Follow by Email

Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Next 30 Years...and, I Take it Back....

I WAS looking forward to it. We had so much planned, so much on our "To Do List". Babies, House, Move, Career, HAPPINESS, LOVE. I will turn 30 on Wednesday. Thank Goodness I had my husband in my first 30 years. It was a short time, but thank goodness I had him. For that, it will last a lifetime.

We would be getting back from our honeymoon tomorrow. Why didn't we take it right after we got married? Well, for a few reasons.

I had to save my PTO for his R&R, when he would be coming home to get some MUCH needed rest from being in the sandbox for 8 months prior. I had to save it so that we could spend the entire time together, with no distractions.

We were also waiting, in case there was the slightest chance he would get the IP school he was promised before he went to Afghanistan. We were trying to keep his schedule as open as possible. This is also why we chose our wedding date of January 2, an incredibly inconvenient time for everyone. We knew that if he got the course, he would, no matter what, be able to be home then, or over Christmas. New Years was the lesser of two evils, and the one that would work the most with people's schedules.

We had so much to do before he left for deployment. Matt wanted the house together, so that nothing would happen to it while he was gone. So that I wouldn't have any worries while he was away for "a few months". We hung shelves, he built a walk-in closet system, he put more shelving in the laundry area so I would have more storage space. We built a bench for our plants. He built a driveway to put the truck in so that it wouldn't be so obvious he was away, and so that April would have a place to park. We were getting ready for him to be "gone" for a few months.

I was SO annoyed that we had so much "to do". All I wanted to do was snuggle with him, spend time with him cuddling, or going to movies or to different places to enjoy our time together. All I wanted to do was that. I did get him away to Gatlinburg for two nights so that we could spend some time together for his birthday. I am so happy for those days. But, all the while, he kept worrying about "finishing" things at home. It was hard to distract him from that. We came home, and again, I was annoyed, but I wasn't going to let him do it by himself. I helped where I could, even if it was holding the level, holding screws. He did show me how to and let me drill big holes in to the wall, which was fun. But, I would have settled for a movie on the couch at that point. I tend to fall asleep when we watch movies together. In fact, I even started making him pick out movies he wanted, because I would fall asleep, and he would get stuck watching some movie I picked out that he didn't really like, because he wouldn't move me and wake me up.

Again, I was telling A-Rod about this, and my annoyance about it, and how I was extra annoyed now. He said "Yes, but would you remember that? Would you remember what movie you went to? Would you remember where you ate at, or what you talked about that particular moment?" Gatlinburg was the best thing for that time, and it was best because we got away for a brief moment, but we still came home, and we still put Our Home together. He taught me so much, just in those few weeks. I also learned lots from him over the time we were together, fixing the house so that we could sell it. He taught me patience, confidence, and more than anything, Love.

I take it back. I take back my annoyance with all the "stuff" we had to do. I take back the fact that I just wanted to watch movies and snuggle. We still did plenty of that, don't get me wrong. At the time, though, I just wanted more. I still want more. It never will be enough, but I take back that those wouldn't have been specific memories. I am glad that we had the time together doing what we did, fixing and making Our Home Ours.

I take back other things too. When we were planning our wedding, about half way through I decided it wasn't worth it. It wasn't worth the work, the money, the hustle and bustle, caring about every stupid little detail, worrying about whose feelings were going to be hurt because they weren't invited. I told friends to "go to a beach, enjoy your time there, and get your honeymoon at the same time, and take only those the very, very closest". I still think this is a wonderful idea, and that is more for personal preference of the couple getting married. But, looking back on the planning, we talked about, as referenced in another posting, so much more than just the planning. I don't think that we wouldn't have done our official talk if we went to a beach, but maybe it would have been on the plane ride out there. Now, I have memories of the day, the sun, the cold weather, the smiles on his face, and our family's faces, our friend's faces, every little detail, every little annoyance about our wedding day. I am SO thankful that we had our wedding in a little chapel in the middle of nowhere, and not a beach. I am sure that I would have excellent memories of a beach wedding, but I can smell him on the day of the wedding. I can see his face, and I know that the day he became my husband, I had no worries for the rest of my life, because we would be together. Since he passed away, I am no longer looking for the "what if this was different" factors of our wedding planning that I was before, because NONE of that matters. Every little detail, every little memory of planning, together, was worth it.

