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.