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A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle: Life

A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle

"I cast my lot with a Marine and where he was, was home to me." ~ Anonymous.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Life is a funny thing... It can end when you least expect it and it often changes without notice.

My life is changing. I will start at the beginning... This might be long, so consider yourself warned.

I do not have the belief that I will live forever, as many youngn's in their mid 20's do. I had the misfortune of losing some very dear friends at a rather young age. When I was just out of high school, I lost three good friends back to back.

First, my friend Ivy. She was a beautiful person. She went camping and died in a car accident on the way home. She was the only person to die because the tree they hit, hit right where she was sitting. I found out about this while I was at work. I was devastated. I had loved her more than she will ever know. She was the kindest person I knew and didn't deserve to die so young. I was heartbroken for years. In fact, it wasn't until the recent past that I was able to think of her without crying or being angry with God that she is gone.

The weekend of her funeral, I was somber. I was at work, I can't remember why, when I received news that my other good friend had been in a car accident that day (the day of her funeral). He was in a coma. Due to a childhood ailment, he was unable wear a seatbelt and was thrown from the car. He lived for a week and died. I had been convinced that he would live purely because Ivy had just died. God wouldn't do that to me and my friends. Not so soon. I was disenchanted when he died. I lost a lot of faith. How could God do that? I didn't understand at the time. I still don't.

To make these deaths worse, they were actually the second and third death of the year for me. This was in September and that previous summer I had lost a friend. Bo. He was one of the first drownings of the summer. I found out because I was watching the news and they were playing a list of names of those who had drowned. I did not attend his funeral. I couldn't do it. I was in shock at having known someone who died. He was a good man. I once told him that my favorite song was the classical Moonlight Sonata. He learned to play it for me, on the piano. He then entered the talent show using that as his entry. It was touching. I laughed often with him. He was more wonderful than I have time to explain.

I understand in a way that many don't, how precious life is and how quickly it can be taken away. I do not pretend to understand death at all. I do not pretend to be prepared for it. I still have a good healthy fear of it, as most people do. But I understand that we all die. It's a part of life. From the day we are born, we are dying.

I don't know when my husband will die. I would hope that it won't be until we are old. I also plan on dying first. :) However, I think about his death often.

When he told me he was going to deploy, I began planning his funeral. I needed to have an idea of what was going to happen, just in case. I will be in no shape to put a funeral together in the event of his death.

This changes your life in ways that are indescribable.

I live my life in life and death. Each day, I am cautiously optimistic that he has survived. But I know how quickly that can change. I have heard stories of women who speak with their husbands on the phone and with in hours the Chaplain is at their door, telling them that their husband is gone.

As a young woman, though I am closer to 30 than 20, this is a strange reality to live in. Most people take for granted that their husbands will come home at the end of the day. I don't. I do not know if my husband will live to see the end of this war.

Things that used to be important began to fade into the background of my life. School was the first to do this. I lost interest in being a good student. Why was an A so important when my husband might die. It was a very dramatic way to feel, but I began to feel that way, none the less.

In the past month, I have begun to cope with this. I rarely think of my husbands safety anymore. Worry is such a useless emotion. I can worry myself sick, but it won't change what will or will not happen over there.

This is also a life changing attitude to have. Maybe it's denial, I don't know. But I have moved past worry to a place of acceptance. I accept whatever is coming my way, good or bad. I can't change what the fates or God have in store for me, so I just don't think about it.

Living in a state of heightened, let's call it "awareness," is stressful. I just couldn't handle the stress of it anymore.

So now, I'm in a very weird place. Everyday is life or death with me. But I don't worry about it or fear it. It just is. My life keeps changing and I'm finding that I'm able to accept that change without complaint... I no longer fight it.

I bring this up because today I had a weird day. I spoke to my husband for a long time. He called three or four times today. That is really unusual. We spoke for up to an hour at a time. Also unusual. But once I was off the phone with him, I began to wonder... Why was today different? Then I found out.

I received a letter from him today. He doesn't write often. But it told me that he is running missions. This I knew, but apparently they are running them often. More often than I knew. I don't know what he does. He can't tell me that. But I doubt it's walking old ladies across the street. I began to worry again.

His phone calls seemed to be fate preparing me for this letter. i know he is safe, for now. But I now know, that he is in more danger than I thought. Such a weird feeling. I'm worried, but not really. I can't bring myself to worry.

This post is sorta rambling, I'm not sure how to put into words how I am feeling today. It's not worry, but it's not calm. Is there a word for that?

Does this weird life I'm leading make any sense to anyone?


Blogger the girl said...

Erin, that post was so moving.

I can relate to your sense of incredible loss at the deaths of so many young friends in just one year - it's happened to me, too. I lost two friends (aged just 18 and 20) to suicide, then lost two grandparents and another young friend to cancer in the same year. Not fun. But, like you, I'm now in a place where I can think of them and talk about them without feeling horribly upset.

It sounds like you were living in an absolute nightmare when your husband was first deployed - I can't even begin to imagine how hard it must've been for you living each day without knowing whether it would bring life or death. Perhaps your sense of (relative) peace with the great unknown is your own form of acceptance about the whole situation. It doesn't sound weird, it sounds remarkable.

June 27, 2009 at 11:44 PM  
Blogger Kate Craig said...

My husband just joined the Air Force so I haven't faced a deployment yet. But I have started thinking about all that stuff.

I totally agree with what you said about wanting to have everything planned NOW so you don't have to think about it then. Before he deploys I want to have all the necessary details mapped out. How do I put everything in just my name. Where will I choose to live. Where would we have a memorial service. It does sound morbid, but it is kind of a comfort to me to have a plan.

However, I have not had your experience. Death is NOT as real to me as it is to you. I can't imagine.

I'll be praying for you!

June 28, 2009 at 6:46 PM  

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