Well, what a week. Not only a busy one but a very emotional and sad one too. I have so many updates and so much to say....but time is an issue, as usual. So, I'll just update on the important ones today...
First, Derek got home last Friday (our 10 year wedding anniversary). He traveled halfway across the world to come home. The reunion was bittersweet. We were so excited to see him, as he was 2 1/2 months into his deployment....but his reason for returning was so sad. The girls were beside themselves to see Daddy...he got in about noon, looking tired, heartbroken and sick. He did manage a smile for the girls and put up a brave face.
We came home and let him sleep for a bit. We held off on going to his Mom's house for the night as he needed some time to catch up with everything...time change, details, looking for pictures, packing, spending time with the girls and grieving.
We went up to my in-laws house on Saturday. Derek stayed up half the night and went through boxes of pictures trying to find pictures of Ian. He scanned a bunch and uploaded them to Shutterfly. We went and picked them up at Target to take to Debbie and Scott. So hard to look at those pictures with all those memories and think for one second that Ian is gone....it just doesn't seem real or make any sense. How could someone so sweet and so alive, be gone like that?
This photo was taken by my other BIL at Derek's going away party. So it's the last time Derek saw Ian about 2 1/2 months ago. Ian Kinney, age 19. We had the memorial service on Sunday, up in Julian (the mountain town outside of San Diego where my husbands family lives and where he grew up). It was a beautiful service. About 450 people showed up to honor Ian. It was a very emotional time for all of us. Family friends, relatives, theater friends, Ian's friends and schoolmates showed up. The townspeople brought food by the truck load. When the service was over we wrote messages to Ian on notecards tied to white helium balloons. All at once we let them go. The sun was reflecting off the white so it was a heavenly sight. I hope he got all the messages.
The family had a private service on Friday. Just my in-laws, Debbie and Scott, Jake ( middle brother) and his wife Chandra, Derek and I and Cory, my 17 year old son (Derek has been his stepdad since he was 7 and he and Ian were buddies). We buried him in the town cemetary. It's a small town pioneer cemetary that overlooks town. It's really quite beautiful and he's buried in the town he grew up in. The wild turkeys were running through and a blue jay was watching us from a surrounding fence. Peaceful and serene. Exactly as a cememtary should be, I suppose. Derek and Jake shoveled the earth on top of his urn. I guess in small towns, they let you do what you need to do to make yourself feel better. It was good for both of them to be able to do that for Ian. Debbie and Scott picked out a few things to bury with Ian. He was a blankie boy...oh man, do I have some good blankie stories with him....but once he gave up the blankie, he attached to a pillow...that went everywhere with him....for the last 9 years, that pillow has been all over the country on visits to us, to Mexico, to Ireland and to countless friends and families houses...so it seemed right to place the pillow inside the earth under Ian's urn. He will forever rest on that pillow now. The boys (OK, men) put some special things inside the urn with him. Derek had bought some little things for Ian on his deployment that he would have given to him when he got home...he put those with Ian. His high school graduation tassle, some pictures and a few other odds and ends went with him. The monkey did end up staying out...we ran out of room quickly.
When the headstone comes in, I will take the girls up there to say goodbye again. We didn't take them to the funeral, as they are just little girls. They were at the memorial service though. It was just too much for the adults to handle...add in 2 little silly girls and it would have been way too much. We wanted to be able to mourn without worrying about making the girls upset.
Well, that's it for now.....Oh trust me...I have WAY more to say...but bedtime is approaching and I got up at 3:30am to take Derek to the airport...so I'm wiped and a bit emotional...and need to go to sleep.
We had a court hearing yesterday morning....I'll tell you all about it in the next couple of days.....
Thanks for all your kind comments and supportive messages. There are a few of you out there that sent cards and helped out alot. You know who you are, and know that from the bottom of my heart..that I thank you.