Monday, April 12, 2010


Today will be my final post. Thank you to all who have read and followed along with me and my family, on this year-long journey. We appreciate and treasure all your prayers, kind words, help, and remembrances. We ask that you continue. I am so thankful to my husband Bill, and my son, Camden for all of their love, support, and hugs. I have dedicated this blog to my niece, Libby Molloy.

to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
Isaiah 61:2-3

Today marks the one year anniversary of my younger sister Guenevere's passing. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in January 2009, and was only with us for 3 more months. The year went by quickly, but some days were long and painful. Nothing could have prepared me for this grief and sorrow. It came unexpectedly, and is here to stay in varying degrees.

Some people don't do death well. They have no reference to it, or experience. They don't know what to say, and therefore don't say anything. The ones who do, usually have been through it. Some people are natural encouragers, sending cards, plants, flowers jewelry, phone calls, and prayers. I was surprised by those who showed kindness, and by those who didn't. It is not something to hold against anyone, as they could not possibly understand the depths of grief. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18. He truly has been close.

I found grief to be quiet at times, and at others, gut-wrenchingly painful. Many days felt like my whole body was sore. The first week was so busy with funeral activity, that the magnitude of what happened did not hit until the following week. My job was to plan and purchase food for the reception for roughly 300 people. It was a helpful distraction.

It has been helpful to overcome this loss by: knowing Guen loved the Lord and is with Him, crying when I needed to, praying, reflecting, and talking about the sister that I miss so dearly. I never knew how much I loved her, until I lost her completely.

This blog has been therapy. Each entry has helped me face the loss. If you only knew the tears and anguish behind some of them. Once posted, the entries allowed me to boldly face the pain.

Another source of consolation has been I signed up for the daily emails. These people have been through it, and the emails are incredibly timely. Also, My brother-in-law, Dave kept up during her illness.

I also pursued whatever is lovely, (Phil 4:8) by looking at many art blogs. It helped so much to have breaks of beauty and think about something else. I googled "art blogs", and the choices were endless. They are what encouraged me to create this blog.

Guen and Dave had a daughter, Libby. She is now 2 and 7 months old. I was fortunate to have Libby stay with me for a few days. She is her own person, but it is easy to catch glimpses of both parents in her. To say she is a joy, is an understatement. What a delightful gift Guen left behind. Here is the fabulous Libby this morning.

The other night we watched one of Guen's favorite childhood movies together, Disney's "The Rescuers" from 1977. I always associate Guen with this movie. I remember one birthday she received toys from the movie. She adopted a dog, and named it Penney, after the main character. One of the songs called, "Someone's Waiting For You", has some timely lyrics:

Always keep a little prayer in your pocket
and you're sure to see the light.
Soon there'll be joy and happiness
and your little world will be bright
Have faith little one
'Til your hopes and your wishes come true.
You must try to be brave little one.
Someone's waiting to love you

In closing, I hold on to a thought that came to my mind and sums up this year: Everything is broken, but the pieces are strong.

Pictures to Remember

Here are some wedding pictures from May 1998. I was Guen's maid-of-honor, as she was mine. I was 5 months pregnant, and quite exhausted from doing all the wedding flowers. So glad I did!

Here is Guen with her then new husband, Dave Molloy.

The beautiful bride.

The new mommy in 2008.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Guen celebrates her second Easter with our Lord today. She rests in splendor and joy. After sunrise service, we will visit her grave, and place some lilies there.

Inspired by the old hymn:

So Guen cherished the old rugged Cross
Till her trophies at last she laid down
She clung to the old rugged Cross
And exchanged it today for a crown

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I made up this bouquet for Easter with different types of white ranunculus, and sweet peas. It smells incredible:)

A dramatic change took place this time last year. Come quickly was the call...Guen doesn't have much time. I told her "You are precious to me." She said, "You were such a good sister to me".

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Day with Libby

Yesterday I had a nice visit with Madame Butterfly herself. Libby is growing everyday and speaking very full sentences. Her vocabulary seems so advanced! The new Speedo is an early Easter present, along with a sun dress and a Strawberry Shortcake workbook. She still delights in Spongebob, and favors juice over milk. She enjoyed her spaghetti, and then off for a walk to the pool, but it was a little cool to swim. Overall she seems happy and content. Libby loves when everyone laughs together.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

A card I made this year for me mum. Slainte!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Time is "March"ing On

The fact that the 12th of the month comes and goes without upsetting me, must show some healing in my grief. At first I was so fearful of having to face it each month, then sad to relive it.

