It has seriously taken me this long to wrap my head around what is going on in our lives right now. To be honest, I am still in shock. Not even two years ago, someone called me and wanted to know where I was going to be because my husband wasn't stable and the Army might have to come notify me of his passing. Now we are moving into the longest phase of our family's healing and a group of strangers has stepped up to help us create a home to finish our healing.
I am still having a hard time comprehending what is going on. My biggest stress is now being taking care of by a group of strangers?! My Mom, Dad and sister can tell you about how I walked around the home we own now and tried to figure out how I could adjust it to help Chaz get around when he came home. I have been talking about Chaz's long term needs since the moment he was hurt. I remember someone telling me that we'd deal with it. I then snapped at them and said I had to have something to think about because I had to kill three hours between updates. I have been planning and saving since January 22 to figure it all out. And now this group has come into our lives to help us.
These amazing Americans want to help us build a house that not only suits our needs but will also be built to suit our family. We're not getting this cookie cutter house, no we are involved all the way. We're picking the lot, the builder, the colors, materials, etc. It really is a dream come true. Our girls are so excited right now that they will drive us crazy soon. Between the upcoming trip to Texas and Oklahoma, the holidays, moving to TN for good and the new house, they are seriously bouncing off the walls.
You know what? They deserve all of this excitement. Our cuties have been so brave and they have been through so much, it's time for a big dose of excitement. Chaz is right up there with them. Me, I'm still in shock. I just can't believe the end of this chapter is near. 2013 will be our year to move on. The Army told us we'd be here for 2-4 years. I hoped and prayed we'd be on that 2 year side but settled for the longer term. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best is the lesson the Army has taught me. I guess because of all of this I have to see it to believe it. I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer, I've just dealt with the military way too much. ;)
I think the hardest part of all of this is trying to understand this amazing group of strangers who have entered our lives. Our week in Houston was outstanding. We met many of the people involved with Helping A Hero. All of them care so much for our wounded warriors and their families. (Yes I said families too). On this journey it's been hard to find organizations who understand we are healing families. Many see the soldier's missing pieces and ignorantly miss that we are healing together. Helping A Hero cares about where our cuties go to school. They care about them being as happy as their Dad. They care that Chaz and I both plan to run a business from our new home. They are invested in healing the family with the warrior and that is the most important piece of healing our warriors. They want to help us succeed. They don't know us, but they understand our level of service and sacrifice. Helping us build a home is their way of paying it forward. It is simply amazing!!!
Last Wednesday Chaz and I attended the Gala. Before the event kicked off, Helping A Hero had already raised $2.5 million dollars to help build homes for our wounded. Do you know how many houses they can build with that?! A LOT!!!! That's how many. This was before one event. We watched thousands of additional dollars accumulate during the auction. It was so amazing to be a part of all of this.
What was the most amazing part?! I will never forget standing up in front of the stage with my rock star hubby and with the other 30 wounded warrior families and looking out at the crowd. Our families received a standing ovation and to be able to connect with all of those families and Helping A Hero staff at that moment will stay with me for a lifetime. I made a few new friends during our week in Houston and thanks to that moment I know we are forever bonded.
Helping A Hero is not only building homes they are changing lives. I have never doubted the greatness of God or his people. But seeing it all play out in front of you is simply humbling. As I was telling my mom about our adventures in Houston and as I am writing this I can't keep the tears under control. Our family feels so incredibly blessed. I have shed so many happy tears I have lost count. For those of us who have been on this journey from the beginning, get your tissues ready because a tsunami of happy tears will be shed within the next year. God is so great and I cannot express enough how thankful we are to be so blessed!!!
If you are a wounded warrior family or if you know one or if you just want to learn more about Helping A Hero, please visit HelpingAHero.org today!!! I would love to be in Houston next year welcoming more families to the HAH family. I can tell you right now our journey with HAH will not end once we get the keys to our home. ;)
To the Helping A Hero staff, thank you so much for welcoming our family into your family. You have blessed us so very much and the words "thank you" are not enough. We are so grateful for you and what you are doing for the wounded and their families. God Bless each and every one of you and we can't wait to get you all to Tennessee so you can have a little fun with us in "the other T state."