Why do I go to people's pages to see their homecoming photos? Why did I watch the news clip about 1/6 coming home? Why do I still get on facebook at all this week?

Clearly, I love to torture myself.

Watching the clip sucked probably even more than pictures. It was so super sweet (sense the sarcasm) to see the family with Welcome Home Johnny Boy t-shirts on. That's what some of his family called him (no h, though) and yeah, it sucked to see those shirts but no Jonny Porto.

It also sucked seeing dads hold their babies for the first time. I try to dig down in my heart and be happy for them, one less little baby having to grow up without their dad... but... it's hard to find that much compassion when my heart is so broken and my little girl doesn't have a choice but to grow up without her dad.

I want to scream at the world.

I'm over tired today which makes me even grouchier. I've got things to do tho, so I won't be getting more sleep... Post office and WIC are calling my name. I'm sure WIC will be a joy, it always is, and I'm sure it'll be super fun on like 3.5 hours of sleep.

It was really cool that Miss Thang decided to wake up at 4am and was still making noise in her bed at 5. Hopefully that was a one night thing. She's been eating funny too, not as much as usual, wonder if it's a teeth thing? Maybe she'll be like "Yo, mom. I'm not sleeping because my teeth hurt and I'm not eating because I'd rather chew on the spoon for relief." That'd be pretty cool.

In other news, NPR picked up the story the Florida radio station, WUSF, did on Jonny. Click here to give it a listen, it was done really well just as the Florida one was. Bobbie O'Brien is a very, very nice woman. I can't remember if I posted her original story that aired on WUSF or not, but if I didn't and you want to give it a listen, go to and search Porto and it should come up.


  1. My husband heard the NPR bit this morning on his way to work and we live in CT! Thanks for posting the link so I could listen too

  2. Dearest Mrs. P-
    I listened to the story this morning on NPR. I can not begin to tell you how much this touched me. I have always had great respect for those that serve this county; I have always understood that when a spouse makes such a commitment to their country, they take their wife/husband and children right along w/them. I have spent some time this morning reading your blog and am completely in awe. What a phenominal woman YOU ARE. There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. P will forever be beaming!! Please take to heart. . .Some people come into our lives and quickly go, Others come into our lives, leave foot prints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same.

  3. Oh you poor thing. I'm sorry your baby girl woke up super early. Oh the joys of motherhood. Hopefully you can get a nap in or head to bed early tonight and get a good night's sleep.

    This is only a suggestion but maybe you should stay away from those pictures and newsreels. However, if it fulfills some need (and who knows what that may be) then by all means, keep doing it. It may be never know.

    Good luck with your errands today!

  4. I went and checked out the article, it was wonderfully written:) I can't pretend to know your feelings, but I know sometimes being happy for people is hard...regardless of the situation. Just keep your head up and get through it..((HUGS)) and I hope you get sleep tonight!!

  5. I think I got maybe an hour more of sleep then you did. Hopefully today will be a good day. Do you need me to go with you to your WIC appointment so I can punch someone in their faces?!?! Why do those women always have to make you feel like your kid is off the carts all the time? Whether they are under weight over over weight? Grrr!!!!

    Sending you will make it through today because your one strong momma! Just think of my dimes....that image will make today all worth it *wink.

  6. Heard you on NPR in Boston this morning, too. Bless you and your little girl. Its tough, keep strong! You are truly an inspiration.

  7. I dont think you posted it, but I will go look!!
    I hope your day gets better! xox

  8. Just listened to the NPR piece on you and your blog. So glad I caught it. A million things are going through my head to write here, but of course, none of them seem sufficient. I guess just know that you have a new reader who's pretty darn impressed and wishes you all the very best.

  9. I do things like that to myself too... obviously not under the same circumstances,but I do have that lets-rub-salt-in-my-wounds-because-it-seems-like-a-good-idea (for some reason) thing!
    Sorry for the lack of sleep =( "they" say teething only lasts so long then it's done. Here's to tomorrow being a better day!

  10. Huge hugs and kisses all the way from Chicago!! I'm always here if you need to chat!! <3 you!!

  11. sigh . . . and HUGS!!!!!! ::( i so wish that you didn't have to walk this path. i so wish that NO-ONE had to walk this path . . . praying for you and your sweet little girlie.

  12. I'm sorry for your pain and loss. I know this must be a rotten time for you, seeing everyone else come back. I've been reading your blog for a few months now and it's been a help to me recently with my friend who just lost her fiancee in Afghanistan last week. Your writing really gives life and meaning to the rest of us for the feelings you're experiencing the last few months which in turns gives me a better understanding of how I can help my friend go through this.

  13. Your story is heartbreaking yet inspirational at the same time. I hope you write a book someday. (have you ever thought about it?)

    I don't know why we humans feel the need to torture ourselves. I would be looking at everyone else's homecoming pics too. And I would be angry and jealous as hell. It's not fair that your baby has to grow up without having met her dad. It just plain sucks. (I'm mad for you and I don't even know you). No one can tell you that's not an OK way to feel.

    Hugs and prayers to you, Mr. P, and baby girl.

  14. Hey there- I heard your story on NPR this morning and took a look at your blog. not 2 minutes later I was sobbing.My husband and I were stationed at Camp Lejeune from 2003-2007. He deployed 3 times. Your story is a Marines wifes'worse nightmare. From reading your blog, you seem totally down to earth and we probably would have been friends had our paths crossed. Keep your head up, screw all those b*&^%es who talk shit and bring you down. Focus on your daughter and the memories of your husband and you can get through this. Take care of yourself. The WIC office is the worse place in Jacksonville! Hang in there.....

