You know what is the most amazing part of this journey?! It's the fact that I have front row seats to all of it! Let me tell you these seats are freaking amazing!!!!
In January if you would have told me that Chaz would be participating in the Army Ten Miler, I would have probably laughed in your face. In less than eight months, my hubby has healed himself enough and trained to go bike ten miles around DC to help raise money for Fisher House. It took me longer to make and have our girls and our oldest was two weeks early. WOW!!
I woke up this morning and looked at my hubby and thought to myself I am just so lucky to have him. I am so blessed to be here by his side. I am so blessed to see this man become even more amazing every day. Not a moment goes by that I don't feel so thankful that I could pop from joy over the fact that he chose me to be his wife. Gees, it's just freaking awesome. And yes girls, he's all mine, you can have a handshake, conversation or hug, but other than that forget it! ;)
Earlier this week we needed to kill some time at the hospital before our next thing on the agenda. I looked at Chaz and said, "Let's go check in on McConnell." And of course he agreed. My hubby is a natural Army leader. He just steps right up to take care of all soldiers under his rank. It makes me so proud. I was extremely proud of him as I watched him talk to Derek. You could see that Chaz was making an impact on Derek and it was great to see. Derek and Chaz need each other. Chaz is still a squad leader and he needs to lead the soldiers. Derek needs a leader who knows exactly what it feels like to lay in that bed. Derek needs to hear from someone who's been there that it will be ok. They are so great for each other.
I wish I would have taken a picture of Derek's face when we told him Chaz was biking in the Army Ten Miler this weekend. He was shocked. Chaz had to explain all of it to him. I leaned over and told Derek, "No pressure, but there's one next year too. You guys can bike together!" Derek looked at me and I said, "If Chaz can do it you can." His mom chimed in to agree with me.
Chaz took the girls down the hall for a second and Derek asked me if Chaz always looked that good. I said, "Of course not want to see?" Before he could even respond I pulled up some of the pics on my phone. Chaz had me take pictures on my phone during different phases so I could show him what things looked like when he couldn't see them. I showed them to Derek. I then said, "Remember we started in January." You could see we connected over those pics. He knew we knew exactly how he felt. I love making those connections with the other families. I love that we can heal together. It makes all of this so much easier.
You can walk around and tell someone a thousand times, "It will get better." But it means almost nothing unless it comes from someone who has walked in your shoes. I told Derek's mom Siobhan once, "I am in your shoes, I'm just a few feet ahead of you guys. One day we'll be side by side." I know it gives her great comfort talking to someone who knows exactly what this is all like. The beginning really is the highway through hell. This road hurts so bad and all you can do is keep walking forward and keep the faith that God will pull you through. You have these insanely hard days that come out of nowhere. Then one day the clouds part and it just gets better. It really happens that way. Of course we occasionally have bad days. We have always had more good days, then bad ones. Now our bad days are almost non-existent.
This week has been an amazing "pay it forward" week! Chaz and I cannot just receive, we have to give back. We are in a place in our journey where we can. It is so awesome that we can help others. This week we were able to help another family just like other families have helped us. We were able to go in and just listen to them and share experiences. Seeing that family smile and having them laugh with us was just so awesome! It just feels so great to show them how the next stage looks!
Then we got to help build a new Fisher House by raising money for them. Many thanks to Ryan & Gretchen at Q108 in Clarksville, TN!! We could have never have been able to help Fisher House this much without them. Many thanks to Clarksville, TN for their never-ending and absolutely amazing support for our soldiers!! That new Fisher House will be at the Alvin C York VA facility in Murfreesboro TN. I guarantee Chaz and I will be there when they cut that ribbon on that house! Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!! We are so grateful for you all!!!!!