Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Can Tell a Difference!

Okay, this was intended to be a before and after comparison of John. I was a little closer on the "before" shot that I was on the "after", and the two pictures were taken with a different camera, but you get the idea! I put them up in the wrong order, and the bottom pic is the "before" shot!

Monday, September 24, 2007

The United States of ....Apples???

So I am talking to my son, and somehow the subject of the USA came up. He elaborated by saying that the US portion is for United and States. I replied by saying, "Evan what does the A stand for?" Keep in mind that he is in kindergarten and each letter of the alphabet is associated with a very familiar word. His reply? "Uhhhh.....Apples!" I explained to him that the A stands for America, that this is why we are called Americans. He told me "Nuh-Unh, Mommy, everyone knows that A is for Apples!" So there you have it! Our great nation has been renamed by my six year old!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Who Knew Kid Music Could Cut So Close?

I have never been very big on teen-bubblegum-pop-crap music. Not big on country either. But I have been listening to some things I would not normally give a second glance lately, and when I stopped and listened to this song, I thought it would apply nicely to the theme of my little blurbs.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

20 Questions With No Answers

Are we ever certain of the choices we make, or those our loved ones make, for that matter? I am so unsure what is going to happen to my family right now.I am worried for all of us: Me, John, Evan.So here you have it. My list of questions right now, some of which do not have answers. My open wondering and pondering. My doubts, plainly put, for all to see.
Will my husband, the love of my life, the father of my son, my best friend be okay?
Will he be safe?
Will he be in Iraq or Afghanistan, or will this whole process take so long that he may be in Korea?
Is he doing this for the right reasons?
If anything happens to him, will I be able to live with the fact that I did not stop him?
How will I cope with him being absent for months or even a year at a time?
Better yet, will I be able to cope at all, let alone succeed in medical school when my husband is halfway around the world?
Exactly how long will I have to go without hearing even the sound of his voice?
How long, while deployed, will his scent linger on the pillow on which he sleeps?
Will I be able to do something as simple as pulling something to wear out of the closet without seeing his clothes and breaking down?
Will my son, a complete Daddy's Boy, be able to adapt to all of this?
If something were to happen to him, would Evan know how truly wonderful his father is?
Will I be all alone on a military base, with no one to turn to other than a young child with whom I cannot discuss anything?
Will letters be enough?
How will he remember how much we love him if we can't tell him or show it everyday?
How many birthdays, christmases, anniversaries, thankgsgivings will he miss?
How much time do I have left with John before he leaves?
After he leaves, how long do I have to wait for his return?
How can he be so happy about leaving us?
Will we make it through this?

Thursday, September 20, 2007


The powers that be in the Navy have given John 2 targets to shoot for when losing weight. He hit the first target over a week ago. This one was the best-case scenario for John. The second target? He only has to lose 0.5 inches off of his waist or gain 0.5 inches on his neck to make it.

If he is meeting the strictest guideline, there is no way he is not going to make it.

I am starting to panic now. I mean really panic.

He meets the recruiter next Friday. It will go either one of two ways. He wants a postion at Corps School, so it may take a while to get him in, as these openings fill up very quickly. But the fact that he does not have to go through boot camp means that he will be available to leave when the first slot opens, even if it is at the last minute. He will have a 2 week "refresher", whatever that is.

I guess I am trying to say that these posts are about to get a whole lot more depressing. The wheels are turning and I can't stop them now. Navy, here we come!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


John started complaining about his knee hurting a couple of weeks ago. He had kneeled down on our son's bedroom floor to pick up some toys and took a Hot Wheel right in the patella with all of his weight. I figured it was just bruised. He kept running 3 miles a day, and I would make him ice it when he got finished. After two weeks of this, with no improvement, he saw a doctor. It turned out that the reason it wasn't healing is that he has been running on the edge of a road that is uneven. What has caused the pain has been the uneven surface causing his knee to take the impact in a way that is not normal, and the bones that join at the knee have been knocking against each other. Ouch! Other than that, all systems are go! Everything else is perfect, and he has lost 3 more pounds since Sunday! Go, Baby, Go!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


John started his journey to reenlistment almost a month ago. We have been down this route before. I will never forget the sound my heart makes as it drops from my chest after that one night. I was at home with a very small baby. John was working second shift, and thus was not home. The television was constantly tuned to CNN at that point, as the War in Iraq had just started. The telephone rings, just as I am about to get little Evan to sleep, which was no small feat at the time. The Conversation went like this:

Me: Hello

Caller: Hello, Ma'am, may I speak with Cpl. J.R. Ferguson?

