I would be remiss if I didn’t take time and space to share how justdotoday.org got started. I want you to know the life of my precious daughter, Samantha is responsible for the entire idea. After I lost her on July 16, 2011, I thought my life would fall apart forever. Actually, it did for a bit. I cried rivers of tears, suffered with post traumatic stress symptoms and became a former shell of myself.
However, five years later I’m in a different place. The waves of emotion have given way to a stillness of heart and the agony of loss has given me new life. But, in between those two phases was a period of tremendous healing. This was the time I spent “getting through the hard part.” I found ways to cope and worked to make myself well. I spent time in prayer and went on many peaceful walks. God provided comfort and eventually, I began to live again.
Somewhere along the road to recovery, I realized it was time to give back. So, I created justdotoday.org to honor the healing that had occurred and to make a space and place to help others on their road to healing.
Living with the loss of Samantha is an everyday ordeal My journey through the jungles of suffering isn’t over yet. However, I am much better now than I was 5 years ago.
I give God all the glory for that.
Samantha Vinturella brought a youthful exuberance to the campus of St. Timothy in our Preschool, Children’s and Youth Ministries. Help us “plant the seeds” for a new playground to be built in her memory.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Elizabeth was the project manager and an artistic partner of Samantha’s Playground, a community volunteer effort to build a memorial playground at St. Timothy United Methodist Church on the Northshore, in memory of her daughter.
Elizabeth worked alongside family members, family friends, students, local artists and scores of Samantha’s friends to make this space of laughter and joy come to life. Together, they put together slides, erected climbing towers and setup a musical center. In addition, gathering in the upstairs loft at a local art studio, they create life sized mosaic panels depicting the Seven Days of Creation.
The end result, is a dynamic area where children run and play, laughing and letting out shouts of glee. Those that were blessed to know Samantha and were touched by her effervescent personality think there is no better way to remember her!
For more details, please visit Samantha’s Playground on Facebook.
MY WALK WITH THEE
Several years have past since I began my first blog. Samantha’s accident occurred and as I began to figure out how to do the days that lay ahead, I recorded my encounters with Christ. Each time I wrote, I recognized my Savior’s work. He was active and alive in my life, weaving His presence everywhere and in everything.
As I reflect, I realize each story I wrote was an actual step. I would hurt and Jesus would heal was the recurring theme every time. Each entry ended with spiritual evidence of the Almighty’s hand resting upon me. All of these steps threaded together are journaled in …
SAM WAS HERE …
A Mother’s Story of Triumph after Unthinkable Tragedy
Elizabeth is currently working on a non-fiction narrative entitled SAM WAS HERE … A first draft was completed May 2016. She continues to draft and edit the work for publication. Please look below for added details of the ongoing project.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Elizabeth Vinturella will capture and comfort the heart of every reader that has suffered loss. Her victory to recovery and restoration following the painful and untimely loss of her daughter will inspire and empower those who are overcome with grief by offering the only possible way to peace.
Five years since the accident, Elizabeth Vinturella gently navigates her readers through the suffocating sadness that threatened to destroy her and her family. Her honest approach on how to heal will bring hope to all who suffer through symptoms of grief. Elizabeth’s story demonstrates God’s promises of mending the brokenhearted, as He provided divine comfort, inspiring her to pursue a fulfilling life after profound loss.
What started out as an innocent day of family fun, fishing and crabbing from the docks, quickly turned into a catastrophe. After a casual boat ride, an opposing watercraft barreled down the bayou, turning too sharply in the bend, causing a head-on collision. As a result, four little girls were ejected into their swampy surroundings. Three of the tightly knit cousins resurfaced. Samantha, the youngest of the crew never did.
Samantha’s mother and her family endured a 3 day search and rescue mission employing aerial and marine accruements, along with US Navy Seals and police cadaver dogs to retrieve Samantha’s tender 12 year old body from the dark murky waters of Lake Borgne in southeastern Louisiana.
Deprived of the chance to ever say good-bye, Elizabeth learned to accept Christ as her closest companion and embarked on a remarkable recovery. Her story is for those who need the hope of a living active God.
Complete BOOK PROPOSAL available upon request.