Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sister Nurses

I am so grateful to be a nurse. I am so grateful Lori became a nurse. I can't even explain how happy I was for her when she graduated as a Registered Nurse in 2009. She graduated at the top of her class. She was one of the best nurses I have ever seen.  She worked the day shift and I worked the night shift. Each time she gave me report on a patient she would take me to the room to introduce me as their nurse and her sister. She was always so proud to introduce me as her sister. She would have this gigantic smile on her face and tell them that they had the best nurse. She would then hug all the family visiting and then hug her patient goodbye and kiss their forehead. I would leave the room feeling very inadequate because I definitely was not going to kiss my patients, I'm a little more or a lot more reserved than Lori. That is what made Lori so special though. She was so childlike, no inhibitions. She loved whole heartedly and treated her patients like she knew them her whole life and they were family. She would pray with them if they were scared, she would sing to them to calm them down, she would do a "happy dance" to make an angry patient laugh. She was like a puppy, so full of life. There really isn't a way to describe what she was like, but anyone who knows her and especially those who had the pleasure of working with her knows what I am talking about.

Since she passed away, each time I go to work I feel her with me. I put a picture of her on the back of my badge right next to my heart. Each room I walk in I feel like she is with me. I have always tried to be the best I can be, but I truly feel Lori's influence and treat each patient like they are family. It is extra nice working with newborn babies because Lori LOVED babies. When we would go to church together she would always be the first to help a mom out with her baby. I hope she gets to hold lots of babies in heaven.

When I was at work Friday night I had a patient call me into her room. Her mother was in the room and they gave me a little gift and thanked me for all I had done. She told me I was so happy, quick with answering calls and had taken such good care of her and her baby. It made me tear up and I showed her the picture of my sister on my badge and said that she had 2 nurses caring for her that evening. I've never done that before, but I felt inspired to and she reiterated how appreciative she was of all I did.  It felt so good to make a difference. I know Lori never left. She is still present in our lives. I feel her daily, and while I know she is busy helping others learn the "happy dance", I am grateful she has time to help me be the best I can be.


Thank you for being an example to your big sister. Thank you for showing me how to be a better mother, friend, person, and nurse. Every shift I work, we work together. You always said you look up to me, but now I look up to you. I love you.


Monday, December 23, 2013

The Sunshine Girl-The Lives She Touched

I miss you so much, Lori. I've really needed you to be with me in counsel these past few weeks concerning my dad. He'll be with you soon. Please, watch out for him & show help him get around and find his people. I love you & miss you so much. Every time I see a baby gecko I think of you, you remember, don't you. Your peace & love are felt continuously at work by many. Miss you! Love you!!

I miss my little girl so much......  you're the only one who understands and i wish you were here so badly.

Miss You Sooooo much!!!!
'Couple of times recently, I thought I saw you down the hall, as I had so many times, but of course it was somebody else.
As you know..., I'm not much of a "face-booker" or I would have sent you a "friend request" a long time ago.
Rest well my sweet friend..., life is so short anyway..., see ya again

I miss you my friend! I know you are looking down on us all and protecting us. God Bless You!

Dear Lori, even though I met you only a couple of times in Blinn ADN program, I always remembered your smile, confidence, and friendliness. Will miss a good soul in terra firma. Rest in Peace. 
With Love, Babi.

Hey. Its me. Sonja. Got my days mixed up and missed the funeral and saying goodbye to you. I'm such a wreck over this and I can't believe that your gone sweetheart. I really was eager for the next time you came to visit so we could go eat food while the two of us did some catching up. Now that will have to wait a while but I'm up for it. Wish I had anything important to say but I'm awful at expressing myself. I do know that you are terribly missed by so many! Remember the time you and I biked up the hill from yr house to mine and me, after my legs got all busted up in that accident just lagged behind because they weren't so strong and you'd stopped several times and waited for me? Probably not but  I always thought that was so sweet of you. You waited w/out question. Just know that I won't forget about you love. Now I owe you a visit and I promise to come see you soon. Surround those who love you most. See you later...

Lori my heart  is broken I love you so I'm going to miss you so.

My dear friend it hurts to see u go but God have prepared a place for you in Heaven. Im going to miss you so much.

I love you Lori! I will always remember your sweet spirit.... I will miss you.  RIP I will see you again soon in Heaven. Love you so much. Xoxoxoxo

I am grateful for the little time that we shared, you will always remain young and beautiful and energetic in my memories.  Thank you for always being a beacon in a foggy night.  RIP sweet Lori, you were the best nurse ever, as well as person.~~~ Jennifer Havel

Praying for you Lori. I know i will see you one day. Love you and I am so saddened by you leaving 

Words can not express the way our hearts grow cold without
your friendly face and giving heart. So I say onto you thank you
for the time you have given me to be part of your life. The talks 
we had about our sons were very special , As I learn the love you
had for your son, Yes my dear I know you love your son. Until we 
meet again in heaven, I'm glad to have an angel watching over me.

