Saturday, December 31, 2011

Obligatory New Year's Post.

2011 needs to be left in the dust. Husband and his unit deployed, and so far 5 have been injured- 3 quite critically and life-changing. September 7 will always be a scar on my heart. My very sweet neighbor from New York is now at Bethesda, learning to care for her paralyzed husband. One of the best friends I'll ever have died tragically and suddenly four days after Aaron's incident. This year sucked.

But honestly... I leave this year feeling very blessed. Aaron is recovering faster than I could have ever hoped and dreamed. I have a bond with my family and his I never imagined. I have one of the deepest and most meaningful marriages I've ever seen (not to toot my own horn or anything). I'll be 30 in 2012, and I welcome it with open arms (and a newly pierced nose).

Suck it, 2011. 2012, the bar has been set pretty low but I really do think great things are going to happen.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

First Kiss.

Good for them!!!!  I'm just sad it's such news. People kissing shouldn't be such a huge deal.

Love Conquers All.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Welcome home...

... and what a homecoming it was! 2000 people waited at the regional airport to greet us. It was a freaking parade! Patriot Guard Riders, Santa, a police escort. Aaron received the true hero's welcome all of our wounded deserve. Not one to let anyone down, he put his legs on and toddled off the tarmac into the hangar. CNN had sent a cameraman to chronicle our journey, and there was another one waiting for us in Alabama. I am not sure I can ever articulate how much December 22nd has changed my life, but until then I'll let the pros tell the story. Merry Christmas, everyone.

Alabama 13 Story

Fox 6 Story

ABC 33/40 Story

Anniston Star Story

And yes.. even a CNN story. This was on the Headline News channel, and might still be running.

Also, here is the Facebook page for the Veterans Airlift Command, which flew us home "for free". I put that in quotations because generous airplane owners eat the costs of the flight themselves, and pilots donate their time and skills. This is not a cheap thing to do, and we are so eternally grateful for the trip home.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


So I just wrote this wreck of ex on Facebook to basically let him know I'm in the area so that when we run into each other (which we will) and his wife who hates me is in tow (which will happen) he won't be an ass. I think I'd rather he ignore me, but it's even more awkward to actually say that. It's not that I worry about it that much, but just that I'd rather not have a really tense moment, ever. I have had plenty of those the last three months.

So, I thought that was a little funny. "Hi, heads up, I'm around and just didn't want anyone to freak out when we run into each other at the most awkward moment possible. Hope you're great!"

It happens.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Ride Over.

I took a US Airways flight to Germany on September 11th. I had gone from Watertown to Albany to DC, where the State department issued me a passport on Sunday. On the 10th anniversary of the day that started it all.

I went to the USO center at Dulles and a volunteer walked me through security and down to the gate. She spoke to someone behind the desk and I boarded last. I found myself sitting in business class, wearing a pink "Bomb Squad" t-shirt, next to a nice German businessman.

I had pictures from last Christmas. Aaron had grown a goatee and his eyes were sparkling. I cried to myself because I was terrified he would never look at me like that again. One of the flight attendants, also a psychologist, prayed while I wept.

I had never been more scared in my whole life.

His face is nearly the same now as it was then. There's a scar on his left cheek, but his eyes are the same. And for that reason alone, this is a lucky life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Another spouse is here, going through similar motions I did three months ago. No sleep, no appetite, no understanding of what in the hell just happened to her life.

A life-altering injury to the one you're with is like being punched in the face every second you're awake until you accept it. Your mind races constantly with thoughts of little things that will always be different now. The information about the present situation is overwhelming. It feels like you're being run over by a train.

I remember walking along the sidewalk one night early on here, staring at the grass and bushes as I went by. It was everything I had in me not to throw myself down and sob until it all sunk in. I've often said that it felt like my whole life and my whole future with Aaron had been burnt to the ground. Everything I loved was gone.

But that just means everything from then on was to be new again. And while it feels like promises of a "normal" future were taken away, you have to accept that it wasn't yours in the first place. There were moments when I knew I was actually in hell, but those became fewer and far between. Not only were his legs gone, but some fingers and a lot of the mobility in his hands. We only have a hope that we'll ever produce a child, and there is almost none without full-blown IVF and sperm washing. If we're very, very lucky we can start that process next year.

