It was bound to happen sooner or later, that moment where my heart melted into a puddle of despair and worry. That time where I knew he wouldn't be there to comfort my fears and keep me safe from the idea of him being away. I had heard the word 'deployment' for over a year but there was no way to be prepared.
And in all honesty, there is NO way to be prepared for a loved one to be sent away for months, even a year at a time. I knew this, but for some reason I still tried to talk myself into thinking I was ready. I had decided that I would be the one to hold up his family and friends, to be the smile everyone needed- and I was, but deep inside I could not fake it any longer.
That night, the very first night without D was the worst in my life. I can say that because I have been lucky enough to not go through hardly ANY traumatic experiences in life before...but my goodness, it really did hit all at once. I sat there thinking, with tears dripping from my chin and cheeks, this is it. How can I do this? How can anyone bear the worry and hurt for months and months at a time? I felt numb after that initial 'punch' of emotion hit me, and I curled up in his bed, with his pillow, in his pajamas. I had one thought come to mind before I drifted off to sleep, and it was the realization that I had needed all along. I needed to be strong for him, as he will be for me. Immediately, somehow, I was able to suck it up, take a deep breath, and drift off to sleep. I don't know how, but this simple glimmer of subconscious advice saved me for the night. The idea that me being strong would help him- I knew that was my motivation.
Now, this does not mean that the lonely nights won't lead to tears, or that I will always be able to truthfully smile everyday, but it does mean that I will wait and I will be strong for him. He is worth it, all our military men are worth it.
Stay strong ladies, you are another minute closer to that second 'first' kiss, an hour nearer to the warmth of his arms, and a day further along to seeing his smile.