So there is a lot to say and not so much after all.
First, let me apologize for my one and a half year absence. it's been a long time friends! I will attempt to be more attentive to you dear blog. I know I have been neglectful and will be more present and less absent.
Second, let me fill you in briefly in the last year's events as quickly and without too much pain (read: tears...)
Last February 17 (2010) Kevin and I came to a crossroads. We had grown apart and a series of events led us to a place where we either had to agree to work it through or cut our losses and move our separate ways. Fortunately, love won, we made a committment to work on it only this time together. We had a beautiful, glorious year together. We renewed our wedding vows on our 14th wedding anniversary, August 31, 2010, went on our first ever honeymoon. I got approved for disability, finally, in April after fighting for 10 years.
Kevin had back surgery in October and, for some reason, never seemed able to recover really. His back was better, but the pain persisted. Not quite where it had been but persisted none the less.
In December, we had a great holiday season. The boys, having moved out as a gift to us when we were gone on our honeymoon in Va. Beach, were each home. Taylor brought his sweetheart and Reaves had just begun dating a beautiful young lady.
We went to Great Wolf Lodge just after Christmas and shared a wonderful time - all 8 of us! January and February came and went and the stress of Kevin's job finally got the better of him. I knew his time there was limited... On March 3rd, we managed to get through the 14th anniversary of Momma's passing.
Kevin and I had spent a year now in bliss. Our relationship had never been stronger. We were completely totally head over heels in love and every day we managed to deepen our relationship. We were going to church and had been very blessed by their strength and prayer when Kevin was out with his back. I was so grateful for the love we had together. Perhaps we had grown into a place where we were taking our joy for granted but I don't think so. We spent time in prayer every single day, both silently and aloud, for our love, our God and our blessings.
On March 8th, Kevin had had enough at work. The stress was just too much and we had been trying to take it day by day. He called me that day and said, "Honey, just pray for me. I can't take this anymore."
He calmly walked into his boss's office and quietly said, "Mr. ----, I think you and I both have expectations of each other that are just never going to be met. I think it's best to leave. I think these belong to you." And he gently put his keys to the resort and the last 6+ years of his life on Mr. ---'s desk and walked away from his job.
He came home, we cried, we hugged, we spent time apart in silence. I prayed that this was the closing of the door that would open the window of opportunity that Kevin would find. I asked God to hold us, to hold Kevin, to guide us and to help us.
Kevin spent time in his "man cave" (aka the garage) and did the same I think. He came back in and said, "Honey, don't worry. I've got several ideas and I"ll have a job before the week end."
And he did...
Kevin, who had worked as a chef in a local restaurant, signed the papers for a new job on Sunday and started his new job on Monday. he was so happy and we knew this was the right place for him to be. He had gone back to his job as a chef and had promised the owner, a friend of ours, at least a year or more of his life as the new head chef. He was immediately being trained to take over the kitchen.
He worked Monday and Tuesday and was off on Wednesday. I had been on a diet since January, cutting out ALL carbs, which was working out well. I'd lost 28 pounds and was feeling pretty good! Kevin, was always so supportive, said to me every day, "Honey, I love you and I'm so proud of you. You're always beautiful to me but your smile is even more beautiful because you feel so much better about yourself. But i gotta tell ya, I'm Starving!!"
Kevin LOVED to eat. I don't know where it went. He could eat more than anyone I knew but never seemed to gain weight. The previous May, we had been told Kevin had high cholesterol (coming in at 246), and his blood pressure was on the verge of being too high (140+ / 90+ ). I tried to get him to cut out his high fat foods, but his red meat and his potatoes were too alluring. He didn't eat it as often as he used to, but he didn't go get his cholesterol checked again either. I told him that he needed to keep that appointment, but I can't make him go anymore than I can make the sun rise or set. Anyone who knew him, knew that Kevin was as stubborn as a mule and unless he wanted to do something, he just didn't...
I made healthy stuffed peppers that night. His day off and I was trying to impress my chef husband with healthy but awesome eats. He had been asking for them, so I was so happy to oblige! They were delicious!
I didn't get to eat with him. For some reason, a friend had stopped by that evening and had been here through dinner. Kevin had made plans to see an old friend that night and was due there about 7:30 so he went ahead and ate without me. He kissed me, kissed Dalton and he was out the door.
