Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Feeling Better

Okay, while I'm not feeling "okay" with this entire thing, I am feeling better. Ranger Man (who has the flu and I'm impressed that he's with it enough to say anything coherent, poor thing) has been amazingly supportive for me- I'm having another "I don't know what I would do without him" moment.
So now I'm focusing on sending positive thoughts and energy his way to heal him, and pulling a Scarlett O'Hara and waiting till tomorrow to think about everything else.

UPDATE: Three Hours Later... I lied. or perhaps I changed my mind. I'm not okay with this. This sucks.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Greatest Love Story of all Time.

I got some bad news today.

My parents have been married for over thirty years. Yes, they had their difficulties and I would be the first to admit that I would never want a relationship like theirs, but it seemed that as odd as it was, it was obviously working for them. Last summer, my grandma (who had been dipping into the champagne at the time) proclaimed to me that they had "the greatest love story of all time." Since I had not been indulging in any sort of alcoholic beverage at the time, I knew right away that she was not entirely correct, but she had some good points- they like to do the same things, go hiking and riding their bikes. It seemed that they enjoyed doing those things together. And I knew that my mom liked to play passive-aggressive and my dad was less than sensitive most of the time, but it seemed to be working.

My mom moved out yesterday.

I'm sure I'll post more of the details, or maybe I won't... (this is the internet, after all)... but wow. I've been lamenting about how homeless I was because I didn't have any where to go. Now it seems that I would have a place to go, but no true home. But I don't feel that it's right for me to judge or condemn or even be mad because now I can never have my home-y Christmas anymore. I mean it's really their lives, right? If they're more happy apart then that's what's best.

Here I've been dreaming of getting married and having my own kids and what it would be like to take them to Grandma and Grandpa's. I feel like my dream is gone, my stability is gone, my home is gone. I'm an adult, for crying out loud. Some things are supposed to stay the same.

I'm afraid I don't know how to deal with this. I know that technically she could still go back, but somehow I have this feeling that it won't happen. I'm still trying to process what this all means, what effects it is going to have and trying to figure out why, if this is what they've chosen and it's obviously best for them, why I feel like I need to forgive them.

I Believe I Can Fly.

Apparently I am old.

That song... "I believe I can fly... I believe I can touch the sky..." kind of epitomizes the awkwardness that was the middle school dance for me. I'm not sure that I ever had the pleasure of dancing to it (I don't think I actually danced with a boy until the end of my eighth grade year) but that makes it even more awkward, doesn't it?

There's a shuttle van that runs in between the two campuses where my classes are, and there was this 80s-90s music station playing on the radio on the way back tonight in the shuttle. This song came on, and I'm sure that the kid next to me thought I was going into convulsions because I was trying not to giggle. If it hadn't been eleven o clock at night back in the rest of the World, I would have called someone and probably started singing into the phone. But since the youngins in the shuttle obviously did not have the memories associated with the song that I did... I kept my mouth shut.

And then I wondered. Did they think of songs like that the way I think of songs from the 60s and 70s? Is the music that I went to school with going to be oldies? good grief, I"m only 23, I shouldn't feel that old!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Machetes, Spears & Bows and Arrows, Oh My!

I don't know about anyone else out there, and perhaps it is just because I've done an inordinate amount of research on Rwanda, or perhaps I'm simply over sensitive, but even just the word, machete, gives me chills. But now lets add spears and bows and arrows to the mix.

Several of the reports that I've read about Kenya have emphasized the use of traditional tribal weaponry, especially in stark contrast to the polished suits and air conditioning enjoyed by the politicians who seem to be encouraging the violence. (duh... look at the history of Kenyan politics and elections and violence will no longer seem novel...) Here's something new from Reuters, written by one Nick Tattersall. According to this, the death toll has now risen to more than 700. But the use of traditional weaponry is important, I think. Well, it scares the crap out of me reading about it, I can't imagine what it would be like to have a man dressed in fur rugs holding a ginormous bow and arrow come to the door... the psychological implications are enormous and are indicative that this fight is not about the election. It's about something more and that there is no quick and easy fix.

Side note, is it a sign of the hopelessness of the situation that the best mediator available is Kofi Annan- whose record in Rwanda (when he was the head of the DPKO at the UN) is way, way under par in halting ethnic violence? ugh. Again, I've got too much of a Rwanda spin and so it is hard for me to look at him objectively but really... I'm frustrated.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Does it somehow discount our military experience (Ranger Man and I) that we know he's not a lifer? Does it somehow mitigate the experience of being a military couple? We don't actually know when he's going to separate- but we know he will. Does that make us somehow less than other military couples? Does that somehow mitigate my decision to enter into a wartime military relationship?

