Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Relay for Life

Well we made it through the Relay for Life The Schriver gals (the girls and I) ended up raising 561.00 thank you all who contributed it was such an honor to give back to an organization that helped us and you see is making a difference. The event itself was harder emotionally then I would have imagined at one point my youngest came to me and said "I saw daddy's luminary I got a picture" and it said In the MEMORY of Gary Schriver. I know it has been 10 months but it still seems so unreal that there is an In the memory of in front of his name. Some days it seems like the last ten months has been a horrible dream and when I wake up "fat daddy" (the girls told him at the end they wanted fat daddy back ie healthy) will be there bringing me pop tarts in bed with naughty things written on them in food coloring. They did a silent lap in remembrance of the ones who lost their battle last night that about killed me, I think I am still just not thinking too much about it so I can manage daily life but during that few minute wow that was hard. I think the girls and I both are still at the lets not think about it so we can breathe stage and not at the remembering stage yet. There was some very special quiet times had especially the girls with Gary's grandparents. It is neat that they can share their hurt with them. Overall it was a good experience lots of super nice folks and fun costumes and activities. I highly recommend this fun time for a very worthy cause. Below are a few pics from our time.. Thank you again for walking with us..

to cassie's defense the flash on the camera was SUPER bright :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

This past week we celebrated the first birthday of Gary's in heaven. It was a bittersweet day. We went to my church and on the back porch of the church we had a balloon release in Gary's honor. All the family and even a close friend was their. It was nice to do SOMETHING in honor of the day that changed all our lives the day Gary came into this world. I wont lie some tears were shed but I think more than anything else there was healing. After the balloon release we went to the cemetery and visited Gary's grave and then the girls and I ate dinner with Gary's parents. I am glad to say we only have a few more "FIRSTS" to get through. Not that it will all magically get better after we go through the firsts but the firsts have been so very difficult.Below are a few pictures of the day.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Girls and I are teaming up with Gary's Dad and Brothers to participate in the Realy for Life. Would you consider helping team Live Long and Prosper Gary's fleet

Sunday, April 1, 2012

TheAuthor and the Finisher of or faith

Today is Palm Sunday and in Church today they mentioned when Jesus Hung on the cross and he uttered the words "It is finished" and at that moment the curtain in the temple that seperated the people from Gods prescence was torn. I always LOVED this part just because of the curtain thing, the prescence of the Lord was now able to be experienced by everyone, thanks to Jesus being the ultimate sin sacrifice. But today the phrase "it is finished" made me think of the evening I held Garys hand and told him goodbye for now. The Bible says that God is the author and the FINISHER of our faith. So He created this amazing blank book and named it Gary and the pages were empty and limitless but no matter how long or short the book turned out to be the finale chapter was all ready written and that is eternity with God (to those who believe). I obviously wasnt there when Gary's book was began but I spent 20 years of my life helping to fill in the pages some amazingly happy times, a whole lot of stressful and everything in between times. The pages of his book were influenced by his parents, his brothers all his friends work, but his book was also influenced by living through 911 and watching friends suffer and die and a whirlwind of things that he had no part in but they still influenced his book. In 1995 our books began to share pages we lived life like a braided rope intertwined inametly in eachothers life. The times we stayed up till 4 am debating biblical truths and sharing our thoughts about God and family and life all those effected his book. When he got the call at work that he had cancer all the sudden the 5 of us were on a journey that would bring more pain and anguish in our lives then we could have even fathomed at that moment. When he got the diangosis of terminal he could have sat down and let it happen and the end of his book would have probably come a year or more earlier than it did. Those two years that he batteled cancer all of our books were being written in with such intensity we were all experiencing the anguish of cancer together.Those chapters will effect us till the day our books our finished. Nurses tried to warn me about death it isnt pretty they said people do gross things when they die but I knew no matter I had to have him home. Thankfully they were wrong. The way he died was diametrically opposed to the suffering and pain he went through daily for two long years. He was finally at peace he died quietly and gently and you could tell there was no more pain no more suffering and the tangible cloud of suffering and death that hung over our home and effected us all was in an instant over and we were all at peace. Soon there was a new sadness that of loose that would set in but God for a glorious moment allowed us to take part in his peace the way we took part in his suffering. My book and my girls books continue to be written the pages that follow will undoubtedly be influenced by the man we shared our everything with but it is up to us to fill the pages with things that count. I am so glad that I can skip to the end and think no matter happy, sad or in between I know how my book ends because Jesus put "the end" on it 2000 years ago.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Odd Disney Rambeling

