Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Letter to Myself

Dear You, yes, you going through that deployment,

I can’t promise you that it works out the way you lay in bed dreaming about.  In fact, this deployment will change a lot more than you ever imagined.  I know you have spent night after night crawling in bed at 5:30pm just to avoid the time of day that you miss him most.  When he comes home, sometimes you will look at the empty spot he sleeps in and wonder why you still feel like you are waiting.

But please know this, please know that when he smiles at you, even though it’s not quite the same, you will see that little bit of who he was before he left.   Please know, that through it all, he will survive, and so you will you.  Please know, that the perfect life you had planned will never happen, but what you will end up with is a life that you appreciate more than you will ever truly realize.

I know you have spent time fighting while he has been gone.  I don’t know why some couples do that, but they do.  And I know that some days you would rather fight with him and be angry than not hear from him at all, because every second he is on the phone with you is a moment that you know for sure, at least for now, that he is alive.  And I know that the days, sometimes weeks, in between those seconds feel like an eternity, during which you might go mad. 

You tell yourself, “If I can survive this, I can survive anything,” and I wish that were true.  I wish I could reach back in time and tell you that surviving the deployment is only half the battle.  I wish I could shout that into the universe so that every military spouse can hear my words and understand that waking up each day struggling to get out of bed until he is home again will not compare to the battle to be fought at home.  Not everyone will have to fight that battle, but the simple truth is that you will.

This deployment, for all its terrible pain and heartache, will give you some of the strength that you will need in the days to come.  But you are so much stronger than you think and it’s time that you start to rely on that strength, because the coming days will be tough.  But in the end, though the life you planned on having will be no where to be seen, the one you have will be worth fighting for. The life you have will be a life together, and no matter how bad things get, you will still wake up everyday thankful that at the very least, you’ve got that.


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