Friday, September 25, 2009

Memorial Service for Alisha

To anyone who would like to honor this sweet woman,
There will be a viewing on Sunday from 2-5 at Hood Mortuary. The Memorial Service is on Monday at 2, also at Hood Mortuary. There will be an open house at her home following the service. Anyone who would like to come and remember Alisha is welcome to attend.

Much Love,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alisha Nicole Livingston

Alisha leaped into Jesus' arms today at 3:55 p.m..

R.I.P are irreplaceable, and this world won't be the same without you. My heart is so grateful that the trials of life are far behind you now. You are the best friend anyone could ever ask for, and I'm not the only one who would say that. I love you and miss you with all my heart!

Memorial Service information to follow.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When Words Don't Suffice

...the groaning of my spirit...

Alisha will most likely be in the arms of Jesus by tomorrow's end, and maybe before. The doctors believe that to take her off of sedation at this time would mean waking her up to an awful reality. Tomorrow morning, they will take her off of the blood pressure medication. They anticipate that she will go to be with our Lord shortly after that.

Please pray for the family. This is a world none of us are ready to live in, but by God's grace.


First, I have to stress the following: if you have any questions, I will do my best to answer. Right now, her attending family is in a bad way, and needs some peace.

Since the surgery to restore her collapsed lung yesterday, Alisha has been on a respirator. She is in heavy pain, sedated at the moment.
As the family decides, she will have to be taken off of it and given a chance to breathe on her own, and there is a possibility that she may not be able to. Please pray that if it's God's will, her lungs will kick in! More specifically, she will be on the respirator until tomorrow at least, and maybe longer.
In a little bit, she'll be off of sedation, and able to respond to those around her.

Thanks for your prayers....this is an unimaginable reality for us all...

Monday, September 21, 2009


Hey Y'all,

This most recent update has left my heart in pieces. Please just pray as God leads you.

First, yesterday the fluid building up from the stomach cancer caused one of Alisha's lungs to collapse. She was in surgery as of 9:30 this morning to again remove the excess fluid, and get her lung working again (I think)

This next part, I barely know how to put into words.

The doctors have told Alisha that this cancer is terminal. They believe that administering chemotherapy will only end her life sooner. They've left the decision up to her. I've been in tears since I heard. I dreamed about it all last night. I can't believe this is actually happening.

To me, it feels like this is all taking place so fast. As of a few months ago, it was ovarian cancer, they were going to take her ovaries out, she would recover, and go on living her life. Cancer is such a merciless disease. I'm heart-broken, as I'm sure you are, for so many reasons. She is SO young. She just had a baby, and her Mama's heart wants to see her grow up. We keep wishing and hoping and praying for a second chance, but it seems as though God may not grant it...but I know, should He choose, that God can do all things. I'm ready at a moment's notice to turn my lamentations into rejoicing, should He choose to do something miraculous here.

Please keep the family in your prayers. Alisha is the only child of Mitch and Janet. Thank you all for seeking God on this issue, for your thoughts and prayers, for carrying this burden with our family.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Striving Against the Odds

Please, soon as you read this, please start praying. Your continued prayers are so appreciated!

The stint that was supposed to enable Alisha to eat did not fix the problem. Apparently, not even the fluid she drinks is going through her system, but instead is building up. She's still not able to take in food orally. Her overall weight has dropped immensely. Doctors are going to try other tactics to by-pass the blockage. Her stomach has shut down completely, and she is in a very weak state.

Add to all this, that they cannot wait any longer to administer the chemotherapy. Originally they were waiting until she could eat and regain some of her strength.

My heart is wrenched with sadness....I know God can do all things, but it's just whether or not, in His infinite wisdom, He will. She needs a break, and as of yet, she's just not catching any.
Please continue to bring her up in your prayer meetings, along with Joy, Janet, Mitch, and John. One of them is with her at all times. There is no rest for them right now, and who knows if they would take if even if they could find it?

It's hard not to feel as though the situation is more dire with each passing day, but I am grateful that God doesn't look at it that way.

Much Love,

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Alisha Update

I spoke with my Grammy last Wednesday to see how Alisha was doing, and the report did my heart good. So I thought I should share!

As I said before, Alisha hasn't been able to keep down food at all, and has been receiving nutrition via I.V.. She told me that a little bit ago, Alisha was having a particularly harsh day. She had been so sick. That day, Grammy came into the room where Alisha was resting to check up on her. She was watching an inspirational speaker on TV, and at the sight of my Grammy she burst into tears. She told her, "Grammy, I KNOW there is a blockage in my stomach. I know it, I can feel it; and I also know the doctors are going to find it, and the surgeons are going to FIX it!" (I'm paraphrasing)

Sure enough, they checked her out, and there was a blockage. They scheduled a surgery for last wednesday to by-pass the blockage via a stint. Before the surgery, Grammy approached Alisha and said, "Now, you told me with a strong conviction that there was a blockage, and you were right. I need something to hold onto here; are you as confident that they will be able to perform this surgery successfully?" (Because apparently it is not just a straightforward procedure; plenty of things can go wrong) and again Alisha told her with full confidence, "Yes!"

Turns out she was 100% right, again. The surgery went even better than they could have hoped, and the stint is in place. I still have yet to hear about whether or not she has been able to eat, but I have (as I hope you do) very high hopes!