And eventually, you move on, grateful and proud of yourself and the hero by your side. There is honestly no other way.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm not complaining- because let's face it, I am one seriously blessed woman- but some days, this journey of being a warrior wife to my strong man is utterly, completely exhausting. And there are no breaks.

It's okay. We're great. I just get tired and miss my old life sometimes.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Last night Aaron and I enjoyed a dinner at the Australian embassy. We invited some local relatives and chatted up with the very hospitable embassy staff. I would never turn down a chance to dine with Australians- they treat their guests like royalty. We sat at the Ambassador's table and got to know his adult children and a guest political speaker.

Then early this morning, we got another call. For a third straight month, a tech is coming through Bethesda with a life-changing injury. He has been rendered almost completely blind- total loss in one eye, with hopes of shadowing in the other. He has a baby with his very lovely wife, who has three older children with her. We'll greet the tech tomorrow night, and his family on Monday.

When is enough, enough? How much can a less-than-50 man unit take? 5 injuries since June.
A broken leg, an injured backed, Aaron's legs, Kiel's left leg, and now vision. It's awful, it's not okay, and I am at a loss of words. How?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Some days are incredibly tough. The house is a mess and it seems that I can't even finish a meal without having to tend to something. Appointments run late, things pop up, we don't sleep well, or any number of things go wrong and set the whole day off.

And then there are days like this:

See more here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Here we are...

Lazy Sunday! Thanksgiving visitors, Mom visit, and a quick DC blitz with some of my battles from Fort Drum. I was going to do things today, but Aaron and I have just enjoyed not feeling any pressure to go anywhere in particular.

This past Thursday night I was invited to the DC-Metro holiday party and board meeting. I had been asked to share my USO story and I gladly did. I didn't know that 7 months of volunteerism could gain me so much family and support. It is rare to have a wholly positive experience with anything, but the USO comes very close. I hope to continue to serve in the capacity that I can.

The new digs are still working out great. I've got some Christmas decorations up and have ordered some of Aaron's gifts from online. I just need some little tables and such to go around the living room. Ugh. No surface space at all (wheelchair pathways do need to be pretty clear).

I want to spoil Aaron because well, we're together this Christmas. I am damn lucky to have him. I am just honestly so excited about us being together. We're going to get to go home for Christmas- something we didn't think was possible even a month ago. The fact that he's so healthy, and so active, is a miracle. It feels selfish to even imagine that he's only going to get even more amazing from here.

I hope everyone is looking forward to a good holiday season. Life can really be rough and trying, but I am beginning to actually believe that everyone has something to be grateful for. I know I do.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


So, since my life has completely changed I feel like I should gravitate from exclusive use of  "unlikely wife". I am still an unlikely wife, blessed to be married, and now stronger than ever. I feel more warrior... like She-Ra. Or a Spartan wife. I am going to design a new blog, and then redirect from here to there. You guys don't worry about a thing. That said:

Any domain suggestions?

Any new name suggestions? I like "Unlikely Life of the Warrior Wife" but I want it to include a reference to my husband (the real warrior hero) and be shorter and easier to recall.

Any blog design peeps you suggest?

Anyone want to do a flash cartoon of me and my husband?

Thanks so much for being here as I grow and change into this new life with Aaron. I hope to always have the time and gusto to blog.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ever lose your brain?

Yesterday, I:

  • Left Aaron's transfer board in the apartment, but thankfully he is awesome and managed six car transfers without it.
  • Decided to purchase a 60 lb. box of bookshelf from Target. This is dumb when you're as small as I am.
  • Left my keys in the shopping cart and frantically searched for them for half an hour, all the while knowing that someone in Target had them in their cart. Thankfully, she returned them just as I was begging the employees to page the whole store.
  • Tried to kill my husband by leaving his back wheels off the wheelchair. These wheels catch the chair when it reclines. 
  • Got nasty with the urology desk people because we'd been waiting the duration of the appointment and couldn't get a time hack out of anyone. Thankfully, Aaron is doing fine (can we all smile about that?) and I don't feel that leaving compromised his care. Urology has been difficult and we'll deal with them later.
  • Booked a flight on November 20th for apparently, November 21st and not the 28th. The return flight was right (this Friday) but US Airways scrapped the whole ticket and there went $357. Yay me. I suppose I'll try to take care of that today or tomorrow. In better news, she's coming today.

