Inside the mind of America’s (raunchy, foul mouthed, overly opinionated, sexually aggressive, incredibly offensive, fly by the minute, ridiculously absurd, often times erratic, psychologically questionable) Sweetheart.

The Art of Being an Owen September 29, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 8:20 pm

Owen’s, by nature, are complex beings. Often stereotyped as british intellectuals masterful in the sports of english football, polo, and/or rugby, they can also often be found sipping tea in an underground bookstore most likely while wearing a tweed jacket with elbow patches. They are athletic, but sensitive creatures possessing a high moral ethic, fine genetics and a multitude of well rounded talents. They enjoy writing and music, shy away from dancing but may often be found horseback riding through the woods with their lady riding sidesaddle on the steed behind, a picnic basket bouncing along with them; the clinking of the wine bottles inside.

Owen’s are debonaire. Owen’s are polite. Owen’s ooze of etiquette and class.

I said to myself when I gave him the name.

Instead of the english royal Owen, I have created what I call, “The Americanized Owen” which is a rare breed in and of itself. My Owen is nothing like the Owen I imagined when I made the decision not to name him “Mike”. But I’m really glad, I suppose.

Mike would have bored me.

Americanized Owen does nothing other than entertain me. He has many faces. I have decided to share a few of them here with you today. I call this segment, “The art of being an Owen”. If you practice the techniques illustrated throughout, you too could one day master this fine art.

First: Be stylish with your footware.

Owen’s are always on top of the latest fashions. And they are never too ashamed to express themselves with what they wear. They stand by what they belive is attractive even when it is remarkably embarrassing for their mothers to do so and often times can be found in public locations, such as the grocery store, in these stunningly atrocious outfits. Sometimes, Owen’s forget to put on pants, but they will always make sure they have the perfect pair of shoes.

Secondly: Always protect your assets.

We as average humans always forget that danger lurks around every corner. We often forget that we could be the victim of a terrible accident at any given time and with no warning whatsoever. We must learn to protect ourselves from debilitating mishaps. The Owen is one step ahead.

Naturally, Owen’s are brilliant creatures. Their brain is of great value to them. It is of great value to the world, really. The Owen knows this and knows, instinctively, that it must protect it’s head at all times of the day even when it is remarkably embarrassing for their mothers to do so. Again, they fight to defend this right to protection even in social situations, such as a function at father’s work or even…. church. An Owen always does what he thinks is just. A head injury would be devastating. We simply cannot take the chance.

Thirdly (?): Always protect your assets again.

One never knows when I gust of wind might come and stir up the debris of Mother Nature and one certainly does not want a stick in the eye. An Owen realizes the value of sight and repels the burning itchiness that partners with getting a bit of sand scratching up his retina. An Owen is always one step ahead of the game. Protective eyewear is a necessity when leaving the house as the weather can be quite unpredictable when you are too young to follow Doppler Dave on the evening news. It is responsible to try to block your eyes from any and all form of matter that may find it’s way in there. Even when it is remarkably embarrassing for one’s mother to do so. Even when indoors. And NOT in a swimming pool.

Uh…. fourthly?: Be daring!

Demand to do the unrealistic! Defy parental wishes to do more age appropriate activities! Throw yourself down on the ground and scream even when it is remarkably embarrassing for your mother to do so! Let yourself be heard by all until it becomes impossible for your father to maintain his stance on this issue! Be tenacious!

Fall on your ass!

But an Owen is stubborn and will do it over and over again until he gets it right! And he wears his protective headgear responsibly as he does this!

Oh screw it…..#5: Be experimental!

Change your hairstyle no less than fifteen times in your three short years of life! Why not? Many celebrities do it! Jennifer Aniston…. Hillary Clinton…. and Owen’s! Owen’s oftentimes change their hairstyles without the aid of those pesky stylists or even the permission of their parents! They get bored easily and when feeling the need for change, take the scizzors into their own hands. They will refuse to allow any outside help in brushing or grooming and can be seen wandering the mall or grocery stores with strands of their gorgeous locks stuck out in all directions or glued to their nose with snot! They will scream during the evening bath and hair washing proceedure and, as a result, will emerge half scrubbed, shampoo unrinsed from hair, parent soaked to the toes streaking off naked to hide in a closet or under a nearby bed until their hair has dried into a clump of shit that looks like a dead animal has chosen their home. They leave the house looking like this and because they don’t care what others think, fail to realize the remarkable embarassment their mothers undergo as they wonder if someone at this very moment is calling social services to report the neglect and abuse this poor, unkempt child is going through.

