Hi Everyone! I'm finally sitting down to the computer after a long hiatus from writing. I started this blog   three years ago because I like to write, take photos, decorate and offer encouragement. So out of my heart I started Antebellum 1862. The last ten months have been filled with grief and sadness. I'm still trying to put my broken heart back together, but in doing so, writing again brings healing. Our family lost both of my parents in 2015. The dates will be forever etched in my mind, March 28 and October 7th. These sudden and traumatic events caused us to lean on God more than ever and each other. My sister and I have had to take the reigns in caring for my special needs brother and closing the home estate of 53 years. It's been very trying at times. But today's blog is not to be a "debbie downer" but  to offer some sunshine!

My sweet friend, Karen, (that I met through Instagram and in person), offered these simple words to me "Grieve but HOPE!" Wow, pow, right in my face with that one! It hit the spot because lately the grief seems to have taken a darker turn and depression is knocking at the door (regardless of the antidepressant I take).  I can honestly say, that depression is real. It's not something to be taken lightly. I would say that I'm not clinically depressed but still just very sad. I just don't want that sadness to consume me and I shared that with Karen. She, being a godly woman, offered a simple message from God himself.

In dealing with loss, we tend to focus on what we've lost instead of hoping for what's ahead. My parents were both having serious health issues and it was sad to watch them decline so quickly. Yes, the time of being in the hospital with both of them was very hard to endure, but they aren't in that hospital any longer. Especially with losing my mama first, I have really had a hard time dealing with my dad's death because I don't have mom here to help. Over and over again I would see my parents in the hospital and in the nursing home and relive the struggle and that's just not a good thing to focus on-it was very sad to watch.

However, one day months after mom passed away, my sister told me that I needed to let mama go. Really, I buried her-she is gone!  That's not what my sister meant-she said to "let her go." Get her out of that hospital and see her with Jesus healed! Don't see her on the ventilator in the hospital but walking hand in hand with Jesus in a glorious place in perfect health and peace! That's exactly what I did-I finally let her go. I now see her in Heaven and healthy! (not that the past months don't still haunt me) but I have HOPE again. HOPE in a heavenly Father that takes me by the hand and guides me each day in this journey of healing. I don't now how people deal with a loss without the HOPE of a Savior!

It's only been about 4 months since my daddy died and I'm at a different stage of grief than I am with my mom's passing. Most people have time to heal before they experience another loss, so this has been quite the journey. But I have HOPE!

There is a time to grieve but we can't die with them. We have to keep living and HOPE in the future that God has for a brighter tomorrow. Each day is a new day and I cling to that HOPE in Him!

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: ….. a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance." Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 4

I hope to be dancing and laughing again soon. I'm on the right road. I started painting furniture again this past week. It's been good! 

I love this picture of the Kentucky sunrise! From the darkness, there is LIGHT bringing HOPE!

"And now, O LORD, for what do I wait? My hope is in you." Psalm 39:7

Keep the SON shining,