Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One year since it all began...

October 28th.  I wish this date was never on my calendar….I think I’ve decided that one year later is worse than when it actually happened.  The reason I say this is because when I got the call, everything else was run on complete adrenaline.  I thought moment to moment, hour to hour.  I was praying for the best and hopelessly optimistic.  I had no other choice.  I KNEW Rob was going to be ok.  He had to be.  A year later, dreadfully anticipating this day and the next 34, I know the outcome and there is nothing I can do to change it.  It’s a helpless feeling, making you feel sick.  Two days ago, I was thinking “This was the last time Rob called home and I heard his voice.”  For the life of me, I can’t remember what we talked about that day.  I’m sure it was the “same old same old” but I just wish I could remember exactly the conversation.  I wish I could have told him NOT to go out on the mission 2 days later.  If we only knew…..Then all day yesterday, I kept counting down the hours until “doom day”.  Today I’m going for a massage.  I planned it for 11 am.  It’s an hour massage.  When I get done, it will be noon.  The exact time I got the phone call.  I figured, being relaxed will hopefully get me through that time.  It’s crazy that even though that day was so hectic, I can still remember it so vividly.  It’s so surreal.  Even one year later, it’s hard to believe.   As much as I didn’t want this to happen, God has a bigger plan.  There was a purpose he gave Rob to me for the short amount of time he did.  Although I may never know the complete reason, I have figured out a few things.  Before I met Rob, there is no way I could have handled a situation like this the way I have.  He taught me how to live independently and gave me the confidence in living life without him through his 3 deployments.  He taught me to “suck it up and drive on”.  He showed me that through hard work and determination, anything was possible.  He made an impression on everyone he crossed paths with.  He would fill a room up with his presence.  And to this day, I still feel his presence.  I have no doubt  he is up in heaven, guiding me.  The path I thought I would be taking with Rob took a major detour and now I’m taking the journey of life without him.  However, through all the ups and downs, he’s been there.  I’ve been blessed over and over even after this tragedy.  The support and love the girls and I have received has been more than amazing.  I still don’t know why such a great person had to leave so early, but I’m blessed to have been a part of his life.  Julia still talks about daddy and all the great memories she has.  Just the other day she said to me “I wonder what daddy is going to be for Halloween.  I bet it will be the best costume ever.  I should see if he could get Eva and I a thousand pieces of candy because I know he could do it.”  And Eva has started recognizing Rob in photos as “dada”.  Every night I tell her that daddy will watch her as she sleeps.  And every night she looks at his photo above her bed and says “baby”.  It is a photo of Rob holding her as a baby.  And I say to her “Yes, daddy is holding his baby Eva.”  Rob, I love you with all my heart.  I wish things could have been different, but they’re not.  So, please continue to guide me.  You live on through our girls and I am so blessed to have them.  They bring a smile to my face in the hardest of times and I know it’s you sending your love to me through them.  Thank you for that.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Rob

October is a hard month.  Today was Rob's birthday.  He would have been 32.  A year ago I was talking to him on the phone wishing him a happy birthday.  I didn't know it would be the last time.  I can't help but think what we would have done today for his birthday.  Rob wasn't much on getting gifts, so I would probably have gotten him a card while Julia and Eva made him one, then the girls and I would have baked him his favorite cake (German chocolate) and then we probably would have gone out to eat (I'm guessing Outback since that was one of his favorites).  Days like this are so hard-harder than you expect them to be.  I'm sure all the "firsts" are, I'm just praying they get better each year.  Yesterday I told Julia that today was Rob's birthday.  She got excited and said "Yay!!" And then she caught herself.  I think for a moment, she forgot daddy was gone.  Even after almost a year, it is still easy to forget that he is gone.  I have no doubt that Rob is with us.  I can literally feel his presence.  I just wish I could touch him.  The only thing I can do is continue to move forward.  Rob will always be a part of our lives and he would want us to be happy.  But, in moving forward, I'm also letting go a bit.  Last week, I sold Rob's truck.  That was horribly bittersweet.  That was his "baby".  His pride and joy (besides his children of course!).  He LOVED that truck.  But, it just wasn't practical for me to drive.  My uncle helped me and we posted it on Craigslist.  We found someone on there who, through talking with my uncle, found out about our story.  He refused for me to take a hit on my loan after everything I had been through, and actually paid a couple hundred dollars OVER what I owed on the loan.  He said he had the utmost respect for our servicemen and women and that was the least he could do.  He wired the money to the bank and had a transporter come and get it.  Wow.  There are such good people out there.  But, when I saw the truck get loaded up, my heart was so sad.  Taking the things out of the truck that I knew Rob had put in there, was tough.  His presence was all around that truck.  But I also know Rob did not expect me to keep it.  In fact, I was so nervous driving it.  He was such a perfectionist with it, that I could literally hear him telling me not to do this or that with the truck!  I finally said out loud "Rob, if you don't like how I'm driving your truck, then you shouldn't have died and left me to take care of it. So back off!"  Then I'd hear him reply "I know babe.  You're doing a great job.  I'm just teasing you."   I'm sure people passing by thought I was a crazy lady.  :)  Even though it was still hard to see the truck go, I'm glad I waited until now to do it.  It gave me more time to get used to the fact that Rob wasn't coming back and that the truck truly wasn't practical.  When I told Julia we had sold the truck and they were coming to get it that day, she said "I want to kiss it."  She went over to the truck, kissed it and said "Don't touch that spot."  Then I said to her "Daddy really liked that truck, didn't he?"  And this is what my 8 year old replied with: "Yes, he did.  But it was hard for you to drive it and now you can get a car that YOU want and is easier for you."  Bless her heart.  She never ceases to amaze me.  So, although our daily lives are healing slowly but surely, there are these bumps in the road that cause you to rip the bandage off.  The next couple of months, there will be lots of bandages getting ripped off.  Happy Birthday, Rob.  I know you are having the best birthday celebration!  WE LOVE YOU.