Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Year

I didn't realize that it has been so long since I have blogged.  A lot has gone  on around here since my last journal entry in September. The boys and I moved after living in the country since they were born into our new house in the city limits of Burleson on October 12th. Boxes are slowly disappearing but it is taking so long to get settled.  I am surprised of the stuff we own and the stuff that has no importance.

The anniversary of Pat's death, November 26th, was a day I anticipated with a lot of anxiety and dread and it has come and gone.  In October of last year is when Pat's cancer was overtaking him.  We had just finished our last chemo in Tulsa with the plan to continue the treatments in Fort Worth and return to Tulsa for some treatments and consultations with his doctors.  Two hospital stays for Pat followed quickly and then his final admittance on Tuesday, November 22nd.  That last week has been fresh on our minds and was hard to relive.  I found myself reading my CaringBridge entries to take me back so that I could be reminded of the more specific details of his last few days with us. He took his last breath at 6:39 PM on that Saturday, the 26th. 

As I look back to the past year I feel all kinds of emotions.  Grief that hurt so bad that I cried for many hours in my closet floor.  There were tears that came out of no where while driving down the road.  The pain was unbearable at times as I looked into my three kids' eyes each day.  Change overwhelmed the four of us as it occurred throughout the year. At the same time, I was constantly thanking God for the friends and family he placed in our lives as well as new friends and business associates. His grace and provision was were ever present as well as the consistency of His love, peace and joy amidst the storm.  

We drifted through Christmas and Pat's birthday on New Year's Eve last year in shock and on auto-pilot.  Since Thanksgiving was spent in the hospital just two days prior to His promotion to Heaven, we faced the first true holiday without Dad last week.  

On November 18, 2011, Pat and I sold our ranch.  On the day after we packed the last load in the U-haul, I put Pat in his truck and drove away.  He was so sick that day he did not realize that he was leaving his precious Double E Ranch.  A few weeks ago I made the decision that I wanted to return to Hico to the ranch.  It really surprised me as I truly felt I would not return for several years, but I had the strong desire to see it again.  I contacted the new landowner and planned to spend the anniversary of his death at the ranch.  

As I drove down Hwy. 67 the memories started flooding my mind and the tears started to roll. Pat and I made this drive from Burleson to Hico for 13 years and not many weekends were missed during that time.  We had our favorite places to stop and eat depending on what day of the week it was. I was reminded of the Friday nights we ate a  hamburger at the DQ in Glen Rose.  If it wasn't a fast food stop, it was the grocery store stop in Hico.  The only time Pat would go to the grocery store was to shop for the ranch. He liked to push the cart and pick the menu for the weekend....pure bliss for me!

As I was driving the county roads out of Clariette on Hwy 6, I slowed the car and savored every mile stopping on the bridges that we loved.  As I turned on our road, I saw Pat's girls....his heifers that is.  We sold them to a neighbor, so I was able to see them feeding on the hill a distance away.  As I continued to drive towards our place, I see our neighbors' homes and then there is our place.  Lake Pat is in the distance and our cute little yellow house sits there so lonely.  I pulled into the driveway and I was taken aback.  The house was vacant and the yard was grown up.  Pat always made sure the yard, even with the lack of rain in Hico, was watered in the front and the large yard was neatly mowed.  I did my share of mowing too!  I peaked into the house and could hear his voice and imagine the furniture we had in each room.  The chairs that he and I sat in on the porch were still there. 

As I walked towards the barn, I went in and saw a few things that we had owned.  It reminded of Pat's 50th surprise birthday party when he walked out of the barn one Saturday afternoon and he saw a trail of 15 plus cars driving down the county road to our place.  He was shocked that anyone would drive that far for a party and that I was able to pull this huge surprise off!  

I drove to Lake Pat and got out of the car.  The ranch foreman warned me that the lake was low.  The cattle on the place were coming towards me and since I do not know that herd, I was not comfortable just hanging out very long. As I walked towards the lake, dozens of ducks flew off of the water. I  took some of Pat's ashes and threw them in to the lake which made me feel such peace as this ranch meant so much to him.  I got into the car and drove through all of the pastures just taking in the view, the smell and all of the memories.  

