Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Things On My Mind

Dear Tommy,

Something has been bothering me lately. I think in the past few days since it's just been Avery and me I have had time to sit there and talk to her and focus on "her" not "the kids," which has allowed me to change some of my wording. For example, I say, "Do you want to be like Mommy and sit at the table like a big girl?" And things of that nature. Then it hit me. She has me, her Mom, her role model, a female to emulate and learn from. Nathan, doesn't have that person anymore. I know I've talked about how he wants a Daddy and he needs that male father figure, but it just struck me that, she has that person in her life and he doesn't. What he learns from me will be based on the female perspective. So who's going to teach him the day to day male things? The things that can't be learned from me or a woman in general? Yeah ok, a female who knows how to change her oil could teach him that, so could our male neighbor, but it's not the same as when it comes from "Dad." It's pretty sad. Even when were up at my Mom's house he wanted to know why we were all girls and he was the only boy there. He needs that, Tom. I've been telling you for a long time that he needs you and you were doing so well with him. And you had so many more plans for the summer with him. It's sad that now he doesn't have that. Thankfully Avery does, but I don't want Nathan to feel left out.

Ok, next on my mind... Avery is so funny. She is just like you and she will Not drink the end of her drinks! Rarely she will (only if she's super tired), but she tells me it's empty and doesn't want it!

Ok, so there is an opportunity to go to Savannah with some other military widows and I'm debating on if I should go or not. If it was anywhere else I'm sure I'd jump at the chance and if it was with YOU I'd also jump at the chance. That was the place we ever got to go away to, just you and me. It was fun. Remember the tornado siren? LOL! Ok, so I'm still laughing about you. Oh and the food was to die for! Everything except Paula Deen's restaurant. That was very disappointing and over priced. But everything else was great! The B&B was great and the owner was awesome. She kept giving you a hard time because you were a picky eater. She was so funny and really nice. We didn't get to do everything we wanted to do, and we said we would go back. It was so nice getting to have that time with you. I'm so glad we had that trip. BUT now I can go back. I can go and maybe do the few things we didn't get done on our first trip. But if I do that then will I really be able to handle it? Will I really enjoy it or will I be stuck crying ever 10 minutes things "When Tom and I were here..." Oh, Tommy, I have that picture of you at the cemetery there and it still haunts me. For some reason it always has. It's crazy, but as much as I love it, it also is kind of eery to me and has been since I saw it. I'm sure no one else would think like that, but it's just one of those things.
So, back to whether or not I go... What do you think, Tom? Should I go back without you? I know if I do go back and break down crying they would all understand and be supportive, but I don't want to be a downer and I don't know if I'd actually do well with everything. It's something to think about. Let me know what you think... Oh... yeah...

I love you!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thanks for the Visit, Tom

Dear Tommy,

Thanks for the visit. It was bitter-sweet. I was dreaming about you, but it felt SO real and caught me off guard. I thought you were still alive and said something about it, but then I realized or you told me that you weren't. I remember saying it; "You're alive!" And then it hit me. And it hurt. I don't remember the whole dream, which is disappointing. I do remember that like most of my dreams with you in them, you were getting ready to deploy and I kept trying to get you to stay. This one was a little different type of deployment though, but I can't remember it exactly. There was something about Nathan in it, too. I hope it all comes to me during the day. I want so desperately to remember every detail about it all. I know that you came to visit me and said you couldn't stay for long. You always tell me that you can't stay for long. I wish it was forever, but I'll take anything that I can get. Every moment with you is so precious and a little gift that I can keep in my heart and my memory. I kept thinking during this dream that I would remember it so well since it was so real. I keep trying to figure out where we were driving to. I Think we were looking for Nathan so you could see him.
It was strange because I "woke up" or at least became aware of everything because when I found out you really weren't alive it was that dose of reality that forced disappointment on me and made me hold on tighter to you and the time we had. At the same time the rain was pounding on the roof. Rain never wakes me up, but it was so loud that I thought that it was raining inside the house, but I wouldn't let that take me away from you and our time together. I was operating on both the conscious and unconscious levels at the same time. It was so nice to see you like that. I wish that we weren't always getting ready for another deployment and getting ready to leave me, but I guess that's my way of knowing that I have to let you go because you are not mine to keep here with me forever now. We will be together forever one day. I look forward to it, Tom because I love you and miss you more than words or tears could ever express. Thank you for spending that time with me. I needed it.

Love you always,
Your wife,

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our Little Girl

Dear Tommy,
I'm not going to talk about Nathan tonight for one because he's not here and for two because I'd cry more if I'm talking about both of our kids. But our little girl... is getting so big! You already know how smart she is because you were here when she was 18 months and started talking in 4 word sentences. You saw how fast she picked up on things and well she learns (sometimes the wrong things). She's amazing. Oh, but she is getting to that point where she wants to test me and put me in my place and assert herself. Don't worry, I will not let her get away with the things Nathan used to get away with. She was saying something today and I repeated it and she told me "Stop copying me!" She's actually done so many funny things today that I can't even remember. Last night was too funny. We were at my new friend's house and everything I'd say Avery said, like usual. But then I said, "I love you" and she started waving and said "Goodbye!" Maybe it's one of those things you had to be there for, but we were laughing pretty hard at her. She is so independent and fearless, Tom. She jumps on the couch and climbs and thinks nothing of it. I'm trying to break her of that. We don't need 2 of them, but we do know where she got it from.
I was crying several times today and most of the time she'll say "Mommy crying?" And then at one point she asked, "What's wrong?" I told her the truth. I said, 'Daddy is dead and I miss him.' She doesn't know what that means, but sooner than later she will. She'll be asking all sorts of questions about you. The most important ones will be "Where's my Daddy? Why did he die?" And someday she'll know. Ok, this post is about her to you, so let me tell you about her and the things she's doing.
Her hair is long enough that I can really pull it back into a pony tail. I know you did it once, but it didn't work well. You've been asking me since last year when her hair was going to grow and be long and girly. It started to before you died, but it's really grown since then. It's like all of a sudden it's the way you wanted to see it. Thinking about that makes me sad. You can't see it, but you should. You should be the one who is here doing her hair. I'll never forget when I took Nathan to the park a few months ago (maybe more than a few at this point) and you text me "I did Avery's hair." I was so excited to come home and see what you did. There were clips all in it. She was laughing and having a good time. She looked funny in a really cute way. She would never take her hair out when Daddy did it, but Mommy? It would never stay in! She was constantly pulling her clips out. That drove me crazy! I used to make you do her hair a lot for that reason. And let's be honest, you were better at it then me except for when it came to the hair ties because you couldn't figure them out. It was funny to watch. I wish you were still here to do her hair.
I put her in that one set of footie pajamas tonight and she could actually walk around in them with no problem, which tells me that she has grown a lot in the past couple of months. She would always come up to you, put her foot out in your face and say "Fix, fix" because they were too big and she hated when her foot didn't stay in the footie part. She has this attitude now. I mean even more than before! She thinks she owns the world. And her screeching? Well, let's just say that people still comment on it, but it's no where near as bad as it used to be! They have No idea!
She loves you and misses you so much. I'm so sad that her Nathan don't get to grow up with you. I am so sad that I don't get to raise our children with you, but I have to do it alone. We talked about things that we would tell our kids and things we wouldn't, but their are some conversations that just come better from Dad than from Mom.
We sang "Pants on the ground" today, but her dance is no where near as funny when you would do it. I think I have that on video. I should really look into that. I wish I had more pictures of you with Avery (and you in general). I've never been good at that. I'm sure I'll remember some of her funny antics later and just come back and add them in.
Love you always,

