Bumper Sticker: "Half My Heart is in Iraq"

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Eleven in the morning. Four hour drive.

Months of preparation and hours of enthusiasm. I'd done my hair in curls, prepped my nails, mind and body for the return of my husband. I stared at myself in the mirror and took a deep breath. Put on my heels and walked out the door. Wind blew my scarf from my coat, and leaves shuffled past my feet on the cold concrete driveway. I was on my way to picking up my soldier from the war.

I'd remembered seeing him only through the eyes of a computer screen, a smile after battle and stern brow to show strength and send it back home. Fear of imperfection on my part rushed through me on the drive over. I'd constantly found myself driving 85 miles per hour and turning up the radio to tune down my happy excitement and obnoxious worry. I had to focus on the road. Miles and miles of black pavement and white monotonous flashing lines guided me to my destiny of his return.

Phone calls: "The flight time has changed." Rushing. Excitement. Pressure. Love. Intensity. Passion. Fear. Lack of a straight path in my stream of consciousness frustrated me. My mind was everywhere.

Arrival. Park. Long walk to the bus. Even though the bus wasn't 20 feet away, it felt like the longest walk I'd ever made. Hurry up and wait. Then... the hanger.

Lip gloss.

Finally, inside the hanger. It was so cold that day, it was supposed to warm up, but that never happens when you plan months in advance. It was cold. It didn't matter. Hurry up and wait. Arrival. Formation. Tears. Joy. Hug. Kiss.

Hubby was home. Finally.

Change. Happy change. Perfection. Even in it's slight imperfections in time and forgetting to bring the taxes, it was perfect.

I took the bumper sticker off, myself, this time. Fuck that damn thing. Half my heart is back. It's right here with me. Where he belongs.

Created: Apr 17, 2012

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