|Samantha and Aimee,|
This post has been very hard for me to write. Not because I have a lack of words, but rather too many. The life and death of such an amazing woman and her impact cannot be summed up easily.
With all sincerity I will say Aimee is one of the most beautiful people I have ever known. I loved her tremendously. There was no effort in it. I was always so excited to see her and just being in her presence gave me great pleasure. Aimee was particularly special to me. I am very reserved with people. Yet from the get go when Aimee and I talked, or gave each other “a look”, it was clear. I loved this woman! She was full of life, love and just the right amount of “one tough cookie”. I can’t help but smile through my tears as I remember her.
The last time I saw Aimee was on Thanksgiving. We did the dishes together and joked around. That memory is the hardest for me because I truly enjoyed our time together and it would be the last time I saw her. I admired her hair color and she said she would send me a message later as I was going to dye it the same color. A few days later she messaged me with the color name and joked that it was “top secret”. That was the last time I talked to her. Patrick and Aimee headed for Florida and I kept up with them on Facebook expecting to see them again around Christmas. They were having fun and I didn’t have any worries. My own Facebook status the night before Aimee died stood out to me AFTER the events that took place. I had no inclination or bad feeling and am not implying that. I post Scripture a lot but the night before was James 4:14.
“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog--it's here a little while, then it's gone.”
- Life is short no matter how many years we live. Don't be deceived into thinking that you have lots of remaining time to live for Christ, to enjoy your loved ones, or to do what you know you should. Live for God today! Then, no matter when your life ends, you will have fulfilled God's plan for you. ~Jos~~
The next day came that phone call…. My mom “you need to sit down”. Me crying out, “it must be a mistake! No!” The kids and I were taking family Christmas pictures when I got that call. I tried to get away from the kids as fast as possible being suddenly aware that my reaction was probably scaring them. I was in absolute shock. It was mostly a blur after that. I remember crying out to God. I remember trying to reach my husband who is deployed in Afghanistan and having no way of reaching him except to wait for him to call. I was thinking “I need my husband to comfort me!!!” and immediately realizing in absolute horror that my brother must so desperately want the comfort of his dear wife but she would not be returning to him, ever…. I wanted to go to Florida. I wanted to fly down immediately to be with him. I kept thinking of my brother thousands of miles away from home dealing with this. I wanted to hug him desperately. I don’t know who told me that it would not help as he would be back by the time I got there. Either he did or my mother, I don’t remember. That was one of those moments when you feel completely helpless to do anything. I prayed a lot! Time seemed to stand still. At the same time I knew I had to hold it together for those around me. My kids were all very upset about their Aunt. I couldn’t sleep at all. When I got to my brother’s house I sobbed in the car before I went in and then composed myself before entering. I went over to play with Rowan and she saw I sniffled. Immediately she said “I will get you a tissue!” When she brought it to me I said “I just have a little stuffy nose hon”. She looked at me and said “my mommy drowned and it is sad” in a very sweet way. Heartbreak… “Oh God” must have uttered from my heart a thousand times that day and the ones to follow. I went upstairs while my sons played downstairs with Rowan. I watched my brother, Justin, Caroline, my mom, my sister, and other people coming and going as if it was in slow motion. Surreal is the only word I have for it. So much pain... The memorial came and when my brother and Bart sang “Aimee’s Song” I sobbed uncontrollably.
I couldn’t sleep at night as I kept thinking about how Aimee died. When I closed my eyes at I would imagine her frantic to get out of that boat. The desperation to see her little girl and her beloved husband kept replaying in my mind. My husband gave me the advice to “Focus on Where she is, not how she got there” and I have ever since. I do not let my mind wander to that boat. The fact is I do not know what happened in those last moments. I wasn’t there but God was. I had to remind myself that God is good, to trust Him and to rest in Him.
In all this is my deep love for my brother and Rowan. How my heart breaks for them. How much my heart breaks for my brother…. No matter how old we are he is still my “big bro”. I see him go on, move through the days and I look in his eyes and wish I could reach out and take it away. I know I do not understand exactly what he feels and I also know there is absolutely nothing I can do or say to take away his hurt. So again I am reminded to look to God and pray. And again I rest in knowing that God is good and He is with my brother and Rowan, I can see it. I find peace in knowing that our beloved Aimee is with the Lord and I will see her beautiful smile once again and it will be for eternity. As real and painful as these sorrows are now I know there will come a day when it will all be a distant memory and my brother will once again embrace his Aimee without fear of loss. Rowan will know her mommy. And in that day, I will smile at the sight of it all. Yes, God is very good <3