Saturday night John pulled out his dress blues, pinned on his medals, and buffed his shiny black shoes. It was time to celebrate the 238th Marine Corps Birthday! I wore the yellow dress John got me three years ago, when I was just 10 weeks pregnant with Olivia and we were still with VMU-3 in Twentynine Palms. I wasn’t sure I’d ever fit back into this dress – and definitely was worried after not one, but two kids! But I did! Olivia was convinced I was a princess. It made me think forward to a time when she would be putting on a formal dress – maybe for prom, or maybe to be escorted by her daddy to the Birthday Ball someday.
The evening brought back many good memories and some reality of the fleet that we’ve been distanced from since our time here in Monterey while John focuses on academic goals. It was good to be reminded of the importance of my Marine, and to remember that while he may not be in the fleet readying for rapid deployment, he’s doing important work to educate himself further and be an even better asset to the Marine Corps.
In addition to the Marine Corps Birthday and Veteran’s Day this weekend, yesterday marked two years since John came home from Afghanistan the second time. He met Olivia at 6:30am on November 12, 2011 for the very first time. Dawn had just broke over the mountains of Twentynine Palms and symboled the beginning of our family – all together after a long seven month wait, we were ready to take on the battle of reintegration and figuring out what our family should look like.
It is still hard for me to see the pictures from that day. Any wife and mother who has been through this knows it’s an emotional trial that you will never completely forget. I put together a slideshow of John’s second deployment a while back but was unable to watch it myself. Here’s the link if you are curious what that seven months looked like for us.
It was impossible to imagine what two years together would be like. At the time John came back from his second deployment, the longest amount of time we’d lived together was 9 months. Now, looking back, I can’t believe how these two years have flown. I am so thankful for a husband who is able to come home every night, but at the same time I remind myself of all the other military wives who still don’t have that privilege. And I know I won’t forever, either. Another deployment is sure to be on the horizon in our future. For now, though, we are taking one day at a time and enjoying our days together. Happy birthday, Marines! And thank you dear Lord for giving our family another year together.