#6: Be Athletic!

Much like his british cousins, the Americanized Owen prides himself on his althletic ability. Except when he becomes distracted by the ladies:

An Owen simply cannot help it. He knows he is bound to his teammates by the brotherhood of sport, yet his compassion towards the opposite sex will have him rushing to the aid of a fallen comrade. So long as she is hot.

His heart thumps in his chest as they stare into each others eyes. Is this love? They stand, mere inches from the goalposts and become lost in each other. Until…..


And to the remarkable embarrassment of the Owen’s mother, he is scored on by the opposing team as they walk the ball past him and into the net.

But at least he got her number.

#7: Conquor the wild beasts!

Always pick a horse too big for you. Piss him off by biting him on the ear and then hold on for dear life. Loudly point out that the horse has an erection and cause your mother remarkable embarrassment.

#8: Be unbelievably loving

An Owen always proects the ones he loves. He is never afraid to show his feelings. He defends his family and comforts them when they are hurting. He devotes his time to making others happy. He lets you know your value. This causes his mother much pride in her Owen.

Had he been a Mike, he may not have turned out so good.


Utter Humiliation September 22, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 5:20 pm

“I want to feel your soft, moistened lips caressing my inner thigh before you hungrily bury your tongue deep into my lustrous flower drinking from my bloom my sweet nectar of our love.”

The above is a text message I sent to my husband and, thanks to a glitch in T-Mobile’s services, was somehow sent to everyone in my address book.

Including the following:

My Uncle
Dean’s 1st Sergeant
Dean’s father
1st Lt. ________ (the one who wrote me that sweet letter)
My sister’s boyfriend
The pastor at my old church

And this was NOT the worst text message. I won’t go into graphic details, but there was one that involved performing fellatio on a certain someone’s butthole.

I was only joking. I often do this kind of shit to make Dean blush at work and to freak him out.

I’m not doing this anymore.

Let’s keep in mind that my cell phone is in Dean’s name. Today he might go to work and be greeted by his 1st Sergeant:

“So, Dean… you want to stick your tongue in my ass?”

That’s not gonna fly in the military.



The Impossible Dream

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 12:57 am

14,000 young music enthusiasts piled into the Key Arena on Tuesday to try for a slot on American Idol…. 14,000 people sang their hearts out for a crew of judges and producers. And after these producers announced to this massive crowd that they were cutting half of the 14,000, 50 made it through to the next round.

14,000 sang. 50 made it.

Dean was not one of them.

I suppose I will start at the beginning and explain the process to those who are curious….

Dean arrived around 4 in the morning on Tuesday. He had already registered so he moved into a line to head straight into the auditorium to be judged once again. They all filed in and once registration closed down at 8 am, the doors were closed off to everyone else. So, there 14,000 people ranging from teenagers and their mothers to nervous musicians looking for their big breaks. Everyone there thought they had a chance at stardom.

Once everyone was seated, the announcements started. I got to hear a load of this stuff from the phone as Dean was giving me a play by play. They were addressed and explained to what was going to happen. They were told that that day, half of the contestants would be cut by the judges and the half that made it would be returning the next day to sing for creator and head honcho of American Idol, Nigel (what’s his last name?) So, everyone sat there believing that they at least had a chance to sing for Nigel and since he is just such a nice guy, hopes were sky high.

Some more announcements were made. Instructions were given as to what to do and what not to do. After that,a previous American Idol was brought out to psych up the crowd and get them all hollerin’. They screamed chants and cheers and sang songs over and over again for the camera’s for about two hours. Basically, they were all brought there to get some good footage for the opening scenes all the while not realizing they were all going home. So, they sang their songs and hollered a bit and then Nigel came out.

Nigel came out to relax the crowd and to once again, raise their hopes. He gave a compelling speech about how American Idol’s are not just good singers. In fact, it’s not all about the singing, really at all, he says. It is a whole package. He asks the crowd, “Who here thinks that J Lo can sing?” No one responded. Nigel says, “That’s right! J Lo sucks! She can’t sing a lick! But there is something there that makes people run out and buy her albums. That is the ‘it’ factor and she has it. That is what we are looking for.”

So, basically, Nigel has just informed the world that he thinks J Lo is a piece of crap. Dean finds this hilarious.

