Still, we were in love. By the time he received his orders for Iraq in December 2004, we were finally ready to be a family. We decided to have you. At forty years old, I got pregnant in one passionate weekend when your father was on a break from training.
Then, in the dusk of an early spring day nearly four months after he left for Iraq, I lay in a hospital bed giving birth to you, wracked by a pain so intense I did not think my body could endure it. I could not know that only six months later I would fall to the floor screaming from a pain more wrenching than childbirth, when I learned that your father had been killed. That night I reached for your journal, and I have read it a hundred times since. I find new insights every time.