This visit was harder than I imagined and I believed I cried for the three hours that I was there.  Although painful, the visit was healing.  In our class on Sunday mornings, Billy Beacham, our teacher, has been talking about the Death of a Vision. This visit definitely confirmed it.  

On October 5, 2011, the day Pat was diagnosed, God gave me the scripture Exodus 14:13, "Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again."  I was reminded of that verse throughout the months to come.  On, Sunday, November 25th, one week ago, Billy was teaching on this verse. God brought it full circle.  As I look back at this past year, all I knew to do was trust God as I have no idea what my future will hold.  I still do not know.  So, I take it that this verse is still for me to stand on as we travel on through 2013. 

This year brought on change immediately after Pat's passing.  I had a window company to run, a job to do at the church and a son who quit college to help me run the business.  On March 1st I resigned from the church and started this very unknown journey as a small business owner of a company that I knew nothing about.  Having a son who was a junior in high school, I had a lot of parenting to do as well as the paperwork that is required  after one's passing on top of income tax returns and putting the house up for sale. The house sold in September and we moved in with my sister for a month and then finally closed on our new house on the 12th of October.  I have never seen so many boxes in my life and most of them were boxes that were kept in our attics for the past 28 years!  Wow!

My kids have been absolutely amazing through this journey.  The photo was taken at PurpleStride a couple of weeks ago.  They have made sure that every holiday, birthday and Mother's Day was a day to show how much they loved me and that they were there to fill in as much as they could the emptiness of their dad's presence. They have helped and worked hard to make the transitions that have been required. I truly am so blessed to call Elizabeth, Matt and Garrett mine and thankful that their Dad was able to raise them to the young adults that they are.  His hand print can be seen in each of them. If you know me well, you can see the strong influence he had on me too.  I am thankful to have known a love like we shared.  He was an amazing husband, father, son, brother and friend.  We love and miss you so much.


As I close, I just have a thankful heart!  Thankful for my blessings that are abundant....



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Box Living

Strange living with someone else. Never done that before as a family. Elizabeth told me that she was glad I'm not down and out and have to live with Aunt Kelly and Uncle Brian for a year. Don't you know they are thankful for that too! There are eight of us and four inside dogs! Two daughters are living away from home so there is a better chance for the use of the bathroom! I can't find anything either!

Amongst the people are three Hank and his cousins, Lindy and Drover. Hank, being the pup, is annoying and somewhat comical. He will miss his buddies when we leave.

Living out of a box is not so great, so I am looking forward to my new house. One more week!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Last Night on Winding Oaks

As I pulled into driveway just a bit ago I reminded myself that this will be my last night in the home we have owned for over eight years. Our previous home is just down the street, so we have been in this area of town for 17 years.

One morning in May of 2004 my realtor friends, Shelly Green and Lagatha Baxter, stopped by my house on Wild Oaks Court and invited me to go check out a new house down the street that was being built. They had a client who wanted to see the house the next day.

When I walked into this freshly sheet rocked home, I fell in love instantly and was dialing Pat's cell phone as fast as possible. I told him I found the perfect home. He said he would come home for lunch and see it. In the meantime we are asking the builder, Jeff Rasor, to be there as well. That evening at 6 we had a contract to purchase the home. Well, we had to sell our house and only had until August to sale or we would lose the house. After being on the market for 60 days we were getting concerned. But God intervened and our good friends, Andy and Brenda Ashlock, were thinking they may want to buy it. Sounded like a great solution but they had just bought a lot just down the street and they would need to sale it. God showed up again and a friend from church, Brian Melia, was interested in buying the Ashlocks' lot
as a buyer. It all came together and as we all sat around our kitchen table, an agreement was made and all the new buyers were from FBC Burleson! Wow! God was good. To top that off, Shawn and Michelle Minor, also from FBC, built their new home on the lot Brian bought.

After putting the contract on the house, I had 10 days to pick out all colors and make all the choices. That was too much pressure on me, so I hired my friend/decorator, Debbie Washuleski ,
to help me. On August 6th, Garrett's 10th birthday was celebrated while moving into our new dream home.

Now it has been eight years and life has changed for us. From August 2009 to August 2010 we put the house on the market. We didn't even get one offer and we were frustrated. It wasn't time for the house to sale as Pat was diagnosed with cancer two months after we took it off the market. God's sovereignty.

As I type this, Natalie Cole's song, "This Will Be", just came on the radio. Pat and I loved this song. How appropriate it was to stop and dance around my bathroom in my night gown just reminiscing about sweet times and great cranks of the radio he and I shared.

There are so many memories in this precious house with so many "firsts" and tonight I am experiencing my "lasts". Tonight I am camping on my pallet in my room. My heart is sad but there is joy in my heart with so much thankfulness.

When I walk out the door for the last time, it will not be easy. I will take my precious children, dogs, memories and my purple irises with me and experience change again. After alI, I am being led by the one I trust the most!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Should Be Happy Anniversary

I have dreaded the day I look forward to the most, September 8th.  28 years ago I said "I do" at Lake Murray Lodge in Ardmore, Oklahoma in the quaint chapel.  Pat, I would do it all over and over and over again.  I know the conversation you and I would be having today if you were here:

Pat: "Mom, what you want to do for our anniversary?" 
Me: "Oh, I don't care."
Pat: "Want to run down to Hico?  We could grab a bite to eat on the way."
Me: "Sure!"
Pat: "If you don't want to we can do what you want."

We would be packing the truck right now.  When the engine starts up on the Ford diesel, Cash will hop right in the middle of the both of us anxious to "go south".   Our conversation would consist of talking about the kids, the window business and of course, our future retirement.  You always dreamed about the day you and I would retire in beautiful Hico. 

I thought about taking a drive this weekend to Hico, but I just don't think my heart could take it.  I just ran across my favorite picture.  I am riding behind you on the four wheeler.  We are headed towards our house on the ranch.  The wind is cool and I have my arms wrapped around your waist just taking it all in.  

Pat, I miss you terribly and long to hear your voice and feel your touch.  You were my everything.

Happy 28th my sweet Pat!
I will love you forever. 


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Silver Falls

We arrived in Pagosa very late Saturday night. Thanks to Dave and Iris for sharing their beautiful mountain home. It has the most amazing views.

Yesterday morning we had a big breakfast and took off for Silver Falls. Silver Falls is off East Fork Road between Pagosa Springs and Wolf Creek Pass and in the middle of the privately owned East Fork Ranch. Iris' nephew, Larry Ash, is a home builder in Pagosa and knows the owner of the ranch as he remodeled the old family cabin. Since then, he became good friends with them. He now oversees the ranch. He heard we were coming back to spread Pat's ashes at Silver Falls and offered us the use of the ranch. On the ranch are tents with a full kitchen and a tent for camping. Also included is the best trout fishing in Colorado as well as some four wheelers to ride.

The boys went fishing yesterday morning early and after the rest of us arrived we hiked up to Silver Falls. It was very steep but beautiful. It was cloudy as we climbed, but the sun appeared just as we arrived at the top of the falls.

After we all caught our breath, I read an entry from one of Pat's journals and prayed. We each shared in the spreading of his ashes in the water. 

Silver Falls

Silver Falls Cabin

It was a moment I will never forget and I felt Pat's presence the whole time. He would have loved the trout fishing the best!

Afterwards we cooked some hot dogs and went for rides on the four wheelers. The boys fished until late and our evening was finished with a huge dinner and laughter.

Pat, we miss you. Colorado isn't the same without you.


Me & Angie
Me & Kelly
Me & G

The Beginning of the Final Chapter

As I write, we are driving to Pegosa Springs, Colorado to enjoy our favorite place, but most importantly to carry Pat's ashes to rest in what He called God's country. This trip is certainly going to be bitter sweet and it is hard to believe we are traveling without him. After all he is the first one to introduce me to beautiful Colorado in the summer time in July of 1983.

