Friday, March 1, 2013

Love Defies Distance

Being married to a Marine means you spend a substantial amount of time apart.  Since Josh joined the Marine Corps in Jan 2010 we have been apart 28 months; which only leaves 11 months being together.  And that is not including training exercises in the field and time on ship training.  We've spent more time apart then we have together.

Every military couple knows what I'm talking about.  They know the feelings of dread and denial in the days before a deployment, as well as the butterflies and nervous excitement felt in the weeks leading up to the homecoming.  Having your husband away for 8 months is nothing like a "long business trip".  There are periods of no communication and even when there is communication it is limited.  There are times when you have to make important decisions without your significant other.  But don't get me wrong, technology has made life during deployments so much better.  With Skype we have the opportunity to actually see each other and talk once every few months.   Its nothing like the deployments my grandparents went through.  My grandmother told me that when my grandfather was deployed on navy subs they would get a one sentence "wire" every few months.  I can't even imagine the stress both my grandmothers must have felt raising 8 kids (between the two of them) while there husbands were away.  They were pretty much single parents.  I am convinced their role during deployments is one of the reasons my grandmothers are such strong women.

This is Josh and my second deployment so trust me I am no expert.  There are women I have met who are on their fourth and fifth deployments.  With each deployment and training exercise I have learned a lot about myself and our marriage has been tested and has grown as a result.  People tell me, "I don't know how you do it".  And I say "Well if it was your husband and you had no choice you would do it".  You really don't know what you can do until you are forced into the situation and just do it. 

A few of the notes Josh left around the house for me to find before he left
I wouldn't change what Josh and I have been through.  Although I would have loved to have been able to spend those 28 months together rather than apart, the time we spent apart has made our relationship grow in ways I don't think would have been possible if we had been together.  I have a box of handwritten letters Josh and I wrote to each other when he was in OCS (Officer Candidate School) and had no other way to communicate.  I also have the notes Josh left for me to find around the house while he was gone.  Deployments make me appreciate the little things in life.  Like running errands together, or holding hands, or enjoying a meal together.  I remember I used to dread waking up early on my day off to make Josh breakfast and pack him a lunch.  But now I would LOVE to be able to do this and honestly can't WAIT until I can do it again.  We are nearing the end and I am already so excited to have him home. 

"The longer the wait the sweeter the kiss"

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