Friday, April 22, 2011


last summer, before mr.a left, we spent a lot of time just having fun; being silly and carefree. i guess we knew there would be plenty of hard days ahead; so it was like we were building this foundation of happy memories to balance out potential pity or resentment, future sadness and loneliness. as much as we just wanted to enjoy every moment together and ignore the mountain ahead of us, inevitably there were times we had to talk about It.

i'll never forget one of those conversations when he said,
we're not all coming back.
it shocked me that he would even say that. i guess subconsciously i thought, if you didn't think about it (and certainly didn't speak of it), it wouldn't happen. that somehow our ignorance would control our fate and it would always be "someone else."

last week, it was someone else. twice.
someone's son. someone's brother. someone's uncle. someone's husband. someone's daddy.
spc. don nichols and sgt. brent maher, both serving in the iowa national guard,
lost their lives in two separate ied attacks.

when it's not your someone you vacillate between grief and relief.
you cry for them and pray for their families. you send your condolences and donate money. you want to honor them and remember their sacrifice.
but at some point you have to stop. 

that may sound sterile, but fear is debilitating. and when your soldier is still fighting, you can't live each day thinking, that could've been us. there is a delicate balance between honoring the soldiers and protecting your sanity. some days i'm a little too close to the grief, others i'm admittedly too close to relief.

this isn't my most-eloquent moment, but it's taken me a week just to get to this point. i couldn't bring myself to blog about anything else until i got some of these thoughts out. i know there is more i could say. or probably less. my thoughts and emotions are really jumbled and, honestly, i just need to end this post.

my heart is very heavy.  


  1. As jumbled as your emotions are right now, this post was eloquent and heartfelt.

    Always praying.

  2. so glad you posted this. Love you girl :) So many sacrifice so much...

  3. In my humble opinion, you've just posted your best post.

  4. Keeping their families in my thoughts and prayers. May He bring peace and comfort in such turbulent circumstance. Much love to all of you.

  5. I agree with Boulter trouble. This post just seems to be just right. I like the way you've captured your thoughts.

  6. I'm relieved to see a new post, because I was beginning to worry that something had happened to your husband. I'm sorry for others' losses, but glad that your Mr. A is okay.
    I come from a military family and have great respect for you and your girls. And respect doesn't even do justice for how I feel towards your husband and all other soldiers.
    There a people praying for you in all corners of our country, and hopefully that will help as you struggle through this tough time.

  7. Very well said, B. It's very hard for me to think about these two young heroes because my mind slips so quickly into the gut-wrenching realization that they are husbands (just like yours)and that some little bodies call them "Daddy," (just like your P & Q) and someone's been praying for their safe return EVERY DAY (just like Mr. A's parents, in-laws, and the multitude of others). I am so sympathetic with those sensitive souls who end up hating war... regardless of their political perspective- because it inflicts so much pain on so many. And (apologies to Sting here) I know Afghans love their children too. (I think the Taliban love their children but I'm not as convinced they love anybody else's.)

  8. Thank you for penning my thoughts into words. It has been a hard week.

  9. Our oldest son is being deployed to Iraq in May. We are actually visiting him right now (before he leaves). It is hard to talk about it and they definitely are being put in harms way. We are trying to stay positive because he needs that right now. It's all hard...the before...the during and I am sure the after...I pray for all of our boys everyday.

  10. perfectly said. i'm a few days behind and I'm right now watching the news learning that there has been yet another death and injury in Afghanistan, and my heart just hurts. thank you for speaking your heart dear friend.

  11. I have been thinking about you, and appreciate your honesty in this post. My heart is heavy for you!

  12. Thinking about you and Seth. When I think back to looking at all of those healthy young men last October at Camp Shelby, I remember thinking to myself - not all of you will come home alive - and that bothering me and didn't want to think that. My sympathy to their families, along with all the men of the Iowa National guard.

  13. Just read (yesterday's) paper and saw your family picture! This post was written amazingly and with so much honesty, exactly what I have grown to love about your blog. I have enjoyed keeping up with the happenings of your beautiful family, praying for you guys all along the way.

  14. Everytime I see a flag ... I say a little prayer for you & all of our brave countrymen. <3

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