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Dear Tommy,
I feel the dread slowly creeping in. I feel it even though I had such a good night tonight. It was maybe the best night I've had since you died, Tom. I had dinner and wine with a new friend and we laughed and talked and I felt normal. Even though I gave her the Cliff's Notes version of 'Tommy & Katie' it wasn't hard or sad for me. It was almost normal. Maybe because I've told this story so many times that I feel almost detached to it. Maybe she's just one of those easy people to talk to. I did (like usual) seem to have a hard time collecting my thoughts at times, but she didn't seem to mind. I felt like it was just a long over due Girls Night that I haven't done in a while. I didn't feel sad even when I was talking about you. It was easy for some reason. She's a really great person and I think you'd actually like her and be good with me hanging out with her. It was so nice to laugh and talk about normal stuff. I didn't feel like I had to pretend tonight. I wasn't pretending to be happy or have a good time, I actually was happy for a little while. It felt so good to laugh. It felt so good to feel "normal" again.
Then I drove home. There were several songs that you played for me tonight. I love when you send me a song and even more so when I get multiple songs so I really know it's from you. It was a nice drive home "with you" tonight. But my mind had forgotten all about the nice dinner and company and conversation I had tonight. My mind wandered back to you and the fact that next week I am headed up North for a very difficult time in this life. The dread is creeping in and right now it's over-shadowing the good.
It doesn't seem right, you know? That I'm doing this. That I'm doing this ALONE! I have never felt more alone in my life than the day of your funeral. And that keeps playing back in my mind and I keep playing out Arlington and what it's going to look like and feel like as I sit there and say goodbye-- Again! Tom it is SO wrong, so wrong that I must feel like this. I looked around at your funeral and I resented your whole family. They made me angry and I felt bitter towards them, through no fault of their own, mind you. But there they were standing around, your Mom and Dad, your sisters and their husbands, your brothers and their girlfriends... Do you see the problem? Tom, do you get it? They all had someone and not just anyone but their OWN Someone. They had their significant other. I was alone. I was SO incredibly alone because MY Someone wasn't there standing next to me. He wasn't there to hold me or comfort me or tell me "We'll get through this together" or to take my hand or touch my cheek to wipe away my tears. He wasn't there to give me that little bit of peace and reassurance knowing that I had someone else to lean on. He wasn't standing there next to me because he was laying in front of me. No one else there could do for me what you could have done for me. NO ONE could have made me feel less alone that day (or any day for that matter). No one could have truly comforted me in the way I needed because the one-- the ONLY one who could have given me what I needed was you. I stood there and looked around and I felt so lost even talking with so many people because they couldn't help no matter how desperately they wanted to.
That feeling is coming back. That feeling is slowly creeping back in and I know it's going to knock me on my face again. I know I'm going to have to look around and see what I am supposed to have. I am going to watch others mourn together and many will try to comfort me. I'll let them of course because I know they want to help and I know that it comes from a place of love, but there is no way it will actually help. Nothing can help this. How does the Evanescence song go? "These wounds won't seem to heal. This pain is just too real. There is just so much that time can not erase." It's never going to be erased, so I have to continue on this journey alone because you left me no choice. I am alone and as the dread rolls in, so does the fear.
I Love you, Tommy. I miss you... and just now almost literally typed 'and see you soon.' But I won't see you 'til the other side. I can't even see your body again, just your coffin. That's so sad for me and our kids. They love you and miss you, too.
Love always,

Ingenious! & The Calm Before The Storm

Yes, that is what I am referring to myself as today. Why? For several reasons. The first and most important is that I have a brilliant book idea. Ok, so MAYBE it's not going to pan out, but I have found that there are more people out there in the world who are like me than I thought and I bet this book would sell more than 100 copies. I think it will do really well! I'm excited about it and hope that others will be, too. Now I just have to figure out how to go about getting it done. I still have my other book ideas and the book I sort of started last summer is up there in priority, but I'm not sure I want to really go there yet. This book idea is one that would be fun to write. I don't want to do this one alone, so I may ask one or two other people what they think and if they'd be willing to co-author it with me. I also would love to find the children's book I wrote last summer, but I think Tom threw it away while trying to organize for me. That is one thing I can not seem to do well with, but I am coming out of my fog bit by bit and hopefully will be better suited to assist someone else as they organize for me, lol!

On to my next ingenious idea. I am starting to get a focus on what direction I am being led and what I feel called to do to get changes made and make sure things like Tom's death don't happen (or at least don't have to happen) again. There are several things I feel I need to bring awareness to, but there is one in particular that I feel I can thrive and make a True difference in the long run. It's what I wish someone else in my shoes would have done before hand, which could have made 'this' outcome never even occur. I got so mad at that the other night. I was so upset that no one else had done more. No one else had felt led and compelled to do what I am about to embark on. Then again I think about it now, and the thought occurs to me that maybe someone has tried and it failed. Here's the thing: I won't allow myself to fail anyone else. If I don't take the tragedy I am living and turn it into something positive then I not only fail myself, but the Marines and their families that could have been effected in a positive way had I stuck to it. I can't fail them. I look at this opportunity as my privilege and duty. I feel entrusted with a task and I need to really figure it all out and then make it happen. I get it. I do. And there needs to be changes in different areas, but I can't try to tackle everything that I see that needs improvement. I am in a unique position and have a very different view of how things operate and I want to show that view to those who can make the changes necessary and work with them in whatever capacity they allow. I also, have my main goal now and need to focus on that primarily.


This will all have to wait, though, until I get back from up North. Until then, I am allowing myself the time to just "rest." I need some me time and I need to have the wheels in my mind stop working for a little while because I know that this is the calm before the storm. It will all get brought back up again in just a few days, so I am trying to give myself the time I need to gather myself before I end up right back face down on the ground where I've been for the past 7 weeks. This is going to be harder than I thought. I figured 2 months out won't be so bad, but yes I am sure now that it will. I will have to start all over again once it hits me that I am about to bury my husband. Sometimes I say or write things to see the affect they have on me, and that last sentence was one of those. "I am about to bury my husband." Those words don't seem real. They seem offensive actually. Why do I have to do this at my age? I'm not as young as some of the widows out there, especially military widows, but wow, I am not even in my 30's yet and this is the life I am leading. I suppose one of these days it will be real. Maybe when I'm driving to DC remembering that we were just for the White House Easter Roll. Maybe when I have to tell Nathan "Tomorrow we will burry Daddy's coffin." Maybe when I hear the first of the 21 Gun Salute... maybe the last. Maybe when they hand me the flag that has been draped over the dark box that holds the love that has consumed me since I was 18 years old. Maybe it won't hit me until much later, days, weeks, months. I don't know, but I felt I was making ground and now I know that really, I'm lying. I'm lying to you and to me. It's nice to see me lie isn't it? When I smile and tell you I'm going a little better? It makes you feel better doesn't it? Well, be prepared for when it kicks me in the stomach and the face and least not we forget-- the heart all over again.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Mrs." Bagosy?

