This day will forever be burned into my brain and into my soul.
Since it was Tuesday, we dropped off Caleb on the way to school in the morning at Miss Lora's house. I dropped off Jeremy at work, right next door to the preschool. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my 'easy' days at preschool, since I've only got 4 girls in class. The day went off without a hitch. Actually, I remember mentioning to Jeremy that the morning got off to a good start.
After school was over, I called Jeremy to see if he wanted to come with me to pick Caleb up, since I have to come back to the area to work at the gym. Then we could all do lunch together as a family. I am so so thankful that he did. When I pulled up to the shop, he opened the door with a big smile, looked at me and his baby girl, and said "I swear this is the best part of my day."
We decided to have lunch at a KFC/A&W that we had only stopped at once before, actually just a few weeks ago. I remember specifically the sweet lady at the counter telling me she remembered my 'sweet little family'. And I remember beaming with pride.
Our lunch was just lovely. It seems silly, but I thought it even in the moment. It was a beautiful day, and Jer looked up at me a few times with that look and his crooked smile and mouthed 'I love you'. Even one of the workers came up and gave the kids a free pie - probably cause they were just so cute. Afterward, Jeremy took some pictures of the kids with his new iphone he had just gotten the Friday before. This is the last picture he took:
We drove Jer back to work. He actually sat in the passenger seat for a minute before getting out. He gave a big heavy sigh, put his hands on my belly and asked me how Carter was doing. I said fine, and he leaned over and kissed my belly (which he doesn't usually do except at bedtime). He told me he was going hunting in a bit after work, and I gave a pouty frown. He told me not to worry since sunset was early, he'd be home by 6:30-7:00 and he promised we'd spend some time together.
Jeremy sent a text to his buddy Mark (and boss) at 4:34pm. Something regarding work. At the exact same minute, I sent him a text. A simple "I Love You"
But, he didn't text back.
At about 6:30, I text him again. Then again. It wasn't like him to not text back, so I called him. No answer. Finally, just after 7:00, I text our friend Jon asking if he'd heard from Jeremy at all cause I hadn't. Neither had he, but he told me it was possible if Jer had got a deer, he'd be covered in blood or dragging it out of the bush and unable to get his phone. That's what I figured too, so I left it alone for a bit.
My sweet friend Sarah, and her sister Jennifer came over to watch Glee. I was telling them I was worried about Jer and kinda mad he hadn't written me back. Then we went on and on about how Jer had to listen to the A Cappella song in the episode, cause he would have loved it. Maybe he might actually like the show.
Jon text me again around 9 to see if I had heard from Jer. I had not, and Jon said he was gonna get Mark to go look for him. It wasn't right that he wasn't home well past sunset, and hadn't called anyone by now. I knew he was right, but never in my wildest dreams imagined the unimaginable.
10:46pm: I text Jon to see what was going on. No was answering their phones and I was getting worried.
10:48 Jon called me. The next few seconds are a blur. I remember Jon saying that Mark found Jer and thought he was dead. I was screaming at him saying it couldn't be happening and it wasn't funny. He told me the paramedics were there and working, so I was sure he'd be fine. But he'd been out there so long already. Next thing I know, Sarah and I were driving as fast as possible up to the spot 20 minutes away. I remember hyperventilating, but no tears had come yet. I wouldn't let myself believe that my 31 year old, 6 foot tall, 225 pound husband would be dead at the bottom of a tree stand. It wasn't possible. Eventually, the phone was handed to Mark who could only repeat "I'm sorry."
As soon as I pulled onto the street, got out of the car, saw lights flashing and Jon heading toward me, the tears flooded me. This could not be happening. They were still out in the woods with Jer, and they led me to the back of an ambulance. They asked me some questions (I don't remember what), then asked if there was anyone I needed to call. All I could say was 'Call people? I can't call people if there's still a chance. Are you sure he's really dead?'
I tried to call my mom. Jon had to take over. Tried to call Jer's parents, again, Jon had to take over. All I could think of was 'my babies don't deserve this. How on earth am I going to breathe without Jeremy?'
And I couldn't. Everyone else did it for me. It seemed to take hours before they brought Jeremy out of the woods, and they convinced me not to be there to see him. Even though I saw him the next day at the examiner's office, I regret that I didn't see him then. I think my nightmares are much worse than reality.
I watched the vehicles drive away. I sobbed the entire way home. My heart had broken into a million pieces, and could literally feel them shattering. I couldn't and still can't understand why this is happening.
It hurts to write this. To relive this. But I keep reliving it in my head every hour and I needed a place to write it all down. I'm not sure where to go from here, I'm still suffocating with pain. I don't know where to go, what to do, and what to even ask for.
Most people don't know what they have until they lose it. I knew what I had, and I loved every minute of it. If you couldn't tell from my blog, my husband was an incredible man. And I'm terrified of figuring out life without him.