This afternoon I got into my car, the first time in weeks as I am quite partial to driving around in Swiss's truck, and went to go meet some friends and see a movie. Nothing good was on the radio so I hit the CD button, not knowing what was in there or what to expect. It was Mat Kearney's Nothing Left to Lose. As soon as the lyrics to "All I Need" came on I felt the familiar flood of emotions rise up... no, not tears, but the surge of memories and feelings from the time in our relationship before the deployment. From the time in our relationship when Swiss was about to embark on his stint at Warrior Forge, and I was set to endure an unthinkable 2 months without him the summer before we got married. I bought that album for Swiss and copied it onto my trusty iPod. I spent that whole summer listening to it, because it reminded me of him, because somehow it was a tie to when we were together.
But I digress... hearing the lyrics and the rawness of his voice today took me right back to the parking lot of the Extended Stay Hotel in Tacoma on a crisp early summer afternoon, as we packed my things into the government van and headed toward the airport. We held hands, we held them tight, we said a very long goodbye and kissed one last time. As I looked towards an interminable summer without him, knowing he would be on the other side of the country, busy with Army things, unable to come home. I remember feeling so helpless and upset, I remember feeling so angry and frustrated that I had to be apart from him, the love of my life who I was on the cusp of marrying, for so long. I remember being so sad. I cried most of the flight home. I'm a cryer... sadly, I made sure everyone in the SeaTac Airport knew it. I couldn't help myself.
And now I look back at those emotions and recognize them so clearly. That song took me back to that day instantaneously, like it all happened moments ago. I don't think those feelings were foolish. I don't regret my raw emotion and reaction to the situation. They were in the moment, they were real, and at the time two months was a terribly long time to be away from him. I still feel every last one of those emotions here, half way through the deployment, a year later. Only this time around they are so much stronger, so much more intense, so raw, so heavy on my heart and shoulders. These emotions are the grown up big brother of those emotions a year ago, on steroids. They are so strong that sometimes it is hard to breathe, it is hard to look at pictures of him and not break down, sometimes it is even hard to hear his voice.
These feeling are so invasive, so slippery that they find their way into every portion of every day. They sneak up on me, in full assault mode, in the movies, in the grocery store, in my car, at work, in my bed. These emotions do not rest, they don't take vacations and they never get tired of weighing down on me. Like I said, grown up and on steroids, with chips on their shoulders.
But there is always the bittersweet part. Deployments have that effect on every story it seems, at least when you get enough distance to see it. When I listen to those lyrics, and I hear the part where he says, "I'm holding on to you, holding on to me. Maybe it's all we got, but it's all I need. You're all I need." And you know what? Yes, even if he was all I had, it would be all I need. I warned you it would be sappy, didn't I?
While this deployment is nothing if not spectacularly suck-tastic, it makes me realize how lucky I am to have someone that I miss so much it physically hurts. It makes me appreciate what we have, it forces me to not sweat the small stuff, it makes me cherish the little moments, the 10 minutes on a web cam, a 5 line e-mail. It makes me take inventory of what is really important. And every single time it all boils down to Swiss. I won't lie, I am crying as I write this (told you I was a cryer). Because while most of my tears in the last 6 months have been from sadness, loneliness, worry... the tears today... these are tears of gratitude, joy, and most importantly love.
Thanks you Swiss, for being everything I ever hoped to find, for being so wonderful that I had no choice but to fall completely, hopelessly in love with you, and for being the most amazing person I have ever met. I'm here waiting for you, I always will be... but come home soon. Nothing is the same without you...
All my love is yours.