I can't begin to tell you how much your comments, messages, and emails mean to me. You all - soldiers and spouses, vets and active-duty - you all have been the greatest encouragement to me. Technology is not my thing. Blogging, really, isn't anything I am good at. You allow me to tell my story and seek comfort in the camaraderie. I am grateful for that and grateful that you accept my short-comings with technology.
An Army Girlfriend sent me the kindest message a little over a week ago and it gave me chills. I started this journey as a new girlfriend walking into a very scary deployment. She is where I was so many years ago.
She has started sharing her own journey and I hope you will all offer her encouragement as she does so - just as you have for me. Meet Kristina and visit her blog (link shared at the bottom of her post).
For A Little While Longer
I’m a military girlfriend. I never thought I would be.
And that’s how most stories start. We never think we will do something or we will face something until we are actually doing it: until we are actually facing it.
I’m a military girlfriend. I never thought I would be: not until I met him.
I see his name and his picture pop up on my cellphone screen as my phone starts playing “Save the Last Dance for Me” (the Michael Bublé version of course!) :). The caller ID tells me “My Angel” is calling me. I smile as I press “Answer.” Our conversation starts the same way it has always started. I say “Hi” and I can hear the smile in my voice. I can hear the smile in his voice as he repeats my greeting. Every call begins the same. We don’t do it on purpose. We haven’t even discussed it, but I’ve noticed it. Every call begins with a “Hi” and a smile in my voice. A smile on my face: a smile in my heart. Our conversation continues the same way it has always continued. We talk about what we did today. My day is always so different from his. I’m a sophomore in college, happily working towards an English Degree. My days are filled with books, essays, and the sound of a keyboard. There’s always one more assignment to begin, one more book to read, one more essay to finish. My days are relatively orderly. I wake up and I know that the rest of my day will be filled with classes and homework: filled with security and stability. His day is always unpredictable. He always tells me what he plans to do the next day, and he always ends up doing way more than he told me he would do: way more than I can even imagine doing. His days are filled with classes that teach him how to help and protect anyone that needs him, PT, mounted and dismounted land navigations, debriefings, and many other things that were like a foreign language to me before I met him.
My days are filled with security and a sense of stability: his are filled with situations that teach him how to bring me that security and sense of stability. His days are filled with situations that teach him how to bring all of us security and a sense of stability. As radically different as our days are, we spend our days doing one common thing: both of us spend countless moments thinking about each other…praying about each other…loving each other.
As I hear his battle buddies laugh and hear him joining them, my soul fills with joy. I can hear all of them through the phone and even though I cannot make out what they are saying, I can hear laughter: and my heart is complete. They have now all become a part of me. I pray not only for my soldier, but also for them. I pray that I will hear all of them laugh again when they come back home. He continues talking to me and I look at the time. It is 9:47 p.m.: or 2147 in military time. In thirteen short minutes it will be time for “lights-out.” In thirteen short minutes he will tell me he has to keep quiet. And shortly after that I will hear him mumble “I love you. Sweet dreams, Kristina” as he falls asleep. Once again I mumble back “I love you too. Sweet dreams.” And I remain on the line. I can hear him breathing in and out and I am comforted. I am joyous. I am blessed. I stay on the phone a while longer. It feels almost as if he is beside me. He breathes in and my lungs fill with oxygen: my world is the way it should be. As I hang up the phone, I close my eyes and offer a prayer to the One that brought us together. I ask Him to keep my soldier safe for me. I ask Him to keep all of them safe. To bring them all back home. To bring him home to me. This time I do not cry myself to sleep. I’ve made it through one more day without breaking down. I am thankful.
He hasn’t left me yet. He is still on US soil. I will be able to know that he is safe (and tired): for a little while longer. I will be able to hear him and his battle buddies laugh: for a little while longer. I will be able to hear him mumble “I love you. Sweet dreams, Kristina,” and I will be able to reassure him that I love him too: for a little while longer. I will be able to comfort him whenever he needs me: for a little while longer. I will be able to reach out to him, at any given moment, through a text or a call: for a little while longer. I will be able to breathe: for a little while longer.
My life will make sense: for a little while longer.