Lessons of turning tragedy into triumph 

from a military widow

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The book.

Unreal.


Unreal is a word I have used excessively in the past 16 months, typically referring to the thoughts and emotions tied to Brian’s death, tied to giving birth to our daughter without him here, tied to having to move forward in life knowing I won’t get to see him again.. I’ve spoken that word a thousand times, I’ve thought it even more. Today, in this exact moment, I use this word as an exclamation of joy.


Today, I signed my contract with a publisher who will help me see my book, my vision, my goal, come to life. Today, I’m celebrating this monumental victory, not just for “getting a book deal,” but for what I’ve accomplished overall in these past sixteen months. I have felt myself slowly, but surely, work my way through the worst of the worst circumstances, I’ve felt myself steadily gain confidence, gain insight, gain the ability to understand that just because Brian isn’t here with me, I’m not in this alone. Our plans to conquer this world together aren’t possible, as we’d hoped, but I’ve spent the past sixteen months getting to this point, today, where I realize I can still see those plans to fruition. I can want great things for the kids and I. I can still laugh, enjoy life, friendships, family, love, adventure. I can see that I’m capable of doing this, that all it takes is me putting in the effort, of having a vision, for wanting great things and to not let myself be a victim of my circumstance, but instead to use those circumstances to become victorious.


Today, I use the lessons Brian taught me both in life and in death, to feel successful. He leaves a legacy of going after what you want, of not being afraid to try the things you’re scared of, to set big goals and take the steps to see them through. It’s a hard pill to swallow to recognize that all of this has only been made possible because of his death, but since I can’t change that fact, or bring him back, I will continue to honor him and the life he led by promoting that legacy and living my life in the same way, of teaching my kids to be fearless, to be adventurous, to take risks and to see their goals realized. Today, I understand that each celebration is a strange mix of happiness and sadness, and that it’s ok to feel that way. This isn’t without insecurities. I’m not suddenly this magical, mythical creature that has it all figured out or knows what I’m doing.. but, I do know that I have the confidence and the determination to get there. I know what I expect of myself, what my kids expect of me, what my friends and family see in me, and that I feel compelled to make you all proud. Victories like these are for all of us, they took each and every single one of you to make happen, and I am eternally grateful for your support and encouragement along the way.


Today, we celebrate a dream coming true. Unreal.




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