Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 is coming to a close...

It's hard to believe 2008 is almost over.  The year went by so quickly.  It's ironic how we started the year with the birth of our precious baby and ended it with the passing of Rob.  I truly pray that 2009 will bring us much happiness.  I also pray that it brings all of you much happiness and the rest of Rob's unit home safely.  There is not a day goes by that I don't think of his men and all the other military men and women.  Even though I knew something like this could happen to Rob, I never truly thought it would.  The chances of this happening to HIM was almost like the chances of winning the lottery.  So, this opens my eyes to all the danger our men and women put themselves in for our freedom.  About a month before Rob was injured, my friend Ali was really worried about her husband who was with Rob.  I remember telling her "Ali, of all the soldiers in Afghanistan, what are the chances something will happen to OUR husbands?"  Wow.  No longer can I be nieve.  My friends are in the same situation I was and I pray that they NEVER have to go through what I'm going through.  All I can say now is that they now have one of God's Warriors watching over them.  I've enclosed some pictures of the girls from Christmas.  Eva was so worn out she fell asleep in her exersaucer and Julia was able to make her very first snowman.  So many people were so generous with them on Christmas.  The girls were able to have a really nice Christmas.  So, thank you again for everything you've all done.  The comments left really pick me up when I need it the most and the girls can feel the love from even people they've never met.  May God continue to bless you in 2009.  I'll write again "next year"!!

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?!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Settling in

There's not a lot to report right now. I'm trying to get settled at my brother's house. I'm so grateful to them for letting us stay with them. It helps us out so much. Today one of the liasons we had in Germany who was from Ft Riley came and visited me. He gave me an awesome picture of his unit when they were in Baghdad and had the guys in the unit sign a card for us. That was so nice of him to drive all the way from Ft Riley just to give that to me. Thanks, Sgt Schroeder! I'm still working out all the details of all the things I have to change over and do since Rob passed away. I'm sure this will be an ongoing thing for awhile. I was never one for paperwork but I guess I better get used to it! Tuesday is my 30th birthday (yikes, I can't believe I'm THAT OLD!!) and my mother in law and mom have done something special for me. We're getting massages and the little girls (not Eva of course) are getting "princess" manicures. I know Julia will LOVE IT! I'm excited for the massage and I definitly could use one. After that she made reservations at a really cool restaurant for us all to go to. I remember when Rob turned 30 he thought it was the end of the world. I never understood that. Isn't 30 the new
20's?? :) Julia's doing well in school and is adjusting fairly well. She has a way of keeping things inside but I know that she misses her daddy terribly. She's made different comments that break my heart. I'm going to get both of us in to see counselors. She's at such a fragile age and I want to do all I can to make sure she is able to deal with this all in a healthy way. Eva's doing good too. However, leave it to Rob to leave me to raise the orneriest of our children by myself! That girl keeps me on my toes!! I'm so blessed to have our beautiful children. I couldn't imagine doing all of this without them. As I mentioned before, reality is slowly starting to sink in. I still catch myself setting my cell next to my bed at night thinking that he will call me. It's so hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that he is never coming home to us. I think maybe it will really hit when the rest of the guys come back from Afghanistan. I literally feel like a chunk of my heart is missing. I just thank God for all the memories I have of him and our 2 little girls. One of our friends had referred to Rob as superman. When he was in MD, our friend said that he always thought of Rob as superman and superman shouldn't be laying in bed. I completely understand what he was saying. Rob was an amazing person and gave 100% in all he did. To know that he is gone, it's almost unbelievable. However, I do know that Rob constantly worried about the safety of his soldiers. Now his soldiers have one of God's warriors watching over and protecting them.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back in Nebraska

