A Gift….

Hello. My name is Gina Buehner and I am the mother of two amazing boys, I am the director of Cole’s Hope Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 and I am also an assistant principal at a local high school.

I would first like to say thank you for taking the time to read this message. I am always honored and humbled to be able to share my journey through tragedy, as well as other messages about my son’s passion to save others and my journey through faith.

There was a time when I didn’t know if I could salvage my own existence, but it was then that God stepped in, and I found true faith, and a reason to live. Reading this will share with you a message that I had recently given to my graduating senior class. I hope that you too, may find meaning in this message as I believe it applies to us all, young and old.

While typical speeches are about imparting life lessons,

I am not going to impart on you the lessons that I have learned in life, but I am going to share with you a few life changing lessons that I have learned through loss.

I shared this message with a group of students who are very special to me, and always will be. As their principal, it was just two months into their freshman year on Oct. 21, 2014 that my 17 year old son, Cole, was killed in a horrific motorcycle crash less than a quarter mile from my home when another driver failed to yield.

My husband and I were one of the first few on scene, before first responders had even arrived.

As we pulled up to the intersection, I could see glass and car debris scattered across the pavement. I saw the mangled, riderless, motorcycle lying in the middle of the intersection….. In the midst of the chaos, silence began to deafen my ears and as I exited our truck and began running towards the crash scene, it was then that I saw my son, lying lifeless in the middle of the road. I ran up to him and fell to my knees beside him. I prayed, I cried, and I pleaded for my son’s life.

I begged God to take me instead. I argued, that it was MY life that should be taken, not his.

I did not win that argument with God that day. But I did not walk away with nothing. It took me some time, but I realized a very important lesson in life. I realized that I was given a gift. In the midst of tragedy, through this journey of indescribable sorrow, I have been given an incredible gift.

We have ALL been given a gift. YOU have been given a gift. Within our hearts, we ALL have the gift….to LOVE. The gift to LOVE LIFE, to LOVE our family, our friends and those we care about. The gift to LOVE giving to others, to love helping others, and to love making a difference in the world.

This gift can also be spelled T I M E… Time. What a precious gift. I was gifted 17 beautiful years of treasured memories with my son. Our time is fragile, it’s vulnerable, but it’s also invaluable and should never be wasted. Because the most important things in life, aren’t THINGS. They are LOVE and TIME and the GIVING of your heart.

I understand, I KNOW, that the human heart really can break, and unfortunately, it’s possible that so do several of you. And we know that each broken piece carries a load of indescribable pain. But with LOVE, these pieces CAN, and DO mend.

Although our heart may never look the same, it will have cracks and crevices, lines and scars, it’s those imperfections that MAKE us who we are.  They become and always remain, a part of us. What’s amazing about the human heart, is that as it mends, as it heals, it begins to love even deeper, find greater joy in everyday living, and it gives life an entirely new meaning. LOVE can heal when nothing else can.

So when you face adversity, as you will in life, and when your heart may be hurting, it is what you do from that moment on that defines you. You see, it is our response to these circumstances that renews our faith and strengthens our meaning of life. We discover HOPE, and we push forward. We GET UP; and put one foot in front of the other. We find deeper meaning in life, and we LOVE even more. When we choose to RISE, when we choose HOPE during life’s trials, we are making a conscious choice to allow ourselves to learn, to grow and most of all, to love. To LOVE LIFE. To LOVE those around us. And to LOVE living.

We are warriors, and warriors RISE by lifting others. When we lift others up, we inspire. And inspiration can literally give life where all hope has been lost.

This gift of love also encompasses humility. It’s humility that reveals our true character, who we are when no one is watching. Humility embraces selflessness.

Do not judge others, for we know nothing about their story, what they’ve been through, or what they’re going through right now. Everyone in this room, every single person here today, has a story. And for some, that story is filled with fear, with adversity, with struggles and with pain. But they are also stories of triumph, of perseverance, of resiliency and GRIT.

For that person who we think is stuck up because they don’t talk, who we think doesn’t care because they didn’t show up, or who we think is angry because they never smile….their story wouldn’t make us mad, but it might just make us cry. So reach out. Be humble. Change the world by your example, not your opinion. Make others feel needed, feel important, and feel loved.

