It blows my mind that we are already at the 10 month mark. Almost a year. Almost a year ago men came over a ridge with the intent of killing as many as possible. I believe its simply God’s divine will that my soul mate managed to come back to us. I still don’t know everything that went on that day. Or if the man who shot that rocket in G.I.Joe’s direction is alive or dead. All I know is they wanted him out of this world and our lives have changed so much since that day.
Lots of amazing things have been happening lately in our family. For one, G.I. Joe’s canes have been collecting dust! His full recovery is still projected for sometime next summer, so we have a ways to go, but progress is happening. Christmas Eve will also be our 7th wedding anniversary! He left for Iraq when we had been married a week and that’s also made me really think about some things. When we were 19 year old newlyweds I had no clue what trials lay before us. I only knew that even hard times with him were better than an “easy” life with someone else.
I still feel that way. After 2 wars, 2 kids, and life-altering injury…I’m blessed. Don’t get me wrong, I do have bad days. Things can get very discouraging and I shed a lot of tears. I cry when I think it seems like it will be so long before we can own our own home. If I could get a job right now, we could swing it. But its not possible. I can’t manage his care, be there to help Lucy through this, and get a job. There just aren’t enough hours. G.I. Joe wants more than anything to give us a home of our own, but it has to wait. Sometimes I cry when simple tasks are just more struggle than they should be. He gets sick easily and doesn’t have the same energy that he did before the attack so it makes for long days with little productivity. Hearing Lucy cry, completely out of nowhere, because she is scared he will leave the house and get hurt again or worse…that takes the wind from sails.
These things hurt my heart. I would be lying if I said I never wanted a time-out from our circumstances for an hour or if I said I was never jealous of the tiny problems other people often mistake for day-ruining events.
But I refuse to let that hurt turn to hate. That’s what the terrorists want. If they couldn’t take G.I. Joe from this world I know the next best thing would be to know they ruined our lives and put us through hell. I won’t give people that satisfaction. They attacked him, and other soldiers, because we stand against oppression and hate. I won’t let them win. Not in this house, and not in my heart. What they don’t realize is that for every heartbreak along the way there has been a blessing.
One vile act of hatred gave opportunity for countless acts of love.
I’m more grateful for the small things in life than ever before. I don’t take as much for granted and we live a more fulfilling life now. Hanging on to the hate and anger would just drain our joy. That’s not something I’m willing to waste my time on. Next year we’re starting up our non-profit to benefit children living in military hospitals everywhere. I’ve been given the opportunity to advocate for better wounded warrior care and the United States Navy has expressed interest in implementing my ideas already. We’ve been able to help other people because we went through this tragedy. And next year…my G.I. Joe will return to duty to keep fighting terrorism around the globe. Our life is not something to mourn or be angry about. None of these amazing things would happen, or mean as much, had we not been able to walk through this valley. So if I could ever say something to person who shot that rocket 10 months ago this would be it….
I forgive you.
I feel sorry for you that your life clearly doesn’t have as much joy and laughter as ours.
I pray for you. Truth be told I probably need to do it more often, but
I pray for your soul.
That may sound crazy to some but once upon a time a man named Saul
killed a whole lot of people that he hated.
He encountered God on a lonely road and
Became perhaps the greatest evangelist and gospel speaker of all time.
I believe God can still work miracles.
I pray for your wife and children.
I pray that while on earth they are able to enjoy love and innocence.
I pray that when they do leave this earth, whenever that may be,
That they will leave it with the God of Love in their hearts
So that they can boldly approach His throne in Heaven and be comforted by Him.
You tried to destroy us.
But God’s plan for our life needed you to bring us to a point
where we could better serve our fellow man.
Because of you I’ve uttered the phrase “Thank you Jesus” more than ever before.
Because of you we’ve exchanged anger for compassion.
Our lives will truly never be the same because of what you did 10 months ago.
And again, I forgive you.
~Mrs. G.I. Joe