It feels like a different life all together, the life I had 14 years ago when I was just 18 and in love. My hotty guy and I had planned to get married. We planned a lot of things. You might picture though family not being so very supportive of such a union for their 18 and 21 year old young people. Trying to make everyone happy was near impossible, so he and I choose to try and simply make each other happy, to get married and not “worry” them all with it. I don’t think things are ever that simple for a young couple though. While not pregnant, we faced another hardship, my hotty husband was going to be a soldier and suddenly our wedding deadline was set, he was going off to boot camp. It was all a blur, some how we managed to find a justice of the peace, get the medical work done, the paper work, the pre-party. All the while I thought we would have one night together, our wedding night, before he had to go off to boot camp. He told me just an hour before we got married that he had to leave that afternoon for bootcamp, it could not be changed. And so I learned that military love can be very hard. We have to be harder.
We are still married these many years later. So many we know didn’t make it this far. I think part of it is not rolling over to how hard it is but embracing how hard it is and sometimes even letting oneself get angry. The bigger part though is letting oneself fall in love over and over, keeping things fresh. I think this is a gift maybe other couples do not get as they are always together.
Showing love is important. When he went to boot camp, I got a tattoo with his name. Goodness it was hard finding a tattoo artist who would do it for me. Most thought it would be a mistake. They don’t know me, or him. I wish I could tell them that they need to open their hearts to love more, they had been wrong. Years later after my husband had come back for leave for his second time in Iraq he had gotten a tattoo. He was sick of not being able to have his wedding band on while in a war zone, so he got my name as a band tattoo on his ring finger. It was allowed then, but it isn’t now. I have seen solders using pens to draw on their bands even. Anything to feel connected.
War time though is only a part of military life, when home, those wedding bands can mean so much to so many and they should be special. When I saw camo wedding rings I couldn’t help but think how perfect they are. Not just for the soldier but the wife who has to be so strong to love him. Or Husband who loves his soldier wife or what ever other combo of love one has in this very hard military world.
I am not that 18 year old girl anymore. I am however still in love, and still planning and still dreaming. My husband is amazing and there are so many days that I wake up and go to sleep wondering how I got so lucky. It isn’t always easy, like those rings we have to be hard and strong too. Just 6 more years of military life and I will get to find out what love is like again beyond this. I honestly though can’t even picture it. For now, I am in love, and that is enough.