This past week has been Spring Break in our area, so we've been trying to keep busy, partly to keep our Teenybop from making us run screaming down the street and partly to remember some good times before we run out of times in April. We've had more rough times than good ones in the past year or so, and at some points it seemed like we were barely getting by as a couple, as a family. So when Private Ryan heads out for training, we all need some good things to look back on in the months before he can visit home again. There are goals that I set for this time that haven't been met, things that I felt (and still feel) were (are) important that haven't been done ... but there are other important things that we have done that were special in other ways.
Private Ryan and I have had our hard times, we've had our little speed bumps, and we've had family that should be standing behind us that would rather try standing between us. It's been hard for us to maintain our relationship with all that we've been through ... but I look at it as "training". We've had family members try to come between us, friends who didn't really approve of our relationship. At times, we've both sat back and looked at each others flaws, seen the truth in our friends and families words. But at other times, knowing that we face such opposition has made us more determined to get through.
We've had enough money to get by, we've had enough money to go out every day and blow cash on silly things on a whim. But we've also been so broke we'd look at our bills and try to decide which ones were the most important. We've traveled miles and miles of road for the fun of it, visiting long distance family. We've also had days when we sat at home doing nothing because we could barely afford gas to get to the grocery store ... or because we didn't have a car to go out in.
We've had times when we were so in love it was like we were the only two people in the world. We've had moments when even our children faded away and it was just the two of us, when it was like there was nothing else in the world that mattered. But we've also had moments where we couldn't have gotten further apart from each other. Times when we spent days or weeks talking about breaking up, calling it quits ... struggling to find a way back to each other and make it work.
I think that there are still people who would rather see us not make it. People who would step between us if they could. Maybe people who are hoping that this first military separation will be the final straw.
Those few people are fooling themselves. After all that this little family has been through ... It seems to me that we are here to stay. We've been through so much, this is just another speed bump, another rock we will try not to trip over. During this time, we will relearn to miss each other in a way that we haven't felt in a long time because we've always been right by each others side. We will remember the good times because everyone knows you don't remember bad things about people you miss. There will be days and weeks when aren't able to talk at all ... and those times will be hard, but once they are over we will remember how much we each love the simple sound of the others voice. And when it is over and we are able to come together again as a family, we are realistic enough to know that there will be an adjustment period ... but we also know that just for a little while it will be like old times again, so in love with being together that it will be like nothing else matters and all the past will slip away. For just a moment the whole world will fade and we will just be us again.
There will be hard times in the future because this is not likely to be the only military separation ... some military families spend more time apart than together! But so long as we are both doing our part and so long as we are both learning and changing each to fit the other, then this will only be the first time, far from the last.