Her letter stated, "Because of Rod's donation of lungs after a cardiac death (DCD), the opportunity to place lungs from DCD patients will now open the door for more lives to be saved in the coming months and years."

Here is what I know of the man whose life he saved with his lungs...he was 69 years old, had 4 grandchildren who he deeply enjoys, He is a retired nuclear data analyst. He also served in the Army and National Guard. I hope one day to meet him!

Thankful that this is NOT our home and hoping for more joy than tears, as we remember him tomorrow! God is still good!