Bring others up, because YOU are also a warrior. And I’m not just talking about being a Fox Warrior, I’m talking about being a warrior of life. YOU, Warriors of life, persevere, you have grit, and you don’t give up.

You see, it is the hard days, life’s tests, adversity, and the days that challenge us to our very core that will determine who we are. These times reveal our true character, our grit and our passion for life.

So go out and Be a warrior of life. Change lives, bring others up, and make a difference along the way. Your character defines you, it shapes you and it shapes those around you. Your character will be your legacy, which is not what is carved into a stone or monument, but what you have intrinsically woven into the lives of others. There is no greater intrinsic reward than doing something for others who can do nothing for you in return.

In conclusion, I hope that as you leave here today, you feel that heart beating in your chest and KNOW that you have been given the greatest gift of all, to LOVE. I hope that you discover that inspiring others will not only change the world around you; but allow you to be the best human being you can be. And I hope that through humility, you find the beauty in everything and everyone around you, every.. single.. day. Sometimes the most important thing we can do is just let each other know we’re here, reminding each of us that we’re a part of a larger self. (Jim Carrey)

You are warriors of life. Among you sit some of the most extraordinary and remarkable men and women you will ever know. I am honored and blessed to speak to you today, and may each of you, with love in your heart and time on your side, go out today and make a difference.

Thank you

  • Gina Buehner

Depression is real…I lean on Jesus.

God is never closer to His children than when they are suffering…it’s not that He doesn’t give us more than we can handle, He helps us handle what we are given. But it is then, in your darkest hour, that it is up to you to reach out to Him. To invite Him into your heart, to lean on Him when you can no longer stand on your own, to take His hand, every day.

A grieving mother will never stop grieving the loss of her child. Ever. This isn’t something that you “get over” or “get through”. It’s a wound in your heart that will never heal. It’s the daily surviving with constant reminders in everything you see, hear and feel. It’s more than an empty chair at the dinner table, the missing laugh from family gatherings, the pictures that will be taken with one less child…it’s surviving each day while missing part of your soul and longing for just “one more day”.

I find myself trying to sink into things I can take care of, I can make new, I can revive. I planted a huge garden, so I could nurture and raise plants. I raised chickens, lots of them, because that was our plan, and it gave me something else to take care of. I am raising baby goats, because they keep me busy, and give me something else to take care of. I work, every day, sometimes 50 hours a week, at night and even on the weekends. But it’s all the same, it all ends the same way. I get up, I’m here, I “do”; but then I come home. To a house with one of the most integral pieces missing. I don’t cook, I don’t even have the energy. I sit on the couch, crochet, work crosswords, or search for items on Facebook market place to refurbish, because heaven forbid I sit on the couch and have nothing to do, leaving me with time to “think”. I have to stay busy. But it’s the same, mundane story, day in and day out, with the same ending. None of it matters. None of it changes anything. All of these things that I now take care of, and try to pretend to be passionate about, doesn’t change one darn thing.

What am I doing? What matters? What am I supposed to do, and more importantly, why am I here? Why am I still here? I may never know the answer to these questions, but I do trust that I have a purpose.

Depression is real. It’s hard, it’s debilitating and it’s exhausting. Wearing a fake smile, carrying on as though you are “living”, is exhausting. It wears you down quicker than 50 grit sandpaper on drywall. The pain is real, losing a child is an indescribable pain that cannot ever be put into words.

This is the time, during these darkest hours, that we must lean on God. We must turn to Him, trust Him and hold onto His promise. I can tell you this, if I didn’t turn to God, if I didn’t lean on Jesus, I wouldn’t be here. I would have succumbed to the pain and suffering two years ago. I would have given in, thrown in the towel. It is because of Him, because of the promise I know in my heart to be true, that I know I will survive. We will survive. As grieving parents, with God, we become more than survivors, we become Warriors. We can do this, but we cannot do it alone. Lean on Him, trust in Him, and find joy in the fact that we WILL see our children again. This separation is only temporary. They are simply just waiting for us, they are our place keepers. The keepers of our heart, our soul, and our place in heaven.

I love you Cole, more than any word can describe, and I miss you with every single breath I take. I cannot wait to be with you again. Until then, I will do my best to make you proud.

Love mom.

Simple things, sometimes mean the most.

