Sunday, October 9, 2011

As I....

As I sat this morning, on my front porch, watching the leaves dance, and the cool fall breeze brushed my face, I felt more at peace than I have in a while. Yesterday was a low day for me, a hard day. I don't like feeling that way, at all. I have not felt like that in many, many days. The thing is that I have to take a step back and re-evaluate what goes on in my heart and head. I have to think things through, and realize that everyone isn't going to understand where I am coming from, because no one walks in my shoes.
I am not afraid to say what is on my mind, or to speak what is in my heart. I have no problem coming across as a bitch, lover, mom, wife, sister, aunt, daughter or friend. I know how to use the words that I learned when I was just a wee little one.
Because of those words, I have been given a gift of word vomit.
Yep, I said it.
Definition: Opening your mouth and having everything that is inside of you spill out all at once.
I know that this should see funny, but really it isn't. It has gotten me in trouble at times, and at other times, opened up doors that hadn't been.
So, my word vomit for tonight is this...
I talked with an old, dear friend tonight. Thanks to her, I got a lot off of my chest. Things that I haven't been able to talk about with anyone, for fear of causing what is already broken to go beyond repair.
I was able to just let everything go, and to cry a little, and laugh a lot. I was able to be me for a moment in time, where I didn't have to watch what I said, or what I did, knowing that if it was not what others expected, I wouldn't be questioned to death.
I took peace in the sounds of our laughter. I took peace in the feeling of anxiety that left me when I hung up the phone with her, because that anxious feeling returned today, even watching those leaves dance, and that breeze brush my face.
I have had many people walk in and out of my life, and I know who is true. I know who is there until the end of time, no matter what. If you can't love me at my worst, you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best. And I will have bad days, and I will have moments of word vomit that you won't agree with, but I am a good person. A kind person. I am the type to pay for the car behind me at Dunkin Donuts, just to pay it forward a little because I never know what kind of day anyone is having. I try to smile and make eye contact.
Because you can tell.
You can see it if you really look.
You can see sadness, happiness, fear, rage, can see it all in the eyes. And when you see it, don't ignore it, do something about it. Even if it is something as simple as holding a door, or making up the extra change that the mom with three kids in front of you doesn't have.
I want to be happy. I want to live free. These are things that evade me sometimes. And I don't look for reasons to be miserable, they just seem to find me. Thank goodness I have an outlet to release what I feel......
because there are people that don't know how to. There are people that cannot let go. And this is the best way that I could ever think of for letting go. I need to let go of the negative. Need to keep the positive.
Instead of being angry that I did something for someone, and I didn't get a thank you, I need to know that I did it because I wanted to, not because I wanted recognition for it (although it is awfully nice to receive said recognition LOL)
In all fairness, I don't write my blogs because I am looking for sympathy or kind words. I write them because if I don't, then I start to implode. I hadn't realized how long it had been since I wrote anything until I started reading through.
And when I realized that, I came to see that it was time to start sharing again. Because through sharing what I am thinking, feeling, seeing, hearing, I am able to receive a chain reaction. And I never know who is going to see this, but maybe, just maybe, someone out there is feeling the same way I am. And it could be that someone just didn't think that there was anyone that was in that same place.
It helps, it really helps.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It's been a while......

I am ANGRY. No, I am PISSED OFF. That is the best way to describe how I am feeling right now. I am pissed off at the world, and there is nothing that anyone can do about it without walking in my shoes.
I am tired of having to explain myself to anyone, doesn't matter who. I am tired of having to try and help people understand that what goes on inside of me, the neverending whirlwind of anxiety and depression, is something that I have to fight with everyday.
Every single day is a struggle for me. Whether it be a simple task of doing a load of laundry, or taking out the trash, even just getting out of bed. I don't want to. I want the world to go away, and to just hole myself up where no one can see me, talk to me, ask me how I am. You wanna know how I am? Read the above first two lines.
I pour my time and energy into my family and my friends. I reap the rewards of smiles that wouldn't be there, and laughter that is brought on by being together. I see someone having a hard time, I want to do something to fix it, because that is what I do. I am a fixer. I am only now just realizing, I cannot and never will be able to, fix everything. I can't mend a broken heart. I can't heal a pain that I don't understand. I can't reach out to someone who doesn't want to let people in. I can't, I can't, I can't. I hate those words. I can do those things, because I am a force of nature. I am one who doesn't take no for a an answer, because that is how I was raised, that is who I am.