Then, at about ten in the morning I receive a text message:

He: it’s seacrest

Me: no way

He: way

He: god he is short

Me: get me a picture!!!

He: i am trying but there are guards eliminating people for taking his picture

Me: make it happen.

He: i will

Moments later, he makes good and delivers me:

Not such a great shot, but fine by me. In fact, I had to wait for him to get home to point out to me where Seacrest was in the picture. This is after a couple more hours of me demanding he send me a pic and him texting back, “I sent you a shitload!”

So, out comes Seacrest and he begins his “WILL ONE OF THESE PEOPLE BE THE NEXT AMERICAN IDOL????” shpeel. He is hard at work doing his intro about a million times and he has to keep doing it over and over again because….

people are heckling him.

I am told he didn’t seem to mind it much and Dean said he was actually really funny. At one point, Seacrest had been wandering around the stands filming different bits followed by a million producers and with Nigel in tow every step of the way. When he got to Dean’s row, he stood there about 15 feet away doing his thing and Nigel kept saying, “Again, Ryan.” He would do it again. Then,

“Again, Ryan.”

Over and over again until Seacrest, according to Dean, stopped what he was doing and looked over at them, threw his hands up in the air and said, “Do you see now that I am only their bitch???”

Priceless. And Dean couldn’t get a picture of his royal metro-sexual shortness doing this? Hell no! He was afraid that since they were so close he’d be busted and thrown out. Didn’t want to miss the judging portion and all.

So, finally I am given the call that Dean is lining up for the judges. He can’t talk right now because mayhem is being unleashed. Group one and two get through the judging. Dean’s group, three, is put into place. Dean casually asks someone how many people have made it through:

Dean: Hey man, what’s it looking like? Lot’s of people making it through?

Guy: So far? Eleven.

Dean: Eleven? Out of how many?

Guy: Seven thousand.

This is when I get the panicked phone call only it is not really panic but more like a “holy shit, this is never going to happen” phone call. He explains. I sort of freak out a little. What the hell happened to fifty percent???

He tells me he won’t be able to call again until after he has sung. I wait two hours.

Then, I get the call. It went like this:

Dean: Okay, babe, I’m done (this is said quite cheerfully so I ease into my question)

Me: Done? Like done done?

Dean: Yeah. Done done. I’m on my way home.

It is another hour before he gets home which makes me feel wierd. In this time I decide that Dean is bullshitting me. The first two groups breezed through the judging in a half hour. Dean’s took two hours. I decided that this was because after he made it through, he had to attend “the meeting” to be instructed about the next day. Confident that he will walk in be a be all like, “Ha ha! I tricked you!” I relax and wait, practice a little bit how I am going to react… will I pretend to be really surprised or will I be a smartass who had confidence in him all along? No sooner do I decide to allow him to “trick” me, does he walk in the door. I wait for the big FOOLED YOU!!!! that I assume is coming, but I don’t get it. He plops down on the couch and wedges his feet into the side of the coffee table and gives me the play by play. He seems kind of angry and I understand why. That was kind of full of shit.

Dean auditioned next to a woman with bright green, spiky hair who ambled up to her judge and…. screamed. Like, literally screamed.

She was put through.

The he observed this little tiny blond girl walk up to her judge. She opened her mouth and sang and every single head in the place turned and looked at her. Jaws were dropping left and right. The other judges stopped listening to their singers and stared at her. Silence went throughout the crowd. All eyes were on her judge and how quickly he was about to throw her past the next level and straight on to Hollywood.

She was sent home.

Dean blanched. WTF??? Then, it was his turn. He, at this point, became freaked out and admits that he didn’t sing his best due to an earth shattering reality.

Judge: How are you doing today? Do you have a name?

Dean: My name is Dean so and so

Judge: Let me tell you a little about American Idol and what we are looking for this year as season six is going to be bigger that it ever has before…… (then he proceeds to explain as Dean stands there nodding and whatnot. Then…

Judge: Do you have a song to sing for me?

Dean: yep…. (sings about four lines of his song)

Judge calls all of them into a row and speaks.

Judge: (to group of three)…. explains again the craziness about season six and then excuses them all.

Dean: Hey babe, I’m done.

Then, you have already heard the rest.

He is home and on my couch and I ask him if he is going to try again next year. I am met with an enthusiastic, “Hell no!” and I encourage him to go again now that he knows the whole, bizarre process. He says he will think about it. Personally? I’m there!

