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He Left a Shirt on the Floor When He Left


He left a shirt on the floor when he left.

I know to most people, and even myself at some point or another, a shirt on the floor is an eye roll and just another thing to pick up off the floor.


But this time, I picked up the shirt and cried.


You see, this shirt he left on the floor signified so much more than just a shirt on the floor. It signified an extended amount of time he was going to be gone and that shirt, that last little bit of him leaving his stuff all over our room, was the last thing I picked up when it all became real.

Military life is not for the faint at heart.


It’s hard. It’s sad. It’s scary. It involves so many tears.


I don’t know the amount of minutes I’ve talked to him via FaceTime, or the amount of text messages I’ve sent him since he left months ago, but I guarantee it’s in the thousands.


This distance is hard.


The loneliness is real.


The amount of stress and pressure I feel as his wife and our children’s mother is sometimes all too overwhelming and stressful to bare.


The thing I’ve learned with things like this, with these long distances in between seeing the person you love again, is that it doesn’t ever get easier.


It actually gets harder.


Throw a few kids in the mix and life is automatically harder without the person you need to be by your side through it all. The person that supports you and loves you, and is supposed to be there through it all.

It’s hard feeling like you’re left behind.

It’s hard to feel apart of a place, a part of a community, a part of your same friend group, when the person who usually holds it all together isn’t here to hold it all together for you.

As a military spouse things get thrown on your shoulders during these times, and you have to handle it with a smile or it will completely tear you down without you realizing it.

These times of distance teach you that you really are capable of pretty much whatever you set your mind to and your heart on.

Is it hard? Yes.


Will you cry? Yes, a lot.

Will you feel inadequate to do this by yourself? Probably.


But you want to know what I know? I know that at the end of this distance, you get him back. It may be 6 months from now or a year from now.


He may come back at an unexpected time to surprise you or something may happen to extend the time away. No matter what though, you have to always believe, by the grace of God, you get him back.


He left his shirt on the floor when he left.


Shirts on the ground add to a never ending mess I have to constantly clean up. But this shirt, this one time, I folded it back up and put it in the drawer. I held on to it when I needed to be close to him.


After all, even months later it still smelled like him.


That shirt on the ground that I didn’t huff and puff about picking up and putting away was the life line I didn’t know I needed back to him.


He doesn’t know it either, but maybe someday I’ll tell him about it, and how that shirt on the ground saved me while he was away more than he would ever know.



**I wrote this months ago when my husband was overseas for a short tour. He has since returned home, but I’m hoping these words can help another military spouse in the same situation I was in not that long ago.***


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