Ok, so I was reading the Military Widow book that my CACO gave me as standard issue and while most of it was wonderfully helpful there were several things that hadn't crossed my mind until reading it, and I must say I could have done without (at least for now). One thing that really bothered me is how they kept referring to us as widows and not wives. Ok, I get it. I hate the word widow, but keep using it because I feel I need to say it to myself until I believe it's true. But I did NOT appreciate how the book mentioned several times that I am no longer Tom's WIFE. Um, hello? Are you serious? I AM TOO STILL HIS WIFE! Aren't I? I mean, really, am I? And if I'm not then who am I? I took vows that said "Til DEATH do us part" and I kept my end of the deal, I guess he did too in some ways, but then what? What happens to me once he's gone? Am I not still referred to as Mrs. Bagosy? Yes. Do I change that to Ms.? I don't think so! And even if that is what would be expected of me (which I know is not) I would not. I AM Mrs. Bagosy, so aren't I then still Tom's wife? Why can't I say that? Why do I ever have to take off my wedding ring if I don't want to? Why do I need to circle "Widow" when I'm asked my marital status on doctors forms and the like? Why can't I still have my husband? I still call him my husband, so why not say that I'm still his wife? I know the book was not trying to do anything but be real and show me the expectations of this new life, but it bothered me to hear (read) that I'm no longer his wife. I don't want to accept any of this, and that sure didn't help. Ok, I'm done with my tangent for now.

Monday, June 21, 2010

6 Weeks Later

Dear Tommy,
The shirt I'm wearing today is the same shirt I wore 3 weeks ago on Memorial Day and 6 weeks ago, the day you died. I don't know why it's hard to wear this shirt it just seems fitting Not to wear it. It's so strange to think that it's been 6 weeks that I've been living this life. I've entered a new stage in this process, it's called ANGER. Oh yes, my good ole standby friend has returned. I used to turn any hurt or pain into anger because it's so much easier to deal with. I stopped doing that a long while ago and haven't been that way really at all in the past 6 weeks. There were a few moments that I started to be angry, but felt guilty and the angry feeling was fleeting. Well, not today. Today I am down right mad! I feel so betrayed. I know you felt that way about everyone who was supposed to be helping you (me included), but damn it Tom! I'm pissed today. I mean really? This is my life now because of you? I HATE this life that you have left for me AND for our kids. You screwed us Tom. I don't know how to get life on the right track here. I don't know what to do about anything anymore. Life is spinning out of control and I'm SO angry because of it! I'm angry with you and everyone else that played a role, no matter how small, in the outcome of what happened. I don't like feeling angry because it feels so wrong, but it is easier. And no matter how much I hurt, with anger it hurts a little less and right now I just want to hurt as little as possible.
It's been 6 weeks and our 4 year old has been having such a hard time with this. Oh, Tom, if you could see what he is going through right now. If there was a way to have made you understand Before it happened. I live in a world of "ifs" now. It's not a pleasant place to live.
We sent you pictures and notes today attached to balloons. I stood in our driveway and watched them float away into the clouds until I could no longer see them. Nathan thought maybe we could give them to you ourselves, I said no. Then he wanted to know when you were going to write back, when the balloon would come back to us. I had to break his heart again, twice today over something I thought would be good for him. In his note he said "Dear Daddy, I wish you would please come back alive." Me, too. Unfortunately wishes get you nothing but broken hearts.
He sat with me the other night and asked "Mommy, why don't you want another husband?" I wanted to know what made him think that and he said because I don't have one now. I asked if he wanted me to have another husband and he said yes so he could have another Daddy. He wants one to play with him; then he said he needs one to discipline him. Then he told me he wants the new Daddy to look like you. Oh bless his heart (and break mine in pieces). It took a lot not to cry at that, but I'm crying now. I'm crying for our little babies who want and need their Daddy so much. I asked Avery today if she loved Mommy and she said "Daddy." I said "You love Daddy?" And she shook her head yes. She heard me talking to you before that happened and a few minutes after I was done talking-- ok let's be honest, I've been mad today so I was yelling-- she said "I miss Tom. I miss Tom." It was sad to hear those words come out of her mouth. We miss you so much. We needed you to be alive and be here for us always. Obviously you are not, but that doesn't mean we don't need you. We need you even more now that you are gone. I pray that you are at peace in heaven and that you help us. You know what help I've been asking for over the past few days. So, Tommy, help. Please help me, help our children, and help me to help our children.
I love you always. Nothing could ever change that.
Love your wife,

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rolling Rock

Dear Tommy,

I was looking up today at the tops of our cabinets and was thinking of the memories from the cup collection and the "beverage" collection. I saved one of the unopened wine bottles you sent me for Mother's Day last year while you were in Reno for training. You were gone for 6 weeks, same amount of time as you've been gone now. You wanted me to drink it, but I couldn't. I felt that it was special and I needed to keep it.
I was also looking at the Rolling Rock bottle we've had for the last 4 years. It makes me sad to see it there, and a little angry, too. That bottle has been around from the beginning of us living together. We've had it since we were living in that trailer for 6 weeks while we waited for base housing. Oh man, I wish I could forget how miserable we were there! I don't know why but we did not go even One day without having at least one fight! I remember you coming home with the Rolling Rock and I asked why you got that. You didn't know, you just felt like getting it that night. One of your friends came over and made fun of you for it, so the Rolling Rock just sat there. We finally got our housing and moved. Thinking about it now, we got our keys on May 10, 2006, exacly 4 years before you died. That last beer bottle came with us. I wanted you to drink it, but you said no, and I wasn't going to get rid of it until you drank it. Even in the new house you would ask me to get you a beer, and me being the submissive wife (haha) would always get you one-- the Rolling Rock. You would never drink it, though. One time I was finally going to open it myself and you walked into the kitchen and asked what I was doing. You told me that I couldn't open it, that we had to keep it forever because it was with us from the beginning. You told me that as long as we kept that Rolling Rock we would be together, so Tom, we kept it. There were a few times that I wanted so desperately to open it up, or break it in front of you and say to hell with the beer and to hell with you, but I never did. I didn't want to jinx us. I didn't ever really want to say goodbye, even when I told you I was leaving. I never meant it. You never did either. It came with us to our new house-- Our house, the one we bought together, the one that I still haven't been able to take your name off of. We brought it here, Tom, and it is still here, so why aren't you? You said that as long as we have that unopened beer bottle we would be ok, but we're not ok, Tom because you are gone and not just 'oh you left me, but maybe we can work it out.' No, that I could've handled, but that's not what happend. No, you left me in the worst sense of the word, by your own hand. How am I supposed to deal with that? I see this seemingly insignificant beer bottle, but to me it means so much. It means my/ our marriage in some ways. It's one of those inside things that no one else will ever understand in all totality except for "us" but again now there is no "us" anymore. Tommy, why is this stupid beer bottle still here over 4 years later, but you are not? You lied. You said we'd be ok. You told me that we'd be fine and I believed it. I know. It's a beer bottle for Pete's sake! That is not what keeps a marriage together, but it was one of those things. It's been around for 4 years, all 3 places we lived together, 2 moves, and so many times it came close to getting broken or poured out, but it lasted. We were supposed to last. We didn't. I don't want to accept that.
My plan for the Rolling Rock now? It's simple really. I forgot to bring it to Delaware for the funeral. I thought about putting it in your coffin along with the picture of us that you had with you 'that' day (thank you MarSOC for getting that back), but since I forgot it, my new plan is to bring it to your burial. I figure the only fitting thing to do since we are now in a sense separated is to separate the Rolling Rock as well. I plan on pouring the beer on your grave and keeping the bottle for myself. That way it goes with both of us. I though also about breaking it over your coffin, but I think I may be sad later on that I don't have the bottle. Since you'll have the beer right now I can always break the bottle on your head stone or something later on if I feel I need a more symbolic and angry way to get out my feelings over it. For now, we'll split it, just like my heart is split in wanting to be with you and needing to be here for our kids. Well, I'm off to bed. See you in my dreams, I hope.

Love Always,

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'll just... Oh...

Dear Tommy,
Ok, so I can't tell you how many times things have come up in the past almost 6 weeks where I have started a thought with "I'll just ask Tom... Oh, yeah, I can't do that." It's so hard because even when I was driving around looking for BAS to get your medical record and thinking it was somewhere near dental, but couldn't find it I figured, 'I should just call Tom.' It's those moments that make me feel like I just got kicked in the stomach-- again! It's those moments where I am reminded of the reality of things. I am reminded that I can't just call or text or anything else. When I am lost like I was the other day and somehow after an appointment in Morehead City I ended up in Havelock I just wanted to call you to help me out. I wasn't sure if I was going the right way, but thought I should just keep driving a little bit until I started to recognize things-- from when I was 20 years old! I haven't been there in years, but I knew where I was and that I had to turn around. I wanted to call you several times on that trip, not just when I was lost. Oh and by the way, I AM investing in a GPS now. I'd just use your phone, but NCIS still hasn't gotten it back to me. But that wasn't even the first time I wanted to call you that day.

That trip was very sad for me. We used to talk about how it's not really pretty around here and there is nothing to do unless we go to Wilmington, but as I was driving to my appointment I kept thinking how pretty it was and how I wanted so badly to call you and tell you and ask to take a Saturday and just go drive that way to explore and see what was around. It made me so sad. I felt for the first time that I was experiencing new things without you. It was the first time I really could feel my life moving forward-- not that I am emotionally in any sense of the word, but just that there was something new and you would never know about it. My life is continuing and it's not just in this little bubble anymore.
We can't go to some of the places I passed by as a family even though that was my initial though passing by. We can't so that because our family isn't whole anymore. I felt guilty for that. For still being here. For my life moving forward without you.

Which leads me to today. I saw Owens today and I have to say that one of the reasons I like him (and dislike him at the same time) is that he doesn't allow me to feel sorry for myself. You know I like to do that on occasion and today was really one of those days. We talked about me getting my Master's and then we moved on to where I am and how I'm feeling about you. Well, he sure didn't let me blame myself for very long for anything. I think I'm more at fault and have/had more power than he thinks, but we talked about you and my feelings of not knowing what you'd want me to be doing, that I feel like you may resent me for being here or something of that nature. He is great at giving different perspectives, as you know, and really made me think about trying to live my life to honor you. I won't get into specifics, and some of it, as he stated, is speculation (which I myself am full of), but it made me look at things differently. I'll probably talk to you more about it tonight, but I want you to know now that I hope I get to that point sooner than later where I can "live my life to honor you." I need to come to terms with some things first, though. I'm not ready to move to that point just yet. I feel I'd have to 'let you go' in a differnt way that I'm not ready for.
As for the rest of the day, I took the kids to see Ma Tante and Larry. Haha! Yes, as we got there I saw their neighbor and started laughing! I wish could say it as well as you can, but what has it been now, 4 years? "Can I hold the Baaaaaby?" 'No!' LMAO! Wow! We would laugh at that a lot. Oh geeze, one of these days I should try to write down all of our inside jokes. It would take me a few weeks to remember them all, but I should do it just in case I ever forget for some reason. Well, I have lots more to say, but Nathan just came in from our neighbor's house and he wants to cuddle. He needs some 'Mommy time' but I'm sure you'll hear from me again soon. I wish I could just call you or email you or better yet, I wish I could have you right here next to me forever and ever. I love you more than you will ever know (well, maybe from where you are you do know).
Love Always,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Dear Tommy,

Well, Thomas-- Oh yeah I just called you Thomas! I am a bit frustrated today. I'm sure you know this since last night was a little... um... out of control. I was about to lose it and asked you, well, no scratch that. I TOLD you that you better find a way to get someone here and help me because I just couldn't do it and not even 20 minutes later (just as I saw Avery and the carpet covered in paint) the door bell rings and it's Jena. I was about to flip out on whoever was there to solicit cookies, donations, or Kirby vacuums (again), but thank God that it was Jena and I immediately calmed down knowing that everything would be ok. Well, it's not all ok since Nathan is so out of hand and I'm not sure how to deal with him, but for the moment I kept the little sanity that I still have left. I'm getting angry at you more and not feeling As Much guilt about the anger when things like this happen. I have no control and the whole "Wait until Daddy gets home" doesn't work, and neither does "Daddy would be so (insert: angry, upset, disappointed, etc.) at you and we don't want that so let's behave" isn't working either. Something's gotta give here, Tom and I'm not sure what, but I sure hope you help me out like you did last night.

Ok, so I mentioned before that I was thinking about buying the diamond that you had gotten for me back in December. Well, I ended up buying it and getting it sized, so I just went today to get it. First of all, I tried it on and it looks great ;) but I had to put it on my necklace with your wedding ring because it seems so strange to actually wear it. I want to and maybe I will, but probably not everyday. I also can't wear both the diamond and my wedding band and that one seems more fitting to have on.

Second, about this trip to Kay's is that as I walked into the mall I saw a sign at another jewelry store with a picture of a diamond and the words "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" and I started to laugh! All I could think about was Big Love. I mean really who buys 3 diamond rings unless you're a polygamist? I just thought it was funny since when you died we had just started renting Season 2. There are several shows that remind me of you and happy times and Big Love is one of them since we used to have HBO and watched Season 1 when it first was on. By the time the 2nd season was on we didn't have HBO anymore. We only got to watch the first 3 episodes of it and now I have the next 6 just sitting here. I have tried on several occasions to watch them, but it's always something, mostly it's that I don't want to cry watching it, but I think I will tonight. I was busy today and haven't even had time to think and get my tears out. I'm sure they are coming since I can feel them now.

