Sunday, 5 February 2012

Our Last Days Together

One thing I'm so grateful for is that our last days with Aaron were very happy and fun ones.  We were on our annual family holiday and we were looking forward to a week away together.  As we were driving there Aaron said to me 'this is going to be corny but just listen okay!?'. Aaron always told me how much he loved me - every single day.  I told him too, but he was always telling me - even if I went away for an hour - he would text me to tell me. He knew that sometimes I would just brush off what he was saying but he really wanted me to just listen and not butt in (oh he knew me too well!:).

He then said to me 'you are the best thing that happened in my life. If it wasn't for you I wouldn't be who I am today.  You saved my life and I love you so much.  You are my best friend'.   He tells me this quite often, but hadn't said it for a while so it was really nice to hear and I did just listen and didn't butt in.  When he finished telling me I looked at him and said 'thanks Babe, I love you too' and he looked surprised and said 'what!? you are going to have a go at me!?' and I just laughed and said 'no - that was just really nice'. 

When we arrived at St Helens he wanted to go fishing off the jetty with the boys. I was keen to go to the beach after the long drive, and usually Aaron would want to as well, but instead he insisted that we went fishing.

I now wonder whether he would've passed away earlier if we had gone to the beach instead of fishing as he would've been jumping in the waves and exerting himself.  I hate to even imagine what that would've been like if my family wasn't with me when it happened.


He got the boys set up with their rods and then Harri lasted for all of 10 minutes before he gave up and said he's 'never ever, ever going to catch a fish'.


Kobe loved having a fish with him and kept yelling 'me caught one!', even though he never did.

After a little while Harri and Kobe both had enough so I decided to walk with them to the playground, to let Aaron and Jay fish together quietly. 


When we got back from the playground Aaron was very keen to show me a photo he took on his phone of an undersized fish that he had caught and thrown back.   It didn't matter to him that it was undersized - just catching one was exciting (not that you can tell from his serious face! He was trying to hold the fish and take the pic at the same time :)

When we went to St Helens I wasn't feeling very well, so that night I went to bed early and Aaron then came to bed a couple of hours later. When he came in he was tossing and turning and sighing and it woke me up. I asked him what was wrong as I could tell he wasn't very happy and he said that it was too hard being there, as there were too many memories of Noah there.  He then said he hoped that when my family arrived the next day it would be easier and we would have a fun holiday together. 

I told him I thought it would be easier once everyone arrived, and he then said he felt sad as he had been a bit snappy at Harri during the day.  Since Noah passed away Harri's emotions are all over the place (understandably) and at times he really tests our patience. He then said that he felt like we needed to be more patient with Harri as 'his brother had just died' and we couldn't expect him to feel okay.  I agreed and we both decided to work harder at being more patient with him and then went to sleep. 

The next morning was Australia Day (26th January) and we laid in bed for a while with Kobe and laughed at him as he would pose for me as I took photos of him on my iPhone. 

It was such a beautiful morning, so I decided to jump up and put on my gym gear and go for a walk along the bay.

 It was such a beautiful warm, sunny morning and although I did walk, I don't think I got much of a speed up to burn any calories as I kept stopping to take photos on my phone.


When I got back to the shack we started to tidy up, and waited for my family to arrive.  They all started to arrive mid morning and we were so happy to have them there as most of them had never really been to St Helens and we were excited to show them all of our favourite places that we go to every year - Binalong Bay, the sand dunes and we were excited to sea fishing out on my brother Eden's boat.

Anyone who knows Aaron well, knows that he is very 'unAustralian' at times. It doesn't matter if Australia is playing in the cricket or an Aussie is playing tennis. If he doesn't like them, he doesn't barrack for them.  As usual he had his English cricket cap on and Chrish started having a go at him about being 'unAustralian', especially on Australia Day.  Chrish needed to go buy a hat, so Aaron told him to see if he could find some Aussie hats at Chickenfeed on the way to Binalong Bay, so they could both wear them.


 By the time we got to Binalong Bay the weather was turning bad, but it was still quite mild so we were all just excited to be there, and I was excited to show my family how beautiful it was there.




The bad weather didn't stop Aaron running straight into the water to throw his new skim ball around that he was so excited to use with everyone.   He had also gone out the week before and bought an NFL beach ball to throw around.



