She went home.

8.26.2011

{written last night}


My Nonie went home to Heaven tonight.


She could very possibly be standing face to face with Jesus right this very second. 


And that? Is so freakin' cool.


As I write this post and reflect on my life with her, I can't help but feel so emotionally overwhelmed by how extremely blessed I have been to have her in my life. 


You see, my grandparents have been the rocks, the cornerstone, the amazingly loving presence in my life, and in everyone's life that have come to know and love them.


My Nonie was so amazing, it really is hard to put it all into words.


She was the matriarch of our family, and when I say "our family," I'm speaking of one heck of a big group of people. To know her was to love her, without question. I'm pretty sure she did not have one single bad bone in her body. She oozed radiance, empathy, compassion and LOVE. 


See, I grew up seeing Nonie constantly. Lived in the same town my whole life as her, and when I was in middle school my family moved one block away from my grandparents. Summers were spent at her house on the river. All the cousins would spend nights on end there. Her and grandpa took us to Disneyland and the cabin and skiing on the river. Then I got older and married and had kids, and she was always still such a huge part of my life. Just about a month ago, Nonie was rocking my one and half year old to sleep. She loved to rock my babies. She loved my kids as much as I do.


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We would email occasionally, and she always had such sweet words of encouragement for me. She loved reading my blog, and even laughed at some of my "inappropriate" blog entries. She loved me and believed in me and because of HER, I am who I am today.


Nonie wrote to me on November 4, 2010:



oh my goodness...i had/have so much to do this morning...like go out 4th st to the egg place for free range chicken eggs...and do my exercise, and walk, and finish my homes and land...and
what have i been doing for the last 45 minutes...right! Ravens blog. Needless to say but YOU
ARE the quintessential blogger!! i'm glad you sent to mercy, and i am going to TELL MY SISTER, whatever you THINK you have to do today...SIT DOWN, AND EXPECT TO BE SUPER ENTERTAINED AND HAPPY HAPPY WITH THE Raven Production!!! Better than any movie, any time.  And just so you know, Jesus makes my heart happy happy knowing that Mommy is taking precious Gunner and Colt to know, love and belong to Jesus!!!! Just Nonie today.  I looooves you ALL so much.



and on March 1, 2011:


Rave, my soulmate, keep taking pictures...I have sat here howling and loving and beginning
my tuesday morning rainy day with a LOOOONNNNGGGG BLOG from my favorite mom...
i'm tellin you, Kid...KEEP all these blogs, they will publish one day, and your boys will
grow up (if Jesus delays) and  they will say "My Mommy...she's my Wonder Woman of
all Time"....No kidding, 30 minutes, and I need a second cup of hot coffee...Love you,
and see you Saturday at Another Unforgettable Day in the Life of The Smiths!!!  Nonie


It happened so quick. She went to the hospital in Seattle for a routine chemo treatment and here we are, three weeks later. But in a testament to what a wonderful person she was, she had many, many visitors while in the hospital. Her five kids basically never left her side. Someone was ALWAYS there with her in the room. My mom slept in the hospital room on a bedside cot. Her grandkids came to see her, her great grandkids came to see her, and of course, her husband of 50+ years was there to sing to her and hold her hand. 


My sister and I drove to Seattle last Tuesday. Nonie was so weak that she couldn't even lift her head, but she was awake and we had a really good talk. I told her through tears that I am the mother I am today because of her. That the reason our family has such a strong foundation and why my kids will grow up learning about and loving Jesus is because of HER. I am SO happy that Gunner will remember his Nonie. Even in three short years, I am certain that her impact on him was life changing. 


Also, one of the first things she said to me when I walked into the hospital room? "You look so good with dark hair. Please don't ever go back to that blonde."


I promise Nonie, I promise. :)

When the hospital decided there was nothing else they could do for her, her family decided to bring her home. To her home that she had lived in for many decades and where her husband and beloved dog, Mocha reside.


