I’m an only child, which can definitely be lonely. As a child, I yearned for a sibling to play with and share life with. I had no idea that walking into high school, I would meet my yearning on the very first day.
Natalie and I met seven and a half years ago, when our oldest daughters attended Welcome to Kindergarten together. You can read more about her first impression and how Eli sealed our fate together in her support story, which she wrote when SFTT launched.
It was October 2013, and there I was, sitting in my car in the parking lot of a church I had never been to before. I was a bit uncomfortable and quite a bit nervous.
It was cool outside, but I like the cool weather.
I slowly breathed in the fresh air and felt a little better.
It was refreshing to my soul—just for a moment.
All of us on the Stories from the Trenches team have had our own trench, as it were, and our own connection to Jen. Perhaps more than any other team member, however, I can say that my grief story runs a parallel track with Jen’s.
My family’s story began hopefully enough. On August 9, 2008, my husband and I welcomed twins into this world.
In August of 2010, I took my daughter to her kindergarten classroom for the first time. I was minding my own business, as I typically do, and relishing my daughter's joy in starting school when a strange woman began to approach me. I can tell you exactly what went through my head because it's the same thing that goes through my head every time a strange woman approaches me. "Please, please, please tell me you're not coming to talk to me. Please, please, please tell me you're not one of those moms. Oh god, she's headed my way. What's the fastest exit route? Shit. Her husband and kids are blocking the doorway. Shit. I'm stuck. Well, I'll just smile and be polite."
Our family’s story with Tim and Jen stretches back to the mid-1990s. My husband, Steve, and Tim were best friends in high school. They lost contact with each other during college, but sometime in early 2006, Tim found Steve online and sent him an email. A friendship was rekindled, only now the circle grew to include spouses and children!