Bonus Chapter

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My husband and I have been together for almost 3 years. He's been in the U.S. Army for 6 years. We had our first child April 14th, 2009. He deployed May 8th, 2009. This is what I wrote when I got home the morning that he re-deployed after R&R (13Jan10).

For the past two weeks, we've pretended like everything was back to normal, but in the back of our minds... we knew this day was coming. Last night I couldn't sleep and now...

This wretched alarm clock is sounding off to let us know that it's time. Molly Jane is still sleeping peacefully, the dogs are still curled up and comfy and my heart is slowly beginning to ache.

I get out of bed and get ready. I know the feelings that are about to overwhelm me.
I walk in to the living room and he's already standing there in that uniform that he looks so handsome wearing. Any other day, I would wink and smile. Not today. Today I hate that uniform.

We get the dogs in their kennels and Molly Jane in her car seat. Damn this car for being warm already. I hate the engine for running. I know where this car is going.

We get in, I'm driving the speed limit and no faster. I know what happens when we arrive. I'm looking forward to the main stretch, though. I know there is always traffic, and there are tons of lights. Anything to stall so that I can hold his hand a little longer.

We drive in silence. Neither of us want to say goodbye. I just want time to slow down. I don't want to know that I'm kissing him goodbye. Just thinking about it is making a lump grow in my throat. I'm not going to cry, though. Not in front of him. He needs to know that I'm strong. I am strong.

What is wrong with this day?! The sun is coming up? Why? Not today. I need a friendly rain to hide the tears that I know are soon to come. Damn, another green light. We haven't caught one red one yet. Why isn't there any traffic? Where is everybody? I need delays! And where are the slow-poking drivers this morning? There isn't even a couple of them that I can pretend to get stuck behind. Ugh. I have to stop thinking about this... My eyes are starting to sting with tears again.

At least the music is right. I put this CD in last night. I guess subconsciously I knew that I'd need Ace and Percy and Otis today. Thank God for them. At least I know that I won't be lonely alone.

Damn, here's the exit. I hate this exit. Stupid 102. Worst number ever. Why can't this airport sign be smaller so that I can pretend to miss it? Still not ONE red light. How is this possible?

I'm not ready yet, but here goes. We park. We look into each others eyes. I'm fighting tears. He says he loves me. We kiss. All I can think is, "Oh, I love you too... More than you could ever know." All I can squeak out though is, "I love you back." He looks at Molly Jane. She's sleeping. He says, "Bye Molly Jane. I love you." He looks back at me. His blue eyes are welling up. I hate seeing him hurt. We smile. He gets out, grabs his bag from the trunk and waves bye through the window.

I turn to drive off. Here come the tears. They can fall now, I don't care. All I want to do is get home and climb in bed. I just want to cry and cuddle with Molly Jane. We can lay there together while I feel sorry for us and while my hatred for people who don't appreciate what he does - what we do - grows like wildfire. They aren't strong enough to handle this.

Suddenly, a tiny sneeze from the back seat and I look at her. She smiles. In that second, my eyes dry. I'm numb. What am I doing? I'm stronger than this. I've done it for the past 8 months. What's another 3 or 4? I swallow the last feeling of sadness and smile back at her. She laughs and then does her silly growl. I laugh too. We're happy. Incomplete, but happy.

He isn't even gone yet and already, I can't wait for him to be back.

Dani Warner
 
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