Happy New Year

Happy New Year EVERYONE! Spend 2012 in peace, love, and ever-lasting blessings!!! Love the Hays Family!


High Arches

My feet are narrow. They are not very strong. Loving to dance, I always disliked my feet. Just one of those funny things that you dislike about yourself, but no one else seems to care or notice. But for me, personally I always wanted a different pair.

To catch up on what's been going on and where I'm going with this entry...just stay with me.

Our fall was very busy, as well as the Christmas season. We are all in school and doing well. Ike is so bright and creative. Although, he struggles with staying on task. With time and practice, I know this will get better...so I continue to encourage his many positive qualities! Thankfully his teacher is so understanding and patient (I think it might have something to do with the fact that she went to the same college as Russell!) Overall he really has grown up this year with the influence of his teachers, coaches, and his friend/mentor, Skip. Ike is happier; it is such a wonderful feeling to know and see your child is healing.

Lilli is also doing well in school. She does not struggle with the same issues, of course...but I will say in what she does struggle with, she does equally as hard. Lilli is a wonderful student; loving to read, write, and draw. She is a smart child, has strong opinions, and is very expressive. All fine and dandy, I want my daughter to grow into a strong woman of faith and character, but Lilli falls into being the "baby of the family" and Momma's little girl. That's being nice; she is becoming too sassy! Common for a little girl of her age, but not acceptable! Although, I know that this is another battle with children testing their boundaries; I'm just glad I'm stronger now to tackle this "issue" and Lilli has a beautiful and compassionate heart. So I know she will improve.

This also was our first season back in football and first season for cheer leading. I'm not going to lie, it was hard. I longed for my children to have their Daddy on the field with them during games. It's hard to watch them play so well, work so hard, show strong character, and want to tell them "Your Daddy is so proud of you!" without tears in your eyes! Staying positive always helps with that pesky lump in my throat; so I found myself helping out on the field keeping track of plays for the team! It was fun and I really liked the time with Ike Lionheart Hays!! ;)

When the three night a week practice and game on Saturday season was over, I was thankful we would have November to recharge before the "holiday" season. Because if there is one thing I am learning, being a single-widowed mother of two is hard work, YO! And I have to allow myself  "down time" no matter how guilty I feel! But our November...was a NO-vember! It flew by! There were plenty of wonderful things to chat about, but honestly I was trying to rest and focus on preparing myself for December. There are a lot of memories made during the holiday season, and I pray up for strength to make it through. Plus, knowing that there would be no movement well into 2012 in the criminal case against the driver, Todd Willoughby...wasn't the easiest thing to swallow. I push on. So when I was cleaning out my shed for Christmas decorations and the upcoming winter, it became very clear to me that I lost my mind for the last 3 years. As I opened plastic tub after plastic tub I couldn't remember what was in them and even worse when I packed them! Grief robbed me, again! Evil vampire, sucking the life out of the living! Our past loved ones really don't want this for us, so move forward.

So I did, and walked into a holiday season with not much sadness in my heart. Memories were there, of course, but after speaking with Tina she confirmed I am doing the healthy thing. Remember the good, hold it dear, put it behind you, and focus on the future with wisdom from the past. So here I am gung-ho-ho-ho for the holiday season wanting to hold on to every gingerbread moment, and darn-it! It didn't feel like Christmas this year!?! Anybody feel me!?! Don't get me wrong gathering with friends and family is always good, but for some reason I didn't have that "Crosby White Christmas" warm and fuzzy feeling all over.

I don't know what the reason was, but I can guess that it was a combination of plenty of emotions and feelings I wasn't able to properly express because I wasn't writing on a the regular. This writing stuff really helps, but sometimes it's hard to share....what if I offend someone!?! And then I think, "well if they play by your standards of offensive behavior...you'd have to accidentally end their life, run away, and then lie about the whole darn thing. So I think you're all good." But honestly and just to be clear with everyone, I don't play by "my standards" that would be self-righteous...it's really His standard and still I think I'm ok.

Maybe it's just me, but after loss the lights aren't dim, they are brighter; Truth is always brighter. And love is not just a sappy romantic comedy feeling that just so happens to reappear forever, it's a choice. And family unity is not a tree that is easily pruned, it takes an entire family to restore the health back to the tree. And if for any reason you think it's hard for you, you've never prayed, held, and consoled a grieving child who is losing memories of her Daddy. All these things lead to evolving into better and healthier people, no matter how hard they feel in the moment of impact.

