Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Written January 5, 2009 (more posts below this)

One year ago tonight I spent a very pleasurable evening with Kristy. We went condo shopping and out to dinner then back to her house. We stayed up late and had a deep thoughtful conversation. We basically bore testimony to each other and Kristy sang a couple of her favorite songs to me. Our last words that evening were words of love and affection, hugs and kisses on the cheek. Only 11 hours later she lay dead in the snow. What a cherished memory for me to look back and know that we had said the things that needed to be said. I have no regrets that I left things unsaid. It brings comfort to my soul.

This year has been difficult but I try to move forward with the fortitude and strength that Kristy has. Her little boys deserve no less than what their mommy would have given them.

We are back home in Washington for good. All of your prayers have been answered. We have permanent guardianship of Brandon and Carter. We are all getting used to each other in a new setting and environment. We had the whole family together for the holidays. It really helped us to think forward instead of backwards. We are starting to feel the joy and laughter in our lives again.

I would like to talk with you briefly about grieving. These are the stages that we go through. It may help you to know where you are along the grieving path. First is SHOCK. In this case it was an incredible incomprehensible shock. Second is DENIAL. We play these mental games like we say to ourselves that Kristy will be bounding through the door with a big grin on her face and say Just kidding!! Then the incredible pain that comes with the full impact of how evil this was and that it is permanent. Then comes the Anger. Whoooahhh. In this case it is a really big one that leaves a lot of us dealing with an anger that we are not prepared to deal with. I feel like there is only one way out of the anger and that is forgiveness.

The true spiritual meaning of forgiveness is to place it in God's hands to measure out justice. This whole experience has taught me that I have a perfect faith in God's justice. It will be just as exact as it should be, no more and no less. There is absolutely no thing that I or anyone else can do to screw up David's life anymore than he has done to himself. It is our moral obligation to make sure that he is never in a position to do this to another family ever again, thus the law of the land. It is so easy to get caught up in the anger stage of grieving. If we do then we give our personal power to David Ragsdale to destroy our lives. I for one refuse to let that man have any influence or power over me ever again. The last and most important stage of grieving is GRATITUDE. Get a piece of paper and write down all of the wonderful things that Kristy brought into your life. Don't cry because she's gone but laugh and smile because she came into your life. Now come on, admit it. Your life would not have been as colorful if Kristy has not come into it. Anger and gratitude cannot dwell in the same heart. Be as determined as I am that righteousness shall prevail in my life and the lives of my loved ones.

Just remember that we are all unique individuals and our grieving will be as unique as we are. We will all be on a different time table. That is okay and cool. God and life experiences make us all different. Just keep working at it and try to learn as much from the experience as you can.

Thanks to all of you for the amazing support you have been to my family and the boys. Some acts of kindness were huge and others may be seen as small but added all together were incredible. It has shown me over and over that my Heavenly Father knows me personally and that he inspires righteous people to action in my behalf. The timing of the service and gifts were in the very moment that I needed to know that I was loved and thought of. It was too perfect to be coincidental. It was orchestrated by a higher power. God has answered your prayers abundantly. Our lives have been strengthened and enriched by this whole process as we witness the incredible good in people..

If it has been a while since you have told your mom, daughter, best friend, spouse or children that you love them... please take my advise and do it today in memory of Kristy. You never know if it will be the last conversation you will have with your loved one so say what is in your heart and have no regrets. It is an awesome thing. Oh how I know- and I am so grateful for our last loving hours together- my Kristy and I .

Love, Mom

15 comments:

carrie said...

I love what you wrote, Ann. I'm glad we were able to talk today....and I am so glad you're able to spend today with your family and loved ones there. (even though we miss you here!!) It's so good to know you're doing so well...and moving forward. You've always been so much stronger than me, that's for sure. Give those cute little boys a big hug and kiss from me. I'm so glad all of our prayers were answered, and that they're able to be with you guys permanently. You're the best, Ann. Your family... and Brandon and Carter, are so lucky to have you. I'm lucky to have you as a friend. Thank you for inspiring me today and giving me some ideas for things I really need to do. :o) Love you.

Honor said...

I love this! I have been so grateful for Kristy this whole past year. I will always miss her, but know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us all.

Happy Birthday Kristy!

Alaina Guymon said...

What beautiful comments Ann! I've been thinking a lot about you and your family with this date approaching. Craig and I were going to try to come by over the holidays to see everyone but didn't make it with all the weather related issues. I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday and I'm glad that you were all together! You are such an inspiration with all that you've been through and how you've carried on through it all! Kristy would be so proud of you!

Take care and happy birthday Kristy!

familybrew7 said...