I think I'm done for now. Hope you all had much better Mondays!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Here Lately...

Things are going. They are going quite well actually, but it's a new life and lifestyle which require adjustments. Aaron, of course, is doing great with it. He accepts things and moves on. I have a tendency to spaz out and get really upset  over little things. I am learning that there is work to do after bedtime. The housework never really ends! The journey to take your trash out here is ridiculous. You go down to the first floor and hang a right. Go allll the way to the end of the hall and out two non-wheelchair accessible doors. Go to the left and down the hill to the dumpsters, which are in the parking out and off a curb that doesn't have a ramp. To gain access by wheelchair, you have to take the long way out the front doors. And we're close to the trash- the people in the west wing are just up a creek. Needless to say, I usually end up waiting until there is a wheelchair size load and wheel it down.

In other not-awesome news, our company has given up another limb. SSG Kiel Vickers is now here. He is stable, in good spirits, conscious, without any sign of any brain injury. Other than the at-the-knee left leg amputation, he seems to be doing quite well. He's a good guy, smart tech, handsome, and funny. There is a wonderful life ahead of him.

And it just sucks. The company is only 44 or so people, so we're at a 10% injury rate. And even though I was there, I can't imagine what the families are going through. There was the broken leg from a blast, the back injury on a guy no one knew, and then Aaron. I didn't watch anything unfold because when shit got crucial it was happening to me. I have no idea what it's like to have a husband deployed while others are coming back seriously injured. I can't even imagine.

I'm in the holiday spirit, or at least trying. Hubby got all sweet on me tonight when I told him that we either had to embrace it or I was going to let it all go and not care at all (which is how I naturally lean, but I fight it every year). He helped me pick out more Christmas stuff.

We're good. It's gonna be okay. It's not always easy. And as a friend posted to me tonight: Faith makes things possible, not easy.

Words to remember.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting There.

Today was better. I think feeling so poorly physically that it just really brought me down. I don't think I'll ever let a doctor give me an opiate ever again. At least not if I'm going to be conscious immediately afterwards.

Aaron and I both woke up in great moods, and had good days. He is just so excited about everything, even getting his ass kicked by his physical therapist, "Bunny the Destroyer" (not kidding- that's her moniker). I'm just utterly amazed by him every day, a hundred times a day.

His hands can extend far enough now that I think he could hold a medium size playground ball. This both excites me and breaks my heart. He works so hard to do so much we as able-bodied people don't even think about. I have no idea how it feels to get around in a wheelchair and that be my freedom. He never, ever complains about losing his legs. I mean, holy hell.

I am a lucky woman.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Whinin' and Cryin'.

Ugh. Apparently opiates are awesome for mack-truck migraines, but the "drug hangover" is almost as bad as the headache. I seriously feel like I'm detoxing or getting hit with a baseball bat. I bummed around today, cleaning and organizing. I got a lot done but had I been able to stand up straight or move faster than a great-grandma, I could've gotten a lot more done. My MIL went with Aaron today, and bless her for it. It was a busy day.

So by the end of the month everyone in the company should have gone on R&R. I feel completely gypped. No in-uniform airport reunion, no hang-out time, no being a family with our little dogs. I will probably feel gypped at homecoming, too. Aaron is busting his ass literally to exhaustion everyday. Right now, he is struggling to make a fist with his hands. He sweats so much at night I lay an extra sheet and a towel down for him.

I wouldn't pick any other life for myself because simply, I'm spoiled rotten in love. We love each other to the ends of the Earth and back. When I told him how awful I had felt all day, he put his arms around me and leaned his wheelchair back all the way down so I could sort-of lay on him. He let me order too much sushi because I thought I was really hungry (apparently the muscles around your stomach can be sore from drugs, too). Seriously- I have nothing to complain about.

And I try really hard not to let other people's complaining get to me because life still goes on. But some of it seems so out-of-perspective. Or even trite. I'm personally tired of all the blog memes because no one hardly says anything juicy. I don't care what you're wearing- I want to know more about you. I almost can't handle the minor military-getting-in-the-way complaint, but I was once so guilty of it, too. I'm not being fair, and I admit it. Life is life. Please, bitch away.