The downside is that Sam made it.

Sam is in military Idol with Dean. The guys from M.I. all went to A.I. and tried out. Sam is the only one who made it. I thought this would freak Dean out as Sam is his closest friend at military idol, but instead he felt better that none of the others made it. Now, we are thrilled for Sam. Good luck, Sam!!!!

14,000 people auditioned from Seattle just to make it to the Nigel round.

50 made it.

That’s nuts!!!


WTF? September 17, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 4:31 pm

It is 9:27 am and Dean is on his way home.

He is through to the next round.

To recap: Dean left the house at 3:00 am. The doors were opening at 6 and he wanted to be pretty early to make sure he got close to the front of the line. He was worried he wouldn’t be seen. He was upset to discover that even though they had said they wouldn’t be allowing anyone to line up until 6 am, they had let people line up at 4. But he was happy to see that there weren’t too many people ahead of him. Only about 1500. He had no trouble parking…lol… so he figured that was a good sign that he was early enough.

After about an hour, there was a line behind him that was, according to him, literally a mile long. He started to feel better… ha ha ha. At some point, one of the producers came out and told them that they were going to film the opening scenes soon and a few minutes after that,cameras on carts started rolling around capturing everything.

The doors opened at 7:30-ish instead of 6 and they were moving people in about 40 or so every ten minutes. Word started to fly through the crowd that they were only giving you about 3 seconds to impress them before sending you on your way. I got scared. Dean got prepared. I got sick to my stomach. Dean told me to relax already.

He was standing in his line waiting to be seen at “The Table” and was watching people come out pretty upset. He said a few were coming out with paperwork, but he had only seen one so far…lol. Finally, it was his turn and he got through about three words of his song before they stopped him and told him he was going through. He was given his wristband and a ticket with a row and seat number on it and instructions on when and where to be on Tuesday. He will be going in front of the big dawgs then, but the judging is spanning until the end of the week.

This is scary. His work could very well tell him to screw himself. I’m terrified they are going to ruin this for him. But I am very, very surprised that he was seen so fast today. I honestly thought he was going to come home late tonight heartbroken. Once I heard from him that they were giving about three seconds, I got scared. Really scared. It’s hard to impress someone with three seconds of singing. I certainly did not expect that by 9:00 in the morning, he would be on his way home.

I’m psyched. Horribly scared to death, but psyched.


Sunday Mornings

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 3:24 am

The release papers have been signed. Sunday morning which is either tomorrow or today or a few days ago depending on when you’re reading this, takes Dean to Seattle where, starting at 4 in the morning, he will be standing in line to attempt to audition for American Idol.

His song is picked and his release papers tucked safely away in a folder containing about a million types of identification… none of which, is the type of identification they are asking for. I am hoping it will do. In the military, you get about with your military i.d. There is no need for a passport or any of the other stuff they listed to bring. So, he will take just about every other thing he has identifying himself and keep fingers firmly crossed that it will do.

The whole process is crazy, really.

As I understand it, it is as follows: Dean will arrive tomorrow morning and if everything goes according to plan, he will stand in a line waiting to be processed. When he is finally seen by a producer, he will fork over his paperwork, participate in an interview and the producer will then stick him in a line somewhere. As it has been explained to us, thousands of people will be sorted into different rows of seats in the Key Arena and tables will be set up with about five different people sitting at them. People will be called down out of the stands by rows and sections and will then stand in line at the tables. When you get to the front of your line, you will be asked to sing for the person behind the table. That person will decide whether or not you are going to go in front of the judges.

You will get a wristband if you are lucky enough to progress to that next step and then you will go home. The actual judging part of the audition process is on Tuesday. Sunday and Monday are reserved for sorting singers and passing out wristbands. If he gets a wristband, then he will come back on Tuesday and be given a number. Then, he will wait.

When it is his turn, he will be escorted into the judging room to sing face to face with Randy, Simon and Paula. He will need two out of the three judges to recommend him for the next round. If he is moved forward, then he will be given his golden ticket by a producer on his way out the door. If he isn’t, he simply leaves.

After this, I’m not sure what happens. I’m pretty sure you then come home to await your trip to Hollywood, which is some few months later. I don’t know what they have you do in the time between auditions and Hollywood. I’m not sure if you go anywhere or meet anyone during that time or if you just wait.

