Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's been a year



A year has passed.  Yet it seems like yesterday that my world came crashing down and I had to make the hardest decision of my life.  It’s still so hard to believe he is gone.  It’s been a year and yet still so surreal.  So much has happened in a year.   A year ago, I never would have pictured my life where it is today.  With the help of my wonderful family and friends, and the hugs and kisses from my beautiful girls, I have managed to put one foot in front of the other and try to make the best out of a horrible situation.  Over the past year, there were days that I wanted to lay in bed, put the covers over my head, and never wake up.  But how would that help the situation any?  How would that make me a better mom?  And Rob would NOT want that.  This is my reality.  This is my life now.  Nothing I do will change that.  So, for my sake and the sake of my daughters, I need to make life as normal and happy as possible for us. Our life will never be the “old normal” so we’re making a “new normal”.  I’m learning that God does continue to bless, even through tragedy.  Yesterday we came back to Osceola and Julia didn’t go to school today.  This morning I went to the gravesite.  What a difference one year makes.  It’s full of grass.  Then, I decided to try to make a sad day into a happy one.  I surprised Julia with a new puppy.  He is a havanese, black and white, and absolutely ADORABLE!  He loves people (and kids) and is such a snuggle bug!  He took to us right away and Julia is so excited.  His name is D’ogie (pronounced D.O.G.—hahaha).  It has made the day so much easier for us.  Yesterday I put together a slideshow of pictures from Rob’s final homecoming to Nebraska, his wake, funeral, Memorial Service at Ft Hood, and Memorial Day.  I’m going to try to figure out how I can post it on here and when I do, I’ll post it.  It’s a great tribute and shows the pride Americans have for soldiers.  Again, thank you so much for the support you have shown the girls and I throughout this past year.  It has meant so much to us!!

 

28 comments:

Kim Decker said...

Much love to you, Dena. I have been thinking about you all day. I am so proud of the person you are and the person that you have become since Dec 1 of last year. Rob must be smiling down on you today...he may be laughing a little bit about the size of your new dog, but definitely smiling. :)

Kerry said...

Continuing to pray for you a year later...all the best as you push forward. Your daughters are truly blessed to have a strong,christ dependent mom!

Anonymous said...

Dena -

Your family continues to be in my prayers. You are doing a wonderful job for your daughters. My wish for you is that you find happiness in the "new normal" and that the pain of the past year will mellow and become easier to bear.
The doggie is sure cute! What a great idea it was to get him and the timing was really smart. He'll bring brightness and happiness to you for sure.
I'll never forget the sacrifice Rob and your family made. You are cared about and prayed for.

Carol Dzurenko
Georgia

Anonymous said...

We will continue to pray for you and your daughters.

SFC Kirby Williamson and Mrs. Connie Williamson/Nolanville, Texas

I was in 6/4 CAV Dakota Troop

Carlie Davidson said...

Trust me when I say that we have not forgotten, nor will we. You and your families continue to be in our prayers - Rob blessed us all with his strength and for that we thank him and you for sharing him with the world!

margaret said...

Dena, you are an inspiration. One of the most incredible women I've been blest to meet and have in my life. Thank God he made a strong, gracious, genuine and hopeful woman like you. We love you! D'ogie loves you! And I agree with Kim, Rob is up in heaven smiling down and laughing with you on all the new fun adventures you and the girls are having. Let's see if we can get you gals to Charlottesville this Spring for some mountain hiking, apple picking, hayrides and fun.

Lots of love, Margaret

Nancy said...

I'm with Kim- your new tiny dog would not be Rob approved. lol. Is it fair to joke today? Knowing Rob, I'm confident the answer would be yes... Thinking about you guys. I'm proud of you, Dena.

Anonymous said...

Dena, just wanted you to know that I continue to keep you and the girls in my thoughts and prayers. I know today was hard for you, but I have so much respect for the way you've handled everything this past year. I appreciate the time you take in updating us on what's going on with y'all. We don't know each other, but I care... May God continue to bless you and your girls.

Nancy Christian said...

Thinking about you today and I'm happy that you wrote something to share with us. It's a testament to true love and strength that you reached out and got a dog. :) As a fellow dog mom, I know that D'ogie will make you all laugh and smile.

Big hugs from the Andrews AFB Fisher House crew.

Household6 said...

Thinking of you.
His gravesite looks so peaceful! Rest in peace, friend.

Good luck with D'ogie!!

Heather

brat said...

{{{{{{{{{Dena and girls}}}}}}}

One breath at a time, one prayer at a time, one day at a time. Sometimes that IS all any of us can manage.

I know that no matter what, God and Rob are always just a thought away from you all....