We are just about to finish out another Disney trip. For some reason this trip has had some really hard moments. The first thing time that the girls had ever gone to Disney was in 2010 on a Memories of love trip. Merry busted out in tears one evening on the monorail I asked her what was the matter and she told me she couldn't help think about the first time she road the monorail and she was afraid and Daddy was there to cuddle her and tell her it was going to be okay. Then at the castle show today they sang about happily ever after and happy endings and the girls looked at me and said it is ashamed all we are going to get is happily never after because we haven't got daddy with us any more. It is so hard to know what to say to the girls in moments like this all I can do is hug them and let them know I love them. It is hard because a lot of the time I fell the same way. I see the princesses talking about their prince charming and my prince is now dancing in heaven :( I remember when he would reset the computer for me or kill a bug I would tell him I can't imagine life without you and he would tell me I hope you never have to find out.Now I am having to find out and I am not liking it so much, I was lucky enough to find a Prince Charming am I foolish to think that I will ever fin another one. What is normal going to look like in the end. I had an amazing time with the girls and I love making memories with them that do not include sickness or disease or sadness. Merry asked me this trip when are the good memories going to out weigh the bad ones. I told her soon I pray.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Fatherless Home

I have been thinking allot today about what effect not having a Daddy in their teenage years will have on my girls. I know as a mom I lost my partner where I lacked in parenting he made up for, we were kinda like the tag team wrestlers of parents. Now I am doing it all alone and not always as well as I hoped. I hear all the time that kids without a Dad in the picture are more likely to join a gang or commit suicide. I pray that the decade plus they DID have a Daddy will help ease them through but I worry so much about them. Today in the car my girls asked me do I want to still approve all their dates or do I trust them. At first I thought they were giving me a hard time because they always knew Daddy expected to meet a guy and approve him before they dated, but they were honestly asking. I told them that totally I expect the same thing that Daddy expected that a boy will come to me and ask permission of me. That is just one example of about a million different situations that they learned from the day they were born Daddy was going to handle and now :(. I am acutely aware that our entire life is going to forever change but I think daily we run into scenarios that they question what is it going to be now?? From the day they were born Daddy dreamed about crying his eyes out as he walked them down the isle and that became a treasured mental picture for the girls. I can remember being at my moms house when the girls were around 9-12 and they tried on my wedding veil. When they came out for Daddy's approval he would stand up with a tear in his eye and lift the veil and kiss them and pertended to give them to an awaiting groom. Now they aren't sure how that picture is going to look when it really happens. I think after 5 months we are all so grateful for the time that we had with that wonderful man and would never change a moment (okay maybe the moment cancer went from a word to a death sentence). We are now to the point of grieving the moments we will never have. Daddy teaching them to drive, putting the fear of God into any of their dates, sitting across the table from the young man that wants to be their groom and making sure that young man loves them like Christ loved the church, crying his eyes out trying to keep it together as he walked them down an isle to give them away, that daddy daughter dance. How are all those moments going to look like?? I heard the analogy that loosing someone is like when someone has something amputated they do heal but they are never the same. Clearly we will NEVER be the same and it is scary all for of us had this mental picture of how life's events will unfold now we have no idea. I do know that I have the next 9 years of 3 girls going into different stages of teenageness and they will be doing it without a Dad. I ask that you remember my girls and that when they need it God will provide a godly man to be that influence on them that they need so much. Gary before he died would spend a lot of time interceding for the godly men that will need to step up for the girls and for the man that would one day serve as their step dad (ask me and I will tell you what special quality he asked God to give him for me) , I told him he better be praying allot about the godly men in their life because there is no other man in this world that would equal to him and after the best I could never settle for less. I miss him so much I miss the love and encouragement from him. I miss when the girls saw me crying over something and called me a baby he would chime in and say don't make fun that is my favorite part of mommy her tender heart. Gary I love and adore you thank you for leaving us with 2 decades of amazing wonderful memories and thank you for all the seeds that you put into the girls and I. Now I have a new mental picture of meeting Gary as I come one day (a long time from now) into heaven and hearing him say I am so proud of you sweetheart and come let me introduce you to Jesus ..