Me: I'm sorry, he is not home at the moment. May I take a message? (I was sensing something strange about the call.)

Caller: No Ma'am. Can you tell me when he will be home?

Me: Around midnight....May I ask who this is?

Caller: This is Captain BlahBlahBlah from the Dept. of Defense. I am sorry I cannot discuss this information with anyone other than J.R. Ferguson

I hung up the phone and thought for a brief second that seemed to last for hours! Were they calling John up to serve? I knew that his Inactive Reserve obligation should have been up. We were NOT in a draft. What in the Hell was this all about? I started the freak out process, of which only I am fully capable. Like all Americans, I had been keeping up with what was going on in the world. I watched those towers fall on television, in horror. This horror was compounded by the fact that it occured exactly one week from the time we had brought our newborn son home from the hospital. His birth will always be associated with that day in American History. In the box of mementos that I have kept for him is the newspaper from the day, with the headline reading "TERROR". What a time to come into the world!

So fast forward a little bit, and you have me with my young son, panicking over why someone from the DoD is calling my husband at 2100 at night. My head started swimming with thoughts. The first one was "What am I gonna do without John by myself with a small baby?" I called John's dad and told him the details on the call. He had no idea what to do. When John got home from work later that night, and I reported the call, he just shrugged. SHRUGGED! As in "No big deal!"

After many, many telephone conversations, it turned out to be someone looking for John to reenlist. But we also found out that he was listed as IRR for over a year longer than he should have been. So he goes to reenlist. "Hey, why not?" he says. They were offering him quite the deal, it would seem. No boot camp, no loss of rank, a hefty bonus. He was not scared at all. If he was, he has the best control of anyone I have ever met, because it never showed. The old USMC uniforms were taken out of the closet and inventoried. He started a diet and PT regimen to get back in shape. Then, as quick as it came into my life, it disappeared. He had gained too much weight since his discharge. It was not meant to be.

So here we are, several years later. A part of me wants to say that this will be the same....that he will change his mind at the last minute, and I will keep my husband here with me. But inside, I know that this is different from that day years ago. He has gotten back into shape. He is speaking of our future in phrases that include the U.S. Navy. He is preparing me for life on a military base, and speculating on which base he would like to be stationed. He has informed both of his parents, and has had a "talk" with Evan about Daddy not being here one day soon. The talk, suddenly one day, changed from "IF I go into the Navy..." to "WHEN I go into the Navy..."

The part of me that wanted to remain in denial, believing he would back out, has been thrust into the reality that this is really going down. The women for whom I cry on television because they are living without their husbands......that will be me. It is so surreal. I never intended on being a martyr. I just want my little American family, enough money to pay the bills, and a home that is adequate. I never pictured I would be the wife of a man in combat. I thought the only combat that would impact my life was the rough play between father and son as I look on from the kitchen window, dinner cooking in the oven.

I truly think reality is starting to catch up with me. Funny thing is, I would have been happy to remain in ignorant bliss. I do not like the reality that is dawning.

I have never held a gun in my hands, felt the weight of the cold metal and warm wood. John has, many times over. I do not know if I could hit the broad side of a barn with a bullett from very close range. John has been awarded the "Rifle Expert" badge 3 times over. I don't know if the recoil of a rifle would have enough kick to knock me to the ground. John can take recoil on his shoulder like a rock, so that you cannot tell there even was recoil. I have to have faith that the United States Marine Corps trained him well enough that it is still with him today . That he has not forgotten. That he will be okay. I have to come to terms with the fact that this is who I married, my son's father. He is, and always will be a US Marine. While the activity of daily life has masked it, it has always been in him. Just like that night years ago, this has always been a silent part of our marriage. I spoke of his military career, but I never realized it will still there, just lurking under the surface. I think it was when John watched the country that he loves come under attack, when he heard the first account of a Marine's death Over There that brought it all rushing to the surface. Now I see that this has always been a part of the man I love so very much. I now fully understand the "Once a Marine, Always a Marine" mentality. Where does this leave me? I think the translation of "Semper Fidelis" applies to this situation as well. As this man's wife.....Always Faithful.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Making the World Safe for my Six-Year-Old

I married a Marine! I should not have this duty. My son should have some genetic disposition for toughness. This is a prime piece of evidence for the "nature vs. nurture" debate scientists have argued about forever!

Little Evan has taken his toy tanks and trucks outside on the front porch. I am in the living room, perched on the sofa doing some advanced physiology (yay, fun). I have the blinds opened and the windows opened so he can pop his little head up and let me know he is okay. I can hear him playing with the little green soldiers that have been around for what seems like centuries.

