Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. I have to admit, I've been having a rough time the past couple of days. Between my birthday and now Christmas, reality is SLOWLY setting in. It's not like I can have one really bad day of just crying and screaming and then being done. Instead it feels like my heart is slowly getting ripped out every single day. Throughout the day it still feels so surreal and then all of a sudden, reality hits. I know that this will dull over time, but right now, that's hard to believe. BUT, no matter how bad I wish this was all a bad dream or that I could go back and undo the past, I can't. So, I have to focus on moving forward. And I will. Again, my family and friends are so wonderful. I don't know what I'd do without them. I was completely pampered yesterday for my birthday. The massage was wonderful and the dinner was so fun! We're getting together with my parents, Barb, and my brothers tonight and tomorrow. My brothers are also taking me out with them on New Years. So, as you can see, I'm trying to keep busy! On another note, I have a story I forgot to mention earlier. When Rob got injured, they put a flag up for him at Camp Bostick in Afghanistan. When he passed away, they took the flag down. When they did this, the clouds made a cross in the sky! That's what this picture is. Isn't it beautiful?!


Jackie Fjell said...

The picture is indeed beautiful--one more sign of God's unfailing Love. I wish I could take away some of your hurt--rely on family and friends and those beautiful little girls to ease the pain. And most of all, lean on our loving Lord--he'll carry you through. Peace, Joy, and Love to you and yours this Christmas. Love and prayers........Jackie and Joe

Judy Sunday said...

Merry Christmas Dena! I have read your blog daily since it was started. I am so sorry for everything that you have had to go through. I have always said that God will not give you more than you can handle also, but I know that he really can test us. I will continue to read your blog and will keep your family in my prayers. Love to all of you!

ZM said...

Thank you for sharing the beautiful story of the cross in the sky. It reminds me that what we experience now (our life on Earth) is only temporary and that eternal life waits for all of us. We will see our love ones again. I wish you, Julia and Eva a safe and blessed Christmas Day.

Anonymous said...

We hope that you and the girls have a Merry Christmas and you know that there are people all over the world thinking of you and your family.

Joe, Robin and Anailese Ruzicka

Jodee Leader said...

I, too, wish I could take some of your pain away. I am so glad your friends and family have wrapped their loving arms around you this holiday season. We continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts have been with you and my heart aches for you and your family. You are truly a brave and strong women. God Bless you

Love Lisa Lourake
(we meet at Andrews AFB Fisher House)

MIchelle said...

Dear Dena & Girls,

The picture is beautiful, and I am sure it makes your feel that indeed there is a God in heaven and that your angel is smiling down on you this Christmas.

I won't pretend to know what it feels like to work your way through this awful time... but I really hope that you feel the care and concern and compassion of all of us responding to your blog. You are not alone!!!! We all are here feeling your pain with you and praying for better days for you and your girls.

Merry Christmas, and hopefully a New Year filled with wonderful surprises.

Anonymous said...

What an inspirational picture!

We'll all keep praying for you and your family.

Lots of love during this Season,

Nancy Christian
Fisher House Volunteer

The Bender's said...

Dena, Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful story and picture with us. It again makes us stop and thank God and Rob, your family for the inspirational times we face here on Earth and the awesome symbols we are given, along with our Faith that there is so much more waiting for us in Heaven. We can not even imagine the beauty that awaits us, but yet when we see a picture like that - it give us a much needed glimpse. I am sure in the days ahead those glimpses will warm you and your girls. It is His and Rob's way of letting you know - you are being take care-of always and forever. What a comfort and much needed, I am sure.
You remember that we are all also here for you, your girls, and families. We love you and are praying that 2009 brings much more warmth, inspirational times, and a future that will be filled with much love.
On this day that we celebrate the birth of our Savior, we will also be celebrating the life of Rob and warms us to know that he is at the most special of birthday parties....we can only imagine.
God Bless you and your's,
Karen, Craig, Logan and Zach

Tammy said...

Merry Christmas! Beautiful indeed. Thinking about your all, especialy at this time of year. Hugs from Fort Worth!

Julie. Soldiers Angels said...

Dearest Dena, The picture and story are beautiful and a great reminder to us of what is beyond this earth... I'm glad you're blessed with such a close family to love you and the girls through this Dena. Know that many prayers continue to come your way as you deal with these difficult days of grief. Keep reaching out and know you are not alone. Warmest of CHristmas wishes to you and your family.

julie Morelli
Soldiers Angels

Holli said...


