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Always Remember to Breathe

Always Remember to Breathe

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Always Remember to Breathe

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Jan 3, 2017


Losing a child is one of the most heart-wrenching experiences any mother can go through. Always Remember to Breathe is a poignant true story about love, loss, and healing. Written for families who are living in conflict, these pages will carry you through the tempestuous tug-of-war between a mother’s love and her daughter’s attempt to respond to it in the face of bipolar disorder that led to addiction. This is a wake-up call about the devastating impact that a household of bickering and two generations of divorce can have on a tender soul who is desperate to fill the void. Before Rachel’s untimely death, she relentlessly poured her hopes, perceptions, musings, and torments into journals. Some of her entries are included here so we can see through her eyes. These pages contain the reality of God’s sustaining grace in even the most entangled web of upheaval.

Always Remember to Breathe is an inspiring walk of faith and trust about how God can touch your life in the most difficult of times. Sharon Louth went through one of the most agonizing events a mother can experience—the loss of her daughter. She is someone who was willing to walk with God in hard places, even through places she did not understand. In reading this book you may find healing and hope in your life circumstances, just “always remember to breathe.”
Pastor Rick Betts
Crossroad Community Church

Jan 3, 2017

Sobre el autor

Sharon Louth’s love for words began in elementary school when she kept winning spelling bees. She enjoys reading novels and writing in her personal journals. A business consultant by profession, Sharon instinctively knew that she would ultimately find happiness and peace by helping others. Having reached deep inside to reveal the story about life with her daughter, Sharon hopes to connect with and encourage other families who face similar challenges. She has written a family cookbook and short stories and resides in Milton, Delaware, with her husband, Lee.

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Always Remember to Breathe - Sharon Louth

Always Remember to Breathe

A Mother’s Unyielding Love

A Daughter’s Diary

A God to Trust

Sharon Louth

Always Remember to Breathe

Copyright © 2014 Sharon Louth

ISBN 978-1-886068-83-4 eBook

Graphic design by Candy Abbott

Edited by Connie Rinehold and Fran D. Lowe

Proofread by Marjorie Vawter

Published by Fruitbearer Publishing, LLC

P.O. Box 777, Georgetown, DE 19947

302.856.6649 • FAX 302.856.7742

www.fruitbearer.com • info@fruitbearer.com

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973. 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. TM Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible. Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission (www.Lockman.org).

Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher or author, except as provided by USA copyright law.

In loving memory of my daughter, Rachel,

whose love ran deeper than any ocean

and higher than any mountaintop.

And to my husband, Lee,

for being so patient and encouraging

while I spent so much time working on this project.




Chapter One: Beautiful Daughter

Chapter Two: Family Ties and Trials

Chapter Three: Father and Daughter Relationships—What Makes Them Tick?

Chapter Four: The Generational Curse: Can It Be Broken?

Chapter Five: Divorce

Chapter Six: Imagine

Chapter Seven: Lee

Chapter Eight: Rachel and Lee

Chapter Nine: Daddy’s Gone

Chapter Ten: What’s Next?

Chapter Eleven: The Beat Goes On

Chapter Twelve: Reality

Chapter Thirteen: She’ll Be a Woman Soon

Chapter Fourteen: Amore La Vita

Chapter Fifteen: Daddy Dearest

Chapter Sixteen: Preparing Me for the Path Ahead

Chapter Seventeen: Only God Knows What the Future Will Bring

Chapter Eighteen: The Cut, the Hurt, the Blood, the Pain Before the Healing

Chapter Nineteen: An Angel Appeared

Chapter Twenty: Four Months Later


A Mother’s Thoughts

A Message from Andrea

Meet the Author

Order Info


You know how you talk about fate being something that just happens? Is it fate, or is it God? Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we cannot understand why things happen the way they do, but even the hardest things become easier when we accept circumstances as being part of the journey that God has mapped out for us.

My name is Sharon, and this is my story about life with my daughter, Rachel. This story is true. It really happened—all of it. I haven’t exaggerated; if anything, I have played down some of the drama. For the sake of privacy, however, I have changed some of the names.

This book was written for both mothers and daughters. It takes you down the tempestuous road I have traveled with my daughter. My hope is that you will find the book both engaging and inspirational. Its message conveys how I made it through many challenging circumstances, including my daughter’s untimely death, and became stronger in the process.

I will also share with you how the divorce of my parents impacted my life. I had to grow up fast, living a life of emotional turbulence with parents who fought a lot. Through the grace of God I survived, even though I felt entangled in a web of upheaval.

Divorce has an immense impact on the lives of our children. Presently, the divorce rate in America is over 50 percent. Each parent plays a significant role in rearing a child, whether it is in the same household or in separate ones.

Many young people are not happy with the situation and choose to act out in a variety of ways. This typically leaves the custodial parent, usually the mother, to deal with the effects. A large number of mothers raise their children virtually on their own, with little or no input from the fathers. The price the children pay as they endure the breakup of their homes is harrowing, but most of the injury takes place on the inside and stays there.

