Saturday, November 13, 2010

Memories are a powerful thing

I can't remember what happens next. All I remember are bits and pieces really. In a jumbled up sort of way. I know this happens in trauma, but was the trip really that traumatic? I didn't think so. Here's what I do remember:
Going to the florist
Doing laundry
Doing her hair.
Trying to make sure our (what seemed like) mountain of stuff in the living room stayed presentable
Trying to decide what to wear
Waking Bentley up with a shower the morning of the furneral at 7 am
Waking up at 5 am the morning of the furneral and having coffee with Dewayne
Running after kids. Constantly.
Moving in slooooooow motion.
Coming into the kitchen and screeching to a stop at the disaster, and then being hit with grief so hard, because the person we normally took for granted wasn't there
Cleaning out the fridge
Finding leftovers from the last meal she ever made
Forcing myself to eat muffins I thought she had made the last morning she was alive, but really they had been taken out of the freezer before she left, and the moisture turned them moldy in the bag
Making sure that we put together a nice display for a table in the back of the church
Forgetting everything that was in a box at the house
Experiencing everyone in her house all at the same time (something she always dreamed for)
Crying and Laughing at the same time

As for how I am feeling now: It still hurts to breathe sometimes, but at least its not so difficult. When Nana was alive we did not talk as often as you would expect. Probabley once every week to two weeks. Sometimes less, sometimes more. There were times where we could miss each other for weeks at a time, due to time differences etc. So, now that the furneral and the maine trip seem like a distance memory or perhaps a dream, it feels like I should be able to call her now. But I cant. More than ever as we get close to the holidays I want to call her. But she wont answer.
The most important events are what I will outline next. I wish I would have written more right away. However this has been what I intended- to get this on "paper"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I had a hole in my foot!

Let's go back to the archives....
This article was published in 2002 on and can still be viewed in the archive HERE

I Had a Hole in My Foot! (Voted favorite title of the year: 2002)

By Laura Berger
August 26, 2002

I have always been the klutz. Our youth group takes it for granted that when I am around, something will always go wrong. I never once thought that God would use that for His glory. We were having a car wash to get ready for a youth convention in Bakersfield , California , when I tripped over my own feet. The one time that I actually was hurt, I did not say a word to anybody about how much pain I was really in. Like I said, this is the norm for me, so they weren't expecting anything to be wrong.

Later that night the pain started to get much, much worse. I was in tears for over an hour as my parents tried to get me to an emergency room. Since our move to Las Vegas about eight months before this, I had not done anything that would require a doctor's visit (unless the dive off the platform had something to do with twisting my ankle at the car wash, but that is another story). When we finally got to a doctor, we were not told until hours later that I would not be able to get an x-ray because of our insurance. Since my dad is a minister and he had to be in church the next day, we decided to wait until the following day. Who knows, by then I could be feeling better!

So now, for another first since the move, I would miss church. We didn't own a pair of crutches and we still did not know what was wrong, so as soon as my mother finished leading the praise singing, she hurried home to take me to another doctor - one we knew for sure would x-ray me. As I sat there nervously wondering what to expect, the words that I had heard on the way home the night before came back to me, "I can heal you, you know." Even the day before, I had a feeling that this might be something serious.

When my name finally was called, I was wheeled down the hall to an examining room, then to x-ray, and back again. My mom, my dad (who had joined us), and I heard two people talking. "I have never seen anything like this before!" and then "What do they do for that?"

“Oh, God,” I prayed, “I hope that is not about me!”

When the doctor came in, he said, “Well, it is not broken, but.....”, then he pulled out the x-ray, “there seems to be a cyst in the heel bone of your foot.” In other words, somehow I had a hole that had filled with all sorts of things from my foot. I went home that night on crutches, with pain still intact.

I did not last at school; I had to be put in a wheelchair. This is where God used me the most. I had a bike horn on my chair, and I used it constantly. I played volleyball in P.E. I gave people rides. I met new people.

Our family doctor gave me some pain medication and explained in more detail about my blasts not keeping up with each other. We didn't really understand, but I was referred to a bone doctor about one week before youth convention started. When I came back, I was scheduled to have an MRI and a bone scan to prepare me for surgery.

Now, this is the awesome part. For some reason, at youth convention I had experienced a lot more pain. I would take two pain pills just to be able to go hang out at the mall. I had a friend with me from my P.E. class at school. Her first time service had only been a couple weeks before at a Lock-In/Youth Rally.

