The Lessons We Can’t Unlearn

When my husband leaves my eyesight, my breath catches.  It catches from a year of sitting and waiting and wondering.  It catches because once we were speaking and a commotion broke out in the background and he yelled, “I have to go” before the line went dead.  It catches because I sat and waiting for three days before hearing that he was ok. There are things that you can’t undo in your life.  There are lessons you can’t unlearn and habits you can’t break no matter how hard you try.  My habit, my lesson, is that he is never guaranteed to be safe, no matter where he is.  And I can never be sure he is alive, unless I am physically talking to him or able to see him. And so I sit at home, my breath stuck in my chest, until he returns again. He admits that he doesn’t Continue reading The Lessons We Can’t Unlearn

The Thirty Seconds That Defined My Life: My Thoughts on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is one of those days I struggle to find what to write. I struggle to see the sales and the people remarking about the three day weekend. I struggle to find the words to say what it means to me. Last year, I was approached to write a piece about what Memorial Day means to me, a spouse.   I agreed. But I struggled to put into words what it means. I struggled to say what was in my heart because it is painful to remember and I worried what others might feel when reading my true thoughts. I wrote the most gut-wrenching piece I have ever written. I wrote about a time that I can’t even think of without tears… This story is something I have shared in private and, as of last year, very publicly. But even more so, it is a story that is something I Continue reading The Thirty Seconds That Defined My Life: My Thoughts on Memorial Day

When “See You Soon” Really Means Goodbye

In the time that I have been with my husband, he has only deployed once.  He has had extended training missions, but only the one deployment, shortly after we were married.  I remember when we were dating I didn’t really understand what it was like to be in love with someone in the military.  We were in our early 20s, and so much of our life seemed so normal.  We did normal couple things and spent time with our friends.  But then I did the normal “new love” thing and asked, “How long do you think you could be away from me?”  To which he replied, “Well, at a minimum, two weeks.”  Shocked, I asked, “Why two weeks?”  And he replied, “Because that is how long AT is each summer.” That was that.  That moment defined something that, at 22 years old, never occurred to me was definable.  At 22 Continue reading When “See You Soon” Really Means Goodbye