Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Heartbeat

I first want to say that I know some of my followers may not listen to music like this, so if it will offend you, then don't listen to it. I am posting this song because it says what I wish I had back.


After only four months of marriage, a friend of mine lost her husband. At the age of nineteen, she was a widow. That's such a creepy feeling, calling yourself a widow. It makes you feel old and worn, it instantly ages you, turns your life into something different. It's like you were given a new set of eyes to notice things that don't matter anymore. You almost have a need to tell everyone to treasure every breath, every heartbeat that their love has.

I remember this friend saying that she would listen to her husband's heartbeat while lying in bed. Once her husband had died and she arrived at the hospital, she laid her head on his chest one last time, desperately hoping to hear and feel his heart beat.

There was nothing.

After hearing her tell this story, I cherished every chance I had to hear my loves heartbeat. It was so strong, just like him. It was loud and full of life. I remember being next to him and putting my head on his chest, trying to remember every beat, memorizing the rhythm of his heart, hoping that I would never have to try and remember it.

It's hard to understand that the thing that was once a resonant pulse pumping life into his veins, is the same thing that eventually killed him.

I try my hardest to not think of that day, but sometimes my mind wanders without even realizing it until I feel like I've been kicked in the gut. As memories of his smile, touch, and voice are continuing to fade, I am desperately trying to grasp every single one of them.

Sometimes I close my eyes and imagine him wrapping his arms around me once again and feeling his heartbeat, knowing that it meant everything was fine. That it was all a nightmare that I've finally been able to wake myself up from.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Some Nights

Pictures.

Emails.

Voicemails.

His fleece.

Our sheets.

Love letters.

His scent.

Loneliness.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My First Giveaway!


I love creative people, and I love being creative!
Many of my fellow Marine wives have home-based businesses and I love supporting these wonderful ladies.
So, with that being said, I will be doing my very first giveaway! This week will be Jolene from JKuddleBug.
I love to have a bunch of different and coordinating items as a new mommy, and Jolene does wonderful customized baby products.
I have several nursing covers, and I love the one that I purchased from Jolene. So, this weeks giveaway will be a customized nursing cover from Jolene.
All you have to do is like her Facebook page (click here to like it), and comment on this post in order to enter your name into the drawing.
The giveaway will end this Monday, January 23rd, at 8:00pm.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Splitting Headaches and Puffy Eyes

Last night was a bad night.

I am going to quickly give into self-pity and then continue with my story, but here it is:
It's been a rough week, and sometimes I just want a break. It seems as though everything we (as a family) start, something bad or negative has to happen. There are days where I wake up and wish I had no emotion, no feeling whatsoever. There are so many emotions and thoughts going on that I wish I just didn't have to feel, at all. I have guilt, anger, sadness, regret, happiness.... you name it, I probably have it. When I get into these grooves, it's hard to get out and I feel like I have no control over my emotions, like I'm all over the place and making absolutely no sense. I certainly feel bad for the people who deal with me.

Ok, I'm done. That wasn't too bad, was it? Now, onto my point.

The weirdest things trigger grief; once it was seeing the soy milk at the grocery store and thinking that I needed to get some for Luke. Last night it was after I bought my new bedding set to match my bedroom, which means I'm moving on and removing the bedding that we received as a wedding gift. I had felt it coming on all day, but then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Thoughts of my husband being hurt, and in pain, were overwhelming.

After spending the evening thinking, crying, and asking questions, I went to my closet, smelled his deodorant, and fell asleep while holding the fleece that he used to wear all of the time. The one that he left for me when he deployed. The one that he gave me the last time I saw him, alive.

I went to bed with a splitting headache and woke up with one that was not much better. I also spent some extra time putting makeup on this morning before church, trying to hide the bags under my eyes from the amount of crying I did, and from the lack of sleep as well. My eyes were still puffy and red from when I went to bed after 1am this morning.

While there are days that are just plain hard, there is always something to be thankful for. Today I am thankful for my new church family and the blessing that they have been to me. I am thankful for friends, and I am very thankful for family. I am also thankful for my salvation; because of this, I know that one day I WILL see my love again.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Boys

When I look at my three beautiful boys, my heart aches.

My mind often goes back to the morning of August 1st. A few hours after I received the phone call to tell me that my husband had been injured, I cautiously approached Tyson (desperately trying to control my own emotions in an effort to help him), and told him that his daddy had been hurt. He cried, and we held each other. But as a four-year old with limited knowledge on the subject would do, he quickly became side tracked.

Then I was told that my husband, the father of my three children, and their daddy, was dead.
I won't go into the whole story of how I found out, but I was alone with four children when I was told. I immediately lost it and began sobbing. I could hardly stand up, wishing I could have had one last phone call where I would have told him how much he meant to me, to tell him that he was my rock, and that I needed him. Even though I didn't tell him those things then, I had told him in the past, and I only hope that he knew it.

