I'm still trying to adjust to living back at home, but so far it hasn't been too bad. Thankfully everyone else is home for Christmas break and I am spending a lot of time with people I haven't seen in years...some since graduation. Weird. And I'm also back at work and trucking right along there...trying to figure out how everything works since apparently they changed basically every technology and policy since I've left. That and being on my feet all day every day isn't too fun...but the paycheck is.
We were hoping Sweet Boy would have a 4-day weekend and would be able to come home, but they needed him to stay up there. Needless to say, I was pretty upset, but I had to keep in mind that he is home safe and that's really all I could ask for.
This week, I had an encounter with a coworker of mine. I won't go into too much detail about it since I've decided to let it go, but she still says stuff that bothers me. Here's the brief version: The Wounded Warrior hospital is a little over an hour or so from where I live. A coworker of mine decided we should give away some little toys and outfits to the families who have children and are going to be stuck there for Christmas (I work at a little children's boutique). As she was gathering things to give away, she began telling me all these horrible stories of the families there. Things about how terribly it can rip apart your family. She went on to tell me how younger people get married and they just think about right then and there, not about what the possible outcomes could be and how they aren't really thinking about how their husbands may get hurt and then they have to deal with them when they get back. Then she went on to tell me how it doesn't matter anyway since the war is over now that they are out of Iraq. I just didn't know what to say, so I walked off. I was heartbroken. I was mad. I was so many emotions all at once. It was all I could do not to break down and cry in the middle of the store.
When I agreed to marry Sweet Boy, I did it knowing the possible outcomes. When I sent him off to war when we first started dating, I knew it was a possibility he may not make it home the same man, or make it home at all. I know the consequences. I am well aware of the hardships we may face as a young couple, but I am willing to do it because of the love that I have in my heart for Sweet Boy; stronger than any love I could imagine.
But the war is not over. It may be ending, but it isn't over. Sweet Boy is lucky enough to be home, but that's more than I can say for many of his friends. He's here while they are all gone, and he is having a hard time with that. He called me yesterday and told me how they had to practice a mock funeral in case something should happen. It gave me chills just thinking about what this meant; could he be in one of his friend's funerals any time soon? One of our friends? I can't imagine what was going through his head.
I'm so glad Sweet Boy is home, safe, and will see me for 18 hours starting tonight. I pray for all the families who aren't so lucky and I hope they will all make it back home safely to celebrate many, many more Christmases with their families.
Finals are done and I am now moved back home. It hasn't really hit me yet. It just feels like a long weekend. People were so busy with finals I didn't even get to tell half of my friends good-bye.
But the good news is, I bought my wedding dress this week! My mom and maid of honor went with me and we tried on all these dresses. We thought I was going in there to buy a dress that I had already tried on a few months ago but wasn't ready to buy yet. Well....I decided to try other stuff on "just in case" and then I got all confused about which dress I liked the most. Until, that is, I put on this gorgeous dress that I didn't even give a second look when it was hanging on the rack. But I put it on, walked out, and cried. Guess that solves that problem! Now I just have to wait 8 more months before I can show it to Sweet Boy. It's hard keeping secrets!
Sweet Boy came home with me this weekend. It was so nice to just relax and spend time together...not worry about other people or a timeline we had to follow. We spent hours putting a Christmas puzzle together with my parents, that's how relaxed we were. I think we both needed that. I think our relationship needed that. It brought us back together; away from the stress of finals and moving and roommates and everything else. Now it feels like we are almost back in the beginning of our relationship, when things were still new and exciting. No more fighting, no more miscommunications, no more distant and hurt feelings. Like I said, it was just what we needed.
Now I just have to get used to being back at home and under my parent's roof; it's going to be a challenge! But I start my job tomorrow and have a lot of Christmas shopping and decorating to keep me busy for now. Oh yeah, and a lot of unpacking to do!
This morning, while doing laundry, I came across a T-shirt Sweet Boy let me borrow over Thanksgiving. I couldn't help but stop and smell it. It still smelled just like him.
Instantly, I was transported to a time where he was deployed and I went to smell his shirt, and his smell was no longer there. I could remember how heartbroken I felt. How I crumbled to the floor of my closet, wondering if I would ever know his smell again.
To me, that smell is a form of comfort, a piece of home. I can't imagine never being able to breathe him in again. To never have his arms wrapped around me so tightly that his smell is the only thing near me would be heartbreaking. I can't imagine living without him in my life.
As I stood there, in the laundry room, thousands of memories flooded my brain. He has been such a constant in my life. I am so lucky to have him home right now. I am so glad he is here for the holidays. We are beginning to create our own traditions along with making more memories.
I know one day I may gripe about all the laundry I have to do once we are married, especially after a long day of him being out in the field, but for now, I don't mind. I don't mind having a reason to be reminded why I love him so much and how wonderful it feels when he hugs me so tight.
When he is gone, there is not a day where he isn't on my mind. I keep my phone by me constantly, even if I know it won't be three weeks before I hear from him. I write him letters so he can have something tangible that was once in my hand. I write him emails to keep him informed of my day-to-day actions. I send him packages to brighten up his day and to give him the strength to keep going.
I'm dedicated to my soldier.
I pray for his safety when he is gone and his knowledge while he is training. I read devotional books and blogs to help me to prepare for everything that will be thrown at us. I ask for strength for the two of us as we continue in our journey. I put on my armor at home and fight my battles while he is off fighting his.
I am dedicated to my soldier.
I dream of a day when he will be there next to me when I wake up. I picture us sitting on the couch, drinking coffee and holding hands each morning. I imagine the perfect life for us, but I know there is a chance that this could all change in an instant. I know there is a chance he won't come home the same man, he won't come home whole, or he may not come home. But these are risks I am willing to take due to my enormous amount of love for him.
I am dedicated to my soldier.
I sleep with my soldier teddy bear each night. I have camo print in almost every room of my house. I have signs, plaques, and pictures boasting my pride for my soldier. I dream of one day having a house where I can proudly fly the flag my soldier fights for.
I am dedicated to my soldier.
There is never a day where I second guess my commitment to him. There is never a time where I wonder if I am making the right decision by staying with him. I will not be tempted by the other men I meet in my daily life. My love for my soldier is deep in my soul; it is in the very essence of my being.
Well I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I was lucky enough to spend the holiday split between Sweet Boy's family and my family. It was wonderful meeting some new faces that will some day be part of my family as well! Unfortunately, I fell down the stairs right when we were trying to leave and we thought I broke my ankle. One tearful trip to the ER later, and they think I just sprained it. But it sure did swell up pretty huge and turned black and blue almost immediately. We weren't convinced that it wasn't broken until yesterday. And the pain medicine they gave me was no where near strong enough to reduce the pain, but since I went to the ER and was out of town, we didn't have a way to call in a stronger prescription. So I guess technically this week wasn't what I had planned. But things rarely go according to plan. Thankfully my hunk swept me off and dashed me away to the ER right after I fell and didn't leave my side for 4 days. He seriously helped me with everything (besides going to the bathroom and taking a shower of course) and now that he is gone, I have no clue what to do with myself. Every day he shows me thousands of more reasons why he is going to be the best husband in the world. I could not have picked a better match for me if I had tried.