I miss my husband. I am pissed off becuase of all of the firsts that he has missed. I miss my family being whole, and who we all are when together. I feel broken when we are apart. And I can't fix that without breaking more hearts along the way, inlcuding my own. Sometimes, the breath is knocked right out of me when I go to tell my husband something and realize that he isn't there. And not only is he not there, but the only thing I can do is TRY to send a text message that I am not sure will ever get there because he is out to sea most of the time. And when we do talk, we connect. We meet somewhere in the middle and for just a moment in time, I feel whole again. Like the piece of me that was missing has finally found its way back home.
My kids miss their father. When their little hearts are breaking, and they want to know when dad is coming home again, I am the one left with the job of telling them that it is three months away, or two weeks away, and the only joy I get from being the one to tell them is that I can surprise them when I know he is coming and they don't. THOSE are moments I would never take back.
I'm trying to figure out what I do wrong....not a pity party, what did I do to deserve this...but instead trying to figure out the wrong choices I have made, and trying to make the right ones. So far, I have barely succeeded. I have been told that I am doing things wrong, that people don't agree with my decisions as a parent, or as a person. That I do this too much, and that too little. I have definitely learned who I can talk to, and who I cannot. Who I can be myself with, and who I have to put that happy face on for. I have tried. I have tried hard.
In my efforts, I am raising my children on my own. I am keeping my marriage together through text messages and here and there phone calls. I help my friends and family when they need it, if I can do it. I am trying to breath without feeling like I am gasping for air...which isn't everyday, but when it does happen, it is not something I can really control. I paste that smile on my face, and don't feel it in my heart.
My heart has been broken, and glued back together again. Like humpty dumpty. I have picked up the pieces of betrayal, outrage, and hurt, and put them all in the trash can, and pulled up my big girl panties and moved on. But I don't know if I can do it anymore, because to be honest, I am really really PISSED OFF.
People think they have a right to say things that they don't. And they think that it is out of " good intentions" when in fact, all it is is hurtful, and just mean. And when I fight back, I get burned, repeatedly.
People don't know how to be kind, courteous, respectful, even thankful. They don't know how simple it could be to just say a kind word, not just to me, but anyone.
Hey, you're doing a great job, I am proud of you. I admire what you are doing. I'm here if you need me, and I really mean it....those are some of the biggest things.

I just really need to get some stuff off of my chest. And as I sit here tonight,tears rolling down my face, chest tight, I don't know if it did me good, or bad, but I know that I said what was in my heart. And that is all that we can do. Be honest, be good, be kind. You never know what a difference it will make in a persons life, including mine.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It has been months since I have been on here, and I thought that tonight was an opportunity that I could not pass up!
I was watching an episode of Criminal Minds tonight, and it was a good one. HOWEVER, the reaction that it warranted from me was not one that I expected....The ending of the episode was emotional, and mother nature being what it is, well, let's just say the emotions are running high right now.
Anyhow, I started tearing up, and then one fell, and then they allllllll came tumbling down like a waterfall.
As I sat here, pondering, as I am sobbing, as to what the root of my problem may be, I came to the conclusion that it is another "moment" in the life of me.
My husband has been gone now for a little over two months, and for the most part, I THINK that I have done very well. I have become an EXPERT at hiding away, avoiding phone calls, and only coming out to play when I feel like it, which isn't very often.
I try to keep my routine to a minimal stress, which does not tend to happen, but I am also the mother of three children who keep me on my toes, the owner of a house that isn't going to clean itself. There is laundry to be done, before the pile swallows me whole...I swear that it whispered to me the other day as I walked by the laundry room door *CLEAN ME!* Ugh. I HATE laundry!
There is a dog who is neurotic, and smelly, but I love him, and there is the ever present absence of a key member of our little family in the form of my husband, a United States Sailor.