Who knows how far Dean is going to get in this process. He has a lot of disadvantages. The first disadvantage being his work. They took away his week of leave on account of some soldiers returning from Iraq. The most they have been able to say is that they will try to get him Tuesday off. This means no Monday. So, Dean had better be seen and processed tomorrow or he’s done right from the start. The second obstacle is also, once again, his work. They could very well decide that he can’t go at all at the last minute. This will infuriate Dean since they have supported it thus far.

Dean is auditioning with the song, “Sunday Mornings” by Maroon 5. It is one of the two songs he is singing for his military idol competition, also on Tuesday, which could be very problematic. The other song he is singing that night is, “Possum Kingdom” by the Toadies. He has very little time to prepare for all of it. His show starts at 7:00, rehearsals at 5. By three in the morning, he will be parked outisde the arena awaiting the auditions. He will be exhausted.He can miss rehearsals, but he is very worried that judging is going to go longer than that and he will have to leave without being seen. It’s a tough call. Basically, it could come down to one sacrificing the other for no reason. If he misses military idol to stay and hope to be seen by the judges and then doesn’t get seen, he is out both. I know this is worrying him.

His second fear is this: Seattle is the last spot on the judges tour. They have already passed through a ton of people. It is also one of the biggest music cities in the world, birthing thousands of acts and even more vocal talents. Venue wise, it could be the hardest city to be auditioning in. I’m scared for him.

All of these things are telling us that Dean doesn’t stand a chance in hell. I am confident that if he is at least SEEN by the judges, he will get through. It is just getting that far that worries me. I suppose we will have to take it one step at a time and hope for the best. He is nervous and anxious and trying to do everything to prepare. But at the very least…. the paperwork is done.

By this time tomorrow, we will know more. Either I will have another very nervous husband awaiting his audition, or I will have a very heartbroken husband.

Good luck to you, baby….


A whole new Jenn-eration September 16, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 3:44 am

Tonight, I learned that Target does not sell to men. Even though they have a men’s clothing section, men’s underwear section, sporting goods, automotive and camping sections. In fact, they sell to women. One woman, really, and her name is Jennifer.

I find this jewel of knowledge when we pack the whole family into the van and head out to Target to check out their optical section (which is there for women!)because Dean needs new glasses. Target is about the 20th place we’ve been hunting for the perfect pair and, by golly, Dean found them. Yes. Even though he is a man. As we sit there doling out the demands of what features said glasses must have i.e. Transitions lenses, anti glare lenses, which frames…etc, etc to the man in charge, we get to talking. His name is Marcus and he is the manager of this particular Target Optical center. I think it was me, but maybe it was Dean… I don’t remember, but one of us asked the guy what was with all the pictures of the women all over the walls. We were curious because they were everywhere and it seemed to say that all these glasses were for women. He then tells us that Target only sells to women. I ask him how that is possible. I mean, I was in Target last night and all up in the men’s section buying Dean t shirts and it didn’t strike me as very girly. Then, I am explained in great detail…. the demographic.

Marcus explains it to me as it is explained to him during their business meetings:

Target is based on a demographic of women ranging in ages 25-45. They drive SUV’S and enjoy style but as they all have children, must demand a store that has affordable prices.

They call her Jennifer.

I ask him if he is serious and he laughs and tells me that, yes, in fact he is serious. During these meetings the top dogs will frequently say things such as, “Now, Jennifer would like to see more things in the home decor sections of the store.” and “Jennifer likes these kinds of eyewear.” For some reason this baffles me. It just seems really wierd that they have named this idea of theirs.

Naturally, I enquire as to whether or not there is perhaps, a Todd or a Brian. Maybe a Jason or a Steve. Regis?

Nope! Although Jennifer has a shitload of kids, she is single.

I truly don’t think I get this. I ask Marcus what color hair Jennifer has. He’s not sure. But he is sure that she is white and upper-middle class and drives an SUV. We decide she is probably a brunette and definitly shopping at Target because most of her paycheck goes into her gas guzzling SUV which we have decided is a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Jennifer has three children. And a labrador retriever.

I think this is so wierd. Dean has no issues shopping at Target. And by the way, there home decor is outrageous on their prices. They have a decent lawn center with grills and all that manly stuff. They sell pretty decent men’s clothing and, as a matter of fact, I have spent more time and money in the electronics and men’s clothing sections than I have ever spent in Health and Beauty or the women’s clothing section. I don’t actually think I have ever bought women’s clothes there before. What exactly makes Jennifer so damned special to the Target Corporation? I’m not sure, but I have decided to have a litte fun at their expense.

