March 6, 2006: I stood in a cold, dark parking lot and watched my boyfriend of four months walk away from me and towards war in a place called Iraq. I wouldn’t see him again for almost six months.
March 6, 2007: My boyfriend of one year and four months was back at Fort Dix for demobilization. I had seen him for only two weeks during the past year. Three days later we would reunite.
March 6, 2009: The two of us stood before God and Mount Washington and pledged our love and devotion to each other.
When the pastor pronounced us man and wife, my new husband took me in his arms and gave me the most gentle and yet passionate kiss I have ever received. The two of us radiated a joy that was almost tangible. We couldn’t stop smiling.
March 6, 2010: I woke up to a quiet emptiness. I lay in bed for a few minutes, while my heart throbbed a few painful beats. I missed my husband. I was afraid for him. I wanted him back.
But I was determined to make it a good day, for both our sakes. I mustered my courage and rolled out of bed. In celebration of our first wedding anniversary, I took a hike with our dog.
During that hike, my husband called me from Afghanistan. He was one day away from arriving at his outpost where he would spend the next eight and a half months. Our conversation was almost as sweet and loving as that first kiss we shared as husband and wife.
Later that day, my friend K stopped by and brought me flowers. Her husband was only a few days behind mine and would be gone just as long. She’s a MilSpouse, too. She knows. We chatted for a while and played a little RockBand.
When she left, I went upstairs and started a blog. I called it Mowenackie.
It was my anniversary gift to my husband – another way to help us stay connected in the coming months. “Virtual paper” I call it. Paper is the traditional one-year anniversary gift. Since nothing about us is traditional, I thought this fit. He was thinking along the same lines, apparently. He got me the Rosetta Stone for the Italian language, Levels 1-3. Virtual paper.
I just love him.
The story I told in my first post is still the most accurate illustration of our relationship that I can think of. I am so grateful to have this man in my life, who loves me without reservation, accepts me and keeps me grounded. It doesn’t sound like much on (virtual) paper, but it is everything to know I have that one constant in my life of inconsistencies. He is the one I turn to for solace, for soothing, for laughter, for logic.
He was worth waiting for…again and again and again. And he still is.
March 6, 2011: I’m sitting in a hotel room, typing a blog post and waiting. I’m waiting for the military to release my husband back to me, like I’ve done so many times before. But on this March 6th, I woke up next to my husband and at the end of the day I’ll be with him again.
In the meantime, I’d like to thank you, my darlings – friends, family and fellow MilSpouses – for accompanying me on this journey. This is our anniversary, too. A year ago I found a community that I never dreamed existed, yet today couldn’t imagine being without. Thank you for your support, your help and your advice. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me.
Thank you for reading.