“And yet, even as she spoke, she knew that she did not wish to come back. not to stay, not to live. She loved the little yellow cottage more than she loved any place on earth. but she was through with it except in her memories. ”
― Maud Hart Lovelace, Heaven to Betsy
I can tell you how much time David and I spent apart and/or together; sometimes, down to the hours. (Most mil-spouses can.)
The first time we met, we spent 18 hours together. 6 of those hours were spent sleeping off New Year’s Eve 2006.
I know the date and time of every deployment drop-off and every homecoming hug.
And that 10 days after 8 month old Austin and I moved to Germany, he spent 4 weeks in training.
He spent 18 months in Iraq, in the first 34 months of our marriage.
I started blogging at that point- less than 3 years into our marriage, in the fall of 2009.
I was 23 years old, and desperately trying to figure out how to be an Army spouse, a wife, and a mom.
I started writing as a way to connect with others- living in a foreign country was lonely at times (all the time). I wanted to write, I wanted to tell our story, I was struggling to focus on the good in my life and I thought if I wrote about it, if I told the whole world about it all- that somehow I’d magically find happiness.
So I did…
I wrote about the proverbial green grass in my hypothetical backyard as my very real, very hard marriage crumbled around me.
I grew up with a backyard in which grass flat out refused to grow. We’d mow the weeds and when it’d rain, the yard was just muddy red clay.
If we focus on the lack of green grass, we completely miss the roots that dug deep into that thick muddy red clay… the roots that nourish the trees, the trees that reach for the skies and withstand even the strongest of Southern storms.
Southern storms blow through and leave scars in their paths. You can trace their paths clear across the state once the clouds scatter. Everything rain soaked and torn apart. The wind dug deep into the skin of the earth.
The sun peeks through and at the end of the day when muddy footprints run across the kitchen floor and the news tells us of the aftermath, there’s nothing left to do but pray and scrub.
[This post and all those before it were originally posted to Green Enough For Me. I’ve moved them here for safe keeping and because as much as I like to know where I’m going, I also like to know where I’ve been…]