I wanted to write this as we approach the one-year anniversary of Tim’s death.  I would like to say thank you again for so many things that have been done for our family over this past year. I know I attempted to say thank you in church a few days after the funeral, but I was still in shock; there were so many people and acts of kindness I forgot to mention or give thanks for.

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The overwhelming love, prayers and special acts of kindness need to be mentioned.  First of all, my church, Abba’s House, went above and beyond any expectation anyone could imagine.  At the time of Tim’s death, I had been working at Abba’s House for nine-plus years. I know how hard everyone there works in all departments. I want to say thanks to each and every one of you again for everything you did for my family, such as cleaning, painting and repairing countless items in my home.  Preparing meals for our family to receive for months to come and helping me plan the service for Tim the way he wanted it to be meant the world to me. The service, message and songs were what he wanted.  I know how hard it was on everyone that week.  I appreciate Pastor Ron and Paulette Phillips; Pastor Chris and Davi Brooks; Jay and Denise Craig; Jeff Harrell; Ken Hartley; Marsha Stern; the choir and the orchestra; Angie McGregor; Doug Wright and the media department for making the slideshow and helping print pictures and thank-you cards; and to all church staff in every department for making Tim’s going home a beautiful day.

Also, to everyone close to my family and to complete strangers, thank you for all prayers, home visits, cards, flowers, plants, blankets, poems, homemade shadow boxes, letters, emails, Facebook statuses, gift baskets, packages, delivered groceries, T-shirts and car stickers made, vans used to transport all family members, banners, signs on businesses and signs made by people standing on the road. These were appreciated and will never be forgotten.

I would like to give a special thank you to members of the Chattanooga Police Department for taking such good care of my children, family members and me for several weeks. I will be forever grateful for your prayers and help with everything we needed and sometimes still need to this day.  Tim would be so thankful for all you have done for us and proud to know you stepped up when he needed you.  My kids are so excited to use their Christmas present you got them.

Thank you Sgt. Rick Mincy, Martin Pierce and Rob Pippenger from RDP Partners for setting up the educational fund for my children. This fund was something I would have never been able to do for my children in the first months of our recovery.  I would like to thank all the Chattanooga firemen and their families that helped with all exterior maintenance around my home.

The South Carolina Police Department offered the use of the caisson to carry Tim to his resting place.  I am sure Tim was honored by this act, as this was the same caisson to carry one of Tim’s most-respected men to hold office: President Ronald Reagan.  Thank you, SCPD.

Special thanks to Russell at Heritage Funeral Home for making my family’s experience though this tragedy as painless as possible. Russell, you and your staff are just wonderful people. I will never forget what you did for me that week.  Thanks to Chattanooga Funeral Home for helping me understand where Tim would be laid to rest, and thank you Wichman Monuments for Tim’s beautiful grave marker.

My children and I will cherish all awards, road signs, special framed pictures, handmade gifts, dedications and memorials in his honor. Allison, Nicholas and I find comfort knowing our separation from Tim is only temporary.   I also find peace from the word of God: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

Kelle Chapin