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I spent the morning cleaning out (I am not done yet) a desk drawer that has been the "catch all" for our family since way before we were a family. The drawer of this desk is where Gary hid my engagment ring until that awesome day he preposed. This ugly little desk was in Gary's room at home, in his first bachelor pad that quickly turned into our first apartment and followed us as we went to bigger apartments annually as we added more kids almost annually and has set in the bedroom we shared in our first house for the past 11 years.Gary wanted to trash the desk a long time ago and get a new nicer looking desk so I dont feel to bad about kicking it to the curb but it holds a ton of memories for me. In church you hear the phrase of you wanna know where a persons priorities are look in their checkbook well I say look into a persons 20 year old junk drawer and you will get a good idea. The above picture is of the contents of the drawer in the picture you will notice a lot of family pictures family has always been so important to the both of us. Gary would always say we HAVE to make sure family stays together we cant get through this life alone. That was when he was healthy, family became WAY more important after he got sick. You will also see a gift from his work, wow I could have never imagined the wonderful role his work played during Gary's illness. I cant say enough about how they rallied behind him and this family. Gary spent so much of his life worried that one mess up and he would be fired when all along his work was behind him a 110% when he finally realized that he was just overwhelmed with grattitiude that God had made a way for him to come back to that company after leaving for a time. Also in the picture is a cassette tape (yes cassette) from the March for Jesus. Gary was VERY involved with this he loved being apart of something that brought praise into the streets of Jacksonville. At the bottom of the picture you will find a bag of rocks that we mined at our honeymoon these unrefined rocks hold small saphires and some other stones I dont remember, this bag reminds me not only the sometimes wonderful but mostly comical time we had on our honymoon. It is a good symbolism for the both of us we never saw ourselves as anything but an ugly gnarly rock and through lifes painful refining process we both began to see a glimmer of something special under the surface. Gary has gotten to shed that outter layer of mess and come into the fullness of all that God made him to be. God is still working on me.. On top of the pile you will find a cross necklace, we tried for the 16 years and three months that we were husband and wife to always put Christ at the top of everything that we did pleasing God and serving Him ..I hope the next 16 years finds our junk drawer looking similar. The girls and I are still trying to figure out how this life will work without Daddy but I know it will have a ton of family and friends and Jesus will remain at the center other than that who knows I know I have a God and Gary cheering us on..

Friday, December 30, 2011

2 Cor. 12:10 (MSG) - Satan's angel did his best to get me down. What he in fact did was push me to my knees. At first, I did not think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Then He told me, "My grace is enough. It's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

2011 has been the year that brought us to our knees. As this year comes to a close I think back at all the miracles and blessings of the past year and I also think of the almost unbearable heartbreak, and I thank God for walking with us through it all. I am not sure what 2012 will hold for us I pray that the good will out number the bad but I know that God will walk with us through it all. New year is a chance for everyone to start a fresh for us it is a fresh start on our whole life. Please continue to pray for this little family as we embark on this journey we Cherish your prayers and your love and with our amazing family and friends I can stand at the eve of 2012 looking forward to what is ahead. Gary walks with us and is still an almost tangible part of our daily life and with his love ungergerding us we will make it :) may this new year be the happiest most prosperous new year for us all. All our Love from the Schriver Girls