Thank You For Time

Lori i miss you so much i have not been bck to the church in so long your loss is felt in so many peoples lives.Time to get bck to the fold wich i come from.Love u 

From Whitney


You are the best aunt ever. You were always there at night so if Mom & Dad weren't there to kiss me goodnight, you would. You taught me loads of stuff, like putting the stamps on the paper to teaching me new soccer tricks. You were also so generous too. I remember when I asked for a big ol' tub of Red Vines, and I was thinking there was probably no way to do that, but Lori somehow you did it. You were at our house 4-5/7 days a week. Lori, you always wanted to give, not take. I also remember you taking  me to soccer practice and being there to watch me play my soccer games and you also bought me my first pair of sliders which I still  have. No one can top your generosity and caringness. Lori, it was really sad when we were moving to Florida. I remember crying so much and that I had never felt anything worse than having to be separated from you, but I remember that you having visited those couple times, there was nothing better than that. When you died I was wondering why? Why Heavenly Father do you have to taker her away? Then I got my answer: Heavenly Father needs your generosity & your caringness & love to help people somewhere else. I love you so much & I really want you to know that. You are my second mother & no one can take that place.

Lori, I want you to be happy while looking down from Heaven, and don't forget that I love you so much.

Love ya Lori,


Our Last Day

One year ago today was one of the best days. I was so happy to be back in Texas. I was back with my sister ready to spend 10 days together. I had only seen Lori for an hour the night before when she got off work and came to pick Jaden and Ethan up to spend the night with her. It was a Sunday and we met at church. It was so nice being there together almost like we never left. So many people were excited to see her and all of us.  She laid her head on my shoulder and was so happy to have us "home". After sacrament meeting she paid her tithing to our bishop and seemed the happiest I had seen her in awhile. She always had the brightest smile, but it seemed extra bright that day. We went to her house after church where she made us lunch. After lunch she brought out hundreds of photos for us to look at and reminisce over. She took the kids out for a walk and then she had to leave for a few hours to finish up some charting she had to do at the hospital. She came back later that evening to pick up Jaden, Whitney, Ethan, & Brinley to spend the night. She was so excited for the next day. We had plans to meet at 10 a.m. to finish our shopping. I gave her a huge hug and said goodbye. There was no clue that there would be a chance of this being our last goodbye. My Mom talked to Lori earlier that evening and she was so happy. She told my Mom how great it felt to be back at church. She said she was ready to start going regularly was hard for her to go without us there because it reminded her how far away we lived.  She read my Mom one of her favorite scriptures. She was truly happy and in a good place.

This past year has been a roller coaster of emotions. I have missed the "Sunshine" girl so much. The earth feels like a darker place without her in it, but the stars and sunsets are more radiant since she left. I have learned to appreciate the simple things in life just as she did. When I take care of my patients at the hospital, I truly feel her presence helping me to go above and beyond. I work with amazing people who have become like family to me, I get showered with much needed "Lori" hugs. Many have become like sisters to me. I have learned and grown so much.

This life is full of joy and sorrows. We all face trials, it is a fact of life. I do know that Lori had her fair share of trials and she endured them well. She changed her life for the better many years ago and she played a vital role in the lives of many. She has friends that are alive today because of the love and support and guidance she offered them at a desperate time in their lives. She still to this day has patients that come to the hospital and ask if she is working so she could care for them or their family member. I am so grateful to be her sister, to have had her as an integral part of my family on a daily basis, and to have an example of the most caring persons to aspire to be.

I love you Lori. I miss you so much, but I know the day you left us, you passed away quietly, peacefully, and you were happy. You were surrounded by those who loved you like a Mom. You passed the test in this life, proving yourself, and got to go be with our Savior in a place where your heart can touch and bless more people than it could in this life. Love you Sunshine girl....keep shining!!!

Love your sister,


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Being Grateful

This past week has been a particularly emotional one. 1 year ago today Lori left back to Texas after spending a week with me. It was her second time visiting. I looked forward to our 1 week visits every 6 weeks. It made living so far from her bearable. I have thought about that visit so many times. It was so different from her visit in September. In September she was so happy & so full of life. I'm sure it had so much to do with seeing us for the first time after 6 weeks apart. Her November visit was much different. She was tired, more like exhausted. I worried about her and asked her to see a doctor. Like most nurses, you tend to take care of everyone and everything else, and you are the last one to get help. Lori's heart was failing her. I can see so clearly now. I have thought so much about all the things I could have done, and all the things I should have done if only I knew everything I know now. It has eaten at me & I have shed more tears than I have thought possible.

A few months back I had a complete breakdown. I locked myself in my bathroom, went in my closet & gathered an armful of Lori's clothing & bawled like a baby while I hugged them & fell asleep. While I slept Lori came to me in my dream. I saw her as clear as day. She was radiant, happy, glowing. In my dream I thought she was alive. I looked at her & said, "how could you leave us? How could you put us through the funeral & here you are alive?", (in my dream I thought she was still here), & she said to me, "I couldn't get better here.".  She hugged me & held me & when I woke up I was comforted by the dream & knew I had to be grateful she was better.