It's hard work to be a healthy human being; one without bitterness, hate, lust, greed, self-righteousness, self pity, and selfishness. Mentally, emotionally, and physically you become tired. Growing pains set in like the ones of your youth, but you are older and the pain is in your heart and not your legs. My frustration grows when I witness people throwing in the towel, before they are even tested. Before they honestly tasted the blood of defeat, and still choose to swallow it and dig deep for water. Choose a path best for themselves, instead of what is best for the flock. I look at their steps; how their posture is anchored at their feet....proud chest out rocking on the ball and big toe, maybe unsure of their direction hunched over resting on the outside and "littlest piggie", or ready to give in with weight in the heels and toes up. I wonder, what have they been doing for the last four months? No really. What have they been doing? (this isn't my judgemental voice, this is one of curiosity.)

So of course, I look at my own path before my curiosity turns to judgement...:) I see MY times of weakness, I see MY times of wanting to throw in the towel, and I see when I was HELD UP and CARRIED. I see that even though I am emotionally, mentally, and sometimes physically worn slap out, I'm glad I was pushed, I'm thankful I became wise to my threshold, I'm thankful I said "no" to anything that did not benefit my family, I'm glad I said "yes" to my heart, and above all else I'm thankful He made me focus on my own path instead the one of someone else. Another lesson in humility...God = a billion...Sam = 0.

I pray for my steps, that I allow Him to guide each of them, that I guard against pit falls and holes that tempt me to give up, and that I open my stance, toes wide, and heel dug dip...the rest of my body will adjust, follow, and become stronger. The lamp onto my feet is revealing more and more, even though my path at times can be narrow and rocky...these size 10s are for running up mountains.



She misses her Daddy. She likes to draw. She was drawing at the kitchen table and her brother was eating a snack. I was cooking. She asked your name, your last name, and I told her.

"You can write to him and tell him how you feel any time you want." I said.

"Oh, I will. But I wouldn't say anything mean. I would just tell him, it was just an accident." she said.

He was quite, but he shook his head, "yes". Tears filled my eyes. Not because of their pain, but because of their understanding. They are strong.

I will not be sitting in the row behind you tomorrow, because I have better things to do and it's just ANOTHER calendar call. And even though they are never in your sight in the court room, they see through you.

From their tears, make mud, and see.



The anger balls up inside me when I see your face, not because of your actions, but because I've forgiven them and you run away like before. I've never wanted you to suffer, not by the hands of men, not in your own head, and especially not in your heart. My heart aches for the pain you and your family have had to go through because of your actions and lies. I pray day and night for your children.

I remember telling Tina early on, like two months into this nightmare, "...they're never gonna heal, never. They'll never heal if they don't tell the truth. Their marriage will suffer, their children will suffer, and the beautiful life that God wants for everyone will be lost." She then asked me, "What would you do if you saw him, let's say 2 football fields away? What would be your first thought?" And as quickly as she asked, I said "That could be my son in 20 years. What would I do as a mother?" Which then I burst into tears...and her reply, "You didn't break them and you can't fix them. You need to heal yourself first, then you worry about them...much later." But now is the time to worry about you.

Today was a very hard day for me, not just because of Calendar Call, not just because you were driving the car that killed my husband, not because your wife was there to support you and my husband is dead, BUT also my sister died nine years ago on this very day, May 4, 2002. I sat next to my Daddy, and had to watch him suffer again. He, again, has to watch his other little girl suffer in terrible pain that he cannot fix. You have two little girls, could you imagine? I don't think you can, so I cry for them and you.

I called my mother afterwards, because she had to work, and on a day that is already so hard, she again had to dish out advice that she can hardly carry out herself. "Write to him, Samarah. Tell him who you are. They don't know who you are. They know your anger, they know your bitterness, but they do not hear your compassion. Because he was not there hours after the wreck when you wanted to hold him, you wanted to tell him you forgave him, and you wanted everyone to heal. You have forgiven him and he is not taking it, and that is why this hurts so badly."