Monday, December 26, 2011


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Wow we have almost done it!! We have almost survived 2011. This was a definite life changing year for us. This year all of our hearts have been shattered. Not just the girls and I but all of Gary's familyand friends we have all been left with a huge Gary shaped void in our lives. We have adopted the idea of "if it gets hard leave town" :) and that has really helped. I know Gary is walking right beside us and is cheering us on. We are all looking forward to 2012 only because this year was so difficult and so miserable. My youngest prayed the other night Lord help this new year to be spectacular or at least not depressing like this year. We are living for Gary this year he wanted to travel and see me finish my AA and so this new year we are gonna live it to the max. The above slide show is a glimpse of how we have been doing since saying goodbye to daddy. We have had a LOT of tears but some fun too. We miss our Daddy more than I could ever put into words and I know finishing up all the firsts are going to be tough, but with a good God and good friends we will do it. One thing know for sure, I am going to have to get a job to support my traveling when sad habit :) lol. Happy New year to everyone and may it be filled with Gods peace and health and great prosperity.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Figuring out the HOWS of this new life

It has been nearly three and a half months since Gary passed away from us. Sometimes it seems like it was a million years ago and sometimes it seems like the hurt is fresher today than it was on Aug 2nd when he died. The day by day of life is no problem Gary left us able to not worry for a bit about finances that is a unique feeling not to have to fret and worry over every cent. I think of it as his last great gift to us. It is the daily functioning with the kids that can be so much more than I can bear. I think that the kids are adjusting well then I hear one of them say "you know it would be better to DIE and be with Daddy". They worry me so much they tell me they don't need therapy but after Christmas they are going whether they want to or not. I constantly worry about being enough for them, are they happy? Do they wish I had died and Gary would have lived? I will be honest he would have been a more organized parent than me. This is the most formative time in their life will not having a daddy affect them horribly or will it make them stronger? I hate not having a partner in parenting we were a perfect pair when one was in a bad mood the other wasn't and when one was too strict or too lenient the other would help balance them out. Now it is just ME and not ME at my best it is the me that breaks down into sobs at a moments notice it is the me who would rather some days stay in her bed then face another day wihtout the man I love. How is that person going to help three teenage girls navigate their crazy teen years?? I now have to be mom AND dad and I am going to start back to school next year because eventually I have to get a career so that I can make sure the girls have all that they need and one day support myself. On top of that Thanksgiving and Christmas is coming up how do I mourn not having Gary with me and make the holidays a special but different time for the girls. Gary was such an amazing Dad he was a part of everything from Thanksgiving to reading the Christmas story at Christmas. Oh and new years :( for the first time in two decades I wont get a kiss on new years the girls might kiss me but you know what kind of kiss I mean. Every year we kissed and then prayed in the new year now I am not sure what to do. I don't mean to ramble on and on but that is just a taste of the swirl of emotions that are gong through my head. The girls and I are also getting ready to head away for Thanksgiving I am left to pack and drive six hours and navigate three hotels with three girls and I am so nervous. How in blue blazes am I ever going to do this?? At least maybe it will keep my mind off of not having Gary there. SIGH please continue to pray for us as we continue to work on forming this new reality not going so well right now but I know that God is able and were we are weak HE is strong so now this is a great big area for God to show himself great big.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

