Thursday, May 17, 2012

Longest Limo Ride and Most Somber

A year ago today two long black limos pulled up in front of my home and escorted my family into them one at a time. We drove to the funeral home early that morning to view the body of my husband before his cremation. I was the first to get to spend time with him in his room alone. He was dressed in one of his finest dress suits and his favorite Snoopy tie. He had that smirky "April fools" grin on his face. He still looked like my Dennis yet so still. I was extremely numb at first. I stood just looking at him while tears streamed down my face. Then I reached to touch him and found he was so cold. Who knew they had kept him frozen? I didn't realize that was part of the process. He had his wedding band on and they were going to remove it before the actual cremation later in the day. It only took me a few minutes before I was able to finally start talking to him. I actually had a full on one way conversation with him. I yelled and screamed and whispered and cried and asked so many questions, of course he didn't respond. It was more for me to just get it out of my heart. I was so broken. I walked out and into the arms of my brother and father. I sent my mother in law in to see him next.
          It didn't take long for the wailing and screams and cries of loved ones to take over the entire hall. I couldn't handle the emotions of every one else so I left the hall for a time. One by one the family members entered in to see him one last time and say their goodbyes. Then we loaded back up and went home for a time period of lunch and rest. Of course, I wasn't hungry. It seemed I couldn't eat during those days. My appetite for food had shut completely down.
          We were scheduled to receive friends and family at DayStar church prior to the Memorial Service at Grimsley High School. In preparation for the reception we were provided dinner for immediate family in the dining hall. I tried to eat. The girls did attend this event. Once we finished eating I took Kaitlyn to see the flowers they purchased for Daddy and the slideshow into the church sanctuary. It was a very somber occasion. Kaitlyn handled it well at first and then she began to weep and cry for her Daddy so we quickly left the room to see her sister and the rest of the family. The girls went to be with our children's minister and to our home since the service was going to be late.
          The receiving line at the church seemed to linger on forever. There were so many faces. Some I knew and some I didn't but it didn't matter. They were amazing and loving. So many hugs and tears. I was first in line and then my mother in law. At times we had to sit down because it became so overwhelming. After a while the funeral director had to turn people away and send them to Grimsley so that we could be on time for service. We loaded back into the limo and drove across the street in drizzling rain. My heart seemed to stop beating for a moment.
          I walked down the aisle of that long corridor into the Grimsley High School auditorium with music playing and almost 1800 guests standing while my brother held me tight. I think he practically carried me up that aisle that day. I sat down and thought to myself, this isn't happening, I can't really be here right now, on this day, May 17th 2011. My husband, Dennis J Foster, Jr isn't really on that slideshow picture screen right now and this isn't a service to honor his life because he can't be dead. The song "It is well with my soul" began to play after the words of wisdom were shared by friends and prayer and slideshow. I cried and weeped and held onto my brother. I looked about and saw all the faces of the auditorium. I was so overwhelmed with the support of people in the room.
        It is a year later, I know that some of the same people in that room still miss Dennis and love him. I know that my heart is still broken and being put together piece by piece. We are still healing, the girls and I. It is a long and steady process. It is a healing process that has been compared to that of a burned victim that has to scrub the burn occasionally so that it will keep healing or it will set up infection underneath. This is so hard. It is definitely the hardest thing I have endured in my life. That limo ride was not one of fond memories. It is one I wish to forget among many from the year of 2011.
        Your prayers and love are still needed.
Still leaning on God's promise of Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, "plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans for hope and a future".

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Longest Day of Year

Today has been another long day --- seems like May 13th just drags on and on forever when all I want is for it to be over--- I was so hoping it was all just a nightmare ...a bad movie that I was watching and finally turned off and would find Dennis beside me today all along...but instead one year later I put my girls to bed crying again, I lay down alone with tears streaming, and I wish my life hadn't changed so drastically. It feels as if I am
watching a movie of someone else's life on a movie and it is terrible. I feel sick for the
main character, I want to rush in and rescue her but I don't know how. I keep thinking, I'm so glad that isn't me. And then I come back to reality and realize, it isn't a's my life and I"m living it. Unlike others that have spouses that travel occasionally and find themselves struggling to do it alone for a while, I find myself struggling daily for the
rest of my life and this was not my choice. I never married and brought children into this
world knowing that my husband would one day check out and choose suicide over life. It's not like he chose a career that takes him away from the home for days,weeks,or months at a time. I never agreed to be a single mom. I didn't want this life without him. Now, I have to relearn how to trust that God has a new plan for my life, one without Dennis and one
that has my girls and I prospering and each day a little less painful. Until then, I hold my
breath and wait for May 14th, tomorrow, and hope it feels different from today.

2 Days in 1

Tears of Sadness and Tears of Joy

Today I rejoice of because my girls love me so much. Their faces light up the moment they see me enter the room. They can't hardly wait for me to get through the door of my parents house before they want to embrace me with hugs and kisses and almost knock me over. It brings such joy to my heart and sweet tears. I am overjoyed by the love of a wonderful mother, father and mawmaw that loved on them during the night so that I could try and get a good night sleep. I was held by a good friend Sissy Silver as I cried for the loss of my husband last night. But recognizing that it is pure joy to count that my life is surrounded still by friends that care and love me dearly.

Tears of Sadness still flow from my face and in my heart as I work to put the broken pieces back together. I still don't and may never be able to truly understand why Dennis left us prematurely on this earth one year ago today. It truly was the worst day of my life when I found him dead in our garage. The images and smells of carbon dioxide still haunt me. I work hard to replace them with the good memories of times shared with him. I loved him with every fiber of my being. He was a good father, husband, and hard working man that had one major downfall--he didn't know when to ask for help and forgiveness so he took the only way out he knew. My prayers are that no one else I know will ever endure such pain and heartache. They will turn for help and fight for life. I, myself, have had to fight for living through the battle of being a single mom and the hardships it brings. I miss him so each and everyday. I rest in the promise we will be reunited again one day and all my questions will be answered.

For now, I will focus on the good and enjoy my family and friends. I will continue to grow stronger and stronger as I seek counsel and help with my own faults and fears.

I hope that next year I can write that we have made even greater strides.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

It's May already...

It is so hard to believe that it is May 2012 already .... 
In one week it will be Mother's Day...but...
it will also be the one year anniversary of the day my husband committed suicide. One year since I woke up and found him dead. One year since my world completely titled on its axis and the universe stopped spinning in the correct direction. One year since everything I trusted made sense. One year since I could hold a two way conversation with the love of my life. One year since my children could talk to their daddy without praying and looking up to heaven with tear stained faces. Our grieving process feels like it has only begun. We are trying to enjoy our blessings of a new home but there is still the constant reminder that he is missing, things as simple as a table with four chairs when we are now a family of three. 

However, we rest in the promise of Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

Despite our loss and pain, we rest in knowing that there is hope and future for the girls and myself and our future is going to fulfill a purpose. 

In the meantime, if you pray...truly pray.... then keep praying for us that the girls will find a release of their anger and anxiety soon. Pray that I will find peace and enjoy the company of my girls again soon. Pray for grace as we approach this last "first" we face together. If you can support us and offer compassion then please be available to talk or listen whether you know the words to say or not. 
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