One month ago today…..

Posted by April on August 24th, 2009 filed in Family

Today was rough.  I had thought that the first day of school without Joel, or Daphne’s birthday, or even the golf outing — I had imagined those days as being difficult without Joel.  Perhaps I had anticipated and mentally prepared for those days.  Of course each of those days had significance in and of themselves, which caused me to focus on other things.  I was not prepared at all for the 24th of this month.  I guess since I haven’t kept very good track of time, the date just snuck up on me.  I woke up this morning with a strange feeling, having to look at a calendar to verify the date.  I think today was one of the hardest days to deal with in the past month.  Though the world is still not right to me, I don’t have the numbness that I experienced the first week or two — which helped me survive those days.  The pain, sadness, emptiness are hitting harder.  The 24th of every month will be a challenge for me.

14 Responses to “One month ago today…..”

  1. Karen Allen Says:

    April – I’m glad I came to the site. It is strange how the 24th of last month seems so far away and then at the same time – it doesn’t.
    I am praying for you.

  2. Paula Cooprider Says:

    I know “anniversaries” are very hard to get through. How sorry I am that you had the hardest day and I feel so insensitive that I didn’t reach out to you. Actually, the 23rd was hard for me. We had just seen chris and then we were in the car for 12 hours with lots of time to think and remember. I’m continuing to pray for you and Rachel, Daphne and Vincent. I think of you multiple times each day. Paula

  3. Julie Wolfschlag NIezer Says:


    I am sorry for the agonizing pain that you are experiencing and all that goes with it…I can only pray that as time moves forward it will get a little easier each day.

    I still find myself checking the website regularly for updates on Joel…although those updates have ceased, I love all the updates on you and the kids. It is ironic, through the pain of his loss he has blessed me with many new found friends–you, Kyle, Traci, and a reconnection with many more. I hope that you feel that same blessing. Although I know that nothing can replace your loss, I only hope that it gives you some comfort in the days ahead.

    I still owe you dinner and I plan on delivering that promise soon! Hopefully some comfort food and a night off from cooking will bring you some rest and relaxation…if even for one night!

    Take care and know that my prayers are with you, the kids, and Joel..always.


  4. Kathy Peigh Says:

    Hi April,

    Thanks for the new blog. I always like to read them.

    I actually hadn’t realized it was Aug 24, and for some reason yesterday seemed really dificult.
    The ache in my heart does not seem to lessen either.

    I would love for Joel to tell us “it is what is is” again.

    Talking and being with people who knew Joel and loved him does help me. I don’t have to answer “I am fine” as I know they are hurting like we are.

    When I took Daphne, Mackenzie, Vincent and Elaina to see Mother Sunday, Iwas reminding her to whom each of the kids belonged. I told her that Vincent and Daphne were Joel’s. Vincent paused to tell me just April’s now. I quickly ( and calmly) leaned over to him and said ” Oh, no you will always be Joel’s to me, can’t get away from that”
    He grinned his cute grin and shook his head and said ‘OK”.

    Take care and tell me what I need to do to help.



  5. Kathy Peigh Says:

    I just realized that yesterday was the 24th, not today.

    Someday I will be with it again.

  6. Kelley Wilson Mesterharm Says:

    I decided to check up on the blog and I saw that you are marking the time as one does when grieving. This past week, my father-in-law passed away. I started thinking about how we are all connected in both our happiness and grief through births, death and other rites of passage. Through it all we make new friends and grow the circle of those we care about and cherish. Yet, only our memories are left to fill the void of a loved one lost. The part of that which makes it most valuable is that we share those memories with each other and keep them alive. After reading Kathy’s note, I realized those memories were not just funny stories and colorful photos, but the children that look, act and gently remind us, of those who have passed, and actually live on in more than just our hearts.


  7. Robert LaMothe Says:

    April thank you so very much for continuing to allow us to be a part of you and the kids lives. We are all connected now through a tremendous bond that Joel has left for us. I think of him often and wear my wristband to remind me of how much a one man can influence those he touches. You are always in our ptayers and we are proud of you!


