There is so much going on in our lives right now. So much is happening. So much is changing. We are planning for my son’s future. And it hurts my heart that my late husband is missing it. Is not here to help with the process. Is not here to encourage our son.


My son has big dreams. Huge goals. Is more ambitious than I ever was at 17. He’s applying to the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, the Citadel. He’s also applying a few state schools like Georgia Tech and University of Florida. He really wants to play football at a military academy. That is his goal. And my late husband would be so very proud.


As colleges are contacting my son’s coach and we are making college visits, I wish my late husband was here. Could tell me what he thinks. Offer his sage words of wisdom. And occasionally calm  my nerves with his shit eating grin. The one our child inherited and so often displays. I wish Jared was here to share in this moments.


When Jared died, I often thought about what it would be like and how hard it would be to experience these moments without him. But it is different than I imagined. Harder. 


These moments are bittersweet. I am a proud mama.  So proud and happy for my son. And at the same time, my heart hurts that Jared is missing all this. 


In the beginning I second guessed every decision I made.  Wondered what Jared would say?  Was fairly certain I was screwing everything up. And I still feel this way sometimes. 


But now I know I’ve shown my son that we can survive anything. That when life knocks you to your knees, you have to choose to get back up. It won’t be easy. It is going to hurt. But we can do it.  Are doing it. And will continue to keep doing it. 


With so much happening in our lives, with so much change, one thing is constant.  We love Jared. We miss him.  We wish he could be here. 


And we will continue to get up everyday and live life.  Because that’s what he would want for us. 


Carla always knew she would be a widow but didn’t have any idea how it would actually feel. When Carla met her late husband Jared, he was waiting for a lung transplant due to Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic disease affecting the lungs and pancreas. So she knew that most likely someday she would say goodbye to her husband. But she never dreamt it would be exactly one week before their 14th wedding anniversary. In August 2014, Jared was diagnosed with a rare bacterial infection in his transplanted lung and was expected to survive at least 6 months if not a year. Instead, he died just 6 weeks later. And in the blink of an eye, Carla became a solo mom to their 10-year-old son. And even though her life was forever marked before and after, she was determined to live life to the fullest because her husband would expect no less.

She founded Breathing for Jared, a Foundation to provide college scholarships to those suffering from lung disease in honor of her late husband. Became a supporter of the CF Foundation and Donate Life. And discovered that writing out her emotions and fears on her blog Transplant Wife and Widow helped her to process her grief

Carla recently remarried and is now blending a family with her new husband, bonus daughter, and son.