I am back, in time and even a little early for
"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." -Albert Schweitzer
I was touched beyond measure when I finally returned home to my computer and Internet access, and saw the comments and emails from all of you, my dear Heart and Home friends. My heart is full, thanks to your considerate thoughts and gestures, and my home is brimming with beautiful flowers and thoughtful cards and notes.
Thank you for your uplifting words, your prayers, and your good wishes. I appreciate all of you so much! I am so thankful and grateful for your gracious and gentle spirits, which lifted me up when I was at my lowest, and helped "light the flame" within me as I struggled to maintain my composure during what have surely been the most profound and trying weeks of my life.
I knew it would be sad and painful to say goodbye to my father.
These past few weeks have gone by, the days ticking off slowly, with a million details to attend to.
And now, all of a sudden, it's been almost one month.
I had heard that a death of a loved one often brings out the worst in some people, and unfortunately, we've found that to be true. Our grief has been compounded by several individuals who have exposed their darkest sides to us during our saddest days.
We have been the targets of reprehensible, threatening, opportunistic and profane behaviour.
Startling and surprising, even shocking, but sadly not unexpected, their actions have made these weeks more heartbreaking.
If I had any enemies, I would not wish this on them. Yet, I know I will get through it, and I'm so grateful for the help of my husband and my daughters, whose unwavering strength and love are a constant in my life.
And, as always in any days filled with painful emotions, there are moments of grace that shine brightly in my memory.
I am very thankful for this Air Force Honor Guard, which presented our family the United States flag after performing a solemn ceremony honoring my dad's 30 years of service.
"Taps" was played slowly and reverently, each note from the trumpet carried up into the sky by brisk breezes on a cloudless, perfect Autumn day in October.
I am grateful for the respect they showed my dad, and and for their service to our country, and for their ability to present themselves at their absolute best, for a man and a family they didn't even know.
They are so young and yet so serious, honorable and dutiful.
"Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road." -John Henry Jowett
The day of my dad's memorial was filled with moments of love and kindness, and the support of friends who traveled many hours to be with us.
As Daddy's first-born daughter, I have years and years filled with wonderful memories. It will take my remaining lifetime to revisit them all.
I can not explain it very well.
But somehow, knowing you would be here when I returned, made this all a little easier for me. Thank you so much for your friendship and support, and for your empathy and patience as I ease my way slowly into a regular routine again.
"No love, no friendship, can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever."
- Francois Mocuriac
Until next time,
As always, link up if you have a gratitude post to share! Due to my slowed pace right now, and my state of mind (!) I will leave the link open for one week this time. Thanks for joining Wednesday Gratitude!