Kyle in August 2013
|Born||Taya Renae Studebaker
September 4, 1974
Portland, Oregon, United States
|Spouse(s)||Chris Kyle (m. 2002; d. 2013)|
There's no road map. There's no textbook on how grief works and when your heart will be open – or if it ever will.
I'd realize it's not worth our time to worry. You do your best, and God will put the right people in your path.
I can tell you that my family in the absolute worst of times has seen the absolute best in people. And, that has given us more strength than could ever imagine.
Many of us who have cars have felt some form of extreme anger at other drivers because we feel they have put us in harm's way. We might even envision ramming their cars or cutting them off in return, but do we actually do it? No, because the overwhelming majority of us never want to take another human life.
I've learned that when God promises beauty through the ashes, He means it.
The blessing is that my kids have a lot of strong men and strong marriages around them, so I feel like they are getting what they need as far as role modeling. So I don't feel the pressure for them.
That was essential to my journey: the ability to love children while simultaneously having your heart broken.
I have learned in my life that my plans don't matter. It's God's plan.
I would like my kids to go to college and be exposed to the real world and to make their own decisions and find their own path instead of sending them somewhere where they would be creatively conditioned for one life path or another.
With a warm drink, in a rocking chair and family and friends around, I am working on finding peace and joy in the moments we have been given. It doesn't have to all make sense. I don't have all the answers.
I think everybody goes through things in their life where they're like, 'This does not make any sense,' or 'I don't understand why this is happening,' but that's part of the journey of faith.
I hope our people hold tight to the notion that we do not have to be a fear-ridden country focused on restrictions, but rather that we remain the land of the free and home of the brave.
Every single person suffers; every marriage has some major battles. Life pulls you in different directions. But if you try, and you're lucky, you can find your way back to each other.
The body is the one thing you have to say goodbye to. You can hold on to your memories. You can hold on to the spirit. That's part of the package that you love and the part that comforts you.
Something that I've struggled with for awhile is looking at our country voting on sound bites, and to me, character is really important.
In your darkest moments of despair, a friend's hand on yours will get you through the worst.
What I've noticed is not only in the military, but in the first responders community, that when you reach out your hand to help one of them, they almost always grab your hand with only one of theirs, because they're using their other hand to reach behind them and pull up somebody else with them.
We all suffer. It's part of life. The blessing is – while evil exists, Divinity does, too, and it is stronger.
I wasn't angry with God that I lost my husband. I was devastated; I was broken. I still am, in many ways. But I feel like God gives free will to everyone, and people who want to choose evil, they have that same free will.
For quite a while, it didn't feel right. How could I feel joy when I lost the love of my life? I'm learning that those two things can co-exist. It will never be the same joy, but it doesn't mean there won't be joy.
A couple of times, I felt like I was cracking and I couldn't go on, and God would put another person in my place to help me.
You like to be independent, but you will need to learn to ask for help. It doesn't make you weak.
My hope for this country is that we remain a people who value freedom, who have the courage to face the realities with faithful hearts instead of anxious ones.
When you're trained for battle, the idea is that it will be man against man.
For people who grew up hunting, especially war veterans, shooting often settled the mind. It was something that required full concentration, and therefore took you away from your troubles, at least for a short time.
When the dark days come, many wonderful moments, those will all seem dead and empty to you. It will take practice and even hard work to find the joy sometimes.
From the days of Cain and Abel, we know all too well there will always be evil. But that evil shouldn't take away our freedoms.
I think that sometimes you can be an example of what to do and what not to do, and I think most of the time I'm an example of what not to do.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude, and my heart is full. 'American Sniper' has broken records, which follows such an honest path of Chris's life.
I think when you suffer a tremendous loss, everybody needs love and support in tangible ways. And that's what people have done for us.
My husband may have been in the military, but no one tells me which leader to follow.
I think that that's so true for a lot of first responder families and military families. If you ask them, 'Is there anything I can do for you?', they almost always will not ask for that help.
I have been afraid of guns, I have sworn I would never use a gun on another person and so did not need one, and I have wanted to deny the existence of evil.
I feel like freedom of speech is one of the great things in this country and the freedom to do what you feel is right.
I'm extremely grateful to all the first responders, veterans and their families for all their sacrifices.
There's a consequence for everything, and that goes back to the Bible for me.
I have been touched by extreme violence, and I have been robbed of the life I always wanted by someone who chose to do evil.
I've been taught in my life that you can have plans, but you can't count on them.
Our main goal is to honor God and to honor this country by honoring and serving those families who serve.
I'll proudly stand with one of the great leaders this state and country have ever produced: Rick Perry.
I think I've been inspired by Chris and his ability to be raw and genuine and admit flaws and let it be whatever it is. That's something I'm trying to do, too, is just be real… That way ends up being very healing with people.
Sometimes you will think you can't take it another day. But if you hang in there, one step at a time, you will be able to accomplish more than you ever imagine.
I think that God prepared me for Chris's death in some ways, because I've seen other people lose their spouses. I've known for a long time that life isn't fair.