That day was today. She got home around 2 pm. I was going to go visit her tomorrow but had a change a plans and went today. I stood by her bed and held her hand, as she struggled to breath. A few hours after I got home, my mom called to tell me that Nonie was now in Heaven. 


I miss her SO much already. And I sit here and wonder how life will be different without her in it. Because it will. She was such a constant in my life, SUCH an inspiration to me and someone I will strive to live my life like every single day from here on out. She was my angel on Earth and God called her home tonight. I am so sad for my loss but SO HAPPY when I think of her right now, up in Heaven, having an actual conversation with her creator, the God she lived her life for. 


She may even be sitting on Elvis's lap right now, having him sing her a few tunes. 


She loved Elvis.


And I love her. And because of her, I know that life does not end with death, and I am certain of where I will be going when it's my time.


And I will end with a few words that my aunt, Nonie's daughter, shared with us in an email the other day. Describes perfectly how God has had a plan since day one.


{whenever I copy and paste something from another page, it totally screws everything up and nothing is cohesive. However, the words are what's in important here, not how "good" my page looks today}


We were all reminded, for those who know and trust Him with our lives, that His purpose for us is 




T H E P R O C E S S itself...not a particular end or goal...but moment by moment trust in Him that He will provide our every need...and that we can remain calm, faithful, and unconfused...in the middle of the turmoil. You know even for you skeptics out there - even the guruʼs say to LIVE IN
T H E M O M E N T !

and finally

Monday morning mom woke up and said to us...I am ready. I am ready to go to Jesus. But I would like to go home to {her address} if you 








all would not mind taking care of me a little longer. We assured her that it would be a privilege and an honor. We are working it out with 






hospice to bring her home, God willing. I will end with MOMʼS BIBLE VERSE that she is claiming - for such a time as this. She loves you all 






and I know that she is grateful for all of your love and compassion. She would say, Thanks for the memories and God Bless.












2 Cor. 4:17-18: "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we 








look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the 






things which are not seen are eternal" 













I love you Nonie and can't WAIT for the day I get to see you again.


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106 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss Raven. What a touching post!

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  3. You have me all choked up!! Such a sweet post, so sorry for your loss. xo

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  4. So sorry for your loss Raven, we are all here for you!

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  5. Oh, Raven...love you, friend. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Heaven is having a HUGE welcome party tonight.

    Sending you much love...
    xoxox

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  6. Oh my sweet Raven, I read this through sad & happy tears. I remember whispering pretty much the same words to my Gma, right before she passed. She was everything to me, just like your sweet nonie was to you. Just know she will alway be right there with you. I'm sure she's up there having a good ole time with Jesus & Elvis! Praying for you my dear. XO

    Btw, Love the please don't go back to that blonde... Awww love her!

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  7. I just lost my nana in feb. The day before my sons third birthday ...It was one of the hardest moments of my life .. I MISS her every day I feel your loss and my heart is with you .. There is nothing better than Italian Grandmas .. !

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  8. I am so sorry to hear about your Nonie...it is clear she was an amazing woman with a beautiful life that touched many people. Sending hugs to you and your family during this time!!

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  9. SO so sorry Raven :( THis post was written just perfectly and beautifully! Nonie would have loved it. And who knows, maybe shes reading it in heaven right now! :-)

    she sounded like such an awesome woman. I know how you feel about her always being so close. i lived about 10 mins away from my grandparents and would see them ALL THE TIME. Its hard to lose them, but it's also nice knowing you had so many memories with them

    LOVE YOU. hugs and kisses! keep your head up
    xoxoxox

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  10. So sorry to hear about your Noni. She sounds like the kind of person we all aim to be like. You are so lucky to have such a strong supportive role model and such a special person waiting in heaven for you. My Nana is there as well and I can't wait to see her again.

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  11. Raven, I am so sorry for your loss. I can tell your Nonie was a very special person in your life. Your words today brought tears to my eyes, she would be so proud of you for your sweet sweet words. I will be praying for you and your family. Sending lots of love your way!

    XOXO

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  12. This made me tear up. I'm so sorry girl.

