May 11, 2010


I just heard a song. I hadn't heard it in a long time, but as I was driving in the car with the kids, listening to the lyrics, the tears started flowing. It was Tim McGraw singing If You're Reading This. My thoughts were with a Marine wife who's husband was killed in Afghanistan two months ago. She and her baby girl have been in my thoughts and prayers since I heard about their loss. I've been reading her blog, and my heart breaks for her. But I am in awe of her courage and positive attitude.

She is one of many who've lost their loved ones to war. Those who are left behind when a loved one is lost, who carry on, and live to honor their fallen hero, are also heroes. Thankfully, I have no way of knowing just how much despair washes over one who suffers this trial. Or how much courage and strength it takes to move forward, but I am full of respect, admiration and gratitude for those heroes, both the fallen and the ones left to carry on.

I only know what it felt like when the Man was in Iraq, and I regularly recieved emails about the loss of soldiers in his brigade. My heart broke for their loved ones. Every time. I only know what it felt like when I heard the sadness and the tears in the Man's voice when he called to tell me that his friend had been killed - shot by a sniper. I wished so much that I could hold the Man in my arms and let him cry into my hair. And my heart broke again for his friend's wife and son. I only know how I felt one night when I hadn't heard from the Man for awhile, and I was starting to worry a little. I was sitting in front of my laptop, reading the news that six soldiers from his brigade had been killed (their names were not being released, pending notification of their next of kin), when there was a knock at the door. It was late, and I couldn't imagine who would be knocking at the door, but half a second later, I did imagine one possibility and I wished nobody had knocked. I walked to the door, opened it, and finally breathed when I saw two teenage boys from the neighborhood standing there. They handed me a flyer about a lawn care business they were starting. They had no idea of the roller-coaster ride my heart had just taken.

But that was nothing.

Nothing compared to the ultimate sacrifice that others have made. Nothing compared to what others are going through right now. I have been thinking about the many mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, children, and friends who've made this sacrifice.

If you want to read more about one of these heroes, check out Mrs. P's blog and the article that she just wrote for the Washington Post. There is also a very moving video about Cpl. Jonathan D. Porto's escort home.

My words are so inadequate, and I know that I can't even imagine what it really feels like to give up so much, so I just want to say Thank You to those who have, and explain that those two words also carry all the sincere thoughts that I don't know how to express.


  1. I wish we could've been there for you Shay. For both you and Mike. What an incredibly stressful time you both went through...I can't even begin to imagine.

  2. You have a lovely, huge heart that holds so much compassion! You feel other's pain deeply even though they may be people you don't even know. I only hope you also feel the joy that others feel just as intensly, because you deserve to. And please know, the power of your prayers really is immense and far-reaching. Keep your faith; we all need it!