Yes, some of my past post have been blunt and at times hurtful, but that is me being honest and human. Welcome to the human race! I call a spade a spade. So, if you were my BEST FRIEND, you aren't, but if you were I'd call you out. Why? Cause I know it's the best thing for you. So that's why my last posts are so hard core, I'm getting to the heart of the matter; the one that everyone is always afraid to point out. But this right here, this is a tired woman who has been to the ends of her rope and back. I know I have explored every which way to handle this hell-of-life without forgiving you, but I can't. My heart truly, truly sinks for you and what you saw that night. I couldn't imagine seeing a man fight for his last breath and know I caused it. I feel bad if I bump into people with my shopping cart at Publix, so I REALLY couldn't imagine what you are going through. And what you are trying to sleep through at night.

This doesn't have to be ugly, this isn't messy, and you never have to say anything out loud. Just know that when I stare at you and your wife in court, yes, I am still hurt; but inside I am like the mother who continues to watch her child make the biggest mistake of their life and they won't take my hand for help. I am crying for you, because your eyes speak pain and I see it. I am weeping for you, when you feel the need to fill the uncomfortable court room silence with nervous laughter, because you are scared. I am wanting to run you down and hold you like a mother would hold her son, when you don't even have the nerve to walk past me to exit the building. I wish this never, never, never happened to you and everyone you know. I wish this never, never, never happened to Russell and everyone he loved and loved him (and there were a lot, his funeral filled the mega church in Lilburn, two stories. It was beautiful to celebrate his life.)

But it did and we can't go back. But we must move forward in peace, you must hear this from me, and know I am being 100% honest when I say, I forgive you. I always have. I really just wanted a, "I'm so sorry." That's all. But I'll never get it and the only reason that's OK, is because God has already said it for you. Please take His gift, forgive yourself, and move forward accordingly.




For them...

I remember a time when a squeal wasn't something wrong;
when the feet running towards the door wasn't forlorn.
The air and the mood dim,
until the moment he'd walk in.
All day long we would get through, oh we'd hoe
do that long row of the same ole same ole.
The beans were simmerin and the corn was right,
just before the bathtime, pj's, and goodnight's;
But just before we sat down to eat
there came a man dragging his feet.
And as much as the world had brought him down
he'd sit with his children and accept their crown.
For they did not just see him as their own,
he was worth of much more, a throne.
Not because of his title or his face,
it was only of his love and his grace.
He would tickle and tackle one to the floor,
and then teach the brother how to love his sister more.
Little protector and Little princess,
You are Daddy's here and in rest.


Tongue and Cheek

Remove the blindfold of legalism,
soak in love, walk in wisdom.
Where is the line, when you draw so many?
I'd rather use a net, let's go fishing.

Close your mouth, if you can't speak blossoms;
if you have negative thoughts, well, toss'em.
Practice what you preach, vomit what you eat.
Yet, your tone of words...filled with heat,

Or sticky sweet verbage, you call a reach out?
Let me guess, the goal was my soul?
When your eyes never had me at  "hello".
Ahh, but your tongue went on a roll....

Really? Hate the sin, but not the sinner?
Tired of the rhyme, hidden behind shameful pride.
Claiming it like it were your own;
forgetting it wasn't you who rolled the stone.

Aim is gone and sight unclear;
not hearing Your Savior, ear to ear?
Cheek to cheek, you should be dancing,
following His lead instead of glancing

At the muffled dillusion of your illusion.

Walking proudly and stout with staff in hand,
metal fish, leading sheep in a mini van.
Fit ever so nicely in between the lines;
hoarding your idea, it's your design.

You cross out and hand out, but never over.

For the
missed out,
blown out,
left out,
burnt out,
came out,

Standing in doubt for who He has chosen.

Sweat blood, break bread, and sit with the poor,
the tax collectors, the weak, liars, and the whore.
Move, take action, and simply love...
judgement is blocking who you're really made of.

You are the stone, so be rolled away.
His light will shine and you both will play.
Faith like a child you so desperately seek,
will be gifted to you cheek to cheek.


Ten for Ten

Top 10 favorite things about us:

1. Our family: God, us, the kids.
2. That he loved to tell people of how we met. Just precious, he'd remember every detail and tell everyone.
3. This picture the summer after we met, that we DIDN'T pose for...thanks Erin for snapping it. It's one of my ALL time favorites, cause we are smiling at each other.

