Often, people get on a plane to get away. Today, I sat next to two gentlemen flying back to Los Angeles. One was headed home after business in Minneapolis, the other, taking his family on vacation and LA was merely a pit stop on their way to Hawaii!

When I arrived home last night after work, it was to an empty home. My roommate was out of town, my dog was at the kennel and my most valued treasure was in the loving hands of Nana and Papa.

This world takes us to so many places. Some places we choose, others we do not. When it’ all said and done, we tend to find our way back to where we call home.

I have been doing traveling for my technology company and  travel shorter distances such as to work. I can already hear Amelia saying “We’re hooooome” once she can see our house.  Her voice is music to my ears but the sight of our home tends to be bitter sweet still…..

I began to start thinking what “home” meant. They say, “Home is where the heart is”.  So, what’s a girl to do when her heart is 6 feet of earth away? That’s a question I may never be able to answer but merely a feeling I continue to work toward because home is not a place, it’s a feeling. 

I feel out of place most days as I try to navigate this life without Josh. I am moving forward for myself and Amelia but it’s a strange feeling to navigate while your heart still feels an emptiness that gives a constant reminder of how out of place you feel in your own life story. This is not how it was supposed to be.

You never get married with the intent of being alone. You never have kids with the intent of raising them alone. When you get married, it’s supposed to be forever. When you have kids, there’s supposed to be a team of parents helping them grow into wonderful adults and encouraging them to chase their dreams.

It’s difficult when I visit Josh because I know that the physical and tangible being who was my husband is 6 feet of earth away but, yet I believe his spirit is in heaven shining down on us. I’m torn between what I know and what I believe. Leaving me again, out of place as I try to decipher what is real and how I am supposed to find home without the one I was building my life with.

Home is where you feel most comfortable. For me, that was in Josh’s arms. Josh was home to me.

Every day I feel broken and every day I keep going. My hearts home was Josh. We created an incredible little human who has taken over my heart like wildfire. I will always miss Josh but in the midst of finding a new me, a new beginning, and a new home, I found home in the arms of a tiny toddler who loves me even when I fall short in my mom duties.

I am both nervous and anxious to create one more little human with Josh.Never in my wildest dreams did I envision myself having to go through IVF without Josh. We planned the IVF journey prior to the start of chemotherapy but we also assumed he would be here by my side to help me through it. God had other plans and while I do not agree with God’s plan currently, I agree with how I want our story written. I am moving forward with an audience of one to please.

Even though I feel out of place most days, I know I will always have a home in Amelia’s arms and soon, I’ll get to embrace another set of arms that will bring me back home the same way Amelia does.

Home is what you make it. Home is where the heart is. Home is my Amelia. Home will be all of my children. I cannot wait to follow through on dreams Josh and I had and give Amelia a sibling!

Although, I hope for her sake it’s a girl because she was not having the possibility of it being a boy….

IVF begins in April and if it takes the first round, we could be welcoming another slice of home in the New Year. Which would be fitting for all of these new beginnings that I continue to be blessed with.

I will forever love Josh. I will forever miss him.

I will forever find home in the humans we created. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without my home; my heart; my Amelia.

It only hurts when I’m breathing

Over the course of 7 years I transformed myself into the best companion for Josh. We were made for each other. We fit perfectly together as we grew and learned from one another in so many ways.  Josh is a huge reason as to where I am today. Not just the location of my home, my job and the title “mom” but overall. Josh came into my life when I was ready to call it quits and he never gave up on me. Every day we worked to make each other better and every day, we did. Sure, marriage came with arguments, compromise and even sacrifice but we were a team. Now I am having to transform all over again but this time I am alone.

They always say there is no “I” in team and it’s true. Here I am being forced to refer to things without my partner and everything is “I” or  “Mine”.

I am struggling because I have so much love to give and nowhere for it to go.

My home is quiet and lonely without Josh. Even when toddler laughs fill the halls, the deafening absence of his voice hits the heart.

I am a single mom trying to rediscover who I am while putting on a brave face to prove to our daughter that no amount of pain should hold you back from success.

Failures do not define you.

God may have a plan, but I write my own story. I’ll lean on Him when I am weak and praise Him for everything I have.

I want to have one more baby with Josh and the time is coming soon. IVF is around the corner and my plate is again overflowing but I will make it because I’m a fighter.

I didn’t get to write in my happy ending the first time but I can write in a new happy beginning….

The failures of all my yesterdays still sting because I put my whole heart into them. I gave my whole heart to Josh too.

I am left with memories and heartache but every day I try to find joy in new beginnings.

I continue to  smile, I  continue to laugh, and I continue to pray because it only hurts when I’m breathing.

Fear is a liar

I recently heard a song that led me to begin hashing out more emotions but I placed them on the back burner because I worked all week.

It’s so easy to be consumed by day to day tasks that I forget I still need to take time for myself. That goes for those grieving and for those who aren’t.

I have found in grief that I allow fear to take over from time to time and it shakes my core. I fear failure and I fear success. Weird isn’t it? Most crave success but sometimes we are afraid of it.

I dreamt all of my success would come as a mother and wife…. then suddenly I was no longer a wife. I was a widow. I am a widow.

This future life of mine is not one I ever dreamt of as a little girl.  When you’re a little girl, you dream of that handsome prince carrying you off into the castle, getting married in a church and living in eternal bliss.

Needless to say, my prince didn’t own a castle and while we did get married in a church, marriage wasn’t always eternal bliss but it was enough. Marriage was work and we did it well. Mostly, we respected each other enough to know when the other had to compromise more. I loved being his wife.

Josh hated photos but I loved taking pictures because he was my happy. Looking back, I am glad he compromised on photos. I’m glad I forced all those photos on him! Even if there was an eye roll before every single one.

I try to tell myself that I am making him proud but it’s easy to get caught up and feel like I’m failing somewhere in someway or another. Could it be in school, as a friend, a daughter, or heaven forbid, as a mother.

Lately, Amelia has been having melt downs that are hard to explain, hard to watch, hard to recover from and actually bring me to tears because I do not know what to do. I begin thinking maybe it’s me going back to work? Maybe it’s because I’m traveling too much for my network marketing business? Maybe I’m just not good enough as a mom?

These melt downs go on for up to 45 minutes so far and I fear if they begin to last longer….

What happens when I add another baby to the mix? For some of you, you’re just joining into the journey. Josh and I banked specimens and I had initially thought I wanted a baby immediately. I still want another baby but when is the question…

I fear going against God’s will to selfishly meet my own wants.

I fear dating but I also fear finding the right person.

Fear is a liar in that it steals so much time and opportunity.

I’ve said before that I need my faith to be greater than my fear and it’s true yesterday, today and tomorrow.

I keep finding and trying new things, meeting new people, and really propelling myself forward while I navigate who I am going to be from here on out.

I know what I want out of life, my career, and my relationship. I have to work on patience with myself to get there.

Josh and I may have known right away that we were it, but it took years to build our life together so, it’s going to take years for me to build a life without him. I am afraid to do it without him and I’m even more fearful to be successful at it.  All I have is because of him. We worked together to build a beautiful life and now I’m left with shattered dreams.

I will continue to lean on my faith and give every effort to let it be greater than my fear. God gave me Josh. He must have a happier ending for me….. I trust that He does.

I must be doing something right if my daughter still ends the nights with hugs and I can still make others smile.

I may be broken but I’m not dead yet. Fear is a liar and I refuse to let it win.

I am a widow. I am a mother. I am a fighter.

Never let the fear of being broken keep you from trying again.



The Bravest Thing

Recently, I read an article about a young woman whose spouse had been murdered. He was a deputy and she was a devoted wife. The pain was so much that over the course of a few years, she spiraled downward until her demons took over and she went to meet her husband in heaven.  I feel for her and her family. I couldn’t help but feel her pain over the death of her spouse. Many times I’ve wanted to sleep and not wake up until it was my turn to see Josh’s face again.

Regardless of how your spouse died, the pain is  suffocating.

Grief is an awful thing. It does make you question life and is often debilitating.

The last two days, I have gotten home early from training and told myself how productive I was going to be. Instead, I put on music and cry and then I sleep. I was late picking up Amelia because I simply wanted to sleep until this bad dream was over. I felt like a horrible mom but there is no denying how truly broken I am after losing my soulmate.

Everyday I smile and make jokes despite the hurt in my heart.

Many may not know but I spent 10 years as a military medic. I deployed once overseas. One would think thats brave…. When I returned home from deployment I was forever changed and thoughts of not being good enough consumed me. Then I made a decision to not be alone because being alone contributed to my spiraling thoughts, Josh stepped in and saved me from myself. He encouraged me to seek help to which I did.  I spent two years going to the Post Traumatic Stress Recovery at the VA. All it took was one text to Josh that said “I’m not okay” and he would race home from work no questions asked. With the help of those doctors and Josh, I was able to see light on my darkest days…

Then the day came when my knight in shining armor was ripped from my hands. I no longer felt brave, I no longer felt strong, and all over again I felt alone. I shook my hands at the sky asking why. I replay our journey in every aspect trying to examine if there was any point I could have changed the outcome. Trying to decipher if I truly did everything I could have. Was I strong enough for him? Was I brave enough?

Over the immediate weeks after Josh’s death, I chose to be the best mom for our Amelia. Even though I felt dead inside, I knew I owed it to her to live. There is no way I could possibly let her down even if I felt as though I had let Josh down.  I do not know if we hadn’t had Amelia, if I would have tried so hard.

It would be so easy to give up. To give in to the pain simply so I could see his face again.

But I won’t.

The bravest thing I’ve ever done in life is something I do every day.  I live.

I wake up and I choose joy.

Instead of letting the pain cripple me, I use it in a way God and Josh would be proud of. I know they are.

God has carried me and led me to some pretty amazing people. He led me to Josh and He will continue leading me…..

I may not always make the best decisions and sometimes, I fall short on making dinner but I’m moving forward with the pain on my heart. All while gripping my faith around every turn.

One day someone will answer the call and be ok with me not being “ok”. When that happens, I’ll be ready to open my heart because the bravest thing I’ll ever do is just simply to live.

Thank you God for giving me Josh, giving me a chance and leading me to the next chapter of my life….