Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Birthdays Come, Birthdays Go, Another Year Without You, and Another Year Closer to Seeing You Again

25.  Today would be your 25th birthday.  A quarter of a century.  

I had a dream about you early this morning.  I love when you are there, sending heavenly messages.  Those dreams seem to tell me how much you love me.  They tell me you are not far.  They tell me you are watching over me, your dad, and our family.  The feelings I have when I awake are often filled with emotions that stretch from A-Z, especially around your birthday and the day you left us.  To say, “I miss you” truly can never convey the depth to which I do.  I dearly miss you Birthday Boy, ok ok, young man!

What gifts can I possibly give you being that you are in another realm?
- My promise to be a faithful disciple of Christ.  

- My promise to be loving and kind in a world that has become somewhat contentious.

- My promise to work hard so that I can see you and be with you again.

- My promise to attend the temple often.  It is the place where I have felt the heavens open and wrap me

in comfort and peace.

I recently had a conversation with our granddaughters about those who die.  I shared with them, how both Dad and I know, how happy you are.  Brielle added “and safe.”  Yes, you are both “safe” and “happy.”  You are safe from the evils, trials, and all the unkindness that exists in this world.  And yet, you are happy, happily engaged in the work that goes on after this life.  I well imagine your beautiful infectious smile blessing those with whom you come in contact.  These are the thoughts that comfort and lift my heart.  With faith, hope, and love, anything is possible and achievable, even peace.  


I will continue to keep my eyes on heaven.  And when I notice that “twinkling” star I sometimes see, I will continue to think of you flashing me that brilliant smile (as I always do) and know that all will be right one day.  

Happy Birthday Zach

PS:  Your flowers were made by Brook and Brielle this year and I love their arrangements so much!  They made them with so much care, thought, and love.

    Mark wanted me to add the Linkin Park version as they were Zach’s favorite band

Zach was our light

Sunday, December 11, 2022

My Little Drummer Boy and Trials

Today marks 11 years since Zach passed away on the 11th of December, 2011.  I think of Zach often, and this time of year I have had many thoughts and feelings stirring in my soul.  This blog post, I felt prompted to share some of my most personal of challenges, aka “trials.”   While each of our challenges and trials are different, my hope and prayer is that you will feel, you are not alone.  I pray you can put your faith and trust in our Savior.  For He is the one and only one who can carry you through those difficult storms.

When Zach passed away, I told God that that was my trial.  That was it. The end. Done.  


Not so.

A few years later, another trial arrived.  Mark underwent a surgery for a 3cm hole in his esophagus.  It was touch and go, coupled with a long recovery and some long term “minor” issues.  He passed through that portal of misery, with a little help from me, and has been trying to “run” ever since.  I once again told God, ok, no more trials.


Not so.

Little did I know that yet another trial was lurking in my genetic make-up.  Another trial.  I had been having various medical issues over the years with “unexplained” causes/diagnoses.  A few months ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, the culprit.  In part, it causes chronic pain and enlists other diseases to attack my body.  One of which causes crystals to develop in my body that in turn may cause tendon tears and possible tendon ruptures.  I sometimes feel like Frankenstein when I walk…arms out and a side to side stiff legged walk.  The medications I have been put on leave me immunosuppressed coupled with other side effects.  Yes, I wear a mask when out of my house!  My physician and I are still working on figuring out meds that will help, all the while I am doing all things to stay active and moving.  As you might have guessed, I stopped telling God “no more trials!”  Please understand, I do not share this for sympathy.  I simply desire to express how important it is in this life to stay focused on the “eternal” aspects of life.  Our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ can and will guide us through these storms to bring us safely home.



I do not believe God points his finger and says, “let Me give her this trial and see how she does,” nor do I believe that we hand picked our trials before coming to Earth.  The God I believe in is kind.  He is loving.  He is merciful.  He is forgiving.  I have great faith in my Father in Heaven and in our Savior Jesus Christ.  Looking to our Savior, I can see how He suffered incredibly difficult trials, far greater than anything I could ever imagine. Most certainly, He suffered and endured more than any and every pain I feel now.  Enduring our trials with faith will most certainly lead to a “spiritual” calm and a peace only our Savior can offer.


Imperfections. Gratitude.

