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.