Saturday, February 26, 2011

Homecoming

Well.. here it is.

About two weeks ago I made the trip down to Jacksonville to face the reality once again.  All day Monday I was thinking as I drove.  Thinking what I should be doing.  What everyone else is doing except for the lucky 15 who got it taken away.  That was probably the worst drive.  I was ridiculously anxious and thoughts were just racing through my head.

Tuesday I went to lunch and the mall with Ashleigh.  It helped so much.  She had gone and she knew I could too I just needed the push.  That was the biggest thing: making myself go.  All day I was back and forth on what I should do.  If I could do it.  If I wanted to do it.

4 am I got in my car and drove on base.  Walking into the gym it was obvious everyone knew who I was.  I was really nervous and heartbroken as I watched everyone in their cute outfits filled with joy and excitement.  It was just another day for me.

Around 8 am myself and another widow went to the armory.  The CO asked us who we wanted.  At first I could only spill out one name because I was so nervous I couldn't even think.  A few minutes later I added a few more to the list and slowly they walked over, each giving me a hug.  It was comforting to to say the least and when I left there I felt okay.

We made our way back to the reception area.  When they started coming across in formation my heart broke all over again and I fell apart.  They released them to their families and I watched as everyone took off into each others arms.  I stood there.  I just looked around thinking "that should be us."  But it wasn't.  At that moment I felt like I had been hit by the reality mac truck.  That was it.  It was done.  I managed to find my way back through the crowds to Hart.  He hugged me and I stood there and cried.

I walked to my car and I watched everyone, together, putting things in there cars and driving off.  I got in mine and drove away alone.  Am I glad I went?  Yes.  But it was painful and hard.  I wish so badly things were still different and that I could maybe change what has happened.  It was supposed to be us..



























Photos by Jill Mills

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Who am I?

I was on facebook a little bit ago responding to some messages.  You know how albums pop up on the side?  Well, one was there that I haven't seen in a while.  I clicked on one and I flipped through all 123 pictures from last spring and summer.  Weddings, birthdays, babies, random stuff.  Leading right up until 2 weeks before that awful day.

I was smiling.  Hugging people.  I was with you.  Laughing.  Having fun.  In love.

I regret it now that I didn't realize how lucky I was.  How in love I was.  How HAPPY I was.  I had everything I ever could have wanted right there in front of me: an amazing boyfriend, a loving family, the best of friends.  I had it all.  And I took it for granted.


I lost one piece of that puzzle and it changed my whole life.  One piece (and probably the biggest) threw my life into a whirlwind.  Changed it forever.  Long last impression doesn't even begin to cover it. 


Take a look.. these are some pictures from that album:











I look at that girl and I feel like I don't even know her anymore.  What happened to her?  I have changed so much in the last six months that I feel like I don't remember who I was because I am nothing like her.  I'm a different person.  Actually, I am still just trying to find myself.  Put the pieces back together to make a new me.

Lacking an identity.

Weird.  So, as I continue on everyday, it's finding more pieces.  Putting them together.  Making a new me and finding happy again.  My most favorite saying ever.. It just takes time. Blah.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Movie Night

With myself.  Yeah, Joshua, that's fun.

I'm still sick and I'm not happy about it.  Thanks to the ER doctor that gave me amoxicillan that is not strong enough at all.  Actually, I'm pretty sure I'm immune to it.  I've had strep at least 10 times in my life and I almost always get a Z-pack.  A steroid.  And now they want me to take amoxicillan?  The cure all that over half of America is immune to?  Lame.

Anyways, thanks to my illness I'm still hanging out in bed for the fourth day in a row now.  It's getting rather boring so I hit up red box today.  I miss our movie nights.  They were a lot more fun when I wasn't alone.  Now it's just another one of those reminders.  I was always content getting a good movie and laying on the couch all night.  I didn't need to get dressed up and go out.  All I needed was to be with you.  I was happy and content.  It was simple.

Being in bed constantly is not healthy for me (well it is in the sense that I need to kick this illness).  I think a lot.  I look around my room and see all of the pictures.

And the hearts on the back of my door.  I never added anymore.  I never took them down.  They're just looking at me.  I wish so badly we could rewind the past 7 months are try it again. To fix it.  To change it.  To take away all of the bad.

I think about what we should be doing right now.  We should be planning post deployment leave.  We should be engaged.  We should be making arrangements for you to move home.  We should be happy.  We should be together.  We should be like everyone else.

We're not.

Now that everyone is home, I know what I'm missing.  I see the homecoming pictures, the statuses, the happiness.  All of it.  And I don't feel any of that.  I'm just me.  Fighting to get through each and every day on my own.  Figuring out who I am with out you.  Who I'm going to be.  What my future holds.  I don't know.  I don't know any of it and it makes me crazy.

I've said it a million times and I'll say it again:  I just want to be happy.  I want my life back.

Now I just want my cuddle buddy to watch movies with me and make me feel better.  Instead it's me, my bear (remember I'm allowed to have him when you aren't here), and Mr. Piggy.  You're missing out, Joshua.  Although, their arms aren't big enough and they aren't very good at cuddling.

