Penny Pinching Peach


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Dear Mom…

Mom Laughing

Mom in Joyful Times

Dear Mom,

Happy 9th birthday in Heaven!

You should have been 53 today, but you’re forever frozen at 44 in my mind’s eye. I know you’re at peace and free from pain up dancing there in heaven, but I’d rather be able to celebrate the life I feel like you should still be living here on earth.

Just the other day, my oldest daughter- your much longed for granddaughter- came to me sobbing like her little heart was breaking.

Once I calmed her enough to find out what was wrong, my tender hearted, deep thinking child said “Mommy, I’m so sad! My Grandma Dorinda never got to meet me, and now my baby sister will never get to meet our Grandma Dorinda or our Ganna! Both my mommy’s and my daddy’s mommies are in heaven now! It’s not fair! I miss them! They should be here!”. I had no words to comfort my little girl for awhile, because my words were drowned out by the tears I was swallowing for my own grief that came rushing like a flood from the vast void that she reminded me of so powerfully.

Finally, I calmed my own spirit enough to speak, asking God to help me be the

Mom, Nana and Me

Mom, Nana and Me

kind of wise & loving momma I always felt blessed to have. I told her that her Grandma and Ganna were probably watching together from Heaven, bragging to all the other souls up there about having the most beautiful, amazing grandbabies that ever lived. I told her that they both live on in our hearts, in the love we still have for them, and the stories we can tell about them. I told her that love never dies. It lives forever in the hearts of those we loved, no matter what. I told her how lucky she is to have her two grandpas, step-grandma, two great-grandmas and a great grandpa still on earth to give her hugs and see her and all of the other children in our family. I told her Grandma and Ganna want her happiness more than anything in the world. You know what? She calmed. She believed. She went back to play calmed by the love that is very much alive in our family.

Mom & PawPaw

Mom & PawPaw, Together in Heaven Now

The next day, my sweet girl came to me with some news.

She reminded me of her firm belief that you chose her as the perfect grandbaby for you, and the perfect daughter for your little girl. She went on to add that she is had great news. “Mommy, my Grandma Dorinda and my Ganna did a wonderful thing! They went together through all of the babies in Heaven, and chose my baby sister for us! You know why they did that? They heard me telling Jesus that I wanted a baby sister more than anything in the whole wide world, and they wanted to make sure I had the best little sister for me! Wasn’t that sweet of them?? They really do love me lots.”

Mama, you may be gone from us physically and never got to meet any of your precious grandchildren, but the love you so desperately wanted to share with your grandbabies has been shared.

They can feel it, believe it and cherish it. Your body was taken from us far too soon, especially for them, but that love lives . It ripples and whispers through our hearts and lives at just the right moments in just the right way. It will never die. You have proved to me that the love of a mother and a grandmother is stronger than distance, stronger than pain, stronger than cancer, stronger than loss and even stronger than death.

So…..happy birthday in heaven, Mom!

I miss you every day, but especially days like this. I’m thankful to have something so amazing and precious to celebrate today, though. We are celebrating 53 years of your love.

Love Ya Bunches!

Your Daughter


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Black and Blue Butterfly Greetings From Heaven

Butterfly greetings from heaven

Butterfly greetings from heaven

Losing my mom to cancer changed so much about me.

It changed my personality, my perspective and even my life plans. Everything about myself was intertwined with her, and suddenly a huge part of the fabric of who I was, the life I had and my hopes for the future was ripped away. I was left feeling torn apart, broken and irreparable. Visiting her grave was no comfort to me, and I felt at a loss for any tangible way to feel that connection with my mom while she was gone. It hurt in such an achingly empty manner, I can’t even explain it in words.

One day as I was walking outside, praying & crying & wishing I could talk to Mom about whatever crisis I was coping with or just get another one of her warm, loving, mama hugs…it happened. God sent the comforting symbol I needed. I was randomly surrounded by fluttering blue and black butterflies! To most people, this would seem magical and beautiful. To me, it was a sign from Heaven of my mom’s continued love. You see, her favorite color combination was blue and black. One of my favorite things in the world is butterflies, and she would often give me little things to do with butterflies. The unique combination of those two things that were so special to each of us and personally significant between us was a symbol to me, and something I latched onto. Finally, something tangible to bring me comfort and help me to feel connected to my mom!

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

These black and blue Butterfly Greetings from Heaven have recurred over the years many times, usually at moments when I was thinking of my mom or dealing with something difficult and feeling alone.

Sometimes it’s a lone butterfly, others an entire swarm of them, and at times they even land on me as I watch them and try to listen to whatever message may be whispered to me by God in that moment when He has my attention.

The butterfly hello has also become an unexpected and beautiful way for my daughter to feel connected to the grandma she was never blessed to get to know.

When she sees blue and black butterflies- after hearing my story of the time the black and blue butterflies swarmed me when I was feeling sad and missing my mama and how they always make me think of her when I see them now- she will say “Hi Grandma! I love you, too!”. It brings bittersweet tears to my eyes every time it happens, and is yet another thing that is special about these particular butterflies for me.

If you have lost anyone close to you, is there something special that makes you feel connected to them in particular, like they’re saying hello, or just plain brings you comfort when you see it? Read my Letter to My Mom.

