Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dear Friend...

Dearest Friend,

Last night before I fell asleep I prayed.  I prayed for you, your precious babies, and your families.  I prayed that I would wake up this morning and the events of Friday night would indeed be nothing more than a nightmare.  I prayed that yesterday's early morning phone call from my mom never happened.  The phone call that sent me to my knees as the phone dropped and I cried out "no" again and again.  Yet, this morning my emotions remain raw.  Real.  There is a pit in my stomach and a lump in my throat.  My heart aches and I want nothing more than to wrap my arms around you and your babies.  As so many others are doing, I sit here trying to find the sense in a tragedy that is senseless.

There is an outcry of well meaning people encouraging me to remember our good times.  Our happy times.  Thankfully, those times were plentiful.  The pairing of the two of us as friends was perhaps odd.  You tend to be more reserved, quiet, and shy.  I, on the other hand, am loud, outgoing, and at times a little over the top.  Yet, our friendship was true.  Conversation between the two of us flowed and in many areas we could relate to each other.

For years, as we worked alongside each other we laughed.  We laughed hard.  Our friendship grew as we began spending time together outside of work.  Shopping.  Baking.  Dining out.  Dancing.  Smiling.  Laughing.  Laughing hard!  You were a bright spot in my life and I was in yours.

In the coming years, you stood beside me at the altar as I married my true love.  You looked simply beautiful that day.  Shortly thereafter, you shared in my joy when I learned I was pregnant.  Weeks later, you rubbed my back and hugged me as I lost Parker's twin.  Your friendship never waivered.  I remember the hours you sat at my bedside when I was admitted to the hospital while pregnant with Parker.  You said nothing.  You did not need to.  You were just there.  For that, I am thankful.  The day we had Parker Baptized...you as his Godmother...you held him like he was your own.  You loved children.  All children.  I remember thinking that day I could not wait for you to have children of your own.  You had "M" and loved her like your own.  She is beyond blessed to have had you in her life.  All of us that knew you are.

A few years later, you had a wedding of your own.  I was more than eager to throw your bridal shower.  You were special, you were loved, and I wanted to give back to the person whom had given me so much.  The day of your wedding you looked stunning.  Just stunning.  I wished the same joy for you that I had.  You deserved it.

There were tears of joy when you became pregnant with your first born.  A girl.  Dear Lord, I have never seen a more beautiful baby girl than the day "A" came into this world.  Her skin reminded me of a porcelain.  Her eyelashes were a mile long.  And curled.  From day one.  She had a gorgeous mess of dark hair atop  her head.  Eric commented she looked like a doll.  True, she did; however, she also reminded me so much of her mama.  Her beautiful mama.  Motherhood agreed with you.  I knew it would.  You loved your little girl.  As you headed back to work, I was honored that you trusted "A" into my care.  As you dropped her off in the morning, she just smiled as you said good bye.  I could not help but to laugh at the three (yes, three!) diaper bags you left each day.  You were prepared and made sure your daughter had all of her comforts of home.

Within months you became pregnant again.  I know you were nervous.  Two babies so close in age.  Yet, we celebrated your second pregnancy as well.  As quickly as you learned you were pregnant with baby #2, I learned we were expecting baby #3.  We were overjoyed at the thought of being pregnant together.  Ten days after we welcomed Ryder into the world, you gave birth to your first baby boy.  A handsome baby boy.  A baby boy that had the same eyelashes as his older sister.  "I" quickly became a Mama's boy.  He loved you so.  The feeling was mutual on your behalf.

We were fortunate to be pregnancy buddies again as you carried baby #3 and I baby #4.  You welcomed your second son into the world days before Christmas 2009.  Upon receiving the photo of sweet "B", I couldn't help but smile.  Again, beautiful eye lashes.  I saw glimpses of both "A" and "I" in him.  You cried as you had to leave behind at the hospital.  I understood your pain and cried as you did.  Thankfully, within days all of your babies were at home, with their mama, and where they belonged. 

In a short 7 years, we celebrated the birth of 7 babies between the two of us.  Seven beautiful and healthy babies.  Our hands became full.  Our hearts even fuller.  Our lives became intertwined with burp cloths, bottles, nighttime feedings, diapers, and stories of motherhood.  There were birthday parties and balloons.  First cake smashes galore.  We text ed each other back and forth videos and photos of our children.

Life had quickly became crazy chaos for each of us.  Thankfully, with the help of family we were able to share the occasional dinner and shopping trip out.  Just the two of us.  Our talks over dinner were often that of our children.  We discussed coupons, the need for a hair cut for each of us, our thoughts on the future, and recalled our days before children as well.  During our shopping trips I learned it is unacceptable to buy a shirt for one of the boys without purchasing a matching set of pants.  You were all about outfits and not pieces.  And good shoes.  They are a must!  Your kids and their needs came first.  Above your own.  Always.  Just three weeks ago, we sat down for what would be our final dinner out.  Chilis was our destination that night.  One of our favorites.  You happily treated me to dinner as I had just celebrated my birthday.  We frequented our favorite stores...Hobby Lobby, TJ Max, and Target.  We talked as we shopped.  We planned the upcoming birthdays of "A", Ryder, and "I". 