4. Songs and music he wrote for us. He filled our house with music ALL the TIME (it's quiet now, thank you inano.) He'd bring his guitar everywhere and sometimes just follow me, the social butterfly, around parties playing away...he was my music man and I danced in between the notes.
5. Everything about our wedding. Handmade dress by my mother, flowers pick from the garden, music by my love, personal wedding vows, family and friends helping in any way. Super sweet and not a dry eye in the house.
6. This moment in time, Tom was playing Russell's song, "Come Home", we were lighting the candle. The wind was blowing and candle almost went out, but didn't. We were joking about the chances of it going out, holding our hands together the entire time, and it never went out.

7. We kept each other accountable, even though we had our own ways of expressing ourselves, we listened to each other and respected one another. We talked about EVERYTHING and questioned our true motives for everything. I didn't need a blog with him around; he was my sounding board and I was his. I miss my best friend.
8. On the morning of our wedding day, I could hear him outside and he yelled to my mother, "Stephanie, I'm going to MARRY your daughter TODAY!" I giggled so hard, I started to cry, and couldn't wait to see my love. He covers my face so that no one sees us kiss; super gentleman, honoring little ole' me.

9. Camping, hiking, sitting around a camp fire, cooking, grilling out while listening to the game, jamming and singing together, writing songs, talking for hours about faith and our walks with God, and being so thankful that we could do it all again tomorrow...
10. Hugging ourselves into giggles. His laugh, bear hugs, and his sweet smile.

God Bless you, Beloved one. Happy Memories, thank you. Make more, beauty from ashes, I will.


I am Sam's Raging Tea Kettle

Stop me if you've heard this one:
A woman walks into her counselor's office. The counselor asks the usual, "So, how have you been since we last met?" The woman says, "Oh, not so good. I've had terrible migraines for the past 2 weeks. I thought I had 6 in two weeks, but my doctor says it was just one I never got rid of." The counselor, with her head hung low, says, "My dear, migraines are pent up rage." and the woman bursts into tears.

Yep, that was me and my beautiful counselor, Tina. (I love her.) She sat back as I cried. Huge tears of pain and confusion, then she shed some herself. All the terrible dreams I had for the last weeks flooded my thoughts while I rocked back and forth, and my tears couldn't keep up. Awful dreams: Me, standing in front of the house in the snow with only undergarments on; steam pouring from my eyes as I stare into the windows; the eyes of a home filled with darkness and I am burning with the flames of truth. Me, flying by on a bike while she waters her precious plants, she is tired of the reminder, so she sprays me with the hose; she misses and can't keep up with me, she falls. I walk up to her, she flinches, but all I do is stare into the eyes of a liar. Each dream would take me to them, they would flinch in horror as to what I might do...and all I do is stare. Stare so hard their pupils are brunt into mine.

"Is that why I am having these awful dreams?" I asked her after sobbing. "Yes, you are not speaking your truth, your anger. It is building up, causing the shoulders and neck to tense and blocks circulation to the brain. There could be other factors, but these are mostly caused by rage. Depression is suppressed anger; Migraines are pent up rage." "Haven't I gone through anger, though?" "Oh, you're at peace with Russell passing, but this other crap is not allowing you to move on. It's pissing me off now; you don't deserve this."

I am tired of sounding like a broken record, to myself. Not all hear the ins and outs of my drama, it would consume everything; just not fair to relationships, really. Then I realized I am not a broken record, I'm a tea pot without a spout! No one's tipping me over, pouring me out, and I sure as hell ain't enjoying any tea. I've been on the back burner for 2 years and 2 months!

I keep thinking, "Ok, this sucks but you gotta put your big girl pants on and move forward. You gotta find the joy in life and make the best of it. Put your game face on, Boo Boo. Make the life you've always wanted." Um, OK. check, check, check.

There's me, making an effort of moving forward....and bam it's the first of the month and here comes the letter..."On this date, there is a calendar call for "this" case. You as the VICTIM are more than welcome to be present. If the defendant pleas "not guilty" the trial will be the following week."

 So I think...prepare for battle even though this is not yours, prepare anyway cause your kids can't tend to themselves. OK, prepare. THEN, the day before the calendar call the victims advacate will call me and say, "Well we know the trial won't be this month, because __________(fill in some excuse I've heard them all.) so we aren't having the calendar call. So it might be this summer, or this fall, but we really can't say for sure. Talk to you next month." Really?

