Two Years

I am at a loss for words.

Two years is harder than one year. Harder than one day.

We miss you. You are so loved.

SSgt Bryan Berky

22 March 1984 — 12 September 2009

KIA Afghanistan

Hugs beautiful. Im keeping you and the family in my thoughts and prayers. Don’t expect this to be easy, I know it wouldn’t be on me either. You are a very strong individual, hang in there. I know we don’t know each other all that well, but im here for you today, tomorrow, next week, a year from now, etc. if you need anything!

monica chaney

DOnt know what to say but loved what you said. u said it all.

You are right. Two years is harder than one year. But as I approach three years, I think it’s going to be easier than the past two. Thank you for sharing.


I have been following your blog through Brenda. I am sending you love today <3


If someone out there can tell me what Brian’s favorite color is it would be much appreciated. I did not know him but am doing a project for EAFB that I would like to incorporate his favorite color into the design. Subdued but those that know him may have a tie to the facility.


Jerry, I am sending you an email!

Ten Years — September 11, 2001


Today, on the ten-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, so many thoughts are racing through my mind and so many emotions are flooding my heart. I am overcome with grief: for the many innocent lives lost that day, for the devastation and pain our nation experienced, for the many sacrifices made by those who have bravely fought back for the past ten years. And of course, for my own loss.

I’ll never forget where I was that day. I stood in the library beside my best friend during what would have been our second period class and watched as the second plane crashed into the South Tower. Our young minds were reeling and we couldn’t quite fathom the magnitude of what was happening as we clustered amongst the students in the safety of our small town high school.  The looks on our teachers’ faces were our first clues of the seriousness of the events unfolding before us, and as the minutes rolled on we began to feel it. Prayers circles were formed, tearful groups held hands, and we all knew – our world had changed forever.

Little did my best friend and I know just how much our worlds would change because of this fateful day.

A mere 10 months later, my best friend was at boot camp for the Air Force.  He, and many other young adults motivated by that horrific occurrence and its aftermath, had responded to the call to defend his country. He put his fears aside and stepped up for his peers, for his family, for America. He was ready to act for our freedom.

As often happens in the case of true love, absence made our hearts realize what they desired and within a year, my best friend became my husband.

The next five years of our lives brought many experiences: our first apartment, adventures in schooling and first serious jobs, a move overseas to build a new life in Japan, promotions and Temporary Duty Assignments and deployments, completion of college degrees, and the conception of our first child. Around our five-year anniversary, we moved back to the US and built our first home, ready to welcome our son into the world. We were ecstatic, on top of the world, and so excited for the future we had worked so hard for, for so many years.

Shortly after our son was born, we received the news. My husband would be leaving for his third deployment in March. Our son would only be three months old.

We were devastated, but in our true fashion we remained optimistic. We found the positives in the situation: he would only be gone seven months, he would be home for our little man’s first birthday, he had wonderful teammates, we would have good communication. We would make it work. We always had. He would be home before we knew it.

But this time, he wouldn’t come home.

On this significant anniversary, I am filled not only with the memories of the dreadful events of that day and the sorrow of the 2,996 lives lost within them, but I am also overcome by the grief of my own loss: my husband, my best friend, a dedicated and brave hero who gave his life fighting the War on Terror. As I mourn the anniversary of September 11, I also mourn the anniversary of September 12. Tomorrow marks two years since my best friend and love gave his life fighting for the security and freedom of our nation, just one day after anniversary of the event that motivated him.

I am one of many – a single voice of thousands of families filled with the pain and grief of loss following the attacks of September 11: husbands and wives whose spouses didn’t come home from work that day, children whose parents never made it off their plane, parents whose adult children bravely responded in efforts to save others, aunts and uncles and cousins and friends who never got to say a final goodbye on what started out as a normal day. And Gold Star families whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice in the years since.

More than 6,000 brave men and women have given their lives fighting the War on Terror, fighting back for our nation, fighting for the honor and memory of the thousands of innocent people who perished at the hands of terrorists. And I imagine that I speak for many when I say that one of the most comforting thoughts I envelope myself with one days like these is the fact that my husband died doing something he believed in. He died with faith, conviction, passion, and hope for the future. And because of that, I will continue on his legacy.

