We rolled into Athens about 3:00am on Friday morning. Up early a mere few hours later and then I promptly lied my way through 75% of the retail stores in town.
Looking for a dress for myself.
For my daughters funeral.
I answered "yes" when asked if I were having a good day. I smiled when forced to make eye contact. And I somehow managed to say that I was indeed doing okay when in actuality I was fairly numb and a little disoriented.
Thankfully I saw no one I knew.
I'm certain I would never have held it together if I saw pity on anyone's face. I found a lot of comfort in the anonymity I had throughout the day. I survived while going about my errands and found something I deemed appropriate for something that I never wanted to do. Unfair comes to mind.
So that day passed and Chad and I attempted to keep ourselves together while still allowing Linley to see us hurt. She is tough...more tough that I wish she were. I fear she is like me as she speaks little of her feelings and redirects questions about her thoughts and such...I pray she will allow herself to cry soon because I am willing to cry alongside her sweet, strong self.
Pipers Celebration of Life service was beautiful. Our desire was to both recognize the fabulousness of Pipers shirt life and to point towards the great Hope we have. And we do. I cannot fathom the depths of despair I would feel if not for the knowledge that eternity will enable me told hold my Piper again. And again and again.
Each moment that goes by without Piper can be either difficult or filled with with this severe numbness I need to keep moving. Memories abound as we settle back into our home. Her play kitchen is sitting unused in the corner and her stuffed animals are collecting dust. When I peruse notebooks or coloring books on the counter I am struck with little scribbles she made for me. My cabinets are filled with the specific snacks Piper liked and the bowls and sippy cups she would go and retrieve when we prepped for dinner. And it's so quiet. Too quiet for my soul...not only are my arms empty but my ears ring when the quiet permeates.
Again. Unfair comes to mind.
And when I say unfair I mean it. This entire process is painful and unfair. I'm sorely disappointed that this is how Pipers story has gone and yet I am so blessed to know that God is not phased in the least bit by my disappointments. Oh, I do believe that He cares and that He loves me and hurts with me but I also believe that He wants me to be totally honest with Him...not that He doesn't see my heart and love me anyways. He loves me as I love Piper.
Fervently and sincerely.