Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Waiting Game

My life is a constant emotional rollercoaster. One moment I am having a great time with my friends, the next, I am fighting back tears. It's not fun. It's not fair. I hate it.
The one thing that seems to set me off the most is being out with my friends and see random couples. Random couples, who I don't know, yet I envy them. They get to go to concerts together. They get to eat dinner together. They get to walk down the street holding hands. Simple things that others so often take for granted.
I wish we were a normal couple. I wish we could do all the fun things together. I want to go to the movies with him. I want to cook dinner for him. I want to be able to kiss him. I want to be able to look at his face in person.
Even now, sitting here typing, I am fighting back the tears. I am hours away from putting this month behind me, and that should make me feel better, but it doesn't. It doesn't make me feel better that I have a running tab on how much time we haven't spent together. It doesn't make me feel better to know that I still have so much more to face without him.
It is so strange to think back on all the things he missed this month. He missed my birthday. It still feels weird. Almost as though my birthday didn't actually happen; almost like it was just another day. I went on spring break and saw some amazing things. I had a very close friend lose her father. He wasn't here for any of that. He couldn't experience it with me. He couldn't see my emotions. He mainly could only read about them. And that hurts.
I haven't heard from him in a while. All the reasons why this could be run through my head, and none of them are good. I hate the unknown. I hate being out of the loop. I hate not being able to see that everything is okay. I hate waiting.
The waiting game is a terrible one to play. There are no winners. Just players in a game that never seems to end. The players want to rush things along, but the rules of the game are unwritten and constantly changing.
Obviously, I tend to check my phone more when I haven't heard from him for a few days. With every passing hour, my heart seems to sink deeper into my chest. It leaves me feeling empty. It leaves me feeling alone.
A deep void was created in my life when I drove away from him so many months ago. I don't even want to think about how long ago that was. When people ask me how long it has been, I just give a vague answer so I don't have to actually figure out when it was. I'm afraid to add up all the days he has been gone because I feel as though it will upset me more. Sometimes I view this separation as a long weekend.....a very long weekend.
I want him back. I want him here. I want to know everything is okay. I want to hear his voice. I miss him more with each passing day. I can't stop the tears from falling any longer. Sometimes it is too hard to take. Sometimes the waiting game wins.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

He Promised

For Christmas this year, my soldier gave me a ring. It is a simple ring with my birth stone and a few diamonds around it. It is absolutely beautiful and I fell in love with it instantly.
It is not a wedding ring. It is not an engagement ring. However, it is a promise ring- just not the typical promise ring some couples exchange. This ring holds a different promise. A promise I hold so dear to me. A promise I think of every day.

A simple promise. A heartfelt promise. A beautiful promise.

It is the promise that he will come back to me.

I wear my ring (on my right hand) every day. No matter what I am doing, I wear it. It is like a piece of him that I can take with me everywhere. Sometimes I even sleep with it on. I like to feel the weight of the ring. It is almost like a reminder that no matter where I am, he is still with me.
I often times find myself looking at my ring. It catches my eye quite a few times a day. Everytime I look at it, I think of him. I wonder what he is doing. I think of his smile. I think of our amazing love that has lasted through these hard times.
The circle the ring makes is never ending. It will continue for all times. It will never be broken. Just like my feelings for him: They will always continue. They will always thrive. They will never be broken. And that is the beauty of it all.
One day soon, I will not only have a ring to look at. I will be able to look at him. All of him. His face, his body, his hands. His eyes. Oh, how I miss his beautiful eyes. The sparkle in his eyes could never compete to the shine on my ring. Soon I will be ale to feel the weight of his touch and not just the weight of this ring. Someday soon, though not soon enough, life will be right again. I will have him again. Just like he has promised.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Of Love and Fighting