But there's so much pain out there. I won't know for about two years if we're going to join the ranks of those who only ever try to conceive. It's definitely on my mind that I won't ever be pregnant. I tell you though, if we go IVF we'll go balls to the wall full-stem the first try. But then I think that we could gamble on IVF, or put that money towards an adoption. Ugh. And we have to actually settle down soon, too. That is so foreign and weird to me. We want to rent for awhile, but then with the country's economy like it is who knows what these grants will be in a few years. (We get vehicle and home modification grants- and there are organizations out there who match or help out in other ways, too).

I need shelves in the apartment. I want to paint (yes, rumor has it we can. I'll ask for forgiveness instead of permission, though.). We need a lot of sheets. My mind races at times with everything. Appointments, appointments, appointments.

All I want, I think, is to go back to normal. I want to bitch about stupid shit. I'd take those money-talks-over-Gchat over this any day. I want to care what people are wearing or see pictures of their kids. I do. I want R&R, and homecoming. I want to decorate my house with sexually-suggestive signs about my EOD tech getting lucky. All that shit.I want my battle buddies back.

But if I didn't know before, I do now. And if I get a moment to be superficial, it's only a moment. Everything's different now, and again I am so utterly blessed I have no idea what to do with myself  but I still get a little mad, and I might always feel a little gypped. I might always judge people on how little pain they've experienced, which isn't fair because it can't be helped. Some people are just really lucky like that.

And if that's my best, it's between me and God. It'll have to do.

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Digs.

We've graduated from in-patient care! We have a great little 2 bedroom ADA apartment on the hospital grounds. It's where most of the wounded warriors live while they recover. Some have the option to go off-post, but seeing as we don't own wheelchair accessible transportation that option isn't very reasonable for us at the moment. It comes furnished, with lots of storage space and some basics. Everything was gathered from the hospital room and brought over to our new place.

I wish had been there for the packing and all the discharge information, but 430am this morning I went into the ER with one of the most wicked migraines I have ever experienced. I get a classic migraine about once a year, and tension headaches a little more often. This was a double whammy of both. Some strong narcotics and 10 hours later, I was finally released. Just in time for Aaron and his parents to finish up unloading everything from the hospital room into the apartment.

I haven't fully recovered from the lag of drugs, but my head is clear and hopefully I'll sleep well tonight. In our own place, with the future bright ahead of us.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I couldn't have said it better.

This is what my sister-in-law has to say about what's been going on.

Family is ultimately a verb. It knows no blood nor bounds. When you find it, you do it.

Aaron's Caring Bridge.

I WILL be back soon. I have so much inside of me I can't wait to get out over here. My soul is good- it is settled. It has had all it can take for a little while. And that means there is room to do this again.

Love to you all.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel and a bend in the road.

Today, God willing, was Aaron's last surgery. His skin grafts took nearly 100%. The wound vacs are off and any "serious" dressing change can be done down in recovery with a little twilight drugging. Everything else is bedside. Anesthesiology signed off on him, which is amazing news too. That means his pain management is doing so well that he doesn't need them anymore.

Our bend in the road is that we might have to transfer to another facility, for a little while, to do some poly-trauma care. His upper body is very weak and he might need some extra-special rehab for that. It would be great if everything could be done here, but it can't. Those recommendations and decisions will come in the next week or so. Anything can change, at any time. That alone is exhausting.

There have been parts of this process that feel like I'm trail-blazing. We would like to think that at this point, every step would be a flawless brick in the road. Unfortunately, that's not the case. The parts that I have fought for are not insignificant, but fortunately they don't have anything to do with Aaron's care. These military nurses, medics, LPNs, and corpsman are truly proud and humbled to serve our war injured.

War injured: Almost out numbers the Vietnam dead. I know, though, that while this at times as felt like a complete and total nightmare it is some widow's dream. Every day, 100 times a day, I could cry just from feeling so lucky, blessed, and overwhelmed that I have my husband.

Someone wins the lottery everyday. Aaron won his when the IED was triggered and it went off directly under him. I won mine when he came back to me alive, and spiritually whole. He's himself.

