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Friday, October 28, 2011

Starting again...

So…since I haven’t written since we’ve been here, I feel like I have a TON to write. We’ll see how much I can get out…

After such a great and happy day Tuesday, it was a bit of a downer when Wednesday came and Cale was miserable. I had gotten up about 5am and went to the couch because I had woken up and not able to go back to sleep again. I ended up listening to our sermon from Sunday because I was in the nursery and missed out. Afterwards I spent time just worshipping and trying to get my focus in the right place. That ended up being just what I needed to battle the day. Isn't it always?

See, it wasn’t just going to be at home that we were going to deal with anger and frustration…we were going to be in the car for 4 hours. He already gets miserable in the car! The first half of the drive I was going crazy. He was miserable and it was awful and I thought several times about pulling over and finding someone nice around that wanted to play crazy 8’s for a couple days.

Of course I wouldn’t REALLY do that, but if I’m going to be totally honest, it was a thought. When we stopped for lunch we of course filled Cale up with chicken nuggets and that led us right into a really great rest of the drive! No joke. It was awwwwwesome! We talked and laughed and things seemed great.

Once we made it to Ft. Lewis, we had to go to CQ to sign papers and then get set up at the hotel. I liked seeing Cale’s reaction to all the guys in uniform and how he tried to figure out everyone’s rank. We had a little time in our room and still everything was good. Then, in the car on the way to dinner, we started to go downhill. I knew it was because he was tired, but I was hoping that getting some food in him would help…nope.

It at least wasn’t anything terrible or abnormal, but I knew he was hitting his point. On the way back to the hotel, the breaking point came. Cale had a melt down and by the time we were in our room, Kathleen was having her melt down too! At that point Cale had forgotten all about how he was upset, and saw that his wife was upset. He broke the silence of tears by saying, “Hey girl, come here.”

I do realize that it’s OK for me to be upset and have emotions and react, BUT, I also never want to stay there. I’ve written before about how I can get sad or angry, but I need to feel it and then move on and not stay in that pool and drown.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. -Philippians 4:8

I went over to him and let him comfort me even though he had no idea why. I let him be a husband to me, because those times come so little now. If I stay in my ugly place, I might miss out when he’s in his good place. If I stay selfish I lose out on giving him moments of being a man, of being Cale; of being blessed.

So…I put everything that was in my heart in the hands of the Ultimate Comforter and embraced the moment and the rest of the night. When we woke up Thursday morning, we had to get Cale shaved and once again I was nervous. He hates getting shaved now, but it went well and I didn’t cut him!

The day unfolded so many perfect memories. Last time we came to Ft. Lewis and Cale wore his ACU’s, I had to help him get dressed. He didn’t know all the correct ways the uniform was supposed to be worn and he was in a wheelchair. This time, he just about dressed himself, kept telling me things that were wrong with his uniform, and walked with his cane everywhere! It was so neat!!!

Once he was dressed we went to the lobby for breakfast but I had forgotten his meds. When I went back to the room, I had left the music on and Have Your Way by Britt Nicole was playing. It was exactly what I needed to hear! I was so thankful for it and took the extra minute to listen before grabbing the meds and back out to eat.

I had to post the video I had made last year because I can't hear that song now and not think about it...

The day was full of getting things crossed off our lists and a 3 hour meeting. We thought that today we’d be going home, but ended up needing to stay another day for 2 meetings today. We also had a great surprise because the unit he’s with here was doing a ceremony recognizing all the soldiers leaving so we got to be a part of it! The Coronel came and gave Cale a coin along with the others. It was so special! I was the cheesy wife that had to run up, stop everything, and get a picture of the moment! :) They were all great and let me do it! Hehe!

A couple quick ramdoms…

Yesterday Cale was able to dress with not much problem, but today he couldn’t do it. He was so stuck and confused. This is how other areas go like brushing his teeth. Sometimes it’s totally fine and he has no problem and sometimes he is blank.

