Obviously, it is the best year. I married Matt, my best friend and my soulmate. In two days, we will be married for one year. I have never had a higher honor than being his wife. I am a good wife, too. He is a wonderful husband. Never a doubt. He always held me, and I him, in love, peace, protection, trust. Never will anyone ever be able to take that away from us. Ever.
Obviously, it is the worst year. Matt, my husband, best friend and my soulmate was taken away from me. Our dreams were taken away from us. Our plans, our hopes, our future. All of this was ripped away in a split second. God needed him more than me. He needed him more than his family and his friends. It doesn't seem possible.
The first seven weeks of 2010 were amazing. He was HERE. We got to call each other Husband and Wife. I got to see his smile and he got to see mine. We laughed and teased. We were with our friends and family. We got to plan for our future, even if it was to be delayed a year. We got to talk more about our hopes and our dreams and what we wanted to do. We got to hug and kiss and just love each other. We got to hold hands, go to Home Depot, get ice cream, watch movies, cuddle, build stuff, and just show each other how much we cared for and loved each other. He was here. He was safe. He was with me, and nothing could have ever happened to him. I was with him, and safe, and nothing could have ever happened to me. He was HERE.
Then, he was taken away for a war that he had his own opinions about. It was a job. He would have rathered been here, protecting us state-side. He would have rathered been here with me, and with our family and our friends. He tried to get in to protect us state-side. He always wanted to protect, but he felt that we had higher needs to protect ourselves first.
He called. We wrote. We chatted. We had many means of communication, considering he was at war. But it just isn't the same as if he were here. But, we still got to plan our lives, one step at a time, from the day he came home, first for R&R, and then for good. We planned a honeymoon, Harley rides, and family outings and trips. For example, his sister's wedding. He couldn't wait to meet his newest niece, or see our other nieces and nephews. Our siblings and parents, our cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents. We were going to go and see friends in AL and SC and NY. We planned to travel East to meet some friends who are now stationed in Korea. Those were all short term. We also had long term plans in there. Babies, a home, whether or not he was going to stay in the Army. Babies, Toddlers, Teenagers, Grandkids. Building more "stuff". His Blazer he wanted to build. Babies. A Family of our Own. Of course, I would anxiously await the next communication the second we had to finish the first. But, there was always a next time. And there was always a countdown to when he would be home.
Please, please when you say your prayers tonight, say them for the soldiers that are over there. Pray they have a next time. Pray they come home safely. Pray for the strength and unity of a marriage and a family to withstand the distance and the separation. Prayers can be heard. They can be felt. I felt them when you all were praying for me. I felt them very strongly and could feel the many, many prayers coming my way. Please, also give that to the soldiers who are in harms way. And know that when our men and women, our 101st, comes home, another brigade has to go back over, so never stop praying for this. Always pray for the strength and guidance of the command team, and pray that they do what is best for their soldiers and our country, but remind them that the soldiers are also individuals with families, lives, homes and hearts back here. Pray for Peace on Earth (I know, cliche, but still...). Pray that we might find a way to end the suffering and destruction. Maybe t he combination will bring them safely home.
When I first found out about Matt, I was so angry. Why didn't OUR prayer work? We even said it out loud, holding hands, together, praying with everything we had that he would come home safely. We asked God to let him come back to us. But, maybe someone else, somewhere else, was praying harder. I don't know what to think about what is going on. I purposely have not followed it for the last year, to protect myself, but before that, I just knew that for some reason, the only way to find peace was to kill? That never has, and never will, make sense to me. Two wrongs don't make a right, no matter which way you spin it. But, when being bullied, you must also stand up and defend yourself. Sometimes, at this point, I wonder who is bullying whom, though.
Another positive about the deployment, however, is that our relationship did grow stronger throughout, I think. I think both of us had our grumpy days, for sure, but we always, always knew how much we loved each other. Twelve months is a long time to be away from a loved one, especially during the first year of marriage, but we would make it through. In my opinion, we DID make it through, minus the "small little detail" of him being gone. In the grand scheme of things, even that is not enough to separate us. No matter what, I still love him, and he still loves me. He is still my best friend, and I am still his best friend. I gave him my lifetime, and he gave me his. Together, we can get through anything.
In two days, we will be married for a year. I haven't seen my husband, held his hand, kissed his lips or hugged him in 45 weeks. He has been gone for 14 1/2 weeks. I will not get that again. So, with that being said, no year is going to be better than this one.
Its all about perspective. I will never have a better year, so what do I have to look forward to? I will never have a worse year, so what do I have to lose?
I like what I said above. I wanted to end this post there, but I know that it could be read the wrong way. It means that I love my husband, and because of him, I have had the best year of my life, and fulfilled the greatest role I will ever hold, as his wife. It also means that I have nothing more to lose, but only a way to move up, one step at a time, to fulfill our dreams. They won't be exactly the same, ever, because he can no longer physically be part of them. But, because of him, I will have the strength to move forward. I may be at a standstill right now, but I will move forward. Every step I take is moving forward, no matter how small, because it is a step. I will regain strength and have built up lots of endurance over the past 3 1/2 months. No matter what, one thing I can never, ever again call myself is Weak. He made me that way. He made me that way in life, and he made me that way, even more so, in death. I will still use it as a descriptor for a day, but it will never refer to Me.
I am sorry if this blog is a selfish rendition of a grieving widow. But, that's what it is. The Wagstaff Journey has only just begun. Again, I have no idea where it is going to take me, but it will take me anywhere but backwards.
Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible.