The service was yesterday. It was beautiful. Jack and the kids did such a wonderful job of expressing Steph's love. Jack stood there and said he couldnt look up as he thanked me and Ricky. Why did he feel like he had to thank us? It was our honor, privilege, and a blessing to be there for her - and him, and her family.
I think I have cried more these past 24 hours than I have over the past years and months and days! The "Finality" set it - and it has been heart breaking. At the house after the service, I see Steph everywhere and realize she's no longer there. I see the games on the floor and realize no more fun game nights laughing till our sides hurt. I see old time pictures of us in Gatlinburg and realize no more vacations enjoying our time away from everything. I hold that grandbaby and realize that she will have no idea the love her grandmother had for her. That baby has been such a blessing to me while she's been here. My heart will again break when Nina heads home and takes that bundle of love with her. It will be another part of Steph going away. It just all feels too much.
I feel like I have been so strong over the past few years and right now, I have no strength left in me. I am sapped of everything and just feel empty. I realize how much my life will change without my friend. Today, I took off work and have just sat and cried and prayed. I was looking at pictures, thinking of memories and reading cards Steph sent. Now remember - I saw her a few times a week, talked almost daily - and still, she took time to send me cards with letters and notes in them being encouraging and thanking me for being her friend. What kind of person does that? That's the person I'll miss - the one who was always thinking of everyone else. The person who touched me by touching others.
Its like I told Jack - being with her before she knew she had cancer, and hearing the news when she did find out she had this disease - its like I never really thought this day would come. Even sitting in chemo treatments with her - I never really thought of the day she wouldn't be here with us. I guess that's good I never let that enter my mind - but actually living it and feeling it now - the pain feels so much worse.
Now, I'm just praying the Lord will come touch my heart - help me fill this void and ease the pain and sadness. As Jack said in the service, Steph did tell everyone to go live - but man, Life without her is going to be so hard!