Writings and Other FYI's
In Loving Memory of
|In addition to some of her writings from newsletters, this section will also include other writings, such as journal entries from her time with the Honor Academy, papers from her class assignments, and other items, too. Plus, many friends and family are not aware of some FYI's such as Rachael had 3--count 'em--3 sinus surgeries, the last 2 being December of 2003 and May of 2004. I pray your understanding as we use this website to expound about Rachael and enlighten friends and family. There is also something therapeutic about sharing her with you like this. She was such a special, special young lady.|
click here for some other writings of
Rachael's from her time at the Honor Academy
Did you know?
Her Website: Rachael, and many others among her friends and peers, used a website that employs a "web log" or "blog" system of posting thoughts on a webpage, to which others may reply or respond with a comment. Here is Rachael's last posting on her website, June 15, 2004, 3 days before she left this earth:
Memorizing: Rachael was constantly working on memorizing scripture.
In looking through her things, I came across a 3x5 card that had the scripture that I
placed on this photo:
Her Expressive Heart: I
get into my car after a long day at work. I find a piece of paper tri-folded and
taped together. I open it up and find this, left for me by Rachael, just because...
Her Caring/Protective Heart: All throughout their lives together, Rachael was looking out for Alan. But one of the cutest stories was relayed to me by Rachael's first-grade teacher. At recess at school, Alan had busted his chin on a jungle gym bar and it was bleeding (ended up with 3 stiches). None of the teachers on duty had noticed, so Rachael ran up to this particular teacher and said, very pleadingly, with her arms outstretched and emphasizing her words, "Can't you see my brother's crying?"
Her Servant Heart: All
on her own...entirely her idea...right before leaving for the Honor Academy...she
announced to us that she was going to serve us a 7-course dinner as her present to us
before she left (ours is not a small family, either). How many of US ever
thought--much less did--something so giving, something that was that much of a gift to
others, before WE left for an extended stay away from home? I certainly never did.
She labored over that meal for hours on end, then joyfully served us all, and we
feasted. Below is a photo of her as she served us the dinner. We had a great
time. She was such a sweetheart...a very special human being.
Her Sensitive, Giving Heart:
The photos below show us together on Father's Day, 2001, the summer before
her senior year in high school. She wanted this photo taken together (thank you,
Lord) as, I now believe, she knew exactly what she was up to. After the photo was
developed, she placed it in a frame (the frame you see in the photos...I scanned the frame
along with the photo on purpose) and wrote on the back of it a personalized message that,
even then, meant the world to me. Now, it is beyond priceless, as well as timeless.
Note the 3 photos show, 1) the front of the photo/frame, 2) her personalized
message on the back of the frame, and 3) a hand-written note--classic Rachael--saying that
she didn't like the photo and wanted to do another one right away!
Her Twin Brother's Heart for His Sister: Rachael's twin brother, Alan, truly loves his sister. Although Alan is extremely bright and gifted, he had never tended to think ahead much...that was his sister's forte. And she always took very good care of him. However, when she left for school down there in August, we saw something in Alan we had never seen before. All on his own, he rearranged his college schedule of classes so that he would be free, in December, mind you, free to travel down to surprise Rachael for their birthday. He learned that their birthday was during "finals week" and he--in August--got with his professors and got that day cleared with the classes he could, and he switched the classes that were necessary so that he would not have a final that day. Amazing. Well, surprise her, we did. On their birthday, I had to be in a town 3 hours from here for a mandatory workshop. Alan came with me and sat, dutifully, until I was able to leave that workshop, then we headed for Texas from there, as coming back home first would have made us way too late to arrive on her campus. We love to sing and, on the way there that day, he and I made up a real jazzy, original duet of "happy birthday" that we sang for her when we had cake and ice cream that we brought with us (we didn't realize that a group of ladies nearby had quit talking among themselves and started listening to us until they burst into spontaneous applause after we sang to her). They had never experienced a birthday apart, and Alan wasn't about to start to have one this time. Below are a couple of pics of that evening when we went out for dinner then came back to campus for cake and ice cream and presents...their last birthday together.
Her Knee: Rachael played basketball through Junior High School until her knee fell apart on her. We went through much physical therapy in building up the muscles around her knee/kneecap but all through the rest of her life, her knee would repeatedly "go out" and cause her great pain. She dutifully wore a knee brace anytime she would be involved in physical activity, even though that would not always assure that the knee would not go out while active. In reading about her experiences at the Honor Academy, plus from listening to her talk about it, her knee was a limiting factor for her, which frustrated her, yet she so maturely accepted it as a part of life and dealt with it and worked around it very well.
Her Sinuses: Rachael
had not one, not two, but three sinus surgeries. The first was in May of 2002, her
senior year in high school. She was so tough. The surgery was necessary due to
labored and restricted breathing after a major sinus infection she had. We went to
an ENT and had a ct scan and learned that she had a lot of fungal growth and polyps
growing in her sinuses. The fungus was capable of doing much damage, and the polyps
were capable of growing back through the paper-thin bones into her eye sockets or her
Well, there were many followup
sessions as her physician was very careful and thorough in watching her sinuses closely
and working very aggressively with various medications to get rid of all traces of both
the polyps and fungi. As the spring went on, it became clear that, despite our
efforts, there was some indication that fungi and polyps were returning. The ENT
felt strongly that we were within striking distance of eliminating the problems but needed
one more surgery. So my strong baby girl, having just had surgery a few months
earlier in December, was scheduled for surgery yet again in May of 2004, her 3rd sinus
The last time I saw Rachael in person was for one of her followups to this 3rd surgery. The news from the doctor was very good. We were winning the battle. I remember being so pleased. We drove our cars (the doctor's office is in Tulsa, an hour from our home, so we would have to meet there when she drove up from Texas, and she'd then have to turn right around and drive back to get back to all her responsibilities at the Honor Academy) to a Quick Trip convenience store where I filled her tank and bought her a large Mountain Dew for her trip back...our standard procedure.
I held her as I prayed for her, thanking God for such an incredible daughter, and that I rejoiced with Him knowing that He, too, was so pleased with her. Interestingly, I sensed the words, "hug her as if you'll never see her again," and I gave her a long, loving hug, kissed her forehead, and told her "I love you, Rachael." "I love you, too, Dad," she replied. Though I wanted to continue to hang on to her, I let my baby girl go, as she was a gal on the move....things to do, places to go, people to see....she was ready to get herself back to campus in Texas as it was a 5-hour drive and she had things yet to do that evening when she returned. I remember watching her drive off until I could no longer see her car..
I prayerfully approched learning that she made it back safely to her campus. She forgot to call me to let me know she made it. God's Word says to not be anxious, and I was doing well to not be, yet I am also a dad who wanted to know she made it safely. I couldn't get through on the dorm phone that night, but finally heard from her the next day that she made it, and I dismissed the words I heard about hugging her as if I'd never see her again as thoughts of a dad who's just concerened about all that can go wrong on the hiway. Little did I know that the words I heard referred to what would happen on her next trip home.
Had I any idea that that was going to be the last time I saw my daughter here on earth.....
I miss my girl.