My sexy man leading worship - I miss watching him pour his heart out in song...
Just after Jeremy died, I went to AT&T to try and sort out our phones and cancel his, take over his iphone, etc. I tried to transfer some voicemails that I had saved over the last 2 years....I had about 12 of them, each one a different good-night message from Jeremy and the kids while I was bartending late at night. The kids voices were so little, some were from even before Caleb could talk much - singing to me, telling me about their day, praying for me - and the sound of Jeremy's voice telling me he loved me was something I wanted to keep forever.
I was absolutely devastated to find there wasn't a way to keep those messages. We had just switched to AT&T from Verizon days before Jeremy died, so I couldn't get them back from my old phone. I cried in the store, probably scared the poor girl working there. Even today, it kills me that I can't listen to them again. I wanted to remember, to hold on.
I've come to realize that over the last few weeks, I've tried so desperately to hold onto and remember all my 'lasts' with Jeremy. Our last kiss, our last words, our last meal....the last month, the last week, the last day...
The truth is, there are holes in my memory of our last week together. I know it was great, but we were so busy. I wanted to write it down so I don't forget, and maybe in writing, I will remember more. My memory starts on Friday November 5 - four days before Jeremy died. This is mostly because that's when we got our new phones, and that's as far back as our text messages to each other go.
I remember that our dear friends Chris & Vicki were in town to see another friend in a show. We were able to meet up with them for dinner at Rochester Mills. Jer and I had never been there, and even though I knew about where it was, we ended up driving around it in a big circle in downtown Rochester, playfully arguing about where it was and calling Chris a bunch of times for directions. We had a great dinner together, and Jer was so anxious because we were going to AT&T after to get new phones. Our Verizon contract was up and he was finally able to get his iphone....we had money set aside for awhile just waiting. He was like a kid in a candy store.
We spent awhile in the phone store. I sacrificed having an iphone to save money and got a generic free phone. I always let him have the better technology, it was more important to him than it was to me. And I loved seeing him giddy about stuff like that (probably why I could never tell him no when he wanted something).
We, of course, texted each other back and forth with our new phones. I read the text messages between us those last few days over and over and over. But just in case I lose them, here it is:
JER 9:05pm - I love you!
ME - Ditto!
ME 7:46am - I love you a lot!
(I'm not sure why I wrote him this early in the morning. I was on my way to work at the gym, I must have assumed he was already awake with the kids since they stayed home with him)
JER 8:17am - I love you. Let's have a family night tonight!
ME 9:23am - Deal
JER - Love you
ME 9:47am - Love you more!
ME 10:17am - Hey I actually get reception in the break room with this phone...schweet! But I am ready to come home already!
JER 10:34am - Yeah I'm heading out now (I don't remember where they went)
JER 11:32am - I wanted to let you know I love you
Later that evening, we went to Max & Erma's for dinner with the kids. I walked in to get us a table:
ME 6:33pm - Come in
JER - Ok love you, you sexy B
ME - Love you more handsome!
We had a great dinner with the kids, I loved when it was just the 4 of us. The kids were great and we ordered fresh chocolate chip cookies for dessert. We stopped at Target on our way home and picked up the Lady Antebellum Christmas CD. We stayed up late listening to it while checking our emails, etc.
JER 12:05pm - This song makes me miss my mom. (He was texting me from the bathroom, lol)
ME - Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas?
JER - Yeah
ME - I like this version
We had to drive separate to church, since Jer always led worship for both services. I usually went with him to both but it's a lot with little kids, so I just met him up during class time in between services.
ME 8:02am - Just thought you should know how much I love you!
JER - I love you a ton too baby!
ME - Phew! What's the plan for this afternoon? Are you going hunting?
JER - I don't know yet I'm really frustrated....stupid deer
ME - Well I have the urge to go out to Lakeside mall for shopping and maybe Cheeseburger in Paradise. We could see if the Knutson's wanna do that for dinner tonight or maybe we could go on a date with a movie or something.
