Wednesday, May 18

thinking about deployments.

Marius packed his bags and left this morning for a five day conference in Florida. He's been gone for weeks at a time in the past, most recently for the month of March to train with the Army. He will soon deploy for six full months, potentially even longer as deployments are often uncertain. A few of my friends here have said goodbye to their husbands this week, as they deploy overseas leaving their families to hold down the fort. Marius' short trip is a bitter reminder of this reality, one that is approaching us all too soon.

We've gone through a deployment before, but our relationship was very new and I hadn't even moved in with him yet. It was not easy by any means but this time the moments spent apart will be even more poignant. As I raise our baby, he will only be seeing her from a computer screen. He will only touch her photo. We won't be able to smile at each other, rest our heads on each other's shoulders or entwine our fingers as we walk. Iris won't be able to grab his nose, chew his fingers or nuzzle against him. We won't cuddle as we fall asleep, tickle each other or go on adventures together. I won't make him eggs on the weekend or continuously put his shoes away. There will be a big chunk of all our lives missing. Still there, but intangible.

I knew what I was signing up for when I married him. Nothing will deter me from loving him forever. He will still read to Iris as we turn the pages of the recordable books. He will still smile at her every day as she turns the pages of her 'daddy-book'. We will still whisper 'I love you' and hold each other close through the air waves. Iris and I will talk about how brave and wonderful he is and also how much we miss him. We will write to him, send him special things from home and I will capture video of Iris walking for the first time. We will stay as close as we can, so far apart. I will embrace our baby and know I am holding a part of him, too.

I cherish every moment I have with my family. I do not take my husband for granted; I do not take advantage of him. We never yell at each other; we always treat each other with kindness and respect. We make every effort to enjoy every bit of life we can, joyfully together or achingly apart. Though I'm troubled by his departures, I know with all my heart that he will return to us. When he gets back on Sunday night, I will be reminded of his returns after long periods of time apart. It will be as though I'm seeing him again for the first time - enchanting, exciting and to some extent, shockingly unfamiliar.

I hope Marius enjoys his conference, at least he's not breathing in the dust of Iraq, for now. Iris and I will laugh, play and go about things as normally as possible without him here. I love my wonderful husband and I miss him already.

Adjusting the sights on his rifle.
You know you're in a military family when your husband walks around the house
with a semi-automatic weapon. 

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