Yes, Really.

Yeah, back on the burner. Boiling over. Steaming. Piping hot and this kettle is going to blow. Not just with the simple, "I'm pissed that accident killed my husband...." Which I am, but news flash....he chose to get in the PASSENGER seat. So, I'm at peace with the choices of a man, my husband, and his fate. ACCIDENTS HAPPEN, but people CHOOSE TO RUN AWAY and LIE. So, my anger goes deeper than any of those dimwits could every think it could go. And there is my first one:

*I'm pissed they EVER mistook my kindness for being naive or stupid; yes, I'm the one who kept quiet while you spouted off like a fool, because debating with a fool just makes me look like one too. So for years, I kept quiet and simply loved on you...years, I tell you, years.
*I'm pissed I won't copy and paste the "ever so thoughtful" emails I received from one "sweet Mississippi southern belle", asking me to "please fill her in on how the trial is going, because she really cares, is inspired by my faith, and how I'm handling everything." AND THEN a week later takes a picture with "the fools"?? Really?? Why don't you ask them yourself? Here honey, here's your first lesson in faith...ASK QUESTIONS. (all these "exchanges" made me raise a couple questions myself, trust no one.)

*I'm pissed that I didn't go to law school. Now, I can't grill each and every one of you myself; even though it wouldn't be that hard, because what I have in black and white is pretty clear that none of you have the same story or don't really recall what happened. But I don't want to "grill" you. I want you to have the pleasure of meeting me.
*I'm pissed neither of you never really had the pleasure in meeting us. Now, just me. I'm actually a really nice person, even fun to be around. I like to dance, create art of all kinds, love on my babies and Jesus, my face is off-center, I don't wear much make-up, and TELL THE TRUTH.

 What are you REALLY like? Cause I bet you are so much more than the worthless lies you allowed yourself to become...you should meet who you really are sometime, it's an eyeopener.
*I'm pissed you doubt my compassion for you, that you thought of only yourself. (Don't tell me you thought of your kids, cause that's a lie; what you are really doing is blaming your kids for running. father of the year!) I thought of you and your family. I PRAYED over every one of you, EVERY ONE of you. That we would heal TOGETHER, that we would make it out of this TOGETHER. I heard the promise of God's glory, and you only heard the promise of a selfish heart. It's the only thing that will sing to you around the lake from here on out.
*I'm pissed you are making this about YOU. Interrupting the lives of people you have never met with your cowardly delay. Infecting families, friendships, and future relationships with your sick choices that will painfully haunt them for years (I'm not just talking about me and mine, you've got children too, BRO!).
*I'm pissed I have to wait on this stupid trial to make out my school schedule, my plans for vacations, and even holidays. I DIDN'T CHOOSE THIS. And the "legals" keep saying, "just keep moving on with your life." OH, OK! What about when I want to go to Disney this October, CAUSE MY KIDS DESERVE IT...

...but oops we might have the trial. Is that moving forward with OUR LIFE? Or is that waiting on the Willoughby's? or the Price's? Or the legal system? Could somebody please stand up and tell the truth?
*I'm pissed that these are the same people, all four of them, who claim they would give the shirt off their backs for anyone, fight to death in a fox-hole, peace. Nope. It's the same old, "one family is already ruined, why hurt another" routine. Oh, ok really looking out for the greater good there, peace, inner peace is right around the corner...Here, let ME RETURN YOUR MARBLES.
*I'm pissed, I can't get a straight anything. Man to WOMAN, eye to eye...You're sorry and I forgive you, now go away forever and leave me alone. No, you aren't even able to look me in the eye or even exit past me; Yes, we all watched as you snuck down the back stairs to avoid passing us...just like you ran away the first time. Think you're good at running, don't you? I bet his screams still follow you. Sleep tight.
*AND mostly, I really wanted to hit my 10year anniversary with him, in the flesh...so I had to get this off my chest before it came. Yes, I'm pissed my marriage ended not on my terms. While others waste time, lie, and bow out.We fought for it, loved on it, and treasured it.

Ding ding, it's tea time. Drink up..."get the picture?". And lurkers do me a favor leave a comment say hi; I heard I had some fans. Bring'em out, stand up...one lump or two?


