Yesterday was perfection, cold, but perfect! It's been really rainy here- overcast, cold... "I don't wanna", weather. Valerie is in town from Norfolk,VA where she's been living the past 4 years or so. Her husband, Ryan, is in the Navy (Thank you Ryan for your service!!) He's on his 3rd deployment since joining 4 years ago (hence why I waited to post, I just wanted to be safe&sure) and Valerie is due with their first born in March, Carter.
We were talking deployment, VA and all things baby when I said, assuming there would be no problem, "so, is Ryan going to make it home for his birth?", talking about their son of course, her response surprised me, "actually, we aren't really sure he is." Flash back to my friend Deanna who gave birth while her husband had been out of the state and was not able to be back in time for their first baby to be born, Penelope. I remember watching her grow and him sign up for the service. I wondered how she would be...Her relationship reminded me so much of mine and Dave's, though we only knew each other a very short period of time before getting pregnant with Piper. Dave had his entire life planned out... He would go to school,get his pilot license and then join the army. He wanted to be a warrant officer/black hawk pilot. He is so strategic... He had it ALL planned out. When I became pregnant with P - I did not, not want Dave to follow thru with his dreams, but I knew better than to say I would be ok going with him... I'm not that kind of woman, I'm not that strong.
I just couldn't imagine, my heart just breaks. And not in a pitiful kind of way, but in awe of your strength...even on your weak days, strength. I find myself wanting to get excited in case Ryan can make it home for Carters brith, but then I have to remember this isn't a reality T.V show.. This IS reality, that SO many have lived are living... Can you imagine waiting on a letter back in the 40's? I mean it wasn't that long ago there was only a phone call or mail... Strength.
Valerie, so beautiful and strong - I loved photographing her yesterday. She radiates confidence and has that glow of pregnancy that I loved and sometimes miss, but will never know again (TOTES ok, people, I'll get a puppy if any "fever" hits me :-P). Her and Ryan talk almost daily, but for days they might not get a chance to even text. Ryan recorded a book for Carter so he could hear his voice and become familiar. Now his son can hear his daddy! Valerie brought this book to the shoot yesterday and I thought it was the sweetest thing I had ever heard of! We have to be thankful for technology in so many areas.
Sorry for the lengthiness of this post... But it's something that is heavy on my heart. When you pray I hope you pray for our men and women serving, but I hope that you also pray for their families back at home. I'm so proud of you Valerie - You're going to do great! I wish Ryan the best of luck and I hope so terribly bad he will make it home in time for Carter's arrival. We are all hoping for this <3
Man, see... the resentment... It would be such a problem for me and I'm sure it is for most couples ESP in situations like this. How do you over come this?! It's a DNA y'all... It can not be taught. I am so proud of all of these strong women and I probably know more than I realize....
Dear mommas, I salute you.