July 30, 2009
I had no idea what to do as a widow. I felt like I was on a rollercoaster ride and wanted to get off and whoever was running the show wouldn’t stop to let me. Luckily I had so much support. My friends and family had no idea what I was going through, but that didn’t matter- they just stepped up and helped me in any way they could.
I can’t even begin to name all of those who helped me and my family, because many were complete strangers; my hidden heroes. Hundreds of searchers came to my rescue and helped us find my husband who had been missing for days in the desert. Thank you! My family and I could have never done this alone. A fund was created to help my children with their future college education- so thank you to all of those who donated to this cause. It is so appreciated. Your notes, calls, and texts have kept me going when I didn’t have more to give.
My neighborhood stepped up big time. Meals were brought in, my landscaping was done, cleaning ladies came, and I was given free gym memberships, massages, tutors for my kids, and lots of books, gifts, and plants- just to name a few. I remember my neighbor came over a few months after Jay’s death and asked if my furnace filter had been changed. Do I have a furnace filter? He fixed it. Now that I think about it, It’s probably the same one in there now. I had never been on the receiving end of giving like this and to say it was uncomfortable is an understatement. But I couldn’t do it alone. I really needed help. My brain had been lost somewhere and was nowhere to be found.
Friends. Oh, my sweet friends! A big fat thanks for being there at the hardest time of my life. They picked me up over and over. I called them at midnight, I cried, I asked for favors and they were the ones to tell me the truth about life when I didn’t want to hear it. (You really have to eat!) Many of my friends were from my gym and I will never forget the Monday after Jay died, I went to my spin class right after picking out the plot at the cemetery. Friends asked me why I was there and I told them this is where I was most comfortable and I had to do something that seemed normal The last song of the hour the teacher, Laura, said was for me and they spun their little hearts out while I cried. It’s times like this that kept me alive.
My family and extended family also fit in the friend group. Thank you for being there every step of the way. You have shown me kindness and unconditional love. You have slept over on days I just couldn’t be a mom anymore, you have taken us all out to have fun and helped us see that not everything had changed.
A big shout out to my six children who showed me how to be brave and resilient. They went to school every day except the day of the funeral and when people asked them why they were in class, they said, Where else would I be? You have been patient with me and given me hugs when I needed them most.
Most of all I would like to thank my parents. My mom taught me that I can do hard things, and my dad taught me, as a scientist would, to always look at things from a different perspective. Without these two traits, this new life would have defeated me. They have not only given me a lifetime of support, but these two angels came to my home a few times each week for months after Jay’s death. They stayed for hours and helped me with everything- kids homework, paperwork, laundry, carpooling, cleaning, cooking, getting kids to stay in their bed, and probably a million other things I don’t even know about.
Angels have also been a huge supporter for me. Even though I couldn’t see them, I could feel their presence and the comfort and intuition they brought.
Another miracle happened in my life. I found an amazing widower who brings so much sunshine into my life. I never knew I could be this happy and am so grateful for our upcoming marriage and for bringing 3 more beautiful kids into my life. I now have a best friend who understands much of what I went through and still go through. Matt has supported, inspired, counseled and loved me through these really tough months. Together we learn and grow through healing and blending/family dating and I am so grateful for him in my life.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!