After a little while the waves started to become huge.  Aaron, Jay, Chrish and Alex were having an awesome time in them and were getting dumped a lot which made us laugh a lot.  I usually sit back on the beach and enjoy watching them in the water, especially if it's cold but all of a sudden I got an urge to just run in and join them, which is very unlike me. I started to run in and yelled 'come on Nicki!' and to my surprise she ran in with me and we joined the boys in the huge waves.

Aaron looked at me and said 'you feeling alright!?' as he knew it wasn't like me to get in the water, especially on a cold day. I told him I just felt like coming in and we had a lovely time as I put my legs around his waist and he put his arms around me, so we could jump the waves together.  Right then Aaron said 'My heart is being healed having your family here'. It made me smile to think that just the night before he was saying it was too hard being there, but now he was so happy to have everyone around.

After a while I got out of the water and tried to warm up on the beach.  Aaron also got out and started to throw the NFL ball around with the boys (big and small) and before we knew it him and Alex were back in the water, jumping in the waves again.  All the kids (and adults) were shivering on the beach and were keen to go so we kept gesturing for them to get out. Kobe even went to the waters edge and yelled 'get out Daddy!!' which made us laugh, as we joked about how it's usually the adults telling the kids it's time to go.  The next thing we know Aaron is giving us 'the forks' to tell us to leave him alone and he wasn't getting out.  We all had a big laugh and then after a few minutes we started to pack up to leave.

He came out of the water and I remember saying 'sorry honey - it's just too cold for the kids to stay any longer' and he said it was okay.  He then told me in the car that he said to Alex that you can't waste days like that, as tomorrow there may not be big waves which is why he decided to run into the water again.

For tea we decided to make a big lot of spaghetti bolognaise and Aaron sat and joked about how 'unAustralian' it was to be eating an Italian dish on Australia Day. All day the 'unAustralian' jokes kept on coming from both him and Chrish.  Straight after tea Steph put some dessert on to heat up and Eden, Alex, Chrish and Aaron decided to go out on the boat fishing for a little while before it got dark and said they would eat their dessert when they got back.

Aaron loves posting pics on Instagram and while they were gone I was flicking through and smiled at this photo he had put up with the caption 'about to empty the sea'.  He had only loved fishing the past few years and I knew how excited he was to get out on the boat and see how many he could catch. 
There was always a little bit of competition between the boys about who could catch the most fish.  Aaron didn't care that Eden is the real fisherman in the family - he still loved to stir them up.  Supposedly on the way out in the boat Aaron reminded the boys that it was 'Kings 1, Triffitts 0' as he had caught a fish off the jetty the day before, and was ready to see if they could catch up. He didn't mind that it was undersized and he had a days headstart :) 

While they were out Mum, Nicki and I decided to play cards with the boys while their younger cousins were 'asleep' (or supposed to be).  Steph was busy feeding Hugh so she sat and watched us.  The boys have been hooked on playing 500 since Aaron and I taught them how to play at Bicheno.  While we were playing I kept laughing as I would get a new text message from Aaron showing me that Alex had caught two at once.

and then Chrish caught one (if you could even call it that! ;) I now can't believe that the last thing I texted him was 'bad night then'. 


Yes it was a bad night.  A really bad night.

Not long after this message Aaron and Alex came running in and Aaron was really puffing a lot. I said 'did you run back!?' and they joked that the boat was stuck and couldn't get in because the tide had come in. I knew straight away that Aaron was joking as he is hardly ever serious, and we had a little laugh as we heard Eden pull up with the boat outside.

We kept playing cards as the boys all came in and started to help themselves to dessert. Aaron sat down and five minutes later he was gasping for air and looking like he was having a seizure. It's hard to talk and think about the next 45 minutes or so, but I was pacing the room as he was being rescuscitated by first my Mum and Alex and then the paramedics.

I was talking and praying out loud saying 'what is happening!?', 'please make him breath!!' and was yelling at Aaron to breath as I needed him.  I was going from room to room - to check on my boys who were freaked out from what they were seeing and hearing, and I was then going to the bathroom to vomit as I was in so much shock and kept trying to stay to see that he was okay.

I had no doubt that he was going to breath.  Why wouldn't he!? Noah had just died.  There was no way that he was going to die too!

I just kept waiting for him to breath and to wake up and expected him to just come to and say 'what the heck happened!?' and I would follow behind the ambulance and spend time sitting with him in hospital until they worked out what was going on.

Instead the paramedics stopped what they were doing after about half an hour and one came over to me and said 'I'm sorry but there is nothing more that we can do' as he put his arm on my shoulder. I looked in his eyes in disbelief and just said 'my son just died three months ago' and thanked him for everything they did.

