since our daughter's life was forever changed by tragedy. Russell's been gone for a full month now and what a dark and sad month it's been. I still don't know how Desiree' is holding up as well as she is - she's so much stronger than I ever gave her credit for. She put together the most poignant, beautiful and yet bittersweet service for Russ's final farewell. Back when they were planning their wedding ceremony, he had chosen the Aerosmith song "Don't Want to Miss a Thing" as the song for their first dance. Des actually gave him some resistance on that - she thought it was too "rock" for the occasion, but she eventually gave in, knowing it would mean a lot to him. As you all know, Russell and Des never got that first dance, but Des played the song for him anyway - at his funeral. She read aloud a heartbreakingly tender letter to him and then placed his wedding ring on his finger as his song played. Anyone who is a parent knows just how crushingly debilitating it is to see your child in pain. I didn't know if Randey or I would survive seeing our daughter hurting so much that day. As she laid her head on Russell's chest and told him goodbye, I thought my heart would surely break just seeing how horribly broken her heart was. I would give anything in the world if I could keep any of my children from ever feeling that kind of loss and sorrow again. It's just too much to see when there's nothing you can do to help. I couldn't help to take away my son Nicholas's and his wife Jodie's pain when they lost their son, Conner and I couldn't help take away Desiree's pain when she lost her Russell. God, how I wish I could have, though.
Thank you to everyone who left comments of sympathy and condolence on my last post. It was a comfort to see those words and know that there were people out there who cared. And thank you especially to Joan and Cassie for the cards you sent. You'll never know the comfort you gave with those gestures. Life here will never be the same, but we're doing what we can to move forward. Desiree' has moved back home with us. We've packed up her belongings and put them in storage for now, until she can decide what she wants to do. She's returned to work and is doing her best to get through each day as it comes. Some days are better than others. Some days the pain just seems to hit her square in the face and other days you can just see her lowering her head and plowing through the hours with sheer determination, as if to ward off the hurt with willpower alone. God bless this child of mine and whatever it is He has instilled in her that's enabling her to be so strong, I'm thankful for it. Her strength seems to give us strength. And I'm thankful that so many of you have lent your strength to her - believe me, it has surely helped. Thank you.