September 11. When I sat in that sixth grade classroom nine years ago, I had no idea what this war had in store for me. I had no idea that I would meet someone who became my whole world and meant everything to me. And I had no idea I would lose that part of my life.
I miss you. Those three words have never meant what they do now. Every song that I hear, everything that I see, it breaks my heart. Lets start with Wednesday-
Day 1- Bringing you home.
As I sat in the car on the way there I felt extremely nauseous. Reality was setting in, but it didn't fully hit me until I saw that plane lane and stepped onto the run way closer to where you were. As I stood with your brother, I couldn't stop shaking. When I saw you coming off of that plane I knew this was it. I was in awe that day as we made our way home and I could see you in front of me. Every road closed, people looking on. It didn't quite get me until we started coming into town. People everywhere with American flags, hands over their hearts, and tears in their eyes. People I didn't even know. At that moment my heart swelled with pride, because it was all for you and you were mine. Once we got to the funeral home and had to wait I started feeling sick again. And then I saw you. You were so full of life and loving and happy, but there you were looking like a doll. At that moment I realized something that one of you're friends told me earlier that day.. "A body is just a shell." They were right. You and the person you were wasn't in there anymore. That was just your shell. As I stood there alone with you, I began feeling okay. You were home and you were with me. My heart had an overwhelming feeling of love, comfort, and warmth. I was in the car after with Aaron and Lauren as we listened to your CD's and told stories and I felt okay for a little while. After all of this I have a whole new outlook on people dying, but we'll save that for another day.
Day 2- The viewing.
I stayed with you as long as I could. I was proud to stand next to you. There were so many people that came through that day/night and I was simply amazed. You made such an impact on people and you knew more people than I will know in my lifetime. My thought process- I was there from day one and I was going to be there to see the end. It just warms my heart that you made such an impact on people- everybody loved you.
Day 3- The long see you later.
That's right- see you later. I'm done with this goodbye nonsense, because I WILL see you again. I got there early and stood with you until they made me sit down. I'm not sure if you noticed, but as I stood there in those final seconds it got dead silent and I got slightly uncomfortable haha. Imagine that. Regardless, I was proud of you and I stood there until they made me sit. That was the most meaningful service I have ever been too. Although when your Uncle said "We expected Josh to return home, to marry Chrissy, and to start a family" I started crying all over again. We aren't going to get that anymore. I can only hope and pray that in the next life we get everything we wanted and more. After the service, I felt that love again. Yours and the people around me. To put it simply- it was amazing.
After everything I got the chance to spend some time with people you served with and some wives of guys that are still over there. I was so glad that they could all be here. It really helped in so many ways. I heard some good stories too. Some spent a night in jail, some spent some quality time at the bar, and they rode around every where in the firetrucks. True Marine Corps style came to Clymer this week- I would think you would be proud. I hope you can see the impact you made around here. It truly is amazing. I ended up going to the football game last night because sitting at home is no longer healthy for me. It reminded me of a lot of stuff. It was at Purchase Line and the last time we played there- You had just gotten home from boot camp and came to see me. The year before up at the manor people were picking fights walking out of the gate (you, fights? neverrrr.) But God do I miss you. I pray to God that these five years of memories can get me through the rest of my life. I can't wait for the day until I see you again..
I love you