An Open Letter To The Soldier Who Gave It All

An Open Letter To The Soldier Who Gave It All

A tribute to CPT Shane Timothy Adcock, gone but never forgotten. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
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Dear Shane,

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. Even after all that time, I haven’t forgotten about you. In fact, I think about you everyday. I remember it like it was yesterday, waking up to my teary eyed mother trying to explain death and heroism to a 10-year-old.

I remember chuckling at first, thinking that it had to be a joke. But the grave expression on my mother's face proved that it wasn’t funny. I remember how I questioned God, because I couldn’t comprehend how such a great and powerful God could take away an amazing man. I remember hurting

The hurt began to dissipate, but it was taken over by anger. I was angry with God and I was angry with the person who threw the explosive device that hit the Humvee. I was angry that you had been killed. But more than hurt and more than anger, I was distraught by the fact that I had lost my best friend.

You were my babysitter. You were my best friend. You were the one who listened to my horrible singing and the one who always cheered me up. You were a man of high morals and a friend to everyone you met. You were the one who encouraged so many people. You were the one who enjoyed being around friends and throwing back a beer. You were the one who went to church and ensured that you lived your life in a Christian way. You were the one that left too soon. You were the soldier who gave it all.

It’s truly hard to believe that you have been apart from us for 10 years, but in your sacrifice, I have witnessed the effect that you had on people.

Shane, you brought so much happiness to this world, but not only that you shared it with others. You cared and empathized with people no matter what you were doing and you always put your family first.

Looking back on these ten years, I have seen how much you have shaped the person I have become. I strive to be like you and to encourage others, lend a hand and occasionally a shoulder. You taught me what it looks like to be a follower of Christ. You taught me how to value people. You taught me what it means to stick to your morals. I have learned so much from you; Shane and I know others have too.

I hate that it had to be you, but your sacrifice to this country is so admirable. As we remember you on this ten-year mark, remember that we’re not just remembering you this one day, but everyday. I know that you’re looking down from heaven smiling on us, and I hope you know that I’m smiling right back at you. I love you, Shane. Thank you for your sacrifice and thank you for being my hero.

Love always,

Brittany

Cover Image Credit: Jennifer Lawrence

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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14 Things You Relate To If You Grew Up WithOUT Any Cousins

*GASP* "What, you really don't have any cousins?"

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It always shocks every person who hears me state that I do not have any cousins. For some reason, this is just hard for people to really believe when it's actually not something impossible. I think we are all just so used to large families that it sounds weird when people say that they have no cousins. Yet, it is definitely a potential reality, and actually impossible if each of your parents is the only child to your grandparents.

Here are 14 things that you can relate to if you grew up without any cousins.

1. Nobody believes you when you say that you don't have any cousins

I'm serious, for the tenth time.

2. Your grandparents spoil you

With no other grandchildren to worry about, it's pretty easy to do.

3. You don't understand when people say that cousins are your first best friends

My best friend was my first best friend.

4. You and your siblings are always the youngest people at family events

This was simultaneosuly a good thing and a bad thing.

5. You get all of the attention at holidays

Since you're the youngest one around, then distant relatives are always doting over you.

6. Everything you do is deemed awesome by your extended family because there is nobody to compete with

It's much easier to be praised when you aren't being compared to someone similar to your age.

7. You don't know how to hold babies

You're never around them so why would you?

8. Family photos are pretty easy to coordinate

The less people, the easier.

9. Other family members spoil you just because 

Afterall, you are the only kid around...

10. The family will make comments regarding the potential for you to have a cousin as a justification for why they aren't doing something for you

When you hear, "I can't buy you too much because someday your aunt is going to have kids and I will have to do the same for them" you cringe and just had to know that all of the attention wouldn't last forever.

11. Birthdays are always a big deal

A perk of not having very many to remember.

12. If your parents' siblings own pets, then you refer to the animal as your cousin

Cat cousins, dog cousins, lizard cousins, and fish cousins can be pretty cool, actually.

13. Sometimes you dream of marrying into a big family

This is to ensure that your kids do grow up with cousins.

14. You appreciate the closeness of your tight-knit fam

Maybe the only thing you would miss if you had a big family is the opportunity to develop such close bonds with the few relatives that you do have.

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