Monthly Archives: March 2014

I Remember You <3

As the seventh anniversary of your passing approaches, you have been on my mind. This is some of what I remember.

I remember your beautiful sunflower eyes. They were such a beautiful green with gold speckles that reminded me of sunflowers. I was always in awe when I looked into them. I remember how perfect your skin was. Truly flawless. I loved how much more beautiful you were than me. I remember your lips. They were so full and soft and gentle. Only the sweetest words and kisses escaped them. I remember how strong you were and how I always felt so protected in your arms. I remember being amazed at your perfectly round behind. It was quite impressive! I remember falling in love to the sound of you breathing. I remember your laugh… It was full and genuine.

I remember the day we met. Just like a scene in a movie, you walked into the Marina Cafe and like a thief, you stole my heart. I remember your favorite numbers were 7 & 13. I remember the chili pepper tattoo on your behind because you had a hot ass. Oh my gosh you were so ridiculous… and I loved every bit of your ridiculousness. I remember your neck and that you had it grafted to cover up your tattoo so you could join the Marine Corps because you didn’t want to wait to have it removed. I remember sitting on a bench outside in North Carolina. It was night and we were so so cold but I just wanted to stay on your lap. We talked endlessly, looking at the stars. I loved the sound of your voice and your arms wrapped around me.

I remember trying to watch Kill Bill and having to restart it three or four times before we finally gave up. We were so engrossed in our conversation that we never did get to see it at all. I remember sitting by the fire at Robbie’s house thinking you two looked like brothers.

I remember you serenading me to Marvin Gaye in the Bank of America parking lot in Florida. I was a little nervous because it was night and I thought that maybe a cop would drive by and think we were breaking in. I thought my heart was going to burst because that was one of the most movie quality, romantic moments of my life. I had never been so in love.

I remember Bay Front Park. We were standing in the popcorn line and that couple left because we were so in love they couldn’t stand it. I remember visiting you in the hospital and the guy on your floor saying he hoped to one day be as in love as we were.

 I remember lunch at the marina. Budweiser not Bud Light and quoting Good Will Hunting. I remember watching you perform Mustang Sally and how you were the only person that got a standing ovation. That was the night we met and I was so proud of you. Weird, huh?

I remember you taking a nap with my nephew Ian. You were so good with kids. I knew you would be a great dad if only you had the chance. I remember you dancing and singing always… at the O House with Dee, at my cousin Greta’s house, at your dad’s house… anywhere you could really. I don’t think I’d ever met anyone so completely in love with life. I hope you are still dancing and singing up there.

I remember driving up to the Texas Roadhouse to meet Jess. I already knew I was completely in love with you but we hadn’t said the words. Sitting in that parking lot was nerve racking. Then you said, “I think I’m in love with you” and sweeter words could not exist. We walked in and announced that we were going to get married. Just like that.

I remember when you proposed. It was a month and a half after we met. I pretty much hadn’t seen you since we met. Like the movies when the girl meets the soldier and he’s deployed the next day and they don’t see each other for months or years… only to be reunited and completely in love. That’s what it reminded me of, except I’m the one that had to leave. When you told me you were coming down to Florida, I was waiting for you at the Red Roof Inn, thinking how absolutely insane we were. I left the key at the front for you in case I fell asleep. Good thing because I woke up to you kissing my forehead. I thought I was in a dream. That weekend we met my friends and family at Hooters Beachside. You took me for a walk on the beach so we could be alone and when you dropped down on one knee, I was so completely overwhelmed by you. I just wanted to hug and kiss you. The tears were flowing and I had never been more in love. I remember how completely full my heart was every single day. Being with you brought me so much joy, I thought I would burst every single day. I remember thinking just how lucky I was to have you that I would tear up from happiness on a regular basis.

I remember how crazy everyone thought we were… and we were. But I will never regret giving my heart to you and taking that chance to love you the way a man and woman should love each other. You know the thing I loved about us best was that we did things on our terms and our rules. We let our hearts guide us nothing else. We paid attention to the details. We had faith in our love.

Finally, I remember you.

I leave you with this song. It’s a perfect fit for today and to celebrate your Irish half. I suppose it was till death do us part but I will love you till the end.

Ozzie & RJ <3

Oh my gosh… I just realized yesterday was 4 years since my friend’s kid/ my kid’s friend passed (RIP 3/30/10) and tomorrow it’s 7 years since RJ passed (RIP 4/1/07)… I never realized that they died within two days of each other. For some reason I never made that connection before, or maybe I did but can’t remember.

I started thinking how his mom was there for me when RJ passed and I was there for her when her son passed. We had our struggles and our friendship suffered for other reasons but we still have some contact. I don’t know if we will ever be as close as we once were. Maybe we were just meant to be there for each other during those hard years. I remember being out with her the night RJ died, and she and my cousin took me out to eat the next day, after we heard the news about RJ, and they had to hold my hair up as I hurled because I couldn’t keep anything down and help me walk. I remember meeting her and her son at Tutor Time when I was working there, and our kids became fast friends, and so did we. I remember girls nights with my friend and play dates with our kids… jumping on a trampoline in her back yard and the trampoline at Emily and Justin’s Christmas party with RJ. I remember how free and complete I felt with RJ – we were completely ourselves and one at once. I remember babysitting her son after pre-school and giving him dinner and playing games. The little mini bonfire-ish at Robbie’s. Hooters… I’ll never forget Hooters. There are so many memories… I am grateful to have all those memories. 

So how ironic is it that I’m sitting here watching the very last episode on How I Met Your Mother, as they are strolling down memory lane… Yes, I need a box or two of Kleenex… and to find out the end… 6 years… really? I must be a Ted.

I’m thinking, maybe the fairy tale isn’t the perfect little dream. Maybe the fairy tale is messy and complicated and full of little bits of happiness and broken little pieces. Maybe the fairy tale is being just exactly where we are and spending a life collecting memories with some really awesome people to share those memories with.

“If I hadn’t gone through hell to get there, the lesson might not have been as clear… Right from the moment I met your mom, I knew, I have to love this woman as much as I can for as long as I can and I can never stop loving her not even for a second. I carried that lesson with me through every stupid fight we ever had, every 5am Christmas morning, every sleepy Sunday afternoon, through every speed bump, every pang of jealousy or boredom, or uncertainty that came out way. I carried that lesson with me. And I carried it when she got sick. Even then, in what can only be called the worst of times, all I could do was thank God, thank every God there is or ever was, or ever will be, and the whole universe, and anyone else I could possibly thank that when I saw that beautiful girl on that train platform, that I had the guts to walk over, tap her on the shoulder, open my mouth and speak.”

RIP Ozzie


Dancing Naked

I hope you’re dancing naked
Running around wild and free
I hope you’re serenading the angels
Being the man I’ve always known you to be
I hope you look down at me smiling
Knowing that I’m moving on
I hope you’re proud of what I’ve been doing
Since the day that you’ve been gone
I hope that you are happy
Free from the these earthly bounds
I hope to see your sunflower eyes
When I close my eyes at night
I hope to feel your arms around me
If only just one more time
I hope you’re loving other angels
I hope you’re not alone
I hope you feel nothing less than joy
I hope you love me still
I hope to see you when it’s my turn
I hope you’ll remember me
I hope I’ll always remember you
I hope I’ll always have you in my heart
I hope you’ll visit me in my dreams
I hope that you are peaceful
I hope you feel no pain
I hope that you are welcomed
I hope you’ve found a home
I hope you’re proud of what I’ve been doing
Since the day that you’ve been gone
I hope you look down at me smiling
Knowing that I’m moving on
I hope you’re serenading the angels
Being the man I’ve always known you to be
I hope you’re dancing naked
Running around wild and free


I recently read this article and it got me thinking. All too often we say we are blessed when we receive something that we want in our lives. Rarely, if ever do we feel blessed when something it taken from us. As a Christian, I have always believed that I am here for a higher purpose. In my heart, I knew that my life would be a struggle because there were many lessons that I needed to learn to mold me into the person that I am today. Because of these struggles, I have learned a very deep understanding for situations and have compassion for people that I don’t think I would otherwise have. What struck me about the article was this:

12a Waitest thou for one second, Lord. What about “blessed art thou comfortable,” or 12b “blessed art thou which havest good jobs, a modest house in the suburbs, and a yearly vacation to the Florida Gulf Coast?”
12c And Jesus said unto them, “Apologies, my brothers, but those did not maketh the cut.”

