‘I love you, I’ve been shot at work.’ It took several times reading it for it to hit me it was real. I called his phone, texted, nothing. My heart dropped.’

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“Friday afternoon, the day after Valentine’s Day, was a literal nightmare. I received a text at 1:24 from my precious husband that said, ‘I love you, I’ve been shot at work’. It took me several times reading it for it to hit me that it was for real.

I called his phone several times, text, FaceTime, nothing. I called his plant and a lady answered and said she was barricaded in her room and police were everywhere. Of course, my heart dropped.

I grabbed my children and drove to his plant where I met a cop blocking off the roads. She couldn’t tell me anything. I drove to the nearest hospital. He wasn’t there. I drove to the second nearest hospital. Not there. While waiting there on news, chaplains, my pastor, neighbors, his coworkers came to sit with me and hold my hand. I waited for hours. I finally got in touch with the Aurora Police Department who told me of a staging area for victims’ families. I don’t know how my body drove itself there, but it did.

The police told us there were fatalities. He read my husband’s name. I immediately left and went to get my kids. With my pastors help, since family was still on planes to get to us, I told my children their dad did not make it and is in heaven with Jesus. I’ve never had to do something that hard.

Yesterday was filled with police conferences and visiting a coroner. Every thought in my mind and everything I see reminds me of a precious memory of my husband. I’ve been asked so many times by the media to talk about him. I literally can’t talk out loud about this lovely man without breaking down in sobs. I’m crying now as I write this. I want to shout from the rooftops about how amazing Josh was! He was brilliant! The smartest person I’ve ever met! My best friend! The man I would have leaned on during devastation like this who would tell me it’s ok Terra, it is all going to be fine. The man who was dying and found the clarity of mind for just a second to send me one last text to let me know he would always love me.

This unbelievable person was robbed from us. The next few days are going to be filled with decisions to make on how to say my final goodbyes to a man I always said I couldn’t live without. But you guys have poured out your love on me. You have covered me, my children, our families with so much love and prayer. It is the only way we are doing it guys. Please continue to pray for my mother in law. This is her second child she will bury. Please pray for my sister in law. Josh was her twin brother. Please pray for my children. They are struggling because they miss a daddy who loved them so much. Please pray that somehow, I can put that one foot in front of the other. And again, thank you for all the kindness you have shown to us.”

Terra Pinkard / Facebook

This story was written by Terra Pinkard of Oswego, Illinois. The article originally appeared here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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