This week we took another step in the healing process. I think the numbness of the initial loss is starting to ware off.I think for the first 8 weeks since Gary died we were all just in a haze. This didn't really just happen right? Daddy is still sleeping in his room and will yell for an apple juice soon right? Last week we got all of Gary's stuff out of Annie's room and with the help of our Uncles and Grandpa we got Annie's new bed and dresser in the room and it now looks completely different. Other than a few spots of Spackle filling the holes from the zillion cards on his wall you cant tell that Daddy was ever in that room. That is huge it helps a lot not to see his stuff everywhere. Our kitty still goes into the room and sleeps on the same spot that he did when Gary was there.
Another step on the healing process we took all the cards from Gary's wall and put it into a special bowl so we can look at them anytime and see how much people loved Daddy. We also got a zebra print box (zebra print was his cancer ribbon) and put a lot of the little nick knack things that remind us of Gary, like his cell phone the contents of the backpack he always carried and his glasses and some other things that are all Daddy. I had to create my own not joint checking acct and get my own credit card. Everything like our marriage was joint and I guess like our marriage they all had to come to an end. Possibly the biggest leap into healing was done by my 11 year old. She had HUGE issues with her birthday being without Daddy but then decided that she wanted to go to the Father daughter dance at our church and asked he Grandfather to be her stand in Daddy, and he agreed. I was so worried about her the other two were like no way we are so not ready to be in a room with a bunch of Daddy's loving their daughters when our daddy isn't their. Merry came to the conclusion that Daddy was watching out after her from heaven and he would want her to live and go have fun. They went and had the time of their life. Merry came back on cloud 9 so happy to have spent that quality time with her Granddaddy and I was on cloud 9 seeing how happy she was. I was also very proud of her it is easy to sit and wallow in a grief hole, it is so much more difficult to acknowledge loss but also acknowledge that life does indeed go on and the last thing in the world that the person that was lost would have wanted would be for us to sit in that grief hole. I know that Christmas and Thanksgiving is coming and all the steps forward we take are likely to be steps backward into grief then but for right now we are coming to grips with being a family of four and I am slowly getting used to calling myself a widow and single mom and its ok. Its ok because of the man I lost he spent 16 years preparing me to be strong enough to live this new life out. I can also see in retrospect that Gary was preparing me to be independant of him for the last year. I was so amazingly blessed to have him in my life he was so selfless knowing that he was dying his only thought was making sure that we were ready to face life without him. I stand today with no debts except my house and able to concentrate on nothing but my girls and my healing and that is because Gary was the kind of man that he was. I know we still have a LONG road ahead of us and we will never be the same but for the first time in 3 months not being the same is ok. Gary didn't spend the last year of his life preparing me to sit in my room and cry, he prepared me to LIVE and I know he is in heaven and is our biggest cheerleader even from heaven. He is saying lets go God has plans for you all don't miss them. I will miss that sweet man every day of the rest of my life and I will be eternally grateful for his influence. The girls and I we are so much better because of him .