I remember watching the first Big Love DVD that Blockbuster sent us and... ok side note really quick... I just realized that this blog post sounds like an ad for promoting all these things, but it's not... ok sorry I do tend to get side tracked (you would think I have ADD or something, but I don't).
SO anyway... I remember asking you which of the 3 wives I am most like and You replied with (and I quote) "I could say all 3 equally. You're smart and college like, like the 1st one; devious and scary like the 2nd one; and fun and dumb like the 3rd one." I laughed so hard at that and told you that is why you don't need more than one wife because you have it all rolled into one. And you told me how one is more than enough. We laughed so hard about it all. Ok, maybe I laughed a little harder than you did. It was just a very funny interchange between us. I wrote it down back then because I wanted to remember and I'm glad I did because I can't ask you again if I had forgotten what you said. I mentioned that the 2nd two could be taken in a negative way, but that's not how you meant it-- ok maybe the devious and scary part, but that's just because I would be sneaky when I wanted answers and wasn't getting them from you. And as for the 'dumb' part you meant ditzy and naive (which I suppose I feel I have to clarify for those reading this that they don't think you were putting me down because we know you weren't... right? Just kidding. I know it). Tom, we were supposed to be watching these together. I seems incomplete without you here. I mean that on the grand scale and on the little details in life. I want to watch every episode and I'm sure I will, but I'm going to be thinking of you the whole time and wondering what conversations we would have about it all. I hope that you will sit there beside me and watch along even if I can't feel you next to me.

Oh, Tommy, where are you? What are doing right now? What do you want me to be doing right now? How can I get through this and If I can get through it what would you want me to be doing with my life and with the kids? How do I accomplish any of those things without you here? You were so much better at all of that stuff. I know I wasn't telling you enough that you were such a good Dad, but honestly, Tommy after Afghanistan you really were. You were a really good husband, too. I just wish I could have let go of certain things and focused on the great job you were doing now, Or should I say "doing then." I know that it may not have made enough difference to keep you here-- you told me several times to stop thinking the world revolved around me and "this" had nothing to do with me, but I can't help but think maybe I could have made a difference. At the very least you would have known better how I felt. I pray that you know now and it brings you some sort of comfort wherever you are... Ok, well, those tears are flowing.

Tommy, I love you and miss you forever. Thank you for all the greatness that you did bring to my life that I never thanked you for before. There was a lot of hurt and pain, but I'm sorry I didn't thank you for the good things enough.

Love, your wife,

Monday, June 14, 2010


There are so many things running through my mind right now, but I should go to bed since I've been up since 4am and have a long week ahead of me. But I did want to get a few of these thoughts out while I have a chance. Yes, BOTH kids are asleep, so I have 10 minutes! Nathan is impossible to get to bed these days-- weeks now since it's been 5 weeks today that it happened.

I watched this documentary called The American Widow Project. I have spoken with a couple of military widows, but I think this movie was really what I needed, at least for tonight. I don't know if it's different because we are young or because of the military or maybe it's all the same everywhere it just depends on who your talking to at the moment, but I felt validated tonight. Tom's Aunt has made me feel that way, too (validated), but this past weekend was super hard on me in that I was made to feel wrong, and that is so not what I need right now. I realize that I am not handling this the way that others would like me to, but since when have I followed the mold of what people have expected from me? Apparently-- and not to name any names here to throw anyone under the bus, but apparently the way I am grieving is not ok to some of those close to me and people around them. Hmm, I wonder why I've shut some people out right now? Have they wondered about that? I am a TWENTY SEVEN (27) year old Widow. Some of my friends are still single and living at home with their parents (not putting anyone down), while I have been married, had 2 children, and I'm now a widow. This should NOT be my life, yet it is. I feel so old while others get to still be young. I do not deal with personal tragedies well and never have. This is something so much bigger and deeper than anyone at this age should be dealing with and apparently I went from being "So Strong" and composed to being a basket case-- and a selfish one at that.

I wish I could be like other widows. Ok, really I wish I had absolutely NO clue what it was like to be other widows. I wish that the word "widow" still meant a little old granny in her 70's who was with her husband of 50 years, had 5 children, and 11 grandchildren (or some other variation that had nothing to do with me). However, since I am a widow, I wish I could find strength like some do, well, apparently most do, in their children or even in making their husbands' proud and living for them. I don't have that luxury. And watching the documentary tonight made me feel somewhat better knowing there was another Mom that had a hard time being a Mom at first and doing the day-to-day with her child.

I LOVE my babies, let's get the record straight, but for the past 3 years many people around me have told me that I can't take care of my kids unless I take care of myself first. Well, that wasn't the case because I sure took care of them. Now, though, that I'm trying to take care of myself first (Because I do Not have anything to give them and I think I am only making their lives worse) I am told to "suck it up" by multiple people. I'm sorry I'm not that Mom right now, and it sucks to be judged by other widows who can't understand why I need to be alone sometimes. Really? They don't get it? I'm sorry, I don't draw my strength from my precious babies, I truly am. I wish to God I did, but it hurts twice as much for me to hear my kids talk about their Daddy, especially Nathan who is having such a hard time with this. I can't fix this for him or for me or anyone and I am dealing with my pain AND guilt and it's so much harder being reminded by Tom's 'mini-me' all day everyday.

And as for those widows who are doing the things their husband's would have wanted, and are drawing strength from them? I'm glad they have that. I can't say the same. I still can't figure out if Tom has forgiven me or not, so I can't decide what he'd really want to have me do, or if he's really still with me. I know what he said 'That Sunday Night' but I don't know if he's still feeling that way towards me and things in general. I wish I could have what others seem to have, but really we are all different people. We deal differently and we have different circumstances. So, why put me down when I just need understanding? I 'suppose' I expect it from non-widows, but not women who have "walked these shoes" before me. Ok, I'm obviously irritated tonight and need to stop so I can wake up happy... ok that was a joke. Do you know anyone in my shoes who is happy (at lease at this stage of it all)? Me neither.

One Year Ago...

Dear Tommy,

One year ago today we moved into this house and you left for Afghanistan. You weren't even supposed to be on that deployment. You were a replacement for an injured Marine. You should actually be deployed right now and we'd be getting ready for your return, instead we are mourning your death.

I remember my first night in this house. I cried SO hard and so long. You had been in a rush to make your flight and we didn't get a good "goodbye." I was SO sad and it was SO hard. I remember thinking that night that this didn't feel like "our" home or "your" home. It just didn't. I wondered if that meant you weren't coming home. I thought some horrible thoughts that I didn't want in my mind, but they came just the same. I wondered if you had bought this house for us-- the kids and I, so we'd have a place of our own. I hated thinking that way. I hated not feeling like this was OUR home. I hate thinking it even now. It was like one of my many premonitions about you... Writing that made me think of a few months ago when the movie "Premonition" with Sandra Bullock was on. It was sometime around Christmas because I picture the tree in my mind. Ok so maybe more than a few months ago, but really where did the time go? You took Nathan out and bought him a Lego X-Box game and something else. You went to Red Robin for dinner because he wanted some one-on-one Daddy time. I stayed here and cried watching it. I thought about it and put us in those rolls for some reason. It was weird, and I can't really explain it very well, but it obviously stood out in my mind. I wondered at the time if any of my premonitions about you would come true and how that must feel. To see her try to stop it from happening and in the end being the reason it happened. Now it hits a little close to home. I wish to God that none of this had happened and I never knew those feelings that I expected Sandra's character in the movie must have felt...

But back to last year on this day. I remember crying and begging God to let me hold you one more time. I wanted AT LEAST one more time because we didn't get a real goodbye when you left and we didn't get to spend any time together that day since we were moving. I told Him I NEEDED that and not to take you from me. I BEGGED Him not to take you. I was so scared because I have always thought it would be your second war deployment that would take your life. I wondered on that night where I would be on this day, one year later. I wonder the same thing right now about next year. I'm afraid to know what that day holds, though because life can always get worse. I wish I could have a "Flash Forward" like that ABC show and I wish I wouldn't see anything.

I know I'm so negative and bringing those around me down, too, but I can't help it. I can't help wanting this to be over. You can't come back to me, so the only way to be with you is to go to you. I'm obviously not going on my own, I just wish an act of God would bring me to you. I will always want that until the day we are together again.

Love you and miss you,

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Visit With Your Brothers

Dear Tommy,

The kids and I went to see your brothers today. On the drive up it started to hit me that we were going to YOUR brother's house, but YOU would NOT be there. I tried so hard to fight back tears the whole time I was there. Honestly it felt a little awkward at first. It got better, but we were only there for a couple of hours. The kids had fun and it was really good for Nathan to see them. It was good to talk about you and what's going on, but I didn't want to cry in front of all of them (their girlfriends were there, too) and I knew that's what I needed at that moment. I couldn't hold it back much longer. It just seemed wrong for me to be there without you somehow and odd talking about it all, but it helps to talk about you especially to those who were close to you. I think it was just a bit much today.

Your brother still has your old black car. I Love that car. I miss it. I know it sounds crazy, but you know that because I have missed it since you sold it for the red one. I told him someday I'll buy it back, but it's with the rightful owner and like he said (and I was thinking it, too) at least it's him who has it and not some stranger. It sounds silly to talk about a car like that, but there is so much behind it. I still have the red one, which I've hated since the day you bought it, but I can't bring myself to sell it right now. So I guess we... or 'I' have 3 vehicles, but ony one driver.

Anyway, it was good to go there today even though it was hard. I think because it was the first time there and hanging out with them without you, but I'm glad that we were able to and I know the kids were glad, too. Neither one wanted to leave.

Like Always, Tom, I love you and miss you. I wish you were there today-- and everyday.

Love Always,

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hello Delaware

Good morning Delaware. Ok, not really a good morning. The kids were up at 4am and started calling and texting people from 5am-6am. I didn't even know they could figure that out on this phone. I had fallen back to sleep by then and now they are doing the same. I have a head ache, which I'm not complaining about, just stating, so I'm not sure how long I'll be able to type for. Then there was the multitude of dreams about Tom last night. In some I was trying to deal with his death, but in others he was still alive. Those are more difficult because I seem to wake up thinking he's still here and have to relive it once it sinks in.

Yesterday was the 10th, so it was one month ago that it happened. It seems so long ago, but at the same time I can't believe it's been a month. I guess I can't believe I've survived a month already. I can't get Tom's face out of my mind no matter how hard I try. I keep seeing the pain and hurt in his eyes. I keep reliving the moments that I put it there. It's amazing, Tom hurt me plenty (we all know that), but that's not what matters now. Now it's the times that I hurt him that I can't escape. So many people hurt him, especially in the end, and he was already dealing with the pain of war. None of us did enough to stop it. None of us were able to make the pain go away. No one gets it now-- the reason that this pain of mine is so much deeper than just missing the man I love so deeply. That in and of itself is too much to bear. I miss him. No matter what we went through I never stopped loving him and always wanted him. But no one gets that this guilt is eating at me more and more. Everyday it grows and everyday it gets harder to push away. I don't know how I'll get through this. It's just one more added stressor (not a real word apparently) and it's a huge one. I know what I'm going to focus on in counseling next week, but I don't think anything Owens says can help me on this one.

Ok, onto something more positive... I've decided to get my Master's. I knew that I wanted that almost right away. I just didn't know until yesterday what I was going to go for. Jena and I weighed the options and talked all about it and I decided on Psychology over Social Work. It was my original major all those many years ago and there is more that I can with Psychology. Now I just have to get all the lose ends tied together.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I Can Do This

I can do this. I can do this. No really, I can do "this." I can do busy that is. I can do staying out of my house and away from his stuff and away from our pictures and yes, here is the Horrible Mom of Year statement: I can be away from the kids. Do I miss them? Yes! But being around them means I have to face reality and I have to deal with their pain and I can't even deal with my own pain. The past few days I have been able to focus on me and yes, it has helped knowing that my kids are safe and having a blast and I could cry and not feel bad. But I have also been so busy that I am largely able to ignore the tears and the pain and almost pretend like it's someone else's life I am living right now. I can do that. I can pretend that this is going to go away and I'll be with him again, but then... but then I see his face either in a picture or in my mind. I see his clothes. I see his truck. I see our bed and he is not in it and he will not be in it ever again. And then? And then it starts. And then I can't stop it or IF I can hurry up and distract myself fast enough I can stop it all before I get so consumed that I just can't breathe. I don't want to breathe, not without him.

There are moments that I try to imagine my life 10 years down the road and I think, Maybe I'll be happy. Maybe my kids will have a solid "father figure" in their lives. Maybe we'll be celebrating Christmas and laugh and smile and feel joy. But then, all of a sudden 10 years from now at Christmas dinner it will hit me. Tom is not there. Tom SHOULD be there, but he's not. And whatever we will be doing in that moment is something that should Not be taking place because in that moment we will be celebrating without him. And at that moment 10 years from now, I will break down and cry in front of everyone. No one will understand. They will think "Well, it's been 10years already. She should be over it by now." But I won't be over it and in that moment I will think about what my life should be like and wonder where we would be and how we would be celebrating if our family-- our original family-- were all together. I will never know. I will never know what my life would be like in 10 years. People will look at me and see the smiles, see me laughing, and see happiness, but they will not understand that each and every day for the rest of my life I will be struggling. I will be struggling for air, for that feeling of freedom-- freedom from this misery. Freedom from torture that each and every day will hold. No, no one will understand. I may tell someone, "You know I still miss him. I still miss my Tommy." And they may seem sympathetic, but they won't get it. They won't know what this missing piece of my heart is doing to me on a daily basis. That will Never ever go away.