As I write this, "A's" 4th birthday present sits behind me....a bright pink bag that holds an outfit (not a piece of clothing) and a Barbie (her favorite).  I missed her birthday party last weekend as Garrett was sick.  If I could turn back time, I would rush over to her birthday party last weekend.  I would give you and your babies one last hug.  I text ed you on Friday to let you know I would be over the following day to drop off Ashley's present and some apple goodies for your kitchen.  Yesterday, should have been one of a special visit between the two of us.  Instead, I and so many others mourned the loss of you and your babies. 

Upon putting my own children to bed last night, I finally found it within me to watch the news story of Friday night.  Photos of not only you, but your children flashed on the screen.  The same photos you had asked me to capture in Fall 2010.  As the photos of your babies appeared before me, I clearly began to recall the day I captured your images.  It was hot.  So very hot.  The children have Rosy red cheeks in all of their pictures.  Your mom and you did your very best to wrangle the kids.  In the meantime, I ran after your spirited babies snapping photos along the way.  There were bribes of M&M's and juice boxes.  The final images I presented you with brought delight to your eyes.  It fills my heart with happiness to know I captured joy that day.

Sweet friend, thank your for your friendship.  I, along with others who knew you, would agree you were one in a million.  Kind.  Nurturing.  Beautiful on the inside and out.  Stubborn at times.  Loving.  Deserving.  I will miss our dinners out.  Our shopping trips.  Our texts back and forth.  It breaks my heart to think we will not watch our children grow up.  Together.  I can say with certainty I know you and your babies are in heaven.  Your arms are around them and together you are in a beautiful place.  I ask that you give them a kiss from me.  In this time of sorrow, I am reminded how precious life is.  Because of you I will hold my children a little tighter.  I, and all who had the honor of knowing you, are better people.  I love you and I miss you, dear friend. 

Love, Kelly


In the late hours of Friday, April 15th, 2011 my friend and her three young children were shot at the hands of her husband and their father.  Upon calling 911, he then killed himself.  I ask that you pray for their families and friends.  For our community.  The journey that is to come promises to be long, difficult, and full of sorrow.  It was terribly hard for me to write this entry.  At the same time, I needed to get my feelings out and in writing for my own personal grief.  Thank you...





 

16 comments:

The Mac's House said...

Oh Kelly, There are no words to comfort you right now. Know that I am praying for you, your children and the friends and family of your friend and her children. While they are in heaven being loved by our Lord and Savior may it bring peace to all of you.

:( Teri

shelly said...

Oh Kelly, how tragic. I wish that there was some way to reach through the computer and hug you right now. you all are in my prayers.

mustangkayla said...

I'm keeping you, your family as well as the other families in my prayers. Big *hugs*

The Stephens Family said...

What a beautiful tribute to your friend!

Sara said...

Beautiful, Kelly. I'm sure she is in Heaven with those beautiful babies. Please let me know if you need anything. *hugs* Many prayers for comfort & healing.

Tracy said...

My had flew to cover my mouth and tears to my eyes when I read what happened to your dear friend and her children and their father. I cannot imagine the shock and grief you are feeling right now. Keeping you and everyone's families in my prayers. God bless.

Natalie said...

I have no words. I am so sorry for your immense loss, what a tragedy. I feel numb, just imagining what you are going through. My prayers are with you and your family.

Stephanie said...

Oh Kelly, the tears are flowing as you've given such a wonderful picture of your beautiful friend and the times you shared. I pray you will find a small bit of comfort in each day that greets you.
Love you lots!

Sarah said...

I have tears in my eyes as I read this Kelly. Wow...powerful and beautiful and sad all at once. My thoughts and prayers are with the families, you and our community as we try to come to terms with such a terrible tragedy. Thank you for this open letter.

Kym Klass said...

Kelly, your writing here is so touching, and so beautiful. I am so sorry. ~ Kym

Melonie said...

Oh my goodness Kelly I do not even have words for you right now...I cannot type through my tears so I cannot even begin to imagine what you are feeling. I am SO very sorry. Sending you (((HUGS))) and strength and praying for all of you.

~jan said...

What a beautiful tribute to your friend, Kelly. When I saw this in the news and knew it had taken place close to you I was hoping against hope it wasnt someone you knew. It sounds like you were both better people for knowing one another. Hugs and prayers for you, my friend.

jenney said...

Kelly, this is such a wonderful tribute to such a wonderful friend and woman. My thoughts and prayers have been with you the past few days and will continue to be with you. Hugs!

Cheryl said...

Wow...beautifully written. My heart goes out to you and the families involved. Prayers and lots of hugs your way...Love ya

Anneke Kurt said...

Kelly, what a beautiful tribute to Dawn. She was exactly how you described - a wonderful and stoic woman and mother. I am so sorry. I know that in our thoughts of her, we will all take a lesson on how to be caring and kind to all children. You, your family, and Dawn's family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Anneke Kurt

Virginia said...

I don't know you, but my friend Lelia just posted your mother's day post on facebook and tagged me in it. I started reading through your blog and came upon this. I'm so sorry. I cannot imagine losing my best friend. My prayers are with you. This hurts my heart to read and tears are streaming down my face. I'm so sorry.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails