Saturday, October 12, 2013

Times are changing

You know.. It's been really weird passing that three year mark. Three years ago seems like an eternity, but only 3 years. I was just on Facebook scrolling through my news feed and it's so weird. I remember looking back on that deployment. Remembering how we all were and what we all went through. Now I look and most of those guys are out starting their lives, other couples I knew have gone their own ways, people are starting families.

After Josh died I knew my life wouldn't ever be the same. We weren't going to have a life or a family together anymore. I'm happy for everyone, but sometimes that still kinda hurts. Everyone else is moving on and each day I still have that pain. I'm not alone and my life isn't terrible, but I still have to live with it everyday.

Regardless of where anyone goes or what they do in life.. We are all still connected by those years and deployments with 2/9. Everyone isn't as close as they used to be, but if you  ever needed something they would be right there   It's crazy.. The military life. It's one of those love hate relationships, but one thing people wouldn't change is the  people they have met along the way.

So yeah.. That's my random little thought of the day.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Year 3

As always, I wake up to a beautiful morning on September 2.  Quiet and peaceful.

3 years ago at 7:48 am my life was drastically changed forever. The world that I had known and the plans that I had for the future came crashing down around me. In seconds. 

I remember September 1 very well. I was awakened at 5 am by Josh calling to let me know he was okay. I remember him telling me what he had been up to and that they had captured some Taliban that day. I talked to him about school and I was about to start my 3rd day of classes. We talked for an hour before he had to go. I told him I loved him and to be careful. Little did I know that was the last time I would hear his voice. 

That day I was busy from school and work. Exhausted from being up, but I didn't mind. That evening I spoke with some friends about another marine who was injured. I also found out about my friend Ashleigh's husband Cody and I remember thinking I don't know what I would do. When I went to bed and slept through that night, I had no idea that Josh was struggling to survive thousands of miles away. 

I woke up the morning of September 2nd to my phone. Missing the first call from Josh's Dad. Sometimes I wish I never would have called back. I remember him telling me Josh was killed that morning. And I remember saying back no you're lying another 10 times. He wasn't lying. 

I got off the phone and I sat up in my bed. I remember not even knowing what to do. It was like being frozen in time. I didn't know whether to run, to cry, to scream. The thoughts in my head were moving so fast. The thoughts that this was the last deployment, I'm supposed to have a life with him, I, supposed to get married. It was all gone in a matter of seconds and there was not one thing I could do about it. 

I ran down the steps and hit the floor. My life was about to be most military wives/girlfriends worst nightmare. 

That day is such a fog. I remember sitting in his parents living room listening to the CACO and thinking this cannot be real. I held onto a bear he had given me hoping that it would be a joke. He promised he would be back. 

At this point looking back- he and I both knew this deployment wouldn't turn out right. He told me one night months before his uncle who had recently passed came to him and said to watch your back. He didn't think he was coming home, but only ever told me that when he had no control over his words. I remember one night in particular and yelling at him while I was crying wondering how he could ever say such a thing. Maybe then is when I should have listened so I would have known what he wanted for me. 

I remember watching him tell his family goodbye in their kitchen before we left for Camp Lejeune. He cried. He hardly ever cried. It broke my heart. I was happy to have him to myself a few extra days, but I knew what waited at the end. The trip down was so much fun filled with love and laughter. My trip back, alone, was a lot of sadness and tears. I just knew. Even though I had hoped and prayed that it wouldn't happen it did. 

Going through the viewings and funeral was so unbelievably difficult but heartwarming. There were so many amazing people around. It reminded me how amazing he was and what he meant to people. And he was home. With me. Just not how I had ever imagine. I don't remember as much anymore about those days. I guess it's my bodies way of taking away some pain. 

Even after those days, life wasn't the same. I tried to pretend like it didn't happen by drowning myself in school and work. I cried every single day for months. I still cry. My heart was broken so much I didn't even know where to start to get it back. Each day is a struggle and I always think about him. Wondering what his life would be like. He deserved so many things- a family, dream job, children. But he gave all of those things up for this country. 

