My Girl

My Girl

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Support Circles

4. SUPPORT CIRCLES | Have you felt supported in this journey of grief and healing? Maybe it is a friend, family member or organization that has been there for you. Share how they have helped you and let them know how grateful you are. Please feel welcome to post links if you would like to share about a charity or support group.

Our first family photo without our Princess

How do I write about the support that came to us?  When Faithie first passed away we had so much support coming out of our ears.

Our amazing neighbor put together a "GoFundMe" account and meal sign ups for us.  It was beautiful.  Sarah has a special place in my heart forever by the way she allowed God to use her.  When the news media wanted to put their noses into things she spoke for us telling the area we forgave Matthew, "The Kid"  

Over the last 2 years she beautifully showed me she remembered Faithie.  The first was a purple leather bracelet with Faith's name and birthday and heaven date engraved on it.  I love it.  The second time was on Faith's birthday this year.  She had picked some beautiful flowers out of her garden and brought them to me.  She said she remembered Faithie every time she saw the purple flowers bloom.  I know we are not everyday friends but I will always have a place in my heart.  

Our church supported us, or more like our pastor.  He was there every step.  He was there with his wife that night at the hospital.  Adam was there at the funeral home to help us prepare for the worst part.  He encouraged me to go see Faithie at the visitation.  He put together a band and had them play Faith's favorite song "God's Not Dead."  He let us come in at random times just to talk.  I've appreciated his support in the beginning.

My amazing Gardner cousins all showed up for us. Sandee even came with her girlfriend, Amy, from Iowa!  That meant so much to me and Jamie that they came from so far away.  I am not blood related to the Gardners but they have always accepted me as their own.  I've never been the ugly headed step cousins, step niece or step granddaughter.  This family has always been there for each other.  I love every single member of my Gardner family.  We still talk every day on FaceBook.  My aunts check on me lots and I know they will never forget Faithie.
My parents were not really there for me.  I won't go into details but it hurt and still hurts.  

My favorite in laws were there.  They never left our sides.  Jim is the father I never had and Melanie is my 2nd mom.  They were with us for the funeral arrangements.  They stayed with us for that first Christmas.  They even visit us more than before.  In fact we've asked them many times to come live with us part time and Josh and Brooke part time.  That is how awesome of a support they've been.  They don't treat me as just a daughter in law but as a daughter.  Jim and Elijah have really helped heal each other through creating different weapons.  They soak up their grandkids with an amazing love that I wish my parents had with them.  I'm so thankful for their support and how they continue to do so.
Elijah hates kissing and here he is oblivious to his Papa and Mema
My other support that has stuck through thick and thin so far are my 3 girls.  We call ourselves the Fab 4 because well we're just that awesome.  Tish, Jerri, and Cheri took over the role my parents should have been doing.  They protected me from things, helped clean my house, helped clean my preteen's bedroom.  Sorry girls for that.  I cannot imagine how yuck that was.  

The girls stayed with me for 4 days and Jerri even longer.  We messaged each other everyday after we all went our separate ways. There was almost a fight but we worked it out and I would not trade these girls for anyone.  I love them so much and they stayed my friends after some just left.

My brother and Sister in law has been in our system too.  They were able to leave Alaska and come be with us for a month.  Whenever we are together we have a good time.  We also are supporting each other as they lost their son, Gideon, at 12 weeks gestation last October.  Brooke and I are able to be open and honest with our gritty emotions.  I'm thankful for them.  I just wish they lived closer.

So this was and still is my support system.  I have had to learn to let go of some people who were there in the beginning but became "Too Busy" with their lives to stick around. It hurts like as much as my parents not really being there did.  BUT if I keep lamenting on those failed support systems I'll miss the beautiful ones I have right now.  And those are keepers!!

I've also developed a new friendship with Carrie from church.  That has taken me years to do that.  We are now both supports to each other as she has suffered from a miscarriage.  We do lunch once or twice monthly and enjoy each other's company.  I'm thankful God brought someone in my life to replace the ones who walked out.  I need to get a picture of her and me....

Oh and if you're wondering why no Day 1 or Day 3, I couldn't do them.  They were too hard and this project isn't meant to be stressful or hard. So a heads up I might not do every day.

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