I don't think anyone saw this coming. Lori was so full of life. The most loving, giving, and generous person you would ever meet. Lori lived her life in the service of others. She loved her patients as if they were her own family. I can't even count all the cards & letters she has received from patients & their family members she cared for. Several coworkers have said she was by far the best nurse at the hospital.

I will forever be grateful for the example she is to me. She left some huge shoes to fill & I can only hope & pray to try to fill a fraction of them. I am grateful my Heavenly Father blessed me with her as my sister for 36 years in this life & eternity in Heaven. I am grateful she helped raise my kids as a daily part of my life from the time her beloved son Jaden came to live with us in March 2000.

I am grateful for the lives Lori touched in her 36 years on this earth. For those that knew her, she will never be forgotten & through this blog, I hope & pray that those who read it will get to know her and be blessed by the beautiful angel on earth that she was. I am not surprised Heaven needed her.

I love you Lori. You will forever & always be my hero.


Your sister Kelly

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Quest To Be Like Her

Last month Shawn & I went back to Texas for a friends mission farewell & to bring some of Lori's things back to Florida for Jaden. We stayed at Lori & Brandon's home. It was surreal being in her home. Everywhere I looked were pieces of her. It was as if she never left. We got in Thursday night and come Friday morning I was an emotional wreck & couldn't bring myself to start going through her things. I decided to go visit my friend Cori & her new baby instead. Saturday morning came & I looked out the window and the first thing I saw was her car parked right next to Brandon's. I was overcome with emotion as I felt like she should be here. I felt overwhelmed with the things I needed to do that day & how hard it would be. The next thing I saw was the brightest, most beautiful sun peeking out from the clouds. I knew Lori was trying to shine the light through the darkness that I felt. I immediately felt comforted & knew I would make it through the day. One of the first boxes I opened was full of books from nursing school. I took a binder out & it had stickers on it with various sayings. "Live laugh love & be happy" "giggle" "laugh everyday" "smile" "sing your song in your own special way". I couldn't help but smile as I knew that Lori was talking to me & saying these things to me. It helped me to get through that day. Brandon & Shawn worked alongside me & we reminisced about Lori & all the funny things she did. We couldn't believe all the clothes she had. We joked that the 80's & 90's wanted their clothes back. She saved everything. I am so grateful for all the things she saved. I found precious drawings she kept from Jaden & my kids. She kept every card, letter, & note anyone gave her. It was so neat to feel of the absolute love she had for her son. The journals she kept testify of her love for him.

I can't put into words to describe how amazing I felt that day. I felt her with me every step of the way.
I felt so touched by cards given to her by others, especially her patients she took care of. She had an amazing capacity to love & care for others as if they were the only person on earth. Her earning the reputation as the "sunshine girl" is no accident. She radiated the love & light of Christ. I love reading from her well worn scriptures. She loved them so much. I feel closest to her when I read those, and read cards she has written to me & others in my family. Nothing compares to the words she writes about Jaden....he was her pride & joy. Her love for him was so vast & pure. She never left any word unsaid.

I am so grateful for her example. I am keeping a journal now. I am writing notes to my kids just because. I am trying so hard to live each day as if it were my last & letting those I love know just how much they mean to me. When I work at the hospital I feel her with me. Sometimes I can't help myself & I will hug my patients. That is something Lori always did & I never did. Now sometimes when I hug them it is like, "whoa! where did that come from?", and instantly I feel Lori with me & I love it. Her spirit is so strong. I am grateful for her example. I hope to be more like her. This world needs more like her.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lessons from Lori

Last night I had an amazing dream. It was a simple dream with a powerful message for me.  In my dream I was in my room talking with Shawn when I heard our front door open and heard the kids home. I heard laughter & singing & I heard Lori. I told Shawn that Lori was at our house & we both knew she wasn't supposed to be there because she was gone. We left our room to find the kids and she was surrounded by all my kids & her son Jaden sitting on Jaden's bed. She was reading a book to them like she did countless times in the past. She saw me and said, "Hi Kels! How are you?", and I walked up to her and gave her a huge hug.

It was such a simple dream with a message that was so profound. What I felt in the dream was the light & love that radiated from her. The kids were all sitting next to her surrounding her as they sat on Jaden's bed and she was singing with them and laughing like she did countless times in the past. They all wanted to be around her in this dream. I woke up feeling an immediate need to be a better mom. To be the kind of mom my kids want to be around. To create the kind of home that is filled with so much love and laughter the kids can hardly wait to get home and don't want to leave. I know that this crazy busy time in my life won't last forever and once it'g gone I will miss it terribly. I am so grateful for this dream and the newfound perspective I need to treasure each and every moment.

Lori continues to shine her light on me & all these kids she loves so much. So grateful for her example.  She left a huge void in our family when she left this life, but she continues to bless our lives in different ways, and sometimes much bigger ways than she could while here.

I love hearing from others and how Lori has blessed their lives. Many have dreams about her. It is so comforting to know she hasn't been forgotten.

Thanks Lori for being close, and teaching me how to be a better me. I love you.