One afternoon I just cried on one of my best friend's shoulders. "Why?" I asked. "Why did God let this happen? I can't take this anymore! I hate not being able to do anything! I cannot even do something simple! When I do, I am told that I am just faking it when all along I am hiding my pain to have pillow fights and other fun!”

Then my friend told me how God would never give me anything He knew I could not handle. My friend reminded me that this had happened for a reason and encouraged me not to give up.

That night, Wednesday, March 27, 2002 , the Rev. Jerry Jones preached a sermon entitled, “Take what ya got and do what ya can.” The choir sang the song “Shackles” (“Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance”). I was sitting in the back in the designated wheelchair spot when I felt a warm sensation go through my foot. Instantly all the pain I had been feeling that entire week was gone.

During the altar call, my friend went down to pray. As I sat in the back alone because everyone had gone to the altar, a fight raged within me. I knew she was going to be filled with the Holy Ghost. This was the first time I had ever been able to get one of my friends from school to come to church and like it. I did not want to miss out on this one! I told God that I didn't care if it killed me; I was going down there. I went down and told her that she was not there by accident and a whole bunch of other stuff that came to me at the time. Instantaneously she was beautifully filled with the Holy Ghost.

We had to go home the next day because our youth pastor was sick, and my parents told me I still had to be in a wheelchair. I soon proved to them I was healed when I remained pain-free. When I went to get an MRI and bone scan, a hole could not be found! A technician was called in because everyone thought the machine was broken! When I went back to the bone doctor, he said I did not need surgery if there was no hole, and since they did not have my x-rays that I should just make an appointment in six months.

It has only been about two months since then, but I still will sometimes get a chill when I do something simple like walk down a flight of stairs, or run away from someone in a water fight, and I have to just stop and say “Wow!” and “Thank you, Jesus!”

© 2002, Laura Berger


Laura Berger is patiently waiting the three months until she is 16 in Las Vegas , Nevada . She loves it every time God uses her in a special way. She plays the flute, writes, and once in a while will get a chance to speak or sing. All of which not many people guess when meeting her.

Re: “I Had a Hole in My Foot!”

March 6, 2006

Thanks for sharing this. It was so encouraging to read. God is good! I especially like how the author gave glory to God. I know this pleases Him greatly.

Gillian Bolde, Georgia

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This picture was taken in Sept 2009. Nana and 9 month old Bentley.

It has been 3 months to the day today. You would think the pain would lessen, that it would get easier to breathe. Just when I think I am ok again, that we will get through this, and the grief comes back in waves so strong I instantly cant breathe and choke on my tears. (I never would have understood that fully before now)
And please. Dont get me wrong. In so many ways I am a better person now. I can actually feel now. But sometimes I wish I cant. I am more sensitive. I strive to be a better Mother, Wife, sister, daughter, employee, christian, prayer warrior. Not a day goes by that I dont think of her still. Not many nights go by without hard dreams to dream. Dying, falling, wishing, hoping, scaring... God help me!
Church is my refuge, songs my escape, the chair an altar.
I weep. I dont.I hold it in. I let it out.

and sometimes I get so overwhelmed at the thought of heaven. She. is. there. Dancing around God's throne. Bowing. Worshiping. Worshiping. Worshiping. Enjoying. Amazing really.

And then I think of her praying. Sometimes I can hear her still. At church I kneel to pray and I think I hear her behind me. It makes me weep. Or sometimes I hear her singing....and I cry. Oh I cry.

I have put off this post long enough. I have a lot of excuses to give you. I have been busy couponing. Again. I have a toddler. I work. But the truth is I dont want to continue my story. Why?

I want to be encouraging. This is not going to be an encouraging post. I know there arent many that read this, but I want to be encouraging to those that do.

It's really hard to admit when you are angry.
I have never experienced some of these emotions in my life. Its hard to share that.

Anger is usually associated with shame or regret.

Anger. Thats all I felt. Anger.
I wish I could say that I was thinking something beyond that. But all I felt was this intense red hot anger. She was gone. I wasn't going to get a chance to say goodbye. There were to be no more uh uhs typed out or said on the phone. No more soggy buttered toast. There wasnt to be a reunion in her room. She wasnt going to make it. And then the tears came. All the way accross country they came. Of course I didnt cry the entire time, but it seems that way. I had Bentley to distract me, and what a delight he was. And sleep to take up some time. Then I would look over and see my dad shaking, or my mom with her head bowed and start sobbing again. What people must of thought of us! Somehow I passed that stage and started thinking of what the days to come would bring. It was so hard to pack for a furneral I didnt want to got to, but I think I brought the right things.