I think my brain is slightly skewed- I am much more comfortable with the retiring with the Army idea. At least that is steady, guaranteed work. In my family, growing up, steady work was paramount over all other options- changing jobs willingly for the major breadwinner was unheard of, especially if there wasn't an option already lined up. Of course when the time comes, I will trust Ranger Man to line up his options in time and I will (finally, hopefully) be working by then also, but to me the idea of separation is more terrifying than the idea of staying in and getting shot at. Is that backwards?

I guess that was two questions. hm. funny how that happens.


Modified slightly to remove the misspelling...

Upon receiving an email replete with yarn-induced ramblings from me, from Ranger Man-

"you are completely nuts and i am totally in love with you and am planning on keeping you forever.


Ahh... how nice
I needed that.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


UGH. I hate Islands and I hate Oceans that surround Islands and I hate Super Secret Schools. I hate it all, I am ready for a normal life, in the same place as my guy. really- should that be too much to ask?

What I learned today in Grad School - Part Two

1.) No matter how much I desire to complete the pre-first class of the semester readings... it is NOT worth it to try to go the bookstore on the first day of classes. Not worth it.

2.) No matter how awful standing in line for hours may be... the look on the (2) separate undergrads faces that rang up only half of my books this semester-- priceless. "Wow, that's a lot of reading!" lol- it was only 9 books! that may be the most gratifying experience of my graduate career thus far.

(Can you tell I'm easily pleased?)

Oh, and btw- I'm going back later in the week to get the second half of my books... hehehe.

Monday, January 21, 2008

And the hardest part about going to Grad school is...

That my mother has grown so attached to my cat that I'm afraid to take him back whenever I finally do get off this Island.

Here he is underneath the Christmas tree for his first Christmas- he looks so sweet and innocent. Probably because it was right after he was neutered (is that what it's called for cats, I don't remember- I'm a horse girl), so he was still a litle high...

This is him (ahem) helping me study... obviously we were both hard at work- him napping and me snapping pictures.

This one is from this last Christmas (I wasn't there), Webster-cat
getting along with Jack-the-Dog. It's actually kind of a rare picture,
because Webster's kind of the bully of the relationship and he
thinks that little piece of carpet that is supposed to be dog bed is actually his. And yes, he likes to pick fights with the ginormous black lab who luckily is not only the most gentle dog ever, but also the most scare-dy-dog ever. So Webster can continue in his Napoleonic dreams.

But my mom is having enough of a hard time dealing with the fact that I'm moving across the country (or across the ocean as I am presently). I mentioned something about getting Webster to take him to Georgia the other day and she just about lost it. So Ranger Man and I have decided that it may become necessary to leave Webster behind as a peace offering of sorts, and get a new little kitten of our own. I'm thinking Patton might be a good name...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I have a Confession.

Warning. This is really horrible. The easily offended should probably stop reading now.

This is a confession of a long distance, seriously committed Army girlfriend.

Sometimes, not very often, but sometimes... there have been days since he's been at this Super Secret Army School when I've almost wished he was deployed instead.

Of course, if I were given the choice on any given day, I would pick school over deployment 100% of the time. But I can't help, some days, really seeing the benefits of the consistency of a deployment. I don't expect him to be able to talk to me during a deployment. I don't expect him, my best friend, to be emotionally available to me during a deployment. I understand that is just not possible, and I understand that once he leaves, emotionally I am more or less on my own. And I'm okay with that. What's difficult now is the not knowing- some days, on a weekend if I'm having a bad night, I can call him in the middle of the night and we can talk. Or I can call him after school and we can talk. Other days, he's exhausted from work and talking on the phone is basically a no-go until the stress subsides. I just wish there was some sort of cheat sheet for me, saying when he was going to be available, or not- getting your hopes up sucks.

Don't get me wrong. I am very glad that he's non-deployable for the next month and a half. I am very glad that there are no one is shooting at him right now. Believe me, there is no way that I would willingly trade what we have right now for that option... there are just some days when I see the benefits of it, that's all... and then I am immediately reminded of the live-fire types of things that are associated with deployment and I tell myself to suck it up and that in eight months it's not going to matter because we won't have this awful phone relationship anymore anyways. Some days though...