This next part goes out to a red-headed blogger who doesn't grace us with her words often enough (cough, you know who you are):

Lives not wrecked by injury and death are not insignificant. You stand and watch others go through this pain, but perhaps ignoring your own. You can observe and articulate what you see. You can tell us what it's like to care for man who delivers the bad news. You're also a newlywed, and there's weight in that experience, as well. Please write if it's in you. If you don't feel like it, I understand. But if there's something inside of you, get it out!!!! Share with us. Be angry. Someone will understand. A lot of someones, actually. Maybe someone will challenge you and you'll grow from the experience. Who knows. But don't not write because you feel there are too many other bigger issues going on.

Life still happens. I talk to my friends about their boyfriends, their babies. I miss my friend who died four days after Aaron's incident. I still have to call the bank about the car payment.

And it's all significant. I'm just in a different bubble at the moment. Promise.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Accessorizing for a cause!

So a fellow EOD spouse is having a Lia Sophia jewelry sale. 50% of the profits will go to the Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation. This foundation has paid for plane tickets for family, given us a grant, an iPad, and offered any type of assistance we need, along with emotional and friendly support. The President, Sherri Black, also bakes us yummy stuff and brings it every week. I know it's a narrow field of support, but I tell you this road is more easily traveled because of the foundation. It's amazing.

So, back to the sale. She is having a monthly special of buy one item at regular price and receive two at half-price. You can make the lowest priced item the regular priced one. The specific web page for her is: Lia Sophia/lmburkman, but be sure to type in hostess name Wounded EOD. She will send your items to the address you list when ordering, and she also sends it Priority Express with tracking. You should be able to order completely online. I really like this jewelry and what she's doing. I don't think I have ever listed a sale here before, but this is kind of a personal issue. I hope you're all okay with the not-so-shameless promoting ;)

And a big thank you for all the lovely comments and support. It means more than you know. Blogging is the only thing that has remained constant since I began this journey as a spouse. I want to send thank you's to everyone for the support it's been so awesome. And keep blogging yourselves- I do read, and I'm slowly commenting more. Your lives interest the hell out of me still!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm still around!

Hey there! I just want you all to know that I'm still reading you! I don't comment a lot, but I do keep up. It's getting better around here. There's a normalcy to this. Also, Aaron might have only ONE surgery left and then we're done with it! WHOO HOO. He had his skin grafts done today and if they stick then on Friday it will be the last day he "goes under". I hate that his last procedure is so painful, but it's like going out with a "bang".

This everyday life feels pretty normal most days. I live in a hotel room, my husband in the hospital. We have food and toys and books and other things everywhere. I brush his teeth, I sign consent forms, I tell doctors it is REALLY inappropriate to come knocking at midnight to wake my husband. This. Feels. Normal.

And part of me thinks that's sad. Every once in a while, I can acknowledge that I live in a bubble. There are amputees- double- everywhere. Blindness, paralysis, those who lost legs so high they can't get prosthetics. This is awful in every possible way. Everyday, this is normal here. Med staff that rocks, some that don't, school lunchroom cartons of milk. General Delivery for mail.

It's not fucking worth it. Let me be clear: This War Is Not Fucking Worth This In Any Way, Shape, Or Form. I Will Never Feel Differently.

If anyone thinks I should feel differently, go look at your spouse's feet. Mine doesn't have any. Or knees. Go to a cemetery and remember that I am living someone's dream here. End of it.

I don't feel crazy angry or sad, though. I live in a bubble, this is my normal, and usually I'm just whistling along with our new life. I can't even imagine what I'd be doing instead- drinking wine with my battle buddies, wrapping up R&R, swamped in homework, volunteering at the USO. I'd be in that normal.

I guess it's all the same.

We're all, as military families, in a bubble. There are bubbles inside bubbles. And there's a whole America out there that has no idea. But I try to avoid those people. I suppose the upside to the bubble I'm in is that people get it. There's less stupidity in here, because everyone is suffering.

I did cry last week when *yet another idiot* reminded me how lucky I am that my husband is alive. I won't comment further on it, other than: No shit, Sherlock. No one needs to remind me of anything.

Love and miss you all. Hope you're all well.

P.S. "Ironman" just came on TV and I couldn't watch the beginning without crying. Fucking bullshit.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 39.