The biggest question of all: Who on earth would do her hair? So many times I watched Nana do her hair. She used to joke- if something ever happens to me, you will have to do my hair! What a radom thought, but I would be so honored to do her hair. Even if I can help tell someone how to do it. I so would like to help out. Oh God!! I can't do that can I? Help me please if it is so! I started thinking of how she used to it. Certain parts I couldnt quite get. How did she cross the pins again? Where does that roll go? 1 hairnet or 2?

We got to New Hampshire, and discovered a dunkin donuts. This and the coolatta were a very welcome distraction. We found some joy in the fact that we went by the house I grew up in (see below- although we never had a red door), and my elementary school, and got pictures of Bentley on the front steps. That was as much as we got. On the road we started out on our 6 hour trip.

I started texting my cousin Heidi, and come to find out we were minutes from each other, but due to poor thinking, and toddlers we kept missing each other. We could not wait to see each other! Bentley was very uncomfortable at this point and decided to scream the rest of the way to Nana and Gapas. He finally made known what was the problem 15 minutes away. Ahhhh. Silence. Poor baby.

We got to the house and said hi to everyone. Bittersweet. Hi I am so glad to see you! (said while bawling your eyes out, does not make the person being hugged feel glad to be seen)
We were really glad to be there. and yes we werent all at the same time.

God has a plan.
The first thing that started happening was we all realized that everyone was there. Everyone! In a family of over 40, that does not happen easily. But every child, baby, sibling, in-law, and one unborn child made it! Thank God!

One thing became more apparent than ever. We have an incredible family. Being in Nana's house (Oh it is certainly Grampie's too, but Nana has that special touch everywhere) was extremely hard. (and as the days went on- comforting) Someone in the family would often get overwhelmed, and someone would give them a hug, which would turn into praying, which would turn into more people hugging and praying, until everyone in the house would gather in and start praying. This happened many many times leading up until the furneral. Prayer starts things.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I know that.

I think one thing we all have in common is how much of our day reminds of her. She has never stepped foot into the house I live in now, but she is still in every room.
Her homemade dish cloth lies in the sink,
her potholders are well loved and used on the counter,
her towels that she turned into the skirt of a lady hang on the stove handle.
In my cupboards there is a sippy cup that I used at her house, that she passed on to Bentley
and a small glass dish that she would cook an egg in the microwave for me. I hated eggs and still do, but I would eat every bite just to see her do that.
In another cupboard lies a teddy bear shaped pan that she would make cakes in.

In the hallway hangs a "bags bag" that she made, and in the living room is a music box that she gave me. (also there is a picture of her and Bentley that I hung up tonight)

In Bentley's room is the sweater she bought from Aunt Leota and told me she wanted pictures. I took them, but didn't get a chance to send them.

There is also blankets and burp rags that she made.

In my bedroom is a corn husk doll, and countless books, espically a whole series she bought me that is centered around the relationship between a Grandmother and a Granddaughter.

In my bathroom it takes my breath away in the mornings sometimes, when I turn to look at the back of my hair, and remember her doing this countless times.

More than that, even though shes never stepped foot inside, I feel her here. Not just in my house, but in my life.

When I bend down to kiss a boo boo, I think of her doing that.
When I wash dishes, I think of us doing that
When I do laundry, I think of her doing that (and more!)
When I make my bed, I think of her doing that.
When I take a nap, I think she wouldn't have done that.
When I burn dinner, I wish I could tell her that.
When I pray, does she see that?
Im learning to play the piano, if only she knew that.
I loved her, I know that.
I know she loved me
I miss her. I know that.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How not to coupon:

I really am an awful blogger arent I? I am not sure how some people find the time to think of, edit, and post every single night. I have been writing every single day but not always posting. (well up until this week)

What have I been doing? Well.... Couponing....

Believe it or not my dad got me started.... and although I refuse to be as crazy as he is, I think I am coming pretty close.

I have learned how not to do it:

You cant use register rewards on milk. Dont go to Walgreens and buy a bunch of stuff, roll RR, only to find you cant use it on milk. This wont make your hubby happy if he sends you to the store with $5, and you come home with 10 pairs of socks, 10 packages of chap stick, a $5 RR, and no milk

Dont go to Safeway at 11:00 pm and expect to be in and out. Dont checkout with the poor girl thats only been there 2 days, and is not sure what to do with coupons. You can scar her for her entire job career. Especially when you come back 2 nights later and do it again.

