Almost nine years ago I started a journey and I had no idea where it would take me. I was leaving my home and everything I knew to serve my country. I went to boot camp and survived even when I thought I wouldn’t be able to make those last paces on a run in battle stations. I travelled to San Antonio to learn what I would be doing for the next 5 years of my life. While here I met and dated a young man but it ended when we went our separate ways. I went to my first duty station where I never would have guessed I would have met the big brother I never had (or knew I wanted) but to this day he is there for me no matter what as I am for him. I started school this year (2006) and continued on with life taking classes and going from duty station to duty station.
Fast forward to December 2009 which was by far the best Christmas I ever remember having. Not because of the gifts I received, because I couldn’t even tell you what they were except the one my dad wrapped as prank to me. It was the best because it was the last Christmas we had together. We didn’t know it at the time but my dad was going to be diagnosed with lung cancer at the end of the month. And the following April I learned what it was like to lose a parent. That was a moment that altered my life forever.
By August I was making plans to try and come home to help out my mom and by December it was a reality. So much change had taken place in a matter of eight months that a lot of times I prayed and hoped that it had all just been some sort of dream. But it wasn’t…
By June of 2011 I was in school and finally felt as normal as anyone can who has ever sat in a classroom of just out of high school students who have almost no real life experience and try to have in depth conversations about things with them. Granted there were definitely some that were not like that, but boy oh boy it seemed like most were. And I dreamed of where I am today…
It is finally my time and my turn to get my college degree. After all I have been through in life (which this definitely doesn’t even scratch the surface it seems like)… it is here. Today I submitted and uploaded my last final of my undergrad career. On Saturday is my big celebration but I can’t help to wonder what my dad would say to me if he were still here.
Oh and did I mention… it’s also my time to be planning a wedding. See that guy that I mentioned that I met almost nine years ago? We reconnected over a year ago… and in March we’ll be getting married and getting ready to start our own family. It’s another day that he is missing and will be missed so much on. I guess there isn’t really a day that I don’t miss him at some point or think of him.
There are so many people that I wish I could thank for helping me get to this moment in time right now. Many are no longer in my life and that is ok because we were only needed in each other’s lives for a season. While others we are still going strong or at least stay somewhat connected. But there are a few people I want to say thank you too even if they never read this or see this.
Mom, You have been my rock for quite some time and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the times you have calmed me down when I’ve been freaking out or upset. I know these past 3 years haven’t been a cake walk… but I promise that no matter what, we’ll get through the next however many years together too. I love you so much… even if I don’t say it all the time, I do.
Kyle, You are such an amazing man and I am so thankful that we reconnected and that I get to love you. I feel blessed to have you in my life every day. You have been a source of strength and motivation when I needed it. I can not wait to become your wife and start our family together. Love you forever and always!
Kelly, I don’t even know where to start. You have seen me at some of my absolute worst moments in life and yet you are still here… isn’t there anything I can do to get rid of you? But seriously… Thank you for being there during all those worst moments and in all my best moments. I don’t know what I’d do without your craziness. Love you best!
Amy, I know we don’t talk all that often because we are both so busy… but when we do I always walk away from our conversations feeling stronger. You always seem to know what to say and have been such an inspiration to me and role model in my walk with God. I know that I can come to you with anything and I won’t be judged, only asked how you can help. Thank you!
Tyler, pretty pretty lady. In the short time we have known each other we have become so close and I am so thankful for your friendship and your guidance. I know we have many more years of friendship ahead of us and I am looking forward to all the fun!
Grandma Sue, You have seriously become like a grandparent to me and I love you so much. You always support me and ask how you can help and do so anyway you can… even if it’s just a “grandma hug”. Thank you for taking me under your wing and surrounding me with all your care, support and love. I love you.
Wow I didn’t mean for this to be so long… but apparently it all needed to be said. I know I probably forgot a dozen other people who I should thank personally but at the moment they escape me, so Thank you!