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  13. Raven, so sorry for your loss. But this post was such a sweet tribute to her. I am thinking about you and you are in my prayers.
    Ashley

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  14. sorry to hear that. she's in a good place now.

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  15. Thoughts and prayers are with your family. Your relationship with your Nonnie reminds me of my relationship with my Nana. Rarely does a day go by that I don't think about and miss her. As my mom tells me, the ones we love are never further away than our hearts.

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  16. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes after reading this beautiful post. I lost my grandma earlier this year, so I know how you're feeling...So hard to let them go, even if you know they're in a better place...My thoughts are with you, Raven!

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  17. im so so sorry for ur loss of your beloved Nonie..she is watching you and your sweet boys everyday

    (((huggsss))))

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  18. So sorry for your loss. She sounds like such an amazing person, praying for your family!

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  19. Raven, I'm so sorry for you and your family's loss!! Thinking of you!

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  20. Raven, My heart aches for and I can't hold back my tears as I read your blog. Your Nonie is in the most wonderful place ever but yet it is hard to console our physical hearts. I lost my first grandparent not quite 2 years ago and my heart still hurts and I miss her greatly. My prayers are with you as grieve her lost.

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  21. what a beautiful post Raven... it brought me to tears.


    thinking about you.

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  22. Your Noni sounded like and looked like a beautiful person! My thoughts are with you and your family! Love the pictures of her too!

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  23. So sorry you've lost such an amazing woman. Thankful you have the memories and the lessons, and the love, but wish you still had her here.

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  24. Totally bawling over here! I am so sorry for your loss hun! She sounds like such an amazing person, I am so glad you were blessed with her! My prayers are with you and your family! Xoxoxoxo

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  25. Thinking of you and your entire family. Such a touching post. Hugs!

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  26. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandmother 3 years ago. I know how hard it can be. I'll be praying for you & your family! Just know she is now smiling & watching over you!

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  27. Oh wow Raven, I am so very sorry for your loss.

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  28. So sorry for your loss Raven! I will be thinking about your family!

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  29. So sorry for your loss. She sounds like she was an amazing women. She is absolutely gorgeous!

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  30. I have tears after reading this. Beautifully written, Raven. Praying for you and your family during this time!

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  31. Oh my goodness Raven...I am so so so sorry. Your Nonie sounded like the perfect gma and you made me tear up just reading your blog of how much she meant to you and your family. HUUUUGS!

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  32. Crying over here! I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandma when I was 18. I'm so glad you got to spend so much time with her. I'm thinking of you and your family. Beautiful post.

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  33. I'm so sorry Raven. I'm certain that your Nonie can read this post from heaven and is just as proud of you as ever.

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  34. this made me cry. thinking of you.

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  35. i'm so sorry for your loss. y'all are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  36. What a beautiful post. Please know that you are truly in my thoughts and prayers. My Grandpa died August 1st, so I understand what you are going through. You are happy they aren't in pain anymore and that they are dancing with Jesus, but it doesn't change the ache and longing that comes with missing and loving them so deeply. Hang in there, girl :)

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  37. Raven, boo ... I love you. This was really touching and brought tears to my eyes. I am BBMing you.

    XOXOXO

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  38. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family. How precious are those emails and those photos! Hugs to you Lady!!!

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  39. i'm so sorry to hear of your Nonie. What a beautiful post, she is smiling down on you from heaven.

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  40. I am really really sorry for your whole families loss.. but the idea of her sitting face to face with Jesus made my heart so happy and excited! We cant even begin to imagine the joy and total love she is experiencing right now.

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  41. Praying for you and your family! So sorry for you loss.

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  42. So sorry Raven. Beautiful words and beautiful memories.

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  43. I was doing pretty good this morning until I read your post... =*) well said, Raven. I am just grateful she made it home and now she is truly HOME.

    - Rachie

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  44. I'm so sorry to hear about your Nonie. Sending lots of hugs your way.

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  45. Raven, I just sent text to Brit, but I'm sending huge hugs to you and your whole family. Please give your Mom a huge hug for me!!

