I want to give my past self a big fat hug. I want to tell her that it’s going to be really hard but that she is going to get through it all.
The girl two years ago that had been searching for 17 days for her husband and found out this day his body had been found. Never could I have imagined two years later I’d be here. It feels like it was yesterday I was sitting in my mom’s backyard, Poppy was playing in the grass it was a little overcast and rainy, we happened to see on the news that an unidentified body had been found so I frantically started sending our private investigator every photo I had of Paul’s tattoos. I wanted it all to be over, but I desperately didn’t want that body to be his. We got confirmation the next day with the police at our door that the body was in fact his….
The reality of what that meant wouldn’t settle in for a while. I just wanted to run so far away till it all just disappeared and I’d wake up in my life again. I was now facing planning a funeral after we had been searching for 17 really hard days…
That’s not how this was supposed to end. We were going to find him, I was going to punch him in the nuts for putting us all through the mess and then we’d figure life out…. I wasn’t supposed to be burying my husband at 26 years old. I don’t remember agreeing to all this… this was never included in the vision of my life.
The thing I’ve learned about life is that you really don’t get to choose what happens or doesn’t happen. You do get to choose how you respond, how you show up, how you move forward, what you learn + how you evolve. You can have hopes and dreams but the very most important moment is the one you are in right now, right this very second. That’s really all that matters.
I’ve learned more about myself these past two years then I have in my whole life and every day I am so full of gratitude I get to raise this girl and that we have each other through this. I am full of gratitude for my family and friends who have navigated the pain with me. I am so grateful for Dane. He has watched me experience every emotion without judgment, he has let me cry on his shoulder and held me while I processed really important big feelings. He loves me for who I am and allows me space to continually grow, a gift like that is priceless.
Paul, your infectious energy is missed, I wish every day you could experience the joy that Poppy is. I think you would be happy to know that we have found joy, we have grown and lived and loved and we will continue doing so. We are grateful to have so many loving cheerleaders surrounding us.
I am so grateful to all the people who gave their time in helping us find paul. So many people left their jobs and families every day to search, it was absolutely incredible to see a community show up for you in that way. The amount of love that was and has been poured over us in immeasurable and my gratitude is endless.