February 21st 2011. It was approximately 9 am in the morning; I’m laying in bed thinking about you. I texted my sister in law to see if she had heard anything from my brother (who was deployed with Bobby) but she didn’t. I felt relieved because no news is good news… or so I thought. It had been 5 days since the last time we talked and I was worried sick because we never went that long without talking. About 30 minutes later I’m still lying in bed. I’m thinking I need to get up and start getting ready for work. That’s when I hear a car pull up the drive way. I ask my mom who it was. She says it’s probably just the neighbors. It crosses my mind, but I didn’t think anything of it. Then I heard my brother say, “No they’re in uniform.” That’s when my world ended. I remember getting up and running to the door. “Is Mrs. Brittany Sisson here?” Oh no. NO NO NO NO NO. It wasn’t supposed to be like this! THIS wasn’t supposed to happen. Not me. Not Bobby. This can’t be possible. I love him.
After they left I called my sister in law. Then proceeded to call my family. I didn’t know if Bobby’s parents knew, so I didn’t call them. I was told I would be headed to Dover AFB in the morning, so I packed my things and headed to the nearest airport. I didn’t have anything to wear. I remember going to the mall and wandering aimlessly for hours. I had to pick out what I was going to wear to my husband’s funeral.
February 22nd 2011. I’m on the flight to Dover AFB. I didn’t sleep at all the night before. My sister in law is with me, my brother is coming home for the funeral. I remember looking out the window over the ocean and thinking Bobby will be coming from that direction. I remember it was dark and cloudy and I thought to myself that’s where hell is. We arrived on Baltimore and headed to Dover.
We only had a couple hours before we would have the dignified transfer. I met with Bobby’s parents and we sat and talked about Bobby. We laughed and we cried; it still felt unreal. Finally it was time. My stomach was in knots and I felt sick to my stomach. I’m not ready for this I thought to myself. We got on the bus. They briefed us on what was going to happen and went to the plane. When we arrived, the back of the plane was open. I looked and there it was. A silver transfer case. Bobby’s not in there, he can’t be I said to myself. I had no emotions. I felt like a zombie. Next thing I know the transfer is over, and Bobby is being taken to the medical examiner and we are going back to the hotel.
February 23rd 2011. I’m on my way back to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania with Bobby’s parents. I cry because I don’t want to leave Bobby behind. We arrive in PA, and our CAO is there to pick is up. We go look at cemeteries and decide he will be buried at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies. I still can’t believe this is happening. I go to sleep that night. In my dream I feel awake yet I know I’m still sleeping. I feel someone touch me. I’m still asleep and I need to wake up! Someone is touching me! I feel fingers run through my hair and I knew it was Bobby. He was trying to comfort me.
February 27th 2011. Today was the day of the viewing. I was so nervous to see Bobby again. We went inside the funeral home. I turned the corner and there he was. Bobby. My sweet, sweet Bobby. He didn’t look like himself. I kneel beside him and cry. I touch his face and hair. Is this really him? I slipped the letter I wrote to him inside his Class A jacket. I bow my head and continue to cry.
March 1st 2011. Today is the day of the funeral. I wake up, get ready and make our way to the funeral home to say goodbye to Bobby one last time. My heart feels heavy. I don’t want to say goodbye. They close the casket and we go to the church. Mass was beautiful. His family and I were presented with his awards and dog tags. We go to the cemetery. The 2 star General did a nice speech. They did the 21 gun salute, we were presented with the flag that was draped over the casket and then they played TAPS. There was not a second that day that my face wasn’t wet with tears. It was a bittersweet moment. I didn’t want to put Bobby to rest, but in a way I felt relieved because he was finally home.
The following days seem blurred. I don’t really remember anything. I felt sick, sad, angry, and in disbelief. I was angry at God for taking Bobby away from me. Why me. Why Bobby. He didn’t deserve this. WE didn’t deserve this. Bobby and I had plans for our future. How could God take that away from me?
I often wonder if Bobby is scared. Does he know what’s going on? Does he know where to go? Is he okay? Does he think of me as much as I do him?
It’s hard to face that I’m a 20 year old widow. I’m trying to learn how to live life without him. The only thing I have left is his letters, pictures and voicemails and most important is my memories. I wish every day I could go back and hold him one last time.
I will never forget you Bobby, you changed my life forever and for as long as I live I will always be your baby girl. Love you always and forever. XOXO Bayshore.