What is my secret you ask? My secret to triumphing after tragedy? First
and foremost, I put God first.. each day as a widow I wake up alone, I have
spent many of lonely nights in hotels traveling sharing my story, I have watch
the sunrise and sun set alone (physically). Each day I look forward to
another day and give thanks to God for allowing me to hurt and to
As cruel as it may sound to some, I have chosen to
surround myself with positive, encouraging people who will love me for who I am
and not judge me by who they want to be. There have been not just a few
people, but hundreds or thousands who have tried to give me a direction or their
two cents and that is great and well appreciated. But, realize this.
No matter how tragic your life or struggle may be, its nothing like mine.
Nor is mine like yours. We all have had a series of unfortunate events in
our life and that is the BEST part about life. When you are struck with
tragedy, you have been called upon to rise above the struggle, to triumph.
Jamie and I prepared for the worse case scenario before he deployed, he
sat me down and had me watch Restrepo, the hurt locker and other military movies
to prepare me for the worst. It wasn't until April 9,2011 when he called
me and I could hear the fear in his voice did I know this was real. Jamie
and I were able to talk for 2 hours that night about our life, our love and how
we should put God first. Jamie had told me each day was a struggle, they
were taking heat from the enemy and contact nearly every time they left the
wire, as his wife, I reminded him to close his eyes and remember our last kiss
and that we are as one, when he is weak I am strong. The next morning
while driving to work my phone rang with an out of area number thinking it was
Jamie, when I picked up the phone I heard a cold voice that was not my husband,
it was a man calling to tell me that Jamie was wounded and in
Right at that moment I could of
stopped and let my world shut down, I could have drove my car into a wall, I
could have chosen to not deal with this tragedy and walk away.. I could
have done many things but what I did do, was try to get control of my emotions,
I started taking deep breaths, thinking of Jamie and saying a prayer not for
strength for myself to get through this, I said a prayer and asked God to take
my strength and give it Jamie on the operating table, I asked God to give
everything I am to the man who help create me into the woman I become.
With in a few days Jamie was flowed to American soil and
placed in ICU at Walter Reed hospital, he was paralyzed from the chest down, not
able to eat, drink or breathe on his own. When he needed to walk, I walked
for him, when he needed to talk, I talked for him. Everything he couldn't
do I could and I did. Even at that point, Jamie and I chose to put God
first, we chose to only surround ourselves with people who were selfless,
encouraging and supportive to us in our time of need.
That was our secret, that is how we survived
for the last 11 months of my husbands life and how each day I wake up and move forward <3
My name is Melissa Jarboe, military spouse, wounded warrior wife and war widow. Today and everyday moving forward, I will honor the sacrifice of our men and women who selflessly serve our nation.