Mourning Booth

Today a friend contacted me; her niece's fiance died last week. She told me that her niece told her the pain was so bad, all her muscles hurt, and sometimes it felt like someone was standing on her chest. I know that pain. That continuous ache. She asked me for help on what to say...what words would bring her niece comfort. How could she assure her that the pain would subside?

I could not think of any words. I do not know if the pain will subside. Because as time passes for me, the pain seems to increase. Everything is painful --- thinking, writing, smiling, crying, sleeping, driving, dressing, moving, breathing, living. It all hurts. Even describing it hurts. I am not good at sharing my pain; I actually prefer not to, because it is too difficult for me.

What doesn't hurt, is talking about him, sharing our love, our time here. It makes him so real. It brings him here. He IS real. He is my eternal love. Without any doubt. That warms my soul and makes the pain subside.

I love that people always want to know what words will help. I appreciate it. I truly do --- even when most of the time, the things are not always the right thing, or the best thing to say; at least they try. Grieving and mourning are painful, but after a loved one dies --- everyone grieves differently, everyone has different pain. It seems like it will never end --- and I know I am still in the valley. I am mourning; my friend's niece is mourning. It hurts. There is no magical formula on what words to say.

What I do know is that there is comfort in all the pain. From my love; and from my Savior. I feel them both guiding me and helping me, and strengthening me. I find comfort in sharing stories with other widow's, and the love we have and will always have. I find comfort in my sister sitting with me in my room, while I share pictures that no one has seen, or while I read her all the poems and notes Frankie has written me, or her taking on the difficult task of dusting Frankie's flags, pictures, plaques, and awards for me while I travel. I find comfort in love. The love of my soul-mate, the love of my Savior, the love of all those who miss their spouse, fiance, friend, sibling, child....

And I especially find comfort in the knowledge that I know we will see them again. We will.



Looking Forward to seeing My Family on Memorial Day

I have this family you see,
They are of every age, every race, every religion
We meet me in the field and we talk about how, and why,
and where, and when..

We focus on the good parts,
and try to let them know the most important person in our lives.

We wish this family never had to be, but
We understand each other
We know what it is like to grieve
We cry together
We believe together
We hope together
We miss them beyond words.

Each headstone lined up has a family who still miss them every day,

and people’s lives they have touched along their path of life.

We all feel they are gone much too soon, but

We all know one thing for sure...

We are a family of The Heroes
Buried in section 60 –

I also have to mention the families of those not buried at Arlington, but all around the country. I feel so blessed to have made sisters (widsters) to share this journey with because of Michael and Taryn Davis and the American Widow Project - Their love spreads through the whole organization, and allows the rest of us to share ours as well!

And I think of the wonderful families I have met during my trips to Arlington, like the Wests, and the Khans. Cannot wait to give everyone big hugs!

After spending a day with C.J. West's family, I wrote this. Love them.

With every setting sun, my love grows for you Frankie. I love you.


Our Flag

I was just lying awake, like usual at 3 in the morning, looking through some of our photos for the millionth time, and was noticing how in so many of them the American Flag has made its appearance. These were just a few...
From when we were first dating, the flag has followed us. There are the tattered flags held by what we called our "Freedom Bears."

Even in one of our favorite photos, Frankie's shirt slightly displays the waving American flag, in the lettering.

On our wedding day we had this beautiful time where he was holding me, and we were looking out into the San Diego Harbor, and feeling so blessed that we had become an eternal husband and wife. The flag, looming above us, perhaps representing what would come.
On our honeymoon, which was such a beautiful time in our lives, we captured our appreciation for our "Freedom Lizard," and we also stood in front of a giant backdrop of the American flag for a fun photo-op.

And now, that flag that we so love, that flag that has made an appearance, and seemed to almost haunt us... is forever embedded in our love. It is a symbol of a beautiful country, a beautiful love, a hero's blood given for the love of his country and his fellow men. A flag he was proud to serve.
A flag I proudly display. A flag that on April 16, 2009 was taken from my husband's casket, folded into a perfect triangle, and presented to me with honor, love, and respect. A flag that haunts me; that reminds me daily of what it truly means to love the United States of America. And, I love it --- I love it with all of my heart and soul.

I am so proud of him. So proud.

Love you baby. With every setting sun, my love grows for you.

"The flag of the United States has not been created by rhetorical sentences in declarations of independence and in bills of rights. It has been created by the experience of a great people, and nothing is written upon it that has not been written by their life. It is the embodiment, not of a sentiment, but of a history." -Woodrow Wilson-


From somewhere in Switzerland

Florence at sunset on the Arno River

I have been traveling around Europe for the past month…. And although great, I can’t help but think with everything I see that Frankie should be physically by my side. I do know that he is always with me, but he isn’t here to hold my hand, kiss me at the top of the Eiffel Tower, or laugh with me at the things I know only he would think were funny. I know I would be enjoying all these things so much more if he were here. We were supposed to do this together. He is supposed to sit with me at a cafe, outside in the beautiful spring weather, for hours laughing and talking about nothing or everything. Now I sit there, and think of just him. I think of our lives and what was supposed to be. I think, that this world, in all its splendor and beauty --- its amazing history and architecture, its Winged Victory and Mona Lisa....and nothing; nothing is as beautiful as us together. I am so blessed to see these things and we always talked about seeing them together; so, I am seeing it for us. But, all their beauty is nothing compared to our beautiful love. All their beauty is nothing compared to what it will be like when we are together again.

Nothing is as beautiful as our love --- nothing.

April 20th, 2010 --- I wrote:

Today I am in Versaille

I feel him

All around me

The beauty of this place is indescribable...

Like our Love

For you my love, it's all for you.

With every setting sun, my love grows for you.

I just loved this sculpture