I feel as though I have a relationship with my computer. I sit with it open for hours. I check every form of communication I have and hope for the smallest sign that he is out there somewhere, and that he is okay.
If I have a relationship with my computer, then I am cheating on it with my phone. I will not let my phone out of sight. I wake up in the middle of the night and make sure it is still on just in case he needs to call at all hours of the night. I make sure the volume is where I can always hear it. I look at it constantly when I am in class, afraid that if he does call, I won't be able to answer.
When will I have a relationship with him again? When will things be normal? Sometimes it feels as though days are flying by and we will be together in no time. However, most of the time this isn't the case.
We got into an argument today. Of course one of the few times we get to talk in the morning, and we start an argument. I will go ahead and take full responsibility for it. What was said that started it off was meant to be so innocent. A comment in passing, really. But since we could only communicate over the computer, it was taken so wrong.
It is hard to read each other over the computer. All there is in front of you are words on a screen, and no emotion behind them. You have to create your own emotion. You can't read the person's face or body language when they are said.
A simple comment I made seemed to really hurt my soldier. This was not my intention and it broke my heart he took it so harshly. Emotions got out of hand and it was not the way I wanted to start off my morning.
It can be so hard to convey my feelings. He knows I care for him deeply, but he doesn't know how deeply I really feel. My life has changed since we have started dating. He has made me into a better person just by simply being who he is. I wish I could show him how I really feel. It pains me to think that he may never know.
The good thing about our relationship, one thing that I cherrish, is that we never end a conversation on a bad note. If we ever get into an argument, we talk everything out. Every couple fights. Best friends fight. No one is ever going to perfectly get along with someone at all times. But it is the way that you handle the fight that really defines the relationship. What is the point in constanly fighting? That isn't going to help anything.
Very few times have we gotten off the phone upset. And immediately after the phone disconnects, it lights back up so we can calmly talk things out. Never once have I gone to bed angry or upset with my soldier. I am so lucky. I am so lucky we respect each other enough and care about our relationship that we are willing to work out everything. It brings us closer and makes us stronger. We are our own support system.
I miss being able to give him a hug and look into his eyes and say "I'm sorry". It hurts to know that we have to deal with our emotions so far apart. I just want to curl back in his arms again. Life isn't very fun when you have to live it alone.
No matter how horrible it is to have a fight with him, in the end, it always bring us closer. We open up about our feelings and the underlying reason why we really got into a fight (and there is almost always one). He quickly became my best friend for this reason. He knows so much about me. More than most anyone else.
I am so afraid that now that we are getting so close, now that we share such a deep connection, I may lose him. I'm scared to live my life without him. I worry that the more he learns about me, he will see I don't have my life together as much as it seems. I'm scared we will be different when we are finally back together.
On the other hand, I know my love for him is growing every day, even when we are apart. I know that when I can see him face to face, nothing else will matter. Life will be perfect again. I will be able to move on with my life. With our life.
Until then, I will be happy for every day we have.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Love lost

Love can come at you in many forms. And you can lose it just as quickly as you find it. In a few short days this week, I encountered two situations with two dear friends who lost their loves.

The first came at me in a text message. No, many text messages. My friend told me of a story every military girlfriend fears. There is the obvious situation that everyone thinks about, but every girlfriend fears she and her man will fall apart. This is about the latter of the two.
She poured her heart out to me. She told me how things are just not the same. She and her soldier are engaged, and things just aren't the same. She loves him, I know she does. But she hates the waiting game.
We will be together soon. Just wait. A little bit longer and we can start our lives together. These words, although they are meant to be comforting, can be very discouraging. It hurts to wait. Waiting is a reminder of being alone. And being alone is not where we want to be. All I could do for my friend was try to be encouraging. But in those times, you just need an ear to listen; that's what she needed me for.

The second love lost was heartbreaking. It is still very fresh, very new, and still weighs heavily in my heart and on my mind. It was my father who broke the news to me so early Sunday morning. He never brings good news that early in the day. And this was no exception.
Mr. Pool has died. Those words still ring in my ear. One of my best friend's father was gone, just like that. There was no warning, no time to prepare. He was here one moment, and gone the next. I still can't wrap my mind around this feeling.
He was a great father, a great husband, and a great American. He served his country in the Navy and later retired from there. Then he went on and became a high school teacher. He taught my two older brothers and countless other children in my town. I will always miss his jokes and his sarcastic comments we would toss back and forth.

Both of these loves lost are hard to swallow. Hard to understand. There is no rhyme or reason as to why things happen. There are few words that can be shared to bring comfort in either situation.

Love is a ever-evolving and constant changing emotion. It is something you always need to work on. It brings its own challenges and its own joys. It can be something so wonderful that you become so accustomed to it being there. You grow used to its warmth. Love can wrap its arms around you and make you feel so safe and so at home.
It is when love is taken away from us that we feel its wrath. The pain it leaves behind can knock you to your knees. It can make you feel as though you cannot continue once it is gone. Love can leave you out in the cold before you even know it.

