I’ve spent the past five days planning my husband’s funeral. Some will call it a celebration of life service and that’s OK. It won’t offend me. I’ll be calling it a funeral. I’ll spend the rest of my life celebrating Corey and keeping him alive in and through and for my children, but this next few days has an Earthly finality to it – and funeral seems more fitting for how my heart really feels.
These past few days have been unbelievable for so many reasons. Of course, it’s pretty hard to wrap my mind around what’s happening. Around the actual process of laying a loved one to rest. Friday felt like I’d begun my day with a visit to the eye doctor. I went through the whole day feeling like my eyes had been dilated; it was nearly impossible to physically make myself focus on anything. I didn’t drive, I didn’t write on the lists (oh, the lists!), I didn’t do much of anything for myself. I kind of wafted through the day, guided by those around me whose eyes weren’t dilated. I crashed early and hard and slept like a rock. I’m grateful for that. I woke up Saturday with normal eyes and a clearer head and the ability to physically make myself focus on the tasks ahead. I still didn’t write on the lists. Thankfully, I have lots of people around me who love lists.
I was standing in my kitchen Saturday morning drinking a cup of coffee and looking out my back window and said to my dad, “Did you mow my lawn?” He said no and came to look and agreed that it had definitely been freshly mowed. I looked out the front door and yep, the front lawn had been mowed too. And edged. Upon further inspection, the flower beds and had been weeded and the hedges trimmed too. I chucked and shook my head, knowing either Mark or Monte, just two of the amazing guys in our neighborhood who’ve done so much for us since Corey’s diagnosis, had been there. We had appointments and things we had to accomplish Saturday and when we got home the back gate was open. Sure enough, Mark was there, weeding and doing things. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “I had to do something.” Walking up to my front door I noticed my porch had been “done.” I typically love doing a spring porch, with lots of colorful flowers and plants and a new wreath for my door, etc. Of course I’d not had time to do anything so Chelsie and Shirleen, more of my awesome neighbors, came over and did my porch. They knew people would be dropping things by and that having a cute porch mattered to me, so they just did it. I’ve made a mental note not to ask, just to do from now on.
In the past five days I’ve had people drop by or I’ve come home to find all kinds of things on my porch. There have been flowers, gifts for the kids, meals and lunch items, chips, granola bars and fruit snacks, homemade slime for my kids from one of their friends who just had to do something. My sweet and practical friend Kelly dropped by Costco-sized packages of Kleenex and toilet paper. She said, “I know you’re getting ready to have an influx of people at your house and these are things people don’t often think of.” Then she asked what kind of dishwasher and laundry soap I like. Sunday morning my friend Katie texted me that she’d dropped off a few items for breakfast. I opened my door to a coffee carafe from Starbucks, coffee creamer, donuts, yogurt and granola, fresh fruit and all kind of other goodies. Not having to think for myself has been one of the greatest gifts of all these past few days. And that of course doesn’t take into account the fact that my parents, my sister, my brother and sister-in-law (all of whom love lists, by the way), my neighbors and coworkers and so many other people around me have handled paperwork, shuttled me to various appointments, watched my kids, have been there to talk when I wanted and have given me space when I needed it. The outpouring of love and support is unlike anything I’ve ever seen or witnessed. I am pretty sure God Himself is smiling at all the people around me and is beaming with pride that His kids are doing it right. And you are.
My kids I will never be the same because of this experience – for so many reasons. But this, this outpouring of generosity and kindness and practical goodness is how we will make this be OK to whatever extent it can be. This will allow Corey to live on in our hearts and minds and lives forever. Every single time we think of his leaving this earth and entering eternity, we will also think of the way God prompted His people to step up, and they did. St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and, whenever necessary, use words.” So many people around me have preached the Gospel (the “good news” of Christ’s redemption of mankind) to my kids and me in countless ways over the past week (well, really, the past 14 months since Corey’s initial diagnosis). It has impacted my life and the lives of my children and will forever change the focus and purpose of our family. So thank you for that. For making sure Corey will live on in all of us. I rather think he’d get a kick out of that.
12 thoughts on “(You’re) Doing it Right”
Mindy, such a wonderful note you and your family have Shared. You and your families strength is amazing and laydened with god’s love. You husband was a good man and by golly a very handsome man as well.
I hope you received the hymns of Alan Jackson, Tell your family and extended family we’d be glad to take them rafting this summer if you get the
Hankering. You and your family have a great spring and summer! JC
Thank you for sharing your journey. And for the reminder to just do things rather than ask. I am encouraged to hear how well you are being loved and supported. Sometimes I lose faith in people and hearing your journey helps me see there is still good in the world. I continue to hold you family in my prayers knowing God has amazing plans for each of you.
Thank you again for giving us a glimpse of a living Christian faith as you’re going thru such struggles and trials. We’re so happy that your friends and family are showing God’s love in such practical ways and reminds Dave & I to look for opportunities to do the same for people around us who are in need of some extra love & attention. We will continue to pray for you and the kids- again we loved Corey- our boys Jason & Jeremy considered the “Grant” boys as cousins. We will see you on Tuesday. Love- Dave & Linda Johnson
Thanks for the update. Hope you’ll do them once in a while. Will be praying. May God bless you and the kids with the sweetness of His presence.
What a blessing that so many are helping out so much. I can’t be there for you that way, but I’m here praying and I’ll always have your back. Will never stop praying for you!
No matter what lies ahead you can be at peace. All is in the Lord’s Hands!
Psalms 4:7-8 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
May the Lord wrap His loving arms around you and hold you tight! Know that I’m praying right now!
Psalms 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. (1 John 4:18a There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.)
Lifting up prayers right now! And sending a monster hug your way!
Psalms 34:6-7 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
There is One who hears our cries. Praying to Him right now!
Psalms 34:8, 15 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (15) The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
Always here praying and will always keep on praying!
Psalms 130:1-2 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
The Lord is always with you! He always hears! Praying
Psalms 34:17-19 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
No safer place to be than under the wings of the Almighty! Lifting up prayer to Him right now!
Psalms 36:7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
This is such an amazing and comforting promise! Still here praying hard!
Psalms 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.