Say Their Name

April 2006 002 IMG_5477 IMG_2367 IMG_2382 Grandma Tye Winery Zoo 043 Grandma Tye Winery Zoo 045 KY Summer 083 First Tooth 042 Bria Faith 033_2 IMG_0652 Christmas04 161 Christmas04 157 P000653 Tye1 Tye_Han Tye&Gun IMG_1736









On a cold January day this year, Ray and the kids and I stood with friends at Arlington National Cemetery to lay wreaths on the graves. It’s one of those things that I forgot to blog about in the middle of my no writing funk. It was surreal, standing among fallen heroes wondering how we could do anything for them. That’s when one of the speakers said that he heard once that you die twice. The first time is the moment when your heart stops beating and you take your last breath. Your second death happens the last time your name is said out loud. We were encouraged to say the names on the graves, some dating all the way back to the Revolutionary War so that these heroes wouldn’t die on that day. 

Today marks three years that Tye Wheeler Jackson hasn’t been able to call me and insist that I watch a dumb video no matter what I might have been doing at that moment. It’s been three years since I’ve been able to send him a text bragging on something the kids have done. It’s been three years since he rubbed his hands together and then went straight for the back of his head. Three years… it was the blink of an eye and a lifetime. In three years, he’s missed the kids growing up. I didn’t get to introduce my dad to my kids. I know he would’ve eaten them up. He didn’t get to know them like Tye did. I often think about what Tye would say if he saw Arleigh performing on a football field, or Hanan singing in play or Bria playing soccer or Jack’s huge lego creations. He would be so excited to see how much they are growing and changing. The turd. He’s still making me mad because he’s gone far too soon. 

Recently Mom was blessed to hear someone say Tye’s name again. Sweet friends called to her to let her know that they happened to meet someone who knew Tye. That person had been forever changed for the better because of Tye. It’s not my story to tell but it’s super comforting to hear how many people loved him and how many lives he changed. The stories about Tye will go on forever. 

So today, on the anniversary of my little brother’s death, I’d ask you to say the names of the people you’ve loved and lost. Don’t let them die again. If you have a story about Tye, I’d love to hear it and so would Mom. Feel free to post them in the comments. 

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Happy Birthday Rachel!

This weekend we quite literally threw the whole tribe in the car and trudged down to one of my favorite places in the world for a sweet friend’s birthday. The upside to not being on an island in the middle of the Pacific is that we get to be with people that we love that we haven’t been able to be with in a very, very long time. No blizzard or crazy kids’ schedules would be able to keep us away. We left Bria’s soccer game and headed off is hopes of an expressway that were quickly dashed. Thankfully traffic wasn’t bad. We made it to the party with seconds to spare.

I mean, really. How could I miss this?


Or this cake?


(Cake by Anna Delcour. If you are in the Hampton Roads area, I’ll be happy to put you in contact with her.)

Plus, the promise of saltwater and sunsets is too much for this former island girl to resist, even if I only get to see it on the drive down.


It was so nice to be back with all our friends from Granby Street. The only problem was that the hoe down didn’t last quite long enough. Everyone got us for a little, no one got us for a lot. It’s always like that when you live away and visit family. 

These two…

They were only two-years old when Uncle Sam called us to Tennessee. They’ve seen each other once since then. It took two seconds for them to be thick and thieves again. We all just love Ruthie!

Arleigh and Hanan got to catch up with their friends too. It’s been 6 years since they’ve seen some of them. We talked on the way down that it might be awkward but I think they agreed that it really wasn’t. Right it down…First time ever a Mom says she’s super thankful for social media. 

Of course, there are times when I’m not.


BUSTED!!! (Ray was actually working. No matter where I drag him, we are never far from Uncle Sam.) Since it was a Saturday afternoon in Hawaii, I’m willing to bet the teen was telling her Hawaii peeps that she could smell salt water. 

Everyone had fun, especially Jack. It’s hard to not have fun when your big sister agrees to be your horse when you’re dressed like a cowboy. 


