Thursday, May 21, 2009


I got in the car a little while ago to run an errand. When the stereo came on, the song it played brought a flood of images across my mind...

Some background--

Around this time last year Matt made the decision (and I supported him, it wasn't tyranny) to move our family to LA at the beginning of this year. He was working more and more in the indie film industry and he wanted to do even more, but didn't want to be away from the family. He had talked about it a couple of times before, but I hated the idea. So while I never said I wouldn't, I didn't encourage the idea either. Up until last summer it had always fizzled out, but this time it was for sure.

I don't know if it was paranoia or women's intuition or inspiration or what, but I felt so strongly that living in LA would be the absolute worst thing for our family. I wanted Matt to have every opportunity to achieve all his goals and ambitions but I knew down in my core that it would come at a cost.

Fast forward to the day before Matt died--

It was a hot, sunny Saturday morning and I was in the pool with Brigham and Hunter. My friend Shandolynne called and we visited for awhile. She was telling me about this amazing Texas Sheet Cake recipe on the blog of a woman she went to church with, which lead to a conversation about the woman herself, new friend Becky, actually. She is not more than 2 years older than we are, has 7 kids, and her husband was dying from cancer.

After we got out of the pool, I went to her blog to check out the recipe. The song on her playlist at that very moment was Rascall Flatts' "Stand".

Cause when push comes to shove you taste what you're made of
You might bend til you break cause it's all you can take
On your knees you look up decide you've had enough
You get mad, you get strong, wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand.
I remember feeling so humbled hearing that song. I thought it would be my anthem as I survived what would surely be the greatest challenge of my life...moving my family to LA and dealing with results of that. I took courage from those lyrics, knowing that I could handle whatever came my way if I just remembered to stop fighting it and let it make me stronger.
And now back to today...
Isn't it shocking how quickly life can change? I have moments all the time when I feel the breath knocked out of me a little bit when I'm caught off guard by that reality . I've played that song so many times since that Saturday, but hearing it today was different for some reason.
Life's like a novel with the end ripped out
The edge of a canyon with only one way down
Take what you're given before it's gone
And start holdin' on, keep holdin' on
Every time you get up and get back in the race
One more small piece of you starts to fall into place
Then you stand
It's still powerful. But today it made me think that I want a do-over. I want the old challenge.


Sami said...

I can remember all of the conversations we had regarding your move, and how much you struggled with the idea of it.

I wish you could have a do-over too. I know that living in Hollywood sounds like bliss compared to life without Matt. You are an amazing woman. Please know you are always in my thoughts. Love, S

Becky said...

Me too! Have I ever shared the significance of "Stand" with our family? The night we came home from the hospital after just finding out that Duane had cancer that song came on the radio. The children and I sang at the top of our voices, cried real hard and then all pledged to each other that we would stand with Daddy and fight the biggest battle of his life. The song has changed meaning over the last year, but still remains the Summers Family anthem.

I love you Benda and will miss our pedi's. One more to go, sniff sniff.

dustin and amy said...

Thank YOU for that! You are so strong! I really admire you!

katie said...


I love that song and I love you. I can't tell you how many times I have thought about you and your cute boys so many times over the months. I am continually amazed at your grace, your strength, your fortitude...May our Heavenly Father comfort you in your times of sorrow. It is my sincere prayer that you feel the arms of comfort and love wrapped around you. I miss you. I hope to see you sometime in Arizona. Good luck with everything.

Love ya,

Orr Family said...

It is strange how life changes and sometime you have no control over it. Not that my life is harder than yours, but with Daniel being gone for 8 months now, and I have only seen him a few times on the web cam, it seems I have no control over how things are going. I sometimes ask for a do-over, but I am also reminded that these trials are mine to learn and grow from! I could not imagine my husband being gone for the rest of this earthly experience, a year is long enough! We pray for you and your boys all the time. I pray that you find your new path and can enjoy life, I know Matt would want you and the boys to be Happy. We Love you Brenda!

Staci Kramer said...

I read this post last week when you posted it and I have to tell you that I can't stop thinking about it. This is not the trial I would have chosen for you (or anyone) but it has been inspiring to see you get through it with such grace. I really love when you write about your reflections and struggles and emotional insights. You are articulate and authentic and I know that many people are inspired by you.