Saturday, April 28, 2012

This is not my best writing; it is not pretty or eloquent, but it's what's happening and how I'm feeling. Hope to read some comments!
I'm lonely, and it feels like it's been so long. He left last April, and once he left, there were few phone calls and emails. I grieved when he left, which I never did when he deployed. I knew it was part of the job and while I hated it when he was gone, I knew he'd be back. This time was different, I don't know if we had a "gut feeling" or what, but God allowed me to grieve a lot when he deployed. Sometimes I think He did that to help me adjust a little easier to being a widow, but I'll never know that for sure. It's getting a little easier these days now that I have more control over my emotions, and as time passes. I'm occupying my time with the boys and the house, and I'm even considering going back to school in the fall. There are some really good days, like yesterday. My mom took the older boys for the entire day. So, Quentin and I hung out together. I cleaned the house, did some important stuff, and enjoyed having the break. That evening, some of my Marine family and my biological family met up at Tyson's school for his school carnival. It was so much fun! There were so many people that it was a little overwhelming, but so worth it to see the kids have a good time and just share time with people that I love. There are some great days.
But then there are bad days; days when the paperwork is pouring in, the boys are fighting, and I start to freak out. A few weeks back I found out that someone decided to file taxes under my deceased husband's SSN. How dare they do that? Don't they know that my husband is a hero? I felt invaded, I was mad...... really mad. I had also lost (not due to death, but by choice) a friend that I truly care(d) about and miss, and the combination was overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like I will be able to start dating at the end of the summer, beginning of fall. And then I wonder how I could ever let my heart go to someone else.

~

When Luke was first killed, Zachary cried when Tyson and I cried, but I don't think he really understood it. At his daddy's funeral, I held him and he just kept rubbing my back as he was very unsure of what was going on. The truth is that he is starting to grieve, but he really doesn't understand enough to know what happened. He definitely remembers his daddy, which I think is even more confusing for him. Tyson can distinguish that his daddy is dead, Zachary thinks he is just gone and is not coming home. Today I had a pretty bad headache and I was lying on the couch resting with Zachary. I said that I wanted to just go to sleep, but we had a few hours before bed time, so I would just take it easy. Zach said "Don't go to sleep, when daddy gets hurt you have to drive and go get him." I just looked at him and asked him what he said, he said "Never mind." I told him to tell me and he said the same thing about picking daddy up, and then said "You stand me? Do you stand (understand) me, mommy?" I started to tear up and he said "Don't. Please don't. Just go to sleep."
The realization of our life is setting in for my sweet Zachary. He doesn't completely understand where daddy is, although if you ask him he will tell you that he is in heaven with Jesus. He's also talked about how there are two daddy's, a good one and a bad one. The best way that I understand it is the "bad daddy" is the one that was killed by the bad guys, that's why he associates him as being bad. The "good daddy" is the one that I'm supposed to go pick up and bring home. He doesn't understand. He also told me today that the Marines put holes in his daddy. I told him that the Marines are good, that mommy and daddy are Marines, and the bad guys put the holes in daddy with a bomb. He then told me that he was going to be a Marine and go to Afghanistan. My heart hearts so bad for him, I can hardly stand to see him in pain, but not knowing why.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Grasping

I reached for my phone, assuming it was Luke. It was around 5:30 in the morning, so who else would it be? I saw the area code "703" and I knew who it was. It was Headquarters Marine Corps, calling to tell me he was hurt. I thought I had prepared myself for this, but not for what was coming. I quickly (as fast as a 5 1/2 month pregnant lady on an air mattress with two kids can) got out of bed and went in the other room to quietly answer the phone. It was what I had suspected, a Gunnery Sergeant informed me that my beloved had been injured and told me the few details he had. I asked a few questions as I grasped my friends bed post, trying to stay standing.

I got off of the phone and my friend and her husband tried to reassure me. We sat on the couch for the next few hours. He promised he'd call if something happened and I always told him he may not be able to, what if he was in surgery and couldn't? But I longed for his voice, for that weird phone number to pop up on my phone. I had gone weeks without hearing from him, and it had only been 2 days since I last talked to him, but I had never desired a call so badly. I had the fear in the back of my mind that he wouldn't pull through, but I guess we just expect that as long as we don't get the knock on the door, then we're in the clear. It was almost a sigh of relief, that he'd be out of there and here, in my arms again. That certainly wasn't the case.

When I called the Gunny back a few hours later for an update and he asked for my address, I knew it. I knew he was gone, but I just hoped there was a mistake. He put me on hold and I just said "God, let it be a mistake!" It wasn't, and I again grasped onto the bed and cried "Oh, God, no!" as I was informed that my love was now standing before his Father.

This week has been rough. I'm doing some soul searching, and trying to let go of those strings, those connections that I am grasping onto in an effort to not let him go. But eventually, it will have to happen. I have to let some things go and move on. In my own time, of course.

This week, I threw away his shampoo and conditioner.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Raw Facts of Vulnerability

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, vulnerable is defined as "capable of being physically or emotionally wounded."

If there's one thing I've learned so far in my journey, it is that WIDOWS can be very vulnerable. In my case, I was pregnant when my husband was killed in Afghanistan. Women who are pregnant don't always feel the greatest, or have the highest confidence in themselves. My life had also been turned upside down, from having the love of my life to reassure me, to talk to, to share my every thought with, then he was suddenly gone. There was, and still is, a gaping hole, a massive void that is searching for something to replace it.

Finding someone to replace part of that void is oftentimes way too easy. In all actuality, it's not "finding" that person, it's more like it just happens, it sneaks up on you. And before you know it, you've shared your soul with this person and realize that instead of focussing on your grief, you were focused on a distraction. Then you feel as though you've fell into a deep hole and can't get out. Everything is connected and the grief is unbearable at that point and you don't even know where to begin.

I caution all widows to be very careful, because while people may not understand our vulnerability, nor respect it, it is very real and happens without any realization of what's going on, until the emotional damage is done.

The fact is that I married my first love, and I want him back. Clinging to things that represent or are connected to him are not the answer. He wasn't perfect, neither was I, and our marriage wasn't perfect either; but we loved each other, and we were going to make it work no matter what challenge hit us next. I remember when I got the call that he had been injured; all I could think about was how we would get to where he was and get through this together, I would be there for him just like he was there for me when I went through what was the biggest challenge of my life at the time.

I love my husband with all of my heart, and I don't know what God has for my future. But I'm glad that I am aware of my vulnerability and I can move forward in my life and focus on the three amazing blessings that my husband and I made together.