That being said, I would like to explain a few things.
It is NONE of your damn business how much money we make while my husband is deployed.
We could make a million dollars for the nine months that he is missing, and then some, and it STILL would not compare to the price that we pay in having to have him in the middle of some foreign war for months on end, with our only comminications being an email (that MAY or MAY NOT GO THROUGH) and a phone call, if we are lucky enough. We are doing what we have to do to get by. Do NOT question me on the way that I run things. Do NOT judge me if I do not have the mental capacities to be whoever I am expected to be. I am who I am, and if you don't like it, then don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!

I need help, all the time. I am too proud to ask, I won't ask but a few people, but if you know I am having a hard time, don't say to me when I finally break, "why didn't you ask for help?" Because you IDIOT! I shouldn't have to!
I help whoever I can, when I can. No questions asked, I do not judge, I do not worry, I do not penalize. I just do it, because I can. Becuase I WANT to. Because I am more aware of the things that go on around me than the average person, moreso than people think. I am VERY in tune with the feelings of others, and I ALWAYS try to take people's feelings into consideration. THAT being said, how about taking MINE into onsideration for once?
In this life, I have learned who to rely on, and who not to. I have learned the value of a dollar. Of opting to put food on the table over paying a cell phone bill. I have learned how to make a meal out of three ingredients, to the point that it could feed as many as needed. I have also learned that our children are the three strongest rocks that I have. They are the ones that pick up those pieces on my "days". They are the ones, picking away with me at the laundry, and the chores, and the picking up of the insane dog's crap.
I do not go to church. I did, but it wasn't for me, where I was.
I LOVE to sing, and play piano, but I don't have time to do those things.
I want to go back to school. I want to become a business owner, and open my own restaraunt.
I want to start my own catering business. I want to be a good wife and a good mother, daughter, sister, friend....I want to be all of those things and more.
But I WILL NOT ask forgiveness if I fall short. I will NOT apologize for a bad day, or for being ANGERY because of the fact that I am missing my husband and my children are missing their father. I will NOT accept ONE MORE PERSON telling me that I knew the life that I was getting into when I married Dennis, because even 14 years later, it IS NOT easier. Walk in my shoes, and THEN you can criticize me, but you won't. Because it will be understood exactly what it is that I do. Why it is that I feel the way that I feel. How it is to hurt, and have to comfort little hearts and big ones be the strong one, when all you want is to break down.
So , that is how much we make. We make it in missed birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. We make it with miles and months, and years separating us. We make all the milestones that are taken for granted by the average person.....and we deposit THAT into our bank accounts.
Let's much of a check would you write for a life that is lead like this?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I want to thank you...for giving me the best days of my life....

Your eyes are the color of the ocean when the sun sets, and the entire ocean explodes into greens and blues...I always think of you when that happens....
That is what my husband told me way back when, before I called him my partner for life...and that is what he still says to me to this day...and all I have to say to him is ,"say it..." and he knows what I am talking about.
Only a sailor would know what that means, because only a sailor has witnessed such a gift of nature and God..
The gifts that I have received in this life, I don't think that I say thank you enough for, and I thought that tonight, in the midst of an emotional day, I would take the time to do just that....

I am thankful that I have a husband who loves me, honors me and cherishes me. Who has stood by me through the good, the bad and the ugly. Who watched me leave in my mind back in January, and instead of checking out himself, held me when I cried, and kissed away my tears, who has loved me even when I haven't been able to love myself.

