One year

Today is the one year anniversary of Daniel leaving for his deployment. Last year, this day was one of the hardest days of my life. I truly felt as though I was never going to stop crying. My heart had been broken into a million pieces. Watching him walk away from us to go through the gate was awful; trying to leave the airport was gut wrenching. A baby on my hip, and a three year old clinging to my hand asking me why Daddy was leaving us. Coming home was a terrible experience. I felt like he had died; his clothes were where he had left them, the house smelled like his cologne, dishes in the sink that he had used, but he was not there.

I can't say as it got any easier over time. The sharp stabbing pains dulled, but loneliness was my constant companion. I remember walking through the health food store on one of the first days of Daniel's deployment, seeing a box of wine with a couple laughing on it, and feeling really angry at them. Like I wanted to kick the box. Irrational, I know. But, that was how I was feeling. I felt so out of place among my friends. It hurt to see happy couples, whole families, children with their fathers.

I was, and still am, proud of Daniel for volunteering to deploy, but it was really hard. I felt angry with him for choosing to leave us, angry with myself for feeling angry. I was scared that I wouldn't be able to handle all of the stuff life throws at you, by myself. It was tough not having military support around me, or family close by. I definitely found my true friends in the process. It was interesting to see who really supported our family. It wasn't necessarily the people I thought it was going to be.

We made it. Not even just made it, but it was victorious! I found out just what I was made of. It wasn't always pretty, but I found, in the end, that it is good stuff. Solid. Our marriage thrived; Eve hopefully won't remember that Daniel was even gone; Judah, he was only ever worried about his next meal.

I do have to say that I am really happy Daniel will be here with us this summer. We missed doing summer life together. I am thrilled that tonight, while laying in our bed, I will reach out my hand and touch his warm body. The empty space that pierced my heart this night, last year, will be filled with my beloved.

You know, we'd do it again, in a heartbeat. May God bless America, and all those spouses out there missing the other half of their heart.
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