Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Trying to move on
I am attempting to post a follow up to the tragic death of our Angie and then try to move on to more daily stuff. It seems wrong to go back to normal when things will never be the same but for the sake of the kids and my sanity it's what must be done. She will continue to be on my mind and forever in my heart. Here's is the post I did for her birthday last year. It tells more of the background story of Angie and what she means to us. I'm so glad I did this and that she saw it and loved it. You never know when someone will leave your life.
Angie was killed in a tragic auto accident on Tuesday morning on her way to work. She was just a mile from home and it happened in the second it took for her to look over at the cars merging in her lane at the same time the traffic in front of her stopped. She clipped the car in front of her which sent her into a tailspin across I40 into oncoming traffic. She was hit just once by a pick up truck ~ but she was hit so hard (he was going 70 mph ~ which was the speed limit) and in just the right way that the rear of her car was pushed all the way up to the front of the car. She was killed instantly. There is a picture of her car here but I will forewarn you, it's not pretty. It's one of the many articles regarding her accident.
Angie was a wonderful, giving person. She came into our lives the day she gave birth to "our" son Nathaniel. When she went into labor she asked the agency to call us and ask us to come to the hospital. We were about 4 hours away and off we went, making phone calls and arrangements on the fly. We knew that day that she was meant to be in our lives. It was supposed to be a closed adoption but we went behind the agency and shared our information and so not only did we adopt Nathaniel but Angie as well. She meshed well into our family. She is the same age as my daughter Jennifer and they always had fun together. At the time of the adoption we all lived in North Carolina and Angie would come on vacations with us and spend time at our house on a regular basis. Since our moving to Florida we only got to see her once or twice a year which was hard but we were in constant contact via phones and email. She had already scheduled her trip down for this summer to coinside with Nathaniel's birthday on the 28th of this month. We were all very excited.
From the moment I received the call from her best friend Kelli on Tuesday morning I have been on an emotional roller coaster. I still cannot believe she is gone. We drove up to NC on Thursday and on Friday we met up with Kelli & Kyle (Hi guys!) at Angie's house. The two of them had been working diligently on her house in preparation for our arrival. We had never actually been to her house and it was wonderful and comforting to see where she lived and we were just blown away by all the photos and memorabilia she had of not only Nathaniel, but all of us.
She had cards saved that Jen had sent her more than 7 yrs ago. I've always known how important she was in our lives but it was nice to see that we were just as important in hers. We had not met Kyle or Kelli before but I think Angie would be pleased to see how well we all clicked immediately. The funeral itself was especially hard. It was an open casket. We brought the kids in before hand to see Angie privately. They both did really well but commented that she "just didn't look comfortable," which she didn't. Nathaniel was the center of a lot of attention as everyone that knew Angie knew of him and had seen countless pictures of him and everyone wanted to meet him and to give him a hug. He was a trooper and allowed all those strangers to get what they needed from him, Angie's final legacy. He walked Angie's mother (a virtual stranger to him) up to the front of the church for the service and walked with her behind the coffin as it was taken out of the church. I, of course, was right with him the entire time (with Richard, Jen, Jeremy & Julz right behind us) and while it was all a bit overwhelming, we got through it ~ together, as a family. I think the hardest part of the service was when the pastor talked about her love for her son being so great that she gave him up to a family who could give him all that she could not. Fortunately for him and for us and for Angie ~ we all got to be a part of each other's lives.
After the service we visited with Angie's mom and family at her house. She (Judy) is handling this as best she can and I think much better than I could although she told me she is just operating numb. I guess that's all you can do in a situation like this. After that we went back to Angie's house to hang out and share stories with her friends. It was nice to get to know the people that she had told us so much about over the years. Kyle & Kelli had put together quite a few things for us to take home with us ... photo albums she had made of all of us, stuff that I had made her over the years and each of us took a frog (it was what she collected en mas) to remember her by. I do hope that we will be able to keep in touch with them so that Nathaniel will still have that connection with his birth mother.
Being in NC also gave us the opportunity to visit with some of our "other" family. Alex's (unofficially adopted daughter) sister and mother live in Charlotte and while they didn't know Angie they attended the funeral in Alex's place since she was not able to change her schedule to make it down. Later Friday night we went over to their place and had a wonderful dinner and great visit. It was a nice end to a very hard day.
We arrived home safely on Saturday as did Jen and Jeremy and while we still mourn Angie and talk about her, we are trying to get on with our lives as best we can. We are still in mid move so that takes a lot of our time and energy. We will continue moving over boxes and some of the smaller furniture. The movers will come on the 23rd and move the big stuff. In the mean time we are all sleeping on single mattresses on the floor but are happy to be in the new house and away from the crazy neighbors. The kids have already met some new friends here and had old friends over for a swim. So... life goes on ~ but it's just not the same. Thanks for indulging me in my pain and grief. We will now continue on with our regular programming schedule...