. . . I am SO THANKFUL that even though I MUST walk my "road" myself, there are MANY others walking WITH me . . .!

It's late & I'm EXHAUSTED!  It was election day today (as Township Clerk, I am in "charge" our our local polling place) - it was election day the day we had Rick's funeral (my SWEET friend Bobbi & my other election ladies took over for me on that day!) - therefore, today was another F.I.R.S.T.  Another first that I survived.  Elections themselves went very smoothly.  I work with some awesome ladies, who I LOVE spending the 13 hour day with!  I ran into some trouble when the time came to "transmit" my results in that the phone lines did not want to co-operate . . . u.g.h.!  NOT what you want after a 13 + hour day.  I'm usually pretty "intense" and don't deal with with interruptions to my planned timetable very well.  Tonight, though, I remained calm until the issue was resolved - AGAIN, Rick still teaching me!! ♥♥

When I got home (after 9:30 p.m.), I decided that I still needed to get on the treadmill (have I mentioned that I can be a "little" OCD at times?!)!  As I was walking, I was catching up on the e-mails that I missed today (44 of them, but who is counting!?).  

I've sometimes felt that I'm not only walking the "road" that I must walk myself over the past 3 months, but that I'm walking it alone.  Some of that is due to my own stubborn-ness at not being willing to ASK for help, some of it is simply that life is busy and life does go on, some of it goes back to what I blogged about a little bit ago that some people just "stay away" because seeing me/us brings them more pain at the loss of Rick in their own lives.  All very real reasons, yet still hard for me to grasp.  I'm a talker, I'm a people person, I love to give and receive hugs, and I don't WANT to walk alone . . . so, tonight, as I read one of the e-mails that I had received, my heart swelled!  It was JUST what I needed to hear, it was like a big cyber-hug, it was like a band-aid on my still healing heart!  

Below is a part of that e-mail:

You are on my heart today.  You are on my heart today because Rick is on my heart today.  I just wanted to share with you how much I miss him . . . when I shovel the deck he built . . . look at the beautiful chicken coop he built . . . park my car in the garage he built, I think of him and I miss him . . . when I hear a hunting story, see a mounted deer or bear, open the closet and see my camo jacket and even when I walk through the woods I think of him and miss him . . . when I see a Packer shirt or two people high fiving I think of him and miss him . . . and I especially think of him when I go to church every Sunday and walk through the emptiness of the doorway and that's when I really miss the friendship of my dear brother in Christ . . . by God's grace we know and believe where Rick is and we praise Him for that . . . but I really, really miss Rick, I love him dearly . . . it's important to me that you know how much he meant to me and it is just as important for you to know how much you and your girls to mean to me . . . 

There was a little more, but I'm now typing through my tears.  Happy tears, sad tears, overwhelmed with love tears!  I'm also giggling through those tears . . . a BEAUTIFUL CHICKEN COOP - really??!!  :)  And, remembering high fiving as we watched the Packers, remembering Rick greeting everyone as the entered church - making EVERY PERSON feel welcomed and loved . . . THAT was Rick . . . he never met a stranger and he loved EVERYONE!!  As strange as it may sound, THIS is what I have been craving!  This is what is filling just a little bit of the emptiness in my heart . . . this past weekend, I went out on the proverbial "limb" and sent out an e-mail to a few ladies who I trust with my heart, trying (not REAL successfully) to express that longing . . . the longing for "genuineness" within my church family.  Knowing that in living through and realizing my loss, I've also realized how poorly I myself "love" others.  I'm challenged to "love" better, more authentically.  To not only show sympathy to others, but to show empathy . . . something most of us don't do "well" because our lives are BUSY, so very BUSY . . . but I've realized that we MUST be deliberate about it, I must be deliberate about it!  Sometimes it will pull me out of my comfort zone, sometimes I will have to do that which I don't want to or like to do, sometimes, I might have to sacrifice, sometimes I might have to hurt, but, if in the end, I can say I LOVED better, then it's o.k.

Tonight, I'm bathed in LOVE.  My dear friend in Christ "loved better" today.  My dear friend SHARED my loss with me.  They let me know that TOGETHER we are missing Rick.  They let me know I'm (we're) not alone . . . THEY are walking along this road ALONGSIDE us!  

Tonight, I will go to sleep with a SMILE on my face!  A smile for my sweet Rick, and all of our WONDERFUL memories, a smile for my wonderful friends, and a smile for my GREAT GOD! ♥

And, QUICK before I sign off, please click on the PINK "button" above to the RIGHT . . . the "Circle of Moms Top 25 Vote for Me" button!!
I've met some SWEET "widow" friends since Rick went to Heaven . . . one is LEAH who has a blog "Out of Deep Waters", and one is FERREE who has "Widows Christian Place".  These two sweet ladies love the LORD and blog to bring glory to God and to share with others through their losses.  All THREE of our blogs are in the top 25 as I type this, but the contest goes through March 7 at 5:00 p.m. PST . . . you can vote once every 24 hours, won't you pop over there and vote for us?!  All you have to do is click on the "thumbs-up" alongside the word VOTE!  The reason I decided to blog publicly in the first place was to bring GLORY TO GOD, even through Rick's death, this is an opportunity for my blog to reach so many more people that it ever can/would without this "boost"!  Won't you help remember Rick in this way??!! :) Thanks!

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