February 19, 2012

Celebrate Tomorrow.

Tomorrow marks one year from when my brother-in-law Daren was killed in Afghanistan. It's hard to believe it's been a year since Daren died as sometimes it feels like just yesterday he was giving me a hard time or being the brunt of jokes amongst his siblings. I spent some time tonight going through old pictures, trying to pick out a few to share. But it's hard to just pick out just a few. There are so many wonderful pictures that really capture who Daren was and how he lived his life.

Daren was my first salute after I was commissioned. He was also Miles' first salute. 

Daren was the Best Man at our Wedding.

When Miles and I were stationed at Ft. Campbell we drove down to Nashville for Flugtag. 
We planned to meet up with Daren who was also there, but did not expect that 
Daren and Miles would be wearing the exact same thing. 

 Daren's Ranger School Graduation (I was 7+ months pregnant with Cale)

 The Ranger Tab was just one of Daren's many accomplishments.

When the anniversary of Cale's birth approached us I wasn't entirely sure how to celebrate him. But with Daren the answer was a little more clear. Celebrate the day. Honor Daren by not just remembering him, but celebrating even the smallest of things.  So that's what we are going to do. We are going to go on a hike with some friends, eat some Mexican food and drink a Yuengling. Daren would have liked that. He celebrated each day to the utmost and we will honor him by doing the same, by being thankful for all that we have (because of people like him) and being thankful that he touched our lives.

I've shared this video before, but it's worth sharing again. Please take a moment to watch it and tomorrow as you go about your day please remember Daren and the lasting legacy he left behind.


  1. The smiles on yours and Darren's faces on that top photo warms my heart!
    I'm so glad that you have these memories not only on photos but so many more in your heart! So glad also that Cale got in the photos too...2 very amazing young men! We will always hold Darren near to our hearts!
    Much love and lots of prayers to you and the hildago family as you walk through the next few days!

  2. The pictures definitely say it all. Hope it was a wonderful day celebrating his love for life and reliving some great memories. Have been keeping you all in prayer as always <3

  3. Thinking of your family. He seems like an amazing person and obviously so loved. It breaks my heart to know he is no longer here with his brother, family, friends... but makes me feel so thankful that he is in good company with Cale.

  4. I second Brandy's comment. I also love that you knew just how to celebrate him. Beautiful pictures, beautiful memories.

  5. I love all the pictures!! How funny they wore the same outfit!! Tears...That video gets me everytime. I am so happy you guys were able to do something to celebrate Daren. I am sure he was smiling down watching, just as he does everyday!

  6. Big tears after watching that video. I think the way you chose to celebrate Daren's life sounds exactly right. I hope you continue to feel both Cale and him close to you.

  7. It's just to much, the losses of both Cale and daren. I'm so glad you can celebrate his life.

  8. Your hubby and his bro look so much alike. It's amazing how time can pass so quickly some days then feel like its not passing at all other days. Thinking of your family and praying for peace

  9. So hard to believe a year has passed since losing Daren. This video brought me to tears the first time I saw it and still does. So glad that you were able to celebrate Daren the way he would have wanted you to. He truly is an American hero. <3