Below are some beautifully touching products following the sentiment of butterfly inspiration:

Girl Nursery Quote – Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,she became a butterfly – Wall Decal Sticker (Black, Medium)
DaisyJewel Azure Blue & Silvertone Butterfly Hoop Earrings
Vietsbay’s Butterfly Collection Necklace Pendants Pewter Silver


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Mom In Heaven

Mama and me

Mama and me

December 20th was the seventh anniversary of my mom’s passing. She was only 44 at the time. I had no idea how I was going to face life without my mom, because she was my best friend, mom and everything all rolled into one amazing woman. Life has gone on, but it will never be the same. I wrote a poem about her on the 20th, but was hesitant to share it here. It’s “off topic”, and not my best work. I decided to go ahead. Maybe it will touch someone else struggling with facing life and/or the holidays without a loved one they feel should be here to celebrate with them…

If you had asked when I was young

How long I thought my mom would live,

I’d have told you she’d outlive us all

And still have time to give.

If you had told me she’d be gone

When she was only 44,

I’d have called you crazy

And not listened anymore.

If I had known that she’d be gone

Before her time should be,

I’d have done all I could do

To keep her here with me

If I were given the chance

To see her once again,

I’d tell her how much I love her,.

Thank her for all she’d been.

She lived more in her short life

Than many who are old and gray

She was the best mom she could be,

And I miss her every day.

When she knew the end was nearing,

She had little left undone.

She just wished she’d see me married,

Get to hold the children of her daughter and son.

When I look at her grandbabies,

I see her sparkle and her smile,

I feel her love and laughter,

See her dancing silly and wild.

I know her love is with us,

And in our hearts, she’ll never die,

But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss her

Or in the darkness cry.

If I could give my mom a present

I’d fly all of us up to Heaven,

And spend a day with her in

The place she’s been for seven.

In Loving Memory of My Mom, Dorinda

Mom, Nana and me

Mom, Nana and me


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Share the Kindness

 

All of my mama's girls

Share the kindness through the generations!

I’m not sure if anyone noticed that I missed my normal “Cooking With Coupons” blog of the week or posting anything else for a few days. I apologize for the silence. What should have been my mom’s 51st birthday was a few days ago. My brain just hasn’t been able to churn out any creative thinking in the little time I’ve had to attempt to use it, and nothing I have written was inspiring me to post it.

My mom was one of the most kind and caring folks I have ever known.

She was radiant, and I only wish she were here now to continue to share that radiant sweetness she had with the next generation. She isn’t, but I am, so I’m doing my best to pass it along. Today, I’m going to just share a few thoughts and issue a challenge in her honor.

First, I’ll share my daughter’s reaction to my mom’s birthday:

Princess Peach was upset that I didn’t make a cake for my mommy’s birthday, and was quick to let me know about it. She said I needed to make a cake right now so she could put a candle in it and make a wish for her grandma. When I asked her what she would wish for Grandma, she replied “I’d wish for her to be able to come down from Heaven to visit so she could meet her beeeeauuuuutiful grandbaby!” as she patted her own little chest. Her mommy wishes her wish could come true.

Moving on…

All of us know someone who needs encouragement in one way or another.

Take a few minutes out of your day and just do it. Some ideas?

  • Send a card to a widow whose husband passed a couple of months ago, sharing a fond memory you have of him (if you knew him). By that point, most folks have forgotten she is still alone and needing something to help fill the void, but she hasn’t and the loneliness is probably kicking in at a new depth.
  • For the teenager who struggles with school, but got a great report card, send an email or a note on social media letting him know how proud you are of his efforts. It helps teens to know others notice when they are doing well, and not just when they screw up. (We all know they get in enough trouble! 🙂
  • If you know a child who is painfully shy, take a minute to speak to her and let her feel heard and noticed, whether commenting on her drawngs or complimenting her outfit. Don’t push her too much and scare her, just pay attention. Your acknowledgement could help her come out of her shell, and will at least help her to know she isn’t invisible. (Spoken as a former social phobic young girl. 🙂 )
  • If you see a mommy struggling to get into the grocery store juggling little ones, cuppies, purse and diaper bag, open the door and compliment her on her cutiepies. You’ll help her feel better about the tough job of being a parent.
  • Encourage your children to be kind. Have them color pictures for grandparents, do thank you notes for those who do nice things for them, hug the elderly woman who always sits on the pew in front of you at church, or other little things that can brighten lives.
  • If you know someone is going through something you’ve been through already, share with them how you got through. Not in a judgmental way, just in a manner to let them know they aren’t alone and someone else has been there and survived.
  • Smile. Just smile at people. It takes less effort than scowling, and the trickle effect of your sunny mood can brighten someone’s sour face. 🙂

I could go on all day, but I won’t. The point I’m trying to make here is that you don’t have to do anything huge. Just do something small every day you’re blessed with the precious gift of life to spread kindness in the world. It makes a much bigger difference than you may ever know.

Now for the challenge:

I want to ask anyone who reads this to share at least one “small” kindness someone did for you that made a difference for you. Maybe it will inspire others to do the same for someone else, continuing the kindness bestowed on you. Please, please share!

Remember…

“You can change the world one act of random kindness at a time.”

To see the beginning of this series, head on over to Acts of Kindness.