Dear Husband,

I tripped over your boots today. They were in the middle of our bedroom floor and I didn’t expect my toe to meet a sturdy combat boot first thing in the morning. At first I was annoyed, but then I quietly moved your boots aside, knowing that they would rest there for the next six months.

I went to the kitchen and unloaded the dishwasher. I thought of you when I put away the “#1 Son” mug from your parents, and the “I Love My Dad” mug from our kids. Unless I drink from them, they will sit in the cabinet for the next six months.

When I applied my makeup in front of our shared his-and-her sinks, I looked over at your side. I noticed an uncapped can of shaving cream, a razor and a comb. I realized that if I were to wipe down our bathroom counter, your side would stay clean for the next six months.

When I pulled my keys off the hook, yours were still hanging there, even though you weren’t home. Your keys will continue to hang on that hook for the next six months.

This afternoon I threw the last of your laundry in the wash. There wasn’t much in your hamper so I mixed it with the kids’ clothes. While folding, I realized that I wouldn’t touch your shirts again for the next six months.

While straightening up for company, I saw the gift cards you emptied from your wallet before leaving, knowing you couldn’t use them in “The Sandbox.” I saw your ACU shirt hanging on the back of your chair at the dining room table. Instead of being bothered by the mess, I organized your wallet contents and hung your shirt in the closet. It will remain there, unworn, for the next six months.

When I went to bed, I sprawled out. You weren’t there to wish me good night. Our son couldn’t sleep and ended up snuggling with me. He got in close and commented, “Daddy’s side is cold.” And so it shall be for the next six months.

It’s funny how the little things that I took for granted became quite sentimental. We send our love and support, and will miss you for the next six months.

Come back to us safely.

Love,

Your Wife

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A self-described “Jackie of All Trades,” Army wife Jackie Toops enjoys exploring the various facets of her personality by chronicling military life, world travels, family, her love of the arts and more. Her academic background is in the fields of Interdisciplinary Humanities, Museum Studies and Nonprofit Management, and she has overseen public relations for museums, galleries and universities. Jackie’s articles have been featured on Army Wife 101, Wall Street International Magazine, SoFluential, HomeAway, Military Biz Connection and FamiliesGo. While stationed in Germany, she regularly discussed her articles on-air with the Armed Forces Network in Wiesbaden. A mother of two, Jackie enjoys coffee, freelance writing, languages and discovering new ways to express herself. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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