Thursday, May 3, 2012


"Ma'am, are you sitting down, I have some information about your husband I need to tell you?...


...left leg amputation above the knee...

...right leg amputation below the knee..." 

Amputation! I'll never forget the phone call that made that word apart of my everyday vocabulary. It's bounced around my head and jumbled every thought since then. It sneaks up and knocks the wind out of me when I'm least expecting it. 

I don't know the healthy, or the right, or even the wrong way to process what's happened to Garrett. My way has been simple...I haven't. I've been numb. I've been going through the motions: being where I need to be, saying what I need to say, and being what everyone needs me to be. Now that our life has slowed down, the numbness is gone, and it took with it all the walls I had built to protect myself.

Garrett stepped on an IED. 
Garrett stepped on a bomb meant to kill him. 
Garrett almost died. 
Garrett lost his legs. 

I don't know how to process any of that. Where do I even start? How does anyone ever process that someone they would die for, almost didn't come home from war? Maybe I never will. 

I wish I could go back to being numb. I wish I could suppress the scream that feels like its building in me, dying to escape every time I open my mouth. I wish I could shove the tears that sneak out of my eyes back down my throat and keep them there. I wish I was as strong as everyone thinks I am. 

One thing I am very capable of processing is how amazing Garrett is. I say it again...I wish everyone could see the leaps of progress he makes on a daily basis. There is at least one person that tells him a day that he is progressing faster than anyone they have ever seen. I know everyone thinks the person they married is more special than anyone else...but in my case he really is more special and amazing than anyone else. ;) He is walking and its only been two and half months since he lost his legs. Two and a half months. He has come back from something that should have killed him, and basically gave it the finger on his way to the top. Take that Taliban. 

We leave for our three week Hawaiian vacation next Wednesday. Garrett's unit is supposed to be home in a few weeks and we are going out to see them land and spend some time with our friends. Seven months ago I started counting down until homecoming. I remember from Garrett's first deployment how exciting and overwhelming and emotional it was to see him step of that plane and into that hanger. Wrapping my arms around him for the first time in seven months is still a memory that gives me butterflies and makes me weak in the knees. This homecoming will be quite different from our first one, but just as emotional. The bond between a Marine and his brothers is something I would never be able to explain or put into words, and to be able to witness him walking up to them on his new legs and welcoming them home is going to be a site I will never forget.

Don't worry, there will be pictures!

**One of the many lessons God is teaching me through this is how to hold my tongue, and keep my temper at bay. People like to stare at things they do not understand. Some people are really good about it and will come up and talk to him or thank him, but some people just keep staring even after we have made eye contact with them. So keep in mind next time you come in contact with someone that has a special feature, they notice the stares and they can ear the whispers. 


  1. Awe.... this is amazing and reading this brings tears to my eyes. I am constantly praying for you and Garret and I hope God continues to bless ya'lls lives and marriage. I hope you have an amazing time in Hawaii and take lots and lots of pictures. Give Garret a hug and tell him I said thank you for all he has done and you two will always be an inspiration to me. Cant wait to see ya'll again in Mooresville where you guys belong. Stay safe and keep us updated on everything. God Bless <3

  2. Beautifully heartfelt and beautifully written. And as hard as the past two and 1/2 months have been, it may be possible that a more difficult day is ahead of you....but you will get through it. I'm glad you chose to share this and are allowing yourself to feel and express all the hard parts as you do all the victories in this ongoing road to a new paradigm. I think about you guys a lot, though I never met Garrett but became aware of your story through a friend of the family in Centereach. How both of you handle all of this is so inspirational, and so I am drawn, but I have to admit it may just be that your love story is as much a draw as well. God bless you both in the coming months and years, but truthfully, the gift of each other shows me he already has.

  3. Courtney...your words above have brought tears to my eyes, and a lump in my throat. You sweet lady, may not think that you are strong...but having watched you grow up from infancy to adulthood...I can tell you that you are indeed one strong lady. And I think I have shared with you...but here is that quote that I dearly love "You never know how strong you are...until being stronger is the only choice you have." Your comments about strangers passing you and staring, is something that we all need to be so aware of...and be human beings and just speak politely and kindly. Unfortunately, I have been on the receiving end of those whispers and comments...and I would never wish that on you and Garrett continue to hold your heads high, and just ignore those stares. But you have encouraged me to start speaking directly to folks that I pass and not just smile at thank you. I am excited about your trip to HI and the chance for Garrett to see his brothers again. This will be an important time for them to all be together again. Travel safely...and come back to us soon. Will continue to keep you all in my prayers. Thank you for doing these blogs...I know it's a healing process for you...but it is also an enlighting process for the rest of us. Please tell Garrett I said hey

  4. I would like to thank YOU and Garrett for your service to us. All of us, that go through every day complaining about the weather or traffic.... You both are such special people and have touched the my heart and the hearts of so many. I thank you for reminding us about compassion. God is most certainly working through you both and reminding us all to count our blessings.