It’s crazy, how it’s the small, seemingly meaningless conversations that mean the most to me now. The conversations as we sat in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, in the truck on the way to the doctor appointments, at the dinner table, or on the couch watching our marathon of the Dog Whisperer or The Walking Dead. Those conversations that seemed so simple….about life, about friends, about us.

I miss the sound of your voice, your laugh and your thoughts on life. I miss those simple little conversations every single day. That was our time. Our time. Just me and you. We had those moments to talk about the “little” things in life. You even let me listen to the songs that you loved the most. I miss, even though you were in a wheel chair with a broken back, how you tried holding the door open for me. I miss the times when it was just us in the waiting room, talking about the weather or the latest news. You were more insightful than you’ll ever know. Even though it was “small” talk, you had intuition. I enjoyed listening to you talk, telling me about life, what you thought of it, and what you made of it. I loved hearing the stories you told, the side-splitting, laughable ones and the alarming ones. I miss all of our conversations, our texts, our laughs….I just miss you.

All I want to do is talk about you….every minute of every day. I want to watch your videos, read your texts and look at your pictures. I include you in everything I do. It’s my way of keeping you alive, keeping you here. It’s like my brain is protecting my heart, because I still pretend you are at work, at school, or at the farm with the guys. It’s the alone time, the quiet time, the silence…that is deafening. That’s when reality tries to creep in. The voice in my head that says, “he’s gone Gina. He’s not coming home. He’s not at work, school or at the farm. He’s gone.” It’s that voice that I have to drown out. I have to keep it at bay, because with it, comes so much more. Vivid memories of the crash scene, the hospital, and the aftermath.

I think my body went into shock for the entire first year….and I believe it’s still there. I know they say I need to “go through it”, to “face it”…reality I guess. But I can’t, I don’t want to. Why would I if I am surviving by keeping you alive with me every day. Those that say that, have they gone through this? Do they truly understand what it’s like to give a child back to God? Because if they did, would they still say that?

Nature is where I find comfort. The silence doesn’t seem so paralyzing when the song birds are out. I have a garden now, a pretty big one. I also have chickens and goats….that was our plan. You wanted chickens and a garden. That’s where I find comfort. Doing what we planned to do. It gives me something to take care of, to nurture, to watch grow. Losing you, I lost my life. I carried you; you know what my heart sounds like from the inside. I cared for you, nurtured you, taught you, and loved you. I can’t just let that go, I’ll never let that go.

The world moves on….that’s what makes me angry. The world keeps going, and all I want to do is go back. Go back when our life was “normal”, when our family was whole. I don’t want to go forward, I don’t want to experience life without you. You should have graduated this year. You looked forward to graduation since the day you started kindergarten. You never liked school, and sometimes for good reasons. But you would have made it. All of your friends are having graduation parties, celebrating the accomplishment of finishing up 13 long years of school, and moving on to the next chapter in their life. Parents are posting how much they will “miss” their child while they go off to college, not knowing how they will survive the separation. I understand why they say it, believe me, I do. I just understand on a totally different level, the term “miss” has no comparison to the piercing pain of missing a child who is now in heaven. Not even close.  But I’ve come to the understanding that there’s no point in voicing how I feel, because they can’t begin to understand.

Only those parents and families in this horrific, unimaginable “club” of losing a child can understand. They understand why I think the way I do, say the things I say, and act the way I act. They understand why I don’t want to go out in public anymore, why I hate going to the store, and why I don’t want to be around crowds. It took me 8 months to go to the grocery store because I couldn’t bear the thought of picking out food for dinners that wouldn’t include you. I couldn’t bear the thought of not having to buy your favorite snacks. So I still do. I still buy the food you loved Cole, and I always will.

I’m trying Cole. I don’t cry too much in front of people now. I cry…but often I cry alone. It happens at various times, sometimes with no rhyme or reason. At times it’s triggered by a song, a story, a post, something someone says, or when I am in the shower, just thinking. Sometimes crying can be a release, and sometimes it can be a prison.

I love you, forever and always. You will live your life through me now, I will be your hands and feet on earth. I will continue what you started and live my life to make you proud. I just need help. I need God’s help, because I can’t do this alone.

I love you, forever and always.

