As I turn 40 today I am at a point in my life that I am reflecting on the last big birthday 10 years ago. 10 years ago I was with a girlfriend eating breakfast as my husband was at forward training on his way to Iraq, that was 2004. 10 years ago on this day I had the privilege to speak to him and yet I was crushed when I was done talking to him. He had forgotten that day was my 30th birthday. I remember telling myself it was ok it’s just another day and what he was training for could save his life. I was a young mother of a 4 year old daughter and not even 1 year old son. I was a wife of almost 10 years and I was now the head of the household.
To my surprise on April 16 2005 My husband was severely injured to the point that I was now his 24/7 caregiver. I learned very quickly to find my voice to not only protect him but our family as well. From the medical community to the Department of Defense to the Veterans Affairs. Everyday was a fight to survive for all of us. That fight lasted for 6 years until Bob suddenly passed away from his brain injury that he incurred while serving in Iraq. During those very long 6 years we fought for our family and others like us to improve this so called life. We were very honored to fight beside some amazing wounded warriors, their caregivers and people who truly cared for all of us. I would never change it for a minute as we were blessed so many times after that April day even thou it was pure hell.
Since Bobby’s death I tried to carry on the fight that we had both worked so hard on yet I couldn’t even get myself out of bed to take a shower unless someone dragged me there. Let alone take care of my two young special need children or run my small business. Over time and some very difficult times that included trying to leave this place I went inpatient to find my own two feet again and a glimpse of what used to be a boisterous voice. I am finding my journey again, day by day spinning and walking on the fence of sanity of secondary PTSD, complicated grief and widowhood.
So much has changed in 10 years. I have witnessed and experienced death and near death, I have fought, I have been betrayed, I have had people leave my life because they could not handle me after death. I have been lost. I have experienced things that most people could not even dream of, good and bad. I have loved and been loved. I have cried and laughed so hard that I cried. I have been lied to. I have witnessed miracles and answers to prayers both of life and those of death. I have learned. I have grown and most importantly I am still here breathing and transforming. I am a war widow, a single parent and we would have been married 20 years onNovember 19th, half of my life. My journey now holds new friends who understand without saying a word, experiencing life again thru a different set of windows and always transforming.
Categories: Moving Forward