  8. Connie Matalon Says:

    Hi April,

    It is difficult to explain how much your posts are appreciated. I cannot imagine the pain you are feeling. I do want to thank you, though, for staying connected with everyone with your posts.
    Cousin Connie

  9. Erin Carr Says:

    I agree, the 24th was harder than I thought it would be. I felt like it marked the first of many anniversaries that I do not welcome at all. Also, it marked the passage of time, when I want to hold close the memories of all of us together as if it were yesterday.

    On this particular 24th, I was doing hearing screenings and needed to date each student’s slip of paper, which was about every 3 minutes. Each time, my mind wandered to what was happening on that day – at that time, what he was saying to us, what we were saying to him…

    Though we recognized what was happening, it still amazes me that he was talking to us one moment and slipping away moments later. Though it was a long and agonizing day, I still am amazed at how quickly things changed. I still wake up in the morning and ask myself, ‘did he really die?’

    They say time heals all wounds, but I don’t see how. It just irritates them more. What is healing is being together, talking, remembering and laughing.

    I keep reminding myself that he would tell us, “It is what it is, this is the hand you have been dealt so like it or not, play it the best you can”. He never folded and he wouldn’t want us to either.

  10. Erin Carr Says:

    We had a great time at the museum and lunch on Saturday and I was thrilled that Daphne and Vincent wanted to come home with us.

    We played outside and then came in, showered and ate pizza. The kids slumber partied in the living room together and watched the Disney movie that premiered this weekend.

    They slept in Sunday which caused us to need to rush out the door to get to church. When we pulled into the church, Elaina informed me that she forgot to put her shoes on.

    I told her that we didn’t have time to go back home and she would just have to go without. She hated this idea so Mackenzie, Daphne and Vincent showed their support of her by taking their shoes off too! This made a HUGE difference as they all thought they were really getting away with something big!

    Talk to you soon.

  11. Melissa Cooprider Says:

    Time is such a funny concept, isn’t it. So hard to believe all of the day-to-day things we’ve all done in the last month–kids’ birthdays, starting school, going to work. And yet, I can’t believe Joel’s been gone for a month now. Like Erin, I too look at pictures of him on our fridge and our bulletin board and wonder “is he really gone?” One of my favorite pictures is of Chris and Joel walking around outside the church on our wedding day. Neither of them is aware that they’re being photographed, and they look deep in conversation. I recently asked Chris if Joel was giving him some last minute marital advice, but all I got in response was an evasive grin and a shoulder shrug. I may never know… But I do know that Chris’ best stories usually start with, “Once, Grandpa, Joel, and I were….” Those always make me smile!

  12. Erin Carr Says:

    Not sure about you, but I would say that I have become resistent to feelings. For 14 months, I cried all the time, hoping and praying for a miracle or if not, hoping and praying that we would have Peace.
    I worried about the what if’s and about not being able to say the right things. Now that all of that is over, I realize that I simply cannot feel anything any longer. I guess that is a defense mechanism to grief but I just feel like a zombie.

    Until we are together again. Then, the great feelings come back again.

    I look at our blessings and realize that this family mom and dad have worked so hard to keep close during our busy years has become exactly what we were intended for.

    Thank goodness.

  13. Mary-Caroline Peddie Miller Says:

    April…I have thought a lot about your entry and it truly makes my heart heavy. I cannot help but think of my cousin who lost her 5 yo little boy several years ago, in October, on a cloudy damp Tuesday. To this day, she hates Tuesday’s…especially when it is cloudy. I asked her where she found the strength to face this day every single week and she told me that she knew that tomorrow will always be Wednesday. Well, I cannot begin to imagine your pain, but I can promise you that there will always be a 25th…and I do not doubt that you will greet that day with strength, grace and gratitude every 25th day of the month for the rest of your life. My heart goes out to you and yours.
    Mary-Caroline Peddie

  14. Daphne Says:

    I Miss Him Please take all

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