ME 9:43am - Wanna see if Kara and Mickey are free 4 lunch?
(I was apparently bored, texting him while getting ready for church - obviously he was busy, I wasn't really expected him to text me back, just give him some ideas so we could figure it out after church)
JER 10:06am - Just FYI I really love you
ME - Ditto :)
I actually can't remember what we did for lunch after church. We usually go out to eat after church, but I have a feeling we went home for lunch so we could get an early nap together. I do remember that we ended up eating at Logan's for dinner with the Knutson's, since it was new and none of us had been there since it opened. It was a good dinner with good friends.
ME 11:53am - Are you coming to eat with me? (He usually came over to eat lunch with me, since he worked next door)
JER - I may! I'm starving!
ME - Well quick cause I'm ready to eat!
JER - Ok there in five
In the afternoon, during nap time at Preschool, Jer and I had a long conversation that I debated about posting. Nothing about it was bad, he was just down for the day feeling lost in our monotonous day to day life, I just didn't want people to misinterpret his heart. But, he was battling a cold that had lasted a couple of weeks, he wasn't getting much sleep, and he was feeling better by the end of the day.
ME 2:37pm - I love you a lot baby!
JER - Love you too...I need to get away! I'm feeling really down and I don't know why!!!
ME - Luckily, the next few months will be full of time with family, travelin' and days off :)
JER - Yeah but very few breaks, I really want to go hunting, and I want to relax and I don't feel like there's a point to doing either
ME - You've done a lot of hunting, and relaxing at Kirk and April's will do you good too...let's not lose sight of why we're doing all this. You are an incredible worker and you're taking good care of your family
JER - I know, and still all I want to do is sit in my stand and be away from here!!! This place is depressing me
ME - Well the next time you get out there try to clear your head. Talk to God and ask him to refresh our family and give us a better focus. Allow for some contentment in your heart, it will do you a lot of good. (This particular text makes me a little angry now...)
JER - Yeah I don't like this feeling. I just want to go to bed...
ME - You're sick. You're tired. You're overworked. It won't be forever baby. I love you more than words!
JER - I love you too. Sorry I don't mean to be whiny!
ME - Hey you listen to me whine enough, I think it's only fair!
JER - I don't want to be like this...sorry.
ME - I know baby. We've been doing the same thing over and over for a few months now, but you always find a way to provide for our family and I respect all that you do. It means the world to me even if I don't always express it.
JER - I know baby! I just need a break. I kinda wish I'd gone on the moose hunt! Just to get away
ME - Would you feel better now or less stressed? I think it might just be perspective though I wish we could have afforded for you to go.
JER - I don't know, I just feel like I need to get away from here for a bit
This day, November 8th, was a very long day for us both. We went right from work to have a quick dinner with the kids, then right back to the church to prep for Refuge, our once a month instrumental worship series that we were both supposed to sing for that Wednesday. We had a long practice, half of which Jer was laid out on a church pew with a massive migraine. Once he was feeling better, he got on stage and in true Jeremy form, belted out our worship songs in his full chest voice - for practice. Crazy kid.
I remember our ride home vividly. We held hands and quietly talked while the kids fell asleep on the way home. I had basically been at the church building for 14 hours that day, and was looking forward to being at home and laying in my own bed. Jeremy told me how much he loved my voice and was looking forward to hearing me sing for Refuge. And I was secretly beaming with pride.
You can read about the details of this awful day here as I can't bear to write it out again.
Very few texts exchanged this day, and yet I read them over and over as my heart sinks deeper and deeper every time...
ME 9:26am - Love you!
JER - Love you too
ME 4:34pm - Love you!
ME 6:45pm - When are you coming home? I miss you!
ME 7:06pm - You said you'd be home by 7 where are you?
ME 7:59pm - I'm starting to worry babe...
ME 8:38pm - Please call me
Ugh, it's like a sucker punch every time.