Love mom

So Many Thoughts…

So many thoughts, race through my mind. So many times, I want to call out your name, just to see if I can hear you answer. I walk by your room, hoping to see you asleep on your bed. I come home from work, hoping to see you outside playing with Harley. I just want to see you. I want to hear your voice. I sit at the cemetery and play your videos while I’m there so I can hear you laugh one more time. I look to the sky and try to imagine what you’re doing up there. I read posts from parents who are planning their child’s graduation party, and I think, will you have a graduation party in heaven? What will it be like? Will the angels be singing to you? Will you be running, or flying around, with a huge smile on your face? Or does it even matter? Does graduating from high school even matter now that you’re in the most beautiful place ever? Where there is no sorrow, no tears, and no regrets? I can’t imagine that a high school graduation even resembles any kind of celebration that heaven holds for you.

I think about what your brother’s wedding will be like, without you. Without you giving the BEST, best man’s speech ever. Without seeing you in a tux, on the dance floor, sweat dripping from your nose as you bust out moves that make the entire crowd cry from laughter. I think about so much…every single day. I think about you. There’s not a minute that goes by that I don’t think, “Cole would crack up at that.”, “Cole would LOVE that”, “Cole would have said….”

When you left earth, so many things went with you. So much of me went with you. All we have are memories now Cole. That’s what we have to hold onto, to get us through, to help me rise one more day. But I cherish those memories more than anyone knows. I cherish the sound of your laughter, the quirk in your smile, and the sound of your voice. I hold onto those memories just like I hold onto to you, in my heart, forever and always. You will live on in all that I do, all that your family does, and through all those lives of the people that you touched. I love you Cole, forever and always. I cannot wait for the day when I can hug you and be with you again.

I love you,
Love mom.

I write to my son…

 

Every night. Every single night, I write to my son. I have found that writing to Cole in my journals helps keep our conversations in my heart and his voice in my head. I write about anything and everything that comes to my mind….what I’m thinking, what I miss, what he would be doing, how my day went, something that happened that day that he would have laughed at, whatever I’m thinking…I write to my son.

If you are struggling with something, and especially if you are suffering the loss of someone you love, I encourage you to journal. Write to them, talk to them, because it helps. It has helped me tremendously. When I write to my son, inside my head, I hear his answers. I vividly hear him answering my questions. No, I’m not insane, I’m not “hearing voices”, but I can hear our conversation. That’s my time, to talk with my son. So many times I want to pick up the phone, yell up the steps, or holler out the front door at him. But I can’t. What I can do, is write to him. Somehow, some way, I know he hears me, he hears what I write…and he answers.

I took for granted the fact that I could text my son, call him on the phone, or holler up to his room when I needed him. I always thought I would join others on Facebook and post pictures of “Cole at prom”, “Cole at graduation”, “Cole in his cap and gown”…and eventually, “Cole and his beautiful wife”. Before I even realized it, all of those life events were gone.  All I have now are the beautiful pictures that captured all those wonderful moments when we were having fun and didn’t realize we were making memories. I do have my letters to Cole. I do have my visitation dreams when Cole comes to see me. I thank God that I have those, because that is how I hold on to my son. I hold on to his memory, his love, his laughter, his smile, his hugs, his jokes…his everything.

If you are grieving, I urge you to write. Write to them…it may provide a connection for you too.

I love you Cole, forever and always,

Love always

Mom

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so sorry. When you lose someone you love, these words come to you from all different directions. Those who knew your loved one, and those who didn’t, offer these words as their condolences. They don’t know what to say, sometimes they don’t know what to do. And when it’s a child that you have lost, what can they say? Honestly, there are no words. I’m sorry, and a hug….really just a hug, is all that we need sometimes. I am sorry too. I’m sorry that I lost my son. I’m sorry that my heart will never be whole again. I’m sorry that it was him and not me. I’m sorry that he had to lie there without me for minutes that probably seemed like an eternity. I’m sorry that those who should have rendered first aid to my son, didn’t. I’m sorry that man wasn’t looking. I’m sorry that they wouldn’t let me ride in the ambulance with my son. I’m sorry that when  I screamed Cole’s name in the hospital, he didn’t answer. I’m sorry that the doctor came in…..and told my family, “I’m sorry.”

I’m sorry that I have to live the rest of my life without my son. I’m sorry that my family’s hearts are torn in two. I’m sorry that my oldest son lost his best friend. I’m sorry that I will never see Cole graduate high school, get married, or have children of his own. I’m sorry that not only did we lose our son, but we lost all of the hopes and dreams that we had for him. I’m sorry that I’m still here. I’m so sorry. So very sorry.