When my daughter died I saw a cloud in the sky shaped like a baby cherub's face. It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. We also had a flock of white doves at her memorial that would not leave until the service was over. I know that was her way of letting me know she's ok. The cross was Rob's way and I'm so glad you were able to see that and have that knowledge as you move forward through these days, and months, and years. It takes lots of time. And it won't be easy. I don't know you personally but I feel as if I've had a glimpse into your soul since you've started this blog and I will say you do have the inner strength and skills to survive Rob's death. Keep sight of that strength in the days to come and you will be ok. Merry Christmas to you and your thoughts are with you.


Heather said...

Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful girls! What a wonderful story and a gorgeous picture to go along with it. Truly a miracle for sure! Rob just wanted everyone to know he is up there watching down on them.

As for your pain, it is real and it will hurt for a long time. That is okay! Yes, someday it may dull some, but that piece of your heart will always ache for Rob. I hope you can enjoy your holidays with your wonderful family. Take care of you and enjoy every moment with the girls.

Heather in Helena, MT

Connie Pat said...

Merry Christmas Dena,
When ever you feel sad, look at the picture and know Rob is looking down on you and the girls.It will get easier, time heals all with God's help. Family is the most important thing and helps when they keep you in their arms.Love to all of you this Season!

brat said...


My prayer is that you see the many signs that I am SURE Rob will send you, to remind you that he is - indeed - always with you.

Keeping you and your precious girls in my heart. With love,


Anonymous said...

Dena and Family, Merry Christmas to each of you. Know that a special angel looks down and shares all your joy and sadness. The picture is wonderful. I know it will always be a special memory to each of you ...a gift from Rob. You are each in the prayers of many throughout the world. Wishing you a blessed Christmas and 2009 - The Yeagers, Atlanta, GA

Mitch and Vicki Coffin said...

Thinking of you and the girls so much. God gave us minds and bodies that do an amazing job of carrying us through the very tough times and then at some point, when the reality comes - that very same God provides us with family and friends and even strangers to carry us because there are days too hard to carry ourselves. You continue to be in our daily prayers. Thank you for sharing the picture. Very truly our God is an awesome God.
God's peace this Christams season to you and Julia and Eva and to your families.
Our hugs and prayers,
Mitch and Vicki

Trish said...

Merry Christmas, Dena - and God bless you and your family - you are ALL still in our thoughts and prayers - I'm glad you had a very 'spoiled' birthday - you richly deserved it - Hugs and Blessings,
Rome, Georgia

Anonymous said...

Dena, I wish you, the girls and your family a very Blessed Christmas. All you share with us is wonderful and shows that you are a strong woman. I have no idea of the depth of your pain but I do know that when things get tough that the Bible has the help you need. I do know there are times when another person just can't reach that hurt but God is always there for you. Love and prayers, Betty from KP County

Karen said...

The picture sent chills through me and I had to smile. It was like Rob was telling his men that he was going to be okay... That he was whole again.

I have been thinking about you and praying so hard for you and the family, Dena. I wish there was some way that I could ease your burden. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and remember that each step you take brings you closer to seeing Rob again.

You and the girls are loved by so many.

Happy Belated Birthday.
Karen Marshall

aheartfromtheblueridge said...

Thank you Dena for continuing write.
To find your post on Christmas morning was truly a gift.

I have been thinking of you a lot and hoping and praying you and the girls are getting through the holidays. You are blessed to have such wonderful family and friends.

Happy Birthday!

Wishing you all good things in 2009!

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and your family today and every day. I am so glad that you have your parents and your brothers and family around you now. Just keep getting through each day and know that you have peeps out here that are praying for you.

Carol Dzurenko

A Friend In Papillion You've Never Met said...

Thinking of you and the girls. Not sure what to say, other than remember what Christmas celebrates - the birth of our Saviour who ultimately sacrificed his own life for us - he had a mission, he came, he paid the ultimate sacrifice. I don't know if there is any comfort in knowing Rob followed that same pattern with his committment to his mission.

A friend in Papillion you've never met.

Anonymous said...

Merry christmas and happy new year to you and the girls. You are in our prayers every day. May you look to the healer at this time. Know that your angel is watching over you and the girls.Find comfort in the lord he will never leave you!

kayokat said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family. Your story has touched so many people around the world who are keeping your family in their thoughts and prayers, not just today, but everyday. I am but one of them.

Katrina Ruff
Naples, Italy

Quinn and Melanie said...