Remember, Honor Alone

The vacant house stood alone. A vacant neighbor to the left and a drive to the right. The color didn't suit it. Carelessly the door was left open, yet carefully we opened further. Like our hearts the carpet was torn out, and only the sub flooring left with staples exposed. Walls painted with bright colors, again like us, masking the bare walls beneath. It is cold, even when the sun shines through the windows. Empty. Alone.

Kitchen cabinets are empty. The corner counter top once held something special. An event took place here, but the forclosure sign didn't check it off the list. Don't go in the basement, and the footsteps walk passed the stairs. In to what used to be the pink room there is no wisdom. The master is white, I don't enter just like before. Honor. Electric blue covers the other, feel nothing. It is not like the water once spoken of, there is no wind. Remember.

The ground is uneven and the cedars are cut. Shed is lock. There used to be a story. There is no key. Looking for anything, anything to return, nothing. Their footsteps are quick and curious, "I see the water." An event took place here, the shed is locked, there is no key. I don't want to stay, but I don't want to leave. A brick is taken, it is ours, it will ground us. Remember. Honor. Alone.

An event took place here. To the left we see the tiny patch of spring. "Pick them all, pick them low." Seven in the spring. At seven there is an inch; your back, my back. There used to be a story. The shed is locked. Flowers in water and back hand springs when I arrived. The vacant house is alone. Remember, honor, alone.


Ice Cream Sundays

I've been wanting to share this story for a while, yet I haven't had the time. And for the reasons I've wanted to share this story is either really cool, merely selfish time to talk about me, or to show a glimpse into a relationship we (my family) holds dear. Our walk with God and how He delights us, oh so much! So here goes...

A month of Sundays ago I was melancholy. It was soon after I wrote my last blog entry and as wonderful as that felt, I was still sad. Of course when I am sad, I want to fix it, mend it, wipe away the tears and move on, and just be happy. I was offered peace. Ok. Yet, like a little child I always ask for more, the pretty-please-cherry-on-top-little-tiny-sign-hello-from-above. ANYTHING please.

After leaving church we talked about God all day long. It was awesome. We were having that day where your not acting as parent and children, but soul-mates to soul-mates. We were sharing our spirits with each other and it was a beautiful thing, I suggest you try it sometime. We ate lunch, went to the Goodwill (cause Sunday is the best day to go, you know!?!) and drove across to the county to go to a family birthday party.

Because we were talking about God all day the question came up, "So Momma, do you REALLY believe in angels?" I take this question very seriously, pause for dramatics, and boldly answer, "Yes. I do." "Like with the white wings and halos, Mom?" (that's my Ike.) "Well, Ike God is an amazing artist. He designed this whole planet, the whole universe, so I think He made all different kinds of angels. There are some pretty crazy creatures in the last book of Bible, so that's just a taste of what's to come in heaven. I believe God can do anything."

"Do you really think angels come and help us, Mom?" "Yep. They are like God's soldiers, leaving peace and love behind. But, sometimes I think we get to busy to really see and notice they are there at all. Sometimes people start looking at too many things of the world, that they doubt the possibilities of God. They doubt that God wants to be close with us, pray with us, love us, joke around with us, dance with us, paint pretty pictures in the clouds with us. All these things are God's and we are here to enjoy them with Him, but sometimes we don't and we forget. That's when it gets lonely."

"How do we know when it's an angel? How do we know it's God?"-Ike

"Well, for me, sometimes I have a feeling that pulls on my spirit and it tells me to stop, pause, slow down, remember this moment, and I know that God wants me to put my focus back on Him. And sometimes, like the hawk..."

"Oh, yeah. The hawk you see for Daddy." -Lilli

"Yes, that hawk is not Daddy. But when I am feeling strong, at peace with my spirit, God will send me a hawk. And I believe angels help that hawk reach me and with it a "Hello" from your Daddy."

"Like the butterfly and Aunt Rozi?" (still Lilli.) "Yes, like the butterfly and Aunt Rozi."

"Some people call it quinkidinks, I call it a "God thing"."  And we all laughed, driving down the back roads of the country of what used to be our stomping grounds. I keep talking so I didn't focus on the fresh memories of what used to be our home.

