John's been gone for nearly a month and a half, and for the most part, I feel like I am all over this deployment. This is not my first rodeo, as they say, so I have been cocky over all. I've walked around with my chin up and the general attitude of, "I got this." But today, I cried. It is the first time I have cried since tearing up at the airport when I dropped John off to head to the sandbox. It was a momentary lapse of, "I can't do this." What made me cry? A video of John flying around with the rest of the crew dropping soccer balls and stuffed toys to children below. There was a slow, melancholic song I am not familiar with playing along to the video. I guess it really sunk in where John is and how dismally depressing it really is out there. To say "he's in the sandbox" is very different from actually seeing him in the sandbox. There is a nice degree of separation and an overall inability to truly grasp what it means to be there. Seeing that video broke my ability to compartmentalize the mere fact from the emotional reality of the situation. I cried watching the video, felt my heart grow heavy in my chest and had an overwhelming yearning for him to come home. I know it's not his turn yet though, it's not time. As much as I want my beloved husband home, I understand it is his turn out there. We all rotate, someone's husband has to leave for someone else's to come home. I am grateful for the person that will replace mine so John can come home. But for now, John has to be out there so someone else does not. I love you and I miss you, John. As I say at the end of every message, email and letter I send to you, stay safe. That is all that I want from you. Just stay safe so when it is your turn, you can come home to us... the same way we sent you.