Oh how we love the Delcours… and everyone else. I just didn’t have my phone out all night to take pictures. I wanted to get a picture of me lassoing Ray but we were having so much fun I missed it.IMG_2264

We stayed the night and went to church the next morning giving the bigs an opportunity to catch up with old friends. I can’t believe how grown up they look!


Hau`oli Lā Hānau Rachel! Thanks for letting us share the aloha with you! I hope it was your best birthday yet. Yee Haw!


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The Accumulation At Our House

I have visible proof of the accumulation at our house. I should say the outside of our house. There is an accumulation of stuff inside that’s far to grotesque to show in public. Ray took a video of the snow accumulation during Snowmageddon Snowzilla Snowbama the freaking blizzard of 2016. Without further ado, here it is. 

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How I Really Feel About The Snow

I’ve just hung up the phone with my mother who is currently sunning herself on a beach because she got “snowed in” during vacation. Nice of her to keep reminding me. I was just telling her that yes, it is beautiful outside but when I look out the window all I want to do is cry because another 8-10 inches has fallen since our 3-hour snow removal session that’s left my arms feeling like jello. The snow has not stopped and I know what’s in store for me tomorrow morning. The cross I’ll be carrying looks remarkably like a snow shovel. I plan on singing hymns while I’m shoveling because there is no way we will get to the church.

It’s about this time in my pity party that I start the dishes only to hear my beloved husband calling me into the next room.

“Look! Remember that beach you just loved on Kauai? There it is…” He turned on Blue Hawaii. There was Elvis singing to the locals on a gorgeous, warm all year long beach. I may have cursed a little…okay a lot.

Here was our house mid removal.

I used to tell Ray that his first 20 years in the navy were his and at 20 I get to decide. Well, I’ve loved our navy life and all of the places that we’ve been able to reside. I told him today my request for the next 20 is this…when we retire I want to live somewhere that will not require me to rake leaves or shovel snow. I also am smart enough to tell him I also don’t want to pay someone to do it for me. My children may never want to visit us in our little shack but it will be a little shack on a warm beach. 

Yes, the kids have had fun in the snow. I love to see them sled. I’ll also tell you they hung out in a warm ocean far longer than they hang out in the snow.

Welcome to snowmageddon snowzilla snowbama or whatever you want to call this blizzard. I just hope the door doesn’t hit it on its way out because I’m about ready to send it on its way.

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We’re Ready…Sort Of

Three years ago, I was walking the Ford Island Bridge with mom. Today, I’m braced and ready for a huge blizzard. I so hope the meteorologist have overestimated this thing. I’ve entertained myself trying to find humor in the circumstance.

You know with things like this…

Wait. What? I don’t think it’s funny. I starting to get worried about being locked in a house with these people for four days.

And just so you know…

I’m happy to say we’re ready.

This is the first accurate forecast description I’ve seen…

In case you’re wondering I’m in the totally screwed bubble. Go team! 

Luckily my friends send me graphs so I know exactly how to prepare…

And that moment when you hear the storm’s name is Jonas…

So that’s it. Hopefully I have power. Since we have free HBO right now, Ray and I will be hiding from the kids for a Game of Thrones binge fest. What are you watching on Netflix, Amazon, Prime, anything…for us or the kids. Books are downloaded. We have enough food for a zombie apocolypse. Bring it Jonas…just don’t take my power, please…



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Breaking News: Snow Day

In case you haven’t heard, my area is officially in a state of emergency…breaking news. It snowed. In preparing for an upcoming blizzard we seem to have forgotten to prepare for an unexpected couple of inches.

It took Ray over two hours to get home last night.

My kids were all… Woo hoo it’s snow…


My friends are all…


I hear ya but it’s my blog and I’ll post what I want.

Ray’s all, “What are you gonna do that’s productive today?”

I don’t know… here’s my 9 a.m. they’ve already been out for an hour version of Snowmageddon.

I just added miles to my climb of Mount Washmore. If you’re having your own snow day, I hope you enjoy it. 

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