Then I hear it. Screams. Bloodcurling screams that would give any woman in a B-rate horror flick a pretty good run for her money. The front door flies open, and the little guy comes running in the front door, arms flailing at the same time as I am slipping on shoes to run and get to my baby. I am sure he is hurt. I almost got knocked down by the flying front door as it swings wide open. Instead, my son is intact. I see no blood, no deformed limbs to indicate broken bones.

"Mommy! Mommy! Daddy's not here and I need him! What are we gonna do? There is a big ol' spider and it is a Daddy Long -Legger, I guaruntee it!"

Yes, he calls them Daddy Long-Leggers. I stifle my giggles and go out on the front porch to conquer the daddy long-legger. I find the offending creature and stomp it with my toes. Evan observes like he is amazed that his Mommy is so brave as to take on the harmless arachnid. The world is safe again for his playtime.

This made me think of two things. Number one, what is he going to do when John is not here? I will have to fill that void. Daddy long-leggers are one thing, but what if it were something scarier or hairier? I ain't doing it. We will both run shreiking to the neighbors' house, I guess. Number two: this is the son of a US Marine Scout/Sniper. Did my son not inherit anything from his father, aside from those eyes that remind me of melted chocolate? This just goes to show that Marines are made, they are not born!

Dog Bowls and Napkins?

So we were online looking at the uniforms of various branches of the Armed Forces....John is spoiled after wearing the coveted "Dress Blues" of his beloved Corps. Is there a better-looking, more dashing uniform in the realm of military life anywhere in the world? I highly doubt it!

So we get to the picture of the Navy and he exclaimed, "Look, they have Dogbowls on their heads and napkins pinned on the back of their necks!" Don't get us wrong....The uniform of any of the US Armed Forces is to be revered because it represents the United States. He will wear the Navy uniform with as much pride as he did those of the Corps. I just found his statement amusing...That and the fact that he will look like Cracker Jack! We have to get him the little dog to go along with the uniform!

I am saying this all tongue-in-cheek. I am sure he will be dashing and beautiful as a U.S. Sailor! I cannot wait to see it.

Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf....

I must say this. What is up with the military and acronyms and abbreviations? I feel so inept! Everything is summed up by what appears to be a series of random letters, and it makes it hard for a girl to figure things out. How do you figure it all out? I have been doing my "homework" now for months, just for myself, and now I am trying to learn all that I can about what my man is getting into. So far, I know that he will go through ABCD followed by EFG, then HIJ to become a KLMNOP! Some make sense: I know that Cpl= Corporal, that HM= Hospitalman. I've figured out a lot of this by some really good people on but there is a world that is still so foreign to me! Hey Military Powers that Be! Can you make a dictionary for those of us that have no clue? You can call it "The Primer for Stupid Wives".

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Incredible Shrinking Husband

A day in his life: Breakfast= 1 apple, Lunch= tuna, Dinner= a salad, small piece of baked, boneless, skinless chicken breast.

PT.....More PT. Measure.

Civilian life and my homemade lasagna have made him soft and squishy in areas that he does NOT think are cute. A month ago, our good ol' Uncle Sam told him that he must lose weight to join the ranks. So he started this regimen. And he kept it up. He has, since the start of it all, lost thirty pounds and 6 inches off of his waist. And he continues to shrink. He now meets the body composition guidelines to re-up, but he continues to work at it, to get into the best shape that he can because he will not be going through boot camp. The Navy is recognizing his USMC boot camp. After all, if you can survive Marine Corps boot camp, is there a boot camp out there that you cannot breeze through?

I am so proud of him....his devotion and discipline. And let's face it: Damn! My husband looks good.

The picture to the right is an old picture of him. Just wait until I post the "After" shot!

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I have never done this in my life, but for some reason I felt completely compelled to do so. I was online, searching through countless sites that would give me a way to send care packages to the troops overseas. I don't know why, but I am sure that there are some who do not receive anything. Maybe he or she doesn't have a family to speak of, or maybe his or her family is not able to send anything. Whatever the reason, I want to help by showing my support. So here goes! I start with . No dice. There is something wrong and you can't send care packeages through them. So I searched for the Military Channel, and they had some neat links where you can leave little messages to the troops to show your support. Okay, so I spent a little bit of time doing this, then perusing the posts left by service men and women in return. Somehow, after surfing for an hour, I ended up on a site that is based in Ohio, that matches deployed Marines with pen pals here at home. I submitted my email address and request. Later that day, I received a message from the administrator confirming that I had indeed done this intentionally. The next thing I know, I have the addresses of two Lance Corporals, one deployed to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. So I wrote the letters. And I posted them. But what do you say to a young Marine in combat while you are in a cushy little coccoon, safe from the world? Well, I made small talk. But I also pictured John. John now and John when he was a 19 year old Marine serving his country, and what he would like to hear about, what he would miss from home. But most of all, I expressed my gratitude for their service. I hope I hear something back. They both had to submit their address in order to be matched up with someone, so who knows?!? But in the meantime, I feel like a lttle schoolgirl, anxious to see a letter from her pen pal. Haha!