Dont clip every coupon. This takes a LOT of time. Better yet go here:
and let her do it for you!

Dont get distracted and read every blog there is out there, you could be online for hours

I have also learned how to start saving money while preserving my sanity. I think these are the most important things I have learned so far: (albeit random)

Every store has a different coupon policy
You can stack coupons
Printable or manufacturer clipped with in ad or store specific coupons
You can also stack coupons with ones preloaded to your Safeway card, etc
You can use them unexpectedly on both items when something is BOGO (Buy 1 get 1 Free)
You can use a BOGO coupon on a BOGO sale to get both items free

Don't be embarrassed. You are saving money! The 20 people behind you are just jealous that they aren't.

However with that said- Do be courteous, smile and apologize to the person behind you. (or look straight ahead and don't even check how many people are in line)
If the cashier is really struggling, don't argue. Simply tell them you decided against those products and come back later.

Whew! Without further aideu, here are my most recent transactions: It helps to research and print our deals, but these I did just by going and looking at the ad, and bringing my coupon organizer with me.

3 boxes of cereal, 2 bottles of salad dressing, 4 boxes of mac & cheese, granola bars, toilet paper (11.99 not that big of a sale but we needed it) cookie dough :), breadl, and two packages of lunch meat!
Total before coupons:
After coupons and club card:

Guess how much cash Will and I had together? $33!!!

Walgreens- I cant find the receipts.... but it consisted of multiple transactions and free socks, chapstick, and blistop. (one one of each)

Huggies Blue Jeans limited edition diapers
Nissan Souper Meal
Emerald Nuts 4.5 oz
Warm Delights
Lays snack chips
Wild cherry pepsi


After coupons and $10 ECB- $3.22

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


If I believed in hocus pocus, what would our chinese fortunes mean????
From top to bottom: Mine, Bentley's, Will's. The current year will bring you much happiness.
An unexpected windfall will be yours. Any doubts you may have will disappear early this month.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nana's Story, Part 2

Let's see where did I leave off? hmmm. Oh yes I hadn't begun to pack yet....

Coffee. That's where I will start. Who can I call? It seems like I should be calling someone.... Stephanie.
"How are you? Where are you guys at?"

"Just crossing the Maine border, how are you holding up?"

"As to be expected I guess." "How did you get pac
ked? I can't seem to get motivated."

"Oh, Laura, it was so hard! I could barely move! I felt like I was stuck in sand! I have no idea if we have everything we need, and we probably have more than enough of some other things!"

"Well, the good thing is, we will see each other

Oh, God! If she is having a hard time, how much harder will it be with us going across the whole country! I need your help!

"Mom! What was you told me not to forget?

" Oh, I told you I have some of his pajamas here, along with a few bottles."

10 minutes later....
"Mom, what was it that I am forgetting?"

20 minutes later...
"Laura, did you remember bottles? I have some here."

And on it went ALL day long. actually the scatter brain ness still hasn't left completely.
I rechecked the suitcase when will got home from work and I had 5 white shirts and no skirts. That's what I had packed. Oh, and a couple dresses. I took all the jean skirts out because of weight. (Don't worry they fit in the carry on later) With less then 10 minutes to spare we got it all repacked.

We finally made it to the airport, and checked to see if our carry-ons were the right size.....

We had a bit of time to wait in the airport and so we were all a bit antsy. Especially after rushing around all day, it seemed weird to just sit there... It was pretty quiet, although there were announcements periodically to watch your stuff, and "the curb is for unloading passengers only. Violators will be ticketed and towed".

My mom leaned over to get something out of her carry on and I heard a beeping sound, which I thought might be unrelated and could be something placed under my chair.... Considering the fact that the attendant told us that there were 10 FBI agents in the airport- I was a little worried.
Beep. Beeep Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

What is that?

Finally we searched my mom's bag, she had taken the cordless phone with her!!! We all laughed so hard!

Bentley and will occupied there time running up and down the stairs. I decided to join them upstairs after a bit. There were Lego's and a view of the runway. I laid down and almost fell asleep when we saw the plane come in. We we excited! Yes this trip was going to be hard, but it was still a plane ride, right! I hadn't been excited until then. I dreaded the trip. And I told myself, she has held on for this long- maybe she will still be alive and we can go and see her off to home. Yes, I am going to think positive!

