We are almost a month to the day my father-in-law died (October 4) and the wreck (October 7) that will affect my family's lives forever. I am still in the midst of writing thank you notes for the outpouring of care and concern by so many friends around us. We have had more meals lovingly prepared than I could have ever imagined. Those nights we didn't have a casserole dish placed in the cooler on the back porch, we used one of the numerous gift cards we received to eat at local restaurants.
Cards and memorials are still pouring in from friends near and far, old and new. Until you go through something so tragic, you just don't realize how much a quick note can mean. (At least I didn't...)
S and J have also been taken care of by their friends and parents, taking them to their activities and letting them sleepover on school nights. One friend of S and his parents even made the hour and a half trip to Columbia for my grandmother's visitation.
One gesture that really touched Mike and me was a large basket we found on our back porch the night we drove back to Aiken that horrible night. It was around eleven o'clock and we had spent the past six hours shuttling ourselves between the children's emergency room with the boys and the Trauma Unit/ICU with Mama and Daddy. Mama was in emergency surgery with a neurosurgeon (no brain, but intense scalp injuries).
As we were driving that night, I received a text from my sweet friend Kiki:
"Just want you to know that Bunco girls and Sunday Class class are praying for your family. Look on your back porch when you get home - I left a basket of snacks, entertainment, etc for you to take to the hospital as you go back and forth with your mom and dad. It's from the Bunco girls. We love you and are so sorry."
And this is what we found. Both Mike and I teared up. (Ok, I cried.) We were just overwhelmed. We couldn't believe it. Kiki and another sweet friend, Tanya, had filled this huge basket to the brim with bottled water... magazines... Chapstick... snacks... Advil... pens... a notebook... gum... notecards... more snacks... tissues... travel toothbrushes... hand lotion... more snacks... and change for vending machines. These girls thought of everything!
I kept it in my car the next two weeks, replenishing my "hospital bag" every day. And every day, I thanked God for my friends and the gifts they have given me, both tangible and intangible. Now, I'm just ready to be on the giving end myself these days...