People have no idea how lucky they really are..

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sick

It never fails.  I always get sick at the most inconvenient times.  I somehow managed to pick up strep throat and I haven't ventured very far from my bed the past 48 hours because I'm ridiculously weak.  Yesterday was awful.  I had a terrible fever and I felt like I got hit by a mac truck.  I landed myself a trip to the hospital and they wouldn't let me go home until my fever broke.  I finally got home after they gave me some antibiotics, but they wore off in the middle of the night and I couldn't get my prescription until this morning.  It was a very long night.

It's times like these when I really miss having you around.  You would baby me so bad any time something was wrong with me.  Whether it be the sniffles or if I just had surgery, you were always right there.  Now I'm fending for myself.  I mean its natural to get to an age where you just take care of yourself when you're sick.  However, I liked it a lot better when you did it for me.  Lets face it- I'm a huge baby when I get sick and that's no secret to anyone.

I remember the first time I got the flu when you were home on leave and I called you crying because I couldn't see you.  You brought me cherry popsicles that day :)
Today I went and got my own freaking popsicles.

Or after I had my wisdom teeth taken out.  I know you wanted to go to the bar and you were probably complaining about it in your head.  But you never said a word and stayed on the couch with me the whole night.  It's the little things like that that make you realize how much someone really loves you.

Now it's another "alone" reminder and I don't like it.  I hate the fact that that piece is missing in my life.  When I was laying in the hospital room last night I remembered the last time I was there and you kept asking me if I wanted you there and you kept me entertained until I got to go home.  I laid there last night and I thought, "who do I talk to?"  Ultimately I ended up bugging one of your friends, but it's different.

I do believe that's enough whining for one day.
Moral of the story: I miss you and how much you babied me all the time <3

PS: Homecoming sneak peak (Photo by Jill Mills)
Your best friend is home safe and sound!  I'm sure you were watching over all of them.  This is when I first saw him at the armory.  I'm so glad I went that day..

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Traveler

That's me!  I don't know how many times I have heard people say "you travel a lot" or "you're never home."  Right you are.  Ever since September 2nd, any reason to leave home is a good reason to me.  I'm not really sure why it's like that either.  I do know that a lot of widows do it and we like to move around.

There is just something about being home.  Before this I wasn't into traveling too much, but it's different now.  I like going away to new places and meeting new people. In the past few months I've gone to Erie, Georgia, North Carolina, and who knows where else.  Honestly- any place but home.

I love being away and usually when I am, I am close to people that understand my situation.  I can laugh and somewhat enjoy myself.  Being home is a stress-or and a lot of constant reminders.  People don't understand as much here and just about everyone has returned to their normal lives.  I haven't.  I'm still adjusting and learning how to live this new life.

The downfall of traveling?  Coming home.  Every single time I come back I fall into this funk.  I hate it.  I know to expect it now, but it doesn't make me feel any better.  After everything happeed I went right back to school and work within two weeks.  I wish now that I would have given myself time.  I mean, yes, that is probably what got me through.  At the same time, I feel like I didn't get enough time to grieve.  I used to be such a busy body, but it is so hard for me with my schedule now.  I get tired real easily.  Last week I didn't work or go to school because I was away and now I'm exhausted.

I like being close to those people and coming home blows.  Especially Jacksonville.  For being a not so great town, I want to go back so bad.  I feel like I left something there and I'm not ready to let go of it yet.  A piece of me is still there, he is still there.

See all these whack emotions?  Part of me thinks it's easier to run from them than it is to face it.  I've been contemplating going away for the summer.  Just somewhere new where not everyone knows my name and my story.  I wanted to go to Europe, but the G-rents aren't having it (neither is my bank account).  Either way I'm sure I'll be lots of places.  It's what I do and for the time being- I like it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Always Fabulous: J-Vegas

Jacksonville, North Carolina.

I just got home a few hours ago from there and I'm in one hell of a funk.  I had a good trip.  It was so nice to be surrounded by the people who understand the most.  I finally got to see his best friends (I'll blog about homecoming as soon as I get the pictures), I got to meet Ashleigh and Rachel, and spend time with my friends.

I can't say I was bored because I always had something to do and it was nice to just be able to relax for the week.  I laughed which was good.  And I drank- a lot.  But that's okay.  I allowed myself because you know what?  It was a rough week.  I'm entitled to a few strong ones.

So today I had a meltdown in my car (this is the whole point of this post btw).  As I was driving away from the barracks, back through the main gate, and out onto the highway, I started to cry.  In that moment something hit me.  I felt like driving away was me leaving this part of my life behind.   Lejeune, Jacksonville, the Corps, the end of this deployment.  All of it.

See.  When the guys were still deployed, I felt like I could still cling to everything.  To not accept what had happened.  We just kept pushing through because all along the goal was to get to February.  Now that they are home, there is no running.  I see everyone's profile pictures changing to homecoming ones and how happy they are.  IT'S SO WEIRD.  Nothing has changed for me at all this past week.  I'm with me, myself, and I.  Driving away really is leaving it behind.  It's like closing a book.

