About Our Family
We were a normal everyday family of five…and then we weren’t. Our life as we knew it and our future that we’d hoped for was suddenly and tragically over in the blink of an eye. One Monday morning I woke up with three children but after the sun set that evening, there were only two left to kiss goodnight.
A (Retired) Military Family
Our children, Caleb, Samantha and Jordyn were born into a military family. My husband Joe served active duty in the Army for 24 years. He’s now a High School JROTC Instructor and I work in the office at a local elementary school. We loved being a part of the Army family, but have settled in nicely to our new military retired lifestyle. We always imagined when we arrived at this stage of life we would finally have family time and enjoy Caleb’s last few years before he’d be off to college, sadly it didn’t turn out that way.
A Cultured Family
We were stationed in Germany for three years and absolutley loved our time there. We traveled to 19 Countries in 3 years and took advantage of all the beauty and culture that Europe offers. We especially loved our day trip to Munich on the train for Family Day at Oktoberfest! We moved back to America in 2017 with many cherished memories and friendships to last a lifetime.
A Serving Family
We love joining in on local community service projects. This was in December, 2018, at the “Warm Souls – Radical Mission” dinner for the homeless on Christmas Eve. We were all there and enjoyed serving in this mission outreach event. We’ve worked several local ministries over the years and think it’s the best way to share the love of Jesus with others and teach our kids about being compassionate, caring and helpful citizens wherever they find themselves each day.
A Happy Family
We enjoy each other’s company and we say “I Love You” all the time. Dinnertime was our favorite time of day, we talked, we laughed, we argued, we cried, we shared our best and worst moments of the day. We always helped one another and cheered each other on. We went through good times, really great times, sad times, fun times, hard times and now we are facing the most tragic and horrible time a family could ever go through. When Caleb died, our family as we knew it died right along with him. Our daughters not only lost their hero and big brother, but they lost their parents who once were. Everything is hard, but we’ve faced each day since losing Caleb by leaning into our faith, our family, our friends and each other. Some days are more manageable than others, but none of them are as good as this day was. Standing together as a family of five smiling and loving life. I came across a saying that said, “The worst part about losing your child is everyday afterwards.” Yes, everyday without Caleb is painful, sad, heartbreaking and he is deeply missed, but we know we can’t live the rest of our lives as if the best of our life is behind us. Caleb would be devastated if he knew that we were living as if everyday without him is the worst day of our life all over again. Going on without him is incredibly difficult and we wish more than anything we didn’t have to feel the pain and could have him back. We want to honor Caleb everyday for the rest of our life and the only way we can do that is by healing.
Our Last Family Photo
Father’s Day, 2019. We enjoyed the day at a Nashville Sounds Game, walked around Downtown Nashville and splurged on giant ice cream sundaes to celebrate our favorite guy and our sweet family. I never imagined this would be the last family selfie that Caleb would be in. Our family will forever be five people. He is always on our minds and forever in our hearts…we hold on with hope until we see him again.