Another thing that I would take back, and probably the most painful "what if" thing that I would take back, is our decision to push his R&R back to 3/4 of the way through the deployment. This was a conscience decision on our part. We made this decision, and we made it with the thought that we would get through the longest, hardest part of the deployment, and then he would come home, rest up, and it would be a short time before he was back, in my arms, safely, again. Up until the day before he died, I was thinking "what a great idea. Thank goodness. Only four weeks left until I get to see him, and then it will be short and sweet and he will be home". FAIL! That was a horrible decision, looking at it now. If we would have pushed it up, even a month earlier, he could have gotten the rest he needed. Maybe I could have prevented this. It would have allowed us more time together. Allowed us more kisses, more cuddles, more "I love you's". More tickles and teases, more smiles, more laughter, MORE MEMORIES. I honestly despise that decision now. And my hatred for that particular decision came very clear the second I learned about the crash while at the gym, even though I didn't know for sure that it was him. Yet.

The final decision that I want to take back is our decision to "wait a year, spend time together, travel, and THEN we will think about children". Oh my gosh. What on earth am I going to do without his children? NO. It is NOT a blessing we didn't have children. NO. I DON'T thank God that we didn't have children. Please, never, ever say that to me. Please never, ever say that to my parents or his parents, or our siblings or anyone involved in our lives. I am liable to kick you in the teeth. Not to hurt you, but because my hurt for this one is so overwhelming, and so overpowering that I cannot be held responsible for my reaction to those words. He and I wanted NOTHING more than to have children. But, we also wanted to live our lives together, briefly, without them so that we could bond more as a couple, and more align ourselves to better prepare to be parents. Now, I will NOT get to see him as a Daddy. I have seen him as an uncle. I KNOW that he would be the Best Daddy. I know that I would be a good Mommy. It is NOT okay to talk about the blessings that we have for not having children.

I was so worried that I was pregnant when he first left. I was terrified that I was going to have to go through a pregnancy alone. After many, many pregnancy tests, I finally convinced myself that I was not pregnant. Matt and I had talked about not getting pregnant on our honeymoon. That would have interrupted his sister's wedding, and our welcome home in Utah. And, he would have missed out on some of the beginning of the pregnancy. About a week before he died, I decided that it would not be the worst thing in the world if I got pregnant on our honeymoon. Our little souvenir. Our miracle together. I would have done what was necessary to get to Utah for his sister's wedding. I realized that I might have still been able to travel, but as soon as I got home, I would have to stay there. It was not exactly what we had planned, but it would be okay. I could send him daily pictures and videos and updates about how I was feeling the early part of the pregnancy so that he could participate. And he could send me updates about how he was feeling and what he was thinking. We could have "shopped" for baby stuff together, somehow, when the internet was up again over there. It COULD have worked.

But, we did NOT have that opportunity, so it is NOT okay to say that to me. It is NOT okay to say that to anyone when they have lost their loved one too soon. You do NOT know what is going through their heads, what their situation is, what their plans were.

These past couple weeks, and this weekend especially have been very hard for me. I apologize that this posting is not as "strong" as I generally try to make them. I don't normally write when I am having a "weak" day. I don't want the pain to come out, because pain is not comforting.

This week, April and I are taking a Honeymoon. We are going to some beach, some where, where I can wear my honeymoon clothes. I am taking Matt's with me also. Call me crazy. I don't care. She and I both need to get away from unexpected phone calls, to do lists, paperwork, solicitors....I need to have my time with my husband. It is not the same place that we were going to go. I will visit that place someday, maybe when I am strong enough to go alone. Maybe I will see if April can go with me there too. It is also appropriate because this last week was our 14 year anniversary of meeting (and also Happy 14 years to everyone else in Monmouth that I met- Thanks Ambi for inviting me Trick or Treating as the new kid!).

