Lessons of turning tragedy into triumph 

from a military widow

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First day of the rest of her life

Today was another first. My little girl began her schooling career through the Montessori school here in Boise! Even while the other parents had tears in their eyes, I held myself together pretty well during drop off but lost it as soon as I got home and thought about it all.

Brian and I took Izzy to tour the Pearl Harbor Montessori school in Hawaii earlier this year and watched as Isabel’s eyes lit up and she talked about the backpack she should get and all the friends she would make at school. She was SO excited to start school in Hawaii and it’s all she talked about for months! When Brian passed away and I decided to leave the island, I knew the school factor was going to be a big upset for Izzy so I was thankful when Nikki helped me find another Montessori school here in Boise that she could transfer to. It’s been a countdown until she started school and this morning she woke up, picked out her first day of school outfit, packed her lunch and grabbed her backpack. With that we were out the door! Walking in the school we got to see Izzys cubby and meet her teacher, see where her spot on the carpet is and look at all the work stations. We took some photos, I told her 100 times how proud I am of her and we hugged, kissed and said our goodbyes.

I walked out the door and while I could see Izzy’s smiling face as we walked away, all I could think about is how Brian should have been there. The first day of school is a monumental occasion, one that Mom and Dad should both be present for to give hugs and words of encouragement. When we left the Montessori school in Hawaii, Izzy had been a little shy and Brian took the time to tell her how he gets shy sometimes and it’s ok to take a little time to warm up. He gets scared sometimes too but it’s always ok. I watched as Izzys eyes opened wide and said “Really dadda!? You get scared too!?” I’ll never forget that conversation between the two of them and how validated Izzy felt from him saying that to her.

I cried this morning. Not because my little girl started school, not because forever forward she will be a student and I’ve enjoyed my last few weekdays with her at home as my little girl. Instead I cried tears of sadness because I miss Brian. I miss the kids having their dad to share these moments with. He should have been there this morning. He should have seen the giant smile on her face as she walked in her classroom. He should have given her a hug and kiss and held her hand proudly as only a dad can do. I’d give anything to have him back for one single day so the kids could have just a few of these moments with their dad.



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