I have been wanting to blog about this for months now, I think about it often but every time I sit down to write about my experience I come up empty.
Two years and one month ago, my now husband came back from his deployment to Iraq. Exactly two years ago today he drove to Utah to see me.
I had no clue what was going to happen because WE had pretty much fallen very much apart during his deployment. It was a difficult time for both of us, and that's a huge understatement. In fact at this point two years ago we were broken up, barely talking, living hundreds of miles apart and pretty much living our separate lives. I don't believe it's how either of us really wanted it to be.
It was a difficult time for us as a couple and a more difficult time for him. I won't try to explain what he was dealing with because only he really knows and only he would be able to share his experience. For me however, I was feeling about everything, pain, loss, rejection, fear, heartache...and on and on. But I was also feeling a lot of strength and had done some serious emotional strength building.
GQ had promised me he would come visit me when he got back, before he ever left, so like always, he insisted on keeping that promise. And truthfully I wasn't so sure he should come. I had finally taken massive steps to move forward and I didn't want anyone or anything to pull me off of my path.
In a ginormous leap of faith I told him he could come. He was very hesitant too, it was a leap for both of us.
I remember waiting for him to get to my apartment and literally praying for a good solid hour that somehow, someway, God would get me through this. Neither of us had any idea of how we would react when we saw each other. I'm pretty sure I threw up a couple of times because I was so nervous. I had to put my faith to work and trust that I would be guided. I also had recently learned I was strong and felt more ready than ever to handle whatever came my way.
When GQ finally got to my house (he drove from Louisiana) I helped him grab his bags, we shared a real brief "Hello" and we walked up to my apartment. We both sat on opposite sides of the room for several minutes saying nothing to each other. It was perhaps the most awkward I've ever felt. How strange to be sitting across from someone you've missed so much and have nothing to say to each other!?!
We talked about his drive for a minute or so...
Then we both kind of looked at each other and ran to give each other the biggest hug. It was a moment I won't forget. We hugged for quite a while, just held each other. From that moment on we began to slowly rebuild our relationship. We still had a lot of mending to do and such a long journey ahead of us.
I have a new found respect for military families. What a hurricane of emotions one goes through, on both sides of the world, during that period of separation. It was a time I hope to never have to repeat, although most likely I'll have to. However, GQ and I's love reached a whole new level post deployment. In my wedding vows I said that during that deployment I never thought we'd ever be able to be like we were before, and we never wore, everything got better and stronger.
It was interesting that I was thinking about writing this post for sometime now. For those who know me, during the summer I am all about So You Think You Can Dance, the only TV show I am committed to all year. Well a few weeks ago, while visiting Utah, GQ and I were watching this show and there was a routine on there that said EVERYTHING I wanted to say in less than 2 minutes.
It hit both of us hard we were basically sobbing by the end of it, our story was flashing across the screen for millions to see. But it's not just our story, it's the story of too many. I often find music and dancing to explain far better than I can with words, how I am feeling. This was pretty much the best example of this I have every experiences. Please take just a few minutes to watch this piece all the way through, so I can share with you my experience. You won't regret it.
I share this story only because I know of too many people going through this same story. The pain of a deployment is not really measurable for me, or for GQ. In fact in any relationship we reach a point where we have to dig deep and decide if it's worth fighting for. It's the toughest decision some of us will ever make. It's a dark time and a scary time but let me tell you this, when you finally get through it, even if you barely survive it, it's magic.
I am so glad I got to be a part of my husband's life during his deployment. I was far from a good support system to him but I treasure the things it taught me. Rough patches will come, they will, trust me. But it's fun to be able to stand up after it and find you've reached a whole new level.
I got a fairytale love in the end, but it hasn't always been this way. It took a lot of stripped away and polishing to get here.