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A Widows Story

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“When you think “widow”, a woman like me probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. I was widowed at 28. I didn’t see it coming. My husband was a healthy, vibrant, young man, loved by all that knew him, someone passionately committed to serving Christ.” ~ Aimee White Williams

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“We first met in 2000 when we were fourteen years old, helping out with Vacation Bible School at the tiny country church my dad pastored. I had a bit of a crush on him. We became friends but we lived 22 miles apart so nothing came of it then. Three years later one of his friends invited me to youth night at his church. I walked into the sanctuary and there he was. “Do you know who I am?” he asked.
“Chris?” I shot back, seeing before me the guy I’d had a crush on at fourteen. At seventeen here he stood with less acne and even some facial hair. My heart might have been beating a bit faster.
“Aimee?” he replied. The rest was history. Shortly after on July 15th, 2003, we had our first date. He made me laugh, he stuck by me in the dark times, he was my best friend, and my cheerleader. At the age of twenty and just one year after my high school graduation, we married. June 10th, 2006, in the sanctuary of Center Baptist Church in Crab Orchard—the place where we first met—we exchanged vows before God and our loved ones.” ~ Aimee White Williams

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“We welcomed our daughter Abigale on January 31st, 2013. Abigale means “father’s joy” and that was a perfect definition for this child. They had a special relationship. As soon as he got off work in the afternoon he wanted to kiss me and cuddle her. He was excited to change diapers, read her books, and give baths. I worked night shift as a nurse so three nights a week he was responsible for nighttime feedings, too. I fell even more deeply in love with him as I saw the way he loved our daughter.” ~ Aimee White Williams

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“February 12, 2014 I had a miscarriage at 6 weeks. On Valentine’s Day we lost my dad. I spent that night with my mom, in her bed next to her so she wouldn’t have to be alone.” ~ Aimee White Williams

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“On March 17 I realized I was pregnant again! Chris was ecstatic but I was scared because I worried I would lose this baby, too. Thankfully, this child was vigorous. Soon morning sickness took over my life. Chris made sure he changed Abbi’s morning diaper every day because it was making me sick. He took great care of me.” ~ Aimee White Williams

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“June 23rd, 2014 Chris was headed off for a two day, one night mission trip with our church. He hugged and kissed Abbi goodbye. He stood in our kitchen and looked at me—my baggy tee shirt and pajama pants, my bedhead, my swelling 18-weeks-pregnant belly, the dark circles under my eyes. He said, beaming, “You are so beautiful. I love you.” He kissed me and hugged me. Then he lifted my shirt and addressed our unborn baby, “And I love you, little one.” He kissed her, although we didn’t know it was a girl yet.” ~ Aimee White Williams

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“June 24th would have been my dad’s 63rd birthday. To try to take the focus off feeling sad that day, Mom, my brother, my sister, Abbi, and I went to the St. Louis Zoo. Chris was sad to miss Abbi’s first time to the zoo but I assured him he could go “next time”. We had a wonderful exhausting day. I was driving us home when my phone rang, a little before 8 pm. It was the pastor of our church. He told me there had been a wreck on their way home; that Chris had been hurt and was in critical condition. We pulled over and Mom finished our drive back home. We needed to get someone to take Abbi for the night and then get to the hospital in Evansville.
All the information I had was that Chris had been airlifted and had “still been breathing” when he was taken from the scene. I remember standing in my kitchen trying to figure out what to do, feeling the panic rise in my chest and thinking, “This isn’t serving me.” As if my emotional self were a light switch I simply turned it off and flipped myself into “nurse mode”.” ~ Aimee White Williams

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“At my request they led me into a tiny trauma room where his body lay. I can picture it in minute detail even now—the clothes he wore, the useless resuscitation equipment all around. He was motionless but he was still the handsome boy I’d fallen in love with. His eyes it seemed were turned up in a smile, but you know? The last thing he’d seen was Jesus… I walked over to him and kissed his cheek. I held his hand, nevermind the blood. I made promises to ears that could not receive them: told him I would do my best to raise our children to know who he was, but more importantly, to know and love Christ. I put my head over his heart, where just two nights before I had listened to its beating. This night, the heart was still and silent and his lungs had ceased their labors as well. There was nothing to hear; just the quiet of death. If I had been allowed I would have climbed up there to hold him one last time. ” ~ Aimee White Williams

