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Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Defined

"For those have fought for it, and almost died, life has a flavor that the protected with never know." - Purple Heart Memorial at the Military Museum, San Diego, California. 

There is something magical about watching a child cast their eyes upon a service member in uniform for the first time.  With all of their innocence and lack of worldly experience even that child knows that person is someone special and that uniform represents something incredible.  I wonder when that innate understanding and acceptance disappears.  

Today is Memorial Day.  

For most it is a day off of work or school, one of those big sales days at the store, a day to grill out in the back yard and spend much cherished time with friends and family.  For most, the real reason for today is as far from their mind as that first time that they laid eyes on that symbolic uniform as a child.  This isn't a day of ticker tape parades and welcome home banners for those returning from a war laden land far, far away to hug their spouse, their child, their father - but, it should be.  It should be a day, not to honor those returning to their physical home - not that they don't deserve our eternal gratitude - but those that have traveled to their Heavenly home, to be with their Heavenly Father, for those are the ones for which have paid the ultimate sacrifice for this great country.  Today is the day remember and give thanks for those who have died so that the rest of the country can exist behind a curtain of protection that most find so easily forgettable.  

So as you enjoy the day, with friends and family, take a moment to remember those who no longer have that luxury.  Remember those who laid down their life for you, so that you may exhaust the great liberties provided to every citizen of this country.  Remember those that no longer have the luxury of time spent with their loved one, their real life American hero.  Today, remember that freedom is by no means free.

Friday, May 6, 2011

When Reality Sets In

I can't believe that I have been in hiding for almost 2 months now.  The reason I say that is that the days are extremely long, but in a very strange way I am not sure where the time has gone.  What I do know is that I am ready for this deployment to be over and to have the regular ability to hug, kiss, even talk to my incredible husband.  So what do I mean "in hiding," well I guess I should explain that part.

My life prior to this whole fairy tale was less than easy.  Through all of those difficulties, self induced or otherwise, I had just taken everything with stride and took each day as it came at me.  I dreamed of a better life, but never in a million years thought that the perfection that I enjoy now was in my future.  People would tell me how strong I was and I just shrugged it off because I never saw life as strength and weakness, but more of this is the road that I must walk because this is where my path unto here has led me.  I had never looked back and examined the things I did right or wrong.  In fact, I never thought about the past at all.  All of that changed when I met my husband.  He is the letter of perfect in my opinion.  He is honorable, brave, morally sound, intelligent - I could go on for days regarding his many qualities.  We had lived two very different lives and in order for him to understand me he had to understand where I came from.  I couldn't explain myself and the missteps I had taken to him because I didn't quite understand them myself, which led to quite a bit of introspective exploration.  Who was I really?  Why did I do such dumb things?  Why did I let people treat me the way I had?  With my husband by my side, even though it was difficult to relive those things, life outside of that was so wonderful that it was just a small portion of negativity and was, for the most part, easy to deal with.  I had constant reminders that was the past and long ago.

At the beginning of all of this I had great plans to continue to take the world by storm, to enjoy our kiddo, to work on our house, to grow our business and prepare to build our future upon his return home.  I was going to be the stoic, emotional bad ass I had always been, but I guess life is what happens to us when we are planning.  What never occurred to me before was that I wasn't an emotional person.  I did allow myself to feel because I didn't want to feel anger, hurt, pain, fear - anything negative.  With my awesome husband, I felt real emotions for probably the first time ever.  He put so much joy and happiness in my life that heavily fortified walls were abolished as if they were blown apart by C-4. When he was here, I didn't mind dealing with the bad because the good out weighed the bad by infinite amounts.  He is the first person that I have ever just given myself to the good, the bad and the ugly and, amazingly enough, he still loves me in spite of all of my short comings.  Dealing with the proverbial demons when he was home was seemingly easy because it wasn't all consuming - his love was.  It amazes me that even with our little familial bubble being as expansive as it is now that I still feel like the most loved woman in the world.  With very limited communication I can still feel his love and presence in daily life.

So where does the problem lie?  Well, it took me almost two months to figure that out for myself, hence the absence on writing over that time frame.  The problem is that in order to have the good you have to have the bad, the positive is only possible by the negative.  Because my heart was opened to all of the genuine good in the world, it is now susceptible to the bad emotions as well.  For what reasons I will never know, but I have been blessed with the most amazing love on the face of the Earth and the reality of losing that for a greater cause is closer that I would ever like it to be.  I have faith in my husbands abilities and faith that he will return to us.  That doesn't mean that I don't have to deal with the fear of the possibility that he might not, in one way or another.  There are times that I am in an awesome schedule: our princess, communicating with my love, church, housework, business, blogs, PTO, my music.  Even dealing with my issues and healing old wounds, learning from my mistakes and those of others and making myself the kind of mother and wife that my family deserve and doing it all with my head held high and my shoulders back.  Then things shift to where every new car on the street makes my heart skip a beat and turns my stomach, to where I check my phone and email every 5 minutes waiting to hear from him, to where I fight the urge to turn on the news or search the net for word, anything as to what is going on.  It is easy to be strong and stoic when you don't allow yourself to feel.  On the other hand, you miss out on one of life's greatest gifts in the process.  It is easier to be mechanical, but is definitely not worth missing out on the bliss that he provides.

So yes, I have been in "hiding."   I have been introspective, lost in prayer and learning from the mistakes I have made.  I have been learning to deal with the entire spectrum of emotions.  Despite how incredibly difficult it has been, I am so grateful for this time.  I am not sure that my reflections would have had such a powerful impact should the negative emotions they evoke be masked by the happiness that my husband brings into my life.  I am inevitably a control freak and leaving my life in God's control and trusting in his plan for my family has been a very difficult task, but I see my faults and I am working on them.  Patience is a virtue that I lack, but I am hoping that it finds me soon.