July 31, 2006

Guilt and fear, hope and faith

There was a lot that I had prepared myself for before this deployment began. The separation, loneliness, having to do things on my own, the constant fear of my husband being in danger ... the one thing I was not prepared for was the loss of Soldiers and the feeling that would invoke.
As NATO prepares to take over areas of Afghanistan, my fears continue to grow as our Soldiers move to another area.
In recent weeks 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division has lost two of Soldiers, small number compared to the 23 that have been lost to our sister unit 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, in nearly the same amount of time.
We are lucky as a unit, I suppose, but the fear is still there.
At the memorial service I felt guilty for being happy that my husband was still alive. I prayed endlessly and still do that I never have to face what those families have, but the stark reality is that I know that even once they return home, I will never be completely at peace knowing he is safe.
We have discussed many time our plans for children (and yes for those who know me we do plan to have children just not right now.) Although I know I am still not ready for them, I am faced with the harsh reality that if something happens to him, I have nothing. Only a precious flag and photos of our life together. There will be no smiling child whose eyes or laughter remind me of my great love.
But despite my fear, I hold even tighter to the hope of his return. I dream of the day when he walks through the gymnasium door and the commander releases the Soldiers be with their families. Will I cry? You better believe it. If I have learned anything from this experience it is to cherish the moments you have, always making the best of things.
As country singer Gary Allan sings, "life ain't always beautiful, but its a beautiful ride."
I often wonder if I would see so much of the good, if it were not for the bad to remind me. Would we miss the light so much, if there were no darkness?
Life has a funny way of pushing you to your limits and showing you what you are made of. If you had asked me 10 years ago if this would be my life today, I would have thought you crazy, but now I couldn't imagine it any other way. I would take a life with 10 deployments with George than no deployments with any other person.
If something is worth having, it is working for. It's always the apples at the top of the tree that taste the best. So until we are together again, I will remember the past, dream of the future and live for today, because we really have no control over life. You get out what you put in.

Life ain't always beautiful lyrics

Life ain't always beautiful
Sometimes it's just plain hard
Life can knock you down, it can break your heart

Life ain't always beautiful
You think you're on your way
And it's just a dead end road at the end of the day

But the struggle makes you stronger
And the changes make you wise
And happiness has it's own way of takin' it sweet time

No,life aint always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life aint always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride

Life aint always beautiful
Some days I miss your smile
I get tired of walkin' all these lonely miles

And I wish for just one minute
I could see your pretty face
Guess I can dream, but life dont work that way

But the struggles makes me stronger
And the changes make me wise
And happiness has it's own way of takin' its sweet time

No, life aint always beautiful
But I know I'll be fine
Hey, life aint always beautiful
But its a beautiful ride

0 Tea Party Guest: