A Little Sweaty

I am NOT a runner. Not in the slightest. However, I FINISHED! I did it, I ran 3.1 miles, a complete 5k. I did not enjoy it, but, I did it! It took me 48 minutes and some odd seconds. It was a decent time though, not as miserable as I make it sound. We had such a huge turnout for our team and we raised so much money. I raised over $1,700 as an individual and we raised over $13,000 as a team! All for our wounded warriors, fighters of freedom!! Ooorah, Team 1/6 RP - so proud!!

After completing the run, I had a bit of an emotional moment. I wished I could tell Jonny what I'd done, even though he may have seen it from his spot in Heaven (and probably been giggling at me, or maybe even slightly embarassed - sorry babe) I wished that I could tell him. I wished that he could tell me Good job, baby! But instead, I could only hear it from my heart. I shed a few tears wishing that I wouldn't have had the reason to do this. Yes, maybe if this all hadn't have happened I still would have ran with my friends and raised money and made Jonny proud, but my reason for really running was to honor my fallen husband and frankly and honestly, I wish beyond wishes that I didn't have that reason. But no matter how hard I wish, nothing will change what has happened, so I just do what I can, have meltdowns and pull myself together and go on as best as I can.

After that, we've been enjoying lots of time at the beach. My mom and dad and the dogs are visiting for the week and they rented a condo at Emerald Isle. We have been soaking up the rays and just enjoying everyone's company. Good weather, and good company! We enjoyed the weekend relaxing, being a little ridiculous, and creating good memories. Because when it all comes down to it, when all is said and done, memories are all you've got to live by.

Yesterday, my CACO brought Jonny's stuff that had come back from Afghanistan. It was extremely, extremely hard. I don't think I'm quite ready to really talk about it just yet... soon, though. One of Jonny's best friends in the Marine Corps, Brad (my friend Tamara's husband) came home this weekend. He wasn't ready to see me at first, which I understand, but he came over last night. After we'd inventoried Jonny's stuff. It was good to see him. He kept apologizing and of course was upset and he said sorry for bringing back so many memories and I just was thankful he was there. Frankly, I wasn't sure if I was ready to see him either. The day of his homecoming I was pretty torn apart. I was happy he was coming home but all I could think was that I would never get this homecoming, I will never know what it's like to welcome my Jonny home and hug and kiss him after all this time. Maybe I was a little jealous, but mostly just so sad. And as he wasn't sure he was ready to see me, I wasn't sure I was ready to see him either. You see, I met Brad the same night I met Jonny, and much of Jonny and I's time together was spent also with Brad. We all always hung out together. And when I saw him last night, it's almost like there was a tiny piece of Jonny with him. Like Jonny was standing there right beside him as he always was. The memories that came back were not bad ones, they're ones I am thankful to have, and I'm thankful to have Brad to say "Hey remember that time in Aberdeen when..." because I'd been struggling lately with remembering things. I always wish I could ask Jonny if something happened a particular way, and of course there are still things that only Jonny would be able to answer, but now Brad being back home there's one more connection to Jonny, one more person who knew us together, one more person that can remind us of this story and that memory and just of us in general.

For now, I'm going to try to relax. I'm still a little emotionally drained after the events of last night and I think laying out and soaking up the rays is just what my heart is calling for.

52 comments

  1. Congrats on the 5k. your such a strong woman. i still say a little prayer for your family every night.

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  2. Congratulations on finishing your 5k! I know that it was a bittersweet acomplishment but you were not alone when you crossed that finish line! You carried with you many thoughts, prayers, cheers and most of all.. your husband!

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  3. Mrs. P, you are amazing!!! You really are! Congratulations for finishing the race and for raising all that money!

    I still think about you all the time and wonder how you're doing.

    You're an inspiration to me.

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  4. Enjoy the warm sun! You deserve some relaxation!

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  5. I also did the run on Saturday, and I was kind of keeping an eye out for you. (Not in a crazy, stalker way - I swear!) I have been reading your blog and was hoping to tell you that in person, along with how much respect and admiration I have for your courage and honesty. Great job with your race finish and fundraising! Johnny is VERY proud of you!!!

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  6. congrats on the run! and the homecoming of a close friend! you make so many so proud! -semper fi!

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  7. Congrats on finishing lady!! Way to go! We are all proud of you!
    So, do you think you will do it again?!

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  8. Congratulations for finishing! I probably would have collapsed half way through... And kudos for raising such a great amount!

    Relax away. You deserve it. ;)

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  9. I know I don't know you personally, but I am so proud of you and what you are accomplishing with everything that has happened, you truly are an inspiration and a hope to all of the other men and women in your same position and it is perfectly okay to have down days and I am glad that you have someone around who can help keep your husband's memory alive.

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  10. I finished at 47 mins and something and I really was looking all over for you, just for a chance to meet you! :D

    I'm not a runner either! I just wanted to let you know that you inspired me to run this (even though my lungs hurt so bad!), as I'm sure you did a lot of people.

