I first saw this quote right after my husband returned from Iraq. It struck close to home, as the memories of our time apart were fresh in my mind. The sadness of missing him, the daily fear for his safety and the loneliness that I felt during those ten months made it easy each day to appreciate that he was back home and to shower him with constant reminders of my love.
It was easy to overlook old habits and little annoyances, like laundry left on the floor, that had always bothered me before he left because I was just happy to have him home! But now, three months have passed since our incredible homecoming and those pet peeves are not as easy to ignore. I find myself grumbling when he doesn't help clean up after dinner or help out more with the kids. While I am still elated that he is home and would not for the world wish to go back to the days of deployment, the real world has crept back in and life has slowly started to make it harder to appreciate how truly wonderful it is to have him home.
When I saw the "Live Like He Deploys Tomorrow" military wives quote again a few weeks ago, it really made me stop and think. What if he were deploying tomorrow? What if it were going to be another ten months before I was able to put my arms around him again? Would the dirty dishes and clothes on the floor really matter to me? No, they wouldn't. And honestly they don't now either. We are blessed that my husband came home safely to us and we are blessed that our family is together again, happy, healthy and stronger for having made it through the deployment. Hugging my husband, kissing him and ensuring each day that he knows how much we love him, these are the things that matter. Everything else is just minor in comparison.
I'm not saying that there won't still be times when I get frustrated or that things won't sometimes be difficult between my husband and I, because that's life. The clothes on the floor next to the hamper and the dirty dishes left on the counter I'm sure will still drive me nuts, but I am trying to keep those things in perspective. In the grand scheme of life, they are small annoyances and we all have them. And remembering those days of deployment and how I gladly would have taken any of those minor pet peeves if he was just home again, helps me to remember to try to live, and love, every day like he will deploy tomorrow. Because in military life, the reality is that he could.
The New Normal is a proud Army National Guard wife, mom of two, teacher, runner and keeper of the household zoo. She currently writes for SpouseBUZZ and blogs at The New “Normal” about everything from life with the military to her 7-year old son’s “puppy love.”