"Have I ever told ya'll about the lighter? (they shook their heads no.) Well, when momma was 17 and bad, she smoked cigarettes. I wanted a zippo lighter, just cause all my friends had one and I wanted to be cool. But we weren't. ANYWAY. I went to an antique store and I found a zippo lighter. It was silver plated and had swirl designs on it. I asked the man to remove it from the case; he did and he put it in my hand. When I turned it over there were letters on it. Three letters, initials engraved on the front from top to bottom."

I put my hand in the air so they could see from the back seat. I wrote and spoke the letters as they are on the lighter, "R E H."

When the last letter left my mouth, I saw the pine trees ahead move as if something were falling from it, but nothing was falling. I let off the gas, and watched has the huge bird swooped off the branches of the tree and in front of our car. "And there's a freaking hawk!" We were all screaming and laughing as we watched the red tail hawk pass our car, miss his target above the railroad track, and then circle back. We were able to watch him stretch out his wings and talons with breath-taking power and grace. I looked in the rear-view at my babies, "I told ya'll angels are real! Hey Russ!"  "Hey Daddy!"

Isaac had tiny little tears in his eyes; I don't even think he knew why he was crying. "That was crazy Mom, that hawk came out of nowhere right when you were saying Dad's initials! Are they really on that lighter? That was CRAZY!"  "Do you still have it? Can we see it? Can I hold it?" the pleas of sweet Miss Lilli, always wanting to hold something of Daddy's.

At that point I didn't even know if I could finish the story, but of course I did. "I have the lighter. I bought it and told my friend, "It will mean something someday." I met your dad 2 years after I bought it. He came to my house 2 weeks after we had been dating and saw the lighter. Because I didn't carry it around often I left on my dresser. He picked it up and it hit us both at the same time, "THOSE ARE MY/YOUR INITIALS!" and I remember your dad asking me, "Why are my initials on your lighter?" So I told him the story and even gave him the name of the girl I was shopping with the day I bought, so he didn't think me crazy! That was a "God thing" to me and your dad. We already knew we wanted to be with each other, but to us it was an extra gift."

Blossoms after pruning, beauty from ashes, a cherry on top. What's yours?


Purge and Peace

After the holidays I was full, so full in fact that if someone were to push me over I would spill out; almost wished someone would. It was getting uncomfortable. Purge. Most of my feelings were ones of memories; missing our family traditions, staying in our cozy home, Christmas lights on happy faces, New Year songs and embracing. These feelings are sad. As much as I loath feeling them, I don't mind visiting them because I know it's growth for my soul. Peace.

Yet, I dislike being invaded by the legal issues that involve our tragic event. Most times I just want to scream into the faces and hearts which are void of feeling and love, "I don't think about you! You chose this, not me! Please let me grieve, alone." Purge. But I can't, nor do I believe they will hear what I am saying from deep within my core. "I love people, but choose not to harbor their choices. You left him alone, left me alone. I would have hugged you and you would have heard my forgiveness. Now, your ears are blocked by the lies of your own doing. My heart aches for you." Peace.

A new year brings resolution, right. I wanted a solution. I wanted the story that is my life, not to be my life. During the holiday I had a wonderful meeting with my Holy Father and with Him, he brought my beloved. I silently pleaded with Him, "please take this from me, I don't want this to be my life, I don't want this to be my story. My aches and wounds fall on deaf ears, for my pain is not only the one of losing, but the one of my compassion being misunderstood. At times I don't want to feel sorrow for them, I want to hate, but the depth of lies and wall of pride they have built around them breaks my heart. I don't want the pain, the grief, the horrible flash backs. I don't want memories, I want us. I don't wanna be me." Purge.

"So be Me."          Peace.

So I'm sure most of you are thinking, "who does she think she is now, GOD!?!" Those who have heard the term, "living through Christ" might understand me a little more. I have done this before in my walk, loving others through a wall of Christ, instead of my judgemental self. But this was different. So here goes, what I got from this simple three word sentence was, I don't have to be the me of my past or the tainted one of my future. I can be the me of His future. I am able to go to His quiet place and be engulfed by love. I am able to sit in His silence of grace and hear the song of my future. I am able to rest in His arms and allow Him to heal the deepest wounds, we are so easily able to push down, but so afraid to visit. Push aside the doubtful, hurt, bitter, tired me and be everything in Him.

