You go to work, you smile, and you pretend. Sometimes you speak of the deployment, but usually you don't. It's easier to forget.
You come home and trip over combat boots. Your home is overflowing with camouflage; it's a constant reminder of the upcoming year. Your dog lays atop a pile of Army t-shirts and the irony makes you laugh.
You cry when you are with him but you cry more when you are alone. You don't want to make him feel guilty for doing his job.
It feels like all you do is talk about deployment, yet at the same time all you do is avoid talking about deployment.
You learn about Power of Attorney, wills, and health care proxy. You wonder when it was that you became an adult.
You act excited about the larger paychecks. Really you would prefer to be dirt poor.
Every late night at work, schedule conflict, or errand to run becomes another missed moment together.
Every Army obligation becomes another stolen moment. You try not to feel resentful.
You watch him while he smiles and try to memorize that precise second. You wish it was possible to record a smell, a touch, or a hug.
You sit together silently. Your minds are consumed with similar thoughts.
Someone tells you about a party, a wedding, or a concert and you know you will go alone.
You drive him to the airport for another two week training. People stare as you hug your Soldier in uniform. You can't bear to think about the next goodbye.
You glance out the window and for the first time in your life, you wish the snow banks wouldn't melt. It means winter is ending.
You can't decide whether you want to rewind time, pause time, or fast forward time.
You talk to him about the mission.
You see his deep passion for the job.
You admire his sacrifice.
You remember the good he will do and the people he will help.
You realize it will only make you a stronger woman.
You know surviving the distance will bring you closer.
You feel overwhelming pride.
You feel unfaltering love.
But you still cry.