There are six of us riding in a black, rented Toyota Sequoia. Nice ride. Matt has been driving since we left Burleson after 10 this morning and we are arriving Amarillo. Arty and Alex are joining the four of us. Elizabeth has the prime stop in the very back!

It doesn't feel like seven months since Pat left us and over time it has gotten harder. We miss him so much.

Ready to see the mountains!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


On this date I would always ask Pat, "You know what today is?" His answer was "no" most of the time. 31 years ago my future husband waltzed in to Lake Murray Lodge wearing his hirache sandals (never saw those before) and soon asked that girl behind the desk wearing her yellow britches if she could go out with one of her tenants". As you know she said "yes". 

Pat has been gone over seven months now and my heart hurts just as much or more than the day we said goodbye.  I still say to myself almost every day, "I can't believe he is gone."  Life is so different now and offers me so many challenges and many times beyond my comfort zone.  God calls that pruning and it hurts.  

Today I received a FB message that read: " God put you on my heart this AM. Seems as if he told me to pray that you would have courage to continue to stand strong. Resonate?"  As I read these words I just started to cry as I knew that God just used my friend to send me a direct message.  "Have courage, Paige".   I need a lot of that right now.  

God is faithful and I am holding onto that promise.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Welome to the Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2012
Hey there! If you are stopping by for a visit from the Ultimate Blog Party, welcome!  I believe this is my third year to participate.  Are you wondering what a blog party is? Over 3,000 bloggers get together and link up their blogs. 

If blogging is one of your passions, then you too have met some pretty special people. I have been blogging since 2007 and some of my greatest prayer warriors and sweetest friends were met many years ago in the blogspot world. 

Blogging started out as a small past-time, but God had bigger plans when he introduced me to journaling.  I see now why I spent hours making my blog reflect me and my family as he was going to use my blog to inform, reach out and share our journey with my husband's, Pat, esophageal cancer in 2008 and then two years later, his biggest fight of his life, pancreatic cancer.  The many journal entries here in Paige's Petals reflects our journey through pain, joy, suffering, peace and most of all, God's faithfulness. 


Saturday, April 14, 2012

America's Best Choice Windows & More DFW Video Business Card

A look at my video business card that the DFW Marketing Guy made for me.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Garrett's Centennial Athletic Banquet

Garrett's basketball came to an end and is now gearing back up for spring league.  Last week was his athletic banquet.  

District Trophy.  Garrett & Alex

Video of Coach Carroll introducing Garrett

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and
convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”


Taelor & Garrett
Paxton, Garrett & Alex

A couple of weeks ago Garrett was named 2012 Cleburne Ford All-Johnson County Team.  Click here to see the newspaper article.
Centennial Athletes.  Boys: Garrett, Curtis & Doug

All County Team

There are no words to describe how blessed we are to have had Garrett's basketball season in the middle of our pain.  God knew just what we needed and knows what brings us joy!  Watching Garrett and his team was pure joy, although Pat had the perfect seat!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Congrats to G!

The storm finally came in but not as quick as they predicted.   Garrett and I are home tonight and we were both laughing at Hank because he doesn't like to get his paws wet and if you don't watch out, he will do his business on the porch!  What a funny pup!  Garrett has taught him how to sit, but unfortunately, we don't think he hears very well, so we are working on hand signals.  

I wanted to share that Garrett made first team District 7-3A Boys Basketball Team! Congratulations to Doug Hopkins for first team and Curtis Amos as Newcomer of the Year!

What an exciting year of basketball for the Centennial boys. It was pure joy watching Garrett play this year.  In September, I remember sitting in the oncologist office in Tulsa and worrying about scheduling Pat's treatment and praying we would not miss many of Garrett's games during the season.  Of course, I didn't think for one minute that  Pat wouldn't be here  and I specifically remember crying  and asking God why he would allow Pat to leave us during basketball season..  As instantly as I asked him, he answered, "because it is what you enjoy the most".  Yes, he was right. Watching Garrett play kept us busy and help us to change our focus for just a while.  

