Packing for the first time…..


That seems to be the first word out of my mouth lately…….

Or in my texts to friends……….

Or in my emails………….


I’m just taking deep breaths in and deep breaths out.

Sometimes the simplest things become the most difficult when you are walking the road of grief.

Packing, for example.

We decided that staying home for Christmas would simply be too difficult. Too many traditions that Nick loved and looked forward to.

So, my husband, Erich, Evan, Todd, and Olivia (our four kids) are leaving at 4 a.m. for Oklahoma to go see my grandpa, aunt, and cousins.

My parents, who live “on the way” are meeting us at an exit a few hours from here and traveling along with us in their car.

We will be driving 13 hours tomorrow and spending three nights in Branson, Missouri, on the way to the panhandle of Oklahoma.

Then on Christmas Eve we will drive 6 more hours and arrive at our next hotel in time to go spend the evening with family in Beaver, Oklahoma.


So, here I sit.

I just had to stop and say, “Packing is so hard when you’re grieving.”

I miss Nick so much and not packing for him has been so hard. He loved trips. He would have been right here reminding me of things we needed, asking if I needed help. He was just that kind of kid.

And walking through his room, I long to stop and help him pick out jammies, video games, and other things he would definitely want to bring along.

So tonight has been a night of tears. I took a bath and just cried and cried. Then I thought I had regrouped when my mom called to remind me of something to bring, and I found myself losing it on the phone with her.


Oh, Nick, I miss you. I miss your great big smile and gentle spirit. I miss your hugs. I miss your sweet hand rubbing my back as I walk by.

In the midst of my sadness, I came across a burned CD that Nick had titled, “Nick’s Amazingly Awesome Music CD.” I put it in the CD player in the kitchen and was reminded again of just what a fun boy he was! When I get home from this trip, I am going to list all the songs on the CD. I promise it will lift your spirits like it is lifting mine right now!

Thank you, God, for continuing to remind me what a great blessing Nick was and will continue to be to me. Thank you for the hope of Heaven!

I’m not sure how often I will be able to write this week, so I had to take a minute to let you know I’ll be away from the computer………

Thank you for every prayer for our family.

Lifting all of you to our “Amazingly Awesome” Father,

13 thoughts on “Packing for the first time…..

  1. Tammy,

    Have a wonderful time in Oklahoma. I lived in Enid for a little over a year before I decided to make a life in Arizona. This trip is exactly what you all need. The Lord will keep you safe and all your family and friends will continue to pray for your family. Hoping You Have A Blessed Christmas!!

  2. Tammy,
    What a wonderful way to spend your “first” Christmas surrounded by your extended family. Praying for safe travels and encouraged spirits as you celebrated Christ’s birth.

    many hugs and blessings from PA

  3. You will love Branson at this time of year. Be sure to bring plenty of warm clothing, the temp’s are unusually cold; I live just outside of Branson. Like you, we are experiencing our first Christmas without one of our children; this year she is rejoicing the birth of our Savior WITH THE SAVIOR!! What an awesome celebration that must be.

    Prayers for your safe trip and may you feel the prayers of friends lift and carry you during this time.

  4. Tammy, it is what you need right now. Nick is (and always will be) with you. Enjoy your trip! Nick is watching over you and will be enjoying every moment of it through you. Merry Christmas, Tammy, to you and yours.

  5. Tammy, I wish you and the family a Very Merry Christmas and a safe trip, Injoy your family Nick would want it this way!
    God Bless You,

  6. I pray God will use this trip to “cocoon” your heart. We will also go away for a couple days – just to get out of the house. I know Tyler would have loved the trip as well. I will be praying for you every day….

    Love you, my friend. Jennifer

  7. I pray for you to have a safe trip…enjoy yourselves and remember only the fun times…

    smile (no laugh out loud) a lot…love on your four kids, your husband and your parents…as well as all the ones you are going to see…
    Remember you have lots and lots of friends praying for you as you go through this most difficult time…

  8. Let this trip be a wonderful one, and wonderful time spent with you, tim & the rest. I know how you are, Tammy…be sure to relax and REST once you are not on the road 🙂 I love you. Miss all of you & praying for you all daily. Make new memories this Christmas.

  9. I was hoping to give you a big hug and let you know that NC loves you!!! Tyrel and I are coming up tomorrow. I won’t go into details, but your family has blessed me in MORE ways than I can count!!!

  10. Prayers for a safe trip and a very blessed Christmas.

    Tammy, my daughter sent you a special Christmas angel that she drew just for you, we mailed it to your house and I hope it brings a smile to your face. We love you guys!

    Hugs and prayers from Washington State

  11. Be safe and have a wonderful time in OK. I will be praying for you guys! I would LOVE to have your cell number…I think of you so many times during the day…would love to send you a text message everyone once in a while (if that would be okay!) Merry Christmas Tammy!
    My email address is