Thursday, April 14, 2011

I can only imagine

People have said that to us a lot over the last few days.  As in, “I can only imagine what you are going through” and “I can only imagine how hard this is for you.”  When I hear this phrase, I always think of the Mercy Me song (see below).   “I can only imagine When all I will do Is forever  Forever worship You I can only imagine…”  And that song means so much to my husband and I – we both tear up every time we hear it.  And now is no different!  I love this song so much; I have chosen to use it for the background music for the slide show I am preparing today for the funeral on Monday.  I have also written the obituary (remember how I said my spiritual gift is administration?  Yeah…) and I hope to post it to my blog this afternoon.

I forgot to mention that while at his employer’s office Monday, we learned that Brian had never designated a beneficiary on either his employer provided life insurance policy or his supplemental life insurance policy. WHAT?!?!?!?  If you, dear reader, have life insurance, I am imploring you NOW to make sure the beneficiaries are listed, and they are CURRENT!  Britt just checked on ours, and mine is good, but he needs to change his.  We already knew my brother didn’t have a will (Britt and I don’t either, but we will at least have a signed letter by the end of the week and a will by the end of the month!), but the life insurance fiasco was news to us.  I see FAIL written all over the HR department on that one!  So, due to not having a will and life insurance issues, this whole experience just become even harder, as we will have to go into probate and there are LOTS of questions and issues to be settled.

Tuesday and Wednesday really went by in a blur.  On Tuesday morning, I somehow managed to get my kids up, talk to them about why Daddy and I were gone for 2 days, what we knew (and didn’t know) about Uncle Brian’s death, AND get them all to school relatively on time.  Later that morning my mom, dad, husband and I met for over 2 hours with the funeral director at Strode Funeral Home.  Do you have any idea how much it SUCKS to pick out caskets, liners, flower arrangements, those little pamphlet things (they have a name it escapes me with a million other things these days), the verse to be printed in there and all the other things that have to be done for a funeral?  (Sorry, Mom, I know you hate the work sucks, but it does…)  And, BTW, I think I have a new business venture to pursue once I can breathe again.  The cover art for said “pamphlet thingies” that we had to pick from was HIDEOUS!  I get that most people die old and they like floral prints that look old, or whatever, but it was torture to pick one for a strong, vibrant young man like my brother.  I think I embarrassed everyone with me by all the remarks and gagging sounds…

After a nice lunch at Mexico Joe’s (where we ran into our first friends since we had been back in town), we all went back to my parents’ house.  That afternoon we spent more time making lists, thinking, planning, organizing, and of course crying.  The funeral director had told us at that point Brian’s body had been “released” from the county morgue in Texas, but had not been transported back to Stillwater – that was to be done either late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.  My mom was ready for him to be OUT of Texas.  We knew the funeral home was in the process, but it just seemed so slow.  At one point in the afternoon, my folks had gone over to my grandmother’s house, Britt was running some errands and picking the girls up from school, and I was supposed to be writing the obituary.  I was completely alone for the first time in DAYS.  While the silence felt nice at first, I was glad to be watching the clock and knowing that Britt and my girls would be back soon.  It was nice to reflect and cry alone, and I got most of the obituary written, but hearing those Twisters burst through the door was a DELIGHTFUL sound!

Tuesday night Britt and I were scheduled to go to a banquet dinner, even had my parents set up to babysit, but at the last minute we backed out.  I didn’t want to get dressed up, and neither of us wanted to leave our kids.  So, we ate the tons of yummy food that friends had brought to my parents’ house, and played with our kids, and worked on finding pictures, tweaking the obituary, and enjoying our family.

Wednesday morning, everyone had decided to try to have a normal morning.  Mom and Dad went to work.  Britt went to work.  Emma and Lara walked to school.  I was planning on dropping Jake off at day care, then going to training at work (as to not fall behind on my certificate course work).  But, God had other plans.  And this all led to another sad tweet from me:

You see, when I got to the day care, the adorable 4 and 5 year olds were all dressed for Spring picture day.  Not Jake. He was in the T-shirt he had slept in the night before and basketball shorts and had the WORST cowlick ever.  On the mad dash home to find him better clothes (and hair product), my cell phone rang – indicating the girls’ elementary school.  It was Emma; she had forgotten her ADHD meds – and she really needs them.  I told her to wait for me, I would be right there.  When I finally got home, the shirt I wanted for Jake was nowhere to be found!  Long story short – Emma did get her meds and get to class on time; Jake’s shirt was found and ironed and his cowlick tamed mere MOMENTS before his turn to get pictures; I missed my training.  But, I got to have a long chat with a longtime friend and fellow believer, and it really brightened my day.  God is SO GOOD!

Yesterday afternoon I found out that my brother’s body had made it back to Oklahoma and was at Strode Funeral Home, which was good news.  The bad news?  The body is completely un-viewable.  Not only by the public, but even for the family.  I will spare my readers the gory details, but just know we feel a grave injustice has been done to us.  And we have to request a copy of the autopsy report in writing from the Tarrant county Medical examiner’s office, so I mailed that yesterday.  Who knows how long before we actually get our hands on the document - which may or may not provide answers.
 At 2:30 the 4 of us met at the church to meet with the pastor and go over the service for Brian.  My mom told the Pastor lots of Brian stories, and deferred all planning and note taking to me (again, Administration…).  We all enjoyed describing Brian to Pastor Tim and helping him get to know Brian a little bit better.  We spent a lot of time talking about Brian’s scouting activities and his high school shenanigans.  As well as talking about his precious daughter and the times he’s shared with her over the past 4 years.  We picked songs, order of service, discussed pall bearers, and felt a sense of finality by making these decisions.  We still need to pick a few bible verses to share, and I am going to research and see if there is any Boy Scout ritual for a funeral as well.

We tried to make yesterday as normal for my kids as possible – after lots of chaos and missed appointments and lessons, etc. for the past few days.  After school, the girls got haircuts – I wanted them to look nice for all you out of towners!  ;)  Then, I sent my poor, sweet, DILIGENT and dutiful husband to Wal*Mart (or Best Buy) to purchase a 500 Mb portable external hard drive.  He looked like a deer in headlights when I tried to tell him what I needed.  I told him to ask where they were, then call and read the boxes to me.  Luckily, he only had 2 to pick from at the Wal Marts, and it was any easy decision as the other one had 1 terabyte of memory, and I’ll NEVER need that much!  After all our errands were run, we gathered back at my parents’ house to eat more of the delicious food we have been blessed with, then the Five Dream weavers were off to LifeChurch!  Konnect and Little LifeKids for the Little Weavers, and LifeGroup with our closest friends for the Mister and I.  We knew we would find lots of friends in the lobby when we dropped the kids off and picked them up later, and we were not disappointed.  What a GREAT time of fellowship and food.  I love my LifeGroup and my church!

Today is Thursday and my goal for today is the slide show.  Mom has a pile of pictures at her house I will go pick up soon and start scanning.  She and my dad have gone to Lewisville to tie up some more loose ends today, and will be back tonight.  Britt is at work, Jake’s at day care and the Twisters are at school.  I am home alone, in desperate need of a shower, and about to tackle another job in honor of my brother.  I’ll get to rest soon, right?  Yes!  And in the arms of Jesus, no less!  I can ONLY imagine!



  2. Betsey,
    I am so sorry to hear about the condition of your brother's body and that it's unviewable. That is appalling :(.

    Also, Pastor Tim is excellent. I know he will do a good job with the service.

  3. I can't wait to be there, you're amazing. I love you. I can't stop thinking about you and your family.
    And (on the contrary) I can't begin to imagine what you must be feeling.