But are you? Are you, the driver who wasn’t looking and pulled in front of my son, are you sorry? Do you know how many countless nights I lie awake in bed, praying that my son will visit me in a dream? Because that’s the only place that I can see him now? Do you know that I think of my son every second, of every minute of every hour of the day? Do you know that my soul suffers excruciating pain because a piece of my heart died that day also? Do you know this?

Here’s the problem. I don’t know if you know. I don’t know if you think of my son, if you lie awake at night….I don’t even know if you saw my son that day as he lie on the street. I don’t know how you feel. I don’t know if you are remorseful, if you carry guilt, or if you...are sorry. It’s two words, that I long to hear from you. Somehow, someway, I have to know. I have to know how you felt, how you’re feeling….I have to know, if you remember my son.

 

I love you Cole. Forever and always, until we are together again,

Love mom

The Truth

 

Some days I struggle to stand…to open my eyes…to take a breath, without you. Some days I beg that God calls me home. I’m your mom. I need to be with you. I’m supposed to protect you, to love you, to guide you. I wasn’t there at that moment. I wasn’t there. I would have thrown myself in front of that car Cole. If only I could go back.

What really happened that day? For those who seek to know the truth…and for those who assumed they knew, here is the truth. The entire crash was captured on surveillance video from the National Geospatial Agency. We have viewed the video. Cole was traveling northbound on Vogel Road in the right lane. There was no car in front of him.  A vehicle was traveling southbound on Vogel Road turning left onto Depot Road.  As the two vehicles approached the intersection, Cole’s traffic signal was solid green.  Cole had the right of way through the intersection.  The driver turning left, who admittedly “wasn’t looking”, was obligated by law to yield to oncoming traffic.  He did not yield.  Cole did everything he could to save his life but as the driver rolled through the turn and heard my son, he looked up and stopped, subsequently blocking the intersection.  This left nowhere for my son to go and no time for him to stop. Cole was not traveling 100 mph, 90, 80, 70 mph…..and for those who passed along information that he was, I implore you to research what happens to the human body when it collides with a stopped vehicle at these speeds. I was at the crash scene. I saw my son lying in the street. He looked angelic. He was whole. There were no visible injuries except for a broken ankle.  Cole’s fatal injury was to his head.  His helmet failed him.  His other injuries were not life threatening. His eyes looked as though he was staring at something beautiful, and he undoubtedly was. Jesus carried my son home that day. God needed him. Cole now resides where I long to be.

To the two girls who claimed to be “witnesses” and in fact arrived after we left the crash scene, you should be ashamed.  You were not there out of concern but out of curiosity and you should research the definition of slander. This is what you have done.

To the police officers who dismissed, ridiculed and mocked my 17 year-old son’s death, you disgust me.  My son’s life mattered.  We lost our reason for living that day and these officers couldn’t muster the energy to perform their due diligence.  There were no life saving methods used on my son at the scene by you.  You treated his crash and his life as an inconvenience.  When I questioned why the driver’s blood had not been sent to the lab for toxicology testing after 96 DAYS in storage you stated to me that “our timeline isn’t your timeline” and “it’s not the quicky mart”.  You told me my son’s crash photos were “gross”.  You referred to his death as “crap”.  You held on to blood evidence because you were busy with “vacations” and “holidays” and because after all, “it doesn’t go bad like cottage cheese or 2% milk”.  I’m quite certain if it were your son that had died, you would have sent the blood sample within the typical 24-hour period to be tested while it was still viable.  Your lack of diligence to process evidence in a timely manner may have jeopardized the quality of the toxicology results from a repeat DWI offender with a 2 year interlock sentence and prior drug charges. You added insult to injury by citing my son for all contributing factors to the crash.  You couldn’t gather the energy to give the other driver a citation for FAILURE TO YIELD because “It would raise more questions.”  Where is the accountability? Your mishandling of evidence only magnified our grief and unnecessarily prolonged the investigation into the events that led to my son’s death.  So to the police officers involved, I will leave this justice in God’s hands. I’ve done my part and He knows the truth.

