The love between my husband and I developed quickly. Even though I knew from our first (remembered) kiss that he was someone very special, it took me a while to say the words. I say a while... A month at most, which is a while after the initial feeling of giddiness and butterflies, and the world stopping around you!
I remember the night I said it. It was our first weekend apart since meeting. He had stupid barrack guard! The thought of a weekend without him hit me like a thousand knives. I did not want to be sleeping in my bed alone on a Saturday night, not when our weekends were sacred. So I decided to join my family on a night out down the pub. It was karaoke, a favourite of mine (I was to learn).
After a few pints, I was a classy girl back then. A gay friend Bryn, put us down to see a duet. Lionel and Diana's Endless Love. I was texting my fella all night and told him I had to sing. He told me I was to ring him and leave my phone on the table so he could listen. I was extremely nervous, as the last time I had sung in public I was in college studying Performing Arts, and I was upset during the whole thing as my dad did not look up at me once while I sang. I was later told it was because he was crying.
So, the DJ announced it was my time. I rang my man and left my phone. Bryn and I had a blast, it was a rush and I loved it. From then on I wasn't only my man's "Little Scrumpet", I was also his "Fallen Star".
After a few more drinks, I rang him. I don't remember how or in what context I said it but the words "I love you" were said. And the feeling of joy and happiness is remembered as the words were repeated back to me!
The next morning when we spoke on the phone nothing was mentioned about the previous nights announcement. I was a bit gutted. So I said "I do remember what I said last night". I remember hearing the relief in his voice as it was realised that I hadn't said it as a drunken statement. I suppose from then it was official, love was in the air.
The run up to Christmas was manic that year. I had a new man to buy for and an over excited four year old. The Christmas spirit was alive.
I had no idea what my man was buying me, but I had been given a clue as to what my most special gift was - 'It is yours to keep forever, you may never touch it or hold it, but at times you will be able to look at it'. What could it be? I am useless at guessing, so I had to just wait.
I was so excited, our first Christmas together. When Christmas came, we stayed at my mothers on the Christmas Eve. We watched my son open his mountain of presents, then drove home alone to open our gifts to each other together. I was like a child again. We opened our gifts one by one, taking it in turns. He handed me a DVD sized gift, however it was thicker so I knew it couldn't be a DVD. I opened the wrapping carefully, I was so excited that I actually wanted to just rip it to shreds, but I had to remain ladylike. And there it was. Around a silver metal box was a black slip with a star on it. He had bought me a star, named it after me. He said that he bought it for me as I was his star, but also because he was due to deploy that coming April, and now wherever we are, we both know that we are under the same sky looking at the same stars. What a beautiful gift! Amongst my many gifts was also something I will treasure, a bracelet with the words 'Think a wonderful thought'. He told me that he bought me this so that when he is away I can look at it as a prompt to remember the good times. Whilst the tears were rolling, it did not make it stop, but it did make ne smile underneath them.
The new year was upon us now, celebrated with champagne and strawberries. This year did not only present exciting things, it was also the year of situations I never thought I'd find myself in, and never belief myself strong enough to get through them!
It was the beginning of February, and we had been invited up to camp for families day, a day for us to learn more about what our men would be doing whilst in Afghanistan. For my four year old son it was exciting, it was tanks, guns and helicopters. My son then believed that camp was Afghanistan, his stepdad was in no real danger he had a room and a bed. It's merely the goodies against the baddies, a cartoon. To me it was all tanks, guns and helicopters, which equalled war, a very serious one too. The day was held for us to understand more, I did not understand at all. It was all frightening. I felt nauseous, and could not eat. Was this the effects of being presented with material for war? However, watching my man with a gun was rather sexy, infact VERY sexy!
It was now Friday the 13th. A bad omen for some, however not for us. I had, for the second time in my life, left a stick on the floor of my bathroom and run. This time it was because he wanted to see first. I sat on the bed anxious. He strolled into the bedroom, head shaking, test in hand. He looked up at me, his eyes do not lie. He grinned, bounced towards me, jumped onto the bed! We were pregnant! We giggled and were very excited. Wow. One thing scared me, upon hearing my due date from the midwife, neither of us knew if he would be home for the birth. This is one thing we would have to pray for.
I was due October 17th, a week before my sons birthday.
I spoke to my midwife and they brought my first scan forward a week to ensure that my boyfriend would be there for it. He was due to deploy a week or so after my scan was booked in.
I was already showing, and only suffering slightly with morning sickness. As this was my man's first, he wasn't sure what to expect, so I was waited on hand and foot whilst he was home. It was lovely.
Despite the happy pregnancy hormone floating around my body, deployment lurked. I cried, a possible effect of pregnancy? Hardly, I cried before I was pregnant. 6 months sounded like such a long time. However the months leading up to his deployment date sounded like minutes. This time was precious.
We went for our scan. There 'it' was. Our little baby. It's heart flickering on the screen. I could have cried, but I held back. My man was so happy that he was able to be there, you could see the happiness in his face. His baby. The radiographer printed off extra pictures of our little "chickabean" for my man to take to Afghanistan with him. We took the images and had them laminated. He placed them carefully in his notebook. They would keep his morale high, the thought that he was coming home to his baby, enough to keep anyone alive.
After seeing our baby, it became real. I was pregnant and within weeks my man was deploying to war. All I could do was pray, and then pray harder.