Sorry it's been a couple of days since I last wrote. I've been EXTREMELY busy and also extremely tired!!! The Memorial Service was really nice. I have to say that the roll call they do is the absolute worst. For those of you who don't know what this is, they call out Rob's name 3 times. Of course, each time he doesn't answer. I'm not sure what the reasoning behind this is, but all the memorial services I've been to do this. It just makes it that much more real that he's gone. These past couple of days have been emotionally exhausting. The house, the service, and yesterday I got the Army Times and Rob's picture was under the section "Human Toll". Every week I got the paper, I'd always look at this to see how many soldiers were killed that week in Iraq and Afghanistan. To see Rob there, killed me. Then yesteray I spent all day with my Casualty Assistant Officer on Ft Hood going to different offices for benefit information. I was gone from 8am to 3:30pm. When I got back to the house, my friend who's a real estate agent was there and we got our house put on the market. I then had a couple of more friends stop by. Later I still had to pack up a few more things to take back with me to Nebraska. I took a bunch of Rob's t-shirts, jeans, dress shirts, and acu's. One of Rob's aunts said she would make a quilt from Rob's t-shirts and another friend said she knows someone who will make teddy bears out of his jeans, shirts, and acu's. I figure this would be great so we can still have his things near us without having to put them all in boxes or get rid of them. That's the hardest for me. Right now I can leave our house and come back to Nebraska. But when the house gets sold and I move into a new one, I have to figure out what to do with his things. I can't bear to get rid of them because it's part of HIM and there are so many memories. But I can't bear to look at them all the time either because the scab constantly gets torn off. Now that I'm back in Nebraska knowing that this will be my new reality, things are starting to set in. I MISS HIM SO MUCH. My world as I know it has turned upside down. My whole adult life I've only known the military. I've been married for 8 1/2 years with 2 small children. Rob was an amazing father and husband. He helped me so much. My family will be wonderful and will help me out with ANYTHING I need, but my best friend, husband, and father to my children is gone. And I have so many emotions running through me: sad, scared, angry, uncertain.... I just have to hold on strong to the fact that God will get us through this. I pray every night for Him to help me be the mother our girls need me to be to raise them solely on my own so they can grow up to be happy, confident, christian women. And what helps me so much is knowing how many family, friends, and perfect strangers are supporting the girls and I and giving me those words of encouragment. I know that we will never truly be alone. I thank God every night for all of you who are wrapping your arms around us. More than ever, I can't thank you enough.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ft Hood Memorial Service

Tomorrow's memorial service for Rob at Ft Hood will be at 11am at the 1st Infantry Chapel on the corner of 73rd & Battalion Ave. I know there are some of you from Hood that would like to attend and know the time. We made it safely here to TX. It was hard walking into the house. But, I feel Rob all around me. I just want to get our house sold-that will be one less stress. Hopefully I will be able to soon. I'll update again tomorrow or the next day.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Yesterday was Rob's funeral. It was beautiful. Again, the Patriot Guard showed up holding flags outside the auditorium and a bell was being rung. During the service they had a 16x20 photograph of Rob in uniform in front of a flag. I looked at it most of the service. That picture made it feel like he was right there. They played a slide show before and after the service. My friend Nancy is going to put it on here when she gets the chance so everyone can see it. She did an amazing job. Thanks, Nancy. After the service we went to the cemetary. The police were in front with the Patriot Guards on their bikes, then Rob, and then more Patriot Guards leading us to the site. It was so surreal that the 21 gun salute and presentation of the flag was for MY husband. I still can't believe he's gone. Even though I was there when he passed away, to me it feels like he's still deployed. So many people were there. It's just unbelievable the amount of support. I know that the girls and I are going to be ok because there are so many people that care. Afterwards we had a dinner and I was able to talk to some people who I hadn't seen in years who had traveled so far to say their final goodbyes to Rob. When I left the dinner, I was by myself. I drove up to his grave site. He had been buried and a flag was placed on top. Everything is so final. As much as I wish I could go back and undo the past, I can't. It's the most helpless feeling. But I know he's looking down on us and that gives me comfort. My brother called me and said that before they left town, he and his wife drove past to see Rob with their almost 4 year old daughter. She said "daddy, I see Rob flying away." Aaron said "What did you say, Megan?" "I see Uncle Rob flying away in the sky. He's with Jesus." Amazing. Later that evening, some friends of mine from Ft Hood came over to my parents. Their husbands are in Rob's unit. I swear, only fellow military wives can lift eachother up after the day we had. It ended up snowing. Well, before long one of the wives was making a snow angel and then we ended up in a full fledge snowball fight. When we were done, we sat in my parents hot tub and talked for a couple of hours. It was some much needed stress relief and I thank you for providing me that ladies. Tomorrow I leave for Ft Hood. They are doing a memorial service for Rob on Thursday and presenting the girls with a scholarship. I'm not taking the girls with me because they've been gone too much and Julia needs to get back to school. I'll be back on Saturday. It'll give me a chance to bring some more things from the house back to Nebraska.

