That's what they say I am, anyway. Right? Everything is about "survivors." Counseling for survivors... organizations for survivors... survivor benefits... etc etc etc. I used to scoff at the word survivor. I didn't feel much of a survivor but as the one left behind. Doesn't sound as regal as survivor, does it? But that's what I thought. Now, a year (and 3 days) later, I see it. Survivor.

I have survived. I've made it a year through widowhood. As I post this now I think to myself isn't this the exact day I was posting about becoming a widow? I'm not sure, I'd have to check... Weird.

Please excuse me, my thoughts are hectic, probably the reason I've been avoiding blogging. With the one year mark of the angelversary comes so many thoughts. Good ones, bad ones. I feel almost proud of myself. I've made it. And I feel deeply, deeply sad. It hits hard. Balancing all these feelings is like that rock-weight game. Ya know where you gotta find the right rocks to put on both sides of the scale to make them even but they're always just a teensy bit off? Yeah... I go back and forth. I miss him more each day and I've been flooded with memories. Memories of the knock, the doorbell ringing. Memories of the news. The transfer. The funeral. But I just can't stop thinking "wow... I've actually made it." No matter how crazy it's been, I've made it a year. A year is a long time. I hate how long it is because it's how long I've been here but I've been surviving. It gives me hope that maybe I'll be ok in the long run. Maybe. I try to over run the memories of this time last year with memories from before. I tell stories, even though they seem like the same stories over and over because our time was so limited (that always kills me) I tell them anyway. It's weird because earlier today I was trying to remember what I did last year for St Patty's Day. Right away I thought, Oh yeah I was pregnant. Then it hit me. No, you weren't. It was days after you found out, you weren't celebrating a silly holiday. I went back to thinking of the pregnant memory instead, it's much more preferable to St Patty's Day last year (which wasn't even St Patty's Day at all, it was just March 17th... I think that's why I skipped it in my memory bank, of course my mind didn't register it last year...)

I was flooded with thoughts and prayers on the 14th from people all over. It meant a lot to know how many people were thinking of me - made me feel less alone. I have finally conquered all my firsts and there are still people standing by my side. I'm not walking this journey alone and even though sometimes I feel like I do - I don't have to. I don't. Even if the world walked out, Jonathan would still be there in some way, some how. He always is and I don't doubt he always will be. But these messages, they came from all over, from family, friends and strangers and they let me know that my husband and his sacrifice are not forgotten. If people forget about me that's whatever but it is important to me to know that people won't forget about him. And that is what amazes me, how many people let me know they won't forget and that won't forget my little girl and me either. It means more than I can express in words.

One of my favorite people came to spend some time with me during this tough period, the wonderful Mandy... we finally met! We roadtripped on down to Florida and spent time with some of Jonny's family. It's where I felt I needed to be. Being in St Pete is tough because I always get that feeling of "he should be here" but I feel closer to him on some level as well. Once again that uneven scale of feelings. We had a nice weekend though, I enjoy spending time with his family and I love seeing Ariana get to spend time with her daddy's side of the family. Since I've been back home I go up and down. I have the days where I don't want to get out of bed and I have the days where I feel I can conquer anything. And I suppose that's just life. Not only life as a widow but life in general. You've got your good days and your bad days and you make of it what you can. I think I've made the best that I can and I will continue to make the best of what I can. It's all I really can do.

Well, I don't think this post made much sense but I had a little itch to write (haven't really gotten it in some time, hoping I get it back for good!) and wanted to let everyone know that I'm ok, I know some people were worried, and that I am so very, very thankful for all of the support.


Mr. P's birthday was last Saturday. You know, we never got to spend a single birthday together. The first birthday he was in NC and I was in MD and I sent him a birthday package, the second he was in 'Stan and I sent him a birthday package and this year he was in Heaven. I had wanted to plan a benefit concert and raise money to donate to AWP and TAPS on his birthday, but thanks to the club promoter that fell through. The weird thing is the band I wanted to play just happened to be playing in Wilmington on his actual birthday. At the same lil bar we went and saw them together. My friend happened to be in Wilmington and saw an ad for it and called right away. A couple friends and I of course headed down. I had asked them to sing him happy birthday but it had gotten over looked on the set list, so afterwards the apologized to me and sang a happy birthday to him for me privately. It was definitely pretty rad. I had a great time celebrating the birth of my love with my friends. And was once again reminded of what awesome friends I have - I love you guys!

Things have been weird lately. I've been in a funk again. Maybe it's March but I've just been so... well I guess depressed. I'd been doing alright but lately I just can't shake the "What we'd be doings" again. They creep up at the weirdest times. I know I will only make myself crazy with wondering what could have been but I can't stop it. I can't keep the feelings of how different my life would be if he were still here, and I long for it so badly. I long for what was "supposed to be." In my mind, my life is not on the track it is meant. I mean, obviously this is what is meant for my life and this is the path I was given, but it's still not right. This isn't where I should be, I should be with my one love not on this crazy train of widowhood. This whole path is pure insanity and so many days lately I just wish there were an easy button and that things would make sense. But I keep on trucking. I have no other choice and maybe one day it will all make some sort of sense... I hope. I dreamed of him the other night. I barely dream of him, and this one was a weird one. He was alive. He was in Florida. I couldn't get a hold of him though. It was like he had just picked up and moved to Florida instead of deploying and was living a whole other life. But he was alive and there was a possibility of fixing things in my mind. It's crazy but it's the truth. God, I miss him. No matter what I do I miss him. I guess people don't get that. They see me living this life and just going on and they think I move on and that it doesn't hurt but it hurts me every day. I miss him so deeply every day. I miss him, I miss our love, I miss our life.

Maybe it's the month of March... March sucks. I know this funk will pass a little bit eventually, it always does, and I'm pretty sure it'll be back again, it always does. It's a roller coaster of ups and downs. I guess I just gotta take them in stride. And I need to stop feeling sorry for myself, I've been doing that a lot lately too. I need to man up and find my backbone again. RAR!

But most importantly what I need to do right now... is study for midterms. Yup, even in beauty school we've got midterms. And I'm going to kick their ass!!

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