My prayers continue - as always with love and faith.

Anonymous said...

Dena, there is not a day goes by that I don't think of you and the girls. The way you are carrying on under extreme circumstances honors Rob in so many ways. May God bless you and your daughters in unimaginably wonderful ways.

The Bender's said...

Hey girl...again you amaze us with your strength and ability to touch each and everyone of us. We are so proud of you, your girls and you families and only hope we have helped you with your 'new normal'. You have such an inspiring inner strength and beauty, Dena....I know you give credit to so many, and it is deserved too, but take a moment to look in the mirror because you are the person Rob is most proud of by far. And we all echo that! We love you very much! And by the way, again what a great Mom you are....getting your little bundle of love yesterday was just perfect timing for your girls. Looking forward to many more photos.

God Bless,
Karen and the rest of The Bender Bunch

Sal said...

Dena, you are an inspiration and a wonderful mother to your and Rob's children and have conducted yourself with Grace, Fortitude and Honor to Rob's memory.

Your Beloved husband Captain Rob Yllescas will Never Be Forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Dena,
We don't know each other...just another Army wife who knows about you through a friend of a friend. I've followed your story from the beginning of this tragedy and want you to know that I think and pray for you often. Your strength and faith through all this continues to amaze me. I pray that God continues to bless you and your beautiful girls to help you through this journey.

Shani said...

Still praying for you every night and will continue to. Your new dog is a cutie pie!

Shani

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/02/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

jessica said...

dena, you are truly my hero. not knowing you or your family, i know rob must be SO proud of you. you have been an example to me although i am not an army wife or have gone through what you have gone through. you are a great example of God's love, faith and strength. we keep praying for you and your two beautiful girls. looking forward to new posting of all the aventures with Doggie =). God bless.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that you & the girls are continually in my prayers. I first learned of you, Rob,& girls from my step daughter Nicole who is still in the army. I believe she stayed at your home awhile back. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date. Whenever I receive one of them, I say an extra prayer. Blessings to you & may the Lord grant you extra strengh.

Heather said...

Dena,

It is hard to believe a year has gone by. I think of you and your daughters daily and pray for your comfort. I also think of Rob and his love for his family. As you know, he is ALWAYS with you and watching over you.

May God in all his powers continue to bless you on each step of this journey.

Congrats on the dog! Hope the girls have fun with him. I LOVE the name!

Heather in Helena, MT

Long-time RN said...

A year has passed. You've accomplished so much and continue moving forward through tough times with strength, grace, and faith.

The puppy is adorable! Your girls have a very special mom!

Thoughts and prayers, Dena.

nacotaco said...

Hi Dena, I come by to read of your life and pray for your family. Such heartbreak, but so many blessings God has given you Dena. May God continue to bless your family....

Trisha & Randall said...

Dena,
Hugs to you and the girls. I am pleased to see you have a puppy; they are a lot of work but very rewarding.
Keep on putting one foot in front of the other.
Thinking of you,

Long-time RN said...

Merry Christmas to you and the girls and all the best to you in 2010.

Kelly said...

I just got done reading an article about you and your family in The Washington Post and just had to visit the blog. As the wife of a prior service Marine, I am honored that you have so willingly shared with us your absolute pain and grief, but also the bright moments in your life in the last year. We are so thankful to men like Rob for their selfless service and ultimate sacrifice. I know hearing that will never change what has happened, but do know that we pray for our military and their families all the time.

We participated in welcoming home a soldier, Stephan Mace, who lost his life in Afghanistan in October. It was a very somber homecoming, but I was never so proud to be an American as we all stood there with our American flags as the procession, including what seemed like hundreds of Patriot Guards, processed slowly through our town.

You will continue, through your good days and your bad, to be an inspiration to so many people. You and your family will be in our prayers as you continue to navigate life one day at a time....maybe just one moment at a time....God is near and I pray that you will draw your continued strength from Him.

We will NEVER forget.
The Wagner family
Purcellville, VA

gemmak said...

I don't comment often but I still read. You are a truly amazing family and Rob would be so proud of how you have coped over this last year, inspriational.

Nina said...

God bless you and your family! You are such an awesome, strong woman.

Ch Joe said...

Dena, you are to be congratulated for moving forward in your life. I spent two years in a combat zone during the Vietnam era and retired from the U.S.Army after 22 years. I served as a Chaplain during that time except for two years during the Korean Crisis. You are to be commended for you strength and tenacity during your troubled days. Thanx for the time you spent blogging, it is definitely an encouragement to many of us who have been there. May God continue to bless you and keep you in your coming in and goings out. God bless you and yours. Ch Joe