    Shell

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  46. aww what a sweet post about your Nonie. I am sorry to hear - I will keep you in my prayers :) xoxo

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  47. oh Raven....
    i don't have words. i am so sorry to hear that physically, your nonie isn't with you anymore but i am so thankful that you can stand in this moment and know without question that she will NEVER leave you spiritually and that she lives on every moment in the love you give to your babies and the way you live your life every day. what an incredible gift! so many people don't realize that when they lose a loved one and that is the saddest thing.

    i lost my momma to cancer 5 years ago, and so much of what you've said about your nonie reminds me of the relationship i had with my mom and i can tell you without a doubt that i feel her with me every single day....your nonie is going to let you know she is with you in the most amazing ways that will make your heart swell with love.
    be strong sugar <3

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  48. Soooo sorry to hear about your Nonie Raven. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family during this difficult time. May the memories you have ease the sadness and bring peace to you all. xx

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  49. What a beautiful woman. Guaranteed she's watching and smiling at you. :) My thoughts are with you!!!

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  50. Raven, I am so so sorry for your loss. She seems like she was such an amazing woman. She was beautiful, just like this post. I'm thinking of you and praying for you and your family. Love you girl. Xoxoxoxoxo.

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  51. I'm so sorry Raven. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  52. Hey Ravie, My dad called me this morning and told me what happened, he is talking to grandpa now. I am feeling a little low today at work, I do have some really neat pictures from when our parents were younger with nonie that my dad was looking through to copy and give to whoever. Prayers are with you. Nonie was an amazing person the river will never be the same

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  53. So so sorry for your loss. But I know she's happy that she finally gets to see Jesus. Thank goodness for the promise that we will see each other again. :) Praying for you and your fam! {{hugs}}

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  54. Raven,
    sweetie I am sending all the hugs in the world your way at this moment.

    This was SUCH a touching post.

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  55. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Just keep thinking about the good times x

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  56. I am so so sorry for your loss. You write beautifully. I sat here at work crying at my computer, thank heavens I didn't put eye makeup on yet. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Remember the good times and talk to her. She can hear you and will respond to you in her way. loves chick!
    besos, si

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  57. Can I tell you how beautiful this post is? I admire how you described what a lovely person she was, and your outlook on her passing is seriously encouraging. What an incredible tribute to her life! Praying for you and your family.

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  58. So sorry for your loss. She sounds like an AMAZING woman. How lucky to have someone so great in your life for so long. You have a beautiful outlook on where she is now, knowing that this life on earth is only the beginning helps so much in situations such as these. My prayers are with you and your family. Remember, it is better to celebrate her life, than to mourn her death, for her life is just beginning.

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  59. Raven, I am so sorry to hear that you lost your grandmother. Nothing can heal the pain of losing someone but time, but I'm so glad that she (and you) was a Christian and gets to live eternally. I'm with you. When I lost my dad even though it sucked so, so bad, I was so happy for him to get to hang with Jesus and no longer be in pain. I'm thinking about you and hope you can be strong during this time. If you need an ear to listen or shoulder to cry on I'm here for you.

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  60. I am truly, truly sorry to hear about your loss. Your grandmother was beautiful, simply stunning. My heart aches for you because I have a similar, very strong relationship with my own grandmother. Cherish the memories, for they will last always. Praying for comfort for you.

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  61. Tears. I know how special a grandma's love can be. My grandma raised me and was a huge factor in my life. I am so sorry for your loss, but it sounds like she was such an amazing woman and she is now truly home.

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  62. what a beautiful and touching post... it definitely brought tears to my eyes. your grandmother seemed like a great lady and i will keep you and your family in my prayers...

    xoxo!

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  63. I'm so sorry for your loss, Raven. I love her notes to you...what special memories to keep!!

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  64. Aww, I'm so sorry to hear this! Sounds like she could honestly say she lived life to the fullest and knew how to surround herself and others with love!

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  65. What a great tribute to her. {{hugs}}

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  66. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today.

    What a great post about your Nonie.