For now I just try to keep myself as busy as I can because the truth and reality of this is sinking in and I can't handle it. I try to ignore it as much as possible. I miss my heart and my soul and don't want to know this life without him.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

One More Try


A little sad and a little laugh (for me anyway)... I went to O'Charleys tonight. Jena went with me. I sat in the same place (Jena took your seat) and ordered the same thing we had 4 weeks ago tonight when Jena watched the kids. I was sad, but tried not to cry since I've cried all day long. At one point Jena held up my phone with the picture of you from that night-- the last picture taken of you. I joked around and talked to it for a minute like it was you (not long I'm not Too crazy). I've gone out since then, but not there. I wasn't ready. I felt like tonight was the right time to go, but had I gone alone? Ha! That would have been pretty bad. We weren't there for long and I came home.

I got on youtube and actually looked up Timmy T's "One More Try." I know you know that song. It's amazing that one little song would make us both cry. (Yes I wrote that on here that my big, tough Marine knew how to cry). I can't even begin to imagine how many times one of us would play that song for or about the other. How many "One More Try's" did we get anyway? I suppose that eventually we'd have to run out of ONE more trys and we'd have to have a last ONE. But Tommy, this is too final. This isn't one of our youthful break-ups when we were teens. This isn't even one of our serious marriage issues that we still managed to get through. Tommy, this is death. I thought we'd ALWAYS get 'One More Try,' but there has never been a greater need or desire to have one more try with you. Not that all the words are fitting for this situation, it's just that One More Try would give me enough time to fix everything.

Well, anyway, I was watching the 1991 video of the song with Timmy T and instead of the normal tears this song invokes (oh the memories), I started to laugh a little and I pictured you here laughing and making comments at the hair, the parachute pants, and the dancing. It was so your type of dancing Tom-- really bad! ;) Hey, now that I think of it, I'm mad at you. You and I were supposed to go out dancing one time and it never happened! I guess I'll let it slide (I have no other choice). But really this video was perfect for you to see. I can picture you imitating the dancing and singing the song. At least for me there was something "light" about the day. Most of the day was me bawling my eyes out and I didn't expect a smile from that song, it brings back memories. I know you understand, or you would if you were here. That's the problem you aren't here and no one understands. I was saying that to Jena in the car tonight-- about how hilarious you are and how no one else knows all the jokes we had together. I don't even want to laugh anymore, but I sure don't want any more days like this where all I do is cry and cry. Ok, I'm beat, but at least I don't have to get up for the kids tomorrow. I wish you could sleep in with me. That would be crazy. Ok, now I know I'm rambling and I'll have to read this over in the AM and probably delete it. I love you, Tommy.

Love always,

My Drive Home

Dear Tommy,

I drove past your old house today before I started my 8 hour drive back to NC. Well, let me tell you that just set me up for the whole ride to be filled with water works! I just wanted to go up to the door and ask to go inside for a minute. I would have if the house still had the same furniture and the same smell, but it doesn't and I didn't want those memories tainted. I miss those days, the beginning of "Tommy and Katie."

When you died everything bad that happened between us died, too. I've had a few people try to remind me of those times, and really it took everything in me not to tell them what I really thought at that moment! I don't think about the bad things, the painful things that we went through. There is no point and I have no negative feelings about anything from the past. It's all gone and has been erased. I do have a hard time thinking about the good things from the last few years, though. Those memories-- the good ones-- they hurt the most right now. They make me sadder than anything else because we should still be living those memories.

So, I think about the beginning, which to me is everything until Iraq. I think about Tommy and Katie when they were still kids and carefree and fun was the number one thing on their minds. Yes, I know, I'm talking about us in the third person because it was so long ago and in another life that they lived and were happy. I remember them that way so that it doesn't hurt as bad. Besides, it doesn't even feel like that was my life anymore. It really feels like it was someone else. We WERE different people back then. I wish we could go back to those people, THAT Tommy & Katie! They had their whole lives ahead of them. Even when they weren't together it was "Tommy & Katie" who they thought about, who held their future.

I was thinking about when we went to see "The Others" and I was sitting in between you and Rob. At that point I didn't know he liked Jenn and he didn't know I liked you and I wanted to hold your hand SO bad, but I couldn't. I kept talking to you, though and you were amazed that I had the movie figured out so early on. That's one thing that eventually annoyed you about watching movies with me. I can have almost any movie figured out in the first 20 minutes, but back then it was intriguing to you.
As I drove down Old Baltimore Pike today I thought about how I got a speeding ticket on the way to your house all those years ago. Rob and I were about to pick you up to go to the race track and I was in a hurry to get there (to your house, not the race track). He told me to slow down, but I didn't. We went to the track and like usual I was really good at picking the winners, but I'd only bet a dollar or two. I'm pretty sure it was that day you put a couple of bucks down and then threw out your winning ticket by accident. It was really funny to see your face...

You know Jenn and Rob came to your viewing. I haven't seen them in years. I'm really glad they came; it meant a lot to me, but it was really hard to see them. They've been together since you and I dated the very first time. They were meant to be, and you know what Tommy? So were we. We both know that. That's not where I should have seen them after all these years, walking up to me to tell me how sorry they were along with everyone else that day. It should have played out something like we were up in Delaware and we said, "Hey, how about we all go out to dinner or for drinks to catch up?" We would have laughed about old times and talked about all the years in between. But that's not the case. Somehow seeing them, seeing your old friends, it's helping to hold onto the past. Well, the part of the past that I can live in right now.

The drive home today was so hard. It's still hard. I can't seem to stop crying. I spent 4 weeks ago today trying to get you to not take your life and trying to figure out what to do next. I wonder how long it'll last where every week is measured by counting X number of weeks ago I tried... And on Monday's-- X number of weeks ago I failed. I wish I could say that I'm all cried out for the day, but somehow I just don't think the tears are going to stop any time soon.

I was talking to God today and said that I hoped you were resting with Him in heaven. I saw a sign that said "Vote THOMAS Ernest." So I was thinking God can You give me a... and at that very moment I saw a sign that said "SIGNS." But I told God that I was thinking it not saying it, could he give me another sign. I saw the "Vote THOMAS Ernest" sign again. I still wasn't convinced, so a minute later I saw a billboard that was for Continental Health Care Systems or something like that and it was an ad that read "You were wonderful to us when Tom passed. --Shirley Kelly, Havelock" And right after that another billboard that said "In God we trust. United we stand." Now, all of that could mean absolutely nothing, but since I'm looking for signs I'm going to take it to be a sign...

I still think about the moment that I knew for sure we would always be together, that No Matter What we would end up together. It was September 12, 2004. It was a Sunday and your last day of leave after boot camp. We had spent the day together and went out to eat at McGlynn's. We got kicked out of there because I bought you a beer and you weren't 21 yet. You made a smart ass comment about how you can go to war and fight for your country, but you couldn't drink a beer. The bar tender relaxed a bit when you said that and he agreed, but said that he had to make us leave anyway. It was that night when we were in the "infamous Bagosy basement" where so many good times took place in that "I KNEW." Even as I sit here crying I still get the biggest smile of my face when I think about it. All of a sudden you just stopped, kissed my forehead, and looked so deeply in my eyes. Your eyes never lied and your eyes held our future. I held back tears, but I couldn't hold back that smile. It was a smile of satisfaction and excitement because I KNEW in that moment that my dreams were going to come true. I knew in that moment that in the end it would be "Tommy & Katie forever." Forever wasn't supposed to end 5 years and 8 months later. That wasn't what I saw. That's not the way "Tommy & Katie" were supposed to end. That is one of my most precious memories of you Tommy and it destroys me to know that all I have now are memories from the past with no hope of memories for the future.