For me, what I have come to understand is that we chose to come to Earth to have an “Earthly” experience.  We knew we would have trials when we came and we were able to “joyfully” accept that fact.  We chose to have imperfect bodies, live in an imperfect world, and live amongst imperfect people. This life, albeit an imperfect one, is most certainly a blessing.  Learning to maneuver through our imperfections is perhaps the greatest of opportunities we can have to grow closer to our Savior Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.  As I am learning how to maneuver through my physical challenges, I realize more each day that my imperfect body is a gift.  The body, my body, is truly a marvelous work and a wonder, and our Grand Creator gave me mine.  Even when it does not work as well as I would like and sometimes fails me, I am eternally grateful for this gift.  


Eleven years ago today, on a Sunday, you left this world, our world.  I miss your “So, How’s it been doing?”  I miss going with you to get you a Baconator at Wendy’s, and having your Dad (the cardiologist) scold us every time.  I miss your infectious smile.  I miss watching you do Karate and you screaming the loudest when your Karate teacher, Aaron Reis, would get you to yell.  I miss hearing you play the drums.  I miss having you come up and randomly give me a hug.  I just… miss ALL things Zach… I miss you!  I will always miss you!

I have thought about you every day since your passing.  I have wondered if you realize how much I do think about you.  I have actually pondered if you are still near and involved in our lives from the other side of the veil.  Then this past week, out of the blue, I had an experience that let me know you are still involved in my life.  I was checking out at Kneaders, and after this young woman rang me up, she asks me my name.  I told her Wendy, and then she asked if my last name was Pulsipher.  I told her yes.  Of course, I had the question written all over my face, “how do you know me?”  She then shared how her brother had Karate lessons with Zach and that they received their black belts together.  She also shared with me that she still has Zach’s “RIP” bracelets along with sharing a few other things.  I had to give her a hug and then thanked her with grateful tears.  I do not know if she will ever know how she was an answer to my pressing thoughts about Zach.  For me, you see, she was my little angel, Zach’s messenger, to let me know he is still around.  Zach is our beautifully missed angel.


If you made it this far, I am grateful for your time.  Instead of saying, “thanks for watching” as Zach used to say, I will say “thanks for reading.”  Wishing each of you a Merry Christmas and a very Hopeful Happy New Year.    

Our Little Drummer Boy

After earning his black belt

Trying his hand at comedy… he was a better drummer!

For King & Country: Little Drummer Boy
I love all the percussion instruments

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

In My Dreams…..

Time.  Where is it going?  It seems like yesterday I was holding Zach in my arms, a new born babe.  And yet, his birth was 24 years ago.  It seems like yesterday when we found Zach’s lifeless body.  And yet, his death was 10.5 years ago.  It seems like yesterday when I watched Zach grow from crawling, to walking, to running, to talking, to snuggling, to loving, and to hearing him say silly things like, “that’s a Zach thing.”  And yet, it is the beautiful memory of Zach that lingers in my motherly heart.


Zach had dreams and aspirations.  I had dreams and aspirations for him as well.  And yet, those dreams were never fully realized.  Or, were they?  


After every YouTube video Zach made, he always made sure to say, “Thanks for watching.”  And yet, do people fully understand how grateful Zach truly was?  After silly videos he made and stored on his iPod, I hear his adorable laugh.  When I hear or watch the drummer of a band, I hear Zach beating his own drums.  And yet, those drumbeats seem to beat in rhythm with my own heartbeat.


An angel is what Zach was here on Earth.  And yet, Zach is our heavenly angel now.  At times, I have felt him so close I could almost feel his touch.  And yet for now, we are a world apart.  


God gives us love.  God gave us Zach.  He gave us Zach to love, nurture, and cherish.  And yet, we had to give Zach back to God.  For only God could heal Zach’s wounds and broken heart.


In a world where voices are loud and many want to be an expert on various topics, each of us would do well to stop…

Watch the clouds roll by

Smell the rain and fresh air

Feel the calming breeze

Listen to the chirping birds as they call to one another

Appreciating the happy wagging tail of your puppy

Discover the joy in grandchildren, their voices, their little hands that hold yours, and sweet little snuggles

And, find peace in the sunset while finding hope in the sunrise


To understand loss, one must first appreciate and be grateful for the gift that was entrusted to you.  And yet, we can allow ourselves to feel pain while knowing that our Savior is there to succor us and guide us through those storms.  Remember the most important things in life are not things, they are family.  Our hearts and eyes must keep the focus on what matters most.


In my dreams, I see Zach.  In my dreams, I make him a birthday cake.  In my dreams, we eat at his favorite restaurant.  In my dreams, I sing Happy Birthday to him.  In my dreams, I give him a big motherly hug.  And yet, I know I will see Zach again.  Because, I believe families are forever.


