Man - I'm just fighting the saddness! Last night was our Vacation Bible School meeting and I'm in charge of the crafts - Cowpoke Crafts to be exact (how cute is that name!) What makes it so sad is the past 2 years, me and Steph have worked together in crafts and I told her now I was the leader, she had to be by my side and help me out - she was the craft queen after all! Whew - it was another reality check knowing she's not there. But Jack assured me he's going to be there for me to help - and I've recruited Ryan and told him he has to help me too. It'll be another heart break when I see her grandkids sitting there making the crafts without their grandma's special attention! It's like my mom said to me today - its amazing how big the hole in the world can be when one amazing person leaves us. That hole grows bigger with each passing day!
I've got to get myself together though for tomorrow - its the junior high Lock In at church! No one wants a noping "adult" around at a fun time like that. I think it'll be good medicine for me to get with these kids and laugh. If Jordan is there, I know I'll laugh - she is the coolest kid ever! I'm looking forward to it. And then Saturday - the big day - the baby graduates! AMAZING! That's a whole other subject that I'll touch on later! The years just fly by too fast!
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
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!
Monday, May 21, 2007
Wow - she's gone. After such a battle, my dearest friend is now with her Heavenly Father. It's been truly an honor to be with her during this difficult trip and now we are left behind to await the day we will all be united again. For me, it was a blessing to be with her family as she passed and to have in my arms her youngest grandbaby. To look in this baby's face and to see the love of Steph still live on, it was amazing. The baby was just so happy that day, singing out loud and laughing and smiling. It was like she knew something that we, as "grown-ups" couldnt' understand. Her innocence had let her know how happy her Grandma was going to be. My heart breaks this little one wont know how much her Grandma loved her.
Steph had all her children surrounding her and praying - I know it was the way she wanted to leave this world. I can just picture her walking with Jesus now, telling him how much she longed to see his face, and most importantly, to hear his laugh. We always talked about that - to know our Christ has a sense of humor and to hear that laugh - it would have to make all the pain worthwhile.
Now, I feel alone. What do I do without my friend? How do I function without her? She was such a part of my every day life - whether it was talking on the phone - sharing what happened in our lives that day - going knitting together - going to all the Christian Concerts together and Praising the Lord - playing games, dinner, loving on each others kids - what do I do now? I need to truly rely on my faith and know God will find me where I am and comfort me and put my heart back together.