The Tales of the Hippie and the Conspicuous Consumer

Most of the time, it is really great that Ranger Man and I are together. Sometimes, however, it becomes apparent that we have different value systems. Put another way- most of the time these values systems complement each other, it's just tricky figuring out how to get them to do that sometimes.

I need someone who is focused on and realizes the importance of making money, because if it were up to me, I would volunteer all the time and starve to death. I would literally give away all my money, or spend them on care packages for SA (It is KILLING me not having an adopted soldier right now, it's really hard), and rescuing homeless animals etc, etc. I need someone who is aware of the fact that it is, in fact necessary to have a real job that makes real money and make sure that the aforementioned real money gets spent on things like housing and food before taking care of others. I need that, I really do.

However, the biggest problem Ranger Man is having with the "m" word (I'm so sick of it, I don't even want to give it a name right now.... maybe we'll call it "That societal institution which shall not be named," is that until I came along, he was quite content with his bachelor status, and had no desire to change that. His idea of a productive and successful life was a Ferrari collection, while mine is having a family. You see the competing values structures?

Is there a solution? I'm absolutely certain there is. (and I hate to say this, but I'm also relatively certain that it won't include any Ferraris). But I'm also certain that not being able to talk about it face to face is impeding the process. Until he's done with Super Secret Army Land School he really can't afford to expend any brain power on much other than School, while I'm just hoping that school will start again for me next week and help me to not think about the fact that he seems to be choosing between me and cars.... No that's not what he's doing, but still!

In the meantime, what am I doing on this horrid long weekend with absolutely nothing to do? Knitting. Lots of knitting- socks for the man who literally does entire loads of laundry of nothing but socks. That sounds dangerous- that's a heckuva lot of socks. I told him to be careful, because socks in that quantity all thrown together and agitated in an environment such as the washing machine may just rise up and mutiny. I would if I were stuck in boots all day long. But he's getting more socks... and the saga of the hippie and the conspicuous consumer shall be continued.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I'm knitting my first pair. You'd think that three years worth of knitting would have produced some sort of socks, but what can I say, I'm a wimp and not so adventurous.

So anyway- I am knitting my first pair of socks- well, the first sock in the pair. Only one large screw up so far which led to the un-knitting of a couple rounds. Now I'm in a holding pattern while I wait for a certain someone to tell me just how long his size 10.5 feet are, and he is not being very forthcoming with that information! Maybe one of the guys in class wears 10.5 s- would it be weird to ask them to measure their feet for me? Probably.

A Collar?

We were talking about getting married (again...)

Is a wedding ring really a collar? "If found please return to..." were the exact words he used.

I don't think of it that way at all, I don't think- it's a symbolic connection. I look at my finger and there is a tangible sign of love and commitment, and I know that he can do the same.

No wonder the boy doesn't want to get married if he thinks of rings as collars. sheesh.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Kenya- an explanation?

So is it possible to have free and fair elections in Africa? I think Ghana has proven that free and fair elections and steps toward a consolidated democracy are possible, and until recently, Kenya would have been grouped into a similar category. What makes Ghana different? Here's my analysis, as to why the 2000 election in Ghana could easily have turned into the same situation but didn't.

(1). International encouragement and support. Not only was there monetary aid and international observers, but there was moral support as well, to encourage Rawlings to abide by term limits, etc. This encouragement I think was vital in setting a climate of peaceful change of power.

(2). Stronger Civil Society. Somehow, the civil society that encouraged Moi to return to a multiparty state and hold elections in 1992 has not carried through. There is no group in Kenya which holds enough legitimacy or trust of the people to legitmize elections or candidates or to encourage compromise or consensus. Ghana has a more vibrant civil society.

(3). And possibly most crucial. Ghana's politics - possibly because of differences in colonial rule and colonial independence - has never been as inextricably intertwined with ethnic and tribal affiliations as Kenya's. Add to this the fact that the NPP in Ghana made conscious efforts to appeal to broader constituency base than its Ashante reputation and there is a firm commitment to democracy. This has absolutely not occurred in Kenya, where politicians in elections have incited ethnic violence as a way to solidify support.

This led to a veritable powder keg... And we know what has happened as a result. This is just my opinion and analysis, and obviously not that deep. References available upon request for the factual bits.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Post-Separation Funk

I think I was all right, just after he left because I jumped right back into school and kept moving.

