Lessons of turning tragedy into triumph 

from a military widow

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A big birthday

4 years ago today Brian and I went to my doctor appointment and were told Isabel was ready to make her entrance. We went home, packed up a few things, stopped at Red Robin for lunch and then headed to the hospital to get checked in. I was in labor for 36 hours before Izzy made her entrance- during that time, Brian took a couple of naps, we made a video on our cell phone for Izzy to watch when she's older -talking about how excited we were to meet her, I puked up some minestrone soup, and we held hands and laughed and cried as new parents do. It is one of the happiest 36 hour periods of my life and even the thought of it today makes me smile.

Last night Izzy was laying on my bed and a picture of Brian came up on my computer background. She started crying and saying she missed her dadda. She said she was sad because she wanted him to be at her birthday party and that he wouldn't know it was Minnie Mouse themed because he loves Minnie Mouse (no he doesn't) and that he wouldn't get to watch her open her presents. She cried and cried and cried nestled in my arms talking about her dadda and how she misses him. She asked why he drank too much water and why he's going to be diving forever. She asked what if he has no friends in the ocean with him, and what if there is a shark in there? She asked what happens if he comes out of the water and tries to find us at the brown house (in Hawaii) but we're not there because we're in Idaho. She asks these questions no 3 year old should be asking on the eve of her 4th birthday and it somehow breaks my already shattered heart a little bit more.

Tomorrow she turns 4. Tomorrow we celebrate the incredible human she is turning out to be, the sweet girl who worries about her dad not having any friends in the ocean with him right now, the girl who is sad because her dad is missing her Minnie Mouse themed birthday party, the girl who brings a smile to my face and tells me to take a deep breath when I can't hold the tears back any longer. I'm so thankful to Brian for these kids who are helping me more than I'm helping them right now.

Anybody who wants to send a video message to Izzy, please do so. You can as a message on here or message me for my #. These will make her day a little more special and hopefully keep her mind on her birthday which is the only thing a 4 year old should have to worry about on such a day.

For someday when you read this Izzy, Happy Birthday sweetheart. Your dad and I love you beyond words and you really are the most incredible gift. We're spending the day at the water park and then coming home to eat Minnie Mouse ice cream cake and to open a million presents. I love you.



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