Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30th, 2011

Today my sweet Nick would have turned 54. I think about how blessed I was to have been able to celebrate many birthdays with him. Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of our life together and how fortunate I was to have that time. Happy Birthday to my man who is dearly missed and still so loved. 
"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy"

Monday, November 28, 2011

Papa Nick: Dec.19,1920-Nov.28th, 2011

Nicholas Badida or as we all came to know him as "Papa Nick" was born in St Clair, PA. on December 19th, 1920. Born the son of Czechoslovakian Immigrants. 

He served our country from October 6, 1941 to August 27, 1945 in the 593rd Division of the United States Air Force. He attended the Air Forces Airplane Mechanic Aerial Gunnery Pilot training school during WWII. He flew Air Offensive Europe and Air Combat Balkans. He was honorably discharged.

He was ranked a T Sergeant (Technical Sergeant). This rank has "historically been the second most difficult rank to achieve." 

He received many honors during that time:

European African Middle Eastern Service Medal with 6 Bronze Stars
Good Conduct Medal
Distinguished unit badge with Oak Leaf Cluster
American Defense Service Medal
Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

Papa Nick also received the Distinguished Flying Cross medal. The Distinguished Flying Cross is a medal awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States Armed Forces who distinguishes himself or herself in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight."

After his discharge, he attended Pennsylvania State University on the GI Bill where he got his degree in education. He eventually became a special education teacher in New Jersey, where he retired. Tired of being a snowbird, he moved to Florida in the 1980s where he settled in. 

Papa Nick always had such a great mind and was very quick witted. His memory of details from years having passed was amazing to us. Even in his late 80's he could articulate stories in a way that was quite impressive. Our Nick was his only child and after his passing, you could see that Papa Nick had lost that spark and that willingness to press on. He longed to be with his son and now he is. He passed away peacefully this afternoon at St. Luke's Hospital at the age of 90. 

Now my sweet man has his Mom and Dad with him. We find great peace and comfort in that. 

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going." John 14:1-4

Rest in peace now Papa Nick.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21st, 2011

It is hard to believe Thanksgiving is here. I can still remember every part of our day together last year and I am very thankful for those memories. It is a bittersweet time of year to say the least. But in the midst of the sadness there is much joy and many reasons to be thankful. Although, I will say many of my reasons this year are pretty different from years gone by.

This year, I feel as if we are entering Thanksgiving with the attitude of King David in 2 Samuel 7.

  Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said “Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign LORD, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign LORD, is for a mere human! “What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, Sovereign LORD.For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.

First and foremost I am thankful for my Heavenly Father and His constant love and guidance in my life.

I am thankful that my husband is no longer suffering and is whole again resting in the arms of his Maker. (even though I miss him terribly).

I am so very thankful that we are healthy. 

I am thankful that we are surviving this year. I pray it is the hardest one we will ever know.

I am so thankful for the friends and family that have poured into a 17 year old boy's life after losing his father, the people who have loved him unconditionally through what I hope will be the most difficult time in his life. I thank God for you and your compassion. You have left a footprint in my heart. 

I am thankful for the family and friends who have stood by me, without questions or judgment, and just accepted me just as I am, those who have plainly and simply loved me through the pain and never gave up on me. 

I am thankful for the friend, who without fail, has sent me a card every single week since losing my husband. She has no idea how those cards provide a pick-me-up every week. Even Aaron looks forward to them!

I am thankful for the friend that has lovingly and fiercely poured into me with God's word.

I am so thankful and blessed to have the opportunity to write and share about my healing journey. It is truly a gift to be able to write down what's on my heart and mind, and try to glorify God in the process. I am  truly thankful for the support I continue to receive, it is a great source of encouragement for me. It has been a joyful surprise, and one that I am very thankful for, to also be able to write above and beyond my blog for SML. I am blessed by that opportunity.

I am thankful for the new relationships that are edifying, encouraging and loving.  My heart always has a place for a new friend. 

And of course, I am very thankful that we have a roof over our heads, a safe place to sleep at night and food on our table. But the real blessings this year do not come from "things." Instead, they have come from the people in my life. I have learned so much, hopefully grown a lot, and just feel truly thankful for the angels in my life who even ten months later, when the dust has settled and the pain is still gripping, never let go! You are not only an earthly gem, but I think God sees you as a heavenly one as well.

I pray that you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving. Enjoy those you love, while sharing delicious food, wonderful stories and great memories. Make this a time of real thanksgiving and fellowship. For those with loved ones who are no longer here to celebrate.....cling tightly to those loving and sweet memories in your heart, they are yours to treasure.

May God bless you all,


Monday, November 14, 2011

November 15th, 2011

Hello sweet family and friends,

Hope you all are doing well! I am not sure I have told you this in a while but I appreciate your constant love and prayers in my life as I continue to rebuild and heal! You rock!

I wanted to share with you about a Wednesday morning journey I have been on for a couple of months now.

I have felt so blessed to be able to attend a woman's Bible study at Celebration Church on Wednesday mornings called Sisterhood. Those of you who know me well know I love me some Bible studies and fellowshipping with other women. When I think back to that first Wednesday a couple of months ago, I can remember feeling a little apprehensive about attending and committing to a new study. I was little startled by the way I was feeling, but I thought I would give it shot, go when I could, meet a few new ladies, and get through it. Ha! I should have known better than that!

We have been studying a series called "Ancient Wisdom, Modern Life", a study of 1 Corinthians. I always take a lot of notes, but I remembered writing down, underlining and highlighting something Pastor Kerri said that has stuck with me throughout this study, she said "Find God's rhythm for your life." I think that resonated so much for me because it made me realize that I had gotten out of rhythm in my own life with a few things.

