(Originally published on Thursday, June 21, 2007)
Thank you (have I said that before?) for continuing to visit NattieRoseWrites.com. I had no intention, I can assure you, of becoming a blogger when—less than a month ago—I posted my first update in my daughter’s stead.
Many of you have thanked me for continuing to post. Surely you have noticed that I lack a certain quality that made this site so popular and its author so well loved. I ain’t Nattie…OK? (Insert smile, here.)
Sometimes, we parents tend to think of our children as extensions of ourselves. Although we know better, we expect them to adopt our friends, adapt our logic, to assess their situations and make their decisions in the same ways we would. This, however, is rarely, if ever, the case.
Our offspring are the products of their genes and environments, not ours. My Natalie did not get her sweet optimistic spirit from me.
But Natalie isn’t blogging anymore. And, now, the updating is done. Although we will continue to grieve indefinitely, we have said our goodbyes. her “Hobbit House” is empty, her accounts closed, her books donated to her church and her library.
Jonathan and Anna miss their Mom, to be sure, but they now live with their dad and look forward to their birthdays in July.
All we have left are memories, a few photographs…and her written words. All I have left to say is a polar opposite to what you have come to expect to read, here.
I know that Nat is having the time of her life, but all I want to talk about is how unhappy I am. I feel sorry for myself—to say nothing of her mom, her kids, her extended family and all her friends—because the world just isn’t the same without her.
Because many people still visit daily, I don’t intend to remove this blog anytime soon. Fortunately, I am a minority investor in the box that serves the site, and the domain is registered for a few more years.
But I also know that those readers will soon fade away if new material is not added frequently, so I had an idea…
Thanks to Heather, Joanne and Cynthia from W@H, and the internet “Wayback Machine,” I have the posts published on the original “Nattie Writes,” dating back to mid-2003.
I also have some things she wrote in the years before blogging became such an important part of her life and yours.
If you would like me to periodically post this material—some of it previously published, and some of it not—let me know. Otherwise, I cannot imagine that you would be interested in anything more that I could add.
Thanks for caring! (((((Y’all!)))))
Archive for the ‘From the archives’ Category
(Originally published on Thursday, June 21, 2007)
(Originally published on Monday, June 18, 2007)
I owe a debt of gratitude to each of you for your good wishes and wonderful comments in Nattie’s memory. I also received the following by “snail mail,” and now pass it along to you, her friends worldwide. (Thanks to Joy; credit to Hallmark)—Nattie’s Daddy
A rose may lose its bloom,
But still the fragrance lingers long.
A bird may fly away,
yet we can still recall its song.
So when someone who is loved departs
to join the Lord above,
They’ll live and laugh and be with us
in memories of love.
“Your days of mourning will come to an end.”—Isaiah 60:20 (MLT)
(Originally published on Friday, June 15, 2007)
The sky was clear, the sun was bright and the grass was dusty. A small group of Carters, Wootens and Yorks gathered this morning to say our ceremonial goodbyes to Nattie’s earthly remains. Her grandmother Julia read the following words:
We know this small urn holds no “ordinary” ashes, darling. They’re all we have left of your beautiful life, and we’ve come to place them where we knew you’d want them most of all—near your beloved Grandma and Grandpa Wooten.
And, no, that isn’t all we have left—we have beautiful memories of your valiant spirit, your wonderful testimony of faith and trust in God, and your radiant triumph over all the pain life brought you.
The word “beautiful” has been used with purpose—that is how we will always remember you—our beautiful little girl…our Natalie Rose.
Rest in peace, darling; we’ll see you “in the morning.”
Then we took some pictures, exchanged a few more words and tearful hugs, and went our separate ways. Angel and Karla are helping Mary clean out the “hobbit house” apartment.
Four weeks ago today, Natalie phoned to tell me she was sick. What happened?—Nattie’s Daddy
(Originally published on Thursday, June 14, 2007)
(Written the day before her surgery; Natalie passed on a week and a half later.)
You are my first-born, my precious baby boy. You have gotten so big I can’t believe you are almost as tall as me or that you’ll be 9 this July.
I want you to know that I love you. I know I haven’t always been the best mommy but know this much—no matter what—I will always love you.
You are such an amazing little guy. Never stop dreaming, imagining or being creative. I know that if you want to you can be a great artist someday. You already are an artist.
Believe in yourself. I do.
Again, I love you. Never forget that.
My sweet baby girl—being your mom has been a joy.