Happy Birthday Zachy boy!

We can never forget this banana chair moment

Birthday flowers-made with love

Friday, December 10, 2021

Ten - dash - dash - dash

Minutes turn to hours to days, and then to years.  Ten, to be exact.  While time seems to be fleeting, it feels like only yesterday when our Zachy boy left this earth and earned his angel wings.  


How does a parent survive the pain of losing a child?  How does a parent find their way through that pain?  How does a parent process the grief?  Or, wade through the guilt of not being able to save their child?  How can a parent escape the grasp of despair and find their way on the path of life and actually live again?


For me, the path to finding the joy in life again has been a unique journey.  Has it been an easy ten years?  Hmmm… easy?  Progression through grief and pain is never an easy road to travel.  I found I had one of two choices to make.  One-I can stay “stuck” and wallow in a timeless grief.  Two-I can press forward with faith, serving, doing, being active, simply living.  When reviewing the two choices, choice number two spoke to my heart, much more than number one.  In my deepest of sorrows two days after Zach’s passing, I made a conscious choice to follow the path that would stretch me and mold me.  I continue to be stretched and molded, even today.


I spoke of my faith and how that has been integral in progressing along my path.  I have come to know and understand what it means to “look to God and live.”  I have also come to understand and believe that those “mists of darkness” are my trials.  And it is through those trials I have come to understand what it means to “hold to the iron rod.”  “Line upon line, precept upon precept.”  I found the breadcrumbs left on my path, and I followed them.  Those breadcrumbs are what have nourished my soul.  From scriptures, to hymns, to inspirational music, to temple worship, to attending church, and of course praying, these are all the glorious things that have nourished my soul.  They have led me to a peaceful existence full of faith, serving, and yes, even joyful living.


Zach’s short life was from 1998 “-“ 2011.  The dash represents his life.  He truly was the cutest baby, investigative little boy, busy, innocent, full of love, and left his mark not only here on earth, but an indelible impression in the depths of my mother heart.  I have the fondest memories of him, of his life, and what his “-,” dash, meant to me and those he met.


I heard a poem today that I want to share:


The Dash Poem by Linda Ellis


I read of a man who stood to speak

At the funeral of a friend

He referred to the dates on his tombstone

From the beginning to the end.


He noted that first came the date of his birth

And spoke of the following date with tears,

But he said what mattered most of all

Was the dash between those years.


For that dash represents all the time

That he spent alive on earth

And now only those who love him

Know what that little line is worth.


For it matters not, how much we own,

The cars, the house, the cash,

What matters is how we live and love

And how we spend our dash.


So think about this long and hard;

Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left

That can still be rearranged.


If we could just slow down enough

To consider what’s true and real

And always try to understand

The way other people feel.


And be less quick to anger

And show appreciation more

And love the people in our lives

Like we’ve never loved before.


If we treat each other with respect

And more often wear a smile,

Remembering that this special dash

Might only last a little while.


So when your eulogy is being read

With your life’s actions to rehash

Would you be proud of the things they say

About how you spent your dash?


After hearing this poem, I realize I have so many things I have yet to accomplish.  I have to do better when it comes to serving.  I need to better show and express my gratitude.  I want to be able to better express love for the people in my life.  I want to be a better human in that everyone knows they are respected and feels safe in my company, in my home.  I need my smile.  A smile is a window into your soul.  A smile can change not only how you feel, but also can brighten someone else’s day.  I want to be that person.  I need to be more intentional in “doing” those things to be that human.  I feel these Christ-like attributes are key ingredients in the recipe for a beautiful, peaceful, and fruitful life.


At the end of my life, I hope and pray that those I love can say that I lived my “dash” well.  When I see Zach again, I hope he says “Mom, I know that what you faced was hard, but I am so proud of you and how you lived your life.”  I hope that each of my children and grandchildren can say the same.

Enjoy this song

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

A Bike, A Burial, and A Birthday

Two months before Christmas, Zach managed to talk Mark into giving him his Christmas present early, a bike.
  Zach’s bike became a memorial of sorts after he passed.  Although it hung on it’s bike rack in the garage, there was just something so “happy” about that bike.  Maybe because it represented something Zach really wanted.  Maybe because I could watch him from the back patio as he would ride around empty lots and do jumps off little cliffs making my heart skip beats on occasion.  And maybe just maybe because that bike brought Zach “joy.”  How could I not look at that bike without smiling and feeling a morsel of joy myself?  And then, there was this one time when I was out of town and Mark had a flat tire.  Mark was on call at the hospital and needed a ride.  He pumped up those tires on that bike and rode Zach’s bike to work.  I imagine that Zach got quite a kick out of watching his Dad ride his bike to work… a bike that was much too short for Mark.