There are many parts of this life that we are warned about and try our hardest to prepare ourselves for. We know there are times where we will be separated from our loved ones, no matter how much we hate it. We know that we can beg and plead and cry, but they still have to leave. We still have to stay behind. Whether it is a deployment or a trip out to the field, they still have to go.
What you aren't warned about, or at least I wasn't, is what happens when they get back. The adjustment period.
There you are, crying your eyes out because you miss them so much your heart feels like it may literally rip in half. You can't sleep without hearing their voice. You are terrified because you can't remember what they smell like or what their skin feels like under your fingertips. It seems as though your world is falling apart and you cannot take it anymore. You are ready to give up. And then...they come home.
To say you are thrilled is an understatement. Your heart feels complete. Your world is whole again. You remember how to go to sleep without worrying about getting the dreaded phone call or knock on your door in the middle of the night.
But what happens after that? What happens when all the glamour rubs off? When the magic of reaching out at touching them becomes second nature? When you have him home and know he isn't leaving again soon?
What happens is a struggle. What happens is hard. What happens takes time.
Sweet Boy and I are in that time period. We are learning one another again. We are learning what it is to be a couple again; what it is like to merge two lives together. It is hard. It is a struggle. And it is going to take some time.
He stopped answering my phone calls not long after he got back. He graduated on a Thursday and I was lucky enough to be there with him and to see him graduate and spend the rest of the weekend with him. Things were perfect. He was back and nothing was different. We picked up right where we left off; or so I thought. When I got back home after the weekend, I was able to talk to him and tell him I was home.
I didn't talk to him after that until Tuesday night...very late Tuesday night. To most people, this may not mean very much. He needed time to sleep, they told me. He probably wanted some alone time. Maybe he just isn't used to having to answer to anyone. But that just isn't him.
Sweet Boy, before he left, was the kind of boy who would call me and talk for hours. We would talk many times a day, mostly about nothing. He was simple. He was carefree.
He wrote me letters from training. They were pages and pages and pages long. They were sweet. They were kind. They were loving.
He would sneak away and call me when they were given the opportunity. He would stand in line for half an hour to talk to me for five minutes. The one time I was sleep when he called me, he called and called and called and called (yes, he would call, get my voicemail, hang up and get in the back of the line at least four times) until I did wake up so I could hear him tell me he loved me.
But now things are different.
Now we are struggling to have a conversation that doesn't lead to fighting or hurt feelings. We don't talk very often. I'm feeling a little pushed to the side. It is hard to go from months with no communication, wishing they were there every second, to being surrounded by them at every moment and not knowing what to talk about or how to act towards one another. This isn't how I thought things would be when he got back. This isn't how I played it out in my head.
It is hard right now, and I know it will get better, but it is a daily struggle right now. I miss the man I fell in love with. I miss my better half.
I'm sorry I've been missing in action lately. The sweet boy of mine has graduated and I am just so proud of him. And much to our surprise, he was given two weeks off of work. I'm soaking up every minute of it! I'm loving his texts, phone calls, kisses and snuggles. It was rough getting used to each other at first, and I will write about that later, but right now we are loving being a couple again. Currently, we are at my parent's house planning the wedding! Is there anything more stressful than planning a wedding? A wedding for almost 400 people? I don't think so. But we are making it through the stress and the little tiffs planning causes and still want to be around each other. That's love. I knew I picked a good one, but he continues to prove that more and more each day.
I finally heard from him. I finally got the news I've been waiting months to hear: he is almost done with training and I will see him by this weekend!
These last few months have been very hard and very tiring. We talked more when he was deployed than we did when he was at school. That's a weird thought. I cherished those phone calls back then, now I definitely appreciate each time he calls.
I've been able to talk to him for the last two nights, about 15 minutes each. It feels so good. I can't wait to slip back into our relationship...and feel like an "us" again. I'm ready to be in his arms again.
This time spent apart, much like other times apart, has helped me realize how wonderful he is. All of his letters were so sweet and so precious. I loved reading each one on those long nights when I missed him deeply. It helped me pass the time and to remember that he really is the one for me. Not that there was ever any doubt! I'm so glad I kept all the letters. I can't wait to figure out what I want to do with them. I'm thinking of putting them in a scrapbook and giving it to him for the wedding. I have letters from back in 2007 and I know he still has some from me so I want to have a place where we can keep them and read them whenever we want and pass it along to our children one day. I guess I am a romantic like that.
Basically, I am just so excited to see him this week that I can hardly stand it! But I am also nervous about all of it. I'm seeing his parents for the first time since we have gotten engaged. He is seeing his parents for the first time in over a year. Our two parents are getting together for the first time in six or seven years. That is a lot to take in. I'm hoping this will all go well. At the end of the day, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and dreaming of looking into my Sweet Boy's eyes.
I haven't linked up in a few weeks, but I was determined to do it this week! Link up and join the fun with Goodnight Moon!
My very favorite line is
"I'm counting the days til I'm finally done.
I'm counting them down,
one by one."
This song gets me through the lonely days away from my Sweet Boy. I remember listening to this song together and he just held me in his arms and I cried, knowing he was about to leave me again. Bittersweet memories.
But, hopefully I can finally say I am counting down the days until I can see him again. I'm so nervous and excited at the same time.
I hope everyone has had a great week so far! It's almost the weekend...yippee!
I've really lost my motivation to blog recently. I would go to write stuff out, but ended up deleting it. Nothing ever sounded right. Nothing was what I actually wanted to talk about.
I could write about the girl who complained to me last week about her failed relationship with a traveling musician. The one who made the comment, "you're lucky...at least you know where he is and he isn't sleeping in another girl's bed". I sat there floored and blankly replied, "but at least he wasn't getting shot at every day".
I could write about the daily comments I get about how people don't know how I go on day after day without Sweet Boy. How one of my friends made the comment of "your long distance relationship shouldn't be called a long distance relationship...they should have a whole different category for it." You would think these comments would build me up, make me feel stronger in my relationship; but they don't.
I could write on and on about all of that, but I won't. I have bigger things to worry about these days.
My parents and I have made the decision that I will be taking off next semester to come home, save money, and plan my wedding. In 6 weeks, I will be leaving the college town I have grown to know over the past 3 or 4 years. I'll be leaving my school, my comfort zone, and my friends. It is so fast and completely bittersweet that I cannot wrap my head around it.
I am ready to go home, ready for a break, ready to be around people where I can complain and talk about Sweet Boy as much as I want and they won't judge me or get annoyed. I'm ready to be Daddy's little girl for just a little while longer. I'm ready to be at the beach and in my own room and with everything that I grew up loving.
But I wish I could stay. I wanted to be in this town so badly for so long. I was ready for my independence. I was ready to go out and make new friends and make a life for myself. I'm not ready to leave that all behind. In a year, yes; but not in six weeks.
I'm worried about how I will tell my friends I am leaving. I am worried about being judged. I'm worried that they think that I am leaving only because I am engaged and never to be heard from again. I'm scared of losing my friends who don't understand that I am making this hard decision based on what is right for me, and for my future husband.
This has been a hard decision. I've thought about it. I've cried about it. I've prayed about it. And honestly, I feel relieved that I finally have an answer. I finally know where I am going, what I am doing. I don't feel like I am floating around and not sure of where my life is going anymore. I could always see the big picture, but now I see how I am getting there.
The hardest part of all of this was deciding it for my own. I couldn't bounce ideas off anyone. I couldn't vent about it and then change my mind the next day. And, most of all,I couldn't tell Sweet Boy.
That's right. He doesn't know. This will be a big change for us, but we can do it. Plus, now I will actually have time to plan my our wedding. What can be better than that? Well, nothing, besides having him home next to me. Thinking about all of this makes me miss him even more than normal. "We're on the final stretch," he told me a week ago. Now I just have to keep busy until he comes home...and figure out how I'm gonna drop this bombshell on him. Wish me luck.
I have not written in a long time (well....a week). I just don't have much motivation left in me. It has been a tough week filled with emotional highs and lows. But the good thing is...
I talked to Sweet Boy twice this week! I don't remember the last time we did that. Back in early August maybe? And here we are, almost at the end of October. Time flies.
It was so wonderful to hear Sweet Boy's voice. I talked to him Friday and we tried to catch up as quickly as we could in the 13 minutes we had to talk. He told me how much he missed me and I talked to him about me moving up near him this summer before we get married and we move in together. He got very excited.
And then he called again last night! My phone was on the table and I heard it as I was coming downstairs but didn't get to it in time. It was from a weird area code and didn't think anything of it...until they called again. When I answered, I heard the sweet words "hey finance" and I felt like I was floating on air. He sounded so wonderful. We fell right back to how we would talk normally after he got off work. For the first time in 4 months, we felt normal. Even if it was only for 7 minutes. We talked and joked and caught up on things. Right before he got off the phone he said, "this is the final stretch babe. I'm coming home". We should talk in about a week or so and then hopefully see each other not long after that! I'm so ready for training to be over so I can kiss that handsome face of his.
As for the lows of my week...well, I don't think I am ready to talk about those quite yet. Things aren't sorted out in my head yet and I need to get through this weekend first. I have some big decisions to make soon, though. It is all so stressful. Even more so when I don't have my love to talk it out with. I'm counting down the days until we are a couple again.
I'm tired of everything right now. I'm ready for a change in my life. I feel like I do the same thing, day after day, and it gets me no where.
I'm tired of listening to people's "drama". The things people complain about these days are so trivial. There are real people suffering from real problems out there (and no, I am not referring to my self as having real problems). To have to sit and listen to people say the same thing over and over again is driving me insane. I'm trying to give you the best advice I can. If you don't want to listen to me or put my advice into action, don't come and ask for advice. You obviously don't want my help.
I'm tired of playing the guessing game. I don't even bother trying to figure out what Sweet Boy is doing or when he will come home. I've stopped planning every possible outcome I could think of so I could be prepared, just to have another outcome be thrown at me that I had no clue was possible.
I'm tired of being stuck in this small town that has nothing for me. Most of my friends have graduated or moved off by now. I don't feel that strong connection or bond here I once felt. I feel like my life has moved on beyond this town, but somehow I am still stuck here. Like my feet are in puddles of tar while I watch my life pass before me.
I'm tired of planning this wedding without my fiance. What part of "it's his wedding, too" do people not understand? Sure, he may not care about the colors of the flowers or where the cake is placed, but he does actually care about some things and wants to have an input on the day that will join us forever. In his last letter, he wrote about how ready he is to get home to help me plan because he feels like he is missing out on so much. Does that sound like an "uninvolved groom" to you?
I'm tired of feeling like I can't make a decision before I ask six people first. I'm ready to take my life in my own hands. I don't care what people think. I know what is best for me. It's time I took it in my own hands and do what I want to do. I'm also tired of feeling like I need to meet some sort of approval or else I'll be judged by people.
I'm tired missing my Sweet Boy. I want to be closer to him. I want to be able to see him on a regular basis. I don't want to plan out everything in advance and make sure it fits in with everyone else's schedule. I should be able to see him when I want, not when it is a more convenient time for someone else.
I'm tired of feeling lost and not knowing where I am going with my life. I can see the big picture and it looks wonderful. I can see me and Sweet Boy living in our own house, away from everyone else, raising a family, and loving one another forever. What I can't see is the little picture; the month to month picture. I can't see how this is all going to work out in the end.
Basically, I need to put on my big girl pants and make some real decisions. And fast.
Growing up, South Carolina was a huge part of my family life. My mom grew up there and basically all of her family still lived there after she moved away. We had season tickets to watch the University of South Carolina football team. When we were younger, we went to every home game and a good amount of the away games. I could practically do that drive with my eyes closed by the time I was 12. I'd say we went to Columbia, South Carolina at least 10-15 times a year. That's a lot.
There was also a part of South Carolina we looked forward to every year. We would count down to it. We would talk about it for weeks and the entire 3.5 hour long drive up there. There's just something about it. Some sort of magic behind it.
The state fair.
If it wasn't the rides, it was the food, or the exhibits, or the people watching. We loved going to the fair when we were younger. My brothers and I would ride as many rides as we could, the ones we were tall enough for anyway. We would eat all the food our stomachs could hold. My personal favorite were the vinegar fries and the elephant ears. My mouth is still watering.
Slowly, we all got busier and we stopped going to the fair as much. I missed it a lot, especially after my grandfather passed away. We all had some special memories from the fair.
Well, this weekend, we went back! My parents met me, my middle brother, and his wife in South Carolina again. We all went to the fair to relive old times. The food was the same. The rides were the same. The smells were the same.
But this year, something was different. There was a new exhibit. The "Traveling World Trade Memorial" made its way to the state fair. I was taken aback when I saw it. Right there between the funnel cakes and the cotton candy what this glimmer of the past that took my breath away. We walked right by the tent and made our way to get some pronto pups (a glorified version of corn dogs) and no one seemed to pay it any attention. Except for me and my dad.
As we sat and ate our "dinner", we talked about what we wanted to do next. I wanted to go see the memorial. Everyone else blew it off. Except for my daddy. "You know," he told everyone, "that is the reason her future husband does what he does. If she wants to go see it, we should." My brother and his wife decided to do something else, but Daddy was adamant about going with me.
In the memorial, there were pictures of those we lost. Even posters of the missing the families put up right after the attacks. There were videos streaming from that day. Videos of the planes hitting, the towers falling, the people running for their lives. I think the most interesting part of the memorial was the things they found in the debris: a keyboard, a destroyed pay phone, smashed police car doors, parts of the plane. The actual plane that hit the towers. I think that was most shocking of it all.
It was a very odd feeling being in there, seeing all this stuff ten years later. Ten years and you could still feel the emotion; still feel the pain. There was a father behind me with two kids, probably in late elementary school. He was explaining everything to them. "This started the fighting," he told them. It gave me chills. This is why we are fighting. Right here in front of me. This started it all, and I'm looking at it. This realization sat heavy in my chest.
I'm glad we went. I'm glad I got to see all of this with my own eyes. I'm glad my parents were with me. They knew how important it was to me to go there. It was good to have support with me as I experienced that.
And my daddy? He held my hand the whole time.
I love that man.
People have been checking up on me and making sure everything is going okay since right after Sweet Boy left. I've been getting Facebook comments, text messages, and the occasional phone call from Sweet Boy's friends and family. It is so good to know that they are looking after me. Sweet Boy has wonderful friends. They take care of me. They tell me how much they miss him too. That makes me feel a lot better. I don't feel so alone.
