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AVERYday: Thanksgiving 2012

Today is Thanksgiving. I suppose I should note some internal negative emotional significance in that this is the first Thanksgiving without my 11-year old daughter. My 11-year old daughter who will forever be just 11-years old. Except that, I'm not feeling bad. Not in this moment, anyway.

In this moment, I feel so incredibly thankful! 

When I think back on the past 4 weeks, my heart swells. 

I am thankful for LH. The angel who was the first to come across the accident scene. Who got out of her car and held out her arms to a child screaming, terrified, covered in blood. Who took my 17-year old daughter's face in her hands, looked straight into her eyes and said, "We are going to pray right now." Thank you, for turning first to God.

I am thankful for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football players who ran to the car to try to get to C and Avery. Hearts pounding, facing fear head on, to do whatever they could. Thank you for having that courage. And thank you for returning to school and praying as a team. God heard your prayers.

I am thankful for the police and rescue personnel who responded to the scene of the accident. I have said it a million times: I do not know how you do your jobs, but I thank God that you do.

I am thankful to the kind and respectful way the Walworth County Sheriff's Department notified this Mama of her baby's death. Thank you for hearing the words I spoke. Thank you for answering my questions. Thank you for your tenderness. 

I am so very, very, VERY thankful to my friend Kim. My ROCK. I am so blessed that you answered the phone, dropped everything to run to me, and held me when I broke. I am so very, very thankful for your strength, for your hugs, for your ironing skills. I am so thankful that when I came out of that hospital room, with no strength left to stand, there you were... with Jocelyn and Ginger. My dear, dear friends. A fortress of strength. 

I am thankful to the Delavan Christian School. The outpouring of love and support has been amazing and awe inspiring. We are a small school filled with big hearts and huge faith. 

I am thankful to Monroe Funeral Home. It helps to have a kind soul lead the way. From the moment I walked in I felt that I was sitting at the table with an older brother, intent on leading the way, protecting my heart, and making sure only the best was done for Avery.

I am thankful for the people who descended upon my home and cleaned it, washed dishes, scrubbed toilets, dusted the fake ficus tree, all while I sat crying, unable to comprehend what was happening to me and my family. I am thankful for the loads of toilet paper and basket of boxes of tissues dropped off. I am thankful for the coffee that appeared and the sandwiches and the sodas and the gluten free food (because otherwise I wouldn't have eaten). So many people did so many things; things I wouldn't have thought of but were absolutely needed at the right moment. Maybe they might have felt awkward or unsure, but they did it anyway... and it was perfect. It was always perfect.

I am thankful to Pastor Dan... whose words perfectly described the amazing moment when God reached out his hand to Avery, and Avery took hold.

I am thankful for all the moments when Avery's spirit shined before my eyes!! Oh, how each one of those moments warmed my soul!

I am thankful for every phone call, text, email message... for every person who has stopped me in the bank, or grocery store, or at the gas station to tell me how hearing Avery's story has touched their lives in immeasurable ways. Who tell me they went back to church, or they prayed for the first time in years, or decided to strengthen their relationship with God. I need to hear these stories. They help me believe there is a reason bigger than my broken heart for my sweet daughter's death.

I am thankful for the opportunity to hold my 17-year old to cuddle with my 3-year old. I am thankful for the photos I have taken over the years that captured all the smiles and laughs, the basketball and gymnastics and birthdays and trips to Shopko and ice cream cones eaten.

And I am thankful, beyond words that could ever measure, that Avery's heart was right with the Lord.


Lisa Gullion said…
You are so amazing. Avery is and will always be such a lucky girl to have the family she does and waits on. I am Thankful for you to have this thanksgiving with some kind of peace in all your hurt. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
Becca said…
You are beautiful, inside and out. I am so glad people around you are taking care of you.
Chiconky said…
You are an amazing woman and such a beautiful example of true faith. I am so glad that, in terrible, horrific moments you had good, kind people around you.
The Lord God is working His miracles through you, your family & your beautiful Angel & So Precious this Purpose truely is! Absolutely stunningly inspirational the measures of strength, faith, & emense beauty the life on earth Avery made. As I read your blogs my heart also swells with overwhelming amazement of the magnitude of her eternal life walking, dancing, smiling & laughing in pure everlasting love with The Lord. Gods Girl is making Heaven an even more majestic place <3
Brenna said…
Thousands of hugs. It's so good to hear about the support you've had, so good to hear everything you have to say.
Bridget, Your ability to find the good in the bad is what makes you such a uniquely awesome person and why I just adore you.

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