When we moved to our new home two years ago, I asked Mark what he wanted to do with Zach’s bike.  He said “Let’s bring it.”  And so, we did.  We stored it in our new roomy storage room in the garage.  After our daughter and her family (who lived with us for a little over 6 months) left, I went to clean up and clean out our storage room.  I again asked Mark, “what should we do with Zach’s bike?”  He said, “it’s time to give it to DI.”  I packed up his bike and headed to DI.  That was somewhat difficult.  But with that “hard,” I knew I was now giving Zach’s bike to another young boy who needed to find jumps and find “joy.”  I knew Zach’s bike would bring a smile and adventure to some young man.  As fate or luck would have it, I happened to get behind a car that had a bike on a rack on the rear of their car as I was headed to DI.  It actually made me smile.


Some may say I buried a memory by giving the bike away.  That is not the case at all.  Timing is everything when you bury someone you love, especially a child.  


You need time to process.

You need time to grieve.

You need time to smile.

You need time to cry.

You need time to remember every beautiful and wonderful thing about their life.

You need time to be grateful.

You need time to be sad.

You need time to laugh.

You need time to find your “joy” again.

You need time to find healing.

You need time to serve.

You need time to celebrate.

You just need time.


It has been said “time heals all wounds.”  I disagree.  It takes time for a wound to heal.  Some wounds heal quickly, while others take time.  And after the healing, you are left with a scar.  Some scars heal over nicely while others are sensitive and can be painful.  My belief is that it is what we learned through the course of our healing.  Did we take care of our wound?  Did we put the necessary medicines on it?  Did we change our dressing daily?  


What did I learn from dressing my wounds?

I learned and came to understand that I have a Father in Heaven who hears my prayers.

I learned and came to understand that my Savior can succor my wounds.

I learned that prayer, serving, and going to the temple were the necessary salve for my wounds.

I learned that healing takes time.

I learned to never take time for granted.


Don’t go through life feeling you need to bury the past.  Remember how you passed through the storms of life.  Remember how strong you really are.  Remember you can do all things with the help of our Savior and our Father in Heaven.  Remember, time is on your side.  


Happy Birthday Zach!!  I miss you each and every day!!  In time, I will see you again.

Here’s a little video to bring you some “joy”

Sunday, May 9, 2021

When you think you have failed at being a mother, Mother’s Day comes

The greatest blessing afforded to me in this life has been four amazing humans who call me “Mother.”  

I have some random thoughts about Mothers and Motherhood I feel like sharing.


Many mothers would rather not celebrate this day.  Many mothers feel they have failed in their mothering.  Many mothers may feel they have been forgotten.  Many mothers are parenting alone.  Many mothers have children suffering from physical illness, mental illness, drug addiction, or children in trouble with the law.  Many mothers work to help make ends meet, and some even work two to three jobs on top of being a mother.  The list of trials mothers may have and may be trying to endure is endless and not one of us endures any of them exactly the same.


WARNING:  Do NOT fall into the pit of feeling like a failure.



1)     Remember your “why” you wanted to be a mother.  Most women have a sincere desire to become a mother.  They want the opportunity to birth, cradle, cuddle, and love their precious little human.

2)     Remember the little hands on your face, the sweet little kisses, the little hand sliding into to your hand, little feet, and the love swelling in your heart with these beautiful moments.

3)     Remember when they needed stitches, when they scraped their knees, or when they bruised a body part.  And remember, the ONLY person they wanted was “Mommy.”  Mommy knows how to make everything better because she has a “Mother’s love.”

4)     Remember teaching them to cook or to bake a cake.  Their creation may not have tasted very good or turned out, BUT you were there cheering them on.  WHY?  Because.  Because, you have a caring nature that has a desire to teach and nurture.  Because, you possess the Mother’s love.

5)     Remember watching them grow into adulthood and begin to make decisions of their own.  Remember when they left home for college, then married themselves, and began to have a family of their own.  Whilst letting go was difficult to do, you could let go and watch their wings spread and take flight.  WHY?  Because, you love them with every part of your being.