I allowed the shadows to come back in and block the light at my feet. Member that light, Samarah? Don't allow someones choices smut out your light. Purge. Don't be a fool and doubt the power of God. Go back to the beginning of the nightmare when my prayers were lifted up for ALL. When I believed and knew that God's healing grace would heal EVERYONE. When God flooded me with so much compassion for a man who hours before caused the death of my husband, that all I wanted to do was hug him until he felt forgiven. I believed, I had faith, I knew love would prevail, and we would ALL have peace. Peace.

Foolishly, other men and women felt the need to take control. Other men and women tightened their grip and doubted the will of God. They doubted the power of God, His mercy, and His LOVE. Fear and worry took over and now they are not as bright as they used to be. Darkness follows. Peace is absent. Purge.

To me peace is not the lack of pain nor the abundance of pleasure. To me it is embracing the circumstances, release our grip of control, and allow God to intercede every part of our efforts. Faith is restored and we really embrace God's plan for us. Note: I did not say "plan for someone else", "plan for US." Peace.

At the end of my meeting, my encounter, on a winter day, the afternoon light filled my room. On my empty bed, tears covered my pillow and his spirit whispered,

"Come back here, you shine brighter. Come here, come home."
"But it's painful, to feel you here in spirit, but not have you in the flesh."
"I didn't marry your flesh, sweetie."

I am not my flesh. Purge. I am who He says I am. I will walk in. Peace.


Let's Push...Bring the Pressure.

Alright guys I need you! I need help, and if any of you know me it's rare that I ask...so that means it's important. I am desperate.

On December 21st I received a subpoena for the trial. (If you are new here, this is finally the trial for the man, Todd Michael Willoughby, who wreck his car killing my late husband, Russell Hays. He then ran from the scene for 52 minutes, only to return with lies on his lips about who was driving the car. go to THE TRUTH on my blog for, well the truth; and YES MAN! for answers of prayer!) Yes, after two years, countless interruptions, and one civil lawsuit under my belt , the charged would finally see the court room on January 10th 2011.

Because I am in school and raising two children, I was kinda glad to have some time to prepare. I went to school today and rearranged my classes, in case I would have to withdraw from them because of the length of the trial. I also sent out emails for childcare help. As well as, emotional support; reliving the worst night of my life is VERY EMOTIONALLY draining. So I put on my big girl panties, prepared myself for the future agony I would have to deal with and dealt with it.

This afternoon I found out it was cancelled for reasons I cannot even believe or understand. The communication has been vague and unclear. I trusted that everything would more forward without my having to be a nagging raging widow, but I guess that is not the case.

Sadly, we have hit ANOTHER roadblock and I feel like I am shaking on January 1st 2009 again, with rage, anger, sadness, disappointment, and just plain tired! I want EVERYONE to know I am moving forward peacefully. I honestly, from the bottom of my heart, do not give a rats @$$ if Todd Michael Willoughby is found guilty or not guilty by any jury; CAUSE we ALL know he is far from INNOCENT. I have already WON my battle. I have the kinda peace Todd Michael Willougby, Kim Alexander Willoughby, Joshua Price, and Rachel Diane Epps Price will NEVER have, inner peace. What I REALLY want more than anything is to be done with this whole mess. I thought I could count on the courts, but I am slowly finding that they are slower than snail mail. So, maybe they need a little pressure? A little "HELLO McFLY!" from everyone that loves Russell.

I am begging and crying out to any of you, all of you, anyone who loves and cares about Russell and his children please copy and paste the message below and email it to Danny Porter, DA of Gwinnett County Courts. Send it to your friends, family, newspapers, tv stations, etc. I need help! Maybe if we push and add a little pressure they will hear us. Maybe we can move forward within our peace and happiness without being interrupted by someone who has already taken so much from us. I humbly thank you. Samarah Hays


Dear Mr Danny Porter,
I am a loved one of Russell Edward Hays. He was tragically killed in a car accident caused by Todd Michael Willougby  on January 1, 2009. Mr Willoughby has been charged with the crime of two counts of VH. I am asking and begging you, for the comfort and peace of Russell's wife and children, please bring forth this trial so that we ALL may heal. It has been two years since Russell's death and it is time to move forward. Thank you for your time.

Thanks again guys. Lock, Load, and Love.