We ran downstairs and saw my parents sitting solemnly. My dad wasn't playing with his geek toy, my mom wasn't rummaging in her bag. Then I noticed the tears. I knew.

She was gone.


Thursday, June 17, 2010


This is exhausting.
All of it.

Mommyhood. Wifehood. Grief. FATHER'S DAY IS THIS SUNDAY!

But oh what a good tiredness! There is a peace that passes all understanding. And in all this busyness I know: I have a God.

By the way-
Hello there! I am not sure what all this is shaping up to be yet.
All I know is that the way I deal with tough stuff is to write.
One of the ways.
The other way is to laugh. A lot. But sometimes no one thinks thats funny.

So I have great aspirations. But I have had those before. At first I started this thinking that I would finish my story in just a few days if I worked straight, but I think I will mix it up a bit.
The writing of this story- whatever it turns out to be- is fitting because my Nana loved to write. She also loved to read my writings. She would say that this entire post is not grammatically correct. And she's right! So I can't stop thinking about her even as I write this.

So to mix it up: Bentley got his second hair cut.

And I got diapers for really cheap. Woot!
Rite Aid:
Buy 1 pack of Jumbo diapers- $8.99
use $3.00 off 1 coupon from
(gone, but they will put up more, theres some at that you can use anywhere)
Get a $2.00 single check rebate, and a $1 wellness reward

Buy 1 pack of pure and natural diapers- $8.99
use $2.50 off 1 coupon from
Get a $2.00 single check rebate, and a $1 wellness reward

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nana's Story, Part 1

Mothers Day
No one knew what the next few days held in store for us. I think if anyone did we wouldn't have changed a thing anyways. Not knowing that the hardest days of our lives (and yes some of the best), were to come; we had a beautiful Mother's Day.
Laughter & Yummy Food:

Bentley woke me up running into the bedroom, jumping on the bed, and squealing about the balloons he had gotten me so he could play with them...
(what a far cry from last year!)
I got flowers and a massage, and realized at 9pm that it was too late to call my Nana. She would be in bed.

My desk phone rang as I was walking out the door for lunch.... I almost went back, but figured that those crazy customers could wait a few minutes. My cell phone rang, and I realized someone needed me.
".................taken to the hospital"
"What? Bentley has been taken to the hospital?"
"No! Nana has been taken to the hospital, she had a stroke."

Relief. She will be okay. It's Nana! But wait, hospital! She's never been in a hospital before! Will I see her again? How can I? There is no way we could fly across the country! Not now! Guilt. I shouldn't be so glad that it wasn't Bentley. Silly. It will be fine!

Ok, just get through work. Finish my lunch and get back to work. I was on the way to get an iced tea. How fitting! One of my greatest memories was sitting down having iced tea in those ribbed glasses.We would stop and have a glass of iced tea sometimes just because it was hot. Sometimes just because it tasted good, or went with a sandwich. And I just know that I was the only person in the world that mattered to her during that time we shared over tea.

Ok back to work. What are these papers doing on my desk? Why is my phone ringing?
"She's probably not going to make it."
Alright, we still have time. I shall leave work early and then I can be back for the rest of the week, so I can take next week off.

Rush. Rush. Rush. wait. Pray. Pray. Pray. Rush. Plane tickets are $1900 apiece! No way we can go today. Pray Pray PRAY. Then... just one more call. $250, one way, compassionate fares.

The whole family gets to go.

Sleep. 8 hours of the best sleep I would get for weeks.

Tuesday May 11th.
Everything is moving in slow motion. I have to get a family of 3 ready to go on a trip that I dont want to go on, to go to something I have never wanted to go to. I must pack warm clothes and cold clothes.... and furneral clothes. For a furneral that is not planned because the person hasn't died yet. And i should not believe will. I feel like I have a family of ten. Last time I planned this kind of trip, it took us 6 months to plan it out, and over a week to pack.

I have 6 hours.

To be continued...

Everything to Me

I grew up in Sunday School
I memorized the Golden rule
And how Jesus came to set the sinner free
I know the story inside out
I can tell you all about
The path that led Him up to Calvary
But ask me why He loves me
And I don't know what to say
But i'll never be the same
Because he changed my life when He became...

Everything to me
He's more than a story
more than words on a page of history
He's the air that I breath
The water I thirst for
And the ground beneath my feet
He's everything, everything to me

The words to this song are so powerful to me. Jesus is more than a story, more than words on a page of history.... Hes the air that I breathe, the water I thirst for....

Click Here to listen to the whole song on Yahoo! Music...