I am thankful that I have three BEAUTIFUL children.
My oldest, Angel, a name very fitting. I ask, she gives. Sometimes, she doesn't want to, but she always does. When she knows I am hurting, she rubs my neck and back. When she sees that I have nothing left to give, she picks up the slack. She makes dinners, she does household work along with me. She helps me make it through my days, even though I know her days are rough too. I haven't always been there for her when she has needed me, but I have done the best that I know how, and I am proud to know that I am raising a beautiful, bright, loving, empathetic young lady who is going to do great things in this world...her purpose is higher than even she can imagine right now. My little Hootie is no longer little :(
My middle, Dani, my beautiful, loving sunshine ladybug..
Always singing, always dancing. Giggling beyond insanity. Loving her life, and the lives of those who surround her. Asking for little, and giving back so much. She too, when she knows I am hurting will rub my hands, or paint my toenails, just to give mommy some TLC. Always quick with a hug and a kiss...I am proud of my beautiful little stinkerbelle...who is turning into such an amazing, talented beautiful young lady....both of my girls are going places that no one knows yet, not even them....
And my youngest, my son, Dennis.
With a heart of gold, and a smile that melts my heart every day. He has a beautiful mind. He is a peaceful little man, doesn't like conflict. And when there is conflict,and he sees that I am hurting, I always get an I love you mommy, or you're beautiful mommy...what can I do to help...he loves to play around with me. He loves to laugh with me, he loves to have me all to himself, but he understands when I just don't have enough to go around....
My beautiful, amazing children are my gifts. I have sometimes taken them for granted, and I wish that I could take those moments back, but I can't. I can only be the best mom that I know how. And pray to GOD that I have done right by them...that they will be everything that I know they can be...a Doctor, a Singer, an Artist, a military servicemember....the sky is the limit...
The best days of my life, I have given to my family....and they in turn have rewarded me with hopes and dreams and happiness and smiles and gratitude and love...things that way back when I never would have though would make me feel as peaceful as I do...
Thank you for the some of the best days of my life....Dennis, Angeline, Danielle, and are my EVERYTHING. My ENTIRE world...and I love you all more than I could possibly begin to explain....

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I have just realized that it has been almost a year since I had my breakdown..
I thought about this today as I was baking my banana apple muffins, and my best friend was cooking her apple crisp.
I thought of it as I held my amazing new little "neice" in my arms and felt particularly thankful that that day back in January I didn't do what I had so desperately wanted to do...
And in reminiscing upon that, I have decided that I am now going to share my story.
I am not looking for sympathy, or pity. I am not looking for words of understanding. What I am looking for is a way to help another...someone who feels the way that I felt back then, the way that I still feel sometimes now.
Dealing with such a burden is like juggling glass balls. You never know when you are going to drop one and have them all shatter soon thereafter...

Back in January of 09...the last week to be exact, I had what has been classified as a nervous breakdown. It all began on a Sunday, and it "ended" the following Monday...
I awoke that day like any other normal day. I usually overthink too much to begin with, but for whatever reason may be, I was not able to shut my mind off. My husband was getting ready to transfer, without us. My oldest daughter was going into high school. My middle daughter was going to junior high. My son had ADHD and I was fighting with our insurance to get him properly diagnosed. Christmas had come and gone, New years had come and gone. I felt like my life was passing me by, and I was no longer a part of it.

In this particular week, things went from bad to worse. I was watching my two neices then, full time. Overstressed, and without resources, I guess that everything finally caught up to me.
I would go to "bed", and instead of sleeping, would lay there, eyes wide open. Things would just run through my head. What if's that I had no control over. I have always been a very skeptical person, but this was ridiculous! When I would sleep, I would have HORRIBLE nightmares of things that are never going to happen, worst case scenarios that you read about and think, thank you God for keeping me safe. Things that are unimaginable, but nonetheless had invaded my dreams. My husband was right next to me, and more than once, I would wake in a terror induced sweat that I couldn't come down from. So, I would go downstairs, and I would just lay on the couch until day was to come again.
And every day, my neices were dropped off. And everyday, I tried to act like nothing was going on.
I would eat, I would throw it up.
I would sit, and my heart would start to pound.
I would go to the grocery store, and after an hour of shopping, leave me cart in the middle of the store full of food because my world was spinning, and I had no way to stop it.
I would cry at the drop of a hat.
I tried to surround myself with my loved ones, I thought that would help. I tried to keep a smile on my face, even though inside, I was crumbling like the twin towers.
I didn't have the energy to face this horrible, awful pain, and yet, it wouldn't leave me alone. It was like a silent monster, just growing and growing.....eating me alive.

