First of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS to all my old friends and new. DJ and I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. We are anxiously awaiting 2012 to arrive so we can start saying he'll be home "next year" as he does return home 9/9/13.
So I was reflecting today on this past year and all it has brought me. The year started out gloomy and lonely as I was facing 2011 alone for the first time in many years. My 15 year marriage had come to an end at the end of 2010. While this was definitely long overdue, it was still a big change. Spring was full of new beginnings as DJ came into my life and brought me joy and happiness I hadn't felt in years. We spent almost 3 wonderful months together before summer came and he was taken away from me bringing me heartache like i never knew. Fall showed me how strong I had to be even on those days I thought I just couldn't go on. Winter has now come and this holiday season has brought a loneliness and longing for my sweet dear husband. I'm more aware each day of how much I love and miss him.
Reflecting back on the good things I've realized not only did I gain an amazing husband, but 2 just as wonderful step kids and a "surrogate mother-in-law" who's really more like an angel. While my family has supported me, his family is what truly gives me comfort. I look at his children and see him. I look at Matt and Peachy and see him through their memories and stories. The love and support I get from them is immeasurable and I know I don't know how i'll ever be able to thank them.
Besides the new family I've gained, I've also gained a lot of new friends through some very good support groups on facebook and other networks. While there are too many to thank individually there are a few who have truly been there for me and pulled me through some very rough days. Today one of them commented about how she would continue to be here for me even after her husband comes home. It's funny because I never once questioned that. These new friends are friends because we share a bond as prison wives. It's not a fun club to be a member of but I am so very thankful for their support. I have no doubt that we will remain friends and supporters long after our husbands come home. In the meantime, we will continue supporting each other and I will do my very best to pay it forward.
So it's Christmas Eve and I'm sitting here at work while most people are spending time with their families. While it deeply saddens me that my family is not together this year or next, I know that in 2013 we will be together and that is all I want or need. I'm looking forward to 2012 and all the struggles it will bring because in the end I know what doesn't kill me will only make me stronger.
I am grateful for all the blessings I do have and I pray that everyone knows the true meaning of Christmas and that the spirit of Christmas stay with you all year long.
I am most thankful for my husband Donnie, our children Brandon, Nick, Kelsey & Noah. My parents, Courtney, Peachy & Matt. I love you all more than words could ever express.