When we first arrived here, Cale told me that he was scared. When I asked more, he said, he is scared when he’s anywhere but home.

One of the ladies that reads my blog shared on her blog about how something that I wrote had stood out to her. I thought it was so sweet she shared it on hers, but also, it blessed my heart to see how one statement that I had written, encouraged her and a few of the people that read her blog! What a blessing! God is so good. I love how He works. We don’t have to even try; we just need to be willing.

Click here to read her link

On Thursday while we were out with one of his sergeants, she reminded him when they were approaching an officer that he needed to salute. I thought it was so cool seeing him salute again! Then, today we went to the PX and as we’re walking in, I was babbling away and Cale saluted!!! He didn’t need help or a reminder AND I was talking to him so there was distraction! Ooooh yeah! That was even better!

These couple days with Cale back as SGT Darling, walking around with him, seeing him in his uniform, feeling the normalcy of it all has been…incredible. It brings back so many sweet memories and happy thoughts. Driving around, going to meetings, seeing so many soldiers, watching his formation today…all of it…all of it has been so good for me. This trip was us saying good bye to the Army (for the second time). He’s going on leave (vacation time) because he has so much saved up and in a few months he’ll technically be a veteran. As of the beginning of November, we’re on our own again. We’re going to be right back where we had left off before the accident. He signed papers today and tomorrow we travel. Doesn’t it seem crazy?! We’re living the same (yet not-so-same) moments that we did almost two years ago when life was oh so different.

I just got emotional.


  1. Oh goodness gracious, girl, you just had to go and make me cry AGAIN!!

    I'm so glad that you were able to see what an impact your words had on me as well as others. I didn't even tell you that yesterday I Facebook'ed about it and it positively affected even *more* people. Pretty cool how that one little seed grows and grows, isn't it?

    And then I watched your video montage. Oh my, there goes that cry again. Really, Shari, control yourself!! haha

    Just this evening while I was practicing my walking (I can "walk" while pushing my wheelchair as long as Hubs has the gait belt on me). I was hurting, I was tired, I wanted to quit, but I told myself, if Cale can do it, there's no reason on this earth that I cannot!

    Okay, getting into a novel here so I'll quit, but wow... just wow. I salute you both. :-)

    PS -- If you ever get that hankering for military life, you're welcome at our house any time!

  2. Thank you for sharing your story, you two are a blessing to me! Seeing him in his uniform is such a honor- I think of how he served our country in one way, and now you and he are a witness to so many and serve in a different, yet completely needed way. Your story will get others through when they need it. Thank You Kathleen for this journal. May you be truly blessed tonight!
    Michelle Smith

  3. I wanted to share alittle bit of insight, as a officers wife I can tell you the salute that came from Cale would mean more then all the salutes an upper ranked person would get. Does that make sense? It would be branded on my husbands heart and knowing Steven he would turn around and introduce himself to Cale and say thank you for his service. Ya he is that kind of man, just ask Mike and Rachel.

    You deserve those down times often. You will get too tired being the strong one every day. We will be moving back to California in June and if you are ever in southern ca again stop bye and get the military life for a day or tow or three if you need too!

    Hugs and prayers,

  4. The picture where the coin was passed Cale looked so JUST RIGHT. I am SOOOOOO SORRY I missed your return calls. I guess I am not a stay at home mom anymore. Mostly I am home, just not the last two or three days. My Dave and I get to go to the ocean for two nights curtesy my son in Afghanistan. :) I love the ocean. It's majesty reminds me of Father's MAJESTY. All the water's of the earth are as a drop in the palm of His hand. Since He's that BIG He can deffinatly handle my problems. One thing I like to do is write my problem on the sand and watch the waves wash it away. I am going to do that for you. We will see what Father has me write (I'll tell you later). BUT I DO KNOW it's a faith prayer, and Father answers. I love you and will see one day. Marion

  5. Kathleen, he looks so good in his uniform!!! It makes my heart glad to see it!!


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