I had a new experience recently. I thought about calling Guen on the phone. For a few seconds I forgot I coudn't. I said in my mind, "I think I'm going to give Guen a call." Ooh weird.

A recent family birthday made me quite sad. Oh how I wished she was there for it.

There was an article in the paper for a cancer walk. Along with this they were asking for volunteers to participate in a cancer study for the next few years. The main information they needed were the volunteer's waist sizes. I did not understand the connection, so I looked it up. Waist measurements above 34.6 inches for women and 40.2 inches for men are strong indicators of cancer risk. Who knew?

Spring is coming. A baby bunny came to my back sliding door, got on his hind legs, and looked in. So cute!

The pictures are from 6 years ago. Guen was pretending to be one of those home shopping hostesses. She was quite good at it! Those were some fun, silly moments:)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pray for Katrina

Katrina is 25 and started suffering from severe back pain. After many tests she has been diagnosed with Leukemia. Chemo started last week. She and the family would treasure your prayers. Her brother-in-law is a friend of my husband, and we have mutual close family friends.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I'm not in love with this Joni Mitchell song, but Amy Grant does a decent cover. I find the meaning profound and the words make me think of Guen.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Two Unexpected Surprises

John James Audubon who in 1839 wrote of himself as " who never can cease to admire and to study with zeal and the most heartfelt reverence, the wonderful productions of an Almighty Creator."

We have lots of trees and vegetation in our backyard. Many birds fly around out there and I don't know what variety they are. One of them has a red breast, so I'll assume its a robin. The others have very pretty songs to sing and interesting colors. One day recently my son, Camden who is 11, was yelling to come to the back window to see something. He actually scared me, because he was practically yelling and couldn't get the words out. He said he saw a yellow bird with a black mask. Well I never saw it and was so bummed. Then I thought, "No, he must have made a mistake-that doesn't sound right."

Well wouldn't you know it, this morning I was sitting at our table looking out the same window and he appeared! I was so shocked and almost startled. I told him I saw the bird he was talking about, and he said a few times that he had not made it up. I found it online. It is a male yellowthroat warbler. We have the females too and they have no mask. They love our Acacia tree, and I have never seen it bloom so profusely as it is this year-must be from all the rain.

Last night Camden drew a picture and wrote on it "For Guen". I told him that was very nice and wondered what brought that on. He said he missed her. I was going to have him make a new one with corrections, but decided to leave it in its "original" form. I know it would bless Guen.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Her Birthday

Dear Guen we miss you today. We will be thinking about you all day. Hope they serve the fudgiest cake in Heaven. The sun doesn't shine as bright anymore and its too quiet without you. Love, Noni-Bill-Camden.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pray for Wendy

I don't know this lovely mother, but after reading the blog we can all share in her pain.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rejoice in Suffering?

I have a friend who lost her daughter, due to a car accident 2 years ago. She still is not coping. This was in today's Grief Share email and may be the explanation:

In the Bible the apostle Paul says that you should rejoice in your suffering. This advice sounds incredible, especially when you are in the midst of pain.

"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us" (Romans 5:3-5).

After looking closer at Paul's words, you will realize that he is not saying to be glad about what happened, not at all! He tells you that you are to use your suffering as a time of personal growth in which you ultimately experience an outpouring of God's love into your heart.

Dr. Ray Pritchard says, "Christians who most deeply experience the love of God are those who have not fought against God at the point of their suffering, but they've said, 'Lord, I don't understand. God, this doesn't make any sense. I wish this would go away, but, Lord, I'm going to cooperate with You. I'm going to walk with You through this.'

"Through that, God gives them perseverance; He develops character; character becomes hope, and in the end, their hearts are soft, and then they experience the love of God."

Lord, I'm not happy with this, but I will make the best of it. Pour out Your Spirit on me, and give me perseverance, character, and hope. Lord, I sure need hope. Amen.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

I have been anticipating today's date for quite awhile. This day last year was the day that everything changed. I remember the call that my sister had cancer.
It would be so easy to fall to pieces, but I'm not going to do that. No, today I will think about the people of Haiti, how they have lost loved ones, and have no food and shelter. I will be thankful that our Guenevere is safely tucked into Heaven with all of her needs met.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nine Months Ago