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What a special week :}

It is funny how events can be both joyous and sad all at the same time. This week was one of those moments when my middle daughter turned 13 and became an official teenager (prayers accepted) :). I always wondered if she would survive her childhood she was always such a live wire,always climbing some wall or dresser.She always kept us hopping, she is the only kid that I had to actually LOCK her in her room at night for her own safety when she was as young as 11 months. She was our child that drove us to our knees the most but I am so proud of the young lady she has become. She has had to grow up so much with Daddy going through so much and now him not being here, they all have. She has declined a birthday party this year because of not having daddy here to celebrate but we tried to make it special and I think the most special was opening the first birthday card that daddy left for her. I wrote out the cards as Gary dictated them but I forgot how amazing and thought out these cards were. He really thought what would he tell them if he was here with them and what did they need to know from their dad at each age. Cassie and I were both in tears as she read the card and now it is proudly pinned on her wall for safe keeping. Merry whose birthday is Monday got to open hers too and it was so appropriate to her right now, he told her that he wishes so much that he could be here to celebrate with her but not to be sad he is looking down on her from heaven and will always be in her heart. ( break for tears). How hard this must have that been for him knowing that he wasn't going to be there to watch the three girls that he invested so much love and energy into grow into womanhood and he knew that these teenage years and young adult years they NEED their dad so much and how could he make sure they heard his heart every year. He succeeded in such amazing ways those cards are now our most prized possessions.
We also went to the movies this week and saw Courageous. I was warned that this was an incredibly sad movie on its own not to mention the fact that it was all about Dads and now my girls don't have one (well on earth) but I had promised my middle one so I had to keep my promise. I will admit to you that the Daddy thing made me cry like a baby I wished Gary would have been there knowing that he would be rallying the men at our church and he would have loved the promise that they made in the movie. There was one scene in particular that I went from sobbing to just about fall on the floor crying. The main characters were in the little girls bedroom (I wont tell you why cause if you don't know why they were there GO SEE THE MOVIE it is worth the time) and on the wall was a plaque it said something like I know I am a princess because my prince charming has all ready come and his name is daddy. That probably isn't the exact wording but it was hard to really focus through the gallon per second tear flow. Other than that scene the movie actually was an encouragement to me. The main family had to deal with a tragic loss and they followed them through the same process that I am going through the initial shock and then the just wanting to curl up and cry all the time to the amazement that a day can actually be good again to the beginning of counseling. When the main character went for counseling with his pastor the pastor said something that was like an YES moment for me. He said that he has heard people talk about grief as like someone who looses an arm or a leg they DO get better but they are NEVER the same. That really struck me we will never be the same after the last two years and there is a new normal that we are still trying to figure out but we will get better, we will survive and we will have a time where there are more good days than bad and there will be a time when the thought of Christmas without him wont make me want to die myself. That so encouraged me we will get better. They showed them in the movie getting better but still totally better too quick. The coolest part of the movie was actually the end credits when the lights in the Theatre came up an the girls looked at me and said it was OK that daddy wasn't here to watch this movie because he didn't need this movie he was this movie. There came the tears again what an amazing testimony of an amazing man he was courageous in fatherhood in his role as a husband and his battle to stay on earth with us. He will always be my love and my hero for how hard he fought.
Monday we celebrate my youngest birthday and then before we know it we will be smack into Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am not sure how we are going to handle those holidays without Gary I sorta wish I could go to sleep and wake up in January but I know that I cant I just pray that God will help us get through and help us to create new traditions one that we do as a family of 4 not 5 we need to make some memories that will be good not sad we have had too many sad. I welcome your ideas.:) So I guess the theme of the week is life goes on and it will never be the same but neither will we be the same. Stay tuned to see how it all turns out it should be interesting :) I cant wait to find out myself. Thank you for your continued prayer and support I have said it before and I will say it again we could not do it with out each one of you. I think I am just know truly realizing the magnitude of what we have all been through and we have come though with at least some of our sanity because of your love and support and your prayers so please keep them coming.

Oh and if you havent see COrgous yet GO SEE IT seriously it is a super good movie you will love it. :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I celebrated my first birthday in 20 years without my sweet man this last week. I shed a lot of tears but thanks to some really good friends this birthday turned out really well. A lot of laughter and some really good cheese cake and awesome friends made the day so special. We all have still been struggling with sinus infections. I am surprised that my middle one has been the one that has struggled with this bug the most and that is so not like her the last time a bug got her down was when she was three and she had Salmonella. Some one told us this week that the fact that we are coming from such a stressful year and are going through such grief that that had a part to play with us not being able to shake this cold and I think there might be something to that. I keep thinking this grief thing is going to get better and it seems just the opposite. There are times when I sit and think and these scenes flash in my head of the past struggles and I think I have relived the moment when the nurse said that he only had a few minutes to live in my head about a million times. How I had to call the girls into the room and tell them that the time for Daddy to go to heaven is now. I can hear my middle one tell her Daddy I hope you have fun in heaven and have fun walking the streets of Gold and the tears that the nurse shed when he heard that. The kids are going through the same thing.
I am beginning to have a real understanding of post traumatic stress syndrome. You always see those tv shows were the man comes back from war and when some one drops a pot on the ground the guy crumbles into a ball reliving images from battle. I use to think that was a bunch of hooey but now the smallest thing can trigger this flood of memories and I find myself in tears again.
A friend of mine started a new set of rules for herself as she becomes and empty nester and I think I am going to do the same for me. The first life rule I am going to make for me is BE PATIENT with myself grief takes time and I HAVE to give myself that time to heal right. Two girls birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner and they are going to be hard and I am going to be patient with myself and my girls and if you see me not feel free to punch me in the arm :)
My youngest is doing something really cool for her birthday this year. She wasn't going to have one at all but she found a party at Build a Bear that was a St Judes party and as a part of party planning you raise funds to send to St Judes children's cancer hospital so she decided to do this party in honor of Daddy. Cancer research can only be a good thing.
If you would like to contribute to Merry's Birthday tribute follow the link

Patients is the new word for myself take life slow and ease into the new normal of life without our sweetman. The girls and my life has been completely destroyed and we are now having to rebuild the foundation for the rest of our life and we want to take the time to make this foundation stronger than before!! I am determined to make our life a tribute to what Gary sewed into us.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thinking a bunch ...