I have been overwhelmed by the support I have been given. The comments I have gotten mean so much to me, I can't even explain it. This military community has a unique way of embracing one another and I am so thankful for that. I wish I could call each one of you up and personally thank you. Especially Megan at To Love a Soldier who brought almost all of you to me when I needed it.
Megan had a giveaway a few weeks back and I was the lucky winner. The book came in the mail today, right when I needed it. I am so excited to read this book and grow in my faith and in my journey as I become an Army Wife. It is people like Megan and another blogger Jane (who I had a conversation with at 3 this morning) that make things so much easier. They make me feel welcome in this life and like I'm not alone.
I got a letter from Sweet Boy today. A few weeks without hearing from him, and I couldn't stop shaking the whole way from the mailbox to my living room. I would have sat down and read it right by the mailbox if I didn't think I would looked crazy. Tears streamed down my face as I read his sweet words. Words of reassurance I really needed to hear. He told me how much he missed me. How things aren't right without me. How excited he is about this upcoming wedding and how he is ready for a baby (don't worry, that's a long way down the line).
I'm so glad to hear that he is doing better than the last time we talked. He sounds so good. He makes me feel so lucky. And he says he's the proud one. If he only knew.
"The fact that you've put up with me and this army stuff still amazes me...I miss you so much it hurts...I need to get this done and get back where I belong, with you." How can you not love that?
Thanks to my school's fall break, I am now home and have been for a few days. It's been nice to recharge my batteries and spend time with my parents and some friends. I even finally got to ask all of my bridesmaids to be in the wedding! Everything has been fine, but I'm just....lonely.
It's now been a week since I have heard from Sweet Boy and over a month since I got to see him for those magical four hours. It feels so much longer. It feels like a year.
Everyone tells me they don't know how I do it. They don't know how I make it through every day and week and sometimes more without talking to him. They say that I am strong; that I am brave. I don't feel very strong or brave tonight.
I feel beaten down.
I can't explain why it has hit me so terribly tonight. I had a wonderful day shopping and doing crafts with my mom. We got some quality girl time in. But now all I can focus on is how miserable I feel. I feel helpless. So alone. I feel like this is never going to end. I feel like things won't be normal again.
I hear about how hard military marriages are. I hear it from my friends, I see it in military groups I am in, I read it online. It makes me very nervous. I feel like the odds are stacked against us before we even start our lives together.
Sometimes I wonder what it will be like when we are finally together again. And I don't mean for a weekend, but really together. Will I remember what it is like to be around him? Will I remember what to do? How to act? Will we be the people we fell in love with?
I've been having trouble sleeping. It's almost like I can't bring myself to actually fall asleep for fear I might miss his phone call. That's pretty much impossible. I know he can only call once every few weeks. It's only been a week. I can't get my hopes up.
This whole weekend, I've been thinking about what we would be doing if he was here with me. It is too hard to come home without him sometimes. I have way too many memories with him here...dating back 6 or 7 years. I read the letters he wrote me from boot camp. That just makes it worse.
I'm so tired of the military taking him away from me. I've tried to stretch my arms to make them long enough to meet him, but they just aren't long enough.
I want things to feel normal again...and not the kind of "normal" we've been dealing with for the past few months of only getting 3 or 4 letters from him in a month. Sometimes no letters for a month. I'm ready for the day when I can finally roll over and see him. The day where I can reach out and touch him. The day when the military is just a faint memory.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I lost two friends a few years back. You can read that post here. A.J., a good friend of mine, died of cancer when he was just 18 years old. Well guess what; he came to me in my dreams last night.
I was going over to my friend's house here at school and I walked in and A.J. was sitting there, like it was completely normal. He gave me a huge hug and I just couldn't let him go. We all hung out and played around at my friend's house, but I just kept looking at A.J.; I wanted to take him in as much as I could. We talked about the cupcakes I brought over and he asked what I was selling them for. "For breast cancer research for my aunt who was diagnosed a few months back," I told him. I can't describe the look on his face. It was a mixture between pride and pain. We had never talked about his cancer before, even though it was ever-present. The dream was over shortly after.
It was so good to see him again. To touch him again. To hear his voice again. I hope that him coming to me was a sign. A sign that he's okay now. A sign that I'm doing something good. We can all do our part to help cancer research so amazingly brave and wonderful people like A.J. don't have to leave this world before their time.
After my dream I laid in bed wide awake trying to hold onto it. Trying to remember every detail. Everything he said to me. I knew I had to write it out so I could remember. Thanks for reading along.
Today turned out to be pretty good. I got to sleep in for the first time in a very long time and the roommate was gone most of the day so I got to roam around the house all by myself (not that I don't love my roomie, but we can all use some alone time every now and then). I opened up all the windows in the house and cut off the air conditioning for the first time since we've lived here...it was magical.
I also got to do two of my favorite things today: watch Carolina football and watch Hocus Pocus..aka the greatest movie ever. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you get up right now and go rent it. You won't regret it. I've been obsessed with this movie since I was little and when I was a freshman in college, my mom sent me the DVD in a carepackage and it has turned into a tradition to watch it October 1st of each year. It just isn't October until I watch that movie! And of course it isn't fall in the south until football is on your TV.
I'm still just super bummed about Sweet Boy. I feel so helpless. He sounded so depressed. I kept asking if there was anything I could do or if he wanted anything. "Just you," he kept saying and it nearly broke my heart. He was supposed to be done last week and now it will be at least 6 more weeks. I had to tell his family today so they could plan accordingly. His parents had already planned their trip from Washington state and were really looking forward to it; now I'm not sure if that will happen anymore which is really upsetting because Sweet Boy hasn't seen his parents in over a year. Just so sad. Things just get so complicated sometimes, but I guess that is the military lifestyle that I am about to marry into so I might as well get used to it.
I know that there is a plan for us. I struggle to accept it sometimes, but I know it is true. As much as I complain, I know things could be a lot worse. There is another bout of separation looming over us soon after he returns (but hopefully it won't be quite as long this time) and it is just really kicking me in the gut. I hate being away from him. I envy anyone who gets a phone call from their significant others these days. A five minute phone call every few weeks is just not enough time. And letters can only get you so far. I try to write him and tell him what's going on in my life, but I know that most of it is so insignificant that by the time he gets the letter (or sometimes before the letter even makes it to the mailbox) it is over and I've moved on to some other thing. I don't know how my grandmother dealt with a war for about a year and only could write letters to my grandfather. I don't know if I could have done it. I guess we all have to find our own strength sometimes.
As I was watching football today, I thought about the only football game Sweet Boy and I were able to see together. That was such a fun day weekend. I'm glad we have those memories and I hope that maybe when we are married we can finally enjoy football together...maybe.
Throwback picture of our football game together. We look gross, sweaty, tired, and still so happy to be together. I love this boy.
