I know what you’re thinking, how do grief and sourdough relate? My name is Amy. I am a U.S. Army Veteran. I was married to my gorgeous-brown eyed husband Antonio, also an Army War Veteran, for 33 years. Antonio was my very best friend. He passed away December 23, 2022 at 2:17pm on the day he was supposed to be discharged from the hospital. Just a few hours before Christmas Eve. To say that my world turned completely upside down is an understatement. We were/are parents to two amazing sons Bryan and Brandon, two awesome daughters-in-law/love Lexi and Chelsea and five beyond precious grandsons, Atlas, Brantley, Talon, Carson and Antonio Bryson. Needless to say Christmas was not very merry for our family. I’ve walked around in a complete blur for 151 days now, not really living. I just exist. You see my husband and I were together almost every waking hour of our lives together, apart from a one year hard-ship tour to Korea. Our first big deployment was together to serve in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. The last five years have been all about our grandsons. It’s been about making sure they grow up knowing that they are loved, protected and valued. The only thing my husband has asked of me five years ago when our first grandson was born, was to not work and care for Atlas. The other four little blessings followed over the last four years. The goal remained the same, stay home and love on our grand babies. Antonio aka., PopPop was adamant they would never set foot in a daycare and he was pro-homeschooling. You see the world that we served to protect has gotten really ugly. We didn’t and still don’t want them exposed to all of the ugly, if we could prevent it. Our sons and daughters-in-law/love all work. Today it takes both parents to provide for their family. Antonio worked to provide for he and I. I aka., YaYa, was the one to remain home with our Littles. Antonio’s death has changed the perfect equation we had working for us. Our goal remains the same, the Littles come first.
I am not ok. I am a grieving widow just trying to hold together what my amazing husband wanted for our family. My mind keeps replaying the last day with Antonio over and over, trying to find out how it went so wrong. I know it won’t bring him back, but that’s the human part of me trying to make sense of it all. I will tell you that the last twenty minutes, my husband realized what was happening. The look on his face told me that without me having to ask. He used that twenty minutes to tell our boys how much he loved them and how proud of them he was. He then looked at me with barely enough air and told me Amy, I love you, I love you, I love you. He blinked a few time and he slipped away from us. I am confident that when he closed his eyes here on earth that he was immediately in the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Most days I feel like there is something crushing me and it’s hard to breath. I put on a smile and get through my day with our Littles the best I can. My mind still constantly racing trying to figure it all out. One day I said to myself, “Amy, just get up and find just one thing to occupy your mind other than that last day”. I headed to my kitchen, grabbed my sourdough starter and kept myself busy for the next 6 1/2 hours. Those 6 1/2 hours were all about sourdough bread. Sourdough is tedious and time consuming. It’s a task that requires total concentration. It’s exactly what my brain needed. I named my Sourdough starter Ramon. That was my husbands middle name and what everyone in his hometown of Albuquerque called him. All of us here in Mississippi called him Antonio, some called him Tony. To me, he was just Babe, my absolute everything. Anyway, back to my starter. It was started from a 40 year old San Francisco sourdough starter. Sourdough has become my therapy. Hopefully it will also become a source of income for me to maintain my husbands wishes for our Littles to always be at home LOVED, TREASURED and PROTECTED.
The first two pictures above are the most recent. The third picture is one of my favorites, it’s from our 25th anniversary party in Albuquerque.
I will be posting regular blog post on sourdough, recipes and life with our Littles……Amy