There were several news stations that covered Rob's funeral. Here are a few links:
(I think those are right...I was doing them off the top of my head!)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

So Proud

I have to say: It's hard to be sad when you're so proud. Rob arrived in Nebraska around 1:30 yesterday afternoon. Rob was escorted by his Troop XO who happened to be on deployment break (R&R) when Rob passed away. I know that Rob would want Kaine to escort him and am very honored that he was able to do this. When they took the casket off the plane, it was draped in an American Flag and received by the Honor Guard. Once he was placed in the vehicle, we were escorted by a police car and several members of the Patriot Guards on their motorcycles. These guys are so amazing. It is 35 degrees and the wind is blowing like crazy and they still rode on their bikes 75 miles with American Flags waving behind them. As we left the airport, there was a line all the way out of soldiers saluting us. Once we got off the interstate and went through the towns to reach my hometown (Osceola), it was amazing. There were people lined up on the streets holding flags and signs. This was done through all the towns we went through. It's times like this that you know the majority of Americans truly love our country and our soldiers. I can't even describe the feeling I had seeing all this. I've never been prouder to be a military wife or my husband an American Soldier. Today we had his wake. Again, the amount of people who showed up for this was amazing. There were people there I've known all my life and people I had never met before. Rob had touched so many people. The walls were lined with flowers, plants, angels. It is so comforting knowing how many people care about us and will be there for the girls and I in the months and years to come. Tomorrow is going to be tough. But, Rob died doing what he loved and what he believed in and I am so proud of him. My aunt said it perfectly: There are some people who live to be 80 but never really live. Rob lived to be 31 and lived life to the fullest. And, boy, did he live. Thank you all SO MUCH for the beautiful bouquets, plants, cards, donations, words, food and everything else you've done for us. I am at a loss of words to describe how much this means to me. God bless you all.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Hi all-

I just spoke with Dena and she wanted me to pass on her sincere thanks for all of the prayers, cards, emails, and support she has gotten over the past few days.

In addition, she told me how wonderfully overwhelmed she is by the amount of flowers that are being ordered for Rob's services. Being that there has been such a great supply already (THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE SENT!!!), I suggested posting that information on the site so people can show their support in other ways should they so choose...

As a suggestion, if you would like an alternative way to pay tribute to Rob, please know that any monetary contributions made on the site (via paypal) from this day forward will be set aside specifically for the girls future education incidentals. I know this is something that will be very helpful to Dena in the future, and Rob would have appreciated greatly.

Thank you again for all the support- you are all amazing!

Nancy Kules

Please see Dena's post below for the most recent funeral details...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Funeral Information

I just got word that Rob will be flown to Nebraska on Saturday. We will have a wake for the public on Sunday Dec 7th from 1-3pm in the Osceola Downtown City Auditorium. The funeral will be at 10am on Monday December 8th also at the Osceola Downtown City Auditorium. The address for this will be below. Also, I've got myself a PO Box while I'm at my parents for mail to be sent to me so you don't have to email me for the address. It is posted on the side of the blog. Again, thank you so much for all the support and prayers you've shown for Rob and our family.

Osceola Downtown City Auditorium
361 Central St
Osceola, NE

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

No news yet

I know you are all very anxious to know the plans about the funeral arrangements. As of now we don't have any more details. They said it could take 5-7 days before Rob is in Nebraska. We're hoping we can get this coordinated within the next couple of days to help with travel arrangements for those of you who are wanting to attend. We're hoping the funeral will be on Sunday (7th) but we won't know for sure until we get more details. I'll let you know as soon as we do. Thank you all so much for the comments. Our families are all being wonderful support for each other and we're hanging in there.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Rob is with God now

Well, today Rob went to be with the Lord. Last night his ICP's went really high and they took him for another CT scan. The scan results were devastating. So, we decided to let him go Home. He went very painlessly and quickly. I don't know when his funeral will be but it will be in Nebraska in my hometown. I will let you all know the details when I get them. Thank so all so much for the thousands of prayers you sent for my husband. We now have an angel looking over us.