Instead I had to go in and tell my boys that yes their Dad had died.  How could I tell them when Noah had just died!? 

Instead I made phone calls to his family and close friends to tell them the terrible, terrible news.

Instead we sat around his body for over two hours as we waited for the coronary ambulance to come and take away his body.  I laid next to him with a blanket over both of us and just stared at him in disbelief. Had this really happened!?

I took off his wedding ring and put it straight onto my necklace so I didn't lose it. 

We cried, we sat in silence, and we talked about things that he had done and said in the last couple of days and as hard as it was, and as much shock that we were in, we started to see and feel that maybe it wasn't just an awful thing that happened, but that it was meant to be.

Even though they tried to resuscitate him for a long time,  we really know he was gone right from the start.  It was massive and it was 'quick' and I don't think he suffered even though to us it was very scary to see.  I imagine now how hard it must've been for him to watch. To see us so distressed and fighting to keep him with us, when he really had to go.

I know he missed Noah so much and kept telling me his heart was broken.  I guess I didn't really understand exactly how much until now. As much as I hate this, I feel like they really do need to be together for some reason which I don't understand for now.

I'm not sure if I'll ever understand it, until I'm with them again.

47 comments:

  1. Oh Lisa. I'm so glad that you had such a good day together, that everyone was with you, and that you were with Aaron at the end, but still so very, very sad for you. xxxxx

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  2. I still can't believe that all that really happened. That stuff happens in movies & is make believe. It's not supposed to happen in real life. I am just so glad that your last day with him was filled with love, fun and family. Prayers & love for you & the boys always.

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  3. I'm so glad you have such great memories of your last day together and you jumped in the waves together! I'm so sorry it turned out like it did. Your family are so wonderful Lisa, we can see how much Aaron loved them too xx

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  4. Oh Lisa! Thank you so much for sharing this! You are truly an inspiration to me! As I assume you are to lots of people! Thinking of you & your family, always!

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  5. Sandy Schmucker5 February 2012 17:13

    Lisa it still doesn't seem real to me. I'm so glad you wrote this story. Deep down I think it helps to get it out and I know how hard it was to write. It helps us to read it eventhough we are all so broken hearted. I do believe Aaron felt the need to be with Noah. God does things for a very good reason and you will know why one day. We are all here for you when you need to talk. Many of us have been on the journey you are on. Hugs!

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  6. Lisa My heart Breaks for you . I know people are saying your strong, and You are an amazing women of strength. But it is Ok not to be. And I know you know that. I just want to say bless you , with the way you have shared this tragic loss of both you son and now your life partner, best friend , soal mate you have touched so many with your courage and love for them . Be Blessed much love and Grace xox

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  7. Oh, Honey,
    I am so very sorry, but if wishes and prayers, and the love that we all had for him could have bought him back, he would be here now.
    I am so happy that his last day here was a very happy day for him, and he was laughing, joking and smiling, right to the very end.
    I am so glad we had that time with him , before they took him back to Launceston, because we all found that peace, that this was Heavenly Father's plan, and we found comfort in that together as a family.
    I love you so much.
    Love Mum.
    xxx

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  8. The best last day with the best person.

    I'm so sorry, and in such admiration of your perspective and peace. Thank you for being so brave and open to share all the precious details with the world. You're truly somethin' else, my friend. xo

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  9. I can't believe you had the strength to post this. It's still so raw and rife with emotion. My thoughts and prayers are constantly for you. xx

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  10. Thank you for sharing your last day with Aaron with us all...xx

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  11. Thank you Lisa for sharing that ... don't think I've cried so much in a long time. I pray that writing about this will help to heal you and your family in some way. All I could think as I read your words was that you have those beautiful memories that will last forever of your last days together. I do know that Heavenly Father has a hand in all things and that he has his arms around your family now.

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  12. Thanks for sharing the last day you had together. You are so amazing Lisa and I agree that you helped shape Aaron into the wonderful person he was. You are both incredible! I love you all!!!

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  13. Hi Lisa, you dont know me, I'm a friend of Fiona Harding. I am so sorry to hear of your tragic losses, what a terrible time for you all. I pray that you and your boys will be comforted and strengthened during this sad time

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  14. This was soooo powerful. I am sooooo pleased you had such a positive day together. Your heart must be so strong Lisa, your faith must be so strong. Lots and lots of love xxx

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  15. I understand what you meant now when you said this was a difficult post to write. You really are an inspiration..
    I'm so glad your last day with Aaron was such a great day. There's nothing worse than having regrets about things left unsaid or undone. You are so blessed not to have that. Your family is a wonderful example to the rest of us of 'making each day count.' xo

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  16. Leetai, thank you for saying the words I was trying to find.