Why must you insist on having a love-hate relationship? I love the fact that you allowed Sweet Boy to call me today, but I hate that it was only to tell me you were keeping him away for at least another 6 weeks. Why must you torture us so much? I've been nothing but supportive of you. I've given up so much for you, I just wish you could do the same for me every now and then. My life is constantly put on hold specifically because of you. I just want my fiance back with me so we can plan our wedding and start looking forward to our lives together. I have tried to be forgiving, but you make it so hard. This is turning out to be a give-and-take relationship: I give my Sweet Boy to you and you continuously take him away from me. I am afraid this is setting the tone for what our lives will be like. I wish I was still the naive girl who was fascinated by the fairytale and believed my love would always be with me. Please don't make this a habit. I don't think my heart can take much more. Be kind to us.
Love (or hate...take your pick),
It's that time again! Time to link-up with Goodnight Moon for another addition of "what's your song?"
My song for this week is dedicated, of course, to my Sweet Boy. To be quite honest, I don't really like this song all that much, but he does so it is growing on me. It is a sweet little song that he heard on the radio and started singing it.
After he first heard it, he was talking to me and said "hey, babe, there's this new song out that I really like. It is by some guy and kinda sounds like a gospel song." I said, "is this it?" and started playing this song and totally got it right!
This is a typical situation for us. On our first date, he was driving and we were listening to country music (go figure) and he said, "when I was overseas, we became obsessed with this one song but I can't remember the name. It was a country song and it was a guy singing it but the chorus didn't sound like english." I got out my phone and played a song for him and wouldn't you know it, I got that one right, too! I don't know if I have super skills, or if I just get Sweet Boy's thought process and taste in music. Just another way to prove we are perfect for each other :)
I guess now I have to play both songs. Either way, they make me think of Sweet Boy and I miss hearing him sing to me. He may not be the best singer, but I still love it!
Hello. My name is Cate and I am a slack blogger. I swear I don't mean to be!
A little while ago (okay, maybe 10 days ago...) I got an email from Janey at A Few of My Favorite Things to tell me she gave me a blogger award! Because of the time difference, I got the email on my phone, read it, and went right back to sleep. I completely forgot about it until now. Sorry, Janey!
Janey has an awesome blog. I love keeping up with her and her pups. Plus she lives in Hawaii so I like to live vicariously through her. If you don't follow her yet, you totally should. She is one of my favorite daily reads...even if sometimes I forget when she emails me.
The rules are:
1. Thank the person who gave the award and link back to them in your post. 2. Share 7 things about yourself. 3. Pass this award along to up to 15 recently discovered blogs.
7. I am the youngest in my family, and only girl. Yes, I tend to be a little bit spoiled...oops.
6. My family and I are huge South Carolina gamecock fans. I mean huge. It runs deep. We had tickets on the 50 yard line all my life, but this may be the first season I don't make it to any game and it is breaking my heart.
5. I have a slight obsession with the color pink. Everyone picks on me, but I can't help it. I know what I like. Being the only girl in my family, I was always surrounded by it and grew to hate it in my adolescent age. I often joke that I am making up for lost time.
4. I really want a micro pig as a pet. I think they are just so stinking adorable. I think I almost have Sweet Boy convinced that we need one.
3. Although I am studying Psychology in school, I am hoping to fulfill my life-long dream of becoming a housewife and stay at home mom. I always dreamed of doing this while growing up and I can't see myself in any other way. Luckily, Sweet Boy is so lovingly supporting my dream. Most girls may find that degrading, but I don't care. It's what we think will work best for us.
2. When I was in sixth grade, I was doing cartwheels in my friend's yard, six houses away from mine, and I slipped which caused me to break my ankle. I had to walk home and tell my mom (the nurse) who didn't believe me and didn't take me to the hospital until the next day. That pretty much solidified the fact that I would not make it as a cheerleader...
1. I feel so lucky to be marrying the man of my dreams in just over 10 months. I fell in love with him seven years ago, shared our first kiss with each other, and have never stopped thinking about it. He is my hero and the only thing that keeps me going most days. Yeah, it may be hard when he is away, but it is so worth it when he is here.
There is a Bible verse that is really heavy on my heart. It keeps me going through these months upon months apart. I shared it with Sweet Boy once before when he was away and it has become a saying between us.
Genesis 29:20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.
This just speaks so strongly to me. I know that one some day we will look back on these times away from each other and they will seem so short in comparison to the wonderful times we have together. I love this verse so much that I am considering putting it in Sweet Boy's wedding band.
I'm trying to see the silver lining, but right now it is just hard. I want him home, and not just for a few weeks at a time. I'm tired of sharing him. I'm tired of missing him.
This is always a hard week for me. I dread it every year. I always want to fast-forward through it or just hide in my room until it passes. This could explain why I have been in such a weird mood all week.
Five years ago, I was a junior in high school. My brother and his friends had just graduated in May and I was ready to be the only one from my family at the high school since my brother and I had shared the same teachers and homeroom for the past two years.
On Saturday the 23rd, my family and I were driving up to South Carolina for a football game. I was sleeping in the car when my mom woke me up and said I had a phone call. That's when I knew; my sweet friend A.J., who I had known since I was 8 and was battling cancer, had passed away. I cried the rest of the way to South Carolina.
In the months leading up to A.J.'s death, I had been to many fund raisers for him. He had a very kind and giving spirit. He made it his goal to raise money for better furniture for the families who spent extended amounts of time at the hospital he got many of his treatments and surgeries from. It didn't really seem real until I got that call that day. I guess I was hoping for some sort of miracle, even though we knew it wasn't possible. The cancer had spread far too much.
That Monday back at school, everyone was very quiet and somber. There was even a makeshift memorial set up to honor A.J. that students placed pictures and cards on.
That's when my friend Joe walked up and told us there had been an accident. Jacob, a good friend to my brother and a brother to my very good friend (it's a close-knit community) had been in a car accident and did not make it.
I felt everything drain out of my body at once. I thought I was going to pass out and my friends must have thought the same thing because they took me straight to the nurse. I called my mom and all I could get out was, "Mom....Mom....Jacob." And then I found out another friend, Matt, had been in the car with Jacob and was now in a coma fighting for his life.
That day was one of the hardest days I have been through. Me and my friends, along with our entire school, were forced to face our mortality. It was a scary feeling.
I remember staying in the school's auditorium the rest of the day. I was too unstable to be in class, but I couldn't bear the thought of being home alone. My friends and I shared stories of the boys, added more letters, pictures, flowers, and candles to the memorial, and held one another.
My brother came home for Jacob's funeral the next weekend. When we walked out of the church sanctuary, we held on to each other's hand. It was only for a moment, but it was a bond only siblings can feel. I held him up when he needed it, and he held me up when I needed it.
The boys were only 18 years old and they died one day apart. They both had kind and giving spirits and I think of them often. I am now three years older than they ever will be. It still hurts when I think of them. I will never understand why two wonderful young men had to be taken away from our community so quickly. Maybe some things don't get easier, but no matter what, they always make you stronger.
My song this week for Goodnight Moon is a tribute to these boys and the other friends we have lost along the way. While I was writing this post, a mass email went out from my college's president. Two freshmen from my school were killed in a car accident last night and two were critically injured. Maybe this week will never be easy.
I've been a horrible blogger lately. I've just been so stressed, so busy, so....blah. I got two letters from Sweet Boy this week. Back to back! I've already read them each so many times. It's been a rough week. I've been really mopey for some reason and have broke down way more than I should. I'm just ready for him to be back. Almost 5 more weeks. I can do that. There's just some days when I really, really need him.