Oh Ann how is it that you always seem to have the right thing to share? I love this post and over the last year I have reflected on you and Kristy so many times. I am so grateful to know you and to have known Kristy. My life is richer and fuller because of you. I to am one who is inspired by you, your example, talent, love and your example of faith. Thank you so much for this beautiful post. You are truly a beautiful woman Ann Palizzi!:)

Happy Birthday Dear Kristy!

Jon said...

Ann,

Well said, thank you.

This evening on my way home from work I was sitting in the back seat of the SUV looking out the window watching the snow fall. It was wet and cold outside. For me it provided the right mindset for thoughts about Kristy on this the one year mark of her death.

Going forward thoughts of Kristy will be like a warm autumn day, but today I want to remember how I felt when I learned what David had done to her.

Thanks for your example, your example of faith, your courage, the perseverance you have shown, loving service to your grandsons, and most importantly for your example of forgiveness. I can only imagine what it must be like to try and forgive David for what he did, but I feel as if you have.

Thank you for your friendship, thank you for allowing me to spend time with the boys. When I have seen the boys or spoken to the boys it has made me feel more alive than at most all other times the past 12 months. Those emotions within my heart that they stir are very powerful. Thank you for reminding me of the blessings I have.

In closing, thank you for being you! You raised a wonderful woman; I know that family life goes a long way to shape ones personality. I believe that it was because of your influence over her that she was who she is.

In life I learned a little bit about her and in death she taught me a lot about myself.

~Mel said...

Amen to your last paragraph! Thanks for sharing your thought with us Ann.

the pomegranate apple said...

thank you so much for sharing this story. you are helping so many people.

Jane said...

Dear Ann,
I am so happy that the boys are now permanently in your, and Al, and your familys care. They are very special little guys to have had Kristy for their Mom!
I pray you have continued strength, health and peace as raise them as wonderfully as you raised Kristy.
Love, Jane Ward

Dorothy said...

Ann,

Thank you for your post. You are amazing. You are an example of strength, faith and forgiveness. You are a wonderful mother and grandmother and you helped Kristy become the wonderful woman and mother that she was. I too have thought of her through this past year. We are so glad you and Brandon and Carter are home with your family at last.
Love,

Dorothy

Anonymous said...

TO Ann and the entire Palizzi Family, As Dorothy and I have watched from afar, we want you to know we see the image of Christ in your lives. The words of Section 121 are evident in your actions -
7 My son, may peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes
9 Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.

May our Heavenly Father continue to bless your lives through your "small moment" until that glorious day when you all rejoin Kristy in that mansion that is certainly prepared for the Palizzi family.

We are better people by watching your Christ-like behavior. May the Lord continue to bless your family. We love you all.

Bill and Dorothy M.

Anonymous said...

I do not know your family, but I want you to know that I am praying for you and for Kristy's children. Thank you for your wonderful words and your example of love and strength. May the Lord bless you until you are together again with your daughter.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sweet Ann ~ I love you. This was great for me to re-read tonight, after the heaviness of yesterday. Hope to be able to give you more hugs in the future.
xoxoxox
love ~Nikki

Rummfor5 said...

Ann,
I am very sorry that this tragedy has come to your lives. I was in Ed and Clea's ward (and Verlee, Carrie, Lori, Jessica and Amber, Shayne/Penny) in Bell'ham. You came once to our ward and spoke beautifully to us. It was a fast Sunday I believe and you stood in our RS meeting and spoke words that were powerful and sweet.
I never met your daughter, but reading about her and having met you-- I feel like I know her, for the people I know who love her as well.
I pray that you will be given the strength you need and the comfort during the many long times ahead of you all. You'vebeen in my prayers, and thought being reminded once more of another stranger praying for you with faith would be a comfort.
God bless you and her little boys, too and all who love her.

Larry said...

Ten years ago Kristy graced me with her friendship. She welcomed my Texas accent and made me feel at home in a new city, and though our paths only crossed for a brief time I have never forgotten. Often I have wondered what she was up to and sadly today, through a rekindled friendship, learned of the events that took place last year. In my search for information I was led to this site and more particularly your post. The words are powerful and touching. The anger I feel is great, however it melts away when I focus on the memories and joy that she has brought to me. One memory that comes to mind was when she had undergone some major dental work; I believe her wisdom teeth were removed. After the procedure I came over to keep her company, and as a get well gift, brought her a sack of the largest jaw breakers made. Despite her sore gums and jaw she still found enough energy to share that contagious laugh (snorts included).

Kristy is and will always be a beautiful woman both inside and out. The world has been blessed by her time here; and the ripple effects of those she has touched will continue to bless it for generations. Thank you for sharing your Kristy.

Sincerely,

Larry Creighton

Anonymous said...

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