I feel the need to write. I’ve started writing about the most painful moments in my life. I’ve described the days to the best of my ability, and I will continue to do so. However, tonight, I feel I need to write to my husband.


In the past few weeks, I’ve started writing about your death. I’m not just retelling the facts. I am writing about my feelings, my emotions, my reactions, my thoughts, and my faith. It helps to acknowledge the feelings, but doing so, has also made me realize that there are things I really need to say to you. There are things I need you to know.

I sit here and think about everything we went through over the years. I will be the first to admit that our relationship was not perfect. We went through a lot together. We grew up and matured together. I’ve had moments when I ask God, “Why did our paths cross? Why didn’t I walk away? Why didn’t he walk away when all I knew how to do was push him away? Why? Could I have saved myself this never ending heartache?” While I know that I won’t truly get an answer to these questions until I get to heaven, I feel like maybe God has given me the answers I need.

The day you walked into my life, you changed it forever. You brought a happiness to me that I had never felt before. Your patience, your calm demeanor, brought a sense of peace I’d never had. You saved me from something awful. I used to ask myself if we were truly meant to be. Today, I can say without a doubt that we were. You taught me how to love unconditionally. It is because of you that I learned about what it truly means to forgive. You taught me about patience. You taught me how to smile in the face of adversity. You showed me what it means to fight for what you love, because you fought for my love and never once gave up. You are the only person who has never given up on me or walked away, even when all I did was push you away. You built me up, after someone else had spent years breaking me down. From you, I learned how to enjoy life. You were able to break through the walls I spent a lifetime building around my heart. God knew what I needed, and although you were my plan B, He made you my plan A. Every single moment we spent together was a gift from God.

So, as I write about your death, I need you to know that I’m not doing it to gain anything or profit from it. There is a purpose for everything we went through together and everything I’ve gone through as a result of your death. I also need you to know that I’m not writing about it to close the book on our love story. A true love story never ends. I loved you then, now, and forever. I’m not moving on, My Love. I am simply moving forward. My desire to make you proud pushes me to keep going, to smile in the face of adversity, and to be happy again.

I so wish I could talk to you for even just a moment. I want to hear you say that you’re ok with me writing about your death and our life together. Since I can’t, I am letting God lead me.

Last, you must know that death didn’t make you my hero. You are my hero because you risked everything to be with me. You were my hero the night you waited for 3 hours outside of my job just to speak to me for a few minutes. You were my hero on our first trip to the beach. You were my hero when you made me mad, when you made me smile, and even when you admitted to getting me pregnant on purpose. You were my hero when you taught Alyssa how to ride a bike, when you taught Andrew how to hold his bottle, when you woke up for Anthony’s nightly feedings, when you would get out of bed to get me some water and turn off the lights. You were my hero when you helped me clean, fold laundry, when you took us to Disney World, when you kissed me goodbye every morning, when you played with my hair to help me fall asleep. You were my hero when you kissed my forehead and told me all would be ok, when you would hold my hand, when you would make laugh, and even when you rubbed your feet on me! You were my hero every time you blew me a kiss over the phone, and even when you would force me to blow one back to you. You are my hero for everything I learned in you, through you, and because of you. You are my hero for all of the love you gave me and for never giving up on us. You are my hero for being the most amazing father to our kids. More than anything, you are my hero for insisting that I go to church with you and for your determination in leading us toward a Godly path. You are my hero for a million reasons that have nothing to do with the Marine Corps, deployments, or death. I love you Javier. I will live the rest of my life loving you, honoring you, and making sure that your memory lives on forever. Thank you for giving me so much to be proud of.


About lifeafterjoor

My husband was killed in Afghanistan and living life without him has been a daily challenge. I am figuring it out.
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4 Responses to Dear JOOR

