Category Archives: Love and Marriage

You Mean More To Me Than . . .

Once again, I’m sleeping alone tonight. It’s not so bad though, because I know that my hubby will be home by the time Ian and I awake in the morning. You see, he has 24-hour duty today. It started this morning and goes into tomorrow morning. What’s duty, you might ask? That’s when he sits in an office, regulates check-ins and patrols the barracks every couple of hours. When he’s not doing that, all he does is sit and sit and sit. He’s not allowed to watch tv, so he usually takes a couple books with him. Tonight, he was given a couple hours reprieve to get dinner and sleep.

Before Ian was born, I always took dinner in for Evan, and we’d eat together. Well, I wasn’t about to change our rituals, baby or not. So, despite the fact that I didn’t have time to make dinner tonight, Ian and I met Evan, and we went to Subway together. When we finished eating, we went back to the office parking lot. We both were in denial of not being able to sleep together tonight, so we dropped down one portion of the Jeep’s back seats and cuddled together. After what seemed like forever, Ian finally calmed down and fell asleep. I turned to Evan. “You know, you could be sleeping on a comfy couch right now,” I said.

“But then I would be alone,” he whispered back and pulled me closer to him. My heart swelled. I always talk about my heart swelling when Evan says something sweet to me, but that’s the best way I can describe it. You know that unable to breathe, feel like you’re gonna burst feeling? That’s how my husband makes me feel all the time. I probably make our marriage sound like the perfect fairytale. It’s not the perfect fairytale, because we do have our issues like any married couple. But, every issue we work through just draws us closer to each other and makes that love all that much greater. I love my husband more and more every single day!

People who know Evan know that he’s not only sweet but also a goofball. He always knows how to make me laugh. I thought he was hilarious the moment we met, and I still think he is. I’ll ask him to repeat certain stories to me, because they put me in hysterics. There are days that my sides will hurt, because he’s had me in stitches so long.

I’d like to share a tribute to my husband’s sillyness. While he was deployed, he wrote a “poem” for me and read it to me over the phone. I know what you’re thinking, “Awww, how sweet!” Yes, it definitely was sweet, in an odd way . . . a very odd way. (He does write very beautiful poetry, but this particular day he was feeling rather goofy.) There’s nothing more to say, other than just letting you read the poem for yourself.

You Mean More to Me Than . . .

You mean more to me than anything on this planet. And I mean that, really! For example:

If I were a dog,
you would mean more to me than my favorite bone!

If I were a mouse,
you would mean more to me than a huge wheel of cheese!

If I were a fly,
you would mean more to me than a whole truckload of poop!

If I were a cow,
you would mean more to me than my own twice-vomitted cud! YUMMY!

If I were a pig,
you would mean more to me than all the mud and slop on 1,000 farms!

If I were a monkey,
you would mean more to me than getting to fling my own poo!

If I were a frog,
you would mean more to me than 100,000 flies! RIBBIT!

If I were a dragon,
you would mean more to me than getting to torch an entire village!

And if I were Rosie O’Donnel,
you would mean more to me than a whole truck full of twinkies! (and that’s sayin a LOT!)

But most importantly,
If I were Evan ******, you would mean more to me than water, food, air and even life itself. More than any person, animal or possession. More than my parents, my sister, brother, and yes, even my XBOX.

I love you more than you could ever know and I will forever be yours and yours alone. You mean more to me than anything. And I do mean anything!! *MMMMMWA!* I LOVE YOU!

How exactly does a girl react to such a “poem?” She could react the same way I did. I laughed so hard, I nearly peed myself. Yesterday, Evan was digging through some stuff from deployment and found that poem. I finally had his poem in my hands! Memories of that day he called–a day that we actually had a good connection, and he was able to read me what he wrote–flooded back to me as I read it. I had been having a really hard time, and worlds away, my husband could feel it. He brought laughter during a time of depression and loneliness. He lifted my spirits. Looking beyond the silliness, this poem still warms my heart. Through unique words, he poured his heart out to me. He showed me how much I mean to him and how much he loves me . . . more than anyone or anything! I married a very special man, and I thank God every day for blessing me with a man who loves me unconditionally. 

“Would you want me?”

God has blessed me with a man who loves me beyond compare, and I was reminded of that once again last night. Evan and I were doing our devotions (Night Light by James & Shirley Dobson) together before going to bed. We read a story that was so touching. I can do no justice to the story by paraphrasing it, so I’ve inserted it below:

I rise early on this Friday, as I do every day, to prepare coffee and mix a protein shake.
The television news plays quietly in the corner. Flossie, my wife, is still asleep.
Sometime after eight, she begins floating out of slumber. I bring the shake to her bedside,put the straw in her mouth, and give her cheek a little pat as she begins to drink.
Slowly the liquid recedes.
I sit there holding the glass, thinking about the past eight years. At first, she asked only
an occasional incoherent or irrelevant question; otherwise she was normal.
I tired for two years to find outwhat was wrong. She grew agitated, restless, defensive;
she was constantly tired and unable to hold a conversation.
At last, a neurologist diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease. He said he wasn’t sure–a firm
diagnosis could come only from examining brain tissue after death. There is no known
cause for this malady. And no known cure.
I enrolled Flossie in a day care center for adults. But she kept wandering off the property.
We medicated her to keep her calm. Perhaps from receiving too much of one drug,
she suffered a violent seizure that left her immeasurably worse: lethargic,
incontinent, and unable to speak clearly or care for herself. My anguish gradually
became resignation. I gave up all plans of retirement travel, recreation, visits to see
grandchildren–the golden era older people dream about.
The years have passed, and my days have become routine, demanding, lonely,
seemingly without accomplishment to measure. Flossie has gradually dropped in strength
and weight, from 125 pounds to 86. I take some time to work with a support group and to
attend church, but the daily needs keep me feeding, bathing, diapering,
changing beds, cleaning house, fixing meals, dressing and undressing her, and doing
whatever else a nurse and homemaker does, morning to night.
Occasionally, a word bubbles up from the muddled processes of Flossie’s diseased brain.
Sometimes relevant, sometimes the name of a family member, or
the name of an object. Just a single word.
On this Friday morning, after she finishes her shake, I give her some apple juice,
then massage her arms and caress her forehead and cheeks. Most of the time her eyes
are closed, but today she looks up at me, and suddenly her mouth forms
four words in a row.
“Do you want me?”
Perfect enunciation, softly spoken. I want to jump for joy.
“Of course I want you, Flossie!” I say, hugging and kissing her.
And so, after months of total silence, she has put together the most sincere question
a human being can ask. She speaks, in a way, for people everywhere;
those shackled by sin, addiction, hunger, thirst, mental illness, physical pain–
frightened, enervated poeple afraid of the answer, but desperate enough
to frame the question anyway.
And, Flossie, I can answer you even more specifically. It may be difficult for you to
understand what’s been happening. That’s why I’m here, to minister God’s love to you, to bring
you wholeness, comfort, and release. Mine are the hands God uses to do His work,
just as He uses others’ hands in other paces. In spite of our shortcomings, we strive to make
people free, well, and happy, blessing them with hope for the future
while bringing protein shakes every morning.
By the time Evan finished reading the story out loud, I was sniffling and wiping away the stream of tears streaking my face. That man’s love for his wife was beyond immeasurable. He threw away all his hopes and dreams of the future so that he could care for his slowly dying wife . . . that’s LOVE! I just laid there in bed, staring at the ceiling, questions and thoughts flooding through my head. Then, Evan took my cheek with his hand and turned my face towards his.
He quietly said, “The answer is yes, baby.”
I lost it. The stream of tears turned into a flood. I hadn’t even verbalized the questions grappling my mind; questions of Would you do that for me? Would you want me? Yet, he knew and answered them. Evan pulled me close to him. I breathed in deeply and smiled through my tears. Sometimes I don’t realize how much this man loves me, and then he shows me in the simplest ways, in the most tender words. I love him so much, and this love goes beyond forever!

The Wounds That Never Heal

wounds never heal
One thing a spouse going into a military marriage has to be prepared for is the effect (of the job) that carries into the night. I don’t exactly know how well my husband slept before I knew him, but I only know the man whose sleeping habits have been affected by a deployment to Iraq, a deployment to Africa, and intensive training.
Evan is an extremely heavy sleeper and does not wake up easily. He talks a lot in his sleep, and I’ve woken up to him wide-eyed and talking but still asleep. Many nights I’ve woken to him shouting orders, yelling about mortars or gunfire, or yelling at people to put their heads down. Most of these nights he’ll be sitting up, eyes wide open, and arms either flailing or “holding” a rifle. I can’t adequately describe the cold, steely look in his eyes.
During those times, I try to not touch him, for fear of startling him. Instead, I calm him with my voice and coax him to lie back down. Once he’s calm, I embrace him tightly and wonder what demons he’s fighting that night.

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It’s Not Goodbye; It’s See You Later

see you laterSo many people talk about how difficult deployment is, but nothing is as difficult as saying goodbye beforehand. Watching the one you love get on that bus seals the impending separation you’ve been dreading for months. If you’re lucky, you know about the deployment six months to a year ahead of time. If you’re not so lucky, you know only a few months, even just a few weeks, before you’re without your spouse for seven months to a year (depending on the military branch). Thankfully, in the Marine Corps, the usual deployment length is seven months, though that’s not always the case. Every Marine wife has to mentally prepare for the possibility of an extension and finding out of that extension during her preparation for his homecoming. In mine and Evan’s case, we fell among the lucky ones to know about his deployment early on. Projected dep. dates were given nearly seven months in advance. With deployment in the distant future and a baby on the way, we ignored that dreaded date for several months.

Those months slipped by quickly and even towards the end, we got so caught up in life— Little Man’s birth, my leg surgery, and packing up the apartment—that we were almost surprised when the final day before he had to leave came upon us. Tears flowed and emotions raged. We didn’t know what to do but cry and hold tightly to each other. Evan was scheduled to leave at 2 A.M. but had to be in by 10:30 P.M. to draw weapons. We lived a half hour from base, so Evan wanted to leave an hour early to make sure he got there on time. We decided to spend the last couple hours with our neighbors, because we couldn’t stand to be in our gloomily empty apartment which was mostly packed up. The clock ticked 9:45, and we still hadn’t left yet. Mentally exhausted and emotionally spent, we wearily packed up the car with Evan’s gear, coffee, food, books, blankets, and pillows. (You always prepare to spend a long time waiting.) By this time, we just wanted to get this part over with.

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