The kind of love that books are written about and movies are made of...The kind of love that books are written about and movies are made of…

When I met my fiance RJ in 2006, I had already been through a tough few years, and 2006 was devastatingly the  worst year of my life. I traded Vegas for the quiet little military town of Camp LeJeune. I traded in my dancing shoes for slinging drinks at a local restaurant/ bar when I met this amazingly phenomenal man. Many of you already know the story, as I have told it so many times in the past seven years. For those of you that don’t, RJ and I decided to get married the day after we met. We just knew that we were meant to be together for the rest of our lives. I was wrong. Over the course of five months, I felt the need to hold on to him so tight. I was terrified of losing him. On April 1st of 2007, a mere five months after we met, he tragically died. When his father called me to tell me the news, I knew before he said anything that something was wrong. In the moments before he said the words, I prayed… please, please let him be in jail or in the hospital. Please let it be something that can be fixed. As the words came out of his mouth, I felt as if my heart had been literally ripped out of my chest as I screamed in agony and fell to the ground. I didn’t feel very blessed. So many times in the following months I asked God, what did I do to deserve this? I was a good person. So why in hell’s name was I being punished? Why would God put this beautiful man with these sunflower eyes in my life, only to rip him away in such a terrible way? I needed him.

4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

There's a fabulous story behind this photo <3There’s a fabulous story behind this photo <3

It took a very long time before I stopped being angry at God and started thanking Him. Thank You for allowing me to be so loved by such a phenomenal man. So many people go through life in terrible, loveless, empty, shallow relationships. I’ve had my share. However, I am grateful to have had this unique and special love. Something that people dream of and many are so jaded that they don’t believe it even exists. While his life, his physical being was torn from me, we had a love so strong that even now, seven years later, I still have his love showering me. I am blessed because I am able to share my testimony and quite possibly touch the lives of others by it. I am neither bitter nor scorned, but grateful. I have the opportunity to possibly share some of that hope to someone with a broken heart. That is my blessing.

In August of 2006, right before I met RJ, I was raped by a young Marine. I suffered from PTSD and had massive panic attacks. I’d shut down and start bawling, questioning myself all the time. Was it my fault? Was it really rape since I knew the guy? What did I do to have allowed this to happen? And of course, why me? I’m a good person. Why did this happen to me?  I remember clearly one day, I went to speak to my rape counselor and as we carried into our conversation, I told her, better that this happened to me rather than someone else. She was taken aback. She asked what I meant by that. I told her, I know I’m a strong person and one way or another I will find a way to deal with this situation. I believed at some point that going through that terrible experience would allow me a deeper comprehension of what a person goes through and I knew that one day I would be better equipped to help someone else because of my experience. I was not blessed to have been raped and I surely wasn’t grateful to have gone through that at all. To this day, I have never told anyone my rapist name, except for those involved in the court case. I did not seek vengeance. I begged God to allow me to forgive him as quickly as possible because I didn’t not want to be imprisoned as his victim for eternity.

7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.

A few years later, I was working at a rehab on graveyard when we got a call from a mother who was questioning whether or not her daughter had been raped or not. We talked about how the daughter was acting out and how she came to find out about the rape. I spoke to the girl and was able to calm her down and give her some support. In case you don’t know, I actually have a background in psychology, but I wasn’t talking to her from a book. I was talking to her from experience, from a place of true understanding and love. I was blessed that I was able to help the mother and daughter through my tragedy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

I’ve sat back and thought and analyzed life, my life, why does God allow bad things to happen. I don’t ask why God allows bad things to happen to good people because we all started out good. Some people turn out bad because they haven’t properly dealt with the bad experiences they’ve gone through… but that’s another discussion for another day. I’ve sorted through and wondered long before this article, what are blessings and when should I feel blessed? I’ve come to realize that blessings are not the nice things you get because you are a good little Christian. Blessings are the good you give away when it’s so justified to be angry and bitter and doubtful. My blessings are not about me. I allow myself to be transparent because that is how I can use my experiences as blessings.

A blessing is about what you give not what you get.

A blessing is about what you give not what you get.

If you’d like to read the article that sparked this post, click here: HuffPost