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.

28 comments:

Maggie45 said...

Dena, I still pray for you and the girls every day. I am just one of many, many "strangers" who were brought to a deeper faith by your example. ... and by your telling of Rob's story, and his soldiers, and your family and friends, and by that one dear person who set this site up for you a year ago. May our Father and His Son continue to hold you, and the Holy Spirit continue to guide you. Thank you.

Maggie Goff
Bisbee, Az

Nancy said...

I've been checking in... knowing this post was coming. Brings tears to my eyes. I remember when we talked a year ago. The sick feeling I got the moment the phone rang and I saw your name on the caller ID, the wave of realization that the reason you were calling was the reason I was hoping you were not. I wish things had turned out differently Dena, but I'm so proud of you and the girls and the way you have dealt with things over the past year. xox

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 10/28/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

The Bender's said...

We love you girls and Rob, man to we miss you. We will probably never understand it completely, but Dena your insight and beautiful writings are incredible and know that you are writing those with Rob guiding your heart and pen. He will continue to guide his girls, no doubt. And you, Dena are amazing and a very bright light to many that you haven't even met. We are sending our hugs, love and praying often for your continued strength in blessings as you face each day, year. We love you, Karen, Craig, Logan, and Zach

Jenny said...

Dena, what a beautiful post, one that I wish you never had to write. You and the girls are in my prayers today - and in the coming days. Thank you for being a reminder and encouragement to see God's perfect plan, even in tragedy. I wish you peace in getting through this next month and beyond. Much love to you and your beautiful girls!
From Jenny in Oregon

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and your girls and praying for you on this difficult day. keep on hanging in there. You are amazing.

Carol Dzurenko
Powder Springs, GA

Toni said...

Hang on girl!!!!!!

We are praying.......and praying some more for you during this tough month.....

So glad you have wonderful memories, wonderful girls, and wonderful friends and family...

Will continue to pray for peace,comfort, and JOY!!

Hanging-on-mom

Julie Morelli said...

Sending you love, prayers and support Dena. I never knew Rob, but I'm in awe of the man I have gotten to know through your sharing in this blog. What an amazing warrior, father, brother, son and of course husband. It was clear he was one of the great people that we were all blessed to have on this earth. He must be so proud of you as you forge on and do such a great job raising your wonderful girls. I too feel he is watching over you...guiding you on. Lots of Love and angel hugs for you and the girls Dena.

Julie Morelli
Soldiers Angels

Trish said...

God bless you - still thinking of you and the girls and praying for you - Hugs and Love to you all!!

Trish
Rome, GA

Shari said...

My heart goes out to you. I continue to read your blog regularly because your strength, your candor, and your faith are so beautiful.

You and your girls are still in the thoughts of prayers of people you've never seen.

May G-d's constant blessings, comfort, and guidance always be clear to you.

Bonnie Lacy said...

Dena, these anniversaries are tough, more than I know. I pray that as God leads you through them, He will be gentle and tender with you. He loves His Dena. So do I!

Tiffany said...

Thank you for your writings. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to know that your loved one is not a physical presence here on Earth that you can touch anymore. (Hopefully that comes out right.) Please know that there are strangers out here that are thinking of you and praying for your continued strength. A good friend of mine lost her husband recently in Iraq. When she is ready, I will point her to your blog so she can see that there are others who understand what she is facing. I think it will bring her comfort and strength. God's blessings to you!

AFSister said...

*sniffle*
It's 11am. Time for that massage... and bracing yourself for That Call.
dang it.

I wish there was a way to change things for you, but as always, you serve as a shining example of a surviving military wife. Thank you for that. Should I ever face the same challenge... I know where to come for inspiration.

jaywalker said...

mourning with you today. we have not forgotten.

Maria said...

I do not know you at all, but heard of your family thru somebody I do business with. I have been following your story since last year before Rob passed away.

I just want to take this moment to first thank you and your family for the sacrafices you and yours have made for our country, from the depths of my heart, Thank you a million times over!

Second, you and your beautiful daughters are in my heart and prayers daily.

A prayer for you,
"May you and your daughters know the love of Jesus Christ, your savior, to hold you up and carry you through. May you one day find peace from your grief. May the Lord bless and keep you all. In Jesus Christ's most precious name. Amen."

Anonymous said...

Dena and girls,
I just want you to know that I have been following your story since it started and that you are all in my thoughts and prayers every day, but especially today. The weather is fitting today. I hope you enjoy your massage, and that it gives you the relaxation you need to get through this day. Hold tight to your girls and know you are someone we should all strive to imitate.

Sincerely,
Kayla

Lisa J. said...

It is so hard to believe it's been a year! You and the girls are amazing. Hang in there, Dena!

kayokat said...

Hi Dena, You and your girls continue to be in my prayers. You are such an inspiration to so many. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Dena, you and your beautiful girls are simply amazing! Have a great Halloween, I hope you post pics of those girls as Im sure they have the BEST costumes :)



Heather Schwantz
Columbus, GA

Susan said...

Dearest Dena and Girls,
May God Bless you and keep you safe. Your father was a VERY brave and admirable man. It is because of men like him that we are a free people in the U.S.A. I truely believe that he is with God now! Being the Mom of a Marine makes it tough to read your story for the fear of what may possibly come. But by the grace of God, His will shall be done.No matter what! You all are in my prayers.

Heather said...

Dena,
I have thought so much of you and the girls this week. You are so amazing and so strong. I honestly don't know that I would be able to do the things you've done in the past year. You are right though, God did have bigger plans for Rob. He will continue to guide you and the girls and watch over you day after day. Hugs to all of you.

Heather in Helena, MT

Anonymous said...

Dena,
Bryant and I think of you and the girls every day! We love you and will be praying extra hard for the next month!!!
Angela and Bryant Hunt

Anonymous said...

God bless you and your family. Thanks for the reminder of what matters.

nacotaco said...

Dena, it seems many check in and read and pray.....so do I. Clearly God has held you and your family.

Liz said...

Was thinking of you on that day. You are such an encouragement. Hang in there girl. The Lord and your angel are gonna take you far.

Long-time RN said...

Thoughts and prayers for you and your family on Veteran's Day.

nacotaco said...

today I am thinking of you and your family Dena....the huge sacrifice of your husband Rob...Thank you....such small words ......Thank you Dena Thank you Julia Thank you Eve....may you persevere in your journey with God..

Toni said...

Dena,

Just wanted you to know I was thinking of Rob, You, and your girls all day yesterday, Veterans Day. Both of your extended families as well.

I am so sorry for your sacrafice, but so grateful as well....

My prayers are with you on pride an pain filled days such as these...

From another military wife...who aches for you.........