R&R and Homecoming are often thought of in the light of romance and rainbows, and while yes, that is true, there are other feelings, emotions, and issues that can interrupt the happiness.
I want to share our lives with you; I want you to understand me, my actions, and my love for this wonderful man and the family we've created together. I want to be honest here in this space, but I also need to protect and respect our family's privacy.
For you to understand even an ounce of our life as a military family, I have to open up and let you in a little more than I have....
On day ten of our R&R, I made a decision that will forever affect our family. I packed my things, I packed the boys' things and we left the condo.
My husband spent the last four days of his R&R alone, in a condo at the beach. He had to take a shuttle to the airport to catch his return flight to Afghanistan.
I won't go into detail; I won't defend my actions- nor, will I defend his. In the same breath, I can't deny them either.
I will say that I know, get, understand what someone means when they say, "Soldiers never leave the war." I also understand what it means to say, "Soldiers leave one war and come home to another..."
David and I have spent the last five months trying to salvage our marriage and our hearts. We're both hurt and broken and co-dependent. We've tried to take things one day at a time, but really, we were holding our breath until Homecoming.
Our lives were on hold. There was nothing we could do, even if we had known what we wanted to do. Any decisions had to wait until he came home....
Yesterday, he marched into a gym and my eyes searched for him. As the sea of people dispersed, I still did not see him. I couldn't find his stride, nor could I find half-tilted patrol cap.
My heart sank.
Where was he? Is this how our deployment ends?
I didn't want to move from where I stood in the middle of the gym floor, but I had to find him.
And then, after minutes of wondering what the hell was going on, he showed up- with a smile on his face and hugs for all of us.
(He was in the back of the formation and when he didn't see us, he walked outside to see if we'd wandered out there.... He found another soldier and called the house, when we didn't answer at home, he knew we'd be at the gym and he went back inside to find us.)
If I'm being honest, I should tell you that a few months ago, I didn't know if yesterday would happen. I didn't know if we'd be in Germany for his Homecoming. I didn't know if he and I would hug and kiss in the middle of the gym floor, or if he'd simply scoop his boys up in his arms and that be that.
His Homecoming yesterday was filled with romance and happiness, but it's also filled with apprehension and worry. Our battles started yesterday, and I'm not sure when they'll end.
So while this deployment may be Praise! The! Lord! over, the hardest part has just begun....
Today? is Day 1.
[The photos above from Homecoming were taken by a dear friend. I, also, wanted to share that Kim Kravitz, a photographer and military spouse, was at our homecoming through Operation Love for a friend. She shared some amazing photographs of our family and the emotions I've shared here. ]