Apparently, I stopped moving a couple days ago because 'the funk' has set in... It's that awful feeling just after he leaves... When all I really want is him back again, and everywhere I turn there's something that reminds me he's not here.

Usually, I like going to school with Active Duty military people- how many people get to take a counterinsurgency theory class with an SF officer? The problem is that sometimes, hearing the guy talk makes me want to smack them! Like last night, when they were talking about what it is going to be like to have to go back to 'work,' (now school is their work), and one of them said he thought it was going to be harder on his family. He wasn't talking about being deployed, he was talking about having to go to PT in the morning. I wanted to say something about the resiliency of the milspouse... and how he's probably put her through much worse than having to go through PT in the morning, but I kept my mouth shut. Similarly to the other day when a bunch of them were talking about how 'hard it is' to be at home all the time- trying to do their school work and take care of their kids... yeah, because that's not what their wives do ALL THE TIME.

There are some times that I really wish I didn't have to hear the 'one of the guys' talks. It didn't help my funk.

Friday, January 11, 2008


The talks failed- Kenya's opposition (which is a little simplistic; Kenya is not a two party system...) are officially resuming their protests.

There's a bit to this story- there's no simple us against them rhetoric in a country with over 40 ethnic groups, and it's not merely an issue of vote rigging and tampering with the electoral process. There is some good information here about the situation, from Kenyan, not international sources.

I think both sides have been flinging the genocide accusation back and forth- and the International community has of course been denying it. Without going into too much detail about my own theories of recognizing genocide- basically it's too soon to tell. And unfortunately, it would be a completely different kind of genocide than we're used to (as they all are...), so that would lengthen the recognition process as well. I doubt it's happening now, but I don't doubt that it could quickly devolve into exactly that given a little encouragement.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary

Little known fact about me- I was once a competitive rock climber. (And I guess now that is no longer little known, now that it's on the internet). I was pretty into it, actually... and climbing is how I met Ranger Man, I was working at a climbing gym, and he and some Ranger buddies were coming in to climb.

Anyways, back on topic, once upon a time, when I was in the eighth grade (so that would have been nine years ago? ish?) I did a project for a state-wide History contest. I did a presentation, more like a dramatization, of the effects of the climbing industry on the Sherpa in Nepal- specifically the advent of new climbing science and technology on the Sherpa culture.

I wrote a letter to Sir Edmund Hillary, knowing of his interest in the Sherpa and asking for any first hand knowledge he might have had. He sent me back a letter- a form letter- and a signed picture of himself. So I guess I have a sort of a personal connection. What I know about is this: he was probably one of the best people that could have possibly gotten that first summit. He used the subsequent fame not for his own gain, but to help other people, such as the Sherpa. Climbers aren't usually known for their small egos, and his humanitarian work, in light of his gigantic publicity was really incredible. I think I am most impressed by the fact that he didn't hog the limelight from Tenzing Norgay- his Sherpa guide. He very easily could have taken all of the credit, but he didn't do that, which I believe shows a whole heck of a lot of character, one of the few true heroes of this world.

The world lost a hero today.


Sleeping sucks.

You know what is interesting though- you can tell, people that have bad dreams like me- there's a certain look.

I had a boyfriend- hereafter to be referred to only as the Stupid Firefighter. He and I were in a class together when I for a short time thought I wanted to be a paralegal- long story. Anyways- he had bad dreams too... I think that was most of the reason that we were together, we were the same kind of crazy. It was kind of a crazy aphrodisiac, knowing that for once, someone didn't look at me with pity or like I was a loon... Someone who totally understood the sick feeling that lingers all of the following day, and someone who for once completely understood why there are many nights that I am terrified just to go to sleep. There was definitely a look- and every once in a while you see it in other people. It's more than the baggy eyed, haggard regular insomnia look- it's more hollow, and haunted. Because it replays over and over again... there's a look. I have that look today.

Oh, and about the Stupid Firefighter- lets just say that the same kind of crazy is overrated, and I'd rather have someone who can sleep through the night... And who even sleepy and bleary eyed at two in the morning will get up and check for bad guys for me when I'm convinced that they're still after me when I wake up. That's priceless. Plus- that's kind of Ranger Man's specialty, the whole checking for bad guys thing- I'm a lucky girl.