Thankfully, I have not learned of this pain firsthand. I hope I never will. I wish no one had to know this pain. I have an overflowing amount of love in my life. I have my soldier, and before I know it, he will be back with me. I have my family, and we have our health.

My love is not lost. My love is present in everything I do. Every hour of the day, every choice I make, love has a part in my life. These days I have a lot to be thankful for; it is sad that people don't see that until it threatens to be gone.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Break Pt 2

Sometimes, I think the hardest part of this situation is not being understood. Of course I miss him every day we are apart, but sometimes it would be really nice to have someone to talk to. Someone to cry with. Someone who understands.
I went to bed last night early, despite my friends taunting me and begging me not to. The weight on my shoulders I carry around every day can be exhausting. The way my mind races thinking about him, what he is doing, where he might be, could wear anyone out. I find it easier to put up with people's jokes than to deal with the thoughts that are going through my mind constantly.
Often times, I feel as though people don't understand because they don't want to understand. They don't want to know how hard it can hurt to miss someone so deeply. They don't want to know what it feels like to not be able to pick up a phone and call their significant other whenever they want. They don't want to know what it is like to live their daily lives without them to share it with. And I can't blame them.
I wish I didn't know this pain, this confusion, this frustration. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. I hate feeling alone. I hate the fact that my life is on hold until he is home with me again. I hate going to bed without hearing his voice. I miss telling him about my day. I wish there was another way to fix this void he has left. I wish, more than anything, that he was here. But he isn't, and that is just something I have to deal with until he can take my pain away.
I haven't talked to him since I came here for vacation. I have not been able to tell him about where I am, what my friends and I have been doing, all of the fun things that we have seen. I haven't heard his opinion of what I am doing. I haven't heard his laugh or his jokes or his voice.
I love the girls I am here with. We all have our different personalities and different opinions, but for the most part, we all get along. However, sometimes, when the stress of the day seems to be getting too much, I need time alone. I need to be by myself to think and to refocus my mind. I think this can be the hardest thing for them to understand. They know he is gone, they know I miss him, but they don't understand why my mood can turn sour so quickly. No one can understand unless they were going through it, too.
It upsets me that I haven't talked to him since I was here. I see my friends talking to their boyfriends. I hear their problems about them and listen to the funny stories of what they did that day. I don't have that. I don't have any funny stories to share about what my boyfriend said today. I don't get to talk about where he is on his spring break. I only can talk about the things we went through when we were together months ago. I don't hear about fun things he did that day or any of his friends. Almost all of our conversations are one-sided; I tell him what I did that day and what funny things my friends said, but he doesn't return the favor.
I am beginning to miss his friends a lot, too. I can't forget that they are gone as well. When he left, I lost his friends as well. I can't call them. I can't share our inside jokes. Our friendships weaken with each passing day. When we are all reunited, things will be different. Time will have elapsed since the last time I saw them. More than that of me and my soldier. Our bonds that were beginning to grow in the few short months that we knew each other will be changed. We will have to recreate our friendship.
Life is changed, but life will keep going. There are so many things people don't think about. There are so many things I wish I didn't have to think about. But the truth is, I do. This is my reality. This is our life, until he comes home.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Break

I am on Spring Break with some of my good friends from school. We decided to go to another state in order to escape for a week. Miles away from home. Miles away from class. Miles away from anything. It is so great to be here. I am slowly noticing how much sleep I've really been missing. All of the stress is beginning to melt away off my shoulders. I have no papers due, no tests, and no classes for another week. And it feels perfect.
Being here makes me feel so distant. I don't know anyone but my friends here. There are no commitments I have to do. There are no rules I have to follow. I can just be myself for once.
It's funny; you would think being in a town where I have no connection and have never been to wouldn't make me think of anything but the present and how blissfully wonderful that can feel. But really, all I can think about is how badly I want him here. As much as I try to push it out of my mind for a little bit, take a break from this reality, it always manages to sneak back in.
Everything I do this week, I wish he could do, too. Everything I see, I wish he could see. Every place I make plans to visit, I wish he was here to make the plans with me.
It is a horrible feeling to know that I can't pick up the phone and call him and tell him all about the fun I am having. A feeling that I don't know I will ever get used to. There is always that one thing that sparks my mind to think about him. And there is always that split second where I want to pull out my phone and tell him. But I can't do it.
Today it was a volleyball court.
In ninth grade, when my soldier and I started dating the first time around, I was on my high school volleyball team. I loved it. And somehow, for whatever reason, I was actually kind of good at it. My coach was Coach Knowles. Little did I know, he was friends of my boyfriend's family. They all played volleyball together. My soldier's oldest brother, the one whom I am closest with, plays volleyball out in California. His dad always plays along with pick-up teams. They know what they are doing.
I think the second time I saw his dad, they showed up to volleyball practice at the end to help people with their jumps and techniques. I was so embarrased and thought I would never match up to their standards, I left before they could "help" me.

