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 family you understand not everything goes as said or planned, am I right? Living life and in it for the long haul, in it for the unknown, in it because of love.
Jason's dad got the call March 29, 2004; Jason had a bomb go off in front of him, he had severe and life-threatening wounds to his face and chest. More information will be provided in 24 hours, survival was not likely but more information would be gained as time passed.
I was running to the bathroom trying to not wet my pants (remember I said real) when the phone rang at my parent's home that afternoon. This was before cell phones were as popular as they are now, I may be dating myself but the phone was connected to a landline! I ran to the phone in hopes it was Jason calling, I had missed the last phone call from him while he was in Kuwait. Unfortunately, it wasn't who I expected and it was news that changed everything. I listened, hung up the phone, and stared at my reflection in the bathroom mirror in shock. I didn't cry, I didn't move, I didn't know what to do.
Eventually calling my mom, I let her know what was going on and waited for Jason's dad to pick me up. There wasn't much for a conversation on the way to inform Jason's mom. I didn't cry until after she was told. Everything was becoming more real the more it was said. Reality comes crashing in whether you know what to do or not, whether you say it out loud or don't.
That night I sat at the top of the stairs in Jason's childhood home and cried. I sat there by myself, cried and prayed. Jesus and I hadn't been very tight for a while but where do you turn when there is nowhere else to go? I prayed and I released my will. My will of all that we had dreamt about together; being married, doing life together, our future children, and everything that happens in between while growing old together.
I let him go and I prayed that God would take Jason if he was suffering. I didn't want Jason to suffer (I had no reference for traumatic events and the lasting results to his body at this point) and I loved him enough to lay down everything I wanted. I wasn't praying for Jason to die; I loved him and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I was releasing him; releasing him in a situation I had no control of, releasing my "right" to make things work or find some sort of "control" and releasing all that I wanted. I released him but prayed for him to live, I know it sounds so oxymoronic but it's the truth. I released control of everything that happened from that point on.
The one thing I didn't release was pursuing Jason and going after him no matter what. I moved into Jason's childhood home that night and didn't look back.
Then the waiting game began...