was supposed to be her
I know it's going to be a tough one
We are back from the funeral.
These last 2 weeks have been
the saddest weeks of all my 49 years.
Chris' remains being pulled by horse and cart
through town from the funeral home
to the high school
where the funeral was going to be.
Tory is the one all in black on the right hand side of the picture.
I cannot begin to tell you how touching and humbling this whole experience was for us.
Chris' family enveloped Tory as their own...
and the whole town embraced her too.
So many people came up to me and said how impressed they were with her
and how that she was part of their town now. She was family.
Chris' father introduced her to everyone as their daughter-in-law...
not Chris' fiance.
Throughout the whole viewing and funeral,
his parents were by her side,
hugging her, holding her up,
and truly showing her what family is all about.
Chris' mom told me that on Monday
when Tory first walked into the viewing room
and saw Chris,
that she literally fell to the ground weeping and sobbing
The next day was the viewing for everyone else.
When we came in,
it was all I could do myself to hold it together
to see that dear boy
gone from us.
made us come over and sit with them throughout
the whole viewing and throughout the funeral.
His dad said to us,
"Your family too."
I was amazed at the funeral, when the minister said about
half way through...
"Now Tory is going to have a few words to say."
I sat there weeping
as my little girl got up
in front of thousands of people...
walked to the podium
in her grief...
and spoke to the crowd of her love for Chris,
and her devastation of him being taken from her.
the body was loaded back onto the cart,
and literally thousands of people
walked behind the horse and cart
from the school to the graveyard.
The Patriot Guard were one of the most touching things to witness.
Not only were they there standing all through the funeral,
but also the day of the viewing,
they all stood out there in front of the funeral home
with their flags for hours...
as everyone came in
to pay their last respects.
this experience has touched me in a way
that nothing else ever has.
Amongst great sorrow,
we witnessed what Small Town America
is really about.
And it is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Yellow ribbons lined the trees and poles....
hundreds of flags were lining streets, homes, places of business...
banners, posters, handmade signs,
welcoming home their home town hero.
Hotels and bed and breakfasts
put all of us up free of charge for however long
we needed to be there...
served us breakfasts,
and grieved right along with us...
We are now safely home but...
today we are especially feeling our loss...
simply because we were supposed to be having a celebration
of the joining of these two lives.
But we know time will heal...
God will heal...
and life will go on.
I can't thank you enough for all the prayers uttered on our behalf these last two weeks.
I know it was 'prayer' that was holding us all up,
when the sorrow was just to great to bear.
Humbly my friends,
from my heart...
may our great God bless you all for coming through in our time of need.