I placed my hand on his, snapped a quick photo, and tears fell from my cheeks.  Quickly I brushed away the tears and looked Ryan in the eyes, peered out the window at the clouds below, and back into his eyes.  All choked up, I told Ryan we were on our way… We are together.  Relief washed over me.

Its been a long road to this place in time.  So much heartache, so much disappointment.  We almost given up hope, given up on life, and given up on eachother.  Instead however we were sitting side by side, preparing to embark on a journey far from being defined.  We know little about what the days, weeks and months ahead will look like, but we know one thing… we are together.  

After a several months long separation, Ryan and I renewed our vows under the maple tree in our back yard, on July 5, 2015.  Our vows to eachother were simple.  Unlike the day we were married, we knew what it was going to take to keep the vows that we were making to one another.  We had remained faithful to one another, yes.  But aside from that we had broken all of our vows.  We had no clue what it was going to require from us to love one another in sickness, to love eachother in the worst, to be true to oneanother.  But we learned.  Marriage is never easy, but it is made all the more difficult by never ending weeks of separation, and the effects of a war that come home with the dusty ruck sacks.  Like the fine dust of the desserts, war finds its way into every crevice of life.  Its remnants are hard to get rid of.  

We’ve worked hard over the past two years.  I have learned so much about loving my husband.  I’ve learned to hear him say I love you in his own unique ways.  I’ve learned to trust him, and he’s learned to trust me.  We’ve learned how the simple words, “thank you” are some times more powerful than the words “I love you”.  And all of this effort is paying off, as daily we see what was once dead, emerging into inexplicable beauty.  

And into this next chapter we head, hand in hand, vowing to one another and to our children, that we are going far not fast. 

“If you want to go fast, travel alone; if you want to go far, travel together.” ~ African Proverb

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