I didn't know 14 years ago that April was my soulmate best friend. I had no idea. We knew each other, and talked in study hall and Mrs. Schultz used to yell at us, but we were both tied up in our own lives. I don't want this in any way, shape or form to diminish the importance of my other friendships. I have MANY best friends. I really do. They ALL have an incredibly important and beautiful place in my heart. But, April is the one that I really believe is my Soulmate best friend. I am not sure either one of us realized that until I moved to Chicago, and even more so when she moved here. April understands me in ways that I never knew anyone could, until Matt. April can make me laugh when I only want to cry. She knows when I need my space, she knows when I need a hug, or a cuddle from one of the dogs. She knows what is good for me, and what is not. Even before I do, sometimes much before I do. She knows the right things to say, or to do, or to not say, or to not do. She is the closest thing to Matt that I have ever had, or ever will have. I am SO thankful to have her in my life, every single second, even when I am yelling at her dog, ha ha, because I am really cranky that day. I love you, Pearly.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


In just under one week (Tuesday, November 2), one year ago, my boyfriend gave me the best gift I have ever had at that point. He offered me his Life. He asked me to marry him and I accepted. I hope this was the best gift he had ever had at that point as well. Shortly thereafter, I got him Bose surround sound for Christmas. :) He wanted to be with me forever, and I knew it, without a doubt. I also wanted to be with him forever, and he knew it, without a doubt. Instantly, we moved from boyfriend and girlfriend to "Fiancee".

What a fancy term for two people who are crazily trying to plan a wedding. :) For two people who are struggling to find the perfect colors, bridal party gifts, and favors for the table (okay, I will admit it, only I cared about that part). For two people who want to make sure that their guests, even though we kept the list very small to stay under budget- because of course we had time to share with everyone after he came home from deployment- had the best dinner, the yummiest cake, and the most wonderful time. Oddly enough, (and intelligently enough) we were more worried about staying in our small budget so we didn't have to take out a loan for our wedding. Our wedding was small, we had pulled pork and beans and coleslaw on the menu. We had a tiny guest list, inviting only those that we knew could come, or had easy access to come. We had a cake from Wal-Mart, and not even pretty silverware or cutlery to cut it with. But, we didn't care, because we actually planned, more than the wedding, our marriage.

We started planning our marriage from the time we met, although we didn't know it. When we first spent a full day together, we talked about everything. We talked about our religious views, our desires of what we wanted to be or do in the future, whether or not we wanted children. Kind of a weird conversation for a first date, huh? It was an easy conversation, though. I talked about me. He talked about him. We talked about our wants separately, but almost all of them aligned. We didn't necessarily know that at the time, but now as I see it, that is EXACTLY what we were doing.

As we moved forward in our relationship, the conversations moved to more about us, and what we wanted together, for a future, for a long and healthy life together. Again, they aligned. This time even more so, because they aligned with one of us also thinking about the other in the conversation and in our plans. We talked about everything. What was important to us, what was not important to us. What was worth fighting for, and fighting over, and what was not. We talked about all of this. Again, it probably wasn't always in the context of "this is what we are going to do", but we talked about it. Even in passing conversations on our way to the movie theater, or Home Depot, or the grocery store. We talked about it. Openly and honestly, and in a very non-judgemental way. Both of us said what we wanted. Both of us listened to what the other wanted. Both of us had our own opinions, and although they didn't always match on things, we understood each other, and respected each other.

We did do "official" talks about our marriage. We took premarital counseling, and in that counseling there were a few (but only a few) items that we had never talked about or taken in to consideration. We discussed them, and again, listened to each other and heard what the other was saying. The best part of this was that we wrote many of our answers down. Especially those we didn't necessarily agree upon. We talked about them, and came to an agreement.

On January 2, 2010, I became his wife. This is the happiest day of my life, to that time. Every day after that just got happier and happier, because it was one more day that I am his wife. We belong to each other, and we are truly, officially, One. There were sad days after our wedding day, like the day he found out that he had to deploy Torch party, only three weeks before he had to go, or the day that he had to deploy, or times after the deployment when it was just hard and just plain sucked. There were days that were sad. But, no matter what, we always had each other. That made it always worth it to get through one more day. Weeks down until we could see each other, then months, then a countdown to when we would see each other again. Those were the happy times. Seeing how much we had been through, and how much the reward is worth it in the end. No matter how hard it was, every time I talked to him, all the days before were worth it.

When I think about our relationship, the thing that I think the most about (in general, not specific moments) is the fact that I just wanted so much for my friends and family to be able to have someone just like him. I joked all the time that I wanted to clone him and give him out to my friends as gifts, or to clone "replacement parts" to fix different parts of different people that loved my friends and/or family. Of course I wasn't giving mine up! It was funny, but now I realize how truthful that really was that I was saying that.

