On April 18, 2018, my husband shipped out for boot camp to start his career in the United States Navy. I knew that day that I wouldn't be able to talk to him on a regular basis like I normally did and I wouldn't be able to see him at all. It was difficult. Very difficult. It was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do in my life. From then on I knew life would never be the same again. That there would be many laughs and smiles but also just as many tears. That was the day that I became a military wife. And I soon learned that it would be one of the hardest things in the world I would ever have to do.
The two months he was in boot camp were difficult. Every day I came home to an empty apartment aside from the dog. I expected my husband to be home on the couch lounging with the dog and watching something on the TV. It was hard to hold the tears back at night. I hadn't slept alone in two years and it was difficult to sleep that night. Lucy was there next to me but she wasn't one for cuddling like my husband was. I honestly didn't know if I could do this. I thought to myself, "If I can barely handle boot camp, how the hell was I going to handle him going out on deployments?" But then I remembered that he had the harder job now and that he needed my love and support to get through this and to get through his career. I had been with him through thick and thin and I knew I loved him enough to go through hard times with him no matter how hard and nerve-wracking it got.
As time passed it got better. I had friends who always kept me company and my family always checked in on me. My husband's family was also very supportive and I couldn't thank them enough for it. I also kept myself busy by going to the gym and finally getting serious about getting into shape. Eventually, I made a routine for myself and it got better from there once he was allowed to make phone calls once every two or three weeks and I at least got a letter every Thursday for at least a month and a half straight. That made things a little better but he still wasn't here and it was hard to keep remembering that. I learned that I couldn't dwell on the fact that he wasn't around, considering that this would be our life for the next twenty years if he chose to stay in for that long.
I flew up to Illinois for his graduation mid-June. On the day of his graduation I was so anxious at the thought of seeing him again I woke up at four in the morning. I had knots in my stomach all day because I knew the person that I dropped off at the recruiting station wasn't the one graduating boot camp that day. It would almost be meeting a whole new different person if what I heard was true at all. The whole ceremony all I wanted to hear was liberty call. I waited for two agonizing hours for them to say liberty call. Once they said liberty call I was dashed through people down to the floor. I got to the floor and I looked for him. And when I found him and gave him the tightest hug I had given anyone. I couldn't tell you how happy and relieved I was that I was finally able to see him again. I cried tears of joy (away from his dress whites) and I couldn't believe that I was actually hugging my husband. It felt like forever since I last saw him or touched him.
Fast forward to now, where he is in Groton, CT and I am down here holding the fort down as I work this next school year and hopefully get moved somewhere else (sorry Norfolk, been here way too long). Now I'm able to talk to him every day and sometimes even video chat. Lucy sometimes chimes in on the video chat when she realizes Daddy is on the phone (which is very rare. Yes, she's that dumb).
I learned that absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder. I always loved him but I didn't know how much I could love anyone until he wasn't with me. The fact that he's willing to serve his country makes me love him all the more and I learned as a military wife that it's that love that encourages him to keep going with school and pushing through even when the circumstances are terrible. I have learned that I am his backbone, his rock, and the reason why he pushes through everything that goes on. I am the reason that he will come home after deployments and do them again and again. And I will continue to be that from now until the end of our days.