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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Once Upon A Time

I used to be a wife. That seems like a lifetime ago and I guess really it was. I knew from the time I was 13 that I was going to marry him. He was my first love. When I was 19 my childhood dreams came true. We were married in the back room of a church in Vernon Parish Louisiana. Our first year together was great, in March we found out we were having our first, his second, baby. In October I 8 months pregnant headed home to wait for my love to get out of the military and join me so we could begin our 'civilian life' he came home a couple weeks before our son was born. The day we brought Nick home I didn't think life could get better. We found our own place and he got a good job and so was our life. We spent weekends with friends and things were good. In 2003 we extended our little family by one more, a little girl. We were complete. We loved being together, being in love is like that I guess. We had our fair share of arguments but always made up, things were good.

    In 2004 we got word that our life was going to change, His guard unit got called to Active Duty. We weren't sure exactly when he was leaving or for how long but we started talking to and preparing the kids for it. We mounted a world calendar on the wall and showed them where daddy was going. We made countdown calendars and drew pictures. We had to prepare for the worst and draw up wills and talk about things you never want to talk about. On a cold day in November we bundled up our 3 babies and headed for his departure. Friends and families were everywhere, I was still in denial, I didn't want to say goodbye, and I didn't want to lose my husband. I was scared trying not to show how sad and upset I really was. I didn't want him leaving thinking I would be a broken mess at home without him, which really is exactly what I was. We hugged and kissed and told each other goodbye and that we'd see each other soon enough and then me and the kids and all of our friends and families waved and waved until we couldn't see the plane in the sky anymore. Then I went home and cried, I cried a lot, I would cry myself to sleep just about every night. I did get to see him one more time before they shipped out to Iraq. I drove with my 2 boys and 2 girls that I didn't know to see our soldiers in New Jersey for Thanksgiving. It was a fun trip, but it was a sad trip. I knew that there was a chance I would never see my husband, my best friend again, and in some ways that is exactly what happened.

He arrived in Kuwait on our 5 year anniversary. He had a friend bring me flowers and somewhere I still have the card that he dictated over the phone to her. We talked a lot while he was 'in country' sometimes as much as once a day on the phone. We did get to talk every day via the internet. I had my speakers turned up full blast so that I would hear that ding at any hour of the day or night. I hated to leave the house because I might miss talking to him, and on the rare occasions that I did miss him I spent the rest of the day crying.

    I heard stories of other soldier's wives and girlfriends cheating on them, leaving them because they couldn't handle them being away and it baffled me. How is that true love? I took my vows very serious, for better or for worse, and this was my version of the worst. I never strayed, never even crossed my mind, but somehow it got into his head that I did and to this day he still thinks I cheated. I think that hurts most. I loved him too much to hurt him like that; I still love him that much. He was/is my best friend.

    He came home in January of 2006, right before our anniversary, we went on our traditional dinner and a movie date, we spent lots of time with friends and family he was nothing short of a celebrity. Things were perfect again. Then I started to notice that things were different, he was quieter, and wouldn't talk to me, stuff like that. In the summer we separated for awhile. I really couldn't tell you how long or what I did during that time because I don't really know. I did start talking to a guy I knew from high school but made it very clear I was married and was going to give everything I had to try to make my marriage work. I moved back home and quit talking to anyone associated with the guy I had reconnected with and tried, I tried so hard, I love him so much it was all I wanted to be together forever.

    In January 2007 we separated again, this time I knew it was for good, he did what he had been accusing me of doing, maybe that was why he believed that I was because he was trying to rationalize his actions, I really don't know just my theory. A few months later I started talking to the guy I had met the year before, partly because he was a good guy and listened and partly because I really wanted to hurt my husband the way he hurt me. After my divorce was final I moved in with the guy and shortly after became pregnant, at the same time my now ex-husband was busy getting remarried and having a baby of his own. The guy and I didn't work out; I moved out and thus began my life as a single mom without one of my boys.

And that is the end of that story and perhaps I will pick up again and carry on with it on another day. That is just one chapter in our lives and although that chapter is forever impacting on the future ones I have to let it go, though it has taken and will probably continue to take a lot of tears to do so I am working on it.

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