When it comes to love, I know that my husband and I had the purest, most loving relationship that there really ever could have been. We had mutual respect, mutual trust, mutual love, and we shared many common goals. There was never anyone trying to do better than someone else. There was never competition (unless it was very friendly and sometimes very silly competition, but I won't get in to that), there was never, ever disrespect. Instead, we always worked towards a common goal. We worked towards seeing the other succeed. We worked towards constant respect and admiration for each other. Luckily, now, with everything that has happened, I have that from him that I can live with for the rest of my life. I really only wish this for my friends and family members. I really only wish that they can pull their half of this promise that is a relationship, a marriage, and a friendship. And I really only wish that their other half can do the same for them. After all, it is only fair. If this world is so cruel and unfair, then why can't the one thing that is fair be the person that you love?

Before we got married, I was TERRIFIED of marriage. All I had ever really seen and experienced was failure. People quit too easily, people hurting one another, people who didn't care or respect the wishes of the other. People my age and younger were already divorced, some twice! I was terrified. I knew that he was going to be a good husband, but was I going to be a good wife? Would I give up too easily when it got tough? Of course, I would never WANT to, but would I? I have never been married before. I don't know how to do this, I don't know what is right and what is wrong. I talked to my friends and I actually talked to my "someday to be mother-in-law" about this the first time I met her when we were there as he was completing his terminal leave (separation from the Army when he was trying to get out last summer/fall). She told me something that I will NEVER forget. She said "We believe in Marriage". Simple as that. From that point on, I really believed in marriage too. I believed that I could do it. I knew that marriage was not going to be a walk in the park. Sometimes we were going to get mad at each other and fight. Sometimes I would annoy him, or he would annoy me. We may develop "issues" that the other might not like. But, no matter what, I could and would always believe in marriage. Marriage is for Life. We had a very short one, and I was robbed of our life together. I was crying about this one night, and his friend A-Rod told me that our marriage and time together was short, but to him, it was a Lifetime. Thank you for giving me your Lifetime, sweetheart. I love you.

When they say "Communication is Key", from this new wife, and also new widow, I say that is absolutely, mostly definitely the truth. Had Matt and I not communicated through our entire relationship, then I would have no idea what I should be doing from one moment to the next right now. I don't exactly know even with the communication, but I have better guidance from the communication that we did have. I can better see, at a minimum, how he feels about me, and I know that he loves me with everything he has, and I know that he knows that I love him with everything I have. I can use the communication that we did have to answer some, not all, of the questions that I have. I know what is right to do. I can use the communication we had, verbal and nonverbal, written and out loud, as guidance for what to do and how to do it, even when I am facing the worst pain that I could ever imagine.

Communication is not just Key, it is Love.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weirdness. Transparency. Absurdities.

Short and sweet. Hopefully sweet.

Weirdness. Is it weird that I share my emotions? Is it weird that I can't stop posting on my husband's facebook page because I am scared that this is yet another way that I am leaving him? Is it weird? Is it weird that I know every person on my contact list either in person or from stories that he has told me about this one or that one? Is it weird?

Well, my thought about that, and I have come to the conclusion, is that I don't care if it is weird. I have decided through much help from supportive friends and family (read: those who know me well) that if I want to do that, I can. That is WHO I am. I am an open person. I am a nearly "read through me" person. I am transparent. When I am dying on the inside, I can't hide it. Even from complete strangers. When I am thrilled, I can't hide it. Even from close friends when I am trying really, really hard. I can't hide it. So, why try? Why should I try?

Why I should try. I should try because I don't want the things that I am doing or saying to interfere with other people's lives. People don't want to see others hurting, except those select few that seem to find comfort in the pain of others. I am not worried about them. I am worried about the people that my words to my husband in a not so private manner are hurting. Trust me, I am not wanting to hurt them. With that being said, I am going to try to mute stuff. But, as I said above, I am transparent. I don't know if it is a blessing or a curse. Blessing because I don't generally ask for help (although April might counter that. :) ). Curse, because I am so transparent, and my thoughts and feelings may offend others. "Why do you care what other people think?"

