...but we must remember.
There are so many different worlds people live in our very own country. There are so many different stories among the different lives lived. (Ok, this is starting to sound like an essay...not my intention.) I was a military wife for such a short time, but yet, the feelings of that time will be etched in my heart forever...at least I imagine them to be, and I hope they will be. However, my life, our life, continued on after "that time." Matt is home and done. Here we are, living our civilian lives, going about our daily routines so far removed from anything military but the old camis and boots around the house.
Two different worlds though lived side by side.
I still have a few military wives blogs I love to read and some in real life friends who are military wives. I feel like I need to read those blogs. I need to be reminded that though our time "in" is over, others are still enduring. Part of me wishes to be immersed in that life again, how much I appreciated things differently. But the other part of me, selfishly wants my husband to be home all the time, not have to leave for a year at a time, or more, every couple of years. I would encourage you to really think about that if you have not...how it would change your life. It's just not really that fathomable to "us civilian folk."
I was reading Ashleigh's blog (no, I don't know her personally) and I find myself choking up. It's almost too hard, and too much to read because her pure writing floods back memories and ushers in the reality of it all (well, the reality to which I can imagine...the reality I am not forced to live anymore but that should still be on my heart).
Here I am removed from that time, and am so thankful that Matt is home, nay, was able to come home to me. Obvious to even say, but important enough to emphasize (I feel demanded of me...though we live in a free country, so it's not), not everyone comes home.
Saying goodbye to my husband deploying is an experience I can't say I want to go through again. It is such an awful, choking experience, yet brimmed with the slightest, but heaviest in my heart, glimmer of pride. She wrote about the waiting game that day she was to (and did) say goodbye...and how you just want to soak in those moments as if they will last forever, but at the same time, wishing they would say it's time already to get this ordeal moving and over with. I remember. Those moments were sickening...I shook inside, nervous, heartbroken, tear stained. I was fearful of the future, fearful for the moment we would be separated, but at the same time, I tried to stuff those fears away that kept threatening to overwhelm me just to hold onto that last moments we had together. I was just looking through some of the pictures of the day Matt left (well, one of our "goodbyes", the first one...I saw him off 3 times due to our weird situation). We had a lot of family members there...ugh...pit in stomach. Don't get me wrong, it was wonderful to have support. It really meant a lot to me, to us. At the same time, I felt jealous of my husband's time and afraid to let go of my feelings. Thinking back, I now recall the biggest blessing of that day. I was given clearance to follow Matt to his gate at the airport. We needed that so much. We needed that time for just the 2 of us, secluded from those we knew...even if surrounded by strangers. As his plane took off, he was able to see me wave goodbye, a blubbery mess. Then he saw the family members outside with flags blowing. The man next to Matt asked if they were for him. Yes, for him and for all the other men and women.
I don't know how these wives do this over and over. I don't know how they comfort their little ones missing their Daddy. Today is Friday. I don't know how many Americans still wear red on Fridays, but I will be today. It might not ever be seen or noticed, but for me, that is not the point. I know the intention of the red Friday "movement" was to have a sea of red all over the nation to show our troops we support them. It would be nice to have that outcome. At least I will be personally reminded of our troops and families today as I wear my red shirt. I am thankful for all those giving up "normalcy" and safety to protect mine, to protect my freedom and that of my family. Because they go, my husband can stay. That is a huge privilege. Please pray for the military overseas and serving at home, and please pray for the spouses and children living that daily life and for when they're left behind waiting for their beloved to come home. And, when they do, let's welcome them home!