To the man who pulled in front of my son. If you “weren’t looking” because you were distracted, I need to know. If you kept going, failed to yield and stopped in the middle of the intersection because you were under the influence of something, I need to know. I know that marijuana was in your blood, but I need to know why. Do you ever think of my son? Does he ever cross your mind? Are you more attentive now? Do you still drink and drive? Do you still smoke marijuana? Do you even know who my son is? Do you know his character, his compassion, his heart? Do you know that his life mattered? I hope to meet you someday. I will be honest, I am angry. Not angry if you made a mistake, but angry if there is more to the story. I am angry if something was covered up, angry if you were under the influence and most importantly, angry if you forgot about my son. I am angry that my 17 year-old son paid the ultimate price for your mistake. I am angry that I am here and he is not, angry that I was lied to, mocked and dismissed. But you should know that my son was special. There was something that set him apart. God saw this in him too. God saw everything. 

To the off duty medics who tried to render aid to my son; thank you for doing everything in your power to keep him here with us. Thank you for rushing to my 17 year-old boy who needed someone to tend to him until EMT arrived. To the young girl who stayed with my son until we arrived, thank you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for what you did that day. God put you all there for a reason.

To the man who prayed with my husband and I, the witnesses who talked to us to tell us the truth, the nurse who made sure I got shoes on my feet, thank you. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. Because what you did that day, your small act of kindness, meant the world to us. You were also there for a reason, and we are thankful for that.

To our family, friends, and Cole’s friends; you mean the world to us. Thank you for being such an amazing part of our son’s life. Thank you for allowing his smile to brighten your day, his heart to lift your spirits, and his laughter to fill your rooms. Thank you for not judging him, for caring about him, and for loving him. You mean more to us than you’ll ever know.

To Cole, our inspiration, our hero, our son; thank you for teaching us what it means to love with our whole heart. Thank you for not laying judgment on others, even when it was laid on you. Thank you for using your own struggles to help those around you find a reason to have hope. Thank you for living your life out loud. Thank you for loving your friends and family with your whole heart. Thank you for making us laugh until we cried. Thank you for staying humble and not being prideful. Thank you for always protecting those you love. Thank you for believing in God and having no shame to say it. Thank you for being the life of our time and for giving us the time of our life. We thank God He chose us to be your family. We thank God that He set you apart. We thank God He saw in you what we did.

Until we see you again Cole, we will love and miss you with every breath we take. We will live the rest of our lives to make you proud, finish what you started, and bring glory to God. We love you Colton. Forever and always.

When the skies are dark, I trust Him.

When the storm is so forceful, so violent and so overwhelming….how do we make it? How do we function when it takes everything we have just to stand? How do we go to work, care for our family, acknowledge our friends…take care of ourselves, when nothing seems to matter? How do we find the energy to smile when it hurts just to blink?

Almost a year ago, I didn’t think I could even muster the strength to stand, speak, or function. I didn’t want to talk, think or be alive. I just wanted to be with my son. I wasn’t ready to give him back to God. I wasn’t ready to never hear his voice again, feel his hugs again, or see his smile again. I wasn’t ready. Oh how I just wanted to go to sleep and wake up from the nightmare…actually, I still do. Some days it feels like yesterday that I heard him call out “Ma’ma” or “What’s for eats?”. It seems like yesterday that I heard the sound of his engine roar as he pulled his muddy truck on the driveway. It seems like yesterday that he texted me a picture of what he cooked us for dinner, or that I came home from work to find him sleeping on the couch while he left his dog out to make a mess.

I miss all of that so much. So much that my heart physically hurts; sometimes the pain is so intense it’s hard to fill my lungs with air. My body hurts, my mind hurts…I hurt. Most days I go through my routine as if he’s here, as if he will be pulling up in the driveway any minute. Call it wishful thinking, but it gets me through the day. It’s when I stop and think, “he’s never coming home Gina. He’s gone. He’s in heaven now. You won’t hear his voice, receive his texts or feel his hugs.” that reality is too overwhelming. I can’t think about it, because the pain can be excruciating.

It’s during these times, when the skies are dark from the storm, that I hold onto Jesus. God is never closer to His children than when they are suffering. God is with you if you let Him in. Invite Him into your heart; allow God’s glory to live within you.

