I read about a young 17 year old that had lost her baby. I don't know how much support she has received as a young mother, but it made me think about all the people that have helped us in our journey. I have also had a really hard time seeing God in my life lately, and it struck me that God was there, he just used people to be his hands. We tried to write thank yous, but in reality everything was/is such a blur that we didn't express ourselves well and couldn't keep track of everything. Here are a few things and people, with names ommitted (you know who you are):
The friends, responders, people from our church, my Mom who came to our house that day. Sheets were washed or replaced, calls made for us, my daughter was taken care of. Although they cleaned they were very careful and I did not have to face the issue of everything disappearing like Perry hadn't existed. The responders tried to do things in a way that was caring, and many of my emergency service friends also came to his funeral. We didn't have to drive during a time concentration was impossible. Our driveway that day was lined with responders from Cheatham County who knew us.
Our family. You came and cried with us even when there were no good words.
The people at the funeral home, who tried to take care of Perry's body in a respectful way. At least one was a neighbor, several were church members, and I didn't feel like this duty was undertaken by strangers.
My fire and work family. They transported family members (even barring a chest to get through security in a timely fashion), stood watch at wakes, made sure my Dad could make the trip down, took my Dad in when needed, helped take care of the practical and monetary issues I was pretty clueless about, and most of all gave me the gift of time to heal. I still do not know who worked my shifts (my leave was still zapped from Perry's birth), but what a blessing that they sacrificed a day with their family so I could begin recovery. I think our church and family was impressed with all the men and women that surrounded us from the fire service. I had people calling and writing me from across the USA that I had met and become friends with at the National Fire Academy. Even the police department set up a collection that became available exactly when we needed it, everything almost seemed coordinated.
Then there are the prayer warriors, who I rely on up to this day. I am convinced that I do not have the strength to live this new life by myself, I believe that you and God have held me upright.
Our church family. You came when we needed you, and I realize even more now than before that the church is in the people not the building. You helped in every way possible, down to the songs in the service. When the church leaders try to refocus on being a church family, I know that at least with those that I have had contact with, the leaders are behind the curve. I continue to be thankful not only for what you have done for my family, but for what you continue to do for others. I know so many people that have been turned off by organized religion, and I can only imagine the opposite effect of your actions.
The parents and family members who have lost a child, sibling, or spouse. You show me that survival is a possibility and that there can be good days ahead. You also let me know that I am incredibly normal for going through such an abnormal horrific situation. Your words have helped maintain sanity when even professionals were at a loss.
The givers: of food, hugs, money for expenses, notes, a house cleaning by a maid service.... It all came/comes at the right times and in the way I needed. My MIL was amazed at the quantity of food, but wouldn't you know that after I froze everything, I wound up using everything? For months I had no appetite or desire to cook, and it lasted up until the point where I knew I needed to start trying for myself again. I was also a bit ashamed to need a housecleaning, but after it was over with, I realized it was necessary. The notes and letters have been a light in the darkness, even those that were 'late' I am convinced were right on time.
There are so many other people- the people who visit and leave things at Perry's grave, the children who played with Emily and gave her a sense of normalacy, my Mom who on my worst days drives down and gets Emily and I out of the house.