The key ingredient each mother has is “love.”  We love unconditionally.  We love through the hard times.  We love through the good.  We love through their successes and even when they may fail.  That is just what we do.  And for those of us mothers who have had children pass on early in life, we love those special angels with all our heart.  We oft times feel that hole in our heart aching, and I believe it is because they took that piece of our heart/love with them.  When we feel that piece of our heart missing, I think our angels hold that special piece of our love right next to their angel hearts and give it an angelic hug.  


What a blessing it is to be a mother and a Nana!  I have incredible children who are doing their best to make the world a better place.  I have seven grandchildren and one on the way.  Grandchildren make my heart swell.  If you have grandchildren, I am sure they make your heart swell too!


When you think you have failed at being a mother, Mother’s Day comes and is a beautiful reminder of “WHY” we do what we do… LOVE.


Happy Mother’s Day

                                                  More Than Enough by Shawna Edwards                                    


Thursday, December 10, 2020

It Is From the Depths of Grief We Can Find Our Strength

 I have so many “feels” this year as I ponder yet another year, nine to be exact, without our Zachy boy.  As I go back to that moment in time of when we found Zach’s lifeless body, there are so many emotions that surface from that incredibly heartbreaking experience.  I well remember calling 9-1-1, the ambulance coming, the police arriving, the coroner to pronounce Zach dead giving us an approximate time of death, and then his lifeless body in a black body bag.  I kissed that young man of mine’s forehead before they zipped up the bag and wheeled him out of our home, his home.  For me, there truly could not have been a more difficult experience to go through and endure.

As I ponder that moment in time with all the deep feelings that go with losing a child to death, I have found my journey through grief has proven to teach me countless lessons.  I draw immense strength through those lessons and I have deep gratitude for what I have learned.  


I have learned that tears are my friend.  They are cleansing.  My tears let me know I can feel deeply and that I loved Zach unwaveringly.  Tears, they quietly speak what my heart is feeling.


I have learned that prayer is essential.  Pray in the morning, to ask for help with your day.  Pray at night, to offer your thanks for your day.  And simply, have a prayer in your heart all day.  I have found help with the simplest to the most difficult of things through prayer.


I have learned reading the scriptures offers understanding, comfort, and peace.  I listened to an interview of a politician who is under scrutiny in regards to our recent election.  What impressed me most was toward the end of his interview.  He spoke of losing his son to drug addiction and how his faith in God has carried him through that trial.  He also shared how reading the scriptures helps him not only with the loss of his son, but also with all the threats and chaos surrounding him.  When asked if he could share a favorite scripture, he said he has been reading from the book of Psalms and that Chapter 37 in particular has been bringing him comfort.  His story truly resonated with me.  Because, there have been countless times when I have been reading the scriptures, or guided to read certain passages of scripture, or having a particular scripture come to mind, are when answers, comfort, and peace have come.


I have learned and come to appreciate how each and every one of us has trials.  I have also learned and seen how the gospel makes a difference, offering hope.  By having Jesus Christ in my life, the very foundation of my beliefs, peace and comfort have come.  “Perspective.”  Each personal experience I have had as I have journeyed through my grief has given me perspective, has elevated my faith with a promise for a brighter tomorrow.


I have learned that while life may not always be fair, God always is, because He is God!  For every disappointment, suffering, pain, or heartache, He offers hope, He offers comfort, He offers peace.  Those assurances can sustain and bless, if you will but turn your heart to Him.


I have learned to deeply appreciate life.  To appreciate moments.  To appreciate the ups as well as the downs.  I have learned to appreciate the gift of family, the gift of friends, the gift of love.  While my heart may ache when recalling a memory of Zach or by looking at a picture of Zach, I am grateful to know what a “Mother’s love” is.  I am grateful for that son of mine.  For all that he taught me in life and for all I have been taught and continue to learn through his death, I am grateful and blessed to have had thirteen and a half beautiful years with this incredible young man.  Love is a gift.


Happy Angelversary Zach!  You are loved.  You are missed.  And, I cherish each and every memory of you.  Everyday.

After Zach’s passing, I listened to this song countless times.
(I posted a video from Hillary Weeks “Beautiful Heartbreak”-if it doesn’t show up when 
Looking @ your iPhone, just go to YouTube & check it out-get some Kleenex!)

Brooklynn @ Zach’s plot

Memory @ Aaron & Katie’s Wedding

Zach’s best buddy... his Dad

One of the last pictures we have before he passed

Always making us smile

Arrow of light

Zach’s favorite niece