After I heard the news, I immediately called two friends, two amazing friends who have been by my side through many rough days. After I called them and they were on their way, I kept as far away from the kids as I could. I didn't want them to see me this way, I didn't want to scare them. I had to tell Tyson, but I had to wait until I had control of myself. My friend got there quickly and she just held me, she couldn't understand me when I called her, but she knew what had happened. My other friend and her son arrived shortly thereafter and we all just sat there in shock.

Later that afternoon, after the calls had been made and paperwork had been done, I had to do the hardest thing I have done in my life so far. I had to tell my two little men, with their big brown eyes and innocent hearts, that their daddy had gone to heaven, for eternity.
I told them, and Tyson began to cry as he completely understood. Zachary started crying, but I think it was more because he was doing what he saw Tyson and me doing. While many would not believe it, Zachary is very sensitive and sweet (you just have to wait to find that out).

My friend and I, and our four kids went on base to distract the kids and me, and to get some items for the plane ride to Dover. I cried most of the way there, most of the time in the store, and most of the way back home.

That night, Tyson could not sleep, neither could I. I tried to sleep on the couch, but I just laid there, thinking and crying. When I discovered that Tyson wasn't sleeping, I let him come lay on the couch with me. He still couldn't sleep, so he got on the ground and asked a few questions about why the bad guys killed his daddy, why he didn't shoot them with his gun, why he didn't take the gun in the shower with him. He was asking questions that no four-year should have to even think about. He finally fell asleep on the floor.

For the next few days, we tried to force food down Tyson's throat. We succeeded that next morning by getting him to eat a pop-tart, but not much else. He bounced back pretty quickly, and we couldn't help but laugh at him when we got to the USO in the Philadelphia airport on our way to Dover, when he ate 2 1/2 hot dogs (with mustard, of course) and drank a Coke on his own.

When we got to Dover and watched the dignified transfer, reality set in for my sweet boy. I was holding him when he began sobbing as he saw his daddy's "transfer case" being unloaded off of the plane. I gave him to my father-in-law, as I was 5 1/2 months pregnant and could not stand to hear, see, or feel my baby in such pain.

Many people underestimate children and just expect them to not understand what is going on. That certainly was/is not the case with Tyson. He asks a lot of questions and fully understands what happened to his dad. He has a lot of emotions about it, sometimes he is angry, sometimes he is sad, and sometimes he is happy because he knows that his daddy is in heaven, singing to Jesus the same songs he would sing to him on Saturday mornings.
I quickly realized that my child is simply amazing.

Before my husband's funeral, the family was able to have a few moments to view Luke. I went in first, alone, as I needed to see him and sob my heart out one last time to him. I didn't know it, but I cried so loud that they could hear me in the other room. After a few moments alone with my love, I pulled myself together and brought our children in with me, alone. I held Zachary in my arms and held Tyson's hand with my free hand, while Quentin was safe within me. I was prepared for Tyson to be confused by seeing his daddy, I also expected him to cry. But when the three of us walked over to the casket, I looked down at Tyson while preparing myself to have to bend down and hold him in my arms, but I found something different. I found those huge eyes looking at me, and those chubby cheeks bent upwards in a smile. He knew his daddy was ok, he was in fact much better off than we are, as he was in the presence of the Lord, and that made him happy. For the next 15-20 minutes that the family stayed at the funeral home, Tyson proceeded to touch his daddy, play with his uniform, rub his hair, and yes, he even stuck his finger in his ear (disgusting, I know).

That day I learned to never think that a child could not be capable of something ever again. I also learned that God can use children in special ways, as that little boy was one of the only things that got the entire family through the funeral. His understanding and peace were truly admirable, and I think we all can learn something from his sweet and pure heart.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Saturdays

One of the hardest days for military wives, while their husbands are gone, are Saturdays. While many other families are out enjoying their time together, they are often stuck at home feeling lonely, or they go out with friends (oftentimes feeling like a third wheel). Thankfully, during deployment you have a light at the end of the tunnel until you can spend those precious days as a family again. Whether it's sitting at home just playing with the kids, or if it's a road trip to somewhere fun, there is that day that you get to look forward to.

It's been one of those Saturdays for me. The one where I want nothing more than to have my husband here and to be a family. To watch him play with the boys again, for them to wash the cars together like they used to do, to imagine him holding Quentin, and us watching a movie together at the end of the night. But this time, there's no date that I can look forward to in my head, or a weekend countdown until he'll be home. He's gone, and that reality feels awful, and it feels lonely.

In an effort to be more positive and to not give in to self-pity, I must say that I am extremely thrilled and cannot wait for summer. By then, Quentin will be on a good schedule, and I envision the boys playing on their play set in the backyard, while I get ready for my family to come over for a BBQ, where we'll eat on my back porch. Now I just have to get a play set, a grill, and furniture for the deck. But it's fun to imagine, right?