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  67. I'm so sorry Raven. What a touching post and the letters from here were so beautiful. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. {hugs}

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  68. Thinking of you and the boys. She would have been proud of this post, it is beautiful.

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  69. she is watching over you and your family right this moment and forever will do so. what a sweet and touching post this is, raven. i know how much you loved her.

    keep your head up, pretty girl!

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  70. She's stunning and will always be with you.

    Tabitha

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  71. Im so sorry for your loss Raven. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

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  72. So so sorry for your loss, this is a beautiful post :-)

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  73. Do you know how horrible I feel? I take a day off from reading blogs ans I missed this and I tweeted you a story ab snakes. Girl, im sorry.

    You know cancer strikes a cord with me. Im sorry. Im so sorry. But how beautiful this post is.

    I found comfort in knowing I could openly talk to my friend and he could hear me in heaven.

    Need a friend? You've got one.
    Xoxo
    Savs

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  74. Oh gosh, Raven, this post was SO beautiful! I had tears running down my cheeks. It's so obvious how much she loved and admired you, and obviously the same is true about you admiring and loving her as well.

    Praying for peace and comfort for y'all! I know how hard it is to say goodbye.

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  75. This made me cry. I am so sorry for your loss, and I know no words can make it feel okay but I know right she's reading this and laughing. You seem to be just as wonderful as she seems to have been.

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  76. I am so sorry for your loss, Raven! What a joy to know that she is with our Lord, and you will see her again one day. She was beautiful! God bless you all!

    www.lungfam.blogspot.com

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  77. I'm sorry, friend. It sounds like you have some amazing memories to keep, though. And those e-mails? Priceless. :) Thinking of you!

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  78. She seemed like such an incredible woman! May she rest in peace. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

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  79. keeping you and your family in our thoughts.

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  80. Raven, I am so terribly sorry for the loss of your sweet Nonnie. May she rest in peace. This post had me in tears.

    You wrote it beautifully.

    Many prayers, hugs, well wishes sent you and your families way! xoxoxo

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  81. I am a long time reader but have never commented. Your wit is ingenious, and I always expect a smile when I read your blog. Though I have never met you, or your dear, sweet Nonnie, I find myself writing through tears. What a sweet post, to what sounds like the most deserving woman. Heaven is most certainly having a huge homecoming. May she rest in peace and maybe we will all meet her on the other side. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers today. <33

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  82. Such a sweet and touching post...thinking of you. xoxo

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  83. I'm sorry for your loss Raven! She sounds like such a special woman. I'm sure she has left her mark on you and you'll be sure to pay that forward to your own kids and grandkids someday. Thinking of you and your family!

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  84. Ow wow, time stands still for just a moment today I hear about how an amazing woman left to be with our Creator and savior. This woman wholeheartedly brought me into the world of her family with open arms and an open heart. Memories of Bonya, christmas time, 4th of July, and especially my birthday which was happily shared every year with one of her own. I will never forget her as she is a chapter in my book. You will be missed Erny Pischel and this blog is a simple testament of what was her beautiful life here on earth! <3<3<3

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  85. Raven~ I found your blog through a mutual friend BETH :) I have been reading your blog for about a year now (of and on, due to the fact I am a mother of 6) and have yet to comment. So today as you cry I am crying with you. What a precious legacy your Nonie has left you! Praying that your family will feel Our loving God' comforting arm wrapped around each and everyone of you during this trial of life. She will be missed... but oh, what a wonderful celebration it will be when you see each other again in heaven!!! I will continue to lift you up in prayer as you are missing your sweet Nonie.
    God Bless
    Lela

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  86. So sorry about you Nonie, I'll be thinking of your family!

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  87. Raven, I'm so sorry for your loss. This was one of the most touching posts I've ever read. It makes me wish to have known her.

    <3

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  88. Omg. I am all kinds of choked up right now. What a beautifully written post, my sweet friend. Wow. I'll say a prayer for peace and comfort for you and your family. I'm so sorry. =(

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  89. What a beautiful post, you have me all choked up. I know your Nonie is now one of your Angels and has only left you guys in physical body, she'll probably be reading your posts over your shoulder as you type them now :) Your family is in my prayers.

