Hole in my Heart

There is a hole in my heart.  It was put there three years ago today. I always thought it would heal itself, that it wouldn’t be so noticeable.

But, it’s still there.

I may not cry every day any more.  I may continue to move on.

But, it’s still there.


Three years ago, LCPL Dean D. Opicka was killed in action with CPL Richard Nelson.  They were driving a hummer and hit a road side bomb.

Dean was my best friend.  We were roommates and coworkers.  We were teammates and drinking buddies.  We were the person we would go to when we were happy, frustrated, mad or sad.  We were the person with whom we would act completely silly and crazy and ridiculous.  We traveled, and volunteered, and created too many memories to count.

And that hole is still there.

I still think about that one spring when he was mad at me for something, and I never learned why.  I still want to know.

I still think about watching him get sworn into the USMC down at MEPs and wondering if I could have said something to change his mind.  Would he still be with us?

I miss him.

The hole is still there.


So today, I will take some extra time to remember, to honor, to cherish.  I love my loved ones a bit harder.  I will appreciate my freedom that much more.  I will look at pictures and emails and letters.  And I will laugh and cry and smile.


Thank you, Dean, for the ultimate sacrifice.

You are never forgotten.


Freedom isn’t free, never was.


1 Comment

Filed under Remembering

One response to “Hole in my Heart

  1. Amanda Hamilton

    Mel, I cant imagine the loss you and others have felt losing Dean. You were obviously much closer to him than I was but I still think about it him often. When my baby brother joined the marines, all I thought of was what had happened to Dean and didnt want TJ to have to go through all of that, but then remembered that people like Dean are the reason why we are so lucky to be Americans. As you said, freedom isnt free. I hope that as time goes on it does someday get easier, much love!

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