Thank you for the beautiful prayer. Actually read it the day you wrote it, but wasn't able to get on a respond. It was so moving.
And, Teresa, Thank you for the song. I have heard that song many times, but didn't know all the words. How true they are...and to know that someone is feeling the same thing is incredible. It was so unbelievable when I read it.
Well, today was actually harder than his birthday. I'll begin on Friday.
It ended up being only Jay and Marilyn, Dawn and Matthew and me. When it came down to it, Rach said she just couldn't do it. I told her it was fine! They came and picked us up. I tried to not cry, but tears were pouring even as I walked to the car.
We arrived and all walked over to his place. I sat down and just put my hand on the dirt. And that is when the tidal wave hit. It had been a long time since I cried so hard. Dawn knelt beside me, with her hand on my shoulder, we cried together. It felt so good having her there beside me. Matthew also knelt and held his arm around me. When I looked up into his face, I saw tears running down his face. I think he was trying to hold them back, because when I looked at him, he tried to quickly wipe them off.
I sat for a long time beside John. Whispering how much I missed him, how I love him and told him Happy Birthday. I know he isn't there. I know there is just an empty shell of his body. I know he is with our Heavenly Father. But, for me the grave site is a point of reference.
I told Sallye that I had to go out there. That if I didn't I would feel guilty for the rest of my life that I didn't go. I wanted to go, but my faith was lacking. When I thought about it, and prayed about it...I had to believe that as my Father has carried me this far, he was not putting me down at this difficult time.
It was good for me to go. First I got a cry out that was probably festering to come out. It was a good, hard cry. Then, I made it. I went. There will never be another first for me there. AND, I have to go and prepare it for the kids now. We all came to the same conclusion that for them to see it as it is.....all dirt....it just seemed so unkind, so trashy. The grass has not grown back, and as hard as the dirt it I don't think it will in a long time. So I am going to go out and put some top soil on it, kind of rake it and seed it. Hopefully, by Father's Day the grass will be grown, the stone will be there, and the kids will want to go visit.
I count it a blessing that when we got home it wasn't long until we left for Ardmore for Hannah's Track Meet. It was kind of hard driving down there. Matthew drove, I slept a little bit...more because I didn't want my mind to wonder, than I was tired.
Jay and Marilyn, and Grandma Ginny arrived a little after we did. Hannah ran a great race, as I am sure everyone has heard by now. She took 3rd for State! Awesome run. She also broke the schools record. It was a great day.
We went to eat with the team afterwards, Jay, Marilyn and Grandma Ginny left and we went to our hotel.
The next morning, we drove down to Winstar Golf course and Matthew and Isaac played Golf. The girls and I actually went on into Gainesville and left the boys there. As I was leaving them, I had tears in my eyes, as I saw them driving off in the cart. All I could think about was that John should be with them. How sad it must be for them as well. I am sure, if not Isaac, then Matthew was thinking the same thing. I know it. He misses playing golf with John, not to mention Isaac. They did it on his birthday if it was possible. But he wouldn't be with them. They just looked so lonely out there by themselves.
We arrived back to get them around 4 and headed home. One thing John tried to do whenever we passed Paul's Valley was to stop at this place called Ballard's for a peanut butter shake. He loved them. The kids remembered and wanted to stop. OH! How I missed him then!
This morning I woke with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I didn't want to get up. I didn't want to face the day with out John. But I got up and had my devotions. I went in and woke Matthew, then Isaac, then the girls. No one moved. I went back through. Then, I remembered how that was always John's job on Mother's Day. While I was in the shower he would get them all up, and they would be waiting for me in the living room, gifts in hand, for me when I got out. We would celebrate mother's day.
I cried as I told them to get up. Then Matthew came to me and told me that they hadn't got me a gift because they didn't have any money, but they would do something. I almost passed out. I really believed he would take after his dad. But, I understood the money situation. And just hugged him back and told him that it was okay..I would have a hard time celebrating anyway.
It was nice to have them all sit in church with me. Hannah usually goes to second service with her friends. I loved having them all there.
Then I asked, after the service, if anyone wanted to go to Sunday School class with me for mother's day. Matthew and Rachel both said they would. Dave did a great job speaking about mother's, and the prayer of a mother. Great.
When we got home, all but Hannah disappeared. A little later they came back and had bought me a day lily and a card. It was so sweet of them. But it hurt at the same time that John wasn't there. Bitter-sweet is what I would call it.
I dreaded going to Marilyn's. I knew as much as I was hurting today, she was hurting the same if not worse. Her son. Her flesh and blood. The day he would be celebrating her....and he was gone.
When I walked in, all my kids told her happy mothers day, then I went and hugged her. We just held each other and cried a little bit. Gathered ourselves and went about dinner. Gifts came after dinner...and I don't think she could read all her cards...for fear of losing control of her emotions, which was the same for me. I just could not read all of the card.
When I hugged her good-bye we held each other and cried some more. She whispered in my ear, "It's been a hard week hasn't it? But, it's another one of those "firsts" that they talk about. It's done!"
I can't imagine it being any easier next year. But they say every year is easier. But, my stomach and heart have ached all day...and continue to tonight.
Normally, I couldn't stand the thought of Monday coming. But its okay. I can't wait until tomorrow. Just to get my mind busy again.
Yes, it was a hard week, a harder weekend. But my Father in Heaven carried me all the way. I know he did, I know he is, and I know he always will. He is faithful.
Thanks for all your prayers, you were vital to my making it through the weekend.
Love you all so much,