february 20 around 7pm was our last conversation. it's really random and amazing, but she told me how she knew she was pregnant with me and how scary and wonderful it was. i will never, ever forget that last gift. the craziest part is? it was a phone call... 200 miles away from each other. i had no idea it would be our last and i really don't think she did either.
i didn't know she was gone until 5pm february 21. i will get into HOW i found out another time. i will say... my (now) husband is an amazing, enormous-hearted (is that even a real WORD?!), understanding and loving man to have put up with me in those minutes, hours and days that followed. (did i mention that we had been dating just under a year?) he raced home from work to me. he picked me up off the floor. he held me and promised me that i would survive. he called and found out WHERE she was and WHEN we could have her released. he drove me to the airport to pick up my broken-hearted sister and confused 4 yr old nephew. he entertained hunter while my sister and i walked into her apartment. the first time people had entered since the police and ambulance had been there. let us scream and cry, collapse and grieve. held us together when we couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, couldn't breathe. helped us find and corral two scared kitties and bring them to a new home: our home. (did i mention tom has asthma? did i mention that it wasn't even a QUESTION in his mind for us to bring them home to live with us?) helped us pack her home, pack our lifetime of memories into boxes and trucks and eventually a storage area. knew that her beloved cedar chest needed to be handled with kid gloves not because it was worth a lot of money, but because it was worth the world to my mother. held my hand and told me i didn't have to prove anything to anyone and i didnt have to get up and speak during her funeral if i didn't want to, but was proud of me when i did. helped carry her casket and gave me space to be angry and loved me at my absolute lowest.
she used to call him "tom terrific" and i would laugh because... how silly!? she was right. i remember after she met him she said, "stephanie, i have prayed for you. i prayed that someone amazing would find you."
thank you, mom. you were right.