    Congratulations on how much you raised. 1/6 was truly an awesome fundraising team :D

    xoxo
    Reina @ sempergumbythelife.blogspot.com

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  11. I'm sure he is very proud of you and how strong and brave you are.

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  12. Rachel, I'm SO proud of you for finishing that 5K! You rock!

    I'm so glad that you have Brad home, as difficult as it is to see him, that little piece of Jonny that he brings with him has to help. Sending you so many good thoughts!

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  13. I'm so happy you finished the run! I knew you could do it! OOOOORahhhh on raising all that money!!! That's really amazing. It's nice to hear you got a chance to visit with your friend...as hard as it was. Thinking of you!

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  14. all I have is (HUG)
    proud of you for running - good job
    (Hug)

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  15. I'm also a military widow and completely relate to your happiness/jealousy mix as your friend's husband returning while yours doesn't. You don't wish this life on anyone else, but at the same time it's hard to see someone who has what you want because you don't understand why your husband isn't there too. I still struggle with this jealousy two years later because it still doesn't make sense! Wishing you peace!! Also, congratulations on finishing the 5k run, that is a great accomplishment.

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  16. Whoo! You are so brave! Good Job on running. <3

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  17. That was so touching. That is AWESOME that you ran a 5k I know you are super excited about that. It's nice to getaway by the beach and relax..I hope you enjoy it..

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  18. Awesome girl! I don't know if my body would EVER allow me to run like that! Congrats! Be happy when those people come into your life and remind of Mr. P; he was a great man and husband (as I read)! xoxo

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  19. ((HUGS)) I am proud of you for doing the 5k!! Enjoy your time at the beach and know that we're thinking of you!! ((HUGS))

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  20. Congratulations on finishing and the fundraising success of your team! I just know that your Marine was with you, smiling (not embarassed =D). My husband is with the Wounded Warrior battalion here and...well, I have no other words but thank you. Thank you for your strength, your amazing spirit, and for sharing your story. ::HUGS:: Thank you.

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  21. Congrats on your run and how much your team raised! I wish I could have been there to run with you!!!!! Hope you are resting and drinking plenty of the high quality H2O..LOL

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  22. You have been so strong through all of this! I hope that you know you have a lot of people praying for you! I think about you daily!

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  23. Well I can say that I am proud of you for finishing the run!! You are such a strong young lady!!

    I can not imagine the emotions that you must be going through at this time!! I just can not think for one second of how you feel!! But my prayers and thoughts are with you!! Blessings from Georgia...Marine Mom!!!

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  24. First of all I've caught up in reading your blogs and I wish there was a less Cliche word for I'm incredibly sorry for you loosing your husband, but I know there is not. You are an extremely strong woman for being able to get on with daily tasks. I commend you for everything you are accomplishing.

    I think the run was a tremendous idea as well. You could run out some of the stress you had built up. You also raised money which is awesome. I am a former Army Wife so I know how much everyone appreciates it. You are a very strong woman and keep that pretty little head up. You have a gorgeous baby girl that needs her mommy. Feel free to add me through FB if you ever wanna talk. I don't know what you are going through but I'm a great listener.

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  25. Congrats on finishing. I'm sure you did yourself and Jonny proud!
    Taking some time for you, sounds like just what you need.

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  26. I am so proud of you, girl!!!

    I can only imagine how difficult it would be to watch a friend like that have a homecoming but I'm happy (I hate to say it like that because I can't think of the right word) you found another connection to Jonny. For so many people you and are Ariana probably are that connection but I'm glad to know you are finding little things like that as well.

    Enjoy the beach!! I'm jealous...Its wicked cool up here, no beach or pool weather.

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  27. I think you're amazing! Shoot I don't think Id have been able to do it in even 45 minutes. I can sprint but I can NOT go the distance. Yay for laying out and soaking up the rays! I am jealous for sure. My white skin is in dire need of some color :)

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  28. Congrats on completing the run hon. It's good to get to read up on your thoughts these days. You and Ariana are ALWAYS in my thoughts. It's just TOO hard not to think about you guys, especially being a Marine Corps wife myself.

    Anyway, I never really know what to say in this situation. If you ever need anything, email me @ kerryelly@itskerrysworld.com.

    Congrats again on the run. I wish you continued peace, healing and blessings.

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  29. Congrats on the run. My husband is one of the Wounded Warriors, and I know how much it means to ALL of them to have SO much growning support for this event each year. I also wish you didn't have the reason to run that you did this year, but love that you chose to get out and do something with others for this wonderful organization.
    Hope the rain we've had hasn't put too much of a damper on soaking in the sun. Thank you for sharing with so much honesty on your blog. Thanks again for all you, and your friends, raised. That really is an awsome amount of support.

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  30. I'm so PROUD of you for completing the race.

    I'm glad your visit with Brad went ok. Those times are hard, and anyone who says they aren't is lying.

    Stay strong and hang in there ♥

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  31. Congratulations on the 5k!!! What an accomplishment on so many levels.

    I can't imagine how difficult it was to see Brad coming home, and the emotions his homecoming made you feel. I applaud you for your honesty and your ability to share with us what you are going through. I hope you find some solace in venting to all of your devoted readers. We are here to support you every step of the way.

