As most of you all know, Memorial Day Weekend holds a very strong emotional meaning to me. Due to the nature of being a West Point grad and serving in the Army during a time of war, the vast majority of my friends have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, many have been injured, and a few never made it home. I try to keep my blog my “happy place,” but I also like to write what is on my heart and keep things real.
I lost my first husband, 1LT Dimitri del Castillo, when he was killed by a sniper in Afghanistan while leading his Infantry platoon on a mission. I was in Afghanistan at the time as well. It has been nearly 6 years since he lost his life and my life turned upside down. At this point it seems like my life with him a lifetime ago, if not just a dream. I’m so wrapped up in motherhood right now that I don’t experience certain emotions as strongly as I used to. I miss Dimitri every single day, and I still mourn that future with him that I once saw so vividly, yet I also absolutely love this life I am living now. It’s difficult to process sometimes. Sometimes I feel calloused for not shedding tears as often as I used to, but I think that’s just the nature of the passage of time, especially when you are able to continue seeing the beauty in life and not let grief destroy you. Grief is a river that I am still learning to navigate, but I am thankful that there are fewer rapids now than there used to be.
This past weekend we visited the National World War I Museum and Memorial. I guess I never really thought about it when I lived in DC, but there is no WWI memorial in our nation’s capitol. Instead, it is located in Kansas City and it is extremely well done. It was deliberately designed so that everything has a meaning, and it is certainly worth the trip if you are ever in this neck of the woods. A museum visit with an almost 19 month old isn’t ideal, but we were still able to see almost everything and even snapped a few photos.
I dressed Jack in a monogrammed Jon Jon I had made by my mom’s friend Laurie, who owns Bee Sweet Baby. She made him one last summer too, and I blogged about it here. They’re high quality and much more affordable than the (also adorable) ones from Beaufort Bonnet Company, so if you’re looking for a personalized outfit for your little one this summer then be sure to check out Bee Sweet Baby. Just send Laurie a Facebook message on her page and she can work with you to create just what you’re looking for.