I am going to stand outside of Target and take a poll of all the women who enter the store and get an exact tally.

I want to see how many of them are actually named Jennifer.

I will do this while wearing a Target T shirt and sporting an official Target employee nametag that titles me as THE JENNIFER. I asked Marcus if he could get me one. He couldn’t. But he sure wished he could.

So, this, my blog… my tribute to Jennifers. I am almost certain that all of the ones I have shown throughout have probably never shopped at a Target.

They should have named their demographic “Oprah”.


Reality…. Welcome back! September 15, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — the108 @ 8:09 pm

I handled the whole Iraq thing for about five minutes.

Then, I did the stupid thing and actually thought about it. I have this ridiculous desire to come off all the time like I am holding it together. This is not going to be one of those posts. I’m going to freak out and cry and scream and be irrational. I’m going to stop worrying about what people will say when I rattle off all of my selfish thoughts about this and I will try to not care when people think I am a whiny, overly emotional spaz. Perhaps it didn’t sink in the other day when the news came. Perhaps, I am just a good enough actor that I fooled myself. Today, I am a wreck and I don’t care who knows it.

To backtrack… as most readers may know, the last few years of this marriage have been horrible. The military had taken a big toll on Dean and we were simply not doing real well. Two months ago, we decided to try another path and things have been amazing. I have my happy, wonderful husband back and life is wonderful. I have never been this happy in all of my days. We, Dean and I together, have worked to change our attitudes about our life and we have worked to make time to reconnect. We have let go of a lot of the stress and anger and bitterness that comes with the sacrifices you make when you have a family and with the choices you make for them. We have come full circle.

They are taking that from me.

I hate it! I hate all of it! I’m sorry Hawaiian Mark because I am now going back on my words and I hate, hate hate!!!, this and I know you don’t like this very strong word.But, why now??? Now that everything is great for us, why do they have to come in and screw it all up and take it all away??? Why do they have to do this to us right now? Why can’t they just let us be for a while?? I am FINALLY happy and where I want to be. Now, this.

A lot of people might say, “This is what you get. You knew the deal when you signed up.” It’s still hard! It hurts! I am scared to death. I’m sad as hell. And, now… it is going to loom and I know he is going so I can’t play dumb and pretend it’s not happening. Now, every week is going to pass and I am going to say, “we are one week closer.” Then, another week and then days and then he will be gone and the time will have flown past. It never goes by quickly when they are gone! People will say, “don’t stress. Just enjoy the time you have left before he leaves.” Oh yeah??? You try that! You try NOT counting down the days. You sit there and wonder, against your better attempts not to, if he is going to come home. It hurts so much. You sit all day while they are gone, scrubbing and moving and trying to keep your mind off of it, but every second you are wishing, waiting, hoping for the phone to ring. And then you go to bed that night and it hasn’t rang. Again… for the third week in a row…. the fourth…. And you keep the phone next to your head because maybe his only chance to call will be in the middle of the night, what with the time changes and all. But you stay there in bed all night, half asleep, half awake thinking every thirty seconds that the phone is ringing and he is on the other end. But he is not on the other end. There is no one there. Your phone has not rang and you have not slept. Instead, you get up and you start your day and you smile and joke with your children and when they ask about Daddy, you tell them that he will be home soon and you are lying but they believe you.

I loathe the idea of Dean dying in a war he doesn’t believe in. But it is not his fault. It is mine. I get to take credit if he dies and leaves three children to be devastated. This is my fault that he is doing this. Had I not pushed him, then there wouldn’t be a risk and he wouldn’t be going off for a year to fight in a war that he finds ludicrous. I will live with this every day of my life if something happens to him. I certainly know that he could come home just fine and alive and with all of his body parts intact.

But I am not some girl living on Ohio or Florida or Minnesota! I live on a military base. I live with these people who are going over there and NOT coming home. I do not get to ignore the news or scoff at what is happening over there. I don’t get to ignore it or think that it’s not so bad. I know exactly what is happening over there and I know EXACTLY how these men and women are coming home. I get to see it every day. The ones who come home to their spouses open arms come home and they are not the same. I have yet too see someone return from over there with the same smile, or the same light in their face as they had when they left. I certainly watched it happen to Dean. Now, he is coming back to me and they are going to take it away again!

