February 20, 2014

Missing Daren, Three Years Later

Three years ago today my brother-in-law Daren was killed by and IED while leading Soldiers on patrol in southern Afghanistan. He was the goofiest, happiest, and most genuine person you ever could meet.

A lot has happened in three years since his passing, and yet it doesn't at all feel like three years. It still feels like I could just pick up the phone and hear his voice. I wish I could. I wish he was here to meet Finley and Mary. The only child of ours that Daren has gotten to know is the one we never got to know. I firmly believe, and am comforted at the thought, that Daren is with Cale and has been looking out for him. It makes me ache for them both all the more, but I'm thankful they have one another now. 

The other day Finn pointed to a picture of Daren and said, "dats Daren Hidalgo" and then spelled Daren (he is enjoying spelling 'Finley Daren' lately). I'm excited that Finn is nearing an age where he can learn more about Daren and eventually grasp the importance of his middle name. I was five months pregnant with him when Daren was killed. After Daren's possessions were sent home, his mom found, and sent us, a card that he had purchased while in Afghanistan and never mailed. It was a congratulations card for a baby boy. He may have been a clown a lot of the time, but Daren was one hell of a thoughtful guy.

I haven't broadcasted this information, but Miles is deployed again. I'm sure it's especially somber for him today, to be back where he was when Daren was killed. I wish we could be with him today as we remember his brother, but I will spend part of the day with his other brother Jared and his family, as well as Daren's best friend Phil who lives near us and has become a good friend over the last couple years. We'll probably exchange stories and laughter, a few tears, and hugs and forever miss our beloved and wonderful Daren.

Here is the tribute and remembrance video for Daren. If you haven't seen it before, please take a few minutes to watch and help us remember him.


  1. Missing him with you! I hate that you have to walk through this but glad both boys are together! Thankful for what miles and daren do for our freedom!
    Love that you are installing Daren and Cale into Finns and Mary's lives! They will live forever in their hearts!
    Thankful you will be with some Hidalgo family and good friends today!

  2. I never knew about that card.

    And my goodness. I love Finley and how he is starting to connect his middle name to his loved uncle. I love that uncle Daren is watching over Cale. While not what you'd have hoped 3 years ago for either, it is nice they are together. Just wish it was in the flesh, here with all of us.

    Love to your family as we remember Daren today. xo

  3. Sending love. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Sweet boy is certainly making his uncle proud. Many prayers sent from family and friends today <3

  5. Still so tragic. We will forever remember our country's heroes.
    I met a woman here who knew Daren. I love that his legacy lives on.
    Love to the Hidalgo family today (and always).

  6. I've been thinking of Daren and his family, your family today. I watched the video and as amazing and beautiful as a tribute it is I couldn't help, but to feel angry. It's so unfair and wrong that he isn't here. So much more life to live. Miles' brother, your brother-in-law, parents, family, friends...the world needs more people like Daren and I'm just so sorry he was taken from you all. Daren and Cale should be here. Damnit. Xoxo

  7. Remembering Daren with you <3

    I watched the video. Worthy of the applause of heaven indeed. I cried hearing Miles talk about his brother. My heart is breaking for you guys. I send my love to you, Miles, and your in-laws. Bless his mothers breaking heart.

    The connection between Daren and Cale doesn't make any of this OK, but my heart is comforted by it.


  8. You and your family are all in my thoughts. The video is so moving, such a heartfelt tribute.

  9. I'm late in commenting, but I thought of Daren and your family so much. It makes my heart hurt that he isn't here. Lots of love!

  10. Such a tragedy... The video was just beautiful. Remembering Daren today, along with the many many others that haave sacrificed their lives for our beloved Country!