Being in Jacksonville was hard.  Driving around seeing the places we had gone and all the reasons why I had ever gone to that town several times before.  I remembered where we sat in restaurants and our stupid humor that only the two of us would understand.  Even though I lived here, our life was there for the past 3.5 years.

I was driving to a friends house and I drove by the French Creek Ghetto.  I could see where we stood 2 years earlier and got the homecoming we wanted to have this time, too.  I could see you standing places.  I could feel you around me.

I like being there.  I like being close to your friends.  I like being close to other widows.  I like being close to my marine family.  Being there is constant reminders and even though some are painful, it's a comfort.  One that most people would never understand.

So when people start asking me why I make random trips to (what most people refer to as a shit hole town) Jacksonville, there is your answer.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This is "it"

At least that's what it feels like.  It is so weird being here without you.  I have never been here "alone" before.  I don't like it.  I drive around and see the places we've been.  I think about how it was the last time I was here.  As soon as I drove in I passed the airport.  The last place I was with you. 

Everyone is so excited and I'm here to make myself realize a harsh reality.  I think about what we would be doing.  I'd be crazy nervous about seeing you, waiting for you to text me when you got to Cherry Point, standing and waiting with all of the other girls.  Seeing you for the first time after a long seven months.  But, no.  I'm going to stand back and watch everyone else do that as I walk away with nothing. 

I can't believe I'm doing this.  I really can't.  I'm trying so hard to hold it together, but it is so hard.  I know that no one has any idea what to say to me so its just blank stares.  I want to get it over with already so I can start taking steps forward.  This whole thing has just taken over me.  I feel like I have completely lost control over my life.  It is seriously making me crazy.  I don't even want to think about how the next 24 hours are going to play out.

Alone doesn't even begin to describe it.  The emotions are going to just flood in and I don't know if I can even stop it.  What do you do?  I don't know.  I can't even think.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Get it together, Chrissy.

Yeah. That.

Focus right now is a big ole zero.  I'm crazy anxious and it's starting to make me nuts.  I just want to get it over with already.  I'm leaving in 4ish days.  It's completely unreal.  And I'm super nervous about being in the car for 10 hours because that is way too much thinking time for me right now.  How I feel right now is just... weird.  I can't even fully describe it.

I've been trying to do stuff for me.  I had a "me" day today.  I've been getting up early and actually doing something with myself.  I figure looking decent may lighten my mood and change it up from my usual sweat pants and hoodies.  I engaged in a little retail therapy today, which may or may not have been a good thing.  I did realize one thing and that's that I am completely disgusted with myself.  After September, I let myself go.  I stopped dressing up, stopped doing my hair, and gained a ridiculous amount of weight.  That is not helping my mood at all.  So guess what I'm doing tonight?  Hitting the gym.  It'll be fun.

I have to get myself together.   I cannot keep doing this.  Really- it can't be healthy.  I hope that things start looking up after next week.  It's the last big blow I have to take and I'm ready to get it over with.  In a way, I'm excited.  I'm ready to see your friends and be with them.  I'm ready to get some closure.  I'm ready to feel like you're coming home in their hearts.  As odd as it may sound to everyone, I need to feel that pain.  To see that you aren't coming home.  As hurtful as it may be, I still have that odd sense of pride.  I'm so incredibly proud of you.  I'm going down there and I'm going to hold my head up and smile. You gave up everything and you are a hero.  That word gets tossed around way too easily these days and people forget what that truly means.  I'm going to make you proud I promise.

While I'm there, I hope you're saying "that's my girl."  Everyone there will know who I am and I'm okay with that.  Again, a pride thing.  I'll be there for both of us.  I really think it's what you would want me to do.  I don't give a crap what other people think and if anyone else tells me not to go they're getting punched.  You would want me to be there and I think you're going to be proud of me for going.  I wish so badly you were going to be stepping off of that bus.  I'm ready to do this..

Random note-



Go Steelers! 


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February

You're killing me.

Lets talk about today.
  • Five months since I last talked to you
  • Stepped outside into the Arctic this morning
  • Got to class and realized I left my coffee in the car
  • Forgot to do my homework
  • Bombed a quiz
  • Almost fell on my ass because IUP didn't cancel class or bother to plow the 2 inches of ice off the sidewalk
  • Went to Starbucks to get another coffee and the girl screwed it up
It's only 2 o'clock! Who knows what the rest of today has in store.  Not to mention what the rest of the month contains.  Another "2," homecoming, valentines day.  All the coulda, shoulda, woulda's.  Good grief can't a girl catch a break!

Last night as soon as it hit midnight I knew facebook was going to blow up with "it's February!" "he's coming home this month!"  I want to be excited too.  I should have been up waiting for it to hit midnight so I could post my happy status with everyone else.  But no.  No homecoming, no rock.  I waited so freakin long for this month and it's nothing. 

I want my bed, my teddy bear, and a stock of nyquil so I can sleep for the next 28 days.