It blesses my heart so much knowing that G scored 30 points in what would be Pat's last game to watch his son play on that Monday before he left  us on Saturday. I am so proud of Garrett as he played with such heart, determination and pure dedication to his team with a broken heart. Their team made it to the second round of playoffs and it was very exciting. What a great year, Spartans!

Well, the thunder is loud and I am enjoying watching Hank stare at the lightning. He cracks me up!  Cash thinks he pretty fun too!


Thursday, March 15, 2012


Yesterday was a just one of those hard days.  It looks like we are going to need a roof, so I stayed home to meet the insurance agent and my cousin, Brett, who works at a roofing company and is taking good care of me.  After they left, I really didn't have anywhere else to be so, I stayed home on purpose.  Those taxes are still hanging over my head, so I thought I would try to tackle them.  As the day winds down, I am still by myself as Matt is gone and Mr. G is soaking up the beautiful sunshine in the Bahamas. I am feeling lonely, missing Pat and trying not to feel sorry for myself.  I look on FaceBook and Elizabeth has tagged this precious picture:

The tears I was fighting let loose.

This morning I am waiting on my K-cup to deliver my favorite brew, Green Mountain Breakfast Blend, and I noticed I received a message from Jamie Johnson:

Hey just had a little something I wanted to share with you. I worked an event back in December with some friends. The event was for children who had lost their parents at war. I was standing with a friend named Shane. He and is wife, Sandy, are friends of mine. They are in their late 30's. A boy who had special needs in a wheel chair passed by us. My friend, Shane, said, " I just don't see why God does that to people. How much can a person take? I mean he's lost a parent on top of the other needs he has." I just started telling him God's glory can be used in so many situations. The conversation led to me telling him about you and Pat. I explained to him the testimonies that were given at Pat's funeral about his life and how you and Pat was ministering to others in most difficult time. Well a few weeks ago Shane was having pain in his jaw and it snapped in half one night when he yawned. He was diagnosed last week with a very rare form of cancer and it has eaten most of his jaw bone away. There are only 150 reported cases of the type of cancer he has. He and his wife have 2 young children. They are devastated. I saw Shane the other day and it was hard to know what to say. He just said to me, "Hey, Jamie do you remember that conversation we had a few months ago about that man you knew (he was referring to Pat)? I had no idea that day just how much that conversation would mean to me and how it has made me look at things so different now. I'm so grateful we talked about that. Little did I know just how much that I needed to hear that. I must tell you my heart nearly cried out as I was more in LOVE with Jesus for that divine appointment I had no idea was taking place at that time." I just wanted to share this with you Paige so you can see as Pat is rejoicing with our BEAUTIFUL Savior right now, his life is still impacting others. Thanks so much to you both for allowing the Lord to use you guys. Shane is going in for his first of many surgeries tomorrow at 5:30am. I would love if you would pray for him and his family. Again thanks so much for loving the Lord and for being so transparent and obedient to the one who loves you more than you know. Love, Jamie.

"Wow" is my first thought. Tears flow again and I am reminded by God's perfecting timing in His delivery of Jamie's  message directly to my heart.  He knows my pain and I read in Psalms 56 yesterday morning, vs. 8 "You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?"  Pat's journey has purpose and God is using it to touch lives.  That brings me joy. 

Streams in the Desert still ministers to me each morning.  Today I read, "Almighty God can make us stronger than our circumstances and can turn each situation to our good. In God's strength we can make them all pay tribute to our soul. We can even take the darkest disappointment, break it open, and discover a precious jewel of grace inside." I imagine the jewel is the color purple.



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spartans Win First Playoff Game!

The Spartans won their first playoff game tonight against Kennedale 64 to 59!  Whew! What a great game that was exciting, explosive and just plain fun!  Garrett did a great job as well as all of the other guys.  Garrett's smile was absolutely priceless as he came up into the stands to give us all a hug.  His Aunt Kelly and Uncle Brian arrived just in time for the game from OKC and drove back touching.  It was wonderful having my Mom, Aunt Dianne, our life group friends, David and Tracie and all of our fellow friends and fans!  It was loud in that gym!  

