They Happen Rarely


Today has been one of those days.

They happen rarely.

Most days are normal, disconnected even. Sometimes I wonder if it’s because of something I’ve done, if I’m not perceptive enough or too cold-hearted. But perhaps the infrequency is a blessing in itself, making it sweet sorrow when it does happen.

Like today.

It started with a feeling when I awoke. For a few blissful moments, in that place between wakefulness and sleep, I felt like I was back home. The blankets were just right, the pillow at my back a perfectly-sized snuggle illusion. The house was cold, much colder than it’s ever been since I left South Dakota, and had that heater-just-came-on homey smell. If I could have stayed in that moment, that everything-is-back moment, I would have. But it was fleeting.

Then came the box. I found it as I was putting away the last of the Christmas decorations. A small clear Sterilite-style storage container, apparently taken out of the big black bins I received from Afghanistan but quickly stashed away again. Among Leathermans and patches and other things, I saw them. The cards, letters, pictures and trinkets excitedly received in the mail and placed upon walls and shelves of a plywood camp in the desert. Individually wrapped in Ziplocs, each painstakingly accounted for and sent back to sad hands. I put them, and the box, back, unopened yet again.

But the third thing. Oh, the third thing. It is still making my heart skip a beat. It brought tears to my eyes instantly, and in public. It was a normal day in Little Man’s taekwondo class, sitting in a cold metal folding chair next to The Hub’s dad just like I do every Tuesday. Only this day, the words out of his mouth did something big to my heart. “I found a video of your wedding.” A video The Hubs nor I never knew existed, a video he doesn’t remember taking. A complete video, still in good condition, from start to finish. Beautiful, precious footage of that magical day that I had resigned myself to never bearing witness to again.

At this point I am speechless.

Until I get to the parking lot.

And see that I am parked next to a car with an EOD sticker on it.

We are 3 hours from the nearest base in a city with no considerable daily military population, certainly not EOD. Yet, here was his badge. On a silver Hyundai Elantra, the exact same color, make, and model of our car, the one we purchased as a newlywed couple and eventually drove our child home from the hospital in.


So here I sit, overwhelmed from this day. A day full of ‘winks’, of I’m here‘s and thaw-your-heart‘s.

And of course, right this very second, as I am typing the last few words of this post, If I Die Young just came on Pandora.

Today has been one of those days.

They happen rarely.

[…] to today’s post — Tuesday Tunes is back! I’m a day late, since I had to share my wink-filled day yesterday. Haven’t seen my tune posts before? Check this one out, or this […]

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