Friday, September 7, 2007

Today's random act of kindness

I want to share the nicest thing! The Old Man stopped at 7-11 on his way to work this morning to pick up some coffee and breakfast, but forgot to activate his check card when he approached the register.

A man behind the Old Man paid for his meal.

To everyone who supports our troops, thank you!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

And it began.

It's a blessing to be able to look back at a time in your life and wonder how the hell you lived through whatever it was. For me, this time last year, this very night, was the night that the Old Man and I packed his last bag to deploy to Ramadi, Iraq. (OK, minus the last minute trip to Wal-Mart the day of to pick up beef jerky, socks, and an oversized inflatable football.) This is the story of the beginning of my new life. My life as a Corps wife.

After having been married just less than a month, I grabbed my things and temporarily moved to North Carolina to what I like to call our multi-purpi room extraordinaire. Yes, we were so in love that we thought renting a 50 sq ft space with a King-sized bed, stove, bathroom, an unnecessarily large recliner, and very large husband would be “...just like playing house!" We were on a roll. We survived a Kitty Parvo scare, a minor car accident, a deep sea (sick) adventure, and Hurricane Ernesto. Oh and how could I forget the games we played in our newly married bliss? Games like, “Let’s Watch Our Used Glasses Walk Themselves to the Sink” and my favorite that we played every morning, “Honey, Where’s My Deodorant, Damn It!”

Really, we went fishing, out to dinner, to the beach, bowling, did all sorts of fun stuff. I think we thought that keeping busy would be the best way to deal with the lingering feelings of emptiness and how we really were scared to death about what could happen. And it did. But in the end, we put ourselves into a panic on this day, last year, packing his last bag. Not knowing whether to yell or cry or hug, I was devastated as I realized that I couldn’t ignore it anymore. My best friend was going to war.

So we said our goodbyes. He got on the bus. I could see his silly grin as he held up a Readers Digest that a lady had given him to read on the ride to Cherry Point. He borrowed someone’s cell phone to tell me one more time that he loved me. Then the buses left. And I cried.

The months passed quickly. The days dragged on. I think I was in shock for a good few weeks before it sunk in that he was going to be gone for 7 months to the most dangerous place on earth, but I got by.

The military always tells the wives that with the absence of your husband and the threats of death, you may experience what they call “Anticipatory Grief,” a series of emotions similar to someone who has just experienced the death of a loved one. I did. But I kept going. I organized donation drives, got overly involved with work, visited family often, and was a care package maniac. I relied on prayer, my family, my friends, and my husband’s voice. He on the other hand, was so unbelievably strong that it was incredible.

We spoke often except on his 30-45 day rotations. He was super thoughtful and sent presents home from to me on a regular basis and emailed me when he could. Before we knew it, Christmas had passed and we were on the homestretch. The new year was exciting. January rolled around and we started looking for houses. Then February came and as I’m buying knick knacks for his welcome home festivities and closing on our first home, the President announced the Marines of 1/6 would be extended another 45-60 days.

So there I was, with our families, waiting again. This time for an indefinite period of time, which was even more frustrating. I tried hard to prepare from the get go that this may happen, so as much as I hated every day of the extension, and I knew he did too, we stuck together and before we knew it, the Old Man was home. We were all moved in to our new house and the plans for the welcome home parties were in order. But most important, the Marines of 1/6 can confidently say that they left Ramadi a safer place.

So here we are. A year later from the day he went to Iraq and a year stronger. We’re left with the battle scars of a wartime deployment and a few re-tests of newly married bliss and I'm here to blog about it. Because he made it, we made it, and I can!

Friday, August 10, 2007

One more thing...

Oh, and