I don’t usually post on Saturdays, but this is a special edition. Warning: This is probably going to get long and ramble at times.
September 3rd is usually a rollercoaster of emotions for me. I don’t see this year as being any different. Six years ago, I met my husband for the first time in person. We had met online a couple weeks before that and had started talking on the phone as well, but it was Labor Day weekend when we first met face-to-face. He came to my mom’s to meet me and my family and after that we went to a movie. When that was over, he took me to where his dad and stepmom were camping for the weekend, and I got to meet them. I still remember his dad asking if we were going to spend the night there. I knew that would not have gone over well with my mom(she was all ready nervous about me meeting someone online) and he took me home. We talked on the phone the next day and spent several hours together on Labor Day, but then I had to go back down to college.
The next year went by really fast. We got engaged on January 1. We thought about having our wedding exactly a year after we met, but 1: it was Labor Day weekend and 2: the church and fire department social hall(which we could get at a discount since he was a member of both) weren’t both available that weekend. so, we planned it for two weekends later instead. We moved into an apartment together in June and in August I had my bridal showers and my bachelorette party. The next day was August 20, and it’s one I always want to keep in my memories. I had stayed at my best friend’s apartment after the bachelorette party and Cory called me the next day to let me know his dad and stepmom wanted to have dinner with us at their house(and to find out when I’d be home so my dog would actually eat/drink/go outside). My future brother-in-law and sister-in-law and her husband and son were also there. It was one of the few times we were all together. We also took my dog and joked about having to bring the grandkid. I still remember my father-in-law sitting on the couch after dinner feeding potato chips to my dog. We weren’t even married yet, but I all ready felt like I was accepted as one of the family(and pretty much had been since the day I was introduced to them). I just didn’t know it would be the last good memory I would have of him.
On the morning of September 3, 2006, I remember we were getting ready to go to church. Cory was in the shower when his phone rang, so I answered it. His dad had been in and out of the hospital a couple times over the summer, and they were doing some tests, and I knew he wasn’t doing good, but I hadn’t been expecting this call. It was Cory’s stepmom, and she told us that we needed to get to the hospital because his dad had taken a turn for the worse. I don’t remember much from the ride there, but I know it didn’t take us as long as it should have. When we got in to see his dad, he didn’t even look like the man we had just had dinner with two weeks earlier. It was like he had all ready left, and it was just the shell of him left behind. We were back in the waiting room when they called the code blue. They tried to bring him back, but he was gone. He died thirteen days before our wedding. That night I couldn’t sleep, so I turned to what had always been the most therapeutic for me: writing. I read the poem I wrote that night at his funeral. It was the only time during it that I think I wasn’t crying. It was almost like I could feel him there with us. Here is the poem:
“Angels Without Wings”
I believe in angels
Those that fly among the clouds and stars
And those without wings,
That walk hand in hand with us.
Whether it be for a week, a month, a year, or even a lifetime,
They still leave lasting impressions on our hearts.
You welcomed me with open arms,
With no questions asked,
No judgment passed.
And when your son chose me to be his wife,
You openly accepted me as family
And into your life.
As we made plans,
And the day got closer,
I no longer questioned
What was meant to be.
In my eyes,
Your family had become my own.
A short year after we first met,
It is now time to say goodbye.
Although we all feel it was before your time,
Someone else had other plans in mind.
I never knew I was talking to an angel,
Or I may have treasured more
The precious time we had together.
But, I will always remember
The angel that walked beside me.
An angel without wings.
On the first anniversary of my father-in-law’s death, our daughter was three and a half weeks old. We went out to the cemetery that day. When we got there, Hayleigh started to fuss and continued all the way over to where he was buried. We laid her on the stone, and she stopped instantly. Here’s the picture we got(I was behind the stone with my hand on her so she wouldn’t fall):
When I found out I was pregnant in January of 2010 and realized what my due date was(9/11), I knew exactly when my baby would be born. had very mixed feelings about it, because I did not want the anniversary of my father-in-law’s death to overshadow his birth and following birthdays. I still feel that even if we had not scheduled the induction for that day, he would have been born then. Celebrating his birthday is a bright spot in an otherwise sad day even though I wish he could be here for his grandson’s birthday.
The birthday boy