So Im coming of the end of the week that was /is the 10 year death anniversary of Don Shepherd.
Nick and I hosted a “Pay it Forward for Don Lasagna Dinner” at Clear Path for Veterans, where he cooked some of Don’s favorite foods for up to 50 veterans and their families. We shopped, we set up the place nice, we prepared, he did the cooking, my mom made salads and Dons favorite brownies, we all pitched in and it felt awesome. Then after all our hard work and putting word out there over and over , we only got about 24 people. It could have been a worse turn out, but it certainly could have been better. I was somewhat disappointed, as I tend to be when people dont show up for these kind of things. BUT , those who were there were very appreciative, and it was an awesome event and cause, and Don would have loved every minute of it. The leftover pans of lasagna , sauce, sausages, garlic bread, salad, and desserts all went to the team of volunteer landscapers that have ben working at Clear Path for weeks. It felt awesome to be able to feed them the next day with the results of our hard labor and heart. At the event, I got to read some of my favorite ever Pay it Forward stories from over the years from the back of my book, and that made me happy.
Now that July 13th has passed and that huge event is behind us, Im feeling exhausted and emotionally drained. I havent really had a chance to sit and reflect on the idea that Don has been missing from earth for an entire decade. I just know I miss him so damn much. I feel like there is a big crying fit that will happen soon, I just dont know when. Some of my dear widowed friends did a Pay it Forward FOR ME that I cant really get into here in a public forum, but lets just say they made my heart incredibly happy and let me know that what I do matters. Im SO thankful for the people Ive met and keep meeting in my life after loss. I honestly dont know what I would do without them in my life. They are incredible.
My husband Nick is also incredible, and his ability to love me and love all my widowed pieces is a beautiful thing, truly. It was his idea to honor Don and other veterans with this dinner, and it was his idea to cook , and Im just floored by his love sometimes, and how he makes it more than okay for Don to be part of our lives.
Im so sad right now that Don continues to be dead forever, and Im also beaming with love and joy from all the beautiful ways that he continues to always live on, forever.