  1. Chris Lyons says:

    Hi…you don’t know me, but I am friends with Viki Jenkins (I met her years ago through Victory Baptist in NC). I now live in OH with my 3 beautiful girls and have for the last 7 years. I love that you are so brave and forthcoming with your feelings in how the death of your husband has effected you and how you have this amazing will to live life and live it to the fullest! This is only God-given if we ask for it and truly believe that it can be ours!!! As I read your blogs and now this latest letter to your husband, I just sit here with the tears flowing down my face. It’s something about these fiercely devoted Marine men that we have married. I was married to mine for 13 years when he died (not military related), but sudden and unexpected. He had just retired from the Corps in May of 2005 and we moved back to OH (home for both of us). He was enlisted, but the last several years of his 20 he spent learning to fly and earning a degree plus several certificates which allowed him to instruct other furture pilots. His ultimate goal was to become a commercial pilot and was building up his required number of hours to be able to do that. The week of his death (Tues) he recieved confirmation that he was selected to attend a school to do just that, That friday…Oct. 14th of 2005 was a day that changed my life forever. He was instructing a student pilot when they were struck from behind by another small plane (2 seater)…2 pilots in each plane with no survivors. I was pregnant with baby girl #3 (Michelle) and Hannah was 11 and Kelly 9. My life has never been the same since, but within the last 1 1/2 to 2 years I have been at a place where I can look back and honestly say that God is good!!! He has used this tradegy to help make me more of the person that He wants me to be. I am not perfect (and never will be this side of Heaven), but having to rely solely (souly) on God, He has made me a better version of myself. Sometimes I feel guilty for not having been this person for Alan…he sounds just like your Javier how he loved you unconditionally and how he was/is your hero because of the love he showed you in so many ways. I don’t think Alan would recognize me with all the changes that I have gone thru over the years (almost 7 years since his death), but I would like to think that he is proud of me and of the girls…they are God’s greatest blessings ever given to me!!! I know that people are benefitting from what you are sharing…how real you are being with what happened to you…how you are living your life despite the circumstances that you have found yourself in so keep doing what you are doing and may God bless you in all your efforts!!!!

    Sincerely and from the bottom of my heart…
    Chris Lyons

    • Thank you for your kind words! Very few times in the past year and a half has someone said things that I feel they pulled straight out of my heart! So much of what you said, is exactly how I feel today! Thank you for taking the time to write to me!

      • Chris Lyons says:

        You are very welcome!!!! I know for me at first I always felt that no one in the world could possibly understand any of what I was feeling. Even tho I knew that others have lost their spouses, somehow I felt like losing mine was different…a first for the world…like no one had ever gone through such gut-wretching, heart-shattering pain. I ,like you, have also experienced thoughts of just wanting to die. I even thought of ways to end my life many times because the pain was just too much for me to bear, but clear as a bell I heard these words…”Your girls have already lost one parent…you can’t do that to them.” I honestly believe that if it weren’t for them, I would have curled up somewhere and even tho I was alive, I would have just shriveled up on the inside and my life would have been one that had wasted away in my grief / pity / and sorrow. I also, like you, know that people were praying for me and that is the reason I was able to keep going. I know there were times where I felt so alone and I was SOOOOO angry at God for letting this happen to me. I was rock bottom in the faith department…I felt like there was no God because if there was I wouldn’t be going thru what I was going thru. I remember one spring (Alan died Oct. 2005) so I am thinking it was the spring of 2007 I remember walking outside and hearing the birds for the first time…it was like music from Heaven. For about a year and a half I was numb to the world…not experiencing any joy until then. I felt God again and it felt good to have that feeling back. I was so ticked and angry and upset that I pushed God away from myself (well I tried to anyway), but He never left me…He was right there all the time. Even tho I wanted nothing to do wth Him (I had quit praying, but still went to church and felt like such a hypocrite all the while). But He was patient with me…He knew my hurt and my pain and He just waited for me. The Footprints in the Sand poem now has special meaning for me. I felt like the person in it questioning why God had left them (when there was only one set of footprints) and know that that truly was when God was carrying me…carrying my through my pain and heartache. He never left me…I was trying to leave Him and I am so very thankful that He didn’t just leave me to find my way out…He was there every step of the way and I love Him more now than I ever have at any other point in my life…for never giving up on me…for constantly showering me with His love when I surely did not deserve it. He IS an AMAZING God full of grace and mercy and from what you are writing, I feel that you already know this!!!!

  2. karina serrano says:

    I don’t even know what to say. I don’t know either one of you but pray for you every night. I am both proud and honored to able to read your story. Another great pal of mine sent me ur link Rossmery Gomez my favorite fire ball. And I am thank full for that ..I want to thank youfor taking ur time to writing ur experience and keeping it real even when things didn’t make scene. You inspire me every time I read. May you have many blessings to come to you and your loved ones.

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