In many ways, the past couple of months at this study had allowed me to recognize just how out of sync I was. I hadn't been engaged in studying the Word as diligently as I had before, I hadn't been fellowshipping and building new relationships, and I hadn't been planting fresh seeds. As we near the final study this Wednesday, however, I'm amazed at how much all of that has changed since diving back into the Bible. It was purely a case of bringing the body and having the mind follow.

I really just positioned myself in a place where God could speak to me, and I was blessed by meeting some incredible women and being fed wisdom that I could apply to my life. It was an awesome experience, one that allowed me to be in an environment where I could grow spiritually and even leave my comfort zone a little bit. I was right where I was supposed to be on Wednesday mornings!

Giving God the opportunity to move in your life through studying His word can help you get in tune with His rhythm. It can help you feel that balance spiritually, emotionally and physically. This doesn't mean life won't come without it's share of disappointments, but we can better equip ourselves to handle them when they do.

As I continue on this journey I am constantly reminded that my Heavenly Father provides a warm blanket of love and protection for me, (for all of us) daily. That even through the sorrow of loss God will shine through and bring hope and life.

 Be encouraged! 

Blessings Always,


Sunday, November 6, 2011

November 6th, 2011

Thank you all so much for your kind words and prayers this week as my anniversary passed by. It was one of those days that I knew was coming and I did cry a lot leading leading up to it. Then the day came, and ironically I did not shed a tear. It was very peaceful, I spent the day with a friend and stayed busy. Of course I thought about "my man" throughout that day, but that was nothing new as I always do that.

I felt this week brought a little more healing, as with each "first" that passes, the pain in my heart lessens a bit. I think it is true that time does heal your pain. Although, sometimes it is a very slow process depending on what that pain is. I know many of you can relate.

It occurred to me yesterday, that I had taken my wedding ring off a couple of days ago to clean it, but did not put it back on. That was a "whoa" moment for me. I would never keep it off long, so to realize I didn't put it right back on kind of floored me. I have had a very difficult time with the thought of not wearing my ring. It signified so much to me and not have it on meant I was giving up that one thing I was holding onto that symbolized I was still a wife. It may seem like one of those small things, until you actually have do it. 

 Nick and I had a conversation about my ring and what He wanted me to do with it. It's weird I can remember having that conversation, and thinking I am hearing what your saying, but I can't imagine that point and time taking place in my life, but it has. 

Nick and Aaron had gone together to pick out the ring, which made it even more special. Nick gave it to me for our 15th wedding anniversary. So, we decided together that if that time ever came that I would pass on that "symbol of love" to our son Aaron, knowing one day he will give it to someone special who will enjoy it as much as I have. You have no idea the joy that fills my heart with! 

 With every hurdle that I face in this journey I gain new perspectives on so many things. Hopefully the moments of pain and heartache in our lives will leave a footprint of compassion, mercy and grace in our hearts and we can help others around us that may face similar trials. Until my husband became ill, I had no idea how the heart of a caretaker felt, and it wasn't until ten months ago that I was able to relate to the grieving heart of a widow. We all face challenges that will hopefully help mold us into someone stronger, someone more mature, more wiser...someone God sees us becoming.

 James 2-4 (MSG) Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 1st, 2011

My Dearest Nick,

Today would have been our twenty year wedding anniversary. I found it only fitting to write you a letter, since I came across the beautiful one you wrote to me last year. I think I must have been a million miles away reading that sweet letter last November. But now, my heart absorbs every word that you wrote so eloquently to describe our love story of nineteen years.

You began by saying that you were truly blessed to be married to me and you thanked me for being by your side. I was the one who was blessed! Here on earth I had found my king, my protector, my one and only, or as I used to jokingly refer to you as "my man!" I feel so fortunate to have experienced such a true love in my lifetime. Being by your side, as your wife, was one of my greatest joys. I am not sure that I ever told you.....Thank you!

You told me to keep on keeping on....I am! Some days it is such a battle, and ever so exhausting, but you know God planted a fiery drive and determination in me and I am so thankful for that. You wrote how Aaron would continue to bring me so much joy, and he has. You would be, and I am sure you are, beaming with pride at your boy (soon to be a college boy!). You definitely left your mark in him through many expressions, especially that sweet smile of his, that is such a precious reminder of you.  He possesses so many wonderful qualities, but the one that shines brightest is his love and obedience for his Savior. Nothing on this earth brings me greater joy than to see that. God's got big plans for our boy! But you probably already know that.

 I know today would have been so very special to you. You talked so much about making it to that twenty year mark, you were so proud, you would always grin and say "who would have ever thunk it?" And I would chuckle back "not me!" all in fun of course! There is so much I miss about us, but one thing for sure is the way that only you could make me laugh. I could fill up the pages of a novel with the things I miss about us.

I think the sweetest words in that letter were when you wrote "I thank God everyday that we came into a Christian way of life and whatever happens, our 19 years will one day be an eternity together." I too am so very thankful that we committed our lives to Christ, without Him, I could not walk this journey out. The strength that Aaron and I have found through Him is nothing short of a miracle. As you ended your letter to me your wrote "You will remain in my heart and soul forever and my love for you will never cease, let's celebrate every moment the Lord has given us here together."

My sweet Nick you will remain in my heart and soul forever and my love for you will never cease. We did celebrate the moments that the Lord gave us! In true Nick Badida style I know you would be spoiling me today with whatever my little heart desired.....and you did! This letter is worth more to me than any gift money can buy.

Happy Anniversary sweetie, I love you with all my heart.


Mrs. Badida