That Thursday, I was with my best friend all day long...she went home at 7 that night. We had eaten dinner together, and my husband wasn't home from work yet.
When she left, the kids went up to shower and get ready for school the next day, and what came next can only be described as rock bottom. My own personal hell.
My heart pounding. My head spinnning. My palms throat closing in, the room spinning and then swallowing me like a big black hole.
I called my sister in law...sobbing. I didn't make sense to me, much less to her. She was completely taken aback, but as supportive as she could be.. But I didn't know who else to call, who else wouldn't immediatley jump to a conclusion, or worse not listen and just offer their own opinion. (love you J) (we agreed that I would go to the doctor the next day)
I vomited three more times before my husband walked through the door. When he finally did, I could see the concern written all over his face, but there were no words. I could offer him NO comfort that everything would be ok, because it wasn't. And I didn't know if it would be.
I wanted to STOP feeling this everlasting pain in my heart, in my head...directly into my soul.
I wanted to STOP crying, to feel SOME joy, some relief...I was EXHAUSTED.
Emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually...everything felt like it was an effort, even breathing.....and that scared the living hell out of me.

I called my doctor's office the next morning. I asked for an appointment, and when the receptionist asked for what....I couldn't even get the words out. All I could say was,"I need help before I do something that I cannot take back." Something must have told her that this was serious enough, and I was in within an hour or so.
My nurse took my blood pressure, through the roof.
I know I looked like hell, I was working off of four hours of sleep.
I know that I was discombobulated, I know that I looked and sounded like a crazy person....BUT I also know that I have been blessed, and fortunate enough to find a practice that consists of THE most caring people in the healthcare profession.
When I started to tell my nurse what had been going on, the tears FLOWED...I could not stop them, I did not WANT to stop them. To finally speak about it, I felt empowered, like I had somehow taken back a little bit of the control.
She hugged me, she told me it was ok...and offered me a tissue, which of course made me cry even harder.
My doctor came in to see me within a matter of minutes..
In my 45 minute consultation, I just poured out everything that I had been feeling. The feelings of desperation, hopelessness, suffocation, the way my body hurt (another sign of depression), the way that my heart hurt (breaking in pieces at what was coming) the way that I so badly no longer wanted to feel that way, and the things that I had considered doing to STOP feeling that way....I was terrified, and he knew it.
At first, he thought that it was all about Denins leaving, and actually wanted to write me a prescription stating that I had to move with him....but that wasn't all of it.
I had been diagnosed with depression years before. I had already been on medication. I was also diagnosed with Bi-Polar, but for both had not been on meds for a very long time. I didn't have the support I needed in order to make myself better back then...
After receiving all of the information that he needed, I was diagnosed with:
Severe depression
Severe anxiety
Panic disorder
There you have it ladies and gents, I was officially crazy....
He put me on 60 mg of Cymbalta.
I left, and I went to lunch with my aunt.
I took my little pill....AKA Happy Pill.
I ate my lunch.
I felt somewhat better.
Four hours later.....
I came home, and I called my dad. I spoke with him, and I remember laying on my bed saying, "daddy, what is wrong with me? Why am I feeling like this? I feel empty, and lost, and horrible, and my skin"......all the while, I lay there itching to the point where I had scratched open scratches into my arm...rubbed it raw...
I jumped off the bed,, I have to go....
Pacing..back and forth, back and forth...breath in, breath out...getting dizzy...
My mom calls back, and asks if I need her to come over...mommy, would you please?

My kids weren't home from school yet,but they walked in to their mother completely having checked out of the building...laying in their grandmothers lap.
I laid there for three and a half hours. I woke only in spurts, because I had taken sleeping medecine that the doc had also prescribed. My husband called the doc, he was instructed that I wasn't to take the pills again, as I had a rare reaction to them.
When I would wake, I would find that my son was sitting at my feet, staring at me helplessly. Ten years old.
My daughters had made dinner and cleaned the house.
My husband had come home to rub my feet and ask if I was ok..
I was devestated.
I had wanted a band-aid on my owie, and I was bleeding straight through it.
I laid in my wonderful mothers lap like that, her hand stroking my head over and over again. The smell of her filling my nose, and the peace of having her there enveloping me. I have never needed my mother like that in my adult life....and everyday, I am thankful that I have her now, and I had her then when I did.
I slept on the couch for the next few days. Tried as I might, I was not able to walk up the stairs into my bedroom. The effort was too much.
I returned to the doctor that following Tuesday, and we came to the conclusion that I am a sensitive person...meaning that I have a very low tolerance for medication and the effects that it has on me...
So he began me on 25 mg of Zoloft. And .25 mg of xanax and 250 mg of soma (muscle relaxer to help me sleep)
That was in the first week of February.
I am now on 150 mg of the zoloft.
And I only have to take the xanax on particularly difficult days. They are from the same drug family, and they both help with the anxiety and panic, so these days are much easier than the ones back then.
I knew it was only a matter of time before that happened to me...
before all of my glass balls broke.
I knew that if I didn't get help that my beautiful, bright, loving amazing, loving beautiful husband, my family that I have been blessed with, my friends that have become family to me...I knew that I would no longer be here to share their lives...I knew this because back in that week of January 09, I hit rock bottom, and I wanted to die.