We are, thank God, nearing the end of the road for surgeries. Aaron will have his skin grafts done on Monday. We might only be two surgeries away from this part being over. He has not faced infection in weeks and his mental state is great. Our biggest concern right now is that some doctors think he might have a moderate TBI and therefore we'll be temporarily transferred out-of-state to another facility. I am weary of this simply because of the meds he's on and the fact that he's had 3 surgeries a week almost the whole time he's been here. There are a lot of outside factors I feel are affecting him, and it feels premature to judge his TBI status. But also, I realize my limitation- his personality is so in tact that I might not see everything clearly. However, his base line isn't far off from where he is now. I am going to find out what the doctors expect out of him, what the results can be, and where they think he was beforehand. So we'll see how that goes.

We're getting to a point where we want to work on our marriage. It's time to start growing as a couple with this, and I look forward to it. It's going to be a dance, but I know we'll figure it out soon enough. It's very much an "emotional space" issue. That's the best way I know to explain it.

I'm good. We're good. And I hope to write more regularly. I miss it. I actually miss my life up at Fort Drum tremendously, which isn't surprising. That place is full of wonderful, wonderful women.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

And thus is my favorite quote from The Princess Bride.

As I combat my own possibly negative thought on what life is, I can't help but realize what I actually find important. Love. I spent the weekend with two amazing friends I met my first year of college. I could talk them about missing Alex, my friend who died four days after Aaron's accident. I missed my girls up at Fort Drum. I talked so much shit about that place but some of the greatest friendship I'll ever have came from that place. I miss people I've grown up with- and I feel lucky to still know them. One of my facebook friends dates back to kindergarten. Two of them go back farther than that, and these aren't cousins.

I have love in my life. I have family who doesn't share my blood. I have a siblings. I have a mom whom I look just like. I have a fantastic relationship with my in-laws. It seems blasphemous to even call them in-laws because things are so great.

I have Aaron, my husband.

Love is pain- it always has been and it always will be. We're all lucky to know one person who can break our little hearts, and I'm beyond grateful that I know a few who can break mine. They are all worth it. My only regret is going to be not spending more time with the people I loved and who loved me. I should work on that.

Life is not safe. Perfectly healthy young adults aren't safe from an early end (while some worthless humans live until 100). It isn't fair and I don't understand it. I can't possibly think that the pain of the loss of a life taken too soon is all part of God's big plan. How can that be? Perhaps God helps us through the things that happen, though. Life can't be stopped but perhaps there's something out there that helps ease the pain. Something we can't see. I'll let you know when I figure that out.

Time for bed. I hope I can dream about some fo these amazing people until the morning...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It should've been the airport...

Today would have been the start of our R&R. Since this was our first deployment, theoretically I don't know what I'm missing. We had some great reunions in airports when we dating while he was in Germany and I was Stateside. A lot of our unit has had their 2-week break, so I've seen the pictures and cheered them on. One of the battalions is coming home, too so that's all over Facebook. Sigh.

To tell the truth, I don't feel much of anything about all this. No negative feelings, resentment, or even anger. I'm not one to get too worked up over "what might have been". I think that hope kills anyway, so I try not to hope for things. That seems to always get me in trouble.

I think, for the most part, I've settled in here. Im tired a lot but I'm making do. I eat well at least a few days a week. I finally paid some bills and responded to some emails. I even watched an episode of "Glee".

Aaron is about 80% himself. His arms are all wrapped up so he's needing a lot of assistance. We're sweet to each other, and have even gotten in a few French kisses. Those are the highlight of my life. Love it.

His parents are still here and I'm grateful for that. I don't know how I could balance all of this alone. They're great people.

He's getting the best medical care in the world and I know it. Usually they take care of us, too. The system is working.

Hopefully, everything stays on track and his legs can stay closed and in a few weeks the skin grafts can start. I think we'll be in the hospital for about 6 more weeks.

This is it, folks. But there's never a moment of getting it, it's living it. Living with it. This new lifestyle, leaving my great friends at Fort Drum (I left Roswell, GA in April 2010 and Mannheim in August 2010 and now Fort Drum in September 2011, so leaving people I love too soon is a theme), and feeling like I'll never be caught up again are it. I'm also still processing the loss of one of the best friends I've ever had. Shit can really suck, life is full of it and it's up to us to make it happy. Life in it's natural state isn't usually happy. That's just how I feel.

Someone sent me this quote early on, not knowing the author is one of my favorites. I adore this:
     “I said to my soul be still, and wait without hope; for hope would be hope of the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith. But the faith, and the love, and the hope are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: so the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
T.S. Eliot

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Moments. Day 21.

