Monday, July 16, 2012

Poker Run 2012

This year I attended the annual poker run in memory of Josh.  I was excited to go this year since I was sick last year.  Ironically enough, it was July 15.  2 years ago yesterday I boarded a plane from North Carolina with tears in my eyes hoping that the next 7 months would go fast.  I had a bad feeling that day.  I wish I would've held onto that hug a little longer.. went back for one more kiss.  I tried being strong.  One last hug, one last kiss, one last kiss on the forehead before wiping away my tears and heading into the airport.  It's crazy how much can change in such a short period of time.

Attending the Poker Run allowed me to see a lot of people close to Josh that I haven't seen in a while.  I was lucky that Jeff went with me as a support and to remember Josh too.  Walking in the door was so overwhelming.  The tears welled up in my eyes as I choked them back.  It was so good to see everyone, but it also brought back the pain of Josh being gone.  Being with his family and friends made me miss him so much.

As the Poker Run pulled out we went through our hometown, passed our high school, stopped in the town where I had to say goodbye, drove on the roads we took when we brought him home.  It was a huge flood of emotions for me.  As I sat in the passenger seat while Jeff drove, I looked out my windows at all of the people standing on their porches and the bikes in front of me and the cars behind me.  I felt that overwhelming feeling of love, pride, and comfort in my heart all over again.

I haven't cried in some time.  I think I've reached a point in my grief where I try pushing the pain away.  Avoiding it to not feel the hurt.  To a lot of people on the outside I'm sure it looks like I'm perfectly fine.  That's so very wrong.  I think about it every single day.  It's something you don't just get over or forget about.  At some point you have to realize that you can't live in the past.  You can't spend your whole life wondering what could have been.

I talk to girls who are still living the Marine lifestyle and sometimes I get jealous.  I miss it.  Don't ask me why!  It's not like I ever got my way deal with the Corps.  I guess it's just another part to hold on to.  I miss the people.. the Marine Corps family.  Not many people get that opportunity in their lifetime.  

I still haven't figured it out why this happened and I probably never will.  I do my best to honor his memory and live my life in a way that he would be proud.  One's thing is for sure- life as a widda is never boring.  It's a hard hand to be dealt in life, but you become a better/stronger person because of it. 

Yesterday was a perfect way to remember Josh and I was honored to be a part of it.  Even through the pain, there is always the feeling of pride and love and that makes it worth every second.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Memorial Day: Take II

For the first 20 or so years of my life Memorial Day meant my birthday, cookouts, start of summer, day off work, pools open, etc.  These are memorial days from the past.  Summer fun cookouts.. completely carefree. 

For most Americans, that's what it still is.  Up until a year a half ago I didn't realize how much more there was involved in the day.  This year my birthday is Monday.  I was born on memorial day 22 years ago.  Maybe that's a freaky sign?  I don't know.  Anymore it almost makes me feel guilty that I had that association my whole life.  I didn't even take 5 minutes to think about what the day really meant.  Which is this:

Don't get me wrong.. Memorial day is a time to celebrate.  This year (just like last year) I will take some time to think about what the day is really for.  A day to remember someone as amazing as Josh along with all of the other men and women who have fought for our freedom.  If it wasn't for these people, we wouldn't be with our families, friends, significant others.  We wouldn't have the luxury of this holiday weekend a day off from work.  The least we could do is take a little time out of our day to remember. 

In other news.. I'm extremely busy as usual.   A little happier each day.  I'm excited for my upcoming birthday and what the age of 22 has to hold for me.  Things with Jeff are going well.  He is still dealing with my wid nonsense on a daily basis so I can't complain.  I'm getting better and I am thankful for that (I could never thank my family/friends and Jeff for that.. I really was/am a handful when it comes to this). 

Looking back on old posts can be so painful sometimes.  I somehow managed to block that pain/hurt/anger out of my mind.   I never realized how much I lived on auto pilot until recently.  For a good year I just went through the motions of life.  It's a crazy thing.   Something I never want to relive ever again.  It really was a very dark time in my life.  It's comforting to know that after such a tragedy.. after part of me died.. that there is almost a rebirth.  The freedom of being able to live life again.  To see a light in life that got lost in the dark.  Josh would never want me to live like that.  It's something you would never wish on anyone. 

