Interviewwith a marine widow
"It was love at first sight, I fell instantly and hard. I think it was his smile." I said smiling slightly, my eyes watering up. "It was at my sister's wedding and he was wearing this black suit with this most ridiculous bright pink tie." I laughed. "The first time I saw him was on the dance floor, the DJ was playing Twist and he was doing the Twist with some kids, and I thought to myself, 'Wow, he is something.' and I acutely laughed out loud." I paused, a small smile playing around the edges of my mouth. "He heard me and looked up; that was the first time he smiled at me. As soon as he did to, I knew I was gone, like I said, instantly and hard." I looked up to the person sitting across from me, her blonde hair high in a tight bun, and I wondered, Why isn't she wincing in pain? That thing is so tight it's pulling her eyes up in a slant!
"What happened then?" she asked.
I was standing by the desserts watching everyone dance, I don't, I have never been good at it, when I saw him dancing with the little kids to the Twist, his hot pink tie swishing in time with his hips. It was the most ridiculous thing that I had ever seen, that I laughed out loud. When he heard me he looked up and when he saw me standing there watching; he smiled. It was a smile so big it reached his eyes. It was so big and so true; it was like he was showing me a part of his soul. He beckoned me with his hand to come over, and I just shook my head and smiled. There was no way I was getting on the dance floor! But he wasn't going to let me off that easy. He came over and grabbed my hand and pulled me on to the floor…just in time for a slow song. It's Your Love blasted across the dance hall, and he grabbed me up in a swift embrace and we started dancing. He said his name was Toby, and I told him my name was Rebecca. He looked deep into my eyes and said in an airy voice 'Rebecca, beautiful'. It was then that I knew that I was going to marry him, it didn't matter how, but I knew he was mine. I guess he knew it to, because after that night we saw each other every day.
I paused, looking up from the tissue i had been shredding on my lap, to see her staring at me her eyes slightly most.
"How long were you together before he purposed?" she asked. I smiled and laughed little "About a month." I said, she laughed. "He was so spontaneous, always doing things that surprised me, to make me smile or laugh."
"So how did he do it? How did he ask?" She asked leaning forward in her seat. I smiled...
A month after we started dating he took me out to eat, Sparta's pizza, my favorite restaurant it was spelt out in pepperoni and mushrooms! I know it isn't that romantic but he knew me; he knew that I would love it. So when the server brought out the pizza, it said "Bec, will you marry me." When I started crying he got down on one knee and held out a little blue velvet box, and nestled in to the black satin interior as a diamond solitaire on a white gold band. He looked up at me, smiled that soul bearing smile and said "Please?" I tackled him to the floor in a bear hug and major kiss that got wolf whistles from the crowed that was looking on. He laughed as he slipped the ring on my finger "So, that was a yes right?"
She was looking at me, "So, was it? A yes I mean?" I looked at her, right in the eye and said "Always." A tear slid out of the corner of her eye. "So, tell me about the wedding. Was it everything you always dreamed it would be?" She asked sitting back in her chair again. I smiled a full smile "Better."
It took months to plan, but the dress was easy. The first one I put on and it fit perfect, like it was the One. I had never had on something so beautiful in my life, it was simple white, a halter top low cut. The satin felt smooth on my skin as i pulled it on that day, and i had to redo my make-up twice kept crying so much. My hair was pulled back with berates and my veil was attached to the back with a pearl clip. My dad, dressed in a black suit, was waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs. I slipped my arm though his and the music began, and of cores so did the tears. As we walked down the aisle everyone stood, but my focus was on the man dressed in his marine dress uniform. His hair freshly cut, and his boots shined. I couldn't take me eyes off him. Everything was perfect, well almost everything. We had got the letter that morning. The one saying that he was shipping out in a month.
There were tears in her eyes when was done. "So, you got the letter the morning of your wedding, that must have been hard." She said."You have no clue."
No one but us knew, we couldn't bring our selves to tell anyone and bring down the mood of the party. We kissed and laughed and danced and enjoyed ourselves, and at the end of the night when we left no one knew that in month would be alone for a year or more that my husband would be leaving. On the honeymoon we never were apart more than we had to be. We loved each other with everything we had from the day to the day he left. I found out was pregnant the morning of his departure.
"So, your husband was leaving and you just found out that you were going to have a baby, how did you feel?"
"Like my heart was being ripped out and stomped on."
I was sitting on the side of the tub when he walked in, he looked about twenty years older than he was, and he saw me sitting there staring at the little white stickI held between my hands. He stood there, I looked up and I had tears in my eyes "Honey what's wrong?" I held it up. He took one look at it and fell to his knees by my side. We sat there for what felt like hours just holding each other. Finally we got up and got to business and left. If i had known that was the last time i would hold my husband I never would have let go.
"So, how did you cope with the pregnancy after he left?"
"How do you u think I coped? I did what any other marine wife would have done...or any woman for that matter,I asked for help."
When Toby left he took apart of me with him. I didn't know what to do or what to expect, me being a first time mother. SoI asked my sister, she herself being a marine wife and her husband deployed with my husband. Together over the next eight and a half months we worked: on the nursery, getting clothes, dippers, going to classes, doctor's appointments'. The whole time she never left my side, but it was more that her just helping me...we helped each other. It was tough, being there and going through that alone without him, but it was easier with her there with me.
She looked at me with pity, "So, how far along were you when you got the news?"
"Nine months, I was a week past my due date but the doctors said it should be any day.We just didn't knowwhat day; it was the only complication in an otherwise easy pregnancy. But just like his Dad Tj was full of surprises."
I had woke up early that morning with back pains, but you know since I was a week over due I thought it was just the stress, but after a few hours and it still hadn't went away I thought it must be contractions so I decided that I should get my bags together and go to the hospital. I was almost to the door when my water broke and a massive contraction took me to my knees and I screamed. I was lying on the floor about ten feet from the door unable to move when to doorbell rang, and about the same time I was hit with another contraction hit and I screamed. I guess it was loud enough that they could hear me because two marines came busting thought the door. I saw them and i knew, they didn't have to say a word I knew, and then I blacked out.
"So what happened when you came to?" she asked leaning forward in her set.
"I was in the hospital, my sister by my side, I looked at her and I knew that I wasn't the only one to get the news that day. I knew I wasn't the only one in pain."
"But, what about the baby? How was he?"
A smile briefly touched my lips, "Tj was fine, healthy with a head full of hair and blue eyes that will melt your heart."
"So, what did you do then?"
"I was lost, my husband was dead and I had just had a baby. I felt as if someone had just turned my world on its side. What would you do?"
That got her, she leaned back "I don't know what I would do."
I kind of smiled "Neither did I."
After the hospital I spent months trying to pull my life together and take care of Tj. I tried so hard not think about Toby but it was so hard not to, I'd walk by a wedding picture and catch a glimpse of it and brake down, or smell his aftershave in the bathroom or on his pillow. It was heart breaking every time I thought about him. But then one day it didn't hurt so much, and the next it hurt a little bit less. But when I'd look at Tj, I would see him growing up without his dad, never knowing him and that little piece of my heart would break apart again.
"But, it got easier?"
I look at her, then to the camera man standing next to the stage. To the people who are watching in the audience and at home, a tear rolled down my face.
"Yes, it gets easier. But it never tops hurting."