Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The End.

287 days. 

I'm going to be completely honest here, this is the last thing I want to be doing. I can think of 100 other things I should be doing then writing this blog, like mopping floors, doing laundry, or washing dishes. I feel like I owe it to ya'll, I owe you guys an 'ending.'  This is the exact reason I could never be a "blogger." I am a devoted blog follower and I see what people sacrifice, the commitment they give, and the realness they present. I can't do that. That's not me. I was so overwhelmed through this blogging process by the kind words, the private messages, and the inspiration I received to keep writing. Old friends reached out to me to send their virtual hugs, people I've never spoken a word to told me that I made them feel 'real', complete strangers told me I inspired them to be more honest with themselves as mothers, people have told me they wish for the love BW and I have, people have started telling their own story because of my decision to tell mine. I did not expect this at all. I will never write a book, it is too raw. There is too much at stake and I'm not willing to share it all. I am so thankful for everyone that followed me on this journey. I, without a doubt, could not have done it without the motivation to keep writing, to keep telling, and to keep sharing.

As I prepare to spend my last night alone on the last night of this deployment I feel an overwhelming surge of emotions. When BW first left for this deployment I was terrified. People often tell me how strong I am. If you followed me around for a day...for a week...or just a few hours you might have changed your mind. I cried alot. I had moments when I would breakdown. Every day that went by that I didn't hear from him I thought he was dead. The reality of war was never lost.  I laid on O's nursery floor and sobbed, I  was angry that I was alone. I cursed his name when I had to get my oil changed on a Saturday with a toddler. I wasn't strong. I survived and that's all I knew how to do. It's hard to take credit for just being a Mom and a Wife. That's all I was doing.

We've been apart for 287 days and I know this isn't the last time.My bed will always be empty one weekend a month and two weeks a year. I am an Army wife. You know what will be harder then being apart for 287 days? The 289th day... and the 290th day. We have a long, unknown road ahead of us. He is not the same man that left for Texas last August, and I'm not the same woman. We've lived our lives separately for a year and have to learn again how to live it together. It will take time and it will take work. We've got this.

Tomorrow is going to be an incredible day. My heart explodes for Olivia. She has no idea how her life is about to change. She is completely unaware of the amount of love that is about to enter her world. She is about to meet her Daddy for the second time.

 Throughout this deployment I spent a lot of time in the car. Between our 12 hour trips to Florida, my 45 minute drive each way to work, Olivia and I spent a lot of time driving. This is where I did most of my crying. Maybe it was the open road, maybe it was the songs on the radio, and maybe it was that my back was to O and she couldn't see me cry. Whatever the reason, the car is where my tears fell the most. Tomorrow I will put Miss O in the car, settle myself in the front, turn on the radio and drive. We will have a 30 minute drive to pick up our soldier. Thirty minutes to cry, and thirty minutes to laugh and sing.  The difference? This time I cry because the weight of the world is off of my shoulders and my heart is full. We are together again.

....forever and a day.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Love Story Part 3

I knew what he said but I wanted to hear him say it..."I really like you."  He wouldn't repeat it, he refused. But I knew exactly what he said and that was enough. That was all I needed.

We had an amazing rest of the day and a wonderful dinner just the two of us. Our entire drive home was different. Things changed.  Our conversations were lighter, it was more heartfelt, it was more invested.  Something changed on the slopes that day and I have no idea what it was.  We parted ways that night and as I was getting ready for bed a flood of text messages came in to my phone. I was reading words from BW that I only dreamed of hearing, he said things you'd only hear in a movie... his tone changed, he changed. This was the man I waited for..and it was worth every second.

Every day following we were on fast forward. I started spending a lot of time at his apartment and I spent a lot of time making sure he was happy. His laundry was always done, I cooked for him and I cleaned. There was nothing I was trying to prove to him, but I wanted him to know that he meant the world to me and I wanted to take care of him. I wanted to show him that I was invested, and I hoped he was too. We started talking about living together, and began spending our weekends apartment hunting. We also planned a trip to Florida to visit his Mom.  Like I said, we were on fast forward...like when you hit the button twice.

We drove down to Florida to visit his Mom in March and it was an amazing opportunity to get to know each other better as we had 10 hours in the car together. We laugh when we think back about how we didn't listen to the radio the entire 10 hours because we talked THAT much.  He's a talker....I'm a storyteller. In case you didn't know.  We had awesome days on the beach, got to spend time with his Mom and brother, and drank way too many frozen drinks.  We spent a day at Panama beach and started obsessing over the idea of getting a tattoo. I already had a few, and was ready for another.  Wanting tattoos turned in to wanting tattoos that were related to one another and that turned in to wanting matching tattoos.  Like, identical. I could count on two fingers the number of months we had been officially dating but getting matching tattoos seemed 100% reasonable. Hell, it sounded perfect. Where do I sign? The tattoos were done, we went to dinner, and joked with each other about how we were now bonded for life. What in GODS name had I just done?

We got home from Florida and began our apartment search. We spent our weekends driving with the top down (cue Ludacris) looking for our perfect first home. In May we finally settled on a place to live but it was a long process before we actually moved in together. BW had to leave for two week for the Army. I was left to do a lot of it alone, and spent several days cleaning, packing and moving our stuff to our new home.

BW spent a day painting our bedroom while I was at work. We disagreed on the color for weeks. He hated the color I picked, and was determined to convinced me otherwise.  He agreed to paint them the dark purple that I wanted and I couldn't wait to get home from work to see the progress. I came home to a freshly painted purple bedroom that looked great. He had worked so hard all day so I figured I'd treat him to dinner. There aren't many restaurants around where we live so we always find ourselves at this quaint Italian restaurant up the road.

We had a nice dinner together and came back to our home to spend our first night.  I sat on the couch exhausted from my day when BW came over, kneeled between my legs and put his head on my lap.  He started rambling about something that I was half listening to but my attention was grabbed when I heard him say, "I don't ever want to live without you."  I laughed, and told him that's ridiculous, we have tattoos, we are never living without each other.  He told me that he had something for me, and when he went to dig in his pocket, fumbling around a few times, I had no clue what was about to happen.  He opened the box and he asked me to be his wife. 

And just like every other girl, I screamed "DID YOU ASK MY DAD???"

I almost re-wrote the title, "Love Story the Final Chapter." But I couldn't, it didn't sound right. This story is only a small chapter in my book. We will see other deployments, we will have more babies, we will go through ups and downs so the book will have more pages.  The chapter that followed this one has been one of the hardest.

As I type the last part of this love story, in this exact moment, my husband is stepping on to a plane that will bring him home to me.  I don't know what it will say, and I don't know what it'll be called, but I can not wait to read that next chapter.