Sunday, December 23, 2012

If I Had Known ...

Recently, I heard a woman on Married to the Army: Alaska say that if she had known what the military life had in store for her, she would have run as fast as she could in the other direction.  This sentiment is understandable.  This life is hard.  Incredibly hard.  The countless separations, unpredictable cross-country (or international) moves, constant fear and worry.  It often seems like too much to endure.  This made me wonder:  If I had known, what would I have done? 

If I had known that my husband and I would be apart for more than half of our marriage, would I still have said yes when he asked me to go on a date with him?  If I had known that my life would eventually revolve around where and when the Army decides to move us, would I still have fallen in love with him?  If I had known that our children would cry themselves to sleep many nights missing their Daddy, would I still have stayed by his side through that first 15-month deployment? If I had known that I would spend much of our marriage in fear for his safety, would I still have said yes when he asked me to marry him?  If I had known that I would spend so many nights with a cell phone clasped in my hand, would I still have held his hand and vowed to love him forever? 

The answer is yes. 

In fact, if I had known how weak in the knees I would get when he kissed me on the forehead after our first date, I would have agreed to go out with him much earlier.  If I had known that he would become my best friend and strongest supporter, I would have given my heart to him much easier. If I had known what an incredible father he would be to our children, I would have married him much sooner.  If I had known how safe I would feel lying next to him, I would have held him much closer.  If I had known how incredibly painful it would be to be away from him, I would have loved him even more. 

If I had known what an incredible man I had found, I would have cherished him from the beginning. If I had known what this life had in store for us, I would have been more grateful for every kiss, every moment of joy and laughter, every second of our lives together.  

And even today, as we're separated yet again, I know that despite all of the heartache and loneliness, and even with everything I know now, I still--and always will--choose him. 

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