John and I returned from Iowa on Thursday. The trip was, as John put it, bittersweet. While the reason for being there was a sad occassion, seeing most of John's family and then some was nice. They are wonderful and I feel blessed to be included in the Richardson clan.
When we saw Matt for the first time at the funeral home, we actually felt relieved. He looked so much more peaceful than when we last saw him on Sunday morning. Losing someone you love is never easy, but there is comfort in knowing he is no longer suffering.
Somehow, Gertie (John's mom) and I ended up sick by the time everything was said and done. We both woke up Wednesday morning with sore, scratchy throats. Swallowing was a challenge for me and everytime I get sick... it just amazes me how much junk a body can produce. (I mean really... where does it come from?!)
When I realized it was hard to talk, I was crushed... because I was supposed to be the song leader and soloist at Matt's funeral, but didn't think I'd be able to pull it off. Thankfully, with the help of the good Lord and Stephanie (piano), I was able to muscle through it. And, actually, the distraction of the sore throat may have helped me from thinking about how sad I was... so maybe it was not a such bad thing. Even with the sickness, I almost had trouble keeping it together... especially when I saw John as a paul bearer carrying the casket. He was strong, but understandably upset. From that point on, I just couldn't look at anyone in the sanctuary... I would have lost it.
Stephanie, John's cousin, played the piano for the service... she was incredible. We were both so happy to be able to lend our gifts to the service.
Anyway... I'm still sick. Stayed home from work today as Mandy is pregnant and don't want to take the chance of getting her sick, too. As of this moment, I have 171 e-mails in my inbox... so I'm going to try to go in to work on Sunday afternoon to see if I can make some headway and help myself hit the ground running on Monday. If I get a chance to download some of the photos we took in Iowa, I'll post them this weekend. There are some cool family pics as well as some shots of Matt's hat hanging from a post on his land. It's a long story that will make more sense when I post the photo.
Thanks, again, to everyone for their kind words, prayers and thoughts throughout Matt's sickness and his passing.