I remember Dalton coming into my room about 11. He was having a bad dream and wanted to sleep with me until Daddy got home. So, into my bed he climbed. I remember about 12:30 Kevin coming home. I heard him say, "Come on buddy, let's go to bed." Even in Dalton's sleepiness, he knew Daddy's back couldn't hold him anymore, he had grown up so much, so he reluctantly climbed out of our bed and Daddy tucked him in his own. I heard Kevin tucking him in and said, "G'night. I love you buddy."
I remember Kevin climbing into bed with me and snuggling up to me. I remember feeling like all was well now and sleep could come. And come it did.
I woke up at 6:40 and Kevin wasn't in bed. I figured that he had gotten up early since he was working that day so I went to the garage to find him. He wasn't there. I went into every room of the house looking for him. He wasn't anywhere. I went into the bedroom and sat down, picked up my cell phone from the charger hooked up to my vanity mirror, and texted him. "Hey! Where r u?" Just before I hit send, I quickly typed in, "I love you." Then sent my text on it's way. we had just gotten new cell phones and my darling "gadget guy" husband loved to play poker on his phone. I figured it might interrupt his game but the I love you, which was certainly genuine, would smooth any ruffled feathers.
His phone rang beside the bed, where it was still on the charger. That was red flag number one.
I again got up and went into the garage. I looked further in and noticed his chair was turned over. Red flag number two.
I noticed the dog was sitting very still. Head up. Normally, if it had been night and I went into the garage and daddy was sleeping, the dog growled. No growl, just a sweet shepard retriever mix sitting there looking at me ever so quietly as if to say, "Come in mom... somethings up." Red flag number three.
And in I went. And there I found my beloved. Curled up in a ball on the floor of the garage looking like I'd never seen anyone look in my life. I will not go into details. It's just too painful a memory. But my beloved was gone. I tried to find a pulse but he was already cold, already gone, already resting quietly with the Lord.
I panicked. I was incredulous. I was heartbroken. I was scared. I was lost.
I called my best friend who sent her husband over immediately. I called 911 and told them I needed someone right away that my husband.... and I said the words for the first time... was dead.
Oh God NO! No! No! NO!
But he was gone. The ambulance, paramedics, police, fire personnel, my darling friend and best friend's husband Paul and my neighbor and friend Alexis, were all huddled together on my porch when the paramedic confirmed my worst fear. My darling, my sweetheart, my mate, my true life best friend ever, my husband, the father of my youngest son, my love was gone. Taken his place in Heaven.
I called my older boys at their apartment. My neighbor came and got Dalton and had her stay there until everything had settled down and Kevin had been taken to the Medical Examiner's office in Richmond for a full autopsy since he passed away at home. When we brought him home to get an update on all the commotion, we were surrounded by loving friends who were there to support our family as we began to process this horrific news. Dalton took it as well as any 10 year old can take the news that his buddy, his daddy, his true hero was now an angel with God.
We will have to fast forward because I simply cannot go through the last two months here. It's painful and heart breaking and honestly too much to write right now. Perhaps one day I can write about our process. Perhaps one day I'll be able to put into words how I've been able to get to even this point in my life without completely losing my mind.
Suffice it to say, being strong for your little boy is my priority now. Being here and being alive for him is my number one priority. Being the best parent to the most amazing thing that ever happened to my sweetheart, Kevin, was now the most important thing I could do day after day. So that is what I do. I move through my days for him, for the memory of my wonderful husband. I move through it with the help of God and my faith knowing that He will guide me, comfort me, lift me up, carry me if I need it. I know that I am surrounded by this legacy of love Kevin left here with so many many people. I know that he would NOT want me to be here wasting a single minute of any day without doing something that would continue the love he left with us and the love I've always carried. I go through the motions sometimes and those are the times I know God has me on His "auto-pilot" and I'll get through to the next minute where I will stand up, shake it off and put on my best smile.
So here we are... May 26, 2011. Tonight Dalton will earn his Webelo badge. Last night Dalton broke 6 boards at Tae Kwon Do. Last night Dalton showed so much restraint, so much maturity, so much growth. Today is the day it all begins anew...
And so will tomorrow be a new day... just like each day is a new day... just like I have to start over every single day. But start over I will. I will do it for Dalton, for Reaves, for Taylor, for me, for my sister, my friends, my relatives, for Kevin's friends and relatives. I will do it because that is what God will want. I will do it because that is what I KNOW Kevin would want. I will do it because I kjnow that Kevin will be waiting for me, (a LONG time from now, when my time comes).
Until then, I love you my sweet man. With all my heart..........