This morning as I was about to leave for work, I was on my knees just thanking God for the many blessings He has given me.  In my conversation with Him, I asked him specifically for a win tonight because I know that He loves to bless us.  I told him that this Mom is asking for a win for her son to help the pain he feels in missing his dad.  I know that Garrett misses his biggest cheerleader in those stands.  We have been experiencing so many of our "firsts" and I asked that this particular first would bring Garrett and all of us joy.  It did, and we say thank you, Lord.

Today has been full of emotion as the staff at church celebrated birthdays and my send off.  I was given a beautiful card and a Brighton bracelet that has engraved "Embrace The Journey".  I found myself in tears most of the morning as I anticipate my last day on Thursday as my friends mean so much to me.  I also was sad knowing that Pat would have loved watching Garrett play basketball in his first playoff.  I don't know what goes on in that heavenly place, but I do hope that Pat gets to see glimpses of our joy.  

Ready for the next game this Friday against Abilene, but I do not know the details just yet!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Shattered Dreams

God is always working to make His children aware of a dream that remains alive beneath the rubble of every shattered dream, a new dream that when we realized will release a new song sung with tears til God wipes them away and we sing with nothing but joy in our hearts~~Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb

In my mailbox was a package from my friend, Martha Hadley.  She mailed me a copy of a book she thought would minister to me when I was ready.  The book is Shattered Dreams, God's Unexpected Pathway to Joy.  I have been reading one chapter every morning, but it is so good that I can hardly stop after one chapter.  But, I need to soak in the words and the truth about shattered dreams. I could relate to the title immediately as I have experienced shattered dreams.  "Shattered dreams are the truest blessings; they help us discover our true hope. But it can take a long, dark time to discover it.  We must identify a hope that has the power to do something truly wonderful when the dark night descends and we see nothing but pain and disappointment in this life, a hope that does exactly the same thing when the sky is sunny."

Joy amidst the pain is such a true gift.  Through my suffering I have known such joy.  The very first time I ever recognized it was in 2008 when Pat was lying in the hospital just days after a major surgery.  They had removed two inches of his stomach and three to four inches of his esophagus in order to remove the stage one cancer. The ten day stay at Harris Hospital was a long one and a very painful one.  But I remember sitting in his room while he was sleeping and I felt this indescribable joy.  I remember whispering to God, "so this is what joy feels like amidst the pain". Pat had physical pain as well as emotional not knowing what was ahead of him in the days to come. 

Through my pain I have the strongest desire to know God more deeply by soaking up His word and His presence.  I have never known truer worship than I have experienced these past days..He is all I have. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Spartan Playoff Basketball

Boy was last week crazy and my brain was in overload.  America's Best Choice is a dealership and we have a corporate office that support us.  Two of the guys were here from Atlanta last week to help me with some dealership training as well as getting me ready for the busy season.  They were here Tuesday through Friday and I had to get my other job at church done also.  

This week America's Best Choice had a home show in Allen and it was one of the best shows we have ever participated in.  Matt received an invoice for the home show two weeks ago and I remember Matt calling me and telling me that Dad left us surprise....we are in the Collin County Home Show.  We had no idea, but ended up being a good thing!  Next week we will be at the Fort Worth Home and Garden Show.  Thanks to John, Troy and Matt for all of their hard work. 

Taelor with #23 on her mind and on her shirt!
Big game Tuesday night for Spartan boys basketball as they are headed to the playoffs for the first time since the school has been open which is only two years.  The opponent will be Kennedale and the game will be played at Mansfield Legacy.  I am excited for Garrett and the rest of the team and can't wait!

This will be my last week at the church and it makes me sad.  I knew it was coming, but actually walking away and beginning  a new adventure is here.  Yes, I will continue to be involved in my church, but it will not be the same as being around these great people on a daily basis.    

Spartan Mascot with John Carter

I just returned from Life group about an hour ago and I can't tell you how thankful I am to have this group in my life.  Sundays are hard for me, but I always look forward to being with my LG pals.  

I pray that you have a great week and you will have God's blessings and His favor on upon you and your family.