incredibly lengthy story to follow.
so every once in a blue moon,
actually quite often,
i run into someone who asks
about the marine corps/law school decision.
the conversation usually goes sumthin like this:
me: i can't buy that totally hot vintage bike cuz i'm poor.
dude: why are you poor?
me: cuz we are drowning in law school loan debt.
dude: but didn't the marine corps pay for law school?
dude: WHAT?! then why did he join the marines?
so, to answer every one's question
(that i seem to be answering every day of my life for some reason)
i thought a blog post was fitting.
i wish Lover was here to tell the story.
he loves making me out to be the evil wife
who doesn't want her husband to live his life long dreams.
i'm gonna switch to story mode typing because it's kinda long.
let's get started:
for those of you who didn't know, Lover and i were high school sweethearts. we didn't go to the same high school, but nevertheless, still sweethearts at the high school age. so i think the term still fits. no? anywho. the only reason that has any importance to this particular story is to prove that we spent countless hours together.
days and days and days.
730 days to be exact.
and that's only counting the days we were actually "going together". but even before that, our groups of friends hung out quite often and even after we broke up, we remained best friends.
let the record show, that during this courtship, my Lover
never ONCE mentioned the marine corps.
nope. not once.
did we talk about marriage? yea. lots of the time.
did we talk about children? yep. had names picked out and everything.
the fact is, we talked about EvErYtHinG.
or so i thought.
now after 2 years of dating, my Lover left for a church mission where he spent 2 MORE years living a life away from me in samara, russia.
he loved his mission.
if you get him talking about it even today, he will never stop.
during that time we spoke on the phone 4 times.
but we wrote tons and tons and TONS of letters back and forth.
he was my best friend, and i was his.
and just like every other cinderella story,
my dreams came true when he returned home and just like that,
we fell back in love with each other and were married just 6 months later.
i was only 13.
mormons marry their daughters young.
it's so they stay looking pretty longer.
no but for real, i looked 13 and that's all that matters.
and Lover? well, i'll give him a few years.
let's say 16.
but not really. remember, i'm kidding.
or am i?
so after our blissful first few months spent doing nothing but making out on the only two pieces of furniture in our house, we needed a short break.
to catch our breaths.
and apply chapstick.
to all areas.
and during that break, i turned to my Lover and said,
what are we going to do?
where are you going to work forever?
where are we going to build our home for eternity?
and my Lover looked at me with his soggy asian face
and told me that he was going to enlist in the marine corps.
he wanted to be an infantry marine. a devil dog. a grunt.
after i spent about 6 hours doing a little of this...
i realized that he was indeed,
and then i realized that the poor boy needed nothing but a stern talking to from his ever so wise and intelligent wife.
(and maybe a kick in the shins from his dad)
which by the way, did the trick and i "assumed" (key word here) that i had shaken the boy from the thought of joining the military.
who would want to join the military?
weirdos, that's who.
so life went on.
then Lover went to college at UTA and majored in russian.
which is the perfect degree choice for someone planning on having 5 kids, and raising them and putting them through college, and buying them cars, and paying for a wedding and four missions.
but we were young and in love and it didn't matter what he was going to school for because the only thing that mattered was that,
he was going.
and i was so proud of him :)
by the way,
at this stage of our life i was busy makin and birthin babies so we had a few under our belt as Lover's undergraduate career came to a close.
and then there we were.
we were still young and in love,
but armed with a degree!!
a degree we thought would buy us the world!
but it came time, after all that schooling, to find a real job.
and what does my Lover bring up once more?
lots of this.
and that's putting it lightly.
because not only was there laughing but there was crying, and screaming and fighting and gnashing of teeth and punching and i'm pretty sure there was even a little throwing mixed in there. oh yes.
i threw a few items.
but in my defense,
i grew up with no one in my family (that i was close to) in the military.
to me, it made no sense to join.
i assumed that if you joined the military,
you were committing yourself to a life of ultimate death.
i know that sounds crazy, but it's true.
those were my real thoughts.
i could never grasp WHY Lover would ever want to leave his family,
his kids. babies.
and join something that would take him far far away from us for long periods of time.
maybe even forever?
to me, it meant that he didn't love us as much as we loved him.
no one who loved their family would ever want to join the military.
it hurt me to discuss it with him and over time, the topic of the marine corps became such a sensitive subject in our home that even mentioning the name would spark emotions that could break a marriage apart.
things had become very tense in our home.
we were stuck.
we were stuck because Lover wanted something so badly.
so. incredibly. badly.
and i wouldn't allow it to happen.
several years passed as Lover bounced from random job to random job trying to find something that fit. trying to find something that would make him as happy as being an infantry officer.
but nothing would.
because how can something that isn't THE ONE THING, make you happy?
and so it was.
our house was functioning,
my Lover was providing,
but there was no happiness.
it seemed as though life was just a day to day repetitive motion
that we lived in just to get by.
i never prayed about the subject because i held true to my beliefs that his desires were crazy talk. i honestly believed that i was right and he was wrong.
until one day.
i went to a playgroup, that i never usually would go to.
i was invited by a friend.
and i didn't really want to go because i wouldn't know anyone.
but i went.
which is very unlike me.
and there at the playgroup was a mom.
just like me.
she was young.
and she had kids about the same age as mine.
and we started talking.
and come to find out, her husband was...
and i jokingly told her that my husband wishes he could be a marine,
but i would NEVER want to live a life like that.
and instead of shrugging off my comment.
