last thursday, we woke up to the news that a friend’s husband was killed in afghanistan on deployment. he had been a career marine, his wife knew that being a marine was part of who he was. he had been on 6 previous deployments into combat zones; this was to be his last and he was to return to hawaii in two months. this news has rocked my soul. unfortunately, i had not known this gentleman well. his wife is a friend and one of the most rocking women i have ever met … but we’re not daily intimates or even meet-up-for-a-cup-of-coffee friends … despite that, finding out that he was killed has rooted itself deep inside me and has been messing with me ever since. besides sympathizing with his wife and the heartbreak and fear that she must be feeling, i have been replaying – in my mind – the brief moments that i saw between this couple; the palpable and passionate love that was electric between them and rippled over everyone in the same room as them. i fear for his wife … i fear that she will not be able to recover from losing her other half … that she’ll lose that passionate, vivacious, crazy, confident part of herself in the depths of whatever she must be feeling right now … and in all honesty, i fear that because when i imagine what i imagine myself losing my new wife, i can easily see how loss of self can happen.
i knew that marriage would change my life and our family’s life. i knew that getting married in front of our friends and ‘ohana would validate, proclaim and demand our family’s right to recognized as a unit worthy of respect and legitimacy. i knew that we would appreciate and value the legal rights and responsibilities that our partnership now carried. i did not know that it would result in a feeling of such comfort, possession and pride. i did not know that it would unexpectedly and silently legitimize and solidify the emotional cubbies in my heart that my wife, my son, and – now – our family occupy.
there have been several lessons that my soul has been shouting at me to pay attention to since i learned about this death — but the greatest has been the affirmation of our family and the love that exists between us. getting married and, in a way, demanding that our little family is given due respect that any other heterosexual family has is justified and validated.
these last few nights, before going to sleep i sneak into shortstack’s room and cover him with kisses and cuddles, ask his angels to protect him and then i crawl into our bed, cuddle down into panda’s shoulder and thank our angels for giving us the courage and opportunity to love one another and create the rest of our lives together as the APLS ohana.
cuddle into your loved ones tonight … love and live well …