Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wings of Hope

I stumbled across this awhile back and even though my husband isn't deployed anymore these emotions will always be with me from when he was away.

Wings of Hope

By: Kelly Rossi

I’m the one you walk past in Wal-Mart smelling a man’s brand of deodorant and buying the same brand of shower gel. I’m trying to remember his smell.

I’m the one you see in the back of the church, a tear running down my face as the congregation prays for our country and our troops. He’s one of them.

I’m the one you beep at for sitting at a green light. I was looking at the flag blowing in the breeze at the corner gas station and thinking of all it means to me, to him, and to our life together.

I’m the one with a trunk full of flat rate boxes and customs forms, I know my local postal workers by name. The package I send him every pay day makes him seem close to me.

I’m the one with a funny looking decal in the back windshield of my car, you wonder where it came from and if it might mean something. He gave it to me before he left, it’s his MOS and we are proud.

I’m the one you walk past at work everyday; you notice the pin on my shirt but never bother to ask why I wear it. It’s the crest of the unit he serves with; I’ll wear it everyday until he comes back home.

I’m the one you walk past as I completely fall apart and lose it because I left my cell phone at home. You might think “it’s just a phone”, but it’s the life line of my marriage and it was his day to call.

I’m the one you have labeled as quiet or reserved, the one who is never really part of anything, you don’t know I wear the far - a- way look because my heart boarded the plane with his.

I’m the one that hears "tell him I say thanks, that I’m praying for him" at least once a day, and I always tell him for you, but I can’t help but think, who prays for me as I continue to do my best to serve him.

I’m the one that nods right along as you say that you understand or that it’s better now with the internet. I know that it is, but what you don’t know is that nothing will ever replace the joy of receiving a letter or that the webcams and instant messenger just remind me of all the million little things about him that I love and miss.

I’m the one that is so used to saying I’m fine, to being numb, to missing him, that I can’t remember any other way to be. I wonder at times if the ‘fine’ he tells me is the same ‘fine’ that I seem to be these days.

I’m the one that hates Friday and Saturday nights as I sit alone at home. I’m in a new town and don’t know anyone to hang out with. The weekends remind me my best friend isn’t here to show me around and make the best of a new place together.

I’m the one that eats more frozen dinners now because I don’t want to cook for just myself. The one who six months ago couldn’t picture myself eating out alone; but have since taken it to an art-form, no longer even needing a book or headphones to displace the emptiness of a nice restaurant.

I’m the one that is as strong and patriotic as the hero I married, not because I stand on the frontlines but because I stay behind stoking the home-fires for months on end with a quiet resolve not unlike the one that personifies him.

I’m the one that tells an ACU teddy bear or the moon goodnight that I love you, because it makes me feel less lonely and because I hope he somehow hears or feels it.

I’m the one that turns the porch light on at sunset to light his way back home, to me, to our life together, to the love and the good times we once shared.

I’m the wife of an American Solider; I’m the hope that lives within him after storm clouded days. The freedom from war that gives wings to his heart, may they reach across the miles and bind our hearts together against all that we must face in this world.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Things About Me

Fine, I'll do this so people stop tagging me.

RULE: Once you've been tagged you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you it's because I want to know more about you.

1. I am a motherless daughter and my relationship with my dad is strained at times.

2. I was in a foster home until I was adopted at 10 weeks and I reunited with my birth mother and two sisters when I was 29. My biological father was killed in a motorcycle accident when I was 7 so I never met him.

3. I grew up being the younger of two siblings but now I have 1 older brother, 2 younger sisters, 1 younger half sister, and 1 older stepsister.

4. I drink sweet tea like my life depends on it. Sometimes I prefer my tea to brew in the sun instead of on the counter.

5. I enjoy cooking and baking but I caught my kitchen on fire the other day so that may change.

6. I have written literally hundreds of poems, mostly about broken hearts and loss. It helped me cope at one time.

7. I was married in 1997 and 2003 respectively. I don't plan on marrying again. I was engaged to my husband for all of 4 days before we were married but I had known him since 2000.

8. I have Graves Disease and I'm starting to inherit rheumatoid arthritis as well.

9. My family used to camp all summer long on a lake and I'm still friends with some of the people I met there. My favorite trip was exploring out west.

10. I've never (so far) had a ticket and I've been driving for 16 years.

11. I once drank 6 beers, 9 mixed drinks, and did 15 jello shots at a bachelorette party one night.

12. I still have the medal I received for a floor routine I did in gymnastics when I was 10.

13. I've had two c sections and I think the second one was much easier.

14. I've worked for some really great companies.

15. I've known my best friend for 26 years. We met in 1st grade when we accidentally wore the same outfit to school - a teal and purple striped turtleneck, purple corduroy pants, white knee socks, and navy blue shoes with a white velcro stripe.

