Spent yesterday evening on a plane and in the airport. We missed our connecting flight in Phoenix by minutes but were able to get on another flight 2 hours later, landing us in Portland at 2 am; needless to say we are extremely tired.
It feels good to be home, sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee, listening to music and writing. We came home last night to candles lit at the memorial and lots of new additions to the space; an overwhelming sense of peace the minute I walked across the street to see what people had left. My girls are so loved.
A couple of days after the accident I received a kind gesture of love from a girl who played on a soccer team I coached over 10 years ago. We were driving through Forest Grove, I had just been to the house to get some clothes to take back to the hospital and was still in shock at the events unfolding in my life. We stopped at a red light, next to a bus stop, and when I turned my head my former player saw me sitting in the car. She smiled, lifted her hands to her chest and formed them in the shape of a heart. No words were exchanged, no hug, no embrace, just a small gesture to let me know she loved me and was thinking about me.
These acts of kindness have continued: cookies on our doorstep, a secret santa gift that magically appeared every morning for a couple of weeks before Christmas, an arm squeeze, head nod and a smile from a neighbor in the local coffee shop, friends showing up on my doorstep to offer companionship or a walk around the neighborhood, a quiet hug, a bag of groceries in my fridge after a long trip away, Sunday soup delivery from a dear friend, countless texts, Facebook messages and phone calls checking in to see how we are doing and a ride home at 2 am from the airport. All these acts of kindness have filled our hearts with love and gratitude of community near and far.
Lots of people have expressed that they have no idea what to do or say but feel the need to do something. My response is always the same, all we need really is prayer and lots of it. We feel the prayers by so many and I can honestly say that I truly feel that is how we get through moments of intense aching.
An example of this is a phone call I made to a dear friend while sitting in the airport on our way to Ohio. I was barely keeping it together, realizing traveling without Anna was tremendously painful. She began to pray and said she was going to send a message to her prayer warriors too. The prayer chain had begun and I started to feel better knowing I was being lifted.
Ten minutes after our phone conversation Tom sat down next to me with a smile on his face. During our first flight we all had seats away from one another which added to the stress of not having my main support, Tom, right next to me. His smile was due to the fact he worked some magic, or prayers were being answered, and we now had seats in a row. Our second flight was not without ache but I did have Tom’s hand to hold and shoulder to sleep on. The power of prayer is amazing and I feel it every single day.
I know I have said this countless times over the past two months but we feel lifted by the prayers of many. We are so grateful for these prayers, acts of kindness and also the donations that have been made in our girls name, some of which have been done by people we have never even met. I wish I could individually thank each and everyone one who has graciously reached out to us in some way shape or form. I wish I could give each person a hug and say I’m blessed to have you in my life, even if I’ve never met them before. I knew before the accident that we had an amazing community of people who watched out for one another, now I have felt first hand that love and am so grateful.
With all that said, I have to be honest and say I wish I didn’t have to thank people for taking care of us because of this tragedy in our lives. I wish I was getting ready for a community pot luck at our house and the girls were cleaning out the best hiding spots for an upcoming game of hide and go seek. I wish I had my life back. I wish I could yell up the stairs and tell the girls to turn down their music and to get ready for company. I so badly wish they were still here.
After a long night of traveling and very limited sleep I think I will spend today catching up, unpacking and spending some much-needed time in my girls rooms.
So happy to be home.