Sappy Song

A perfect song with perfect lyrics. However, I doubt that I will be able to listen to it once he leaves.


I am at work, and suppose I am to be doing something that can be considered productive in the eyes of the Hospital. Instead, I am sitting with a large mug of hot cocoa in front of a computer screen and trying to blog. But my mind drifts to John. The small things he does that tell me, without words, that he really does love me. A quick sniff of my hair when we hug. His big man-hand on the small of my back when I walk through a door before him. These little things are us. What will I do without those tiny moments on a daily basis? Will I adapt? Or will I painfully miss them every moment of every day until he is with me again?
Is there anyone who can give me the answers or do I just have to wait and discover them for myself? You know, this morning, when I returned home from work at 0700, I sat on the sofa beside him, my head on his chest, feeling his heart beat, and I started to tear up yet again. Without looking at my face, but simply with the twitch of a shoulder, he can tell I am either crying or attempting desperately to avoid crying. And he said "If you don't want me to go, I won't go." I wanted so badly to shout, "Yes! That is what I want. Stay home with me. Don't go! Be here with me where you are safe!" But then I remember how happy and motivated this has seemed to make him, and I can't do it. If he is going to stay a civilian, he must do it because he wants it, not because I could not suck it up and let my grip on him loosen enough. So I cry. I cry where he will not see me: in my car on the way to work, at work in between patients, at night when the house is quiet with sleep. Then I allow myself enough time for the tear tracks to vanish before seeing him again. He will never know, if I can help it.

And so it begins...

I met him eight years ago, this Marine of mine with the liquid-brown eyes and heart of gold. He had this smile that was constatntly turned on, with these dimples that gave his face this childlike look of innocence. I am a practical, no-nonsense type of person, and never believed in such a thing, but it was love at first sight. Cheesy? Yes. True? Absolutely.
We were together constantly from the day that we met. Within a few short months, I went from being a proud, I-don't-need-anyone woman to a I-can't live-without-this-man fool. We built a life together in a short period of time, and I became a Mrs. Then a child was born. A child that had all of the good qualities of both his mother and father rolled into an amazing little bundle.
What we vowed on the day we got married, to cleave only to each other, has never had such meaning as it has with us. We would build each other up, only to have the world knock us down again. If there is one thing that I would say is credited to the amount of time we have had together, it would have to be our ability to dust off the pieces and build anew.
We have been on the verge of divorce over hurtful actions. We have been homeless and hungry, and we have been well-off financially. We have been tried again and again. But regardless of where life has taken us or where it will take us in the future, we will do this together, as gracefully as we can.
So I started this blog.....Why? He is leaving me, and I don't know if I can cope. Almost a year ago, we relocated for my career, and so we are alienated. This blog, like a school-girl's diary, is intended to be my outlet for all of the thoughts that are swirling around in my head. These are thoughts I don't know if I can share with him, as I don't want to break him down as he is just reaching his strongest state in the years I have known him and been by his side.
You see, he is re-enlisting in the military. It has been awhile since I have seen the salty Marine I married. He turned civilian. He got soft and beaten down by the world in which we live. He became wishy-washy on his outlook and what exactly it is that he wants to accomplish in his life.
But a few short weeks ago, he made a decision to do this, and he changed. For the first time in a long time, I saw emerging the man I married. His shoulders are no longer slumped, his head no longer bowed. For the first time in a long time, he is sure of what he wants and how he is going to make it happen. And he knows what to do, and how to do it well.
I watch this transformation, and see that, because of my love for him, I cannot let him see how truly frightened I am. How devastated I will be to see him go. None of these matter anymore. The only thing that matters is that his shoulders are no longer slumped, his head no longer bowed, and that the sparkle is back in his eyes. He has been there for me as I embarked on the journey to start a very challenging endeavor. Now the roles have reversed, and it is my turn to show, through my actions, that I will go the distance with him and support him in all that he does in his life.
So here you have it....The blog of a civilian American housewife as she transforms into a proud military wife. A virtual diary of the sacrifice countless American families are making as we speak. The birth of a brand-spanking-new military wife.