My Beautiful Story

"Emerging from the ashes to embrace the beauty..."

Thursday, January 26, 2012


 I knew this year was going to bring with it many changes. I am certain that there are even going to be changes that I don't even know about it. But the changes I did know about have already come to pass.... I am now a wife again! I have been blessed to be married to the second most amazing man that I have ever met! I am not sure what I did to deserve this, but I know that God must love me A LOT! What a blessing it is to have Norm as my husband and as the step father to my children! He is such a good man! I am truly thankful!!!
 I was also anticipating for Daniel, my middle child, to begin public school. I had actually intended on home schooling him until June and putting him into 8th grade in the fall. Well, things changed and Daniel actually started school this past Tuesday! It was the beginning of a new semester for the kids so I thought the timing was good. Daniel was nervous and excited all at once. I on the other hand was having a really hard time with this! The night before he started school, I cried myself to sleep. I just couldn't stop the tears from flowing. Then on Tuesday, I couldn't stop crying either! As I drove Daniel to school, I could feel the tears beginning to well up. Daniel turned to me and said, "Don't cry Mom.". But it was too late...the tears began to flow. I pulled it together enough to walk him into to the school and to his homeroom teacher's class. As I turned to leave him there, my heart was heavy. I couldn't get out of the building fast enough. I got into my van and just wept and wept. Heavy sobs were escaping from the very depths of my heart. My life as I once knew it was over. I think it was one of the hardest days of my life. I can't explain to you exactly why this day was harder than last September when Ryan and Valerie went off on their public school adventure, but it just was. Perhaps it is because Daniel was the last one home. Maybe some of the tears had to do with the fact that Tuesday was the 24th. Exactly 17 months that Erik has been gone. He died on a Tuesday.... I don't like Tuesdays.... Maybe it was because I couldn't stop thinking about all the great times I had over the years being home with my kids! I love them so much! I enjoyed our days together! I loved the freedom we had to just get up and go on a trip! The freedom to stay in our pj's or do school on the picnic table. How fast it seems that those years went by. Maybe some of the tears were because I never imagined public school as a part of our lives. Perhaps some of my heartache is the fear that I have disappointed Erik somehow. He was so passionate about the kids being home schooled. But life changed that day back in August of 2010. Everything changed. I cannot go back, I can only go forward.
 And so, I am daily trying to adjust to these changes. I am trying to pick myself and move forward. My dear sister said something to me the other day that really struck my heart. She told me that I couldn't keep them all to myself. That they needed to be known by others because they are great people! How true that is! They truly are amazing people! Each in their own ways! This adventure into public school is as much for them as it is for others! I will cling to that truth to help me through this. It is so strange being home without any kids here. It is so quiet. I miss being able to steal a hug whenever I want one. I miss calling one of them to lend me a hand. I miss hearing the sweet sounds of their voices. But it does give me something to look forward to in the afternoon.
 I know that I will be okay. In time, I will adjust. I am learning so much about myself on this journey I have been on since Erik died. I have endured so much pain and change. It hasn't broken me completely. I am being restored. Praise His name forever!

Monday, January 16, 2012

A BEAUTIFUL New Beginning

Yesterday, January 15th, Norm and I became husband and wife. We had a private ceremony with just us and our 5 children. It was very nice. Then, we went out to eat at a nice Italian restaurant. They even sang to us in Italian and gave us a yummy dessert! It really was a beautiful celebration! I am sharing our vows that I wrote since no one could see or hear what took place! I am truly happy! Praise the Lord that there is beauty from the ashes!

                                                              Norman and Samantha
                                        January 15, 2012

 Today something BEAUTIFUL is about to take place! Today God is joining 2 families together. Today we witness the truth of God’s Word together when He says that beauty comes from ashes. That is truly what has taken place between Norm and Sam. It was God’s hand that brought them together after a sudden tragedy. Their union was foreshadowed by the prayers of Erik. Only God knew the future that lie ahead. He knew the brokenness that needed healing. He chose to heal the brokenness in such a unique and amazing way. Only He can receive the credit for this story.
 Today is not just a day for Norm and Sam, but also a day for Evan, Derek, Ryan, Daniel, and Valerie; two families coming together to become one.  Today, 7 lives are about to embark on a wonderful journey together. This family will now be known to all as the Sage/Higgins Family. These 7 lives will learn about life and love together. This will be a family bonded together by the hand of God.
 Norm, do you promise today to love, honor, and cherish Sam as long as you live? Do you promise to be faithful to her always? Do you promise to be willing to listen to her and respect what she has to say? Do you promise that no matter how frustrated you may become with her stubbornness, you will never leave her? Do you promise to take care of her in whatever she needs? Do you promise to work together with her to make your marriage the best it can be?
 Sam, do you promise today to love, honor, and cherish Norm as long as you live? Do you promise to be faithful to him always? Do you promise to be willing to listen to him and respect what he has to say? Do you promise that no matter how frustrated you become with his stubbornness, you will never leave him? Do you promise to take care of him in whatever he needs? Do you promise to work together with him to make this the best marriage it can be?
 Norm, do you promise to love, respect, and guide Ryan, Daniel, and Valerie? Do you promise to raise them as your own the rest of your life? Do you promise to support them in all that they do? Do you promise to keep the memory of their daddy alive always? Do you promise to care for them if something should happen to their mother?
 Sam, do you promise to love, respect, and help guide Evan and Derek? Do you promise to be there to support them in all that they do? Do you promise to care for them if anything should happen to their dad?

 Now that you have each made these promises to each other and to the children, I now pronounce you husband and wife! Kiss your bride!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year...New Family....

As we enter this new year I have much to be thankful for and much to look forward to. 2011 was a year of growth and change. It was the first full year that Erik never saw. Such a strange thought. It was a year of learning how to move forward with my life. I made a lot of changes. I enrolled 2 of my kids into public school. I embraced 2 new "sons" into my life and my heart. I said goodbye to my horse, my house, and my old life. I stand in awe and wonder as I look behind me at the year past and all that I have been through. Sometimes I truly wonder how I managed to make it this far. Sometimes it is hard to believe this is my life.
 Today I stand at the doorway of a new beginning. I have much to look forward to in this coming year. Lord willing, I will be able to see it all. I will see my oldest step son graduate high school. I will see my step son and my oldest son drive cars! Yikes! I will see my middle son begin his journey in public school. I will see my daughter start middle school! I also be a bride this year! What else is ahead for me? Well, only God really knows that. I will just have to wait and SEE...
 On Christmas Eve I was able to capture a wonderful moment of my new family. With us in the picture is Norm's 95 year old mother. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever had the privilege to meet and to love. Look at the smiles on all of our faces! God has truly brought together 2 families that have experienced loss and brokenness and is making something new and BEAUTIFUL! This truly is a beautiful story. There really are riches in the midst of pain. I am so honored and blessed to have Norm and his boys in my life. I am also so blessed to have the rest of Norm's family as my own. They are such amazing people! My heart swells as I think of all the good that has come from the tragedy of loss. I have no doubt that God is good and He loves us so much!
 So today, I wait to SEE all that He has for me in 2012!!!