Anyways, that's what I'll be doing this memorial day.. celebrating my birthday with the people I love and remembering another love, Josh, along with all the other fallen men and women who deserve a thank you. 

So my fellow blog readers.. my challenge/request for you this memorial day is to take 5 minutes away from your holiday celebrations to remember the fallen.  The amazing/brave men and women who allow us to have days like this.  Have a safe and fun holiday weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's been a while..

.. a long long while.  I haven't forgot about the blogging world!  I've just been so busy lately I haven't had as much time to update as I did in the past. 

Things have been going pretty well.  As time goes on it gets a little better, but never goes away.  I think about him everyday and there are constant reminders of different things that happened over the 5 years that we were together.  Part of me hates that time keeps moving on because it feels like he goes further and further away.  It caught me off guard the other day to think that it will be 2 years this year.  When I think about that day it seems like yesterday.  Some days it's overwhelming to the point of just crying because I never wanted to be in this position.  Other days it's smiling for the time that we did have.  It's a constant up and down.  The down days get further apart, but it seems to be that when there is a down day they can be a whole lot worse.  I still ask why and wonder if it could have been different. I suppose that's something you never let go of.. you never stop the love. 

Things with Jeff are going well.  It's been a little over a year since we started talking again.  I'm so lucky to have someone there again.  I know some people look at it in a negative way.  Trust me.. it's harder for me than anyone could ever really imagine.  I'm extremely fortunate to be with someone who is so accepting of it and respectful of Josh's place in my life.  By no means is this an easy thing for him either.  It's comforting to me that I can talk about it, cry, smile, laugh, or whatever when it comes to talking about Josh and he always listens. 

Something I've come to realize is it isn't about "replacing" or someone coming in second.  It's something different.  I care about each of them in their own way and no matter where life takes me, Josh will always be with me.  He's in my heart and I know he'll watch over me.  I'm a lucky girl to have that twice.  I convinced myself that I was just going to be a fat nun living in a convent for the rest of my life.  Really though.. what fun is that?

Things happen for a reason even if I will never know what they are.  Shit happens.  Bottom line.  Whether it be something as serious as losing someone or a fight with a friend.  It's just how it goes.  It amazes me though that someone actually brought Josh's death into something to try knocking me down.  Jeff ripped the phone out of my hand ready to take someone out.. but I took it back finishing the conversation only to know that I can't stoop to that same level.  I just never thought people could be so disrespectful.  The last thing Josh ever deserves is someone to use his death against me in a negative manner.  I would never think of using a tragic time in someones life as something to try and knock them down. 

One thing I have learned through all of this is everyone has their own opinions and people will always talk.  There will never be a day when everybody agrees.. its impossible.  Through it all I've learned that I'm strong.  I'm better than that and I can get through anything.  I'm a strong believer in karma.  A believer in the fact that Josh is watching and protecting me from above while I have Jeff here.  People are out to get you sometimes.  No matter how nice or how hard you work there is always someone that will have something to say about it. 

I was always the girl that let people get to me.. and that needs to stop.  For the longest time I kept worrying about what everyone would think if they found out I was talking to someone new.  And what for?  At some point I realized that I needed to do what was best for me and to hell with everyone else.  Everything I've been through has only made me stronger.  I don't need negative people in my life.  I've been so blessed to have amazing friends and family that have stood by my side no matter what. 

The day I stopped stressing about everyone else is the day it started getting better.  I'm slowly, but surely moving forward in my life.  You realize you can't just stop when the rest of the world keeps on turning.  Just because you move forward doesn't mean that you ever forget.  It's a part of who you are and it shapes the person you become.  I need to keep focusing on me and what makes me happy.  For now.. I can't say life is all that bad.  I have everything I need.. whether it be here or up in the sky.