Sunday, May 25, 2008

In Loving Memory...

The last two days have passed by feeling like an eternity. The love for my family has been SO evident, and I'm so appreciative for all of you who have called, commented, written, prayed, stopped by, posted about us...there are literally thousands praying for us and it is amazing! God is good!!

You may be asking how can I possibly say that after all that has happened. There is NO doubt that we are sad beyond belief. Our beloved brother and sister were taken from us unexpectedly and violently. There are a million "what if?" questions we could ask...and we've thought them and voiced a lot of them. There are no answers to them. God has a big plan, bigger than any of us can imagine, and we don't know what it is...but I KNOW that God loves me and that He loves Gary and Kim and all the rest of you, and there will be GOOD that comes out of all of this.

I can't get the song "When we all get to heaven" out of my head. It just keeps playing over and over in my mind. The chorus goes like this:

When we all get to heaven,
what a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
we'll sing and shout the victory!

Gary and Kim shouted in victory on Friday night. All of us are still crying because we miss them so much, but they are rejoicing...and someday I will rejoice with them. Until then, I will hang on to their memories, and I will be sad that they didn't get a chance to meet my son.

The last two days has seen my family receive umpteen visitors, all bearing sacks of groceries, paper goods, and food to last us for quite a while. They also came bearing hugs, shoulders to cry on, and stories about Gary and Kim. We've seen cousins and aunts and uncles that we haven't seen in almost a year -- Laura and her family came from Nebraska, others came from Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma -- all to show us that they care.

Through is all, we've remembered and shared why we love Gary and Kim so much. Gary and I were the same age...well, actually, he was born 3 months and 2 days before me, so he's OLDER. And that has been a fun joke between us ever since I became part of this family 8 years ago. I think he started it, by sending me a birthday card jabbing at me about my which I jabbed back that he's older than me. This went on for 8 years, and I didn't get out to buy his card this year. He would have turned 34 on June 1. One of the first things that went through my mind was that I will be older than Gary now.

Gary and The Colonel found a common interest a few years ago. It brought them closer, and it was so fun to watch. They both have a passion for firearms. They discussed different guns, gone shopping together, and taken their wives target shooting. The Colonel wasn't close to most of his siblings growing up, mostly due to the large age gap, but this was a wonderful way for Gary and The Colonel to bond. The Colonel will definitely miss those times with his little brother.

Gary LOVED his nieces and nephews. In fact, when Jayme's first daughter was old enough to talk, Gary spent hours teaching her to say, "Uncle Gary is my favorite Uncle." He bought them gifts and gave them lots of love and played with them. He also became Uncle Gary to Kim's 3 nieces immediately. In fact, it's been said that sometimes the girls would run to Gary before Kim...I'm sure that was a fight for G & K. =)

Kim also fiercely loved her nieces and nephews. In fact, after their wrecked car was found, a search was started for a baby because there were so many baby clothes strewn about. Well, those clothes were handmade by Kim for my little boy. It hurts my heart so much to know that a big reason they were making this trip was to meet and love on Lil Major. They loved him so much and they had never met him. I hurt for my son who will not feel the loving arms of his Auntie Kim and Uncle Gary around him. Kim's mom was able to recover some of the clothes from the scene, and I will treasure them always.

Kim became a sister before she actually married Gary. From the first time Gary brought her around, we took her under our wing to explain some things about our family. =) We bonded with her, and amazingly, blogging brought all of us even closer. We shared stories, photos, dreams and fears, and I will miss her posts. Her creative spirit was evident in her gifts to us, her auction items for our annual family reunion, and her newly started business. She was an inspiration to me, and I'm much more crafty now after knowing my sisters in law.

My FIL took me in his arms yesterday as we both cried, and he told me that one of the Three Musketeers was missing, and it didn't seem real. We missed our sisters' lunch yesterday, and we will have to wait "til we all meet in heaven" to have that lunch.

This post may be a bit rambling, but the bottom line is that I love and miss my sister and brother, but I know that they are in a better place, where they are together...and I WILL see them again someday.


MammaMia said...

Your "ramblings" are great! The pictures brought a smile! Hang in there!

Paulette said...

I just found out about this today and I am literally stunned. What a shock to your family. What a sadness for you all. Yet I feel that hope in your tone. The hope that only those with a sureness of salvation can convey. And I know that God is already working His good through this, somehow, in someway I surely don't understand. Your strength is incredible and you have honored them beautifully. We are praying for you.

Band of Brothers said...

thanks for the post, i'm sure it was not easy to write this. you gave such a brave,strong and beautiful tribute to these special people. the part about the baby clothes is so precious.

Rachel O said...

I've been praying for your family.

I still can't believe it.
I breaks my heart that M & W have to endure this. It breaks my heart that you all have to feel this loss. I am so sorry.

We will all continue to pray.

The Hooper Family said...

Your strength in being able to write this is amazing. You painted a picture of your brother and sister that is truly inspiring. I pray that your strength continues through this tragic time.

Amy said...

sally, a beautiful post to the love you all have for one another. my heart hearts for you and b, my prayers are with you!

Scott and Lorie said...

I'm crying all over again. Esp the part about the baby What an amazing gift to have those.

My heart is breaking for you guys. But you are right, you will all rejoice together one day.

hugs to you.

Sarah said...

Oh darlin'! I JUST found out! I am so, so sorry for your loss! heart is breaking for you and your family right now! As I read through your 'ramblings', I see the pain that you and Brian are going through right now but I also see the hope of that which is to come.
May God be with you and your family as you go through this most difficult time. May His unfailing love surround you. May you lean upon Him who can carry you through this.
I love you so much buddy!