After a refreshing weekend with Aunt Beth and Walt, I find myself sitting here with that feeling that you get the day after Christmas. Stalled, lonely and struggling to cope with everyday life. I know that I am luckier than a lot of people and that without the support of my family I would have been reduced to a pile of rubble long ago. That being said, I still have days where it's hard for me to see past the next hour. One of my favorite things to say is to take things "one day at a time" but a lot of the time it's hard for me to follow my own advice. I have to take things one hour at a time and hope that I can make it to the other side. Mike left for Colorado one week ago and as hard as that goodbye was, there is something else looming in front of me that I am afraid will be harder. He leaves the country next Sunday in the wee hours of the morning. There was a comfort of sorts last week when he left because I knew where he was and I could talk to him whenever I wanted. But, soon we will be at the mercy of whatever communication the Military has provided. We will be back to scheduling conversation via instant messaging, the occasional choppy and eventually dropped cell phone call and the classic handwritten letter that takes about two to three weeks to reach it's destination. No matter where I am or who I am with to distract me during the daylight hours, when I come home I am still alone. My bed is still empty and I will still miss him so much it physically hurts. This is something that will not go away until he his home safe again and that time seems so far in the future that it's unbearable to think about. But thinking is all I do at this time of night. This is why I would like to just sleep the next year away, but that's not very realistic. This life is hard, not just on me and my family, but on Mike, too. Despite all that I still have this unwavering sense of pride in him and others like him. I tear up at any showing of military appreciation because they deserve it...so much. So I will do my part to support him from home, even if it means living day by day and hour by hour. I love you, sweetheart and will count the days until you're home.