I have chosen to share this because of the fact that people in my position find that they aren't alone when they choose to share what they have experienced. And that is exactly what I have found.....I am not alone. Even when I THOUGHT I was, God was walking beside me, and my friends and family rallied around me.
The thing is....when you are where I have been, where I sometimes still go, it is hard to know that there is someone out there that loves you because all you can think of is this emptiness inside of you. You don't stop to think of the people that it would hurt, of the things that you would miss, of the wonderfulness that truly is life..
I am thankful for each and every day. I try to give back what I recieve. I have found that I am truly truly blessed, and when I forget that, I think back to then....and I know that as long as I remember, I will never be there again.
I will ASK for help.
Most of all, I will love myself, and I will accept what life has to offer with an open heart and an open mind.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So...picking up where I left off....
I knew I would marry this wonderfully amazing man...and in the year that followed, I received 25 letters from him. At that time, there was no e mail, or texting in the Navy. I was a single mom of this beautiful little girl, and I was having a rough time in my life. He was getting me through some of my toughest struggles. Eventually, we came to the conclusion that we would marry someday, in the future, and had talked about it alot. The thing was that God had a different plan for us.
When my baby girl was a year old, Dennis brought me, my baby girl, and his mom out to WA state where he was stationed. That is where the real story begins.
I was so nervous. I wasn't just nervous, I was scared. I had just turned 22, and wasn't sure where my life was going. I had signed up to go to nursing school, had been accepted, and finally had an idea that my life was going to head down that path.
Needless to say, on the second to last day there, we went to a place called Bouchard Gardens in Victoria, Canada.
To say that this place was beautiful is a COMPLETE understatement (I will post pics). It set the mood for romance, and love and I felt whole for the first time in a really long time.

We came back from that trip, we talked, we laughed, and this is where our life began...along with another little life much to my surprise not too long after LOL
I found out I was pregnant.

I didn't tell him right away. I left and went to NC with my very good friend, Betsy, to visit her family (anyone remember the Wheatley's?) And there, I had to decide my lifes choice.
I had to let Dennis decide with me..
THAT conversation went something like this...
Hey baby, how are you?
Long day he says...worked 18 hours. On a good note, went and found a truck, and I am getting out and coming home...
*cue the drop of the heart into the stomach on my part*
I said, are you sitting down?
He says...yeah....
I said I am pregnant.
His response?
Well, the pregnancy test says otherwise..

It wasn't what we planned, it wasn't what we expected, but here was this life altering decision to be made, and it had to be made soon.
I asked him if he was ok...of course he wasn't.....and neither was I.
I gave him three days to think about what he wanted to do. I told him to call me back and we would talk some more.

My beautiful husband didn't wait three days...he didn't even wait three HOURS....
He called me back...and this is what followed...

I have loved you for as long as I can remember. I always knew that I would marry you (and so did many other people although we laughed it off at the time) so, let's do this. Let's get married....
Nerves, excitement, fear, happiness, love...all of those emotions at once is a LOT for a girl to handle....but three weeks later, we were married. In front of our family, and our friends.
The day we got married, his brother graduated from high school. His family went to the graduation, and instead of a party for his brother afterwards, we were married in a little restaraunt on Lakeshore drive...
Our daughter was my miniature bride. All of our little cousins wore Navy style dresses and outfits...
I was SO nervous...we sat in the limo, me and my bridesmaids (my sister and sister in law) and I was SO nervous that I told the limo driver to just go around the block...
I kept saying to Bethany...I can't believe I am marrying your brother! I can't believe that I am marrying Dennis Parker!! LOL
Needless to say, no wedding goes off without some sort of hitch...and the music started for my bridesmaids and I to walk down the aisle....but WE WEREN'T there!!! Because my nerves got the best of me!!!.
His dad leaned over and told him he was off the hook! LOL

We got back, and everything went nerves were shot, my best friend and father walked me down the aisle in the beautiful wedding gown that my mother had found for me before I ever got back from NC and my dad leans over and whispers this term of endearment in my ear...."just remember, pink elephants!"

Our wedding was put together in THREE weeks time.
We said our vows, we were introduced as husband and wife, and that was the story of our beginning.....
That night, I sang Where've you Been? by Kathy Mattea to him....see previous I sat on his lap. I could not look my husband in the eye because I knew if I did, I would surely burst into tears, and that is not what I wanted to do. I wanted him to know how very very much I loved him....and apparently, everyone else knew it too because there wasn't a dry eye in the room.
We all danced, and we all laughed, and ate, and a beautiful beginning was had that night.

When we left our wedding, we went to our hotel room. I removed the 128 bobby pins from my hair...looking like a wild woman...LOL And he removed the 32 pins that were down my back because even though I had been fitted just a week before for the dress, my nerves had gotten the best of me, and I had lost MORE weight before my wedding day....and we didn't have your typical "wedding night". We were EXHAUSTED.....

And I need to back track a minute because there is something that I did not add here...
Dennis was still stationed in WA state....he flew in the day before our wedding.
I went to the airport to get him, and as I am standing there, looking for this man and not finding him very heart started to pound. I thought for sure he had changed his mind...that somehow he suddenly didn't want me like that anymore....
And then a perfect stranger walked up and handed me a rose...
And then another stranger with another rose....until I finally had six people hand me roses, and there was my soon to be husband.....
He slipped my engagement ring on my hand...and my heart was filled with so much love and happiness...

Going back to the wedding night....we fell asleep next to each other....what we would do for years to come, God willing he wasn't pulled out on deployment....
The next morning, we went to my mom and dad's house to have breakfast, and although it was a happy was sad too.

I had lived in Upstate NY my entire life. I had never left, other than to go to CT to visit family, and that had been when I was younger...

I was no longer just Hootie's mommy, I was now Dennis's wife...and he was now my husband and Hootie's daddy....(he gave her the most beautiful necklace on our wedding day....a heart with an angel on it engraved with the angeline love, daddy. And we still have it )

And in being Dennis's wife, I had an even bigger responsibility than I could ever had imagined.
I didn't just marry Dennis Parker, I had married the United States Navy.

We were home in NY for about two more weeks after that....and as the day of leaving approached, the sadness grew...
The night before we left, it was a night filled with tears and sadness.
I saw my dad cry for the first time in my life. Not just a few little tears. This was my daddy crying because his first born daughter was leaving. Not just to move down the road, but to move THREE THOUSAND miles away.
We weren't old pros at goodbye. My family is where I began....and now I had a new life, and a new family to begin with all over again. Tears flowed, memories were talked about, we laughed...and everyone tried to avoid what we knew was coming the next morning.

The day we left. It was the hardest day of my life.
Angeline did NOT understand what was going on. I don't even think that I fully understood it. I know I didn't. These people that loved me, through thick and thin, better and worse, sickness and health, took care of me and rallied around me when no one else would.......they wouldn't be there every day like that had been for 22 years. THAT scared the HELL out of me.

We left. We said our goodbyes, and halfway up the road, we realized that Angeline had forgotten "B"...her blanket that she had with her at all times since birth....She was SO quiet..SO confused...and even at one and a half, sad. We turned right around and went back and got it.
My mom came out holding it, brother couldn't even come out to say good bye. He stayed in his room...He is the one that nicknamed her hootie after all.
My sister had left, and my dad was very very quiet.

Having to leave a SECOND time, I can't say that it was any easier..