And until he can do that on a regular basis- I'm stuck not sleeping for a while, I guess.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Hope and A Dream. Part II

Here is a significantly edited version of his response. Keep in mind that we'd already talked a little about this on the phone... and I'm providing only a snapshot of his response:

"baby i love you... i don't think i have a problem with the idea of being married to you and living with you (kids is still a touchy issue though so don't push it) but going from us now to that is really hard on me."

ahh... answers that make sense. I love those. This is not over... I will need something before we move to Georgia, ideally an engagement ring, but I'm open to negotiations. And yes, our relationship is so weird that it probably will sound just like negotiations.... but it works. The double talk and the confusion are explained, and he and I are both aware of some things. Him talking about marriage and not backing it up is not working out for me... and I promise I've been as least pushy as possible! but I'll keep trying harder. And trying to make it easier for him to feel better about him and I. And Hopefully, if our Army cooperation lasts (which I'm not counting on), I will have five weeks this summer when I don't have to be on this awful Island...

I'm still not looking forward to going through another deployment as 'just a girlfriend,' and I am sure that we will have many conversations between how and then to figure out how I'm not going to lose my mind through this one. There was an interesting post at SpouseBuzz recently that got me thinking. It was about mil-to-mil marriages and the possibility/very real reality that casualty notifications can slip through the cracks. I guess maybe in that way I have more in common with mil-to-mil spouses than other spouses. I go crazy during deployments, but only half of it is because something may happen to Ranger Man. The other half is the knowledge that if something (heaven forbid) does happen to him- no one has to tell me. That's the real scary part.... and the knowledge that the 'no news is good news' mantra will keep me in the ark for what, days, weeks, could I go for months- thinking he's deep in some mission, being okay with not hearing from him.... shudder. that's what scares me about being a girlfriend. But, we'll figure something out, I'm sure. everything will be okay, right? (mantra number 2)

A Hope and A Dream.

I love him. I really do. I couldn't have gotten through the last four months without him, and I absolutely don't want to spend any more of my life without him.

Having said all that... sometimes I could wring his neck.

Is it weird that I am feeling slightly off about the idea that I'm planning on moving across the country to somewhere that I've never been to before where I don't know anyone... to be with a guy who, although he loves me very much... that's as much of a commitment as I can get out of him. Sometimes it seems like he wants to marry me.... but after nine great days- and one chastisement from his mother, he's not even comfortable with having the same cell phone plan as me; that's too much commitment. ack! So now... not only do I have this commitment-phobic man who just left me again to 'go back to work,' but he also now is going to "turn his phone off during the day" to cut back on cell phone minutes because apparently we talk too much and that's a bit of a burden. Apparently it doesn't matter that I am stuck on an ISLAND where I don't know ANYONE.... I'll just talk to myself. cool.

Seriously, I understand that as much as I'm not sure that I can go through another deployment as 'just a girlfriend,' that is of course tempered by the fact that I probably won't see him before his next deployment, so that is a severe logistical problem. I get all that. I also get that I don't want him to do something like that just because I want him to- it has to be his choice. I do understand all that. But I think at this point, that's not what I'm looking for or wanting. I want to know that I'm not about to rearrange my life for someone that isn't willing to commit to something as simple as a cell phone plan. Of course it's not the cell phone plan that's the issue, but it is a handy example. When we were talking about it... I said something to the effect of "that means you really can't leave me..." and I was JOKING... but he was very serious in his long face and his "yeah, that's what I was just thinking" response. Great. One week he's telling me that if I meet him at the Courthouse over the weekend we'll just do it and get married, and two weeks later, he doesn't want me in charge of his cell phone. and I'm supposed to not be confused? Is anyone else getting mixed signals? wtf?

Like I said.. I love him and I can't live without him... but my goodness. Sometimes he's way frustrating and makes me sad.

** I actually wrote this a couple nights ago, but I didn't post it, 'cause I wanted to talk to Himself about it first... didn't seem right to post it without his knowledge. So we talked, and then he read it (good order for that, by the way), tomorrow maybe I'll post what he wrote back to me, because it was amazing and made me feel SSOOO much better. However, he only gave me permission to post what I wrote, he didn't say anything about what he wrote, so I feel I am obligated to ask him first, and right now he's sleeping.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Knitalong Finished

Sarah asked for pictures of my completed Danica Scarf, so... I finally got my butt in gear and found both my camera and the cordy-thingy that attaches it to my computer.