As I walked on the beach with my friends today, a boy caught my eye. He was of similar height, built, and age of my soldier when we first met. And he was wearing boardshorts, which he practically lived in the summer we first met. It took me back to a simplier time, where all I thought about was what I was doing from one moment to the next. That summer holds so many perfect memories. I wish I had known then that they would mean so much to me years down the road.
I really can't explain why I miss him as much as I do tonight. I thought that if I stayed here with my friends I would be having so much fun and be so distracted from everything, that it wouldn't bother me as much. But, as it turns out, it doesn't matter where I have the fun to make a difference. Whether I am back at school or off on a vacation with my good friends, if I am having fun, I am going to wish I was having that fun with him.

I guess that is what love is.

No matter how perfect life can be, no matter how many friends you are surrounded with, no matter how many tv shows or movies or games occupy your time, if you are having fun, you are going to wish the person you love was there. Even now, after months of being apart, I still can't get used to him being gone. I hope I never get used to living my life without him here to live his next to me.

"I wonder what Piglet is doing," thought Pooh.
"I wish I were there to be doing it, too."
Winnie the Pooh

Friday, March 18, 2011

Until Midnight

As I sit here writing this, I am mere minutes away from my birthday. Another year older. And he isn't here. It is bittersweet. I so wish he was here with me, but I am very excited about this new year ahead of me.
As I sit here and reflect on this last year of my life, I can only think of how much it has changed. I reconnected with the most amazing man I have met. He has filled my life with so much joy. We have gone through one of the hardest things I could imagine. We have been torn apart by something out of our control. I fell for him hard. I have missed him more and more with each passing day. I can't wait to be with him again.
I think back on all of the things we have done together. We had a lot of "first"s this year. First time going to a wedding together. First time being in my college town together. First time meeting our new friends. First time we had to knowingly say goodbye together. I'm afraid we've had a lot of lasts, too. We just had our last night time chat of this year. And it hurts that it had to be on the computer.
I am heartbroken he can't be here. Tomorrow may be the hardest day I've gone through yet. I must stay positive. I must keep in mind that I have an amazing guy who is thinking of me on this day. I will be without him physically, but not emotionally. He will always be with me in my heart. Right where he belongs. I am so glad my friends will surround me tomorrow. They will be the only thing to keep my mind occupied.
I will be okay. Tomorrow is a day just like any other. But I know it will be filled with joy and laughter no matter what. My soldier's love will not be ignored. He will be with me in spirit. And that'll be just fine. For now.

I will sit here and reflect on this year. Replay all the memories in my head; the good and the not so good. They all got me where I am today. I will think of all of this and look forward to what is to come in this new year of my life.

Until midnight.


Wow- what a crazy, stressful week. Between classes, registering for new classes, tests, papers, and baking dozens of cupcakes (literally), Friday will be readily welcomed in a few short hours. And then it is off to a week away with some of my best friends. For all of  you who have been complaining about me not writing lately, you know who you are, I'm sorry! I will try to make this post worth while.

In one of my classes today, we talked about emotions. Emotions can be very powerful. Emotions can be very tough to deal with. Emotions can be hard to explain. We listened to the song 'Are you Lonesome Tonight' and made an activity from it.

Are you lonesome tonight,
do you miss me tonight?
Are you sorry we drifted apart?
Does your memory stray to a brighter sunny day
When I kissed you and called you sweetheart?
Do the chairs in your parlor seem empty and bare?
Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there?
Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again?
Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight?

