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Bitter Sweet

2020 has been interesting to say the least. 
It’s been full of twists and turns.
The unexpected.
Now I hear the saying “well, it is 2020.”
You could consider 2020 to be an unfavorable year. 
Can you be led to unfavorable situations and not become bitter? 
Can you drink from a bitter pool and not let the water make you bitter on the inside too? 
We all have unfavorable situations in our lives. To say that seems redundant. Seriously, though it seems like this year is full of them. 2020 seems to kick us when we are down and then come back to kick us over and over again. 
Making sure that we don’t get up. Hopeful that we will stay full of fear, anger and hate.
2020 seems to have a never-ending faucet of bitterness.
Can we push forward towards the last months of this year without allowing all of the bitterness of 2020 to infect the inside of our hearts and souls? 
Can we look back and find the hidden gems of joy throughout 2020? Yeah it was rough but there had to have been good things! 
I asked my boy…
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Just Dreaming

Dreams, goals, aspirations.
We all have them, some may be small or large. Either way we have them.
I was told a couple years back that it was time for me to dream again. I was taken back by it at first, what are my dreams? I couldn’t answer the question. I don’t have time for dreaming or at least I didn’t. 
I was thinking about this blog today, about what I needed to write next. The day was kind of crazy, since October it’s been kind of crazy. Things breaking - big things, and not little, inexpensive things. Things that were not budgeted for and darn it we are trying to pay off the kitchen update and Suburban. The faucet is leaking, not just a little anymore and we can’t put off buying a new one any longer. Both front windshields on our vehicles grew massive cracks in the cold, and the Impala’s had to be completely replaced. 
The bedroom fan motor all of the sudden just stopped during the night, and we use that fan even when its below zero outside! Oh and our vacuum, stopped suddenly …

The Lies We Tell Ourselves

Hi.My name is Kelsi and if I am being completely honest with myself I have been avoiding writing this post for a very long time. One thing I didn't realize would come with the territory of Jason's injuries would be that I often feel unseen, unheard, unnoticed, and invisible.

It may sound petty probably even selfish. Bear with me for a moment and walk into this with some grace as I explain.

I think the feeling of being unseen may have started when someone said "well, we didn't know if Kelsi was going to stick around," to specifically Jason as I sat next to him. Let's put that into context. Jason and I were now back in Sterling from the two and a half month adventure in the hospital. I am living with him, we are a month away from getting married, and weeks away from moving into the house we were in the process of buying.

I sat there and wondered what I had done wrong. Did she not see me, had she not noticed that I was there from the start? Around the whole time;…

Hurry Up & Heal

Pain.  The word isn’t even fun to type. Let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment; none of us really enjoy pain, and I don’t just mean physical pain but also emotional. We don’t like when we are in pain and other people’s pain makes us uncomfortable. I mean I get it. Most of the time we don’t know how to respond to people who are in pain. I’m not even sure we really know how to respond when we are in pain. It’s not something that has been openly addressed, not something generally taught and I think that is why mental and emotional health are coming to the forefront. It should be.

There is such a push to be  “okay,”  but have we even looked up the meaning to the word? Here’s the definition after Googling it - “satisfactory but not exceptionally or especially good.” I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be just okay. I want to be good, maybe even especially good. I want to be healed of past traumas and issues. Not just okay, healed.

We had been back in Sterling for almost two w…

It’s Time Now

Moving forward, maybe.   To be totally honest I remember things in bits and pieces. Most of the two and a half months I spent with Jason in the hospital were the same. We did most of the same things every day; most of the milestones memories were based on just that, his milestones and improvement.

The beginning of our journey in Bethesda Naval Hospital was about a month long. He spent equal time between the ICU and the third floor.  The third floor was preparation for him to be transferred out of the hospital to a facility that could help him rehabilitate.

Surgeries mark most of the memories of Bethesda. Jason has had two craniotomies, surgery to remove shrapnel from his brain, face and remaining eye. Shunts were placed to help release pressure from brain due to his traumatic brain injury. He no longer has the right frontal lobe of his brain. Surgery to place a tracheostomy and a feeding tube. He was left missing eight teeth; five on top and three on bottom. Massive open wounds on hi…

Hit Rewind Pt. 2

So I left you hanging, I understand it's not much fun. It's not much different from what was happening as we played the waiting game. What was going on with Jason and when would I get to be with him? Twenty-four hours passed and the information received had changed little.

I know there was one phone call that added to the first, explaining that Jason no longer had an eye, that he was blind, and still very unstable. As a result, I remember sitting at a large desktop computer after that call, searching for and researching eye transplants. Days later Marines show up at the door; a phone call was received minutes before the doorbell rang and this was to be just a prep visit.

I sat on an ottoman that day across from these men as they informed us of what was happening. It's weird because I don't remember what they said in full sentences, just keywords. Jason's brain was swelling, blood, pneumonia, no eyes, not responding to meds, and dying. It was another one of those mo…

Hit Rewind

Hit the rewind button, let's go back and replay those memories. I can remember most of it like it was yesterday. It is all still so real and tangible. I can still feel it; the pain and tears as they cloud my eyes and run down my cheeks. I'm not sure if the pain ever completely goes away. The trauma and wounds happen, they physically heal and sometimes leave scars. Sometimes scars run deep. They pull on the surrounding tissue reminding you of another time; of who you were, what you did and who you've become.

We weren't married when Jason was hurt, only engaged. We were high school sweethearts, new to this "adulting" thing, and only weeks past my nineteenth birthday. Jason, a year and a half older but none the less still fresh into the adult world. We had been engaged for 6 months and were "planning" a wedding after he returned from Iraq. Anticipating exchanging vows sometime in September of 2004 yet that was still all hearsay. If you are a military fam…