Thursday came up quickly this week. At first it was dragging along and the next thing I know, today is Thursday! I made 4 dozen cupcakes today. Whew! I'm exhausted. I somehow also managed to sleep through my alarm and miss my only class of the day...oops.
Guess what else happened today. I got a letter from Sweet Boy! And it was a recent letter...as in sent this week! It was such a sweet letter. He seems to be doing pretty well, just a little lonely. He kept talking about how happy he was I got to see him this past weekend. And he signed it as I love you to the moon and back. Isn't that precious? I love that boy.
Getting back the song of the week: I usually like to put a bit of thought in my song, but this week I can't get away from this song! I think I've heard it three times today and it is still stuck in my head. I don't really like the video, but the song is really sweet.
I love you like crazy, Sweet Boy.
It's funny how some days seem to drag along, and the next seems to fly by. This week felt so long at first, and now I am wondering where the time went today. I finally started training for my job. It is going to be weird to get used to, but I think I will like it. I've already met some nice people that are working there, too, and I can't wait to really get started.
Last night I had a great friend from high school stop by and take me out to dinner. It was awesome to see him. It is always nice to have a familiar face from home. After we went to dinner, we went and hung out and talked about old times. The whole time we were hanging out, I wished Sweet Boy was next to me. I wanted to hear his voice, to rest my head on his shoulder, to kiss him. This week seemed longer than the last three for some reason. I can't really explain it. I'm just trying my best to keep myself busy. Somehow.
Today I started a fundraiser for my aunt who is battling breast cancer called Cupcakes for Cancer. I sent out a message on Facebook, hoping for at most $30. I was humbled when I came back to my computer a few hours later with $50 worth of orders, and still going. I am so excited to raise money for this cause. It just goes to show you that anyone can help raise money if they put their mind to it! I guess my next few weeks are going to be filled with making cupcakes for everyone--I don't mind a bit.
If you are interested in helping as well, check out this website! Any little bit helps. Race for the Cure
Friday afternoon, my phone rang. It was a mutual friend of me and Sweet Boy. I thought nothing of it, until I heard those sweet words, "Hey babe. It's me. I got an 8 hour pass today. I don't have my phone but I'll figure out another way to call you for those eight hours." I'm coming up there was all I could get out of my mouth. I hung up the phone and broke down in tears. After three weeks, his voice was the only sound I wanted to hear. And now I had the chance to see him.
I drove 2.5 hours (flew is more like it) to pick him up. He grabbed me tight and wouldn't let me go. I'm not sure which one of us was more excited. After I picked him up, we went to do laundry, went to the military supply store off post, went to Red Robin (yummmm) where he proceeded to eat a huge cheeseburger, mac and cheese, a milkshake, half of my burger, and a lot of my fries...poor kid. After lunch, we went back to the store, got his hair all chopped off, back to the store for a third time, back to post to finish laundry, packed up all his gear and clothes, and made one last run to the PX before I had to take him back, half an hour earlier than expected. All of that means we got to spend around 4 hours together, and most of it was in the car or the store. But I got to see him. I didn't know how bad the no communication effected us. It was hard. Three weeks without any sort of contact is a struggle, but we did it. And we can do it again if we have to, but we won't have to...not very soon anyway.
It was wonderful to see him, even if it was only for a few hours. It was so great to hold his hand, look into his eyes, hear his voice again. I got my little "love tank" filled up again by all of the little smiles and looks he threw at me all day. I was reminded why I am so in love with that boy. He is wonderful.
On a side note, guess what I found in the mail this weekend. That's right. A letter from Sweet Boy. A letter that he sent August 28th. I don't know why it took them so long to send it 3 hours down the road. I feel bad for complaining about him not writing to me. He tried! I told him this weekend that I didn't get any letters and he was so upset. I guess I have at least one more headed my way. I think it was the one where he told me about his pass this weekend so I could be there when he got off. Oh well. For now, the Army won't bring us down. I love him and I will wait as long as I need to (but hopefully it will only be six more weeks!)
My dad came to school that morning and picked me and my brother up from school in order to go to a dentist appointment. We heard about the attacks on the radio first. My brother laughed, thinking it was a joke, but my dad had no expression. He dropped us off at the dentist and watched the news from their break room. The whole time I was getting my teeth cleaned, I listened to the people working there freaking out. "Should we go home?" I heard one say. "No," the other replied, "we're in Georgia. We'll be fine."
I went back to my middle school and walked into my computer classroom. Ms McCabe's class. I walked in and told her the news. I had no idea how horrible it really was since I was so young, but her face nearly went white. I still remember how the room was dark and she turned on the TV and stood there with her hand over her mouth in shock as she watched the news stories. The loud speaker came on and told the teachers to turn off the TV's because it may be scaring the students and to conduct class as normal. No one knew what "normal" was anymore. I doubt we actually did any work that day.
After I came home, I was glued to the news for the rest of the night...the rest of the week, really. The images are still burned in my mind. I remember a few days later when I was in P.E. class and our coach took us outside, sat us underneath the oak trees, and told us something much more worse was going on than we could comprehend and that week would be one we would always remember. How right he was.
If you are doing the math, I was eleven years old on September 11th, which would make Sweet Boy only twelve. This was three years before we had even met. We have been dealing with the aftermath for ten years, the majority of my lifetime. I hardly remember a world before the terrorist attacks. Sure, I have childhood memories from years before, but I don't really remember what it was like to feel safe every single day. My family had a trip planned a few months down the line and my brothers, aged 16 and 13, asked not to go. They were scared to travel. They didn't want to fly or go very far away from home anymore. We stayed home because we were terrified of what may be next.
I can't believe it has been ten whole years. It really seems to hit home now that I am months away from being an Army wife. I am so proud of my Sweet Boy who stepped up to protect our country, six or seven years after the terrorist attack. Today our country mourns for those we lost. We fly our flags at half mass. We remember where we were. And we ask everyone,
It's that time to link-up with Goodnight Moon again! I was sad to miss last week. I had the perfect song the night before and just couldn't remember it and I didn't want to put in something I didn't put thought into--I know, I'm weird.
This week (and a little before) the images of September 11th have been blasted across our television screens. I, like most Americans, remember that day so vividly. I won't go into details about what I was doing because I am saving that for a later post, but I wanted to share a song this week that I can't get out of my head.
I'm sure most of you have heard this song. I absolutely love it, even though it is kind of sad. It makes me appreciate having my Sweet Boy safe and also makes me thankful for those we've lost at the same time. His voice in this video gives me chills. I hope y'all like it! Can't wait to see what YOUR song is!
I got the job! They called me yesterday to tell me that they were interested in offering me the job and the training starts next week. And even better, I found out a really good friend of mine will be working there too! Now it won't seem like I have such an empty amount of time every night. I'm really looking forward to it.
