Thursday, May 6, 2010

525,600 minutes

What a difference a year makes.

This last year has been a blur. It has been a blink of an eye. It has been life changing.

I find myself staring at the date and getting lost in thoughts. May 6th of last year was a significant date.

It was the day that my husband deployed to Afghanistan for his third and final time. Those days, the days that he left to go overseas, are the worst in my life up to this point. They are days where every sense is heightened yet you are numb at the same time. They are overflowing in emotional significance. They are days where you physically, emotionally, spiritually try to be all-in; be engaged with your husband, and just be in the moment yet are in the thickest of fogs.

May 6th of last year was also spent in the ER.

Not the ideal place to be spending my final hours with L. As things go, when it rains it pours and if something can go wrong, it will. The weekend before he deployed we decided to take a spur-of-the-moment 2 day trip down to Destin, FL to spend some time on the beach.

Well. Something went horribly wrong. We were only out in the sun for 2 hours. We applied sun screen! And yet we both got the worst burns we ever have had, or hope to have, in our whole lives. I got sun poisoning and spent the evening throwing up at the 4 star steak restaurant where we were eating dinner.

And L. Poor, poor L. He got 2nd degree burns over his entire back. Well, fast-forward a few days to Tuesday of that week he was still in the worst pain I had ever seen him in, but he kept trying to tough it out. Wednesday morning, May 6th, we woke up for our final day together (he was deploying that evening) and knew that he had go get medical help. He couldn't sit on a plane for 10 hours heading to the Middle East in the situation he was in. So, we spent our final day in the ER; he got steroid shots, burn cream rubbed on him, and was instructed to find his closest buddy that was going over with him to rub the burn cream on his back for the next 10 days.

That's male bonding if I've ever seen it. Thanks, Dan. You're a true friend.

And all of that led up to the hardest deployment we experienced. It was a doozy.

So I see May 6th and I am catapulted back to those memories. To the ER. To those awful goodbyes where you kiss one final time and watch them walk away not knowing when, or if, you're going to see them again. To news releases detailing offensives and accounts of how our friends died. To phone calls from my husband and hearing how broken he and his guys were but knowing they couldn't deal with it because they had to go back out on a mission to the same area in a few hours. To questioning God, battling doubt and fear. To finding hope even in the dark. To reunion and knowing we made it through.

And now, those are memories. We see each other in the mornings. I normally see L in clothes that don't have the letters A, C, or U in the title.

We pray for all of the soldiers that are over there right now and I am in awe of their sacrifice.

What a difference a year makes.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah,
    Your post enabled me to really feel what it is like to be the one left behind on a deployment. I'm still cringing about the sunburn - cause my florescent body has been there and done that! I commend you and L together for serving our country. My brother was a Marine for many years and became a drill instructor. He will always have the passion in his blood - he runs an organization that helps wounded soldiers now. Give that man of yours a big hug and keep writing so we can feel it with you!
    My Wonderfully Dysfunctional Blog