I just got back from my first vacation as a family of four not five. I have three teens so they pretty much took off and did their own things but that left me with a lot of time to sit and think about the last two years. From that initial hit with a sledge hammer of a diagnosis, no one can even fathom the stunned hurt that comes with hearing you or your loved one has cancer unless they have had the misfortune to hear it themselves. From the seemingly endless doctors appointments and biopsies and the night before your first chemotherapy. That was awful I remember holding Gary in tears he was so afraid of what that chemo would do to him and then after the chemo started the hair loss he thought he would be okay with the hair loss but he wasn't he sat in bed and when I checked on him he was holding clumps of hair in tears. He was pleasently suprised that he was pretty handsome bald. There were so many other times we both shed tears when right after the initial diagnosis a doctor told him you have one good Christmas and one ok Christmas left and that is all no more than 2 years to live we would call him horrible yet funny names but darnnit he had it right almost to the day. Going through the last two years was in a way a blur. I have to go back and read this blog to realize how LONG Gary really suffered and how he fought like heck to stay here with us.All the times all I could do was hold him as he weeped but then somehow he would reckon on this inner strength that came from God to wipe his tears and finish the battle. Our favorite quote was "life will bring trials its your choice if you are going to let them make you bitter or better" we both did all we knew how to do to have those trials make us BETTER. We both had a few yelling sessions at God early on and I know for me one day after about an hour of yelling "you HAVE to heal him God I cant go on without him" "take me not him" I finally wore myself out and as I sat and looked at the river God said "will you love me no matter what??" I wish I could say the answer was an immediate YES but it wasn't I had to really think if my husband died would I still love and trust God for everything??? Eventually the answer was yes and from that point on I was never MAD at God for anything that happened to either of us there was a couple of times that I looked to heaven and said "REALLY" but never anger and that went for Gary too. He had such a tuned in spirit he could cry and let it out then almost get a hug from God and be ok and ready to encourage others. I am so proud of the battle that he waged he went through two years of a living hell and never once waiverd in his faith in God. What a legacy for the girls to have of their father. That unfortunately doesn't help the hole that we have now. I am a single mom REALLY my girls don't have a daddy to run into and hug anymore. They don't have a Daddy to take to the daddy daughter dance or walk them down the isle or dance with them at their wedding or spell words for them that mommy cant. They don't have their confidant the one who would endlessly debate my middle one and snuggle in bed with my baby and encourage my eldest. They are entering teen years without their daddy and we aren't sure how that is gonna work out. Our whole life now is trusting God to be that husband and father for us we still talk to daddy in heaven all the time and blow him kisses and tell him goodnight. My mind has worked in hyper speed this week flashing images and feelings and circumstances of the last two years but none of what is to come. The night before Gary died my little one and I were coming home from work and we saw this beautiful sunset after a nasty rain storm and I told her if it wasn't for the storm the sunset wouldn't have been near as beautiful. Somehow God is going to do that for us make this crap we have been going through into something beautiful. Not sure how yet, I guess stay tuned for the second leg of this marathon. Gary is now done with his race and I am so very proud of how he ran his race I KNOW God told him well done good and faithful servant and I know he is getting our kisses and love somehow. The race continues for the girls and I now a family of 4 the girls keep looking at me and saying you are a single mom wow and that is what I say too wow how is this gonna work :) God's amazing faithfulness has been wrapped around this family and continues to be the miracles of provision and blessing we have seen is unbelievable I still stand in awe at all God has done through His people. One thing I can tell you about this next leg of the marathon is it wont be boring :)