When we were in high school and started dating he always wanted to be a Marine. I remember the arguments with his dad about joining. After he turned 18 it was a done deal. It's what he wanted in life and even though it kills me he wouldn't have wanted to go out any other way. I always knew he had that in him. I always said "don't be the hero- do what you have to do and come home."  But.. He was the hero. He had that about him. He laid his life on the line for the guys around him without thinking twice about it. That's who he was and what he believed in. And for that he will always be remembered.

I hope people realize what it takes to have the freedoms we do today. I live with a reminder every single day of the price. My life was taken away from me to fight the bigger cause and there's nothing I can do about it. 

I'm going to take a time out from this one and come back later. It's a lot to take in today.. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Poker Run

So another year.. How? I don't even know. Today is the 3rd Annual Poker Run. I couldn't go, but I was able to watch as it made its way through Clymer.  Train wreck is a good way to describe myself after that. 

First off I would have had an amazing video of it. Only to realize when I went to stop it that it didn't record.  Really? Why is the world going to be against me today. My life I swear.. So that's the 1st thing I'm going to pout about. 

Anyways.. I've been nervous about it all morning. You don't realize how much you can hide from something. Then there are days when it just smacks you right in the face. Every year at this time it's so overwhelming. Just 3 years ago we were on pre-deployment leave gearing up for another round. 3 years. I can't believe it's been that long. At the same time it feels like it was just yesterday. 

It's overwhelming to watch all of the bikes and cars move through together. So powerful. It almost reminds me of the days we brought him home and said see you later. Such amazing people tied together by a tragedy. 

Through it all its time to remember Josh. Remember the person he was and the sacrifice that he made. The world will never stop turning. We all had to keep moving forward. It never leaves your mind, but on days like today it's a lot stronger memory.. 

I'm so proud.. To watch everyone remember him reminds me why he chose this life and why it ultimately ended that way. I remember the days he fought with his dad about joining. He was so adamant and determined to serve his country as a marine. And he did. 

7 years ago I never would have thought this is where either of us would be. I guess God has a plan even if we don't understand it. I will keep pushing forward like he would want me to, but today is a day I could crawl back to being my hermit crab self. I hope everyone on the run has an amazing day and it will be in my thoughts. It's a day to celebrate a life. 

Tomorrow I will wake up and continue on with my life, but for the rest of the today I might be a little bitter about it. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013


That's me!  I haven't been on here in forever!  Things got hectic after last July.  My Pap, who meant everything to me, passed away in August.  Jeff was in a four wheeler accident a few days before that.  And I started/finished my last semester of college!  Things have been crazy, but I can't complain.

If anything, it's amazing how time flies.  I just realized that it's been a little over 2 years since 2/9 came home from Afghanistan.  I can't even believe it.  I can't believe that this September will be 3 years.  It's unreal.

I'm doing really well.  My life is finally moving forward, and I am happy with where I am.  I've graduated college and started working,  Jeff is still putting up with my craziness, and I have a lot to look forward to in my life again. 

I still question why it happened to me and I always think about it.  I may not cry or talk about it everyday, but it is definitely one of those things that you will never forget.  It really changes you forever.  Anytime I do talk about it I feel a little more proud.  Sure I still have a lot of anger and hurt, but it's a little better.

I remind myself everyday that the world was never going to stop for me and Josh never wanted me to stop.  I slowly, but surely, started to pick up the pieces of my life and put them back together.  I think he would be pretty darn proud of me for where I am and what I've accomplished.  I'm living my life just like he would want me to.  I'm lucky too that Jeff is so understanding and supportive of it all.  I'm thankful that he's been there to keep pushing me forward.

I gave my speech for the second time this November at the school I was student teaching at.  It went really well and the audience was amazing.  It's still crazy to think that I'm in these shoes and telling that story.  To see tears in peoples eyes because of what I have to say.  My heart swelled with pride again that day.  It reminds me that even though this is a terrible thing, that people appreciate what Josh has done for our country and they are touched by my story. 

Anyways, that's a quick wrap up of my life.  However, I need to get to sleep or I'm going to be one extremely tired girl tomorrow.  Check back soon!  I may just start writing again.

Always remember <3