“It’s time my love.”

 

My heart sank. Deep into my chest. Heavy with sadness. Sick with loss.

 

I never remotely imagined dating a military member. When I was on dating apps, I always swiped left. Despite the fact that I was in the military myself (albeit many, many years ago) and I was married to a military man (again, many years ago), I decided not to ever date a military member again.

 

Until B. He was different. We met seventeen years ago when we were 18 and 20, just kids. I was already discharged from the Air Force and he just finished his first year at Virginia Tech. We fell in love that summer and we spent nearly every waking moment together.

 

After 16 years apart, we reconnected (thanks, Facebook).

 

We spent three weeks talking via text and every night on the phone. He flew me to San Antonio to visit him for 48 blissful hours.

 

We had loved one another for the last 17 years and fell in love again. He asked me to marry him in our beautiful hotel room overlooking the Riverwalk. It was magic. I said yes.

 

I left that day and he went back to deployment training. That was Saturday. I cried. He cried. Three weeks in and it was as though we were losing someone we spent every day with for the past several years.

 

We spent two hours on the phone Saturday night, just laughing, making plans, a little crying.

 

And then the next day.

 

We texted as we normally do and I expected to have an evening phone call.

 

Instead, I received this text, “It’s time my love,” and my face contorted into an immediate ugly cry.

 

I wanted to text, “Noooo, wait, let’s just talk one more time!”

 

But I didn’t.

 

I responded,”I love you. I miss you. Come home to me.”

 

“I promise <3.”

 

I may not have ever wanted to be part of this military lifestyle again, but he is worth it. It’s magic. He is my happy, my muse.

 

So this is Love In A Time of Deployment.

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