07 March 2007

a Sunday story (3)...on Wednesday

We had glorious weather today...sunny, a little breezy, and in the mid-60s. I can see some tulips starting to poke up in my yard. Spring must be just around the corner and I can't wait. I really enjoy something about every season and I really look forward to the start of each one.

Spring makes me think of road trips with the windows down gazing at an endless sea of bluebonnets. [Mini lesson for my readers of other state heritage]: Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas. They are beautiful and they pop up along highways in the spring along with some other beautiful flowers, but the bluebonnets are where it's at...at least, for me.

I've actually tried growing bluebonnets here without any success. Oh, how I've longed to see just one of those purply-blue flowers with their white spiky tips. I have to resort to pictures like the one I'm staring at in between typing. It was taken a week before Bryan left for Iraq when Addi was 4 months old. We drove to College Station, TX specifically for pictures * in the bluebonnets. Now we just need to plan a trip back some time during "bluebonnet season" so another family photo can be taken with our youngest member.

This is one of those posts that I'm having trouble writing. It is actually making me very emotional. I must be a tad homesick. I usually feel homesick about a month before we take a trip to Texas...this is a little early for that :) Maybe it is looking at that picture and remembering how happy we were at that moment. I had really let myself start to believe that Bryan's deployment orders would just disappear (a post for another time). We had a beautiful new daughter and we were visiting our good friends in College Station (home of Texas A&M University and where Bryan and I met) sitting in a field of bluebonnets. Could life get any better?!

It wasn't 24 hours later when Bryan received a call telling him to get back asap because he would be deploying in a week. THAT is a slap of reality!

We left the next morning and listened to news reports the entire 6 hour drive home. The war had literally just began and helicopters were being shot down and soldiers were being captured and I sat in Bryan's truck next to him listening to the reports with our precious baby sleeping in her carseat knowing that my husband and her father would be over there in that chaos all too soon. And, he was.

Early, early in the morning, 6 days later, I rode next to him in that truck again with that same baby sleeping so soundly in her carseat and kissed my husband and her father goodbye. We didn't know when we would see each other or talk to each other again. All we were told was he would be deployed for "no longer than a year". In the goodbyes, our precious girl awoke, so I held her close as I watched Bryan walk across the street to his unit's headquarters. I ended up having to stay a while and nurse her (all you mommies know you can't wake a 4-month old and not expect to feed them!). Later I found out that the car next to us was full of people saying goodbye to one of the two Majors in the unit. His sister apparently spied Addi and me and asked his wife, "How is she going to do this?...with a little baby?" It's funny because I, with every beat of my heart, believe God blessed us with Addi when He did to help me get through that time. She was my focus and while I don't want to say I couldn't have done it without her, I'm not sure I could've.

That sad, early morning was almost 4 years and I don't know if there is a time that either of us really stops to look at those pictures without thinking about Bryan's time "away". It is also a reminder to me that there are so many who are home at this very second with their little ones and aching to hold their Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, or Airmen (have I covered them all? and, more importantly, did I cover them correctly?). Being a military spouse is a rough life, but it is a life which I feel blessed to have been able to lead, if only for a little while.

Now how did bluebonnets lead me there??? Y'all never know what you're gonna get...

*If you click on the link, it will take you to the photographer we used for our pictures. He has an engagement picture of Bryan and me on his site. We are the ones in red splashing in the lake under "engagements". Please, don't laugh at my jeans...you know you used to wear your waist up over your navel too :)

Oh, and if you feel led, please say a prayer for those families who are home waiting on their loved ones to return from a deployment right now. It is the one thing you can do to really help them.