We drove that LONG drive back to WA state...HOURS in the car. Morning sickness hitting me left and right, and I was thirsty, then I had to pee because when I was thirsty I wanted that big gulp. Dennis and I had our first arguement in the car....LOL
We got to WA state, and we lived in an apartment with another couple. They had their side, we had ours. It wasn't long though before we had our own place....
A three bedroom apartment. On the very top. With no friends, and no family. It was a very very lonely place to be.
Dennis and I, we loved each other, but we didn't have your typical courtship...we were a ready made family, and in January of that year, we welcomed our little Stinkerbelle...
There were no grandparents, aunts or uncles there, just Dennis, angeline, myself and our new baby girl...we announced her arrival through long distant phone calls, and after hanging up, a lot of tears followed.

We brought our baby girl home....22 year old parents, and a newborn and her 3 year old sister...
I was SO sad.
I wanted my mom.
I wanted my dad.
I wanted my sister.
I wanted my brother.
I wanted my grandpa, and my aunt and cousins.....
But I had to pull up my big girl panties, and I had to make the best out of what we had.

My new in laws came to visit the week after danielle was born. My father in law (who I am now very close to) brought me a beautiful necklace with a heart shaped locket on it ....I still have that too.
When they left, I cried for a week straight.
My sister, and mom and brother came when she was about a month old..I hadn't seen them since July...and it was January. It was the longest I had gone without seeing my family.
It was whirlwind. The time flew with both visits, and I didn't want them to go. I wanted to tear up their plane and train tickets and just keep them there with me....but they had their own lives to get back to, and I had mine.

When everyone had come and gone, Dennis's ship had decided to be moved about two hours away from where we lived. Which meant that Dennis was only home from Friday night until Sunday morning....I was on my own.

Then, one day, I get this knock on the door.
The woman that lived three floors below me had come, thinking that she had gotten some of my mail. She introduced herself to me, stacey Deyo. Congratulated me on the baby, and told me if I needed anything, anything at all, she was right there.

I just want the whole world to know that THAT woman....SHE was my saving grace 13 years ago. If it were not for her, I would have lost my mind. She was the first Navy wife I had ever met, and we were inseperable from there on out....I found out later that the supposed piece of mail that she thought was mine....yes, it was actually hers!! LOL
We did everything together....talked, laughed, drank, hung out with the kids, ate dinners together...we were the best of friends....and to this day, I still have her in my life. Not the way that I would like...she is in Michigan, and I am here, but I love her as much as I did back then, and I am forever indebted to her for saving me the way she did....and I hope she knows that.

We moved from WA state about nine months after moving TO WA state.
This time, it was a journey to Fallon, NV.....
And that, my dear friends, is where another story begins....
But, before I end this one....I want to say something.

I never knew what it was like to be on my own. I have a family that loves me, supports me, guides me, and makes me believe in myself, even when I don't. We have our ups and downs, our ins and outs, but they are there when it counts, and that is all that matters.
I have had it said to me more than once in the past 13 years that I knew what I was getting into when I married Dennis...with him being in the military.
I had NO IDEA.
My husband is a good man. He believes in what he does for our country. And our lives together have been altered because of this life that we lead, more than an average marriage would.
We are STRONGER. We are BETTER. Our LOVE is unbreakable.
Our FAMILY is our everything....and we believe that everything that we have done, everything that we are doing is for the good of our family....
People out there that don't support the military families, or even people that DO and just don't get what we go through, they are the reasons that I am sharing this.
I want people to know what this life is like. What they have to be thankful for...and even though they may not believe in what is happening, our husbands, wives, children and loved ones...they are the ones caught in the crossfires of one man's decision (the President) because they believed in a higher purpose....
I am PROUD to be a Miltary Wife. I am PROUD of my United States Chief. I am PROUD to know not just people in the USN, but all of the other branches of our military as well....
And, I am comforted in the fact that I know, as I tell these stories for my own personal reason, that I am not alone....and that I never really was.

My good friend Amber, from back in the day read my previous entry to this blog. She had to go digging because she found this, and she is the one that took it.

Dennis entered boot camp back in July of 92, this pic was taken in August of 92....we were married in June of 96....and time marches on.....