I am strong because at the age of 18, I went through about 8 months of my first pregnancy alone while my husband was serving our country in Iraq.
I am strong because I was induced at 38 weeks pregnant, while my husband was home on R&R, and after 10+ hours of labor, I delivered our daughter via Cesarean because I wouldn’t dilate past a 5.
I am strong because after giving birth, I was in the hospital for 5 days because one of my lungs started to collapse, and even though it hurt like hell to recover, I pushed myself and walked out of there.
I am strong because after I left the hospital, my incision became infected to the point where both my feet and legs were so swollen that I couldn’t walk. I was in bed for days and my husband helped me heal the infection naturally.
I am strong because two weeks after our daughter was born, I had to see my husband off, as he returned to Iraq.
I am strong because 16 days after my husband got back to Iraq, and just two days after our daughter turned one month old, I became a 19 year old military widow when my husband died of a massive heart attack.
I am strong because I raised a smart, compassionate, beautiful little girl for almost two years by myself.
I am strong because I have chosen to rise instead of falling after such an incredible loss, to keep moving forward after facing such a horrible heartbreak, and to live and love every single day for him.