December 7, 2011

The Rescue

I was driving along a country road on a gray winter's day. The wind was biting, and I felt the old pick up start to drift towards the side of the road and into the cornfield harvested months before. I began pulling at the steering wheel harder and harder, throwing the weight of my body into the turns, but no matter what I did, the truck accelerated and veered closer to the vast fields, farmhouses, and tractors. I felt my mouth form into a scream, but it sound so muffled, and I knew no one could hear me.

And then, I felt warm arms wrap around me. Sky whispered, "Are you okay?" I said yes before realizing I was in a pitch black bedroom underneath soft sheets, and not reeling towards doom. I let out a breath and tried to focus on the shape of the ceiling fan as my heartbeat slowed. Sky was next to me. I was safe.

It's the kind of rescue I didn't think possible a year ago. In some ways it seems like more than a year, and in other ways, less, but last Christmas Sky and I were several states away from each other, and the Army wasn't to blame. We held tiny fragments of our year-old marriage in our hands. I don't think either of us really thought we would be able to put them back together into anything, let alone anything strong or of beauty. Yet, here we are a year later, making up for last Christmas by starting new traditions we couldn't share together before. It's our first Christmas sitting in the glow of a Christmas tree, and we smiled as we realized it.

Things are hard. It's what Courtney from Vintch called "the hamburger years", and sometimes, it's closer to rice and beans. Unceremoniously, we received some news from the Army this week that will likely dash all the hope we had of becoming financially stable. Instead, it seems all Sky's money earned will be going towards a debt he didn't know he had. And while the initial moments including calling my mother in tears, we are learning to accept it. After work that night, Sky and I sat in the quiet living room and talked about the possibilities, the strategies, and the ways we could make it work. We seem to have these talks so often, and it's wearying to both of us. I can't pretend it's easy.

Through it all, though- through so much more than I ever dreamed of when I said "I do"- we are here. Some days are happy, and some days we have to fight against the next thing in our paths in this unpredictable, hard knock life. There are plenty of mornings that my first waking thoughts are worries over the day before, but I have to keep reminding myself that we have food, we have shelter and warmth, and most of all, we have each other. Not in the cheesy way that wraps up a movie neatly, but in the way that we almost didn't have each other. But we do. And Millie has two parents, both of whom would do anything in the world for her. Sky still has his wife, and I still have my husband. We've fought for it, and we've earned it.

And when we have nothing else, we can grasp each other's hands and know that we are the richest.

13 kind comments from you:

Rachel said...

praying for you, sweetheart. this has to be so hard. we struggle as wives as we hold the hands of our men and bear them up through it all.

my Love is struggling with our own money situations right now, too, things that might even make our lives take a completely different direction than we want. but we have each other, Jon and i. and we're the richest.

Mrs.B said...

Absolutely beautiful. You have such a way with words!

I'm happy that things have turned around and you two are so in love.

Taylor said...

Erika let me know if you'd be interested in doing some freelance writing and I'll send the link. It isn't a ton of income but- it paid for my new car tires and could help a bit. We're in the same boat as far as everything extra going to pay off debt.

Brianna said...

This has me a little teary eyed. You are certainly so blessed to have the love you two hold dear in your hearts for one another. It is truly amazing. That no matter how horrible something can get, all you need is love.

Sue said...

That's beautiful Erika. I'm so happy for you that you've been able to put together the pieces and be happy together. You are an amazing & strong person & seriously one of my heroes.

Jessica Lynn said...

What a well-written post. I just loved it. I hope you guys find a way through your situation. It sounds like you have a great foundation in each other, which is the best place to start.

Kaylee said...

I like this - not that you are in the best situation necessarily, because sometimes life can be hard and confusing and unpredictable (I know that full well...), but because you and Sky are working together, through it. And that makes me smile. It does indeed make you the richest. I'll continue praying for your family as you figure things out.

Brittany Sommer said...

This seriously brought tears to my eyes and gave me goosebumps! So happy for you guys! This is mine and Ryans first Christmas together as well as he was deployed last year and we became a couple the year before the day after Christmas lol. The last line really got me, btw. Just beautiful <3

vintch said...

oh girl. just catching up on here and saw this. praying for you and your sweet, precious family. unexpected curve balls are so hard, and especially around the holidays. but your perspective is beautiful and refreshing. you guys are the absolute richest, in so much more than money, and you'll get through this together. xoxo

Melissa Jaine said...

Beautiful words, sweetheart. Lots of love to you. All three of you.

gina said...

thank you for sharing this, I can be praying for you all. I know how tough hard times can be, you are such a eloquent writer, I agree with Vintch.

Your an incredible incredible wife and mother.

beka said...

oh my gosh.
so deep and real and rich.

i can't help but love how you wrote this:
"...but last Christmas Sky and I were several states away from each other, and the Army wasn't to blame. We held tiny fragments of our year-old marriage in our hands. [I don't think either of us really thought we would be able to put them back together into anything, let alone anything strong or of beauty.]"

JennyTheBeatBoxer said...

The best piece of advice I have ever received [besides don't scream on the back of the 4-wheeler while driving through a mud puddle] is: if you have to choose between making a payment on your house or your car, pay for your car. Because you can live in your car but you can't drive your house. Not that you guys are there..but you know. :)

The Lord will provide! :)

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