Wednesday, October 9, 2013

So Much Good

Hey boo,

How's it going?  I wish so much that you could see all the people that care about you, me, and the kids.  I know you had absolutely no idea just how many lives you touched, and how highly people thought of you.

Basically, you are amazing.

I can hardly list all of the wonderful things that family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and strangers have done for us.  It is insane.

We had dinner brought to us every night for almost 2 months!  There was such a variety of people that volunteered to do this. I could hardly believe all the people willing to take time to provide us with dinner.  This was such a blessing because of my lack of cooking skills.  Honestly, the kids and I have never eaten so good!  I bet you are a little jealous. :-)  Plus our freezer is pretty stocked with several future meals.  And on top of the meals, sometimes little extras were brought, like gift cards, ice cream, donuts, and beverages!  The dinners alone were overwhelmingly generous, but then there has even been more...

I had posted something on FB about this ice cream, and totally forgotten about it.  And then a few days later (or weeks, time kind of blends together right now), a wonderful neighbor brought it!  I can't believe she remembered and paid attention to that!  AMAZING!

Basically, the entire baby section from Meijer has been donated to us!  :-)  Seriously, our front room is overflowing with diapers and wipes for the babies.  Then there is baby cereal, baby food, baby formula, and toddler food/snacks.  We've also received baby wash, baby lotion, "butt stuff", Boogie wipes, and so many other baby necessities/accessories that I can't even name them without physically going to look at them all.  We've also been given lots and lots of clothes for the babies to wear.  All of this came from neighbors, friends, co-workers, and strangers!  Seriously, the daycare did a "diaper drive" for us, and we had just loads and loads and loads of stuff from people we've never even met!  Now aren't you glad I picked that daycare?  :-)  I am definitely happy to have our kids there!

These pictures don't even show everything!  I am in awe of how generous everyone has been.
Our first big drop off!  Holy sh*t!

Even more!

The girls had fun with the donations! :-)

I wish that you could have seen all of the people who came to your visitations and funerals.  There were A LOT of people that I had to hug and/or shake hands with.  A LOT of tears were flowing.  People drove a long way for you.  People were there that we hadn't seen in years.  So many friends from the Pew and GVSU.  So many people from Innotec.  So many people from Perrigo.  Teachers from daycare.  Not only that, people who don't even know you, they only know me, were there.  Old friends from my high school showed up. A lot of my co-workers were there.  Some people that I don't even think I've ever talked to from HMI were there.  And of course, your entire family, my entire family, and our closest friends and neighbors.  We even did a processional thing to the cemetery, and the line of cars went on for forever!  I know you never realized this, but you are kind of a popular guy... :-)

We've also been gifted/donated so many services!  Our landscaper offered to do the rest of the years lawn work at no charge.  One of our wonderful neighbors paid for our snowplowing this winter.  Another neighbor offered to pay for our "Mary Poppins" to give me an extra hand with the evening routine so my mom doesn't always have to come over.  And then this isn't really a service, but a new wedding band, that you had just picked out the week before as an anniversary gift!  Yeah, I can't even talk about that one without getting choked up...  I feel like there are more of this type of thing that I am forgetting and I feel bad.  But I am so so so appreciative of them all!

On top of all of this, there have been other fundraisers going on.  There was an online fundraiser.  I saw so many random people that I am not even friends with sharing the link for that.  There were messages on there like "I don't know you, but I saw this on FB"  or "We've never met, but I know so-and-so who told me about this."  Holy balls, I was not expecting that result.  And then your Perrigo friends organized something (I'm not sure what went on), and again, holy balls.  My coworkers opened a bank account for me, yup, you guessed it, holy balls.  And we've also received some just through the mail, h o l y  b a l l s...  These people have basically given us the gift of dealing with our emotions right now, so that we don't have to stress about "real life" for at least a little while.

There is also going to be a fundraiser event at a church near us.  A church that we have no affiliation with.  A member of the congregation somehow heard our "story" and decided he wanted to help.  What?!?!  This is another one I have a hard time talking about, because I am just overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness.  From a stranger!  Seriously, I have no words to express how thankful I am.

Oh, and have I mentioned the countless messages from Facebook friends.  People I haven't talked to in YEARS reached out to me.  People that YOU haven't talked to in years reached out to me.  I know social media gets a bad wrap (or is it rap?) sometimes, but right now, I am thankful for Facebook.  The news about you spread FAST.  And because of that, I have gotten so much support from friends online.  So many kind words.  There were so many messages, that I couldn't even respond to them all.  Well, I'm also a little absent-minded and scatterbrained, so sometimes I just completely forget to respond... But seriously, I appreciated EVERY SINGLE message, comment, or post that I read.  Plus, FB has been an "outlet" for me to say some of my stupid stuff that I can no longer talk about with you.  And people are putting up with my stupid stuff.  So that's good too!

We've also gotten so many cards in the mail.  I love getting real mail!  Friends sent me cards for our anniversary, to cheer me up.  There have been just funny, random cards that show up for no reason.  There have been so many sympathy cards for EVERYWHERE.  Seriously, sometimes I have to look at the return address and ask a few people how I know this person (or how this person knows us).  You honestly have no idea what an impact you have made on so many people out there.  It's been amazing.

And I can't forget the family.  Someone has pretty much been here for at least a few hours EVERY DAY to help with the babies.  Seriously, for over 2 months they have put in so much effort to be here for us.  They've cooked, they've cleaned, they've changed diapers, they've done laundry.  The bro-in-laws cleaned up the basement, and cleaned out the garage (yeah, you know that they are 2 scariest places where I can't touch anything without feeling contaminated!).  They even change the kitty litter for me!  I know the house looks like a disaster to them, but it's actually kind of "clean and organized" for our standards. :-)  Your mom and dad check up on us often too.  I know I can always message your mom about anything, and you would be proud of me that I actually talk on the phone with your dad!  I LITERALLY would not be able to go on without all of them.  Again, I just don't even have the right words to show how grateful I am that they are here for us.

And lastly, one of the most recent things... A bunch of our neighbors bought a swing-set for the babies!  Not only that, but they INSTALLED it too!  On the muggiest day ever!  They had to tear up all the sod from the area, which was probably more work than assembling the thing! :-)  And then they put wood chips down too. Plus, the week before they installed it, they power-raked and aerated the yard!  You should have seen all the people working on the yard.  All the neighbor kids were out there raking up the loose grass.  While I was just sitting in the shade, playing sidewalk paint with the babies. :-)  We really do live in the BEST NEIGHBORHOOD EVER!

Here are some pics of the install...

The beginning...


The super fun work of tearing out the sod...

There were so many people that came to help throughout the day!

Wood chips going in...

The finished product!!!!
So, I guess it was a good thing that the first weekend we moved in, you knocked on a neighbor's door and asked to borrow a wrench (or screwdriver, or something...), and how funny that the person happened to be an important person at a major home improvement store... And it's a good thing that you were like "You work for BMW, hey, I'm buying a BMW, we should talk about BMWs..."  And it's a good thing that we were like "You like to drink and have bonfires?  We do too!" :-)  You know they all loved you babe, and they are helping to take care of us too.

Ok, seriously, I am just SO freakin' AMAZED by the kindness and generosity of so many people.  There are A LOT of GOOD people in the world.  I am so glad we know some of them.  :-)  I wish I had better words and could write something super powerful to express my thanks.  Boo, maybe if you could pull some strings and get it so all of these people win the lotto or something, then that would show them! :-)  But for real, when I do a hair flip and say "Um, like, thanks or whatever, and some junk..."  I mean it from the bottom of my heart!


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