(or being a real big B which is what she should have done)
she said to me,
(in not so many words)
"the marine corps has been the greatest part of our lives. without it, i don't know where we would be. and i know that my husband is a better man because of it. he's a better father and a better partner because he's doing what makes him happy and nothing can compare to that."
and i sat there.
and all of a sudden, an incredibly strong
and i mean STRONG
feeling came over me.
and i found myself in tears, covered in goosebumps.
and i heard a still small voice, telling me that i needed to pray.
and i knew at that very moment,
what it was that i needed to pray about.
and even more than that.
i knew what the answer would be.
and i was scared to death because this concept of being in the military seemed so scary and foreign to my lifestyle.
and i didn't want to tell Lover what i felt and heard that afternoon.
i wanted to keep it all bottled up inside of me.
but it was too strong.
and so that night,
i told my Lover what happened.
and i saw by looking in his eyes,
years and years and years of relief come over him.
and he told me that he had been praying
for the longest time,
for my heart to be softened to the idea of the military,
if it be thy will of the Lord.
and guess what?
it was the will of the Lord.
and i'll never understand why it took so long for me to have that moment of recognition,
but everything happens for a reason and at the precise moment in time.
we didn't just jump right into it head first,
we were practical.
and i think possibly, those years and years of my stubbornness were crucial
because they made Lover look into other options and see things in a different light.
he knew that he wanted to provide for his family.
and he knew we would have a large family.
so it made sense to him to go into the marine corps,
with an alternative job plan.
and because he's very obviously good at getting what he wants,
law school seemed fitting.
and after much prayer,
we knew that this was the right direction to go in.
so i sent my Lover off to officer candidate school.
a 13 week school in Quantico, VA.
that was the longest i had ever been away from him.
and it was hard.
and it was different.
because none of my friends or family really understood me or the reason why it was so important for Lover to be in the marine corps.
and i'll admit.
at that point, i didn't truly understand it either.
i only did it because i was told to do it and i had faith that we had made the right decision.
(no this is not Lover but this IS officer candidate school)
and when Lover returned home,
he was a bona fide marine officer.
and that's when i got my first "perk" of military life.
seeing your Lover in a uniform.
the next three years were spent living the law school life.
Lover would check in with the marines every so often, but his only "mission" at that time, was to finish within three years, keep his grades up, and pass the bar within two tries.
luckily, i married a rockstar
and he passed it the first time.
when law school was over, real military life started to begin.
Lover left me again for another school called the basic school.
this is where they train to become fighters.
because every marine is trained to be a fighter,
before anything else.
so Lover's newly earned law degree was pushed aside for 6 months,
and he became Lover the marine.
he learned a lot at tbs.
how to throw grenades,
one on one combat,
(not that he needed any extra help there *wink wink*)
and how to master the monkey bars.
he learned how to look smokin hot in his cammies.
and he aced that one.
the big day came.
Judge Advocate of the United States Marine Corps
that's all i can say to best describe how i felt that day.
to see my Lover become something that he had dreamt about his entire life meant more to me than anything else. and it was just around that same time that i think it finally hit me.
i understood what it meant to Lover to be a U.S. Marine.
it meant honor.
honor to his family, to his lineage of whom his father, his grandfather, and his great grandfather along with an uncle who were all marines.
honor to his country.
honor to his wife.
honor to his battalion that he serves today in afghanistan.
honor to those who faught before him in other battles.
honor to those who do not yet walk this earth.
i don't think, up until that point of recognition, that i had ever Loved him so much as i did that day.
and each day since then, it continues to just grow and grow and grow.
and like that random girl at playgroup said to me,
there is no comparison to having a husband, who is so incredibly in love with his job.
my home is happy and spirit-filled.
and life is perfect.
on the downside, these awesome dudes...
you are a marine, because you want to be a marine.
not because you want your education paid for.
which is both good and bad.
so that leaves the Lowes,
which means dave ramsey is a false god to me.
this is a long one, i warned you.
but since we're on the topic of my Lover,
here is a little taste of his life in afghanipoo.
this is Lover's bedroom.
he sleeps on a cot in his tent.
but that's only because he's lucky and he's in the command center.
more than 3/4ths of the 1000 guys who make up his battalion,
sleep. in. the. dirt.
but that tent doesn't mean anything because he spends the majority of his time in his office. which is mega fancy.
that's alllllll Lover's doing.
yes he's in the marine corps.
no they didn't pay for his law school.
yes he does law related work in afghanipoo
and no, there is no other marine that looks as hot as he does in his cammies.
i'm just sayin.
you can't deny the facts.
we miss you.
we're proud of you.
we love you.
and we know without a shadow of doubt,
that you're supposed to be no other place on this earth
at this very moment,
than where you are
and we wouldn't have things any other way.