Originally uploaded by JessicAnthony.
It seems so much easier to avoid reality than it is to actually face it. I try to avoid topics that concern the deployment, or being an army family in general. I've never wanted that to define us, but it does. We're an army family.
When the war in Iraq started, I can remember sitting up late at night watching the news. I didn't personally know anyone there but my heart went out to the families of those soldiers that I would see either in the sand covered tents or mobilized in tanks surrounded by the violent reality of war. I never in a million years thought that I would be one of the family members that was sitting at home with knots in my stomach out of fear.
Granted, things aren't like they were at the start of OIF, but it doesn't seem to have gotten much better, our men are still getting hurt. I don't claim to know much about politics. I had never voted until the 2004 election. (pathetic...I know) The one thing I do know is my husband is there. He's there because he wanted to serve his country. He's been gone now for 9 months (with the exception of 2 weeks), and I don't think I ever realized that him signing his life to serve his country meant that we...Me, Job and Belle were signing ours over as well.
"You complete me" seems like such a cliche' but we're so incomplete without him here. He left and was replaced by a pain in the pit of my stomach that briefly goes away when I hear my children laugh. He left and our son gets to learn how to play t-ball by his mom, who stinks at sports. He left and our little girl has to rely on me to kiss all her boo-boos, push her on her swing and twirl her like a princess.
You may think he sucks because he left, but he didn't leave because he wanted to. He left because he loves us.
Before Mike left I knew women who had already watched their husbands go to and return from Iraq. I didn't understand what they had gone through at that time. I had an idea but now...now it's my reality. Is it different for me than it was for them? I think it is different for all of us, but one thing we share is we just really want our men home.