  15. I am so heartbroken for you. I have no words. Take care of yourself.

  16. Mrs.P, this morning I was listening to NPR and heard you tell your story. So as soon as I had I chance at work I came here to read your blog.
    I just wanted you to know that I am sooo sorry your husband lost his life and didn't make it home with the 1/6 today. My heart goes out to you and your daughter.
    Also to thank you, your daughter and your husband for the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
    I will keep you all in my prayers.

  17. I heard you on NPR this morning in Boston. you blog is beautiful, raw and true.

  18. Above all the hugs and prayers I am sending your way, I just wanted to also say thank you for saying you use WIC. It seems we get judged so harshly around here for using a program assistance that we SO very clearly qualify for. I just wanted to say thank you for writing that. Even though you probably didn't even think twice about it, it meant a lot to me.

    Good luck at WIC. Our appt is tomorrow and I am also dreading it.

    God bless you. As always, you and Ariana are in my prayers.

  19. Hi Mrs. P, I came across your amazing blog today for the first time. I must say that you have a beautiful family and I know Mr. P is still there with you and your baby girl. May all your wishes and dreams come true, you deserve the best in life! Keep your head up, one day at a time. You have a goldent heart!

  20. I became a new follower of yours after my hubby called me to tell me your story he had heard on NPR this morning. I can't get through a single post of yours without choking up. It's hard to read your biggest fears are a reality for another home-front warrior. Our prayers are with you and your baby girl. I gave a shout out to you today on my own blog. You are a true inspiration.

  21. ((HUGS)) Please know every day we say a prayer for your family, and that I wear my Jonny bracelet every day! I often am asked what the bracelets are for (I wear three cop bracelets, and Jonny's)

    You're a strong woman Rachel. Ariana is lucky to have you here and her father watching over her! ((HUGS))

  22. Hello! I heard NPR this morning and decided to look up your blog and after looking at it decided to following it! I'm a single parent who's in the Army so I know the agony of military life, but ofcourse do not know what you are going through! I'll leave my military carreer at that! But, I just wanted to say awesome blog and if you didn't have support from a single dad (and the Army) well, you do now! Take care and I look forward to loitering in your blog!

    PS. I'm stealing your button btw and I'd like to feature your blog on my blog sometime this week if you don't mind! And if you ever decide to look up my blog, don't let the name through you off! It was origianlly intended for my love of history of cemeteries, but became so much more then that! Take care again!

  23. Hello
    I read through some of your blog posts today and have been crying my face off. I have no words to describe how my heart hurts for you. I want you to know that you and your baby will be in my prayers always.
    A lovely woman at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center gave me the best advice I have ever gotten during a scary surgery my fiance needed (he has lymphoma). I recite it to myself when things get difficult. "Left foot, right boot, BREATHE" Hopefully you can store it up in your heart and tell it to yourself on the hard days.

  24. Hi,
    My name is Samantha Oberkramer, I have been reading through your blog the past few days, and listened to the Link you posted today! Your story is sad, yet Inspirational. I have cried soo much reading your stories! I can't tell you how much I hurt for you! I am so very sorry this happened. But just from what I have read,you are truley a very strong woman!! I have soo much faith in you! I have followed your blog and will continue following your blog, I am an Air force wife and we have one kid a daughter thats 4 yrs old! I look up to you, its been sooo hard for you, but yet how strong you have been through all of it!!!I know I don't know you, but I would say Your husband is looking down on you and is full of joy for how inspirational you have been to SO MANY PEOPLE!! I would say he would want nothing more than for you to be happy!Even though its so hard to be happy sometimes! You just look at your beautiful baby girl and remember! Your an amazing and strong woman, with a BEAUTIFUL BABY GIRL!!! I can't say I know how you feel, because I don't at all, I can only imagine How I would feel this happening and us having a daughter also! You are a true inspiration! I will continue following you blog! I will always keep you in our prayers! May god be with You and Ariana and give you strength! Your an amazing and strong woman, don't ever forget that! I am so sorry for your loss!

  25. I saw the link on facebook to the NPR story, and it's so beautiful. I loved listening to Ari coo. Rachel, you're so amazing, and I still appreciate every time I read that you're sharing your story with all of us.

  26. Dear Rachel:

    Our lives could not be more different and yet after hearing the NPR story about your family and the loss of your husband - I felt compelled to write. And here's why -
    At 40 years old, never married except to a career, I am pregnant with the child of a Special Forces officer that may never know his child. I found so much strength in your story, courage, choices for how to face the total rearrangement of your life's plans. I too have chosen to write through the pain, bewilderment, and complete lunacy of suddenly being pregnant at 40 and single. But my excitement about this life growing inside me trumps all negative emotions, as long as they take reasonable turns at the wheel. When they all try to drive at once - it gets a little hairy. But I'm pretty sure you understand.

    Wishing you strength, health and peace for you and Miss A.


  27. I wish I knew the words to say to take away all your pain and suffering. The words you write and have written on your blog have reached across vast spans of country and ocean, to touch the hearts and lives of so many. I'm an Army Reserve Wife, we've been through one deployment and always waiting for word of the next one. I have not been where you are, but can only imagine and imagining is nothing to what the reality is I'm sure. You are so very brave. I know it may not always feel like it, but you are and there is shame in being upset that others get to welcome their soldiers home with open arms, while you didn't get that chance. Its natural. If ever you need someone to talk to, I hope you know there are so many of us who would gladly be there for you because thats what Milspouses do. I'm always here if you need a friend.


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