Sunday, November 7, 2010

The finality of mortality

Finality: The fact or impression of being an irreversible ending.
Mortality: The quality or state of being mortal.

In church this morning, the Chaplain asked those in the congregation who would soon be deploying with 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines (My husband's battalion) to come forward so that as a congregation we could pray for the safety of them and their comrades. As I sat in my pew, comfortable next to my husband, I was safe and content in my knowledge that this time my husband isn't going. I was elated that finally our time has come that I didn't have to beg and plead for time to pass slowly before he leaves and quickly once he was gone. And I was guilty, as I am fully aware that although my husband is grateful he is not going, a rather large piece of him wishes he was going because he feels like he is leaving his brothers to head into danger alone, and that does not sit well with him.

Looking around at the congregation, I was struck with the realization that every single person in the Chapel has felt the same as me. They have stressed, worried, probably cried over the unfairness that is deployment; and they have relaxed when others left as they realized they or their loved one was not counted amongst those leaving. I felt companionship to those wives sitting in the pews around me, and understanding for those Marines and Sailors who were only in those pews temporarily. I realized that some of the people around me might not come back from their next deployment. That some of the people sitting around me previously didn't come back. It was a grasping of my own and my loved ones mortality for me. These people were so close, yet so far.

And the closest, sitting directly in front of me, a young Navy couple with 3 small children and 1 more on the way. As Dad held the two little girls, one in each arm, little brother stood tall and strong at his side. No more than 5 he was the spitting image of Dad's structure and calm, leading by example for his two little sisters. And as Mom dug through the baby bag for a juice I was unfortunately graced with an image of Dad overseas. I realized he, along with all our other Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Coasties, etc. live in a world of hand grenades while dreaming of sippy cups.

It was the finality of the moment for me. The this is really what this life is like, part. It's not all glamorous Dress Blues and formal dresses. It's much more than that. It's learning to live in the here and now while praying for a future that may never come. It was praising the Lord in that moment knowing we could be seeing Him face to face the next.

It had nothing to do with the glory of being a military wife, and everything to do with the sorrow of it.

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