What an amazing site to see. Merry Christmas to you and the girls. Oh Dena how I wish I could take your pain away. How you share it with all of us is truly amazing. I am glad you had a good birthday and hope you have a great New Years. You, Julia and Eva are in our thoughts and prayers daily.
All Our Love,
Mel, Quinn, Lauren & Meghan

Carol said...

Merry Christmas to you Dena and to your beautiful girls. Dena I don't know what you are going thur, but I feel that God will lead you thur this time. I hope in time the pain will lessen. The Hoildays is a time for family and friends. So let your family and all of you friends and the news ones that you met thur here help you thur this time. The picture is very beautiful. The cross is a sign from God and Rob letting all know that he is in a place of peace and love. Just take one day at a time. Love Carol

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Dena and girls,

Barb told me the story of the
cross in the clouds. Awesome!
Thank you for sharing this
beautiful image! It inspires
hope in all of us.
Keep looking for God's signs.
They will comfort you in this
difficult time.

It is wonderful to have such
blessings of family and friends
at your birthday and through the
holidays. Let them wrap you in
their love and care.

God bless you with happiness
and peace throughout the New
Year. My prayers are still
with you.
With love to you, Julia and Eva,

About The Caddo Tribe said...

That picture is so beautiful. Please know that you and your girls are not forgotten. We think about you everyday. We will continue to pray for you all. We wish you nothing but the best for 2009!

Shani and Mike Ginani

JihadGene said...

God love is forever. His love is in the sky. Thank you for sharing with us. Our prayers for you and your families continue.

Phil Davis said...

There will so many signs that rob is with all of us all of the time. This picture is just one of many to come. It is truly butiful. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and the New Year brings many happy memories. I check your blog everyday to see if you share anything. Know that even if it is just a day that you need to hear that we all of thinking of you just post and we will all be there to help you get through this time.

mike from topeka, ks said...


I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I prayed that the Baby Jesus would hold you in His arms all day and remind you that He came for you and Rob and the girls.
He has Rob home with him now and is waiting until it is time to reunite you with him.
The cross in the sky was a very beautiful reminder to keep your eyes on the cross and trust God in everything.
Enjoy this holiday season with your family.
Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Each step will get a little easier than the one before it.
Love in our Savior
Mike from Topeka, Ks

Anonymous said...

I was one of the first principal doctors of Rob, but then I have to attend in other state, but I never have the oportunity of meeting you!, but anyway Im sorry for the loose, Rob was an amazing person and his family must be very sad, no word but lots of blessings for those that cared for him.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you had a nice relaxing birthday and a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends. I think about you and the girls often and hope and pray that each day life gets a little easier. Be sure to get enough sleep and take care of yourself. You can't be there for the girls if you are all run down. I am glad that Julia likes her class at school.
The cross in the clouds is impressive indeed. Another example of God's miracles. Let God enfold you and your girls in God's arms. Take good care of YOU!
Linda Dimond

pam h. said...

Dena, Happy belated birthday!!!! I talked to your dad the other night, I called him to tell him that Rob's name was in People magazine (the Best and Worse of 2008) they listed all the fallen soldiers of 2008. Hope you get a copy. Hope you guys had a good Christmas, we missed you at the hall. Hopefully we can get together sometime soon. We continue to think about you everyday. Take Care, and have a great time on New Year's!!!!! Throw all inhibitions to the wind. You deserve a night of fun!!!! Love Ya, Pam

Anonymous said...

I remember when you were born, too. JoAnne was so excited to have a niece. Then when JoAnne had Brooke and we were all at my house, Brooke was sleeping and she gave a little smile. You told me "Grandma says that means an angel just kissed her!" When your girls are sleeping and they give a little smile, you'll know their daddy is kissing them! Happy Birthday! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Love to all of you. Carita Willits

Long-time RN said...

The photo is lovely, thank you for sharing it with us.
You and the girls remain in our thoughts and prayers. So sorry for your pain and the realities which surface now that the all the services are over. It's never easy, grief is a process. You've been incredibly strong through the weeks. Take good care of yourself, nurture yourself as well as the girls. Prayers for healing hearts, strength for each new day, and the Lord to carry you in his loving arms.

Toni said...


You have a beautiful daughters...I hope all the Hugs and Kisses they give you daily help you to get through the tough moments. I know my 5 and 7 year old daughters can lift me up at just the right my 13 year old daughter...she is kind of scarey...but you have a while until that time comes...thankfully.
I continue to pray for you, I pray for strength, and for peace, and also for humor. I hope for you all to find joy and happiness.
Keep on keeping on.....and we will keep on praying....I wish you all that is good in 2009!!!
From another military wife and mom...