This is what I have been thinking about when I have been thinking about approaching the one year mark:
(1) How incredibly supportive family, friends and strangers alike have been to me throughout this.
(2) I can't believe it has been a year since I've seen Matt's face.
(3) I can't believe how far I have come... mainly because of #1 but also by turning to God for guidance and surrendering to His will.
So here is how I think it will go. I honestly don't dread it. I can't 100% pull apart the significance of "one year" from when it was one day, one week or one month. It's just longer. It still sucks. It's a sucky situation. But it has been this way for a while now. A whole year. That is just crazy.
I frequently think of all the love I/we received following Matt's death. It is something I will always remember; never forget. Especially those who were there with me and there for me in North Carolina within seconds, minutes, hours and days. I was so very far away from home (Michigan) at that time and yet I really felt like I was home. My friends and co-workers for just being there that very day. Hugging me, crying with me, and visiting me at home the days following. April, who never left my side; driving me to the daycare to get the kids and then home for the first time when I knew Matt would never be there again. You just hugged me while I cried and listened to me when I needed to sob through a memory that was sparked by some random item in the house.
The staff and parents at our daycare for completely taking care of me in every way you could possibly imagine! They all but carted in loads of supplies for us like snacks, water, paper plates, toys and activities for the kids, diapers, wipes... it was amazing. They even pooled together a fund to help me out financially in the immediate days and weeks following Matt's death. The amount of support I received from them, most of whom I had never met, was... there's not even a word for it but I suppose absolutely incredible works.
Britt for taking the initiative to set up a college fund for Noah and Chloe. You started it all and the results of your efforts are something for which I will always be grateful.
Those who texted me that night for just letting me know that I was being thought of and prayed for. It meant the world to me. This day and age of social networking and text messages was a blessing for someone who just lost her husband. All the "cyber support" was uplifting and I'm pretty sure I was on Facebook probably 90% of my time the first week after Matt died. I hope I don't have this mixed up but Lacey, I just remember pouring my heart out to you in text messages the night of July 20 and I didn't even know you! Thank you for allowing me to do that.
My family; mom, dad, grandma, Mark, Tracy, Tom and Kristen... for showing up at my door the next day, despite the 1,000-mile journey. One way or another, you made sure you were there for me and we helped each other through the arduous process that was to follow for the next few weeks. And especially my father-in-law, Mark, who basically made me get business done and kept everything organized for me because I can guarantee that would not have happened without you! I love you guys all so much.
There are so many people I could thank for so many things over the last year. The ones I mentioned are just a handful and they demonstrate the support I received during those critical first few days after July 20. The food, the Edible Arrangements, the gift baskets, the sympathy cards, the bible verses, the books, the supplies, the Mass cards, the hugs, the condolences, the songs, the prayers, the donations, the help... everything. If I have learned anything in the past year, I have learned how good and generous people are. But I have also learned much more... I intend to blog again tomorrow.