Nearly a month has passed since Dave's passing - what a month it's been. As you all know I quit my job at TSA; I had my "dream job" as a photojournalist at my fingertips, and lost it as quickly as I found it; the immediate need to tend to Dave's death left us scrambling for donations so that we could properly tend to him and his belongings.
The week and a half after returning home from Denver was exhausting as I sorted through the belongings that we brought home, merging two households into one. I purposely didn't stress about finding a new job during that week and a half - I didn't have any energy reserves to be able to do it. I knew that once our home was in order I'd be ready to begin looking.
The day after the last box had been gone through, I had my interview with the Social Security office to discuss the survivor benefits I had applied for the previous week. I answered the questions as they were asked, and when we were finished she let me know how much we'd be getting every month:
It will be enough that I don't have to work until Brandon turns 16. Now, there are stipulations, etc that factor into that, but the bottom line is that I won't have to stress about money for a while. Eventually I will work, maybe get a part time job when school starts (mine and theirs). If nothing else, I'm taking the rest of the summer off to be with the kids - to be with them, to play with them, to enjoy them.
I feel a certain pang of guilt for having this money now, when just a few weeks ago I was asking for and receiving others' help. It just doesn't feel right that people gave me money, and now I have enough that I don't even have to work. After much thought I've decided to honor the donations that were so selflessly given to us, by paying it forward. I'm not sure how, when, or what we will do, but we will do whatever we can to help others just as we were helped.
The gratitude I have felt throughout this trying time in our lives is solid in my heart - it's an unforgettable feeling that has seeped into every fiber of my being. I've realized how truly fortunate we are in our lives, not by the money we have in our bank account, but by the love that has been shown to us and the comforting arms of protection that have encircled us from literally all over the world.
Love is truly all we need in life...the rest will fall into place.