I have a pretty fabulous friend, Jessie, she would write a thank you note quicker than a chocoholic eating they're favorite peanut butter and chocolate ice cream on a hot summers day. Ooohh, how I envy her. Me on the other hand would almost rather eat a chocolate covered cockroach than sit down and write some well deserved thank yous.
This is my first attempt to somewhat begin to say the billion thank yous to the countless amount of family, friends, church family, school teachers, dance studios and complete strangers who have proven that as stated in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 Charity, a pure love, excels and exceeds almost all else, verse 13 And now abideth FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.
Love, the love of a ward family, so generously given of time, talent and money to provide countless and almost endless amounts of meals for my family. I finally had to graciously say no thank you, it would have kept on comin'! The love of home teachers, visiting teachers(who Hannah is convinced loves her and no one else), Bishop's(both wards), relief society presidencies, YW and YM leaders and my love, Primary. They have all wrapped their loving arms around each one of us during this hard trial.
Love, the love of friends, best friends, old friends, new friends, blog friends. I never have witnessed such selfless giving in my life. Staying up in the wee hours of the night to sit with Duane those last days, thank you Mary, Heidi, Vicki and Racquel, that meant the world to both of us. Jessie, I could never have made it through this ripping of my soul if it were not for my best friend, my goofball, who always makes me laugh. My children were safe, happy, and spoiled while in your care, I love you! My lunch bunch, Lisa, Lindsay, Jen, Sally, Joni, Kory, Nicole, dang, I know I'm missing someone! I love the therapy I always receive for FREE at McDonald's. My cheerleaders, sweet Heidi R. and Sally, wow ladies, what else can I say, thank you for all you put together. Thank you Elizabeth for being a set of ears and understanding all the crazy things I have said, and thank you for a renewal of friendship. I should just go down the ward list, seriously, my ward family just amazed me with the out pour of love.
Love, the love of teachers not just teaching ABC's but teaching the importance of safety and security. My children had absolutely no problems transitioning back into the routine of school after Duane's death. Let me first state that the schools my children attend are headed by wonderful Principal's, counselors, and staff, all of which have a firm foundation and love of God. Molly and Ben's principal even came to see them in the Nutcracker, that's how great and supportive they are. Mrs. Fell, not just Jack's teacher, but a great support for Grace, Katie, Molly and me! She is awesome, always an open door policy with her. What I need to thank the schools and teachers for is the incredible Christmas they gave the seven little monkeys! Just amazing, tearful, touching, how many adj. can I come up with. Every gift was adored and possibly even appreciated more than they would have in the past. I can't even begin to imagine how much work, money and effort went into our Christmas love. Words can never express the deep sincere thanks I feel towards Liberty and Centennial. Thank you!
Love, the pure love of dance, the teachers, students, parents and friends from the Dance Pointe. Our dance studio is much more than a place of instruction, it became a safe haven for Molly, a support for all the children, and a network of friends I hold dear to my heart. Pam, thank you for giving so graciously of your talent, your time, your studio. Duane was always truly happy backstage, a love he could never squelch. He sure the heck couldn't dance, but he loved being with his girls and helping to create an atmosphere where others could shine. If only everyone had a Miss Marry as Hannah puts it.
Love, the love of family near, far, immediate and distant.
Parents, both sets, who often put aside their own grief to console and care for me and the children. I want so much to be this independent woman, but, what if any other reason did our Father in Heaven bless us with parents for, this purpose, caring for and loving our children, grown and small.
Grandparents who sat at the funeral home all day long so Duane would not have a moment of being alone the day of the viewing, may seem silly to some, but a loving gesture to me.
Uncles who traveled so far, one that I have not seen for many years to comfort me in this time. Thank you Uncle Bob and Uncle Bill, I love you both so much. Uncle Bill thank you for the shoulder that I cried on. Uncle Bob, Lori, and Erin, how I wish we lived closer, I love you guys and was eternally grateful for the comfort and conversation we shared. And even though the rest of my Aunts and Uncles could not be here in body, they were here in spirit. I truly felt the love and concern of my Auntie Karen, once my auntie always my auntie. My Uncle John, Aunt Carolyn and Kim were so welcomed when they visited a few weeks after the funeral, it was a breath of fresh air to laugh with them.
Duane's side of the family, not just my in-law family, have embraced me with the love of blood relatives. That's what I love about his family, you didn't need to be of direct lineage to be loved and cared for. All of Duane's Uncles and his Aunt will always be MY Uncles and Aunts, thank you for the love. And Jerry and Patty, please lets have another summertime reunion again, I'll help!
When Darrell came down the few days before Duane died I will never forget the night spent in the hospital when we knew Duane was leaving us. It was tender, comforting, and needed. He was a supportive brother and uncle and I appreciated those moments.
Love, love given by complete strangers to a family they had never even met. I have been blown away by the generosity of my fellow okies, bloggers and those from around the country. Seriously, we've had contributions from California, Illinois, Georgia and many other places. I love Oklahoma! People here genuinely care, really they do. I was given the proceeds from auctions, yard sales, bracelet sales, and a perfect strangers giving gift certificates to grocery stores, upscale boutiques, etc.
This is just the tip of the ice burg! As Jodi, the sweet nurse from Duane's oncologist office put it, "When your cup runneth over, drink from the saucer". My cup has runneth over in more than one way. I am overwhelmed. Duane was my everything, no joking. But how kind of our Father in Heaven to send so many people to overflow my cup with kindness, love, and charity. All of you reading this, know that you are apart of my full and overflowing cup. I love you all dearly.