I have some of the best friends ever. How do you repay such wonderful friends? If I name them all personally, I am sure I will forget someone. You all know who you are. One good friend didn't know how to help, so during the viewing and after the funeral, she stayed close by just handing me new tissues and taking the old ones and she keep giving me water. That meant the world to me. Many of my high school buddies have contacted me and offered true sympathy and concern for our family and it has been amazing. Church friends from years past, youth that I have worked with and families from my old job have all showed amazing concern and support.
My friend of 46 years, flew up to be with me and was shocked at the amount of help I was receiving. I am thankful for a church that really looks after it's people. I had friends and family sit and go through stacks and stacks of papers. Mail that hadn't been opened since 1992! It took days. Mike kept everything. He had two rooms in the house taken up by office space that was packed with stacks of papers. It was a mess to go through. Many friends spent hours going through Mikes business files, taking down wall paper, painting, cleaning, weeding, sorting car equipment, going on dump runs, bringing food and driving loads of stuff to the new house. It is a 2 hour drive that includes a ferry, so it is a big deal.
There were the friends that put us up in their homes and fed us. It took 5 weeks to get everything out of the house and get it ready to put on the market and it was only Mike's stuff from two businesses that was in the house! I had already moved most of our personal stuff to the new house a year earlier.
I had to borrow money from family to pay for all the fixing we had to do to the house. It was absolutely crazy. But through it all I stayed sane because of the tons of support we were given. One family friend even paid for Jeffrey's car to be fixed and get new tires. I am almost speechless when I think of the hours of service and personal sacrifices that people gave for us.
The first two months after Mike's passing were tough financially. No death certificate, no funds. We finally got back to our new home and our church had stocked my cupboards with food. Families arranged to have us over for dinner so we would go out and socialize and not just crawl in a hole like I sometimes wanted to. People let me talk, cry and process.
Now we are doing fine financially and I have some time to think about what I want to do about future work. I still don't think everything has hit me. That will most likely happen this winter when family is all gone and it is just Rachel and I. But I think I will be alright. I have the best friends in the world. They care and I know it. They have helped me smile a lot more.