As I recently celebrated my 9th wedding anniversary to my best friend. I think of all that we have overcome and try to think about how our life will be changing in the near future. We went from a happy family with a recent baby to a major job loss, then got over that then to a house flooded while i was pregnant with number 2 and ending up with a premature baby with our house unlivable. At the time I though about if it were possible for life to get much worse, OH but it did and it did all at the same time. After paying off the hospital bills we then had a miscarriage which led to finding out that we had the breast cancer gene in my family which then lead to me finding out I had breast cancer at 29. Things in my life I thought were always just going to suck. Now do not get me wrong these things all really were not fun and were not what we wanted, but every one of these things allowed us to grow as a family and individually. I must say when I was going through chemo I heard over and over again about husbands leaving there wives cause Cancer was not part of the plan. At 29 I was fearful that my husband might be one of those guys, not because he said or did anything, but because why would he want to deal with all this illness I have had to deal with, but he never once said or implied any other than him being by my side. As I have gotten better I realize with all this that has happened in our short 9 years together, we can overcome anything not only as best friends but also as husband and wife. I have always kinda felt bad for my love as most everything has either happened to me or our kids and he has never had the chance to get sick or relax. The kids and I have always been and will always be his priority.
This is where today I write I am so grateful he has been able to do something he has wanted for a really long time. He has always dreamed of joining the Military. As a high school graduate it was hard to step out and do what he wanted when there were other options open to him. When our daughter was born he was not physically fit enough. Well over the last year or so he lost almost 85 pounds on his own with just the motivation to get healthy. As we participated in his first mud run we came to the realization that both of us have been thinking of what Army life for us would be like. So he went to talk to some recruiters at the mud run and came back with that he would need to talk to the recruiters from his home town. As we talked about it on that Sunday night we decided to go talk to the recruiters on Monday morning, so that is just what we did. We decided this was for us and I had all the paper work need for him to go and enlist by Friday. Yeah 5 days later! We have always lived our lives as examples of what is meant to happen will happen and what ever is Gods will, will happen. So he proceeded to do his test and get ready. At the time we both wanted to just get him in and get Basic Training over with and continue with our lives, but that is not how it happened. It was a few months of figuring out what to do and how to do it. Then on my birthday I got a great birthday present. I was married to a Future Army Solider. He enlisted on my birthday and I could not have asked for a better present. It was going to be 4 months till he shipped out to basic training. Both of us just dreaming it would be faster, but started researching his training locations, him MOS and where we would like to get stationed and what Army life was going to be like. We both felt very confident and excited for the changes our lives were about to take. Our children were also so excited to have Daddy be an Army Solider and were supporting Army camo when ever they could.
The day came that he ended his civilian job and was waiting to go to basic training. We were both excited and then it hit me that I was going to be a Army Wife and I was so over joyed. I made the family matching Army sweatshirts and could not be any happier about our decisions the last few months and was grateful for all the support we got from family and friends. As our family was separated since he was leaving soon and the kids and I were going to live with my parents we went to spend that last week of him being a civilian with him at his parents house. We also making sure he had everything ready to go and just spend quality time with him. I never though about how much I was going to miss him or how hard it would be. When we were dating we did not live any closer than 2 hours away. I was used to not needing him to be by my side all the time, but I realized that is not the case after our 9 years of marriage. I do not really need him but I want him by my side. As the kids and I invited family and friends to celebrate in his last night before he leaves our home town. We had a great party and just loved spending the time with all our friends and family so dear to us. We went to breakfast the next morning with his family before we left to take him to MEPS. It was a bitter sweet meal for me. Knowing I have support from his family and also knowing it will be the last breakfast I can spend with him for the next 6 months. We went to dinner with some friends that were not able to celebrate with us the night before and I was so grateful that they both made time out of their life to help send off my love.
The next moring we were not sure if he was going to ship out that day or not. As I lie in bed waking up every hour scared I was going to his his text to tell me if he was shipping that day or not, I realized this is how my life will be for along time to come. Waiting for the Army to tell us what to do or where to go. I did not mind the wait so much it made me realize that I am so grateful for the man of my dreams who opened his heart to the weird girl named "Dizzy" at the age of 16. I finally got word that yes he indeed he was shipping out that day and I packed up and got both kids up early and ready to go and see Daddy swear in. I knew MEPS was waiting and sitting and standing in line for my man, but what did it entail for myself and a 8 year old and a 5 year old. I had no clue how a place can be so cold but yet had so many people who wanted to serve our country. It was amazing to see all the young people there who were either shipping or testing to partake in a new chapter of their lives. As we sat there waiting for my husbands swearing in, I had to try to wrangle the kids who were hungry, thirsty, wanted to go outside and wanted Daddy all at the same time. Talk about a stressful few hours. Then I hear the solider call for the Brown Family. I was not sure how to react. That meant he is closer to leaving and being away from us for so long, but it also meant I was closer to being an Army Wife. The joy that overflowed my body was insane. As we walk into the ceremony room there he is the oldest in the room standing at ease with about 11 other recruits. I wanted to go and just run up and hug him, but knowing they were following orders the kids and I walked to the front of the room and I had so much pride in him following his dream and being able to do something he has wanted to do. As the ceremony started my 5 year old was allowed to stand next to the podium and swear in also. I felt amazing that my family was being so welcomed in. As we stand there and listen to what the plan is for my husband to continue on the journey I was crying. Not tears of sadness or heartache, but of joy, love and support. That I knew me being there was showing him how proud and honored I was to be his wife. To be able to have our kids understand that Daddy is doing something that only 1% of the population will do. As the soldiers were congratulated on joining the Military, my son was thanked and congratulated for for being a future solider. As we hung out with my love our daughter was a mess as she is a Daddy's girl and she was not ready for him to leave. Our son was so proud of his daddy and it was great to see him take pride in talking to the other future soldiers in the waiting room, and just take in what his dad was about to do. We waited and watched as my husband got into the taxi cab and was driven to the airport. My reaction I still am not sure what to think. I am happy, so very happy and I am also sad. Sad I can not just easily call him up and tell him what the kids did today or how much I love him or see how is day is going, but most of all joy. Joy that I know I helped him fulfill this dream of his and if something were to happen and he can not fulfill his dream of a career in the Army that I at least did what I could to make it reality rather than a regret
As I sit here the day after he left for Basic training, I am in awe of the love and support I have around the kids and I. I realize I can not wait for the day I can go see him in his Army uniform and be with him. I truly miss my best friend and am a strong women, but man o man is this hard. I knew having him gone would be hard and it is. It is not hard where I am crying every moment of every day, but when I think about how when I told him I am so proud of him and love him so much and will miss him, he said i love you and will miss you too and "Be Army Strong". I began to think what does that mean? To be "Be Army Strong". It means it is OK to miss my man and it is OK to worry about him, but most of all hold him up and allow him to grow and learn and become my Army Solider. The Man I know inside that has always been there for me and our kids. I know he will come back a different man, but different in a good way. Stronger mentally, Physically and Emotionally. He will be beat down and lifted back up. When he is gone I also will be beat down not by a drill Sargent, but by my own emotions of me missing my man, but also by my children's emotions. As I can not bring daddy back fast enough for them. I take pride in showing them that having emotions is a wonderful thing and how we can share them with each other so we can all get through this. The man of all our dreams will be back soon enough and we will have time to love him and support him, but for now when he is not with us we can love each other, and write to him and keep him in our hearts. I am so proud to be a Army Wife and a Soldier's Best Friends. Until I can hold you in my arms again I LOVE YOU!!!