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  90. So sorry to hear this! Praying for you and your family during this hard time. This was such a sweet post!

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  91. Your Nonie absolutely left a legacy of love and grace. And how beautiful she seemed inside and out. Huge hugs Raven!!!!! Praying for peace.

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  92. Sorry for your loss,Raven. But I am glad that you remember to celebrate her life and that she is always with you! My prayers are with you!

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  93. Raven, I am in tears right now ... this was written so beautifully. Your Nonie is up in heaven smiling down at these beautiful words and so happy that she inspired you and made you the individual you are today.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time and I pray that God gives you the peace and comfort that your Nonie is feeling now.

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  94. Such a sweet post, that I know your Nonie would be proud of. I'm so sorry about your loss girl, but I'll keep you in my prayers! xoxo

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  95. Hi Raven, I'm so sorry for your loss. I just lost my Grandma in June and it was devastating and horrible. LIke you, I felt so grateful to have her as long as I did and enjoy all of the wisdom she bestowed on me. Your Nonie sounds amazing and I love that she read your blog. Hugs to you.

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  96. What a touching post. So sincere, she seems like a great woman Raven! I am so sorry for your loss, but this is a relationship so special and so amazing, you are so lucky to have had this!! xoxo

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  97. i am thinking about you and your family girl. yall truly had an amazing relationship. something so special to hold on to...

    this is one verse that immediately made me think of you and your sweet nonie

    "for i know the plans i have for you, declares the Lord. plans to prosper you and not to harm you. plans to give you hope and a future." jeremiah 29:11

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  98. raven,
    I totally cried reading your post. What a blessing she was, if only everyone was so blessed. It will be a year next month since I've lost my own mother so I understand your grief.

    I love that she read your blog, how sweet! I'm sure she'll continue to read and watch over you and your family.

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  99. Raven!

    I am so sorry for you loss. The letters she wrote you were so touching and that's so sweet you have those words to look at whenever you need to!

    Your post was so beautiful and know that your gma is looking out for you. And she was so right because you are already a superstar!!!

    Sabrina Says

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  100. what a beautiful post & thank you so much for sharing. i am sorry for your loss & will keep you & your family in my prayers!

    xoxo.ashlyn

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  101. Oh Raven, I'm so sorry! She was beautiful and sounds like she was SO amazing! I can't wait til you get to see her again either :) Love you girl!

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  102. Very fitting tribute to a phenomonal woman! MY mom! I am going to think of all the things that were special about here and write them down. My motto now among my family members will be WWND..instead of WWJD? Get it? She was a family-holder-together type of person! We have much to learn from a peace-maker. Never betrayed another family members secret talks, always suggested we forgive one another for a "supposed" trespass against ourself, don't hold grudges,( look at yourself--you are not perfect either) always have your families back, play long board games with your grandkids, Nonie loved her family above all else...except Jesus. We were blessed to call her mom/Nonie.

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  103. Oh RAVEN> I feel so terrible that I am just now reading about your phenomenal Nonnie and her homecoming to HEAVEN! I am so sorry for her loss...but you are so right--she is in a VERY happy place with the Lord, and Elvis, and so so so many angels. And you know that she is watching over every little move you make. What a blessing to have your very own Nonnie Angel watching out for you and your family.

    I can tell that she loved you like none other. Her sweet and supportive (and funny) emails to you just melted my heart. What a wonderful woman! She obviously shared a wealth of priceless wisdom with you...wisdom that you are using to raise your boys into amazing young men! Not everyone has such a special connection with their family members...you are truly fortunate to have had time with such a STELLAR and LOVING and BEAUTIFUL grandmother.

    Once again..I'm super sorry that I just now found out. :( I feel like such a bad friend. :( Hope you have been doing okay the past few days! BIG HUGS.

    p.s. I agree with her about you hair...you are stunning as a brunette. :)

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