Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Big Day

It is so hard to gather my thoughts and sit down to write. Even in my private journal....there are just too many thoughts! Too many significant things that have happened. Too many humongous feelings that seem impossible to sort out.
There are millions of things I want to share. Specific encounters with the holy spirit. The definition of community and how I have been carried through the last 6 weeks by the most servant hearted and loving people. I want to talk about my fears and anxieties in being around large groups of in just the span of a day I went from the most extroverted extrovert around to the complete other side of the spectrum. And I will get to all those things. I want to share this journey. I want to heal through writing and sharing and even though there are 34895798473948 blogs to read these days...I pray that just one person who needs encouragement, is in the depths of despair, someone who has lost significantly will stumble upon this. There is so much grief, healing, fears to conquer, feelings to feel and so on and so forth. There is hope ahead. It has been promised, ya'll. So, for today I am going to share the story of Justin's Celebration of life. I am ready to process through that day here.

The days leading up to the funeral were blurry. So much had to be done, decisions made, money spent, endless tasks both big and little. A small group of girls sat at my kitchen table around the clock for DAYS handling detail after detail. The boys were taken shopping for suits, dresses were ordered for me to try on at home so I didn't have to leave the house, lots of starbucks flowed, the program and slideshow were designed beautifully, groceries were delivered, my boys were loved on, my bills and other chaotic financial tasks were handled, furniture for the new house was ordered, a filing system was created....I don't even know half of what these girls accomplished. They handled my entire life while I sat in my bed in a daze barely emerging to the kitchen once a day to "help" - {I am not sharing these names because I am selfish and I don't want to share my people with anyone. They are MINE, so back off. }

I hope to be able to show each of them this great love and offer myself fully and selflessly to them in a time where they need to be loved and taken care of. I most def pray the circumstances are NOT the same, but I feel like it is honestly an unreturnable favor. A gift too large to find words for a thank you note. So, keep your people close ya'll. Make sure your closest friends KNOW that they are your closest friends. Tell them. Right now.

Justin died on Monday afternoon and the service was planned for Friday at our home church, FBC Boerne. I thought Friday would take FOREVER to arrive, but I blinked...and it was time. Katie picked me up early...mostly so I could hide. I just knew that I wanted to keep it together for the service. I wanted to hear every word spoken about the greatest man I ever knew. Which eye contact could be made with pretty much ANYONE. Eye contact = me losing it. I was not ready to look into the eyes of others that loved him and see their loss too. It was just hard enough to look my boys in the eye. To see their hurt, confusion, naivety, and loss. That was about all I could take until the service was over. Our beautiful friend Laura sang songs that Justin told her himself were special to him accompanied by her dad, Phil - who also happened to be a special mentor in Justin's life. Our Pastor gave the most REAL testimony of his very special friendship with Justin. It was truth mixed with reality...and it was profound. Three very very special guys, Justin, Dru and Joseph poured their hearts into well thought out tributes to their very dear friend. They each shared very different stories, anecdotes and characteristics of Justin. But, the theme of his life was evident in all that was shared. Justin was passionate, compassionate, giving, hard working, fun, intentional, ambitious, spontaneous, loved the Lord and his family and was just flat out ONE OF A KIND. It was a beautiful service. It truly was a celebration of who he was and the painted a detailed portrait of the legacy he has left behind. And very most importantly...the Gospel was shared.

A sweet friend took these incredible pictures to help us all remember what a true celebration this day was. Justin was loved by many. 

Our boys are loved so well by those really great guys that Justin surrounded himself with. 

The pallbearers (which I chose to refer to as "JMacs Attendants") and the special guys that escorted our sons - honorary pallbearers (which I chose to call "Little Mac Attendants") each left the ceremony wearing JMac approved sunglasses. 

Every detail was gorgeous. 
Not only are my friends amazing...but they are creative and talented as well. 

These are the boutonnieres each Attendant wore. 

A table was set up to collect memories for each of the boys about their dad. 

Another table with pictures and random favorites of Justin's (like a hunting vest, a favorite hat, an apple tv remote etc. lol) 

So many people sent gorgeous flower arrangement, donated to Vault: Fostering Community in his name & donated money into the gofundme account and Jefferson Bank account for the boys. 
They will be so grateful in years to come to see that others poured into their college funds. 

I cannot finish this post without giving GREAT thanks to the Ebensberger-Fisher Funeral Home. I have planned only one other funeral and dealt with only one other great loss in my life (my mom) and I can tell you that my experience with this funeral home was daylight in the darkness to my last experience. They were so....kind. Loving. Respectful and Professional. They made me feel like a priority and they really heard and made happen the things that were important to me about this process. I never in my life WANTED to be recommending a funeral home...and I never thought I would say the process was an actual pleasure. But, read it here today folks. Dusty and JoLynn are the bees knees.

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