I don’t expect people to be strong enough to handle this. We all do it… every military wife I know. We all pretend that we are the strong ones above everyone else. But we are not. We pretend we are used to it by now but we never get used to it! We are crying and missing them and fearing the worst and waiting, hoping, for the best. You will never get the best. You have to just be thrilled when they come home and try to be there for them when they come home a different person than the one you hugged goodbye. I don’t want to hug him goodbye again! I’ve done enough hugging! Why is this happening?

What if this is it? What if this is the time that Dean’s humvee is blown to pieces? What if it is his convoy that is ambushed? What if the child holding the rifle out there has it pointed at him this time? What if when I am sitting there waiting for my phone to ring, it does only it is not Dean on the other line and I can’t hear what they are saying but I can hear my soul being crushed and the wind coming out of me. What if that hug goodbye is the last one I will ever get?

Be strong, they say, for your children. Who will be strong for me? Be okay with the unknown, they tell us. If the worst happens, they say, you must go on because you have children and they need you. They will never understand, they have told me. Are you kidding?? They don’t require details! They don’t need a speech about what happened to Daddy! They hear, “Daddy is gone and he is never coming back.” and that is all they NEED to hear to change them forever, to destroy them! I will be told the details. I will get the call and the chaplain will come to visit ME. I am the one who will hear, “Ma’am, your husband died doing his duty and serving our great nation. You should be extremely proud of him. He is a hero.” But I know Dean. He does not want to die a hero or for serving our country. He does not want people to be proud of him for WAR.

I’m dwelling. It is expected. I have five months to continue bettering our lives so that in the next year, they could be shattered. I am bitter and angry. I am so hurt. I am ridiculously scared.

I’ve done that hug goodbye a million times. I remember the one before the last trip out there and how different it was from all the field exercises and safe deployments he’s been on. I remember it as though it was not three years ago, but this morning or right now as I can see it and feel it clear as if it was right now, present and happening. He left early in the morning. Two days earlier, we had decided on a divorce. The day before, we decided to wait until he got home and see if the time apart had helped. That night, I had obsessed about him being with Matthew. I insisted on him tucking him into bed. I cried while he did it. I stayed up too late with Dean because I didn’t want to sleep and then wake up and it was done. I finally slept because it hurt worse not to and the next morning while it was still dark out, he woke me up to tell me he was leaving.I got out of bed and I spent about ten minutes in the living room with him. I barely spoke because I didn’t remember how to open my mouth. Then, it was time for him to leave and he stood up and I stood up and he wrapped his arms around me and mine around him. I buried my face in his shoulder and burst into tears and he held me like that, whispering to me that he would come home and he loved me and to please forget what had happened days before. I begged him to make sure he came home, made him promise me. I told him that he was already a hero and didn’t have to die to prove it. I told him to not bother with bravery, but to be scared and sad if he needed. I told him to run away, to not stand and fight and he promised, but I was looking into his face and knew he would never do that. I knew that if Dean died, he would be dying for the brothers he had standing on either side of him.

He kissed me first on the lips and then on the forehead and then I was standing there watching him walk away, in full battle rattle and kevlar, turning and blowing me a kiss…. smiling at me, and then he was gone. That was the longest day.

While he was there, I was pregnant and spent most of my time with this guy named Justin who’s wife, Stephanie was out there with Dean. They were good friends of ours and we hung out a lot. I kept a journal and wrote in it every single day he was gone and I got bigger and the baby got closer to coming and Justin was there every day so that we could worry together.

Justin killed himself before Stephanie came back from Iraq. Dean had to tell me he was dead because I was wondering why he hadn’t called in a while or stopped by and when he said to me those words, “Kyra, Justin is dead.” I lost it. I lose it a lot, it seems.

They tell me not to worry. In my mind, I have every reason to.My life has been long and very full of hurt. Far more terrible things have happened than good things and it is almost to a point that I wonder: Am I ever going to get a break? Do I really need one more test of my strength? How much more do I have to overcome? When do I get to just live and NOT have to fight some battle or work past things or stay strong? History has shown in my life that if something bad can happen, it usually will. I am uneasy about Dean going back there.

I have added some photos to this post, of friends of mine who are currently out in Iraq, away from their wives and children, eating like shit, sleeping like shit, brave and scared at the same time. Please take some time to send some positive thoughts their way. I worry about them every day and have sent my best vibes to them. But soon, they will need more from the rest of the world. I will be focusing most of my positive energy on this guy: