Part of my survival in life has been writing. Whether it was letters and poetry in high school or emails in the internet age. The one thing that has documented my life almost as much as the photos of me are my writings.
As a military spouse, you do whatever you need to do to survive during long deployments and separations. Over time, I’ve heard spouses joke that when their spouse is home, they annoy the hell out of them. For me, I wait with baited breath for the return of my hero. Every day spent apart is a day that chips at my emotional wall. Each day reminds me of why I love him.
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”. I wish this were the case for everyone, but I know better. Which is why I want to share this email I wrote to my husband during one of our separations. We had been together 10 years with 2 kids at this point. This was written during his second deployment, duration 11 months.
Our journey as a spouse is as different as we are, but the one thing we all share is the fear, the anguish, the loneliness, frustration and pride that comes with wearing our own badge of honor.
The biggest piece of advice I can offer you is to embrace your authentic self. Embrace your heart. Embrace your loneliness and communicate with your spouse. You are not alone. You are not voiceless. Use your pain as your passage. I hope you enjoy this snippet from one of my upcoming books.
………”She runs to the door in the pouring rain, trying to drape her jacket over her head, but alas the effort is pointless as the drops fall from above with intent. Fumbling for her keys, she finally reaches her goal and closes the door behind her. Shaking herself off as if she were a Sheepdog after a bath, she removes her shoes and tiptoes on the wood floors as to not wipe out completely and put an end to a day that deserves a trip to the shower and not the hospital. The house is quiet. The only light on is the one she left over the stove so she would be able to see her way once arriving from her work day. She checks her voicemail again, knowing better than to expect a call from him. It’s not that he doesn’t want to but she knows he just doesn’t have that one liberty that we all take for granted in our daily lives.
The children at their grandparents while they were both out of town. Her for a few days on business, he, well, a hero could be gone for awhile. She walks into the bathroom, turns on the light and looks into the mirror, wishing that the eyes looking back at her were the ones of her love, the greatest love she has ever experienced. *
Her love, he’s out fighting for our country. Serving duty on the high seas, she knows he’s as lonely for her as she is for him, and can’t wait for the day that she is once again safe in his arms. She splashes cold water on her face to wake her up, towels dry and then makes her way to undress.
Pulling off her travel clothes, comfortable, practical and let us not forget fashionable, “You never know who you might be sitting next to”, is her motto. She’s not the high maintenance type that can’t go out without a full face, she just likes to be herself, all natural. Besides, he likes her this way, he’s always liked her for who she was, and that makes her feel more beautiful than any clothes, makeup or hairdo could ever do.
You see, she’s a model, one of the top in her field, but since he walked into her life, she’s accepted for being more than just a pretty face. When he looks at her, he sees her deep down, her secrets, her skeletons, and bases his love on the contents, not the package. She smiles as she thinks about their first encounter all those years ago. How everyone laughed and said it’s “puppy love”, and to take it slow, but she knew then what has been confirmed today, that the love introduced to them was theirs forever, to be done with how they saw fit. She had never been able to be herself or to truly know herself until that day. Her ‘Soulmate’ day, May 8th. Neither had any idea what fate had in store for them, but neither ran, they embraced it and 10 yrs later, they have a life that romance novels are made of.
She smirks as she thinks of all their friends who are so envious….it’s not nice to think that way, but their envy just makes her appreciate it more.
She returns to reality and realizes she’s tired. The sound of the rain pounding on the roof, singing a lullaby, a love song created by mother nature is slowly mesmerizing her. She knows he’s out there thinking of her, just as she looks out the window, he’s out there staring, wondering, and smiling.
She loves to make him smile. “It’s the little things…” he always said, and while she might be tall, she was full of little things.
She lays down on the bed to allow the ease of the rain take her to where he is. Carry her out to sea to where she can embrace him. She takes a pen to the paper that she keeps by her bedside so she can write to him whenever the urge strikes, so she doesn’t have to search and lose her train of thought. She writes 3 little words ” I love you”, places the letter in the envelope and addresses it. Tomorrow it will be in the mail. “It’s the little things” She repeats to herself and smiles.
He’s due home in 3 wks. It’s been long, and she won’t lie, it’s been hard, but she has his face and his love every day when one of their children embraces her and says “Mommy, I love you”…….he’s given her a lifetime of gifts in each of them. He doesn’t know yet, but she’s planned a weekend away for the two of them the day after he arrives. Her mom is taking the children so that they can run away & hideout just the two of them. The kids will spend the first night at home with Dad, but then they’re off and her weekend of making up for lost time will begin.
She rented a cabin, about a 1 1/2 hrs outside of town. It’s the only one they had that was away from the others, and so she snapped it up. They’ve never put a price on their love, nor their time together, as it was so precious to both of them. Considering their career paths, yes they sacrificed time together but when they finally got a hold of one another, they truly made the best of it. She pictured them arriving and watching his face light up. He loved it up there. She had arranged for them to go horseback riding, off the trail, they have never been ones to stay on the trail……….or follow very well.
The cabin has a fireplace and being as it’s early fall, they’ll be able to light it up, just the smell of the burning logs was all the aphrodisiac she needed. Little did he know what would come next. She arranged with the owner of the cabin to stock it with groceries so that they wouldn’t have to leave once they arrived, and just gave them a list and told them to add it to the bill. “Some things are priceless, for everything else there’s Mastercard”, she chuckles to herself. She couldn’t wait, couldn’t wait for his arms to be around her, her hands to touch his soft skin, to kiss that soft spot on the side of his neck, to listen to his moans of enjoyment, and to feel his body let go of all the stress and anxiety brought on by what he has experienced. **
The phone rings, and she comes back to reality, not realizing it, but she discovered how wet she had become. With him as her inspiration, she touches herself, picturing their mouths wrapped around on another, exploring territory that was new again, yet had been mapped out centuries ago. Her fantasies seemed like reality, although they had never happened she was able to see his face and feel his touch, you’d never know they had been separated so long.
She was only hoping that he too was able to experience the memory of her touch, the smell of her skin, as she was his.*** Exhaustion washed over her as she brought herself to climax, and with a smile on her face, his scent in her mind, she rolled over and wrapped herself up in their blanket and his pillow and fell fast asleep.”
I love you she whispers………….knowing he can hear her.
*Photo Credit: Chris Mangune http://www.chrismangune.com
**Photo Credit: Amber Fall
***Photo Credit: The Runway Authority http://www.therunwayauthority.com