The Year of Life Lessons

A year ago today Steven, my husband, left for deployment. We expected him to be gone for 9 months. He’d only joined the Army not even a year before, and we had just moved to Kansas four months prior. It was nerve wracking on so many different levels.

The night before had been restless. The morning of I remember feeling numb; trying to be strong but being so broken. There is so much that I wanted to say, to express in some way, but could not find the words, enough words, or any one word that would mean as much as I wanted it to. My husband, the love of my life, my best friend wasn’t going to be in the bed next to me when I went to bed that night. He was not even going to be in the same time zone for much longer.

And so they went. He traveled for a week before he got where he needed to be. Every morning I woke up around the time he was getting off work, evening there. When I went to bed, he was waking up. It’s so bizarre being on opposite sides of the globe.

Shortly after he left I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor (the main cause of my infertility struggles). I’m still, and for as long as we want to have children, I will have to take medication (that is more often used for women recovering from breast cancer) to keep it under control. It cannot be removed, it will just grow back.

He got to come home SIX months earlier than expected. He was safe, he was an arm’s length away, he was in the same time zone! There’s so much that forces you to be strong in the Army life, so much that will break you down to where all you can do is cry, and then there are moments of absolute magic. Military spouses are lucky in the sense that we have many first kisses.

I could not help but feel that we cheated deployment somehow. Many times I have thought that because of that, we lost the two pregnancies we had during the time he could have still been deployed. Maybe it was life’s way of working out the kinks, or balancing the scales, whatever it may be.

Being happy without guilt has been a complete struggle this year. There’s been a lot of self loathing, anger and depression this last year. We’ve been handed a lot of unlucky hands time and time again. Before this year I had a completely different mentality with many things. Before this year I did believe that everything happens for a reason. I love the romantacism behind the idea, but at the same time, why did our babies have to die? What reason was that? With that, the “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” part of me struggled. Sometimes choosing happiness is not as easy as it sounds. I understand depression in a whole new light. I understand heartache. I’ve been there, I’ve picked myself up, but every once in a while I trip and fall… hard.

We’ve hit the one year mark of a difficult year. We are together. We are safe. Not everything happened the way it was planned. Not everything happened the way we wanted it to. BUT We made it!


(taken last night: August 4th 2014 by yours truly, with help of my tripod)

I hope with every single ounce of my being that the next 365 days are much more kind to us. I hope that we can find happiness and not have to fight for it. This year I hope happiness finds us. Please.

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One thought on “The Year of Life Lessons

  1. Oh Kristen. This post broke my heart. I’ve never had to go through a deployment *knocks on wood* but I’ve had to go a few months here and there without my husband and it’s not easy. I can’t fathom how difficult it would be to have him in a war zone, three months or a year and a half, doesn’t matter. It must be so hard. You are so strong.

    And as for the other stuff, well…I have faith your rainbow baby is waiting for you, somewhere. Keep your chin up, hun. I know it’s hard. YOU know I know it’s hard. But you’ll get through it. And someday you’ll have a sweet baby in your arms and your little angels looking over all three of you.

    Stay strong, girl. ❤

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