As we mark the ten year anniversary of September 11, 2001, let us remember all who perished that day and in the days since. And let us not forget the many troops still out there fighting for our freedom today. The best thing we can do to honor the memory of all of our heroes is to live the lives they sacrificed to give us. Live it to the fullest: with faith, conviction, passion, and hope for the future. Let us continue on their legacies.

God bless us all. We remember. <3


Many hugs to you, Erin, especially on this day. God bless you.

Beautiful post. I know today is a difficult day for you – but I know you are making Bryan proud in the way you are continuing his legacy. (hugs) May you find comfort today.

monica chaney

we will never forget

Quick Hello and Exciting Honors

Hello all! Been a busy week around these parts, we have company visiting so I’ve been spending more time offline. It’s in great timing to keep my mind off the impending anniversary approaching later this month. Both the Little Dude and I are enjoying visiting and taking trips to the beach and hanging out with friends and family. I’ll be back regularly with more posts next week. For now I thought I’d pop on with a quick informational post to let you know about two very exciting things for the blog!

I am pleased to announce that the blog has been awarded another great honor. Remember our nomination for the Top 25 Mental Wellness Blogs from Circle of Moms? Thanks to your support, NYAW has been named the 3rd top blog! Check out my interview and the other top 25 bloggers featured. I am so thankful for this honor and for the ability to reach and support others who are dealing with similar situations. It’s wonderful to be a part of such a great community of strong women.



Also, you may have noticed the addition of a few ads on the blog. I’m now a part of the BlogHer Publishing Network! You’ll now see ads and links to relevant posts by other bloggers in both the header and sidebar of my blog. Be sure to check out the blog links, the network is filled with wonderful writers. You don’t have to click on any of the ads, but if you feel inclined they will help me with keeping the blog running.

A quick note about the ads. BlogHer is very understanding of it’s bloggers preferences and beliefs, and in keeping with this there are certain ads you will never see here on Not Your Average Widow. Because I am a firm believer in health and nutrition, you will never see ads for fast food restaurants or processed foods. Because it is my hope that every woman embrace her own unique beauty, you will never see ads for cosmetic surgery, diet pills, or quick weight loss schemes. And because I believe in respecting everyone’s differing beliefs, you will never see ads relating to any specific religious or political denomination.


Off to enjoy the rest of our visit, see you next week! <3

yay! Congrats!


Yes, congratulations are in order! This is an amazing priilege, sharing your path on a journey I wish with my whole heart you had never had to take. My thoughts are with you, this month especially, but always. Miss you and Bryan, especially as our leaving Okinawa fast approaches and I think back on all the fun times and great people we have known here in the past 7 years. And one day we are going to meet the little man of whom you are so justly proud! Lots of love………

Blast from the Past

October 7, 2009

Feeling very weird this afternoon. I realized that I haven’t felt sad in a while. From about noon yesterday and on, I’ve really felt myself slipping back into our familiar old daily routine. The phone isn’t ringing as much, not as many people are coming by, and Little Dude is back to ‘normal’ on his schedule. I am doing things the same way as I always did before, throughout this entire deployment. The day is exactly the same now, only minus a phone call and a few emails. And it feels normal. And that feels so wrong. I think I am sinking into a weird state of denial or disillusion. As long as nothing triggers my thoughts in that direction, I could go on for a while pretending like everything is ‘over’ and ‘back to normal’ and one day The Hubs will call with his flight itinerary and I will start getting things ready for his homecoming. That is exactly how I feel right now. It just feels like he is still deployed and still coming home one day. I have this constant feeling of waiting humming in the background and I am not sure what to attribute that to. Is it that I am so crazy that I am waiting for him to come home still, or perhaps my subconscious is waiting for me to come out of denial and accept that he is gone? Part of me really feels like I need to do something to trigger myself and the flood of a breakdown that is lingering behind the huge wall I have put up, and then the other part of me is too afraid and sad to do that and is perfectly content to stay in my little dream world. I just think it is so weird that I haven’t felt sad or haven’t really felt anything for the last two days. I must be a cold heartless bitch. But maybe I’d rather be that than feel the misery I think is waiting in the wings somewhere. I really want to run away somewhere for a while, maybe go to Utah to hike the trails with T or go to Kentucky to have a beer with L. Somewhere that is completely different and maybe would shock my system into realizing that life isn’t normal right now. Okay, I am rambling.