Last year I remember being angry today. I couldn’t understand how people could BBQ and laugh and joke on such a somber day. I realize this year that those who are emotionally connected to the meaning of today do it because they are thankful for those that have died. I can’t speak for the others, because I still don’t know if they understand the magnitude of today. I still cannot celebrate. I can’t celebrate a life that is gone today, nor can I celebrate it on my handsome husbands last day. I just can’t. I can celebrate his birth because it eventually led to him and I meeting, but that is it.
I woke up this morning with that same awful feeling in my stomach that I woke up with for many days after Michael died. The anxiety can be debilitating to me. I have to focus on where it is coming from and talk myself through it, because I really have no other choice. It would be nice to be able to lay in my bed with all of my feelings and my pain, but that would just end up scaring my children. They need me to be awake and happy. It is difficult to reconcile with the fact that someone I loved so much and so deeply is gone from this world and that I can never talk to him face to face again. I don’t think that I will ever get used to him just being a memory or a picture on the wall. There are a few moments that really stand out in my mind. The first is when I met him. I looked up from my position at the bar and I saw this handsome, confident, smiling man standing on the steps. It is like everything in the room went away and it was just him and I and no one else. I knew in that moment that I would marry him and in that moment all of my friends thought that I was crazy! The next is sitting in the office right before his second deployment. He was rushing around doing last-minute things and Olivia was hiding under the desk. She was so oblivious to the fact that we wouldn’t see Daddy for a year…as soon as Daddy was done she wouldn’t let him go. It was a beautiful moment I will never forget. There is him running through the house to find me so we could hide at the back door and listen to the kids swinging and singing…he had such a joy on his face that our one and a half-year old and our 4-year-old were swinging and singing. One other moment that rally stands out is the last time that I saw him. We were at OAJ waiting for his flight to take him back to Afghanistan. His Captain had made a point to make sure that he was home for the birth of Landon…something that I will be forever grateful for. I hugged him and whispered in his ear, “I love you, make sure you come back to me because I need you.” He whispered back, “I will.” I don’t think that he believed himself, because I didn’t believe him. I felt like that would be our last moment and I clung to him as hard and as long as I could. Many military wives say that they expected everything to be fine. That deployments were just routine and losing their husbands was something that they believed would happen to someone else. I understand that feeling because I felt like that our first two deployments. But the last one was different. I rarely slept and I was always waiting for the next day, the next confirmation that our homecoming was closer. The last time that I talked to him he told me that he would call on the 9th. I never got my call. Instead I got a home visit from three men in uniform.
I have been able this weekend to take a few quiet moments sitting in front of his pictures and him. It is hard to comprehend in my mind how he went from being such a beautiful and vibrant part of my life to an oak box on my book shelf. That will probably sound harsh to some…but it is my feelings. How did my life change so much that there is nothing left but ashes?? I understand his sacrifice and why he believed in what he was doing, but I don’t understand why it had to be us. I don’t believe that I will ever understand why it had to be us. I am in safe and capable hands now. I am loved deeply, but my loss is still heartbreaking. Today I will just try to stay busy so that I don’t have to think much about how much I miss Michael.