That is a tough one. No, it's not. I can explain it how I explained it to April, although it was not in that particular context. I want people to see me as Matt saw me. I want them to know why he loved me. Maybe that is an extension of the fact that I want those who love Matt to love me too? I guess it doesn't matter. I can't please everyone. I will never be able to please everyone at the same time no matter what. ~That is SO much easier said than done, to break the habit to want that... Anyway. I don't want anyone to see me as ugly. I don't mean ugly in the physically ugly way. I mean it in showing the anger, fear and rage that I am having right now. I am not an angry, fearful or raging person, so these are tough to deal with. Especially the anger. I used to get mad and "rage" briefly for stupid stuff. Very insignificant stuff as I now see it. But, to actually be angry? To actually feel hate or almost hate? Never. I suppose even now, it cools down to less than hate, less than almost hate, but the fact that I am actually, most definitely feeling absolute, most definite HATE, even for a brief period, is something new for me. Never in my life have I had that. Now I can say I have experienced it. Its short lived, but I have experienced it. I don't like that. I don't want that, and I don't want to change in to that person. Uh. Where was I? Oh, caring about what people think. I don't want to change from the person that Matt loved me as. Of course, there is going to be a "new" me. Ugh. I seriously dislike that thought. How will he remember me or know me if I change in to a new me?

I know everyone else is over this. At least somewhat. Those that don't know me or our family and those closest to the situation- they have moved on with it. I am lingering hurt in others by continuing to be transparent. BUT, I can't change who I am, and I won't change who I am. So, I apologize that those who are hurt or "reminded" by my transparency are letting my healing hurt them. That goes back, sort of, to the fact that some people find comfort in the hurting of others. If their comfort is to be angry at me for my healing process, I can't help them. But I can't not heal to try to help them. I will mute, but only mute.

Privacy. I have lots of privacy. I have lots of things that I talk to him about. Just me and him. I feel that he is answering me, although not in the manner I would like. I feel that he is answering me as when I ask him something, or talk to him about something, a memory pops in to my head that answers my question, explains to me the way that he would explain it. Seemingly, it is in his voice, and probably in the exact words that he said before, just applying to other situations. I see a snapshot of his facial expression as it would apply to the particular situation. That is helpful. And there, to me, he is Transparent. To me. That is stuff that only those that I choose to tell will know. Some things no one will ever know. But me and him.

Healing. How does one heal from losing the very person that made the dreams of life happen? That is not meant to sound overdramatic, as I know it does. HE was the other half to giving US a family together. HE was the other half of the WE that were going to make an eco-friendly home somewhere in the beautiful mountains someday, and HE was the other half of keeping me focused, while I was the other half of keeping HIM focused, on our goals. HE was the other half of US. He IS the other half. We didn't have a long time together, but we did know that.

In Graduate School, my professor told me one day "Only She who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible", which is a quote by Robin Morgan, a radical feminist. I don't consider myself a radical feminist by any means, but definitely a feminist (for COMPLETE equality, as even after 7 years out of graduate school, I still have to explain that feminist means equal, not some bra burner who is trying to make a man's life a living hell- I digress). Anyway, that is a quote that has gotten me through rough, rough times in my life, and I have no doubt that it will be stronger now than ever. If I don't attempt the absurd, how am I going to achieve my goals, our goals? How does anyone achieve any goals without attempting the strange, the out of the box? And not only that, how does one achieve anything by not looking around to find the most people-friendly way? The way that will benefit the most. It may be more work, but WE helped others. Some of the ideas WE had together were very, very absurd. And so we laughed. He loved my "absurd". My crazy thoughts. My "interesting" way of looking at things. And HE participated, actively, in my Absurd. It made us Fun. It made us...US. How does one do US alone? Not sure...yet. And, luckily, I am not alone. There are so many people who make up little pieces of him and of me and of us. I can find him. And I can find us. I just have to look in absurd places.

So, I embrace Weird, Transparent and Absurd.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Wagstaff Journey- a New Beginning?

©April Kitchin Photography
Please do not crop, copy or edit. Thank you!

September 21, 2010

I lost the Love of my Life to the Freedoms of our Country. I find comfort in two of these things.

First, I had the opportunity to meet and briefly enjoy the love of my life. I wish I had longer, Lord I wish I had longer--lots longer, bunches and bunches. However, the one year and nine months that I had him were the most amazing of my life, and I think for him too. I would not change a thing about the way I love him, the way he loves me, and the connection that we have. Forever I will be changed for that. Forever I will never take love, family or friends for granted. Forever I will love and honor him. Forever.

