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Long days

I can’t begin to explain how much my heart hurt for the Gliddons on Tuesday. Some of us met at the Center to ride to the service together and that was hugely helpful, it was so much easier to hold out on the sorrow for a few more minutes in having that time to talk and laugh. Driving up to the church I could literally feel the heaviness starting to fill my chest. So many people were waiting to go in, just grouped up, gathering the strength they would need to perform this last ceremony to honor Mathew. I don’t think it helped. You can mentally prepare yourself, you can talk yourself up to what is about to happen, but it doesn’t help the moment you walk in and see that little red casket and know that sweet boy is gone.

I had packed half a dozen packets of Kleenex in my purse, there never seems to be enough. That was all the “prepared” I could muster. The day had really started emotionally because I pulled out my 1 red dress and when I put it on, I realized that I had washed it without taking off the ribbon from Delaney’s service. There it was, still pinned to my dress, all shriveled and wrinkled from going through the laundry. I was just flushed with how much I miss seeing her smiles, hearing her voice, waiting to see what crazy thing is going to come out of her mouth. That was quickly followed by the sadness that filled me when I realized I have a funeral dress. I have that dress that I’ve worn to 3 now. I don’t know if I mean to wear it, but when red is the favorite color of the child, that’s my only option.

Mathew, wrapped up in his favorite things, surrounded by the trains and cars and pictures that brought him so much happiness. It hurt to see him lying there so silently, wanting him to just wake up and it all to not have happened…for him, Karen, Mat, Andrew. Holding Karen, she whispered words in my ear that gave me strength and peace in my heart, and I could not have loved her more than at that moment. Mat puts more emotion in a single hug than anyone I have ever had the pleasure to hug, and I tried to send some of that back to him. I got to share an m&m with Andrew, he made me smile and his complete innocence of the turmoil around him was beautiful.

The service was beautiful and peaceful. I’ve never been to a Catholic mass, it is a reverent and serene ceremony, it filled me with a peace in my heart. I don’t think it ever matter who’s church or who’s religion you’re a part of, God just fills you with comfort and peace when you pray in his name. When I say peaceful, don’t think I wasn’t a snotty, boo-hooing mess, because I was all that and more. The moment when Mat stood up with Karen and he spoke so eloquently about Mathew’s life and impact, there was laughter and tears, but so much love shared it was impossible to not see that Mathew was blessed to love and be loved by an amazing family.

Afterwards, there was food and time to just talk and give each other comfort at the CCC. It was so the perfect place to celebrate Mathew, in a place where Mathew had so much fun, where all of the Gliddons gave so much of themselves to others. I feel so very gifted to be a friend of the Gliddons, to have been blessed with Mathew as a part of my life, honored to have been a part of this precious day.

I cannot tell you how much our lives have been changed for the better with the friendships and loving relationships we’ve built through the Center.

Today I headed to an organizational meeting for the 2nd Annual Cure Kids Cancer Challenge for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation. We’re gearing up to really get grinding on the upcoming Childhood Cancer Awareness month in September. This event last year was fantastic, it was awesome to be a part of and although there is so much to be planned and set in motion, I’m excited and even more dedicate to this cause. Perhaps because I’ve lost 3 children who so touched my heart in the months since last September, because dear friends have suffered relapse and we are seeing the failures of our cancer treatments, but I am so driven and passionate that we CAN do better for our kids. If money is all that stands between my child and a 100% cure…then money will be raised. You’ll hear lots about this event as it becomes an all-consuming obsession the closer it gets to September.

The truck issues are NO MORE!! I’m excited to announce that the Mayhews are proud owners of a mini-van. We picked something great, the kids are going to be insane about it and forget about getting 4 miles to the gallon in our Suburban, we are going to be rocking the gas tank now! It happened in such a completely unexpected and truly phenomenal way. Shannon H-O….ok, looking at that, it’s pretty funny….that would be Shannon Hannon-Oliviero….from the CCC was able to hook us up with Bill Heard Chevy. They are corporate sponsors of the Mike Alstott weekend and remembered Peyton from the softball game this past weekend. SWEET! Shannon called, gave us the big hookup with the dealership and we were able to get a great deal on our new van. If you ever need a vehicle, Fredrick Tellis is just an all-around great guy, he was patient and really went above and beyond to help us at crunch time. We did come in with the CCC seal of better-treat-us-good and they did. Thank you so much to the dealership, Fredrick Tellis, Jim, Derek, and especially to Shannon for making sure to help another family in need. They all rock! Whoooo hoooo

We got a new van! We don’t have to drive the crap-mobile anymore! I never thought I’d be happy to be driving a mini-van, but I LOVE it. What can I say, I can fight the soccer mom image all I want, but I am what I am…that would be a van-driving, kid-toting, uber mom.

f.r.o.G…fully relying on God

4 Comments on “Long days”

  1. #1 Angela
    on Apr 24th, 2008 at 7:38 am

    :SMILEI We are so happy you have a mini-van. Welcome to the world of better gas miliage. Have a good day. Hello Pete!


  2. #2 Patti Albritton
    on Apr 24th, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Your words touched my heart about Tuesday. Thank you for that. Let me know if I can do anything for the upcoming fundraising event. And congratulations on the mini-van? LOL. I'm sure after all the problems, it really didn't matter what you got as long as it was new, big enough, and not a gas-sucker. LOL. Good luck with it. Hope you were able to enjoy at least some of this week with Pete home. Wish I could've met him at the Center. Everyone was so nice and welcomed all of us "outsiders" in with open arms. It's a great feeling.

  3. #3 Shelley Philibin
    on Apr 25th, 2008 at 9:10 am

    You are such an inspiration! I can't imagine how much courage it must take to comfort a family who has lost a precious child and absorb the emotions to come out a better person. You truly are a gift to your children, husband, friends and even those of us who haven't had the pleasure to meet in person yet.

    PS- Soccer moms ROCK!!


  4. #4 Jennifer Humphries
    on Apr 25th, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    I was told of Justin Gaudineer's story from my fifteen year old cousin. He is best friends with Justin's older brother. Since learning of the Caring Bridge website, I have kept up to date daily with so many kids and their stories of strength. I never met Mathew, but prayed hard for him and felt so sad for his family this past week. I do not know any of you personally, but would like to someone help out with your fundraising event in September. I live in Lakeland, and have two small kids of my own. I am a 2 time breast cancer survivor and involved with charity work in that arena. I would truly like to help out children though. These stories I read are really sticking with me and my desire to help is present with me throughout each day. Please send me an email if there is something I can get involved in to help. Thanks so much and God Bless each of you.
    Jennifer Humphries