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“Just before midnight we made it to the hospital. The pastor met us at the ER entrance. He and a hospital chaplain led us into a little room. They sat us down. Then a man walked in and the words “coroner’s office” were embroidered on his polo shirt. Talk about being as subtle as a brick to the face… He said something to the effect of they hadn’t been able to save Chris. I had seen this coming. In an even tone, as if he’d just told me the weather report, I said, “Okay.” I immediately came back with, “Did he suffer?” I was told he did not.
“Was he wearing his seatbelt?” I continued. I had to know this. I needed to know that nothing about this was his fault.
“Yes,” he told me. I was so relieved to hear both of these answers.
Honestly in a way, after what had happened to Chris I was relieved that he died before I got there. I didn’t have to make any hard decisions. I would have asked them to take him off life support if his brain function was gone. Mercifully, I didn’t have to say those words.” ~ Aimee White Williams

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“Just before midnight we made it to the hospital. The pastor met us at the ER entrance. He and a hospital chaplain led us into a little room. They sat us down. Then a man walked in and the words “coroner’s office” were embroidered on his polo shirt. Talk about being as subtle as a brick to the face… He said something to the effect of they hadn’t been able to save Chris. I had seen this coming. In an even tone, as if he’d just told me the weather report, I said, “Okay.” I immediately came back with, “Did he suffer?” I was told he did not.
“Was he wearing his seatbelt?” I continued. I had to know this. I needed to know that nothing about this was his fault.
“Yes,” he told me. I was so relieved to hear both of these answers.
Honestly in a way, after what had happened to Chris I was relieved that he died before I got there. I didn’t have to make any hard decisions. I would have asked them to take him off life support if his brain function was gone. Mercifully, I didn’t have to say those words.” ~ Aimee White Williams

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“On November 19th, 2014, I gave birth to my rainbow baby Aurora Kay. She was born into my own hands. After all the tragedy the Lord let us end that horrible year with something beautiful.” ~ Aimee White Williams

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It was such a blessing to have Aimee White Williams share her story with us this week. To be so raw, open and real with her emotions, memory and experience so that maybe one person could be touched to know they are not alone in grief. For that reason, we share our stories. To know that God does not waste our pain, but instead touches the lives around us with hope, knowing that through the most tragic of circumstances, there is hope. Even when it seems impossible.
Each day is a new day and we never know what it will bring. Sometimes widow moments hit out of the blue and we just have to acknowledge the moment, go through the emotion and press forward leaning into life. Thank you, Aimee for opening yourself up so that people can get a glimpse into what the widow life is like. ❤

I had the pleasure of photographing Aimee and her daughters recently, here are some beautiful snippets into their love.

“God is faithful, sovereign, and good. God triumphs even in my heartache.” ~ Aimee White Williams

Join me as I share a look into a widow sister of mine, Aimee White Williams journey tonight.

Anyone who donates $100 or more, if within a 60 mile radius to Carterville, I’ll bring the Red High Heel to your place of business or the location of your choice and take a picture of you with the heel we like to call, “Miss Red” and give you and/or your business a Shout Out!

We would love for you to share about our Modern Widows Club here in Southern Illinois. Widows empowering each other to lean into life and move forward on the journey set before them.

Help us raise money to remain chaptered here in Southern Illinois and bless our widows and their children here in the area.
Here’s how to Donate,
Online at: http://www.JennFortune.com/RedHeal
or
Mail a check to: Jenn Fortune Photography, 115 East Illinois Ave, Ste 2, Carterville, IL 62918
or
Come to our Pre Launch Party! Click Here for Details: Project Red Heal 2017

Click Share and help us get the word out! Message me for information of how to help us out!

#ProjectRedHeal2017 #ModernWidowsClub #JennFortunePhotography #SouthernIllinois

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