Lessons of turning tragedy into triumph 

from a military widow

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Aloha

Here it is. Our final hour as residents of this beautiful state of Hawaii. To say I’m heartbroken as I stand in line at the airport wouldn’t do the word justice. Doing a final walkthrough of the place Brian and I have called home this past year was excruciating. Every corner of the house reminded me of him, his laugh, the way he looked at me, the way he’d charge in the door and start chasing the kids around, the way we’d lay in bed and make jokes, plans for our future and pick names for our 3 children. I laid in bed this morning and said my final goodbye to him as if he was there next to me, thanking him for the beautiful life we shared together and showing me what love could look like, act like and most importantly, feel like. We packed up my friends truck with 10 Rubbermaid totes and a handful of backpacks full of our most worldly possessions and drove to the airport as tears streamed down my face. I remember driving this same route with Brian, Isabel and Hudson on our way to look at our house for the first time. Adeline wasn’t in my belly yet but she would be in a just a few short weeks. We pulled up to the house and said to each other, “ohmygodddd how lucky are we!? We get to live in Hawaii for the next 3 years!!” We were SO unbelievably excited to live here and that excitement didn’t die down over this past year of daily life. We explored this island as well as a handful of the neighboring islands every chance we got and although our time here was cut short, I can say without hesitation that we as a family made the most of our lives here.


The kids and I now begin what I keep hearing referred to as “the next chapter.” Hudson has a fever, Izzy is concerned that everyone was crying this morning, and I just had to explain to the gate agent that I was carrying a 25 pound bag full of my husband’s ashes with me as they put him through the scanner. I don’t like this chapter of this book, but I’m willing to keep going and see what comes next. Please keep the kids and I and our entire family in your thoughts as we brave this dreadful experience.




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