Intimacy is now feeding my husband his meals. It's a type of dance we do on a daily basis. It's patience when we're trying to communicate through foggy anesthesia and vivid drug-induced dreams and startling consciousness. He is 80% himself and for that I thank God and Jesus and Allah and Vishnu. He had many injuries, most of which will require skin grafting in the coming weeks (yes, his skin since the risk of rejection is high with these types of injuries). Blood infections, 106.7 degree fevers, frustration, and everything you can think of goes on here.

But then he says "Hey, sweetheart," every time I enter the room. Then we have a sweet conversation after a teeth- brushing. He'll crack a bad joke and show me his dimples. We are still us, still sweet and kind to one another, still newlyweds, still in love. He hasn't wavered once and that gives me strength. Then he tells me he couldn't do this without me.

Now how am I not an incredibly lucky/fortunate/blessed girl? I love him and he loves me. Always.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Just a quick nothing. Day 17.

Today would have been the sixth-month mark for deployment. Instead, I'm at the Navy Lodge at Bethesda (now Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda). Each surgery has been progress, but he's still on a lot of drugs and not really himself. The fear of TBI is creeping up on me. I'm not getting ahead of myself- there's reason to be thinking about this. It's already been a wild ride, and the level of insanity has maybe been down graded from " impossibly frantic" to "unbelievably hectic". Or something.

Four days after my notification of Aaron's injuries, I was in Germany for a day. During this day, I received a horrible message that one of my best friends had died in a tragic and senseless car accident. His memorial is today, and I'm literally living the one reason why I wouldn't be there. My heart is broken is so many ways.

I am medicated a little bit, and I do have Aaron's parents here. We're all hanging in. It's just kind of settling in that this is it.  I do have some wonderful, amazing people taking care of everything back at Fort Drum so I don't really have to worry about that. I feel a lot of love, and it all really does help. Some days are still better than others.

 I promise a real post soon. Thank you for your kind words and all. It means a lot. Here is his Caring Bridge:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

End of Day 3.

Everyday the plan changes. He's doing well, but fighting infection and since he was bumped from two flights the Army is flying me and his parents over to be with him. We could fly to Bethesda Tuesday or Friday. It's been an Army process- everything from amazing to super sucktastic. The hospital has been fantastic. Travel and Transpo aren't helpful until they have orders, and don't even think about calling them. It's not been neglectful in any way, though. I feel like a yoyo.

But people have been amazing. Some of my blog-buddies have become straight-up allies, almost from the instant the news hit. I am floored. My Army wife friends have been angels. I have never felt so much love in all my life. Total strangers (to me) are visiting my husband in Germany and updating me. They are reading notes to him the family has sent them.

I met with "my girls" for the last time tonight. I most likely won't come back here when everything is PCS'd and boxed up, which is kind of horrifying to be honest. This whole process is horrifying but it really isn't all that bad. I'm every emotion at any time. Today I've been really irritable, but I also start my period in a few days (how cruel is that?!). Martin's Point sucks a big dick for not covering my birth control in a pharmacy instead of mail order.

He's doing really well, all things considered. He's been pretty responsive. He still has a tube down his throat but does breathe on his own just fine. He lost his right leg just above the knee and his left at the knee. He will need some skin grafts on his right leg. His right arm is fractured. There are a few more injuries but that is the gist of it. I am not scared at all about us, but of course I am scared in general. Some official Army cunt told me that families only go to Germany if something really bad could happen, so of course I flipped out when they started talking to me about going. All is okay now, I guess. I'm still scared.

Your love helps more than you could possibly know. It is not trite, it is not lost, and keep doing it! My mom and sister-in-law are amazed at my "Army family". And the EOD community- damn. It's really family, whether you know the person or not. Again, floored.

I have to pack and I leave at 6am. I'll update as soon as I can.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The second worst nightmare.

I received an injury notification today in the form of two strangers in ACUs. My life from this point on will never be the same, but I will embrace it and defeat all obstacles. I've been surrounded by beautiful Army wife angels all day and my mother and sister-in-law arrive tonight.

I have to see this typed: My husband lost both of his legs. He is otherwise fine and in good health, whatever that means.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers.