On 9/11/01 my biggest concern at the time was getting my son home from school and safe and knowing that if he was with me I could protect him. Never (at that time) did I dream that only 9 short years later I would not be able to protect my son as he was in Afghanistan fighting to defend this great country of ours. He stepped on an IED and was KIA on December 1, 2010 at the young age of 22. My life and my family's life and his brothers in arms and friends would be changed forever. We are still evolving into what would be our "new normal". We have all learned a lot and cried even more and continue to go through normal (if you can call it that) stuff that life throws at us (i.e. cancer, surgeries, parents aging, etc.). Turns out our lives don't stop just because we lost someone so dear. I won't lie, there are days I wish it had. It's too painful to carry on each day without him, but there are no choices when you are faced with something like this. You have to get up each day and put your feet on the floor and face whatever that day decides to throw your way. I know that is what I would tell my son (and did when he lost his best friend/cousin) if he were here today and having to experience this for himself. I tell his brothers in arms and friends every chance I get that Chad would never want them to not live their lives to the fullest and be the best they can be and make a difference in this world. He would never want them to stop living rather live even bigger for him. I know that is what he would tell all of them if he could. So I guess that is what they have me for.
I was honored today when someone I don't know, Amanda Allgood, sent me some photos taken at a 9/11 Memorial in Hawaii. She didn't have to do that for me, but she did. It touched my heart to know people care so much.
It is terribly sad that so many have fallen since that faithful day and since, but it is sadly, reality. I would like to share these touching photos with you today so you can see what I mean. Thank you again Ms. Amanda Allgood for being that person that is willing to do something for someone you don't even know. I will be forever grateful.
|My sweet boy, Chad|
|Chad and someone else's sweet boy|
|9/11 Memorial Ceremony in Hawaii on 9-11-13|
WE WILL NEVER FORGET ANY OF YOU!