    Lisa your family have inspired me to make each day count.

    Your selfless sharing of such private moments humbles me.

    May Aaron rest in glorious peace, and may you find comfort in knowing that you are loved by so many.

    xxx

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  17. You are sharing the hardest stuff ever mate, Aaron sure went out like a party animal :)
    I wish we could all take away a bucket of pain, but I remember from C.S Lewis who said 'the pain now is part of the happiness then'. I don't know anyone that is experiencing this like you are, I can only imagine what the 'joy then' is going to be like.

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  18. I love how connected you and Aaron are Lisa. True love, true soul mates x

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  19. Beautiful post, thanks for sharing. Love and prayers from utah

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  20. Lisa,
    Your story has inspired me to make sure that every day my words and actions show my family how much I love them.
    I can not imagine the pain you must feel in your heart right now, but I hope you know that there are a lot of people praying for you and your boys. I am one of them.
    As the days pass I hope that you will feel your Saviors love and know that his arms are wrapped around you and your family.
    xoxo

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  21. The journal you are keeping will be a treasure in years to come. May God bless you and your family.

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  22. I have never commented before but have been following for some time with Noah. When I saw Aaron had passed away,I didn't believe it. NO way this is a sick joke. YOu are an amazing person and an amazing mother. Aaron needed to be with Noah and God knew that you would be okay with the boys. God bless you and thank you for sharing your last days with us, how special that time was.

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  23. Lisa - thanks for sharing the hardest day of your life with us. It started out so well though! I'm still shedding tears every day for you. I taught the gospel doctrine class today and shared a little of your story with the class. There were quite a few tears. Everyone is touched by your story. Love, Penny xxxoo

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  24. Hello Lisa-
    I am new to you blog and very touched by your story. I just returned from fast and testimony meeting here in my ward in Utah. We lost a good friend and neighbor this week in our ward to brain cancer and there was a wonderful tone to the meeting today about the wonderful plan of salvation and what a blessing it is to know that we will see our friend again and you will be forever with your hubby and sweet son again one day and forever. Heavenly Father really has a plan for us. I am so sorry for your heartbreak and thank you for your words of inspiration through this blog. We are praying for your family here in Utah. Much love sent to you accross the world. Take Care.

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  25. Dear Lisa, I am so sorry for your loss. My husband and I are sympathetic to your story because we raised by widows(I don't like this word but a faster explanation. My husband's father passed away from a massive heart attack at age 39 - 6 months before husband was born. He was raised by an amazing woman (they had 2 children together - one only lived a few hours and 4 others from previous marriages) My father had a stroke at 39 and died at age 45 from further complications of hardening of the arteries. We have grown a lot from the experiences and I know you will be an amazing mother to these boys. I know growing up it was hard but you learned to appreciate the moments and the struggles. I know through our beliefs is a great solace in knowing we are a family forever. Help your boys write down the favorite memories - so they don't forget and can look back, read, and be right in the moment and feel it again. I know I wished I had written more down. My husband is an husband even though he didn't ever have a father in his life, but a lot of his aunts and uncles stepped up. We have been married almost 25 years and have 8 children. His mother is 91 and is begging for the day to return to husband. My mother is 76 doing pretty well. Just know that you are never alone even though it may seem that way. It will be challenging it but it be worth it and you will have amazing boys that grow into young men.

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  26. I've sat here for days and thought about Aaron and the man he was. As much as it brings tears to my eyes, I know how much he loved that last day that we had with him and it might have been a tiddly I caught, but he would have loved it. haha. Thanks for recording his last day and for the person you are. Aaron loves you more than some people are loved in two life times and I'm glad he was a part of our lives and our family.

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  27. Lisa, thank you so much for sharing the vacation time you all had together with us and the beautiful pictures. I love the fish that Aaron caught--it doesn't look that small! He obviously loved you more than life itself--it is so obvious in what you write. I'm glad that you have wonderful memories of your vacation, and so sad that Aaron died. Thank heavens that your family was with you to help you through those difficult minutes and hours and to be there for you and your boys. Sending you love and hugs from Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts USA

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  28. That sounds like the most perfect day together. Amongst this indescribable heartache, are such beautiful little tender mercies. XX xxxx

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  29. Wow. So glad you have some wonderful memories right up until the end. We're just never going to be able to understand some things in this life.

