I don’t even want to write this post. Not because I’m not grateful, because I’m immensely grateful for this incredible woman. But, I’ve spent the last 2-3 months in denial.

This has been a tough one for me and if I’m being honest, I’m not fully accepting or allowing myself to feel the full impact of this loss because I don’t feel that I have the emotional resources to do so.

We met Victoria a number of years ago at church. She was recommended to us as a possible College and Career age, young woman who may be available to do some care giving and respite for our family.

I don’t really even remember the beginning. Life was a bit of a blur and we were just coming out of the “cancer years”. She came and cared for our kids weekly for 4 or 5 years. I don’t remember exactly, but it was a significant portion of my kids lives.

It’s been an absolute honor to watch her grow up, get married, graduate college, work, and go back to school. We knew our time with her was limited, only because life moves forward. In fact, we were gifted 2 more years than I was expecting. Not that I had a specific time frame but I had thought that life was going to move her on and somehow she stayed with us. It was an absolute gift that I will cherish forever.

Victoria loved and accepted our children, not in spite of who they are, but because of who they are. That was a gift that I will forever be grateful for. She came into our family weekly, for years and loved on my kids, and in turn, on us. She accepted the hard days with grace, mercy and compassion. She loved my kids through meltdowns, food challenges, weird sleeping arrangements, situations where they were stuck or just plain rude. She challenged them to be their best selves and loved them no matter what.

It was an absolute gift to have that love and acceptance. For us as parents to know that we could walk away from the chaos for 4 hours once a week and know that our kids were loved, safe, understood and so well cared for, was an absolute treasure.

I am SO INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL to have had your help, love and support for all the years that we did. There were weeks and months where you were our lifeline; and the only rest we had in a very chaotic and difficult time. Knowing that we had that 4 hours off, kept us going, during the worst of times.

There is no way I can fully explain the depth of my gratitude but know that you are SO APPRECIATED and that I will be forever grateful for the time you’ve invested into my kids and our family. I’m so excited to see where life takes you and what adventures you have coming next.

Thank You for all you gave into our lives, each and every one of us. Truly!

ps. The boys talk about you all the time. You truly are missed and loved!

pps. Victoria was our respite worker and she worked for us for a number of years. She is finishing her Master’s while working full time and something had to give. I don’t begrudge her this, at all…….well maybe selfishly. Ha! Not really! It’s life and we were gifted so many incredible years! The depth of my denial and sadness are only relative to how special she was to all of us, and that was VERY special!