I can honestly say that I've never known anyone outside of fame that has been honored and remembered as much as Jeremy. My husband. The man I got to stand beside for 8 short years. I knew he was a great man, but I could have never understood the depths of the work he did and continues to do for God's kingdom. His life is still blessing.
Last night, The Jeremy King Memorial Dinner took place. A formal dinner comprised of limited seating, a catered meal, silent auctions, and touching entertainment by One Time Blind, the evening was absolutely amazing. The decorations were unbelievable and just right to honor Jeremy, all the way down to the fishing pole exhibits and fresh cut wood centerpieces with burlap flowers. Some of Jer's closest friends stood up to share stories about him, and made us laugh and cry. To top off the evening, Rochester College (where Jer was employed and also where Jer and I met and attended school) presented each of our children with scholarships should they choose to attend there. I was completely speechless. Just when I think no more could possibly be done, I am floored to see God's love pouring in for our family.
I think the one year mark left me at a very strange place. The dust has settled. People have gone back to life. A part of me started to feel very lonely in my grief - and left me dealing with this pain face to face on a daily basis all alone. People don't come around as often - and that's ok, but like almost anything, if you think about something often enough for long enough, you start to go crazy. I felt like I was going crazy, quite literally....maybe I made Jer up, maybe it was a dream, maybe it's been longer than a year, maybe it's really only been a week, the list goes on. But then an event like this takes place and reminds me that I am not alone. Jeremy is remembered by so many, loved by so many, grieved by so many. He is not forgotten, nor is the legacy he's left on this earth.
It was a wonderful evening. It was a heartbreaking evening. It was a devastating evening. It was a hopeful evening. The hardest part for me was hearing individually each of Jer's closest friends attest to the way that Jer loved me and our babies, and the way that he talked about us...I knew it in theory, but there's something about hearing it from someone else that completely ripped my heart out but filled my soul at the same time. I truly did not deserve that guy.
It's so humbling to stand in the place where my husband has left. I feel his love and protection in the way that he's surrounded me with the most incredible people on the planet, he's allowed this writing outlet for people to walk this journey with me, and has continued to shine through the beautiful faces of our children. I know there is so much going on in the world, so many people in need of prayer, time, and money....and to know that people will still use that time to bless my family just moves me to tears. I can only pray to leave half the legacy that my husband has left.
Baby, I'm so proud of you. I'm proud of the man that you became, I'm proud of the people you chose to surround yourself with, I'm proud of the community you've created and participated in. I'm mostly proud to be yours.
I miss you every single day and that will never change. Sometimes it's still suffocating - like yesterday while I was cleaning and found your sweater in the coat closet...it smelled like you and tears hit me so fast I could barely stand up straight. I haven't smelled that smell in awhile, and it instantly brought me back, then brought me to my knees. Sometimes, though, missing you doesn't always sting anymore. Thankfully, I can think about you and smile. I can tell funny stories about you and laugh. I can remember you with pride in my heart instead of jealousy (most of the time).
I will carry you with me everywhere I go. I can't get over what an incredible man I married.
I love you always and forever babe.