It was so good to hear, because being so far away, I tend to get over-creative. I imagine Alisha sleeping so much of the time, and barely conscious when she's awake because of the prescriptions she is on, the toll this is all taking on her body. But that's secondary to how good it was to hear that she is in this fight full-force.

One thing I can say confidently about my cousin is that in difficult sutiations, she never spends time feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she looks ahead to what needs to be done, and she focuses on that. Maybe it's a trait God gave her specifically for a time like this, who knows??

Please continue to keep her in your prayers! Anyone who needs an address for gifts, cards, etc, let me know!

Much Love!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Life can be so strange. I"m baffled sometimes, thinking of the billions of people on this earth, each with their own unique perspective, life experiences, joys and pains...

But before I get too far, let me just slap a quick qualifier on here: this post is going to be a whole lotta nothing substantial. Or maybe lots of little substantial tidbits all sewn way or the other, I feel the need to pin down a section of the multitude of floating thoughts all meshed together in my head, and somehow a (VERY) public forum such as an unsecured blog on the internet appears the best way to do it! LOL!

I remember growing up, that there were things I just knew I was going to be someday: an actress, a veterinarian, a black belt, the first female baseball player for the Oakland Athletics (the team choice...had to do with the team colors. Devoting yourself to a team because they have an appealing logo makes a lot of sense to an artistic kid under the age of 10), a singer, a missionary, a camp counselor, a professional skier, a painter, a firefighter....and so many other things. Two things impacted my aspirations greatly: TV, and meeting someone who I liked, who held a certain profession. The second I recognized someone doing something well and really enjoying it, I became convinced that I could do the same thing, exact the same enjoyment. No matter what it was! A florist, a chef, a conductor (oh yeah; I was convinced I was going to be one of those child prodigies who had their own symphony all ready to wow the general public)

Fast-forward to today: I am one of those things. I'm a singer. The older I get, the more I realize how much I feel like I'm stepping into the specific role that God created me for when I sing. I want to make uplifting, inspirational music that stirs people's hearts to aspire for something greater and bigger than themselves, not music that highlights and even exalts the base things of this world. I don't know about you, but when I hear "uplifting, inspirational" music, I think of soft beats, ethereal Enya or something. That's not what I'm talking about. I want my music to address everyday issues that are so real to people. To embody the sadness life can bring, and then to offer the reminder that hope is alive.

Sometimes I feel like singing is the only thing that anchors me to this chaotic world. I feel like it's a valid and practical contribution that I can make. I'm glad for the way God created me, though I know He's got a looooong way to go (balancing the checkbook might be my next step...I don't know the last time I actually did that).

I used to thing it was the hard knocks that took away all my other aspirations, until I realized how much I truly love to sing. There's more I'd like to do with my life, however. I'd love to be a mommy some day, for instance. However, even at the age of 26 I feel ill-equipped for the task. I'd like to be better with money matters. I'd like to stop letting my past experiences hinder my present witness. I'd like to wake up every day, commit that day to the Lord, and walk forward in confidence in Him. I'd like to feel comfortable, not self-conscious, around people I haven't met (this comes to mind especially because I'm trying a new church tomorrow. I love my CC Gainesville, but the new move has put a hearty distance between us. So I'm off to check out the First Assembly). I feel like a lot of these things need to be in play before I can even consider bringing another life into this world.

Sometimes I feel like life is going to slip away from me. I think of the trillions of people who have tread this earth before me; what do I know of them? What will others know of me when I pass? Will it even matter that I was here? Oh, vanity of vanities. I often feel the anguish Solomon seemed to pour out in the first part of Ecclesiasties, and I have to remember that he found meaning in life, after all. I just want to leave some kind of tangible mark, and I feel like I'm on the slow track, attempting to angle myself in the right direction to do it.

In the end, it always comforts me to remember that God is good, and His plan for me is just as specific as it can be. Sometimes I think of God's plan as stealing away my identity, instead of utilizing me along with His other servants to accomplish His will. I'm still a little stubborn, I guess! God teach me...

There are so many other thoughts in my head; I think this suffices for now, though. Otherwise this might become a tangent so long, even I won't want to spend the time reviewing it in the future!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Alisha's New Address

Howdy Folks,

I got word from John yesterday that Alisha's been having a very difficult time eating, with the nausea etc. Consequently, She has been re-hospitalized for a little bit so she can get some desperately needed proper nutrition. Pray she won't have to stay too long, and she can continue to take in food on her own, at home.
Also, they have news from her blood tests. She was tested in Denver, and they did not see the kind of improvement that they had hoped for. However, once she was back home they did another test, and though it wasn't perfect, it was far better than the Denver results! Praise God!!!

If you need her new home address for gifts etc., catch me on facebook and let me know.

Much Love!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Update On Alisha

First, thanks to the folks who are interceding in prayer on Alisha's behalf.

Well, Alisha and the family are all back in Durango now. Irelyn is off of oxygen (Praise God!) and is every day a little stronger. She is a sweet, tiny, healthy gift from God!

Alisha is on oxygen, and has begun chemotherapy. She had some blood tests taken last week to determine how her body is responding to the treatment. The family is awaiting the results. As part of the treatment, she has medication that she has to take every two hours. She's under constant supervision, because the meds make her very drowsy and someone needs to be around to ensure she takes them on schedule.

Please let me know if you need additional info, or if you'd like to send the family a note of encouragement! I believe they also have a fund at FNB in Alisha's name, to help offset the cost of the medical bills.

God Bless Y'all!