The time draws near. I knew our time together would end; it was only a matter of when.
Even after a couple of years, I still feel so new to this whole military wife thing. Richard enlisted in the Air Force two years ago, and we both love the military. However, I don’t know that I will ever get used to one major area of the military life – deployment. He will be sent out soon. Very soon! Too soon.
A few weeks ago two of my sisters visited us, and all five of us came down with the stomach flu. What fun! Richard and William had it first and got over the worst of it just as we three girls came down with it. The evening my sisters and I felt like death warmed over, I struggled with feeding William and getting him to bed as best I could by myself so that Richard could focus on his grad school homework.
As we were trying to get William to sleep, we all three laid on the bed for a few minutes, and it was just such a nice moment. Richard had a big paper to finish for the end of his first grad school class, William was incredibly fussy and didn't really want anything, and I was feeling just generally ill. But it was so peaceful for those three or so minutes—the baby was quiet, Richard was away from his work, and I forgot my aching tummy.
Maybe because Richard is deploying soon, I found myself thanking God for those three minutes we had. Nothing in life is ever guaranteed (the old death-and-taxes joke aside), and to have moments like those means so much when tomorrow is not a promise.
When I take a picture of Richard with William, I can't help but think that it would so sad if all William had were these pictures of him as a baby with a father he never knew. The song “Billy, Don't Be a Hero” also keeps running through my mind. I swear I'm not normally so morbid! It's impossible to ignore Richard's mortality, though, when he's about to go defend our country on the other side of the world.
This is part of being a military wife—giving your husband up for a greater cause. Richard was called to be an airman; it's a job he loves, he's good at it, and it's definitely where God wants him right now. What the future holds, we naturally don't know, but we do know we need to appreciate the time together that we have now.
If God does decide to take Richard home, then I need to remember it's part of a bigger plan that I don't understand—and I don't need to understand. All I need is to be in the warm embrace of my Savior, confident and content in whatever plan he has for our lives. He loves and cares for us so much that “the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7)
Love your family and friends. Don't take them for granted. Hold them a little closer. Savor each moment.
Little boy, I hope you grow up to know what a wonderful man your daddy is!