It's not too bad, I didn't block it- partly because I didn't have anything to block it with, and partly because I kind of liked the un-blocked look.

I took it to Ranger Man over Thanksgiving, and somehow convinced him to wear it to work (when they get to wear regular clothes). Apparently 'the guys' like to tease him. I tell him they're just jealous that their girlfriends/wives whatever didn't make them a warm scarf to wear.

He's not convinced that this is the explanation. Either way,
my honey is wearing or at least owning something that I
made... that makes me feel better. He has this aversion to me making him anything... like he's afraid of me going to too much effort for him or something. He's just going to have to get over that. Although, it should be noted this aversion does not extend to letter writing. Letter writing is appreciated to the utmost extent.

Holidays Check Off

We've been lucky this year. Despite being separated by the Pacific Ocean, Ranger Man and I have been fortunate enough to spend some major holidays together.

Thanksgiving - Check. We were in a hotel room, but Ranger Man cooked (chicken and broccoli, my favorite!), and we got to be together.

His Birthday- Not Check. We missed this one by a couple days.

My Birthday- Check. In the midst of moving, again, he cooked for me (tacos... yum), and he started teaching me to dance - he was part of the Ballroom dancing club in college, how cool is that?! We watched a movie or two and relaxed all day.

Christmas- Check. Goes with my birthday, but they are two albeit very close together, but two separate days. He surprised me by putting presents under the tree and having stockings... He made pancakes for breakfast and we had hot chocolate and listened to Christmas music. I think we cooked dinner together, but I honestly don't remember that part- I remember the morning... and watching the movie Ratatouille (sp?). He was deployed when it was out in theaters, but he really wanted to see it, so his parents got it for him, and we watched it on Christmas day.

New Years Eve- Check. We watched the Fireworks on the Beach. This was the day of my "he's leaving me again" mini-meltdown, but through some tears we made it through and heralded the New Year from underneath a palm tree. Truthfully, I think that New Year's Eve is even worse than Valentine's Day. It is almost acceptable to not have 'a date' for Valentine's Day- no one looks at you sideways if a girl buys chocolates and wine for herself and then shuts the world out on Valentine's Day, that's okay to do. However, on New Year's, you're supposed to have a boy around, someone to celebrate with, and no one accepts "my boy is in the Army on the other side of the world" as an excuse to hide. So I am very glad that he was here on Monday night.

So what does that leave?

Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day... we might get Memorial Day this year. Although, now that I think about it, we may have had Memorial day last year, I'll have to see if he remembers, I think we were together for that one. Other than that, who knows? Someday, maybe in two years, I'll have my 'date' for Valentine's Day... sigh.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


My nine days are officially over. Ranger Man is somewhere above the Pacific Ocean right now, on his way back to Super Secret Army Land, and I am trying to decompress and savor the time that we had, while I should be doing the substantial amount of reading that needs to be done for class tomorrow night.

I'm moved, much less space but it is my own, and I spent the first few days here with the most wonderful man, so it feels more like home now. I asked him to leave his toothpaste... because it tastes like him, and I managed to keep a couple more of his shirts this go 'round as well.

Nine days was definitely a learning process, and new record for us- maybe someday we'll be together for a double-digit number of days, but for now nine days was a great thing. We learned more about each other, and as much as it was apparent that life can never be idyllic, it was even more apparent that there will never be anyone that I want to come home to (or have come home to me) than him, and that no one will ever take better care of me than him. Which in turn means there isn't anyone I'd rather take care of...

I always think that it's going to get easier- the saying good-bye part. And it never does. Luckily for us, somehow we always manage to deal with things at different paces, so I was in tears all day yesterday and this afternoon, but by the time it hit Ranger Man this evening, I was pulled together enough to take care of business. As much as I realized over and over again that I really, really want to be with him all the time- not just here and there every once in a while, this trip reinforced for me that I am making the right decision.

I have no idea when I'm going to see him again- it may not be for another eight months. He might get deployed and come back again... and I won't see him before or after any of it. I'll admit that is something I feel really guilty about sometimes, like I'm being selfish for staying here while he could be off... well- you know. But he's right- I do need to finish this, and eight months isn't that long. We'll be really happy eight months from now... but in order for that to happen, I need to finish here first. That doesn't mean I need to go hog wild and stay here any longer than is absolutely necessary, but somehow he makes me feel less guilty about not being with him. For now anyways.