It’s A Choice

This summer while the girls and I were out of town, we had leather bracelets engraved with Richard’s birthday, name and death date. This morning, while putting mine on, I realized that I had put it on upside down. You might ask, why does it matter? I’d respond by saying it depends on where I want to keep my focus.

You see, when I wear it the “wrong” way his name appears upside down to me, but more importantly the death date is in constant view. When I wear it the “right” way his name appears right side up and his birthday is in constant view.

When I see his death date, I’m reminded of bittersweet emotions. One, of the excitement for him to finally get to experience all that God has prepared for him in Heaven. Two, for the sad days of missing him greatly. Missing him when our schedules are crazy, when our girls are accomplishing great feats and when I just want to share the days events. As time passes, it seems like an eternity since I last spoke to him. And at the same time, seems like yesterday. It’s weird nonetheless.

When I see his birth date, I’m reminded on the many life experiences over a 21 year period that I was blessed to enjoy with him. I remember trips with the girls and those that we took just us. I remember being in Israel and him mounting a camel backwards. I remember going to FL and watching him play in the World Softball Tournament at the Wide World of Sports Complex. I remember getting away for a quick weekend to watch St Louis Cardinals play baseball. I remember watching and hearing him cheer the girls on at their sporting events. Applauding them when they spoke publicly amongst their peers and parents. Staying up late to finish those last minute projects. Many many other memories that we have all because of his birth date.

Although both dates represent both happy and sad emotions, I choose to focus on the date of birth. Why, because that’s the date that has given me more present day memories that I can laugh about and enjoy. The death date, although it too is filled with hope and promise for a future with him again, my human side remembers a time that isn’t always the best. It pulls me to a place, more times than not, that I don’t want to be in. I’m aware that I need to move through that in order to reach the other side, but it’s hard some days.

Today, I encourage you to “put your bracelet on the right way”. Focus on that which brings you joy and purpose.

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2 Comments on “It’s A Choice”

  1. Donnie Harris Says:

    FANTASTIC! You are an amazingly wise woman. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Sheela Rawlings Says:


    Your strength and faith encourage me. You and Richard have done an amazing job raising your girls to be the lovable girls they are today. I’m so proud of you for getting up everyday, pulling up your boot straps and facing the new day God has given us. I know that Richard is watching over y’all and is so proud of his girls. I love you!

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