16. I'm still angry and probably always will be angry that the Army messed up the notification process and didn't want to talk to me when Paul was injured. They never apologized after realizing their mistake which might have helped.

17. I procrastinate and I'm disorganized and I hate it. My husband is anal about being neat. Needless to say we clash.

18. I'm just a little sarcastic at times.

19. I used to draw and write stories and wanted to be an author or an illustrator when I grew up. I still want to finish my degree in graphic design but for now I'm working on getting certified as a medical coding specialist because it's faster.

20. I'm not a kid person but I like mine. I love having the opportunity to stay home with my kids and appreciate every minute, even when they drive me nuts. I know they won't always be little and I don't want them to grow up too fast and I missed it.

21. I'm terrified of spiders and fires. I'm having an extremely difficult time seeing the burned out shell of my kitchen appliances and all the ashes.

22. I did a lot of snowmobiling with my family growing up and loved living in the country.

23. I have a hard time feeling safe because my childhood home was broken into 3 times and two of my vehicles were broken into and a third was stolen for a joyride.

24. I had played the scenario in my mind of what would happen if my husband had been KIA but never prepared for him being wounded. I'll always be grateful that he came back alive.

25. I like being myself. I'm not perfect but I'm always me.

19. I moved across the country when I was 34 weeks pregnant.

Monday, January 5, 2009

If Roses Grow In Heaven

If roses grow in Heaven,
Lord please pick a bunch for me.
Place them in my Mother’s arms,
and tell her they’re from me.
Tell her I love and miss her,
and when she turns to smile.
Place a kiss upon her cheek,
and hold her for awhile.
Because remembering her is easy,
I do it every day.
But there’s an ache within my heart,
that will never go away.

(Remembering my mom, August 10, 1944 - January 5, 2004)

Friday, January 2, 2009

6 Months Later

Well it’s been six months since an IED ripped through Paul’s arm and he began his long journey of healing. I can’t say that it’s gone by fast because those weeks, months in the hotel where our lives revolved around the hospital. When he came home it was to a completely different house in a different town so it was one adjustment after another. Even through all of it he has come a long way in his healing process. There is still a long way to go and I’m sure there always will be. It hasn’t been easy, it’s been trying and we’ve had days where our marriage has struggled and we’ve argued a lot.

He still continues daily therapy and has gotten back what seems to be about 25% of the use in his hand. I don’t know if that’s a high estimate but he can pick up and hold onto objects that are lightweight for just a short period of time or open a door that’s not too heavy. He’s still on all the asthma and allergy medications but is getting by when he’s not around animals or other stuff that causes him more lung problems. His arm and his hand still both look the same but he is supposed to have 2 or 3 more surgeries starting in a couple of months to reconstruct it and make the ball appearance less noticable.

His side has healed pretty well although just recently he said it has started hurting again in one area. I don’t know what brought that on but it’s enough concern for him to mention it to the doctor. Because his side wasn’t damaged from the IED and caused by his arm being attached to it for 6 weeks and being infected, he’s had issues with the military not wanting to count it towards his disability. That’s also the case with his tailbone problems which more than likely happened over there. I hope he doesn’t have another battle on his hands trying to deal with that since that was part of the process of rebuilding his arm.

We’re hoping he’ll get at least 30% VA disability but with the luck he has he’ll probably come in just shy of it to not get the benefits he wants. Supposedly the PTSD will be grandfathered in from the first deployment since I guess they stopped giving a rating for that. They did say he doesn’t have TBI which given some of the other symptoms and signs he’s had seems a little inacurate. Nonetheless I’m not a doctor and I would rather he not have to deal with that than have it just to get a higher rating but I worry that he does and it’s being ignored. The Army is notorious for losing medical records so I guess we’ll see what happens when it’s all said and done.

Of course the first week he got to BAMC they started talking about sending him to the promotion board. I figured if I didn’t mention it to anybody then it might actually happen for a change. Once again it gets mentioned and then doesn’t happen. It’s been 8 years now that he’s been at this rank so it’s probably not going to happen. I should’ve bet his squad leader that he wasn’t going to get promoted when we all were talking about it before he left. I remember hearing someone complain about being stuck at the same rank for 3 years and Paul said don’t even get me started and rolled his eyes. In his words the disappointments and lies have made his decision to be done with the Army easy. He knows he’ll never be able to be a fire fighter again so he starts school in three weeks to get some of his certifications done first so at least he can get paid for sitting on his butt at the computer lol. He’s learned to adapt to a standard keyboard, and although he types a whole lot slower, he seems to do alright.

I keep thinking that I need to sit down and blog about the whole phone call and finding out he was wounded. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the events of that morning and the days that followed. I will always be grateful that he came back alive but it certain turned our world upside down.


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