I am only sorry that I’ve been sick so much of your life. I’m sorry that we haven’t cuddled more, that you haven’t read more to me. You are such a smart little girl. Yes, I called you a little girl because even though you are almost 7—you are my baby girl.
You are going to do just fine—in school and in life.
Never forget that mommy loves you, and so does God.
Copyright Natalie Rose York
(Originally published on Wednesday, June 13, 2007)
I just had to mention—if for no other reason than to try to get a little bit of this selfish grief for my loss of Natalie’s earthly presence off my back—I also have to suffer another birthday, today. (No flowers, please!)
I think I shall, henceforth, swear off Father’s Days, entirely; wish I could do the same with the annual reminder of my advancing years. And, Anne, if you tell any of these young ladies how many, you know what’s going to happen on November 12!
Meanwhile, my amazement over Nattie’s outreach continues to grow. As the subject hadn’t come up in several months, I had neglected the server logs for this site. I finally ran them last night, and to use a Nattie-ism, “It blew my socks off!” On June 7, 1,027 people visited NattieRoseWrites.com. I am sorry she can’t tell you how much she appreciated each one of you…so I will try.
Thank you very much!—Nattie’s Daddy
PS: Angie, Cheryl, Cynthia, Heather, Joanne and Valerie—You and your companions are part of Nattie’s W@H family, and we were more than grateful to have you represent the rest of your sisters.
Mark—We all appreciate the effort you put forth—along with cousins David (North Carolina) and Laurie (also members of John’s family from Florida and Texas)—to attend. Your musical contributions, as well as your dad’s, couldn’t have been more appropriate. I do hope we have a happier reason to meet the next time.
(Originally published on Monday, June 11, 2007)
Natalie’s memorial service is over. It truly was uniquely a blogger’s send-off.
Her former pastor Brent spoke almost entirely in Nattie’s own words from this site. Her cousin Mark from Colorado Springs played the piano and sang the last song she posted here. Blogging buddies Heather and Joanne read a passage they had resurrected overnight from the crashed “Nattie Writes” on the Internet Archive. Another cousin, Laurie from Auberry, California, read several comments posted June 7 in response to the question on the W@H site—”What do you love about our Nattie Rose?” All brought laughs and tears in similar amounts.
Thank you to Nat’s Internet friends Valerie (Missouri), Joanne (Washington), Angie (Indiana), Cynthia (Illinois), Cheryl (Missouri), and Heather (Mississippi), who traveled to help us celebrate her life. We also appreciate the rest of you who joined us and our Natalie Rose, in spirit.
On a related note, the funeral director told me that the only person to get more guestbook entries on the Home’s website was Bill Gaither’s dad. Rock on, Nat!
I still do not intend to make this my blog, but I do have a few more things that I want to post in the not too distant future, so check back at your leisure.
Thank you for your prayers and good wishes.—Nattie’s Daddy
December 15, 1973;
returned to Heaven
June 7, 2007.
(Originally published on Tuesday, June 05, 2007)
(Dictated June 4, 2007, to Daddy)
Through this illness I have realized the importance of the gentle touch, whether it is rubbing hair away from forehead, or even the prick of a needle.
Yesterday I realized even more the value of the touch of a familiar hand.
My blood pressure dropped to zero. All I could see around me was white, and all I could smell were clinical smells. If not for the touch of my mother’s hand, tethering me to reality, I don’t know if I would be alive today.
As I gripped her hand fiercely, I also recognized how much her hands felt like her mom’s. I’m sure I squeezed life from those little hands, but they were so precious to me—that link between Mother, Daughter and Granddaughter.
Those hands returned my squeeze, while their lips softly sang old Gaither tunes.
Never underestimate the power of a gentle touch.
Copyright Natalie Rose York
(Originally published on Sunday, June 03, 2007)
Natalie was transferred to ICU with an elevated heart rate early this (Sunday) morning. As she had a blood clot in her lung a couple of years ago, that was a concern. Accordingly, CT scans were ordered. Her mom also asked that they do abdominal X-rays in hopes of detremining the source of the back pain that has plagued her for almost a week.
Sorry this is rushed, but that is all that I know this morning.
Marie, and others: I cannot tell you here and now whether Nat would appreciate visitors, though my guess is probably not for at least a couple of days. The best thing I can tell you is, if you know where she is, call her room and talk to her mom. If she has stepped out of the room, please try again later. At thte very least, she will relay your message.
Thank you, everyone! Don’t stop praying now!—Nattie’s Daddy