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  30. So glad your last days with Aaron were so happy. All the pictures convey a great man, husband and father. Priceless to have.

    I am so sorry for your very great loss.

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  31. I dont know you and you dont know me, but my heart is broken for you and your family. I heard about your blog thru another family blog.
    Praying for you and your family. and Pray that God will give you comfort in these hard days.
    Chris in Iowa

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  32. Sending love and strenghth to you and your precious family in these dark times, Thankyou for sharing such precious memories with us all. god bless you xx

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  33. I just want to echo everything everyone else has said. I find true inspiration, love, and an amazing testimony in your story. Thank you for sharing and thank you for being so strong.
    Rob

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  34. I'm just so sorry...but so grateful that this past month you had so many lovely days with Aaron - memories you'll have for the rest of your life. xxx

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  35. I could barely breath reading your blog. My hubby is also 39 years old. Sometimes I take him for granted. The last week I have been reading your blog. I want you to know that you sharing your life has changed me completely.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your boys daily.
    I'm so happy you will be together forever.
    Hugs from Florida USA.
    Malinda Smith

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  36. Lisa, I randomly came upon your blog and I can't help but tell you how amazingly strong I think you are. I have a sister named Lisa whose husband was killed in a motorcycle accident 7 1/2 years ago. My sister was 32 and her husband was 35. It was tragic. They have 3 children who were 8, 7, and barely 5 when it happened. I live very close to my sister and have watched her grieve through the years. She has a muscular disease which has caused her to be in a wheelchair for the past 10 years so when her husband died we couldn't believe that so many bad things could happen to her. She is a strong person and your strength reminds me of hers. I am so sorry to hear about your sweet Noah (I also have a son named Noah who just turned 11) and of course to hear about your husband. There are no words, just that I am sorry. I hope you don't mind that I read your blog. It's very inspiring to me. My sister never remarried and still longs for the day that she'll be reunited with her eternal companion. I pray that you will continue to feel the comfort that you have written about and that your children will also feel that comfort as they continue through good and bad times in their lives.

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  37. So sorry for both of your losses! Just wanted you to know that I'm praying for you and your boys!!

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  38. I am a first time reader of your post...found through Nienie! Just reading over the last week...I am amazed by you. Keep your faith, your heart, and your family strong. Cherish that you had such an amazing day with your family. Those are things that even death can't take away. You have a precious family. Praying for you.

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  39. I thought of you dancing in the ocean with your beloved. Type this address in your bar....the singer's dress isn't the most modest...but the song is just lovely
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV-Z1YwaOiw&ob=av2e

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  40. Oh my word, I have just found this via nienie and I can't believe it. I have been reading about your beautiful Noah and your beautiful Aaron and I am so very sorry that you have them. I cannot even begin to imagine your pain. Please know that I will keep you and your boys in my heart.

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  41. That should say sorry you have *lost* them. :-(

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  42. Thanks for sharing such personal things with us all.
    I love you guys heaps xxxxxxxx

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  43. Dear Lisa
    You are such a brave , wise and righteous woman. I pray that angels will bear you up and that you know you are a choice daughter of our Heavenly Father. Thank you for your sweet, faithful example. Your boys truly have an angel mother. I am so sorry that you have had to experience all this sadness but you truly are an elect and noble woman.
    I only know you through your blog but as I read this last post I really felt I had to comment as it was so personal but you willingly shared it and have taught us all so much by your faith and how you mothered Noah and your other sons and the beautiful wife you were for Aaron. So thanks for your example and may you be comforted and blessed always. Love Bron Williams

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  44. My heart is breaking for you and your family... I cannot even begin to imagine the pain you are going through! Thank you for sharing and for reminding us all how precious life is and how important it is to seize the day, everyday, with love and a grateful heart!!
    Isabel

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  45. Lisa I am so heartbroken. I have not visited your blog since end of last year. I came by to see how you guys are doing. I am so sad about Aaron's passing. No words could ever make you feel a bit better and I hope & pray that your boys and the rest of your family will always feel the Saviour's love embracing you.Losing a loveone twice in a short time is indeed hard to understand. My mother and older brother left 7 months apart in 2010. I still grieve today. Families are forever and memories, too.
    Love,
    Aileen

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