Today is the nine month anniversary since Guen's passing, and I am relieved to say that the 12th of every month is not as bitter a pill as it was in earlier months. Today though, we will celebrate the "Incredible Edible Libby" and her take on the New Year. She is celebrating 2000 plus 10 with ten fingers. Yesterday she told me she could see her shadow. I painted her nails, and there was too much excitement for a nap, but she started to get tired. She has a toy dinosaur. SpongeBob is king. I love her soft spoken ways.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Unexpected

I was looking up fonts and came across some really nice ones for a new project. The artist, named Sara, had made a design statement so I looked up some of her other stuff. She started doing alot of projects when she lost her leg to cancer years ago. I felt inspired and read more about her. I was surprised that she had documented so many aspects of her life, and even more surprised to discover that she died 2 weeks before Guen did. This statement regarding her blog was written by her boyfriend:

"She started this website because there's more to life than what we lose, and we need to let each other know what's possible, even if it's only a happy, ordinary life."

Reading his process of grief reminded me of our own struggles. The last entry he made was in Sept. 09 and he was drowning in sorrow. I am learning so much about grief and how universal it is. I could feel the anguish through his words.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

As this year comes to a close, I look forward to not only a happy new year but also a happy new decade. I will go into 2010 with the certainty of knowing that the only way Guen could be well was for her to be taken from this imperfect world and ushered into Paradise. She is healed and whole now. We all wanted her to get better, and the prayer was answered in God's way.

We have all been met with countless challenges that have been life altering in differing ways. Friends and family can inspire and encourage each other, but the thing we most need is the peace that surpasses all understanding. All anyone can do is ask for strength from the One who is capable of providing it. I bid you a Happy New Year from the Prince of Peace.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sister, You're such an Angel to Me

I purchased this ornament this year for my tree, in my sister's memory. Back in the day, Precious Moments was something I was fond of. I was not a big collector, but when we drove across country, we did stop at the headquarters and saw the famous chapel. I was surprised how extraordinary it was. So being nostalgic, this ornament caught my eye, because its a little red-headed girl holding something. I noticed she was holding a little angel in a gift box and thought, wow!-and for a split second I was reminded that Guen was such a gift to me. In the next few seconds I gasped when I realized what it said..."For my sister". It was a wierd-sad-happy-light headed-moment all rolled into one.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

On the 12th day of Christmas

Today marks 8 months since Guen passed. You don't realize how precious some gifts are, until you lose them. No one was to know that Guen would be with us for such a limited time. I made lots of assumptions about the future, and had big plans and dreams for us. I completely took for granted that she would just be there-only a phone call away.

This picture is from Easter 2006. As you may know, Guen went to be with the Lord, on His day-Easter Sunday 2009. It was taken in Newport Beach at the outdoor mall, Fashion Island. Guen was a tremendous gift to my mother. Living so close, they spent a lot of time together. This picture is precious to me.

Friday, December 11, 2009

On the 11th Day of Christmas

Guen's treasured gifts were her family. She was very happily married to Dave. She never said an unkind word about him in their 11 years of marriage. Trust me...she's my sister and she would have told me! lol:) I know she loved him dearly and for good reason. The love and care that he showered on my sister for so many years has also blessed her extended family. Their picture is from Thanksgiving 2005.

Guen lost a baby, through miscarriage, that they call "baby Gus". They are together now in Heaven.

The other joy in Guen's life was her daughter, Elizabeth, known to all as Libby. What a dream come true to have a baby girl and the beautiful Libby at that! Through all her pain, suffering, and despair, she only had to look at baby girl for encouragement. God's grace helped her to endure, but the gift of Libby was a special encouragement and source of strength. There they are in Oregon, 2009.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

On the 10th Day of Christmas

These Angel Wings are being sold on etsy and I love the concept. The artist, Lana Manis, rolls up individual pages from vintage books. I randomly found the angel wing tea-light holders a few months ago, and have left them up everyday.The picture is a family photo of Thanksgiving 2004. Guenevere will always be our angel.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

On the 9th Day of Christmas

This is Christmas 2001 at our old house. We did a buffet instead of a sit down dinner. Guen was really into Nick Chavez hair products at the time.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

On the 8th Day of Christmas

This is 2002 at my old house and we were celebrating Thanksgiving. We had no idea that would be our last holidays there, as a new house was in our future. We lived there over 9 years. The domino game is called "Mexican Train" and is a family favorite. Our table is never short of beverages.

Monday, December 7, 2009

On the 7th Day of Christmas

This is Christmas 2003 at the Molloys'. This was the first Christmas in their new house.