Monday, July 19, 2010

Good Bye Jeff and Steph

It has been a little over two years since Jeff died. I recently realized that I have barely had time to completely feel the grief of losing him. Immediately after he passed, I found myself embroiled in a fight for our business that Jeff and I had built together. Over 20 years of Jeff's life and eventually mine, were spent sacrificing time, money, vacations with our kids and time with each other, in order to build our financial planning practice. In the blink of an eye it was gone--stolen by someone whom I thought could be trusted. It was done out of greed and it broke my heart, damaged my business reputation and took a source of income for my children and for me. I am still trying to forgive this person--It's really a hard thing to do. The odd thing is that I have been able to forgive those medically responsible for causing Jeff's late stage cancer diagnosis, but just can't seem to forgive this person--yet. I will get there--I have to--it is not for me to judge--never was. I know this person is perfect in God's eyes--His child that He loves unconditionally--the way I feel about my little ones. So, if God can love and forgive, I really don't have a choice. But it still hurts--and I hate that Jeff worked so hard and I failed to keep it all safe. Maybe I feel I failed to keep him safe--I guess that one's between God and me to figure out.

The point of this blog is to share a heartbreak that I am experiencing--the loss of a great friend, Stephanie Phillips. Steph passed on the 10th of July. It's like the hole Jeff left just got a lot bigger. I think what I miss so much about her isn't just the random stops to visit as she passed by on her way to or from the Giddens. It's not the phone calls or texts to see how I was doing. What I miss most about Steph are the times we'd just see each other and I knew she got it. She and I didn't have to talk about cancer--something we both shared--she got that there was more to life than cancer and she knew I got that too. We'd just share a smile and a hug--it meant life keeps going. It meant that all we could do was take it a day at a time and make that day the best we could. Even if that meant just saying hello, because you knew that person really just needed something that simple.

Steph's passing has made me feel Jeff's void again--only in a different sense. This time I am actually allowing myself to feel the sadness of losing him. There isn't a business to fight for, or legal issues to resolve, or family drama to deal with--there's just my thoughts of him and our life together and the emptiness. I guess this is a good thing--I'm starting to move forward--trying to start a new life. I just don't know what that looks like yet. I do know that I am more thankful than ever before for my daughters. They are my joy and my peace. God really knew what he was doing when he blessed us with those two angels. He knew I'd need them more than they need me--their sweetness, their humor, their intelligence all keep me thankful for the next day.

I miss my two friends Jeff and Steph--I want to live in a way that honors them. I hope we all can.