Rachel journaled a lot from ages fourteen through seventeen, mostly when she was upset or worried. During her late teenage years, if she had a diary, I didn’t know about it or have access to it. Later, I discovered dozens of journals throughout my daughter’s bedroom in many different hiding places. Reading her journals gave me a way to look inside her world and vicariously experience her innermost thoughts and feelings. I have read through all of them and now realize the things she was going through as a teenager. Her thoughts about her daily life with boyfriends, girlfriends, family, school, and her dad and me as parents were finally revealed to me. When she went to college, I even found something she wrote in the back of one of her textbooks.

Overall, leafing through each one of her journals helped me to finally understand that she was someone in so much pain that she could only release her emotions through the pages of her journals. She lived for journaling in her quiet place. I didn’t see a happy person in her writing, but a complicated girl almost mature beyond her years. Because of her great passion, along with the eloquence and intensity in which she wrote, I wondered if she would have become a great novelist if she had lived. I think she would be pleased to know that a lot of what she journaled is contained within the pages of this book.


One Saturday morning in October of 2006, I was visiting my mom. We sat at the kitchen table sipping tea while I did all the talking about my life’s adventures over the last month.

Suddenly Mom stopped me and said, Sharon, you should write a book.

I gave her my best Have you lost your mind? look.

Really, she said. You’ve had more things happen in your life that are just unbelievable. What a story you have to tell!

I narrowed my eyes and darted a look at her. Mom, are you kidding me? Sitting back in my chair for a moment and thinking about what she said, I glanced at her again. "You know, Ma, you’re right. I have enough content to fill the pages of a book. Some will probably read in disbelief, and some will think, That poor girl, but others will say, ‘This is my life, too.’ I need to write it for them."

My mother’s words not only struck a chord, but they also confirmed something I’d been mulling over for quite a while. I’ve gotta share something with you, Ma.

Several years before, I had a revelation when I was taking a morning walk down my long, wooded driveway of crush-and-run. I felt totally at peace. In the distance, I spotted a doe crossing from one side of the woods to the other. She was so graceful as she leapt across my path. I began to pray, thanking God for letting me see her that morning and remembering with thanksgiving the many other times when I had experienced a special closeness with His creations. I wanted this feeling to go on forever. I lifted my face to the sun and basked in its warmth and the contentment I enjoyed while living there on the farm.

There, in my private moment of heaven on earth, an odd thought pierced my mind as clearly as if a person had spoken it: Sharon, write a book.

Huh? What?

Tell your life story in this book. Talk about Our relationship. Help someone through your writing.

Hmmm. But Lord, where do I start?

I received no answer.

As I continued my walk, the peace and serenity I had experienced moments before intensified. I was almost overcome by the feelings of tranquility and joy that welled up within me. My spirit soared as I allowed my thoughts to float from one contented moment to another, like a butterfly lighting on one flower after another.

As I approached the end of the timbered woods, my mind drifted back to how I felt when love was new so long ago, with hopes and dreams spread out before me and no regrets. I placed my Sony buds into my ears and began singing along to a Bryan Adams’ song, Please Forgive Me.

I continued to walk, singing every word as loud as I could.

I prayed for this feeling to never end.

Eleven years later, while sitting on the beach one sunny day in July, I felt the Holy Spirit gently encourage me to share those experiences I had with my daughter . . . in written form . . . in a book. God had been preparing me those many years ago to write my story, and the time had come for me to do it. There on the beach, I looked up to the heavens and whispered, with a tear sliding down my face, Now I understand, Lord. I promised to be Your obedient servant, so here are the words You wanted me to share.

That was the day I began to write.

Chapter One

Beautiful Daughter

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take

but by the moments that take our breath away."

—Author unknown

I will never forget the day Rachel was born. The Christiana Hospital birthing room was as cozy as a bedroom, with walls decorated in hues of yellow and blue. It made me think of what it would have been like for my grandmother, in the good old days, to have a midwife come to her home, enter the bedroom to look after her, and listen to her screaming in agony from labor pains, while yelling to my grandfather, Boil some water. We’re about to bring a baby into the world. I suppose the birthing room was meant to have a calming effect on the mother-to-be, designed to accommodate her up to the point of delivery.

My husband, Rodger, accompanied me during the birthing process. He planned to participate in the delivery. In the past I had complications from a previous miscarriage, and was considered high risk, so the nurse hooked me up to a monitor measuring my baby’s heart rate and my vitals. Everything was moving along smoothly until the nurse seemed concerned and left the room quickly. She brought Dr. Wiz back into my room to check the monitor indicating that my baby’s heart rate was going down. Dr. Wiz did not waste a minute and instructed the nurse to start prepping me for a C-section.

Several nurses transferred me to a gurney and wheeled me into the operating room. A prick of the needle started my IV. The nurse was expressionless going about her duties, taping the needle in place to my hand. (The placement of the IV was worse than the labor.)

The anesthesiologist came into the room and prepped me for a spinal. I had to hunch over and hold still while experiencing labor pains. He stuck me three or four times before the spinal was successful. Finally, no pain.

The OR staff draped a green tent over me, and the female staff surgeon proceeded with the C-section. The happy nurse announced, It’s a girl.

I wanted to know what was going

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