Secondly, I will never again take the freedoms of our country for granted. My husband died so that we could have our freedoms. We could have our speech, our religion, our right to bitch, whine and moan over the stupidest and simplest of trivial wants. My husband died so that we have the freedoms that we do have, so that we will not succumb to idiocracy and chaos. With that being said, we also have the right of free will and because of his sacrifice, we can still succumb to idiocracy and chaos, if that is the choice we make. He made it possible for people to have a CHOICE. From now on, I choose to choose correctly. Some decisions are harder than others, but I choose to choose what is best for me, and for the betterment of people. Another note on that (and please, understand that today has intermittently been a very angry day, so excuse my language): you motherF%^&&*rs that are protesting the funerals of Soldiers who DIED for YOUR FREEDOMS to be a jack ass- maybe it is time for you to stop, look at your idiocracy, and see your chaos and CHOOSE the right decision. Hmmmphf.

Anyway, back to being strong and comforted. September 21, 2010 I received the worst news I could ever possibly fathom. Somehow I knew it was coming. I knew that I wasn't going to see him again, hold him again, kiss him again or touch him again the second he had to walk away from me on February 24, 2010, just 6 weeks after we were married. The second he left me to become a soldier. The second I was the wife to a true American Hero who left me and our life to go and fight for the lives of others, to save the lives of others, so that we could have a better life and a more free life. Of course, although I knew, I didn't know. He didn't let me believe that what I was feeling was real. He didn't let me worry. "It's okay, baby, I will be home soon. Smile for me, baby baby. Just smile '-I don't want to-' Just smile for me." [And then I did.] I didn't believe him at first, but then, I did. I don't think that he lied to me. I think that he was doing exactly what he is best at. He was protecting me. He was making me know and feel how much he loves me. I feel that Today, three weeks after his accident. Three weeks after he was no longer with us in body. I know that he is hugging me, protecting me, and making this terrible, tragic moment as easy as possible. And this is what he will always be doing.

The greatest thing about Matt, my husband, is that he was always able to make one feel like this from a simple touch, smile, hug, kind word, kind act, or just his presence. He was no-nonsense, but also loving and caring. That man has the biggest heart that I have ever seen or felt. His heart is one where he loves you- strongly, softly, majestically, but loves you with everything he had, no matter what he is doing. He does this without even knowing. He does this from two inches away, or ten thousand miles away. And now, he can be two inches away from Everyone he loves--constantly. And he didn't just do it with me. He did it with every single person he knew. That is WHY he was where he was, in Afghanistan, fighting for people he did not know. That is WHY he was such a perfectionist in everything he did; that is WHY he DIED for people who don't take responsibility for themselves, all over the globe. THAT IS WHY.

I have been searching for the reason WHY the last three weeks. Why did God take mine? Why on earth would God need Matt more than I did. My ENTIRE life depended on my husband coming home to me. I am not saying I know the answers. I never will know the answers. All I know is that a new Wagstaff Journey has begun. It has taken a different turn. A much different turn, and one that I am fighting to have to take, but know I have to do it. I don't know where it is going to take me, but I am going to do it, knowing that he is standing beside me, helping me move forward, loving me and everyone else we know and love. I can't wait for the cameras to come out of the bushes to tell me this is all a joke. I will punch whoever does that, after I hug and kiss them and ask where my husband is, and to see him, to laugh with him, to love him, to never let him go. I know in my head that the cameras are not coming out of the bushes. So, in my heart, I have to continue to see him, laugh with him, love him, and never let him go.

The turn I have to take is the stance that Matt would have. I need to realize that my husband died for me, his family, his friends, and the entire nation; one could even venture to say the entire world, and I would be completely understanding, and pretty accepting, of that.

The Wagstaff Journey is bumpier, twistier, crazier than I have ever expected, but it will continue on. And it will continue on in a way that will honor, respect and love Matt, my husband (as much as I would love to put his full name here, I don't want this coming up on a google search). His family, his friends, my family, my friends- we will all come together to know how much HIS life truly meant. The unity I already feel between my family and his family, his friends and my friends--that is the strength of Matt, pulling all of his loved ones together to help support each other, love and honor each other, and ultimately, be there for HIM.

I love you sweet hubby of mine, bunches and bunches, by the way. I miss you like crazy, but as always, I will make you as proud as possible of me. I know you are hugging me constantly, loving me constantly, and always holding my hand. Forever. And for that, I Smile.


Your Adoring Wife