I don't really remember much from that first week or much after that to tell the truth. Everything was such a blur...
My sisters, aunt and best friend flew out to be with me. I thank God for them. People drove from 2 or more hours away. People brought food. If something was needed, boom! it was there. Every day there were people at my house, offering things, praying, food, etc. I had never had so many people in my house at one time.
My pastor came and asked about services. I didn't understand why I had to do this. I was 45 years old and I had to talk about "services" for my two daughters! Are you kidding me? This couldn't be real. I just did this two weeks prior for my ex-husband, and now two weeks, 13 days later!! I was making arrangements for my daughters??
I think I kind of walked around and talked to people without really "being there," you know? They wanted pictures for a slideshow. Someone else had to pick out the pictures, it was too hard to do. Pictures of my beautiful girls, happy, smiling and laughing and now they weren't here.
I remember telling him that I wanted him to do the service, his wife to sing with our worship leader, our associate pastor to say a prayer and our youth leader to talk about the girls. I remember wanting it at our church because I love our church, Daniella and Gabi loved our church, and I remember thinking that for some people, it might be the first time they had ever stepped foot in a church, and I wanted them to feel the love that we did when we were there.
There was a candle light vigil that week, I'm not sure which day exactly and I don't really know who arranged it. I remember being there and listening to a lady who was saying things that she was "Gabi's other mother" and that Gabi "lived with them most of the time, etc". I remember wanting to smack her. Who the heck was this woman?? Turned out she was a mom of one of Gabi's friends and she was full of delusions. Gabi never lived with this family and Gabi had ONE mom, how dare she?? Especially to say those kinds of things with me standing right there!! This woman made me more upset than the fact that my own mother never came out during all of this, or go to the services, etc.
But all those feelings went away when after the vigil, kids started coming up to me. Young kids that the girls went to school with. Some I knew, some I didn't. Kids crying on my shoulder, sobbing. One boy in particular came to me and I just held him as he was sobbing...God bless him. I know this boy as a jokester, a "cool" kid, and he was so upset, he just touched my heart.
Kids were shaking from the cold and from crying, and I wanted to hold every single one of them. I thanked them for coming and told them to go home and warm up. These were kids who loved my daughters and were in shock. God bless them. Kids who wrote "D, G, L" inside of a heart on their hands in remembrance. Kids who made memorial t-shirts and helped with fundraisers. We have some amazing, wonderful kids in this town and they shined during this time.
I had my sisters, my best friend and my aunt; I had these kids here and I had my church family and they are the ones who loved on my family and held me up during this time, and that is who I needed with me. I will be forever grateful.