    Congrats again on the 5k and the incredible amount of money you raised! You go girl!

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  32. You are still one of the strongest woman I "know" and I admire you for your strength. As I read the things that you continue to go through, I continue to pray for you and the baby. It sounds like your family and friends are doing a wonderful job of being there for you and making some wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

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  33. My heart breaks for you every time I read your posts. I think you are doing great though. Remembering how he lived and not how he died is going to be hard but you are a strong woman and a great mom and I your doing such a great job. I know I don't know you personally but I pray for you daily.

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  34. You are truly amazing! :o)))

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  35. Way to go for finishing the race! Big hugs.

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  36. Great job on completing the 5K! I know you don't know me, but I am proud of you! =)

    Still praying for you

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  37. What a feat, girl! You HAVE to be so proud of it!
    And I'm so glad a mutual friend came into your life when you needed the memories and comfort most. Gotta love blessings! :) I hope you're hangin in there; sending hugs your way!

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  38. Good job on finishing and for raising so much money. You still have tons of people thinking about you and praying for you! Hope laying out helped to ease your sadness for at least a little while.

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  39. Congratulations on finishing your race! Bravo to you for a great accomplishment and also raising money for a good cause. Good for you!
    On a sadder note, I am truly sorry for your loss of your husband. It brought me to tears. :( You are very brave. You've had lovely memories with him that you will have forever and have a piece of him always through your daughter. Allow yourself to grieve and feel that pain. Don't smother it or try to hard it, it's necessary to feel that and release those feelings in order to move forward. I am sure this is a sensitive time for you. I don't know you but I'm rooting for you and hope for the best :)

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  40. I just wanted to say awesome job on your 5k run! I also want to thank you. My fiance is a wounded warrior and its things like this that help make healing and readjusting to a new way of life a little brighter and a little easier. Your blog really is an inspiration.

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  41. Hey sweetie!! I talked to Brad about our visit with you last night. And I told him about how you said that it was like a little piece of Jonny was there and he smiled. You know that I am glad that Brad is back, but for me it is so much more than just to have him home. I am so thankful that him being home gives you a little piece of Jonny back. I know it's good for both of you. You know we both love you so much and will always be here for you NO MATTER WHAT. I am blessed to have you as a best friend.
    I Loves you!!

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  42. i wanted to run that SOOOOO badly but my lover was gone on a camping trip and i didn't see a way to drag 5 kids with me as i ran. dangit.

    congrats!

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  43. nice job! I hate running too! I think you did an amazing job! You are such a strong women!

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  44. Awesome job on the run! Maybe you will find that running will be something new that will help give you moments of peace. Sometimes even silly things like exercise help in weird ways!!
    Soak up those rays lady! enjoy every moment!

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  45. I'm so Proud of You! Your always in my thoughts and Prayers, Congrats on finishing the run!

    ~Alicia

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  46. Is war harder on the warrior, or the family he leaves behind? Or maybe we should just agree that war is hard on everybody! It's why we don't start wars. Isn't it a shame that not everyone in the world agrees? It's because there are those that disagree that we have a military, and why folks like you and Johnny, and Brad and Tamara too, have to suffer. Winston Churchill once said, "I do not hold that we should rearm in order to fight. I hold that we should rearm in order to parley." Your man, and yes, you too, are part of our nation's strength. Thank you, Johnny. And thank you, Mrs. P! Be strong. Live on in strength. Teach your baby in the right. And always, always, keep the faith - Semper Fi!

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  47. I read the article at the Washington Post today. It was heartbreaking to read. I just wanted to offer my condolences & let you know that when a member of our armed forces is killed, it is painful for all members of the military family. We know the risks when our loved ones choose a military career, but it doesn't make the reality of the worst case scenarios any easier. It hurts when any member of our military family makes the ultimate sacrifice, and it hurts to know that the people they loved the most & had to leave all too soon are experiencing such pain and loss.

    I just want you to know that you are not alone in your grief though you feel it most significantly.

    *Hugs* from another military wife.

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  48. Oorah! A Marine wife can do anything she sets her mind to. You are a fabulous person with great strength and dignity and an immense capacity to love. I've been reading your blogs today, and as a Marine wife currently (and a widow of 10 years as of May 27th) I am humbled by your resilience and determination. You are a great example to your daughter. I'm absolutely positive your Marine was smiling down from Heaven and grinning from ear-to-ear with pride, not embarrassment. Enjoy your victory lap and keep up with the blogging. We all want to know how you and Ariana are doing, I feel like you're already family after reading your blog. As a fellow widow, I can tell you that you're not going to get over "it", but you will get through it and it will get easier gradually. Just keep doing what you're doing and you and Ariana will always keep the memory alive. Find me on FB. I'm stationed at Lejeune.

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  49. Did you wear the shirt? I bet he loved that, especially :) ~love you!~
    xx

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  50. OOORAH!!!
    It isn't whether or not you like it you did it for a good cause. Though I don't know you I am very proud of you.

    Vince

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