Not so good news:
I still haven't gotten a letter from Sweet Boy. And, yes, I did check the mailbox twice today. Once this morning in case it came over the weekend when I was gone, and once more this afternoon after I knew the mail had come. Still nothing. It is hard not to feel slightly defeated when I don't come away with a letter from him. I just want something from him. Something he has held, too. Something that he put a little thought into. Something to know he is okay. I know I shouldn't be complaining; he is only off at training. I know he is completely safe, aside from the potential of being dehydrated or the rare threat of lightning when he is out in the field (he is out in the field probably about 95% of the time and they have been getting a lot of bad thunder storms lately so it isn't that absurd of a concern), but I still worry about him. I miss him. It has now been 2.5 weeks since I have heard anything from him and I am starting to worry I may not hear from him until he is back in a few months. And what really kills me is that I don't have his address to write him. Before he left, he told me to wait to hear from him so he could give me his address. I have a card sitting on my desk that is ready to be sent off, but I have to keep waiting.
I have finally become used to my new routine of not checking my phone all the time and going to bed without telling him goodnight. I carry out my days however I want. I still think of him often, but I just have to get used to him being gone all the time. "Such is the life of an Army wife", right?
I've been slacking lately. Ok, so I've been really slacking lately. I don't know where this weekend went! I guess I should catch y'all up to speed.
The interview on Thursday went great! The guy doing the interview was super nice and he practically offered me the job on the spot, but I am still waiting for the official word. Even if the job is pretty much just calling alumni from my school and informing them of upcoming opportunities, it will still give me something to do 2-4 times a week. And we can pick what days we want to work Monday - Thursday. And you won't hear me complain about an extra paycheck every few weeks. Overall, I have a pretty good outlook on this job. Get back to me in a few weeks, and I may have a change of heart.
Friday I headed home for the long weekend. My parents took me to my old high school's football game. Talk about time warp! I felt so out of place. But then I found two of my brother's friends who are five years older than me and I didn't feel so bad anymore. And it was nice to see old family friends and show off the rock on my left hand :)
Saturday we met my aunt, uncle, and two cousins at the beach. This aunt is the one who was diagnosed with breast cancer about 4 months ago and it was the first time I had seen her since the chemo started. It was heartbreaking to see her bald scalp underneath her ball cap, but she was a trooper and you would never know she was sick!
Sunday was filled with more family time and wedding plans! I'm pretty sure we found a band for the reception. This is all getting so exciting. It is really starting to feel real. Only 11 months to go!
Monday I was supposed to go back to school, but the wedding was so bad I decided to stay an extra night. It was a good decision :)
I went to the mailbox for the first time in two days since I am still battling the dreaded sinus infection and can't seem to find my way out of bed other than to go to my classes. I opened the mailbox and my stomach flipped over. We FINALLY had mail! I reached in and grabbed the envelope and turned it over to ecstatically see my name....in the handwriting of my father. My dad sent me a little love note in the mail and I know I shouldn't be bummed about it, but I was really hoping this time it would be from Sweet Boy. I've almost given up expecting a letter from him. It'll come eventually. I have faith.
This got me thinking about how amazing my friends and family have been. They are all so kind and encouraging. They ask me all the time how I'm doing and if I have heard from Sweet Boy. Some have stepped up and have started calling me and offering help with the wedding planning. I feel so overwhelmed without him here to help me. I want it to be perfect, but I want him here to help me with everything.
Mainly, I'm just mopey, sick, and a ball full of emotions. I can't wait to go home this weekend and see my family and hopefully start feeling better. I'm sure that will help.
As of this morning, it has been a week since I've talked to Sweet Boy. I know that doesn't sound long, but we have at least 8 more weeks to go before we can talk again. Thankfully this week didn't drag on too much, but today just won't end soon enough. I'm ready to get back to classes (you won't hear me say that often) so I can have stuff to keep my mind off of not talking to him.
Yesterday, my parents called and asked if I wanted to go shopping 2 hours away. Well of course I had nothing better to do! So it was a nice treat to see them and to get some new clothes compliments of my mommy! It was such a nice break to get out of the old college town and forget that I have a crazy schedule of tests and papers coming up real soon.
It was really hard to get up this morning for some reason. I just really miss Sweet Boy. I was hoping that if I stayed in bed, this day would go by so much faster. I was wrong. I've already checked the mailbox about 5 times since he left. And yes, I did even check twice in one day. I just really want to hear from him. I'm hoping these next 8 or so weeks fly by and there are no more delays to keep us apart. These days of not talking really get me down.
I hope all of you out there stayed safe during the hurricane! Did you see this?
It's no secret that I have gotten engaged. My blogger friends know and my real life friends know. Word gets around quickly these days with our advanced technology. It has now been 2.5 months since he put a ring on my finger, but it feels like an eternity. Things have really changed in that short amount of time, but not between me and Sweet Boy like you would think; they have changed between me and my friends.
I've lost a lot of friends. They've just stopped calling me. They're surprised to see me out. They act like I think I am better than them or something.
It is really disheartening. If anything, this is a time where I need my friends to stick by me even more, but they don't seem like they want to. It's not like I can't go out anymore because I am engaged. I still like to hang out with people. I still like to spend time with my friends. I guess they think I'm only going to talk about my fiance or my wedding now. But that just isn't true. I'm still the same person.
There is one girl who is new to my group of friends (new as of April...so not very new) who seems to forget she has met me 7 times by now. And I'm not exaggerating. She's even been to my place twice, when very few other people were there, and she still doesn't care to remember me or talk to me the next time I see her. I don't understand it. I haven't done anything wrong. The only thing that has changed is my relationship status on Facebook.
My new neighbor, the one who is married to the Marine, is having the same problem. Apparently college kids just forget about their friends once they get engaged or married. I'm still here! I'm still taking classes just like you are! My fiance doesn't even live close. Why should anything change?
I'm sitting at home tonight while some of my friends are out at dinner and trivia. I wasn't even asked to go. In all honesty, I probably would not have gone because I have an early class and trivia doesn't even start until 9, but it is still nice to be asked. This has happened a few times already and we've only been back at school for a week. Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, but still.
I'm worried about how it is actually going to be when I move and get married and join the military life for real. Will I lose even more friends? Will it be even harder for them to accept me? I never thought about how so much would change. I guess I never saw it before because I'm really the first one from our group to get engaged. Maybe that's why no one knows how to handle it.
I really miss Sweet Boy tonight. He always knows how to make me feel better. He knows how to calm me down. I know that I am making the right choice by marrying him, but I still want to hang out with my friends and have a memorable senior year. I hope I don't wish these months away. I want to enjoy them and be able to fondly look back on them. This isn't the way I pictured ending my college career. I just feel so lonely tonight. And there isn't really much that I can do about it. I just want Sweet Boy back. I want him to come home. He feels so far away.
Yesterday was my parent's anniversary. They have been married 30 years! Holy cow, that's a long time. I'm so blessed to have them and so thankful for them. I hope Sweet Boy and I can follow in their footsteps.
Sweet Boy finally left (for real this time...I know I said a lot that he was about to leave, but that's Army life for you!) Sunday morning for training. He was able to call me at 6:30 and 9:30 right before he left so we could say goodbye "one last time". I really hope these next few months fly by.
Last night I went out with my new neighbor. We had a class together over the summer when we met and then she moved next door to us the next month. And guess what else? She's married to a marine! So obviously we had an instant connection. But last night we went to dinner and sat there and talked for over 2 hours and we still have a lot to talk about. I think it will be my saving grace this year to live next to and be friends with someone who is in a very similar position as me. It is just nice to have someone who understands.