Miss you more than words and tears can express,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Not even 4 weeks!?

Wow, sometimes it amazes me the things that come out of my 4 year old's mouth! "My" means something so much different now. "My" means me alone. Even though Tom Will Always be Nathan and Avery's Daddy, he is no longer here, so now they are "my" kids and something seems so hollow and empty and just plain Wrong about that! There is a missing link and will always be. OK, so I tend to go off on tangents and now I'll go back to my point: Nathan has been saying things that stop me in my tracks, especially now and especially since he has no idea how Daddy actually died. Today for example, he was playing with an umbrella and he said "This is a gun and it's on my head. But guns aren't supposed to be on your head." I just wanted wanted to yell at Tom "Did you hear that?! Did you hear the wisdom of our 4 year old, Tom!? That's not where guns go!!" Then he said, "Why did Daddy have to die? We were all happy when he was alive. Now he's dead and we're not happy." Wow, Nathan, my boy, right you are. Right you are! Happiness. Hmmm, that was a word that I wasn't completely sure of the meaning until the day Tom died and I realized that I WAS happy before that day. I may not have thought of my life as 'happy' on an everyday basis, but yes, really, happiness is the word I choose to use to describe my life PRE May 10, 2010. POST that date I have lots of words I'd use to describe my life. "Destroyed" seems to be most fitting right now.

I've been feeling angry today. I think it's because, well there are several reasons why I've been feeling that way. It's funny because I was just asked that question yesterday and I said no, but here I am one day later and that is one of the emotions that is consuming me: anger and (obviously) sadness and pain. My heart is hurting more today than it has been the past few days. I think my "surviving by denial" was forced to be put aside as I spent some time over at Tom's unit today. I went in for a specific reason and had a really hard time as I sat there waiting for things to get done. Not that they didn't rush to get it done for me and offer for me to come back, but I thought I could handle it. I WAS WRONG! Apparently I'm wrong about a lot of things lately. Wow, I cried a couple of times and then I actually had to turn away to compose myself. How embarrassing was that when I was talking to the Major?! It's not like it was some Cpl. or Sgt. that came up to me and asked how I was, oh no, not Katie. Katie had to turn her back on the important people! There were others there, but I am not good with ranks.

So, on another note, a friend of mine wrote to me today and said "Perhaps it is cliche for everyone to keep telling you how strong you are...but give yourself some credit. You have survived three plus weeks with this burden on you!" Umm, Wow! Has it only been "three plus weeks?" I feel like it's been SO much longer! Wow, I feel like I'm the kid who despises school and it's the
2nd day of freshman year and it seems as though graduation will never happen, or that same kid who doesn't know 'if' they'll make it that long. How in the world am I supposed to do this when unlike my example, I don't know when the end will come. I can only dread that I'll be in my 70's or 80's when it's my turn. OK, I can hear Tom now saying that I'll never make it that long because I don't take care of myself. I hope that's true. Then again I've never wanted to be that old to begin with, so there's no worry in me making that statement. (I'll let you all know when it's time to worry, ha...ha. But really no worries). Really, I appreciate her words and everyone's words of comfort and wisdom; it just struck me as I sat there reading it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Blessings... Huh? What? This chick hasn't been a widow even 4 weeks yet and she's talking about blessings? What is going on here? Ok, well truth be told God and I... well, God and I have not been seeing eye to eye lately as one can imagine, but that doesn't mean that I can't still find myself thankful and feeling blessed in some areas. So I just felt that it may be good for me to list my blessings so that one day when Jesus IS my homeboy again (I TOLD YOU I MAKE BAD JOKES-- just wait for my "Widow Humor")I can look back and say, cool. OR something more appropriate? But it is almost midnight (will be by the time I actually finish typing) and I've had a long day, so cut me some slack. Oh and these are in no particular order nor are they all inclusive since again, I should have been in bed 4 hours ago!

I am Blessed:
1. Unspoken-- probably close to 5 of these... curious aren't you ;)
2. The wonderful conversation I had tonight.
3. The wonderful message I got earlier that gave me some hope that not all of this suffering is in vain.
4. That I "know people who know people" who can get things done for me.
5. That I have the wonderful love and support of all my friends, family, churches, etc.
6. That I was able to speak something from the heart that wasn't judged.
7. That I have gotten several compliments today from different people.
8. That I have a friend from home who not only gave me one last night with Tom, but has allowed me to use my widow humor and not judged me (to my face) and actually laughed with me. (read: Good friends laugh with you at your bad jokes in times like these. Any other time you can AT me).
9. Those who have helped with the kids-- you know who you are. ;)
10. Those who have made us food! The Lord knows that I do not cook in times like these.
11. The new people I have met and the opportunities that have presented themselves to me.
12. All the wonderful people who are praying for us since I can't do it.
13. IDK I'll fill in later. I'm off to sleep and with 2 minutes to go before midnight!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Heart is Lost

Dear Tommy,

I have to do a timeline of events for NCIS starting back in 2007. It made me really think about what we've been through and especially the past few months. I started to think about how your Command put a MPO on you even though I didn't want it. They said it would only be about 3 days, but it was 14. They said I could talk to you everyday, but I could barely get a hold of them and they only let me talk to you once (well that they knew of). We weren't supposed to communicate at all, but we did it anyway. The MPO started on a Monday and you came home for the weekend on that Friday night. When I saw you there walking in our front door my heart raced with relief and excitement. I had tried for 2 days to get a hold of your command and I didn't know what was going on. I was so thankful to see you, scared you'd get in trouble, but so happy! I cried when you hugged me. I had missed you SO much and I know you felt the same. That was why you took the chance. You wanted to be with me as desperately as I wanted you. It felt like you were gone on a deployment and we had been away for a long time. I remember how you felt, how you smelled, and how you made me feel so loved and needed. We hugged for what seemed like forever, neither of us wanting to let go. You held me so close that whole night. That whole weekend really. You came home the following weekend, too.

Those two weekends were probably the best we've had in a long time. They were just so full of love and not being able to get enough of each other. I would actually use the word "perfect" to describe them. We haven't had many "perfect" times in the past few years. It was so nice, so comforting, so hopeful. How did it go from hopeful to this? Oh, dear God I wish that you were just in the barracks right now and any day you'd come home to us. I want to feel you in my arms again. I want you to say "I love you" without the tears and fear and most importantly without the goodbye that went with those words just moments before your life ended. I want to hear them in the excited way telling me you've missed me and are glad to be home. Home, hmm... Home doesn't really mean the same thing anymore. If "Home is where the heart is" then I couldn't be able to tell you where home Truly is because I don't know where you are. What I do know is that you are not where you should be and since my heart is with you it's lost to me until I'm with you again.

Love always,