The song is very simple. The words are ones we can all understand. The feelings are all ones we have probably felt before. But our teacher wanted something more. She wanted us to relive those feelings and write it all out. "Do you miss someone?" she asked. " Is there someone you wish you were with right now? Maybe there are even things you wish you would've said to them. Write them a letter now. Tell them how much you miss them. Tell them how you feel." A simple topic for a simple song; or at least we thought.
Many people wrote to someone they had lost- a grandfather or an aunt that had passed away. I went a different route; I wrote to my soldier. There is nothing wrong with what my classmates wrote about. My grandfather passed away six years ago and I miss him dearly. But today, just like most days, my soldier was on my mind. Do you miss someone? Yes. Is there someone you wish you were with right now? Now and every day. Maybe there are even things you wish you would've said to them. I don't even know where to begin.
I found my letter very difficult to write. I always write emails to my soldier and leave him messages online. I try my best to tell him how I feel about him whenever I get a chance. He knows how deeply I care for him. But all of those letters are for him to read. When I had to write out a letter as though he wouldn't be able to read it, it was hard to really convey how I honestly feel.
The hardest part of writing it was the fact that I still have him in my life, but I can't be with him. With a death or a break-up, a person needs closure. They need to come to grips with the fact that they no longer have their loved one. They need to move on.

I can't move on.

It is so hard to know that my love is out there somewhere, but he isn't with me. It is so hard to accept the fact that I don't know when I will see him again. It is so hard to understand why we can't be together. These feelings often are associated with a death or a break-up and we, thankfully, are dealing with neither. We are just dealing with our situation. Our perpetual stance of not knowing. My classmates used their letters as a form of theraputic closure, but my letter was like pouring salt into an open wound. It reminded me how alone I feel.

I am lonesome and I miss him; tonight and every night.
I am sorry we have drifted apart, but glad we are only apart due to distance of the bodies, not of the heart.
I always think of the wonderful days we spent together, all his wonderful kisses, but I dream of the day where we are reunited.
Although I don't live by myself, my apartment seems so empty now that he is gone. He never lived here, not even in this town, but his laughter could fill an entire room, so now the halls seem empty without hearing him in the other room.
My heart has been in pain since the moment I drove away from him. I need him to come back again.
Yes, dear, I am lonesome tonight.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Home cooked

I've started cooking a lot lately. Cooking, baking, making up my own creations. It may be due to the fact that I am a college student living in an apartment on my own. It may be the fact that since the beginning of time, I've only wished to be a 1950's housewife. It also may be that the last gift giving holidays, like Christmas and birthdays and whenever my parents decide to give me something, I have gotten pots and pans, baking dishes, and food platters of all shapes and sizes. Whever the case may be, I have started cooking a lot more than usual.
Earlier this week, I had people over for dinner. Granted, I only made pancakes, eggs, grits, and bacon, but I really liked being able to have people over to take care of them. It was a lot of fun and I even ended up baking cookies from scratch before the night was over. My friends kept telling me how great of a wife I was going to be.
My soldier and I have often talked about having a dinner party for our friends- if we are ever in the same town long enough to plan something like that. A few months back, he went to one of his buddy's place and he and his girlfriend had a big party for some sporting event and made nachos and wings and all the typical things you would expect at such an event. He told me how much he wanted me there that night and how he couldn't wait for us to have our friends over and have a party with them. I was so happy he wanted to share that experience with me. I couldn't wait to be able to do that together.
I want to be able to have a nice, home cooked meal for him the first night we are back together. I've looked at so many cookbooks and websites to try to find something he would like. I've even made up some of my own things that I know he would love. I can't wait for him to be able to sit at the table with me and share a meal again.
Although I am in no way eager to wish away my single and college years for I know they will be gone a lot sooner than I think, I can't wait to share my life with someone. I love being able to take care of people. I love planning parties and get togethers. I love the feeling of sitting down and eating a nice meal, knowing I cooked it myself. I'm so glad he would want to be able to share all of this with me, too.
It is almost like our life and our relationship is on hold for the next few months. Think of it as a really long weekend. If I constantly focus on how much time we have spent apart and how horrible the feeling of not having him here with me is, it will seem like he has been gone for forever. I am so lucky to have my soldier in my life. I can't wait for this time apart to be over. I can't wait to share a meal with him again. I can't wait to see him sitting at the table across from me. It is always the little things that I miss so much. And it is looking forward to the little things that I know all of this will be worth it in the long run.  That home cooked meal will, I'm certain, be the best thing I've ever tasted.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Be my escape

While on the phone with my soldier last night, I fell asleep. Twice. I can't even explain how horrible I felt when I caught myself sleeping and still holding the phone. I was doing everything I could to try to stay awake, but it was just impossible.
Some nights it is too hard to fall asleep. I often find myself waking up in the middle of the night to check my phone. I check the time, check for an email, check for a missed call, anything from him. I know if anything was wrong that I would be contacted. I know if he needed me, he would find a way to get a hold of me. I know all of this, but I still can't help but do everything in my power to be available.
Sleep is a welcomed friend in my life. It is my escape. It just doesn't find me as often as I would like. I've been taking short naps almost every day and I often fall asleep on the couch while watching TV with my roommate much earlier than I should. She has been poking fun at how much I have been sleeping lately; little does she know, I hardly sleep at night. There are times I wake up more than 5 times a night thinking of where he might be or what he is doing. My mind tortures itself with all the different scenarios he may be facing. It can be so hard to turn it off.
There are times where I just lie awake thinking of him. I think of his voice. I picture his arms around me. I imagine what it is going to be like to see him walk up to me. I see his smile and feel his skin. I can't wait for us to be together again. To breathe the same air. To see the same things around us.
Now that it is getting warmer, I like to walk around outside once it is getting dark and the air is crisp. I look up at the stars and wonder if he has looked up at the same stars that night. I find comfort in knowing we are sleeping under the same sky every night, but I wish we were back in the same time zone. I wish we could be living out our lives at the same time, not in different time intervals.
"Ten days until my birthday," I will say to him. "9 days for me," he says. "How does the future look?" I ask. "Lonely," he jokingly replies. At least we still have our sense of humor about our situation. We still laugh and joke around. We try not to let our reality get the best of us. Even though we are not in the best place, we still have each other. And that is the most important thing to have.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Last night I watched the Coming Home special on Lifetime. I loved it. Even my roommate enjoyed watching it with me. The whole time, we talked about what it is going to be like to have him home again. We talked about what that day will be like: what I will wear and who will be with me so I don't have to do it alone. We talked about the emotions of what the drive to him will consist of. We talked about how no matter how much planning may go into that day, it won't be anything like we expect--it'll be better! Talking about that day made things a little easier. Sometimes it is better to focus on how it will be when he is home, and not how terrible it is while he is gone.
My soldier and I have started to talk about taking a trip when he is back. "Pick any place you have always wanted to go," he has told me. We talk about where we want to be, what we want to do, what it will be like to be together. I love picturing how it is going to be.
I know he is ready to be back. I think that is why he has started talking about this getaway. He has it all planned out in his head. So now, not only do I have the moment he is in my arms again to dream about, I now am able to plan a trip with him.
There is a lot of planning that goes into such a big trip. There's the plane tickets, the dates, the money, the activities. They can't all be thrown together. They have to be planned out. So that is just what we are going to do. Plan. Focus on a great time we will have together when he is home. Focus on a time where life will be normal again. Where he and I can exist again.
I think he knew I needed something to keep my mind occupied. School work can only entertain me for so long. He has given me something else to think about. I can look up places to go and things to do. I can daydream about how perfect everything will be. I am so excited to take a trip with him. And I am so thankful he has given me the gift to plan something so incredible.
Although I know plans always change, they still give people things to look forward to. So, for now, I will plan a perfect trip. Something I will dream about for months to come. But I have a plan. We have a plan. And we have an opportunity to look forward to something together.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Breathe him in

Tonight my soldier called me. I was finishing watching a show with my roommate. He told me he would let me watch the rest of my show and call me back in a few minutes. Then I got a message from him on the computer saying he would be gone for the rest of the night. And my heart is broken. It is so hard to find the balance of keeping my life normal, but keeping our relationship going strong. My heart fell from my chest to the bottom of my feet when I saw that message, and it hasn't returned yet. Weekends are always hard. Those are the times where I miss him the most. Days where I sit around doing nothing make me wish he was there doing the same. I know my tears won't make things better, but sometimes all I can do is cry. I'm tired of him being gone. I want him back.
Before he left, I stole one of my favorite shirts of his. I hung it up in my closet. It was a reminder that he would be coming back to me. It still had his smell on it--until yesterday. I was reorganizing my closet last night and decided to see if I could catch a hint of his smell and feel him in the room with me. But I couldn't. It was the last thing I had of him, and just like that, it was gone. I immediately regretted even trying to get his scent. I would rather think it is there and not long for it knowing I can't get it back.
I can't wait for the day where I see him walking up to me. And I will give him the biggest hug I could imagine. And I will breathe him in again.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Life's Details

When something tragic in our lives happen, we remember all the details of where we were when we found out. You remember how you were sitting. You remember what you were doing. You remember who told you the terrible news.
Today marks the six year anniversary of a tragedy that struck my soldier's family. It was just over a month after we had broken up and about a week after my beloved grandfather passed away. We both grew up pretty quickly in that time frame.
The visitaion was the first time I saw him since we broke up. He was my first boyfriend, my first kiss, my first love. The pain from not being with him was still fresh. The loss of my grandfather still weighed heavy on my mind. The last thing I wanted was to go to yet another visitation of someone we lost and see my ex-boyfriend at the same time. But I knew he needed me. A huge part of me knew I had to be there to support him. So I took my older brother with me to the visitation so I didn't have to face all of my emotions alone.
I remember being nervous as we pulled into the funeral home. Maybe I wasn't ready to face such sorrow again so quickly. Maybe I was scared to see how he would react to me being there since I had not seen him or talked to him since we broke up. I don't think I talked the whole drive over there.
We walked in to see the casket and a wave of emotion took over my body. My heart ached for his family and my stomach flipped when I thought of what I was going to have to say to him. These were not the circumstances where I imagined myself seeing my ex-boyfriend for the first time.
When I got to the family receiving line, his oldest brother was first. I was relieved he was the first person I came into contact with. Despite our nine year age difference, he was always the sibling I was oddly close with. When I saw him, there was nothing I could do to keep myself bursting into tears. He wrapped his arms around me and I buried my face into his stomach (yes, stomach. I was still a petite 14 year old girl and he was a six and a half foot grown boy just weeks shy of his 23rd birthday). As I stood there, suffocated by my tears and his shirt, I heard him say to me, "Don't cry for me. Don't be sad for us. There was nothing we could do about this. The only thing you can do is be with him and help him through this. He needs you now more than ever." I knew who he was talking about. He was talking about his brother, my ex-boyfriend. I walked straight to him and gave him a hug. We were both in too much shock to speak, so I left. And cried the whole way home.
In the six years after the accident that changed that family's life forever, I have only heard my soldier mention it once. We talked about it one day in a long car ride when it was just the two of us. He talked very softly about the events that occured. He stated the facts and when he was done, changed the subject. And that was the first and last time we have talked about it.
It struck me as odd that he didn't tell me much more than facts. Very few emotions came through in his story. Mainly just anger and pain. I could tell this was something that had deeply effected his family and his life and I wanted to know more. I wanted to talk about it, but I didn't push the subject.
There was only one other time he talked about death to me. We were sitting out over looking the river one day and he brought it up. He talked of how he was overseas and something went wrong. They were blindsided by the attack. He lost a friend that day. But just as quickly as he brought the subject up, he changed courses onto something else.
I know I will never know somethings my soldier has seen. I will never know of some of the personal heartache he has had to deal with. There are details of his life that I will never hear about and I have to learn that this is okay. I have to accept that he can't tell me things, no matter how much I want to hear about them. This is a struggle I may deal with the rest of my life. But there are many challenges associated with being in the military life. Unfortunately details can be another thing that is out of our control. We can't know everything our loved ones go through, but we can support them and be there for them every step of the way.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Especially not now

"I'm sorry for putting you through this," he told me last night. It was one of those nights where the emotion hit me like a ton of bricks. "I made the choice to be with you," I typed out between the tears rolling down my face, "and I have never regretted it." I needed him to know I wasn't uspet with him, I was upset with the situation. "Not even now?" he asked. I firmly typed out my reply, "especially not now."
I couldn't last much longer on the computer. There's only so much time you can spend staring at a computer screen, especially when the tears in your eyes hinder your vision. I didn't know why I was so upset; all I knew was that I wanted him with me and he couldn't be there.
Once I began to get upset, I started to feel foolish for letting my emotions get the best of me. I felt bad for letting myself become so upset and letting him find out I was hurting so much. I hated the fact that I was going to waste one of our conversations on crying so hard that I could hardly communicate. None of these factors helped me feel any better and I finally just had to get off the computer until I could calm down again.
Then I started thinking: I'm only human. I have thoughts and feelings and emotions that are sometimes out of my control. I love a man who I wish could always be with me, but in reality cannot. There are days when my heart aches for him, and that is okay.
It is okay to show emotion to our loved ones. We can't pretend that everything is fine when we are hurting. My soldier knows me better than anyone. He knows my good sides and my bad. He knows my hopes and dreams. He can tell when I am hurting- there is no point in trying to put on a front and act like everything is just fine. It is okay to feel lonely. It is okay to miss our loved ones who are so far away. They miss us, too. They feel lonely, too. We aren't given super powers when they leave. We can't change the way we feel. Although we need to be strong for our loved ones, we can't become stoic to our situation.
I don't regret the choice I made many months ago to be with him. I miss him, but I don't regret him. I missed him the first time I went to call him and it hit me when I knew it was impossible. I missed him when he wasn't here for a small but important (to me!) anniversary. I missed him when he missed Valentine's Day. I miss him every time an inside joke runs through my head. I miss him every night I have to go without talking to him. However, I don't regret him. I don't regret all the love we have shared. I don't regret letting my heart feeling so strongly.
I may have to spend some days alone. I may cry myself to sleep at times. I may wish I could fast foward through these months, but I can't. I can't make the pain go away and I can't stop worrying every moment. I can carry on with my life and dream of the day he comes home to me. I miss him, but I don't regret him. Especially not now.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I shed a tear.

Today the Supreme Court free speech ruling on the so-called church that speaks out at soldier's funerals was made final. The results came back in favor for this "church" 8-1. I am heartbroken over this. This is what America has come to.
These people hold up signs at funerals of the fallen that say "Thank God for Dead Soldiers". You better be thankful. These soldiers died to protect your right to stand up there and say these horrible things about them without any consequences. They fought on the other side of the world while you stood on the street corner holding up signs of hate for them. And yet they still continued to fight for you.
"I just don't understand how they can protest the very people who fought for them to speak freely." I said to my brother when I told him the news. "Because they are idiots," he told me. "And one of the prices we pay for having our rights protected is protecting the rights of the idiots." Although my brother's words were true, they didn't make the pain go away.
My boyfriend, the person I care for most in this world, has devoted his life to protecting these freedoms. He has put his life and his sanity on the line for people who will never see it as a humble sacrifice, and it isn't fair. Nothing about this ruling is fair. Nothing about the sacrifice countless men and women have made is fair.
I am proud of my soldier. I am thankful for my soldier. I was proud of him yesterday. I am proud of him today. I will be proud of him tomorrow and every day of my life. Every day. And nothing that anyone says will take that away from me.
Today I shed a tear for America. I shed a tear for the soldiers who will never be fully appreciated. I shed a tear for those who are fighting for me and those who are fighting for you. I shed a tear for every person who takes for granted how amazingly brave our military is to protect our rights. And I shed a tear for every person who will abuse those rights.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A day at at time

"You're lucky," my friend told me as we walked out of class one day. "You get the best of both worlds; you get to have a relationship without actually having to deal with someone. You get to go out alone and not actually be alone." Weeks, later, these words still confuse me. Why would anyone choose to be alone? How could it be seen as ideal to be in a relationship with someone, but not actually ever see them? I know we are still young, and some people may encourage going out and having fun and meeting as many people as you can, but when you have met someone who truly has changed your life, why would you want to keep looking for someone else?

My soldier is sick. He could only get up and send me a two line email, which is not like him at all. "Sorry I couldn't call tonight. I've been in bed all day. Just wanted to say hi and tell you how much I love you." Simple words like this mean more to me than I ever thought possible. It breaks my heart knowing he is feeling so sick and so weak he can't even make it out of bed. I wish so much that I could be with him to take care of him. I want to reach out and hold him, rub his back, do anything I can to make him feel better. It pains me to think he is out there feeling bad and he is probably having to fight through it and fend for himself when it comes to medicine and proper care. I'm sure it is nothing more than a simple cold, but nothing ever seems to be as simple there as it is here.

I am so glad today is the first day of March. We started off with the little things: counting days we were apart, then weeks, now months. Months. When you put it in that perspective, I can't help but have a twinge of disappointment when I think of how much he will miss. Last month he missed Valentine's day and the passing of my great-uncle and a falling out with a good friend. This month he will miss a big birthday of mine, my spring break, and countless other times I will want him here with me. Next month may have so much more on the horizon. But for now, I will take it a day at a time until we are at another week, another week until another month has passed and another month until he will finally be with me again. I can't wait for that day. I keep holding on for that day.