I miss Sweet Boy a lot already. I thought I was taking things well. Last night I wasn't dreading going to sleep because I hadn't talked to him, so I thought it was a good sign. But this morning, without even thinking about it I was about to reach for my phone and try to text him. Looks like it is going to be a long day already. I really need a hobby...
There are often times when people make a comment and it rubs you the wrong way. It strikes a nerve. It takes the breath right out of you.
It doesn't happen to me very often. I tend to be a relatively easy-going person. It usually takes a lot for someone's comments to really bother me. I've learned that somethings are just better left alone. It is better to ignore them than to egg the person on.
But this was not the case this weekend.
This weekend, as my soldier and I were sitting and talking, the subject of how there are many crazy laws and regulations came up. We both nonchalantly nodded in agreement and went on with the conversation. But one person didn't let it go. They wanted their opinion to be known about where they stood on how there are too many crazy laws.
Their argument went as this: This country was built on the idea that we should be allowed to do anything we want. Take the flag for example. If people want to burn it, they should be able to. What's the point of freedom of speech if we can't express it however we want?
I was stunned. Did I just hear that correctly? "I don't think it is right for the flag to be burned," I said. Yeah, they replied, but do you really think people should get in trouble? Do you really think people should go to jail for that?
When did people become so slack about things? That is the flag that you are talking about. The American flag. The flag that represents our country. The flag that represents us. The flag that represents you. The flag is a symbol for all of the hardships this nation has faced and has come out of.
The flag is not just a piece of cloth. It is a statement. It defines us. It gives us hope. It gives us strength. It reminds us to keep going strong.
The love of my life fights for what that flag represents. He puts his life on the line so that flag can be flown proudly. He has dedicated so much time and effort to preserve everything that flag promises. And you just want to burn it?
Burning it is speaking out against this nation. It is being ungrateful and defiant. It is defeating all that it represents. All the struggles and triumphs we each face daily. Burning it is like saying it is not important-- that it means nothing to you. How can someone think this is okay?
It broke my heart to hear them say this. Not only to me, but to my soldier. He didn't need to hear that. All he should hear is love and respect from that person for giving them the freedom to speak out like that. I was appalled. I still am appalled. And the most terrifying and disheartening thing about it all? I interact with this person nearly daily. They know the situation we are in. They know about how I sit up at night worried about my soldier. Worried about if he will be okay. Worried that he may not make it home. And yet they still defended their statement.
I love my country. I love that flag and everything it represents. I love my soldier with all I have. I will defend all three of these until the day that I die. Will anyone join me?
I'm busy getting used to my schedule. Yesterday, I had one class that lasted an hour so I was done for the day by 9 a.m. which at first I thought was awesome, until I got crazy bored. And I'm going to have to do that twice a week. I spent most of the day yesterday cleaning. As I told my roommate "I'm either going to be super bored, or our house is going to be super clean this semester." Housewife in training, right?
But this week I also went to the post office to pick up some stamps for my soldier. I saw all the pretty stamps they had to offer and secretly wished I could buy some with dogs or 'Despicable Me' characters or something that would make my soldier laugh. But then something caught my eye- the purple heart stamps. I knew those would be a lot better to use. I'm really excited about these stamps for some reason, probably more than I should be. But I can't wait to send letters to him with these stamps. I even have a card ready to send to him. But I got a message last night from him and we get to spend one more weekend together! And then it is 'bye-bye' for a few months, this time for sure. But at least for now I have something to look forward to.
I made it through my first day fall semester! And, boy, am I exhausted. The hardest thing, just like many of you know, is getting used to the routine. I have three classes today, one tomorrow. Seems like I could have worked that out a little bit better.
And guess what else?
I applied for a job today. Ok, well it isn't a job job. It's through the school and I don't even really know what it entails besides being on the phone calling old and possible students. My friend did it last year and she said the pay is good and the hours are even better...so I said "sign me up"! So hopefully it will work out because I am slowly starting to come to the conclusion that my soldier and I really are getting married and I need to save as much money for us as I can. Real world, here I come.
I miss my soldier a lot tonight. I wish I could tell him about my day. The last time I got to talk to him, well...the last time we got to text, was a few days back...and he fell asleep. We were talking and everything was fine and then...nothing. No response. It's so hard when they leave. I hate not being able to talk. I hate trying to fill up my time not constantly staring at my phone. But hopefully we will have one more weekend together. Goodness I miss him though.
Guess I should go to bed now, seeing as how I'm such an old lady and have 8 a.m. classes every day. My friends are already hounding me about being engaged and how they "just know" that I won't go out with them any more. Thanks guys. Really appreciate it!
This is a post that many people may not agree with, but it is how I often times feel.
It feels so easy to forget about what is going on in the world. My soldier is home. He is safe.
For many months, I sat up at night and wondered what the next day would bring us. When phone calls were cut short, I prayed I would get another one. When I knew he was going out in the field, I held my breath until I knew he was okay. I went through all of that, and I survived.
Now that he is home, it is like those nights weren't real. Like it was a movie I watched, not how my life really was. It doesn't seem as though that was me crying until there were no tears left in me to cry. It doesn't seem like that was me sleeping with my phone in my hands, waiting to hear from him. But it was.
It is so easy to pick up right where we left off and continue living our lives together. It is easy to forget the hardships that we went through, not knowing when we would see each other again. Sometimes, the concept of "war" doesn't seem to be real. When I look at him, at his sweet face and those beautiful eyes, I don't think of the horrific things he has seen; I think of the lives we are building and the things we will see together.
When we lost those men last week, it all became real again. Luckily, my soldier was with me. He was safe. I was the one to tell him the news as he and my brother sat and played video games. He quickly brushed it off, until I told him the amount of people that were killed, and who they were. Suddenly, we weren't so carefree anymore. It felt like the room was closing in around us.
When we met up with the rest of my family that day, no one spoke a word of it - but they all knew. No one knew how to bring it up to us. We didn't know how to bring it up to anyone. All we knew was we wanted some answers, but we couldn't find them.
I looked at my soldier through new eyes that day. "It could have been him" rang through my mind constantly. That could have been my door the men in uniform were knocking at. It could have been any one of our friends whose family now had to make funeral plans. Thank God it wasn't. But I'm still so sorry it happened at all.
That night, as my soldier sat on the edge of my bed in my brother's guestroom, holding my hand until I fell asleep, I cried. I cried until I couldn't take it any more. I cried until my body gave into sleep. It was the fear of knowing that I could have lost the love of my life, and the sheer guilt and grief over others losing someone so dear to them.
Right now my soldier is safe. I still hear from him about once or twice a day, skipping a few days here and there. But I know he will leave again before we are used to having him home. And we will once again be faced with the idea that someone could knock on my door at any moment to tell me he isn't coming home. I'm scared to lose him. I'm scared to move forward. The world is a scary place right now. I just want things to stay the same where I know he is safe and I know he will be coming home to me soon.
Isn't that what every one wants?
Lord, bless all the military men and women out there fighting for our country and fighting for our freedom. Bless their families who are putting on a brave face on the home front. Be with the families who are now facing the dreaded notion of continuing their lives without their loved ones. Bring them all home. Keep them all safe. Amen.