God is with me, every single day. I trust that, I trust in God. I trust Him that His plan is great, and although I may not understand why He needed Cole when He did, God is great. God chose Cole because He needed him.  When I think about the days gone by without my son, I think of those same days getting me closer to seeing him again. By God’s grace, I will see my son again. I choose to focus on that. I choose to live my life to make Cole proud. I choose to live my life to honor God and His glory. I choose this, because  I will get to see Cole again, and when I do, it will be the best day of my life, and last for an eternity.

I love you Cole, forever and always.  You are loved and missed beyond measure.

Love

Ma’ma

Thank you God.

Thank you, God, for choosing ME to be Cole’s mom. Thank you for giving him life and placing such a special soul into my arms. Thank you for giving my beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed baby boy life.  Thank you for giving him the spunk that turned every family event into laughter. Thank you for giving him such an outgoing and funny personality, a laugh that carried, and a smile that shined as bright as the sun. Thank you for giving him a grateful heart that saw the good in others, and the compassion to help those who needed a little HOPE. Thank you for allowing him to experience troubles of his own so that he truly possessed the empathy to lift the spirits of those who were down. Thank you for those who didn’t believe in him because it just made him that much stronger. Thank you for giving him the strength to survive broken bones, stitches, asthma, kidney troubles, surgeries, illnesses and a broken back. Thank you for making him an “all boy” who loved the country and everything that went with it. Thank you for giving us a miracle when his blood finally tested clear of a terminal illness. Thank you for filling his heart with Your spirit. Thank you for giving him the courage to stand strong in his faith and believe in You. Thank you for giving him the skill, love and passion to hunt. Thank you for giving him all those years at the farm to go muddin’ in his truck and four-wheeler. Thank you for giving him such amazing people and friends in his life. Thank you for giving him the courage to stand up for what’s right and the size to take care of himself. Thank you for making him an excellent chef who loved to cook breakfast and dinner for his family. Thank you for giving him the true wisdom to know right from wrong. Thank you for giving him eyes that saw the beauty in Your world. Thank you for giving him the conviction to live life to the fullest and the passion to stop and smell the roses, each and every day. Thank you for giving him a heart that loved his family more than words could say. Thank you for all the laughter, the tears, the memories and the years that we had with our son.  Thank you, for giving us the time of our life, and the life of our time. Thank you, God, for choosing US as Cole’s family. Thank you for choosing Blake to be his brother, and Chad to be his father. Thank you, God. Thank you, for those amazing years with my son, and thank you, for giving Your son, so that I may be with my son again.

Gina Buehner

Cole’s mom forever

Grief stole from me…

What does grief steal from you?  Going through grief can leave you completely empty, extremely fragile and broken. It can literally take your breath away and shatter your heart into a thousand pieces. It can take you to a place you never wanted to be. It can be an anchor, holding you down with a firm grip, unwilling to let go.

It can steal your smile, your laugh and your joy. It can steal your identity, your thoughts and your feelings. It steals your purpose, your intentions and your behaviors. It stole my soul. It stole my heart. It stole my life. It stole half of my reason for being a mom. Half of my reason for living.

But what are the things that grief did NOT steal from me? It did not steal my love for my son. It did not steal all of the wonderful memories of him growing up and sharing his life with us. It did not steal my son’s love for life. It did not steal the love I have for my other son or my reason to continue being a mother. It did not steal my whole heart or my entire soul. It did not steal my faith or my trust in God. It did not steal my love for God, or my conviction to be true to Him.

What grief did for me, was gave me new purpose, new meaning and a new perspective. It gave me a greater love for my family and my life. It deepened my love for God, my trust in Him, and my conviction to live by His word. It gave my soul a different reason to thrive, to grow and to love. It made me understand the difference between wanting something, and truly needing something. It renewed my compassion for others, for life and to make a difference. It revived my drive to find the beauty in our world, in nature, and in each day.

Most importantly, grief made me realize what really matters in my life. It made me realize all of the people in the world who worry about such “things” and take for granted, the gift in each day. Grief made me realize how much I love being a mom. It made me realize, that although I cannot change what happened, it can never steal from me the fact that God chose ME to be Cole’s mom, and us to be Cole’s family. God truly blessed me in my life, and the ultimate sacrifice saved me, by bringing me closer to God. I know now, without a doubt, that by God’s grace, this separation from my son is only temporary and I look forward to the day that God calls me home too.

I love you forever Cole.

Love mom