a freddy moment

it had been raining that morning.
while he was waiting for her to join him for breakfast,
his truck’s windshield wipers eclipsed the raindrops almost as quickly as they fell.
a smile emerged on his face as he began to review the last couple hours in his head.
she was more of a night owl, but despite how early their morning had started,
she had been in such a great mood.
from the moment they knew their daughter needed them,
they were on the move,
with their invisible superhero capes flapping in the cool morning air.
she had made fun of him as he struggled to move the massive amounts
of ‘sequins and things’ gear from the trunk of her car,
so that he could free up the spare tire before triple A got there.
he laughed to himself at how cute her response was when he suggested a breakfast date:
‘i can’t go to breakfast. i don’t have any makeup on.’
it was one of those responses for him that he could just call before she even said it,
that just became obvious after almost thirty years as
husband and wife,
life partners,
soul mates.
it was such a “Julie” response.

a few minutes passed and still no sign of the black toyota venza.
‘she was supposed to be right behind me’, he thought.
triple A had put the spare tire on the car, and when they were ready, he pulled on to the highway first.
watching her expectantly in his rearview mirror, he wondered what was taking
her so long to pull off the shelf to follow him.
after he traveled a minute or so up the road, she was out of sight.

standing outside his truck in the mcdonald’s parking lot, now,
he picked up his cell phone to give her a call.






no answer.
he looked across the street,
as two fire trucks exit the garage of the fire station.
panic sets in.
‘oh my God, something must be wrong.’

after pulling up to the accident,
he felt like he couldn’t get out of his truck quick enough.
the venza was against the guardrail on I-95 North,
Jacksonville’s busiest highway,
and he was met by four police officers,
who, oddly enough, act as another guardrail …
… keeping him from seeing what they know
no husband ever wants to see.
‘she’s gone, mr. shepherd, she’s gone. we’re so sorry. she’s gone.’

photo credit | Miguel Emmanuelli Photography

outfit details | shirt: old navy | jeans: paige denim {c/o rosie true} | necklace: hrh collection

bracelets: jcrew, stella & dot | heart ring: fraternal | ‘h’ ring: gorjana & griffin | arrow ring: stella & dot earrings: jcrew [similar herehere] | purse: clare vivier | sunnies: karen walker ‘super duper’
shoes: zara, old {love these, thesethese, these, these} | watch: michael kors


he was dumbfounded,
completely unable to wrap his mind around
what they had just said to him.
he looked at the car.
it was damaged, yes,
but not totaled.
the airbags went off.
her seat belt had been on.
definitely not an accident
that you would expect a fatality.
‘what the hell could have happened?’
the question he would ask himself for the next twenty-four hours.
more soon.
with love and sequins,


“When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.”
Isaiah 43:2

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial,
for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life,
which God has promised to those who love him.”
James 1:12



  1. Sanchia Saha wrote:

    Hi Haley,

    I have been admiring your blog and going through all your posts from the beginning..your style is so inspiring. And then I came to the last few posts and I had to comment, I just couldn't not. I am so sorry for your loss… I can't ever imagine losing my mom, I mean, the thought alone terrifies me and I always worry whenever my mom steps a foot out the door. To see how far you've come, how you are so strong and living life after such a tragedy… such heartbreak, well, I'm in awe. My heart breaks for you and my thoughts are with you, even months after such an event.

    Your mom is in God's house and watching over you and I am sure she is as proud as can be. Bless you and your family.


    Published 6.12.14 · Reply
  2. via Rayna wrote:

    Haley, I don't know you but wanted to express my sorrow for your loss. My heart wrenched for you as I read this post. God keep you & bless you with comfort and peace.
    Love and prayers,

    Published 10.30.13 · Reply
  3. Lindsay wrote:

    Haley- I can in no way know what you are going through! My heart aches for your loss.

    While reading my Bible this morning I came across this verse:
    "If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."

    The note in my Bible said about this verse: "What is your response when a fellow Christian is honored? How do you respond when someone is suffering? We are called to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). Too often, unfortunately, we are jealous of those who rejoice and apathetic toward those who weep. Believers are in the world together- there is no such thing as private or individualistic Christianity. We shouldn't stop enjoying only our own relationship with God; we need to get involved in the lives of others."

    While I may not know you that well Haley … my prayer is that as a fellow sister in Christ I can weep when you weep and rejoice when you rejoice.
    Know that you have a shoulder to lean on during this time.

    In Him, Lindsay

    Published 10.15.13 · Reply
  4. Nicci wrote:

    Haley, you mentioned that you picked up a bunch of basics for travel days/lazy weekends. Any chance you have a post planned for how to do relaxed and comfortable without looking like you just rolled out of bed? This has been a tricky balance for me.

    Published 10.15.13 · Reply
  5. Kellyinthecity wrote:

    My deepest sympathies go out to you and your family. My heart goes out to you.



    Published 10.14.13 · Reply
  6. Kellyinthecity wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Published 10.14.13 · Reply
  7. Amber @ Fashion, Floss and Lip Gloss wrote:

    Haley, I recently began following you on Instagram and discovered your blog – I love your style so much – and I especially love that we are both medical professionals that enjoy fashion on the side (or is it the other way around?)
    I don't know you personally but words cannot express my sympathies for you and your family. I must say you are a strong woman of Christ sharing scriptures and sharing your story with the world. Thank you for being so inspiring and graceful. I hope sharing your story is part of your healing. Sending lots of prayers and hugs your way.


    Published 10.14.13 · Reply
  8. Norma Earley wrote:

    I've been praying nightly for you and your family. This tragic story that is your life has stuck an emotional cord in my heart that brings tears to my eyes every time I see a beautiful sequins and things photo. I pray God comforts you and keeps your strong as I know your mom is an angle in heaven watching over you. She must be so incredibly proud of the women you have become. I am so sorry for your loss but want to thank you for sharing your story with us. It is truly inspiring. xo

    Published 10.14.13 · Reply
  9. michelle wrote:

    this breaks my heart. i am so sorry for you and your family's loss.

    Published 10.14.13 · Reply
  10. Jess @ Spool and Spoon wrote:

    My heart truly hurts for you and your family. When I saw the post on Instagram, I felt dumbfounded. Normally I follow along because I'm just on pins and needles to see what you come up with next, and usually I just stay back in the shadows, but I couldn't *not* express my condolences. You seem to handle so much with such grace and you must have been such a beacon of light to your mother. I'll be praying for you. xx Jess

    Published 10.14.13 · Reply
  11. Mallory Thaggard wrote:

    Hi Haley- You probably don't remember me, but we went to college together. I have been following your style for quite some time now, and have have always envied your sense of style, class, and grace. I would randomly think about your posts & blogs and get so excited to read them..secretly wishing one day I could do that. When I heard about your mother, my heart broke for you and your family. All the love & support that you receive is a true testament to what type of person you are. May God continue to comfort, guide, and bless you through this time. <3

    Published 10.14.13 · Reply
  12. Chelsea wrote:

    Reading your story is heartbreaking Haley. I wish your family all of the best during this tough time!

    Chelsea & The City

    Published 10.14.13 · Reply
  13. Haley Valerie wrote:

    I am so sorry for your loss!


    Published 10.15.13 · Reply