One Plus One Equals 2 Hundred Billion

It's hard loving two people at once. Ok, so we love lots of people at the same time but I mean loving loving. Ya know, like, "I love you." The three scary words kind. It's hard. I have no idea how people cheat and those people that maintain two families secret from each other or that kind of thing because it's tough enough loving someone who is here and someone who is not both at the same time, I couldn't imagine doing it and hiding it with two people who are both alive! I find myself extremely fortunate though, that I have two people who love me right back at the same time. I don't know how rare or normal that is, but I know that I'm lucky to have it. What's even harder though, and what has brought me to finally blog now that I can (I've been in a nasty funk) is missing those two people at once. Missing one person sucks. A lot. Missing him on deployment was awful and missing him after he died, well I thought that pain would eat me alive. Now the other person is gone. Ok, he's not gone gone (don't freak out) he's just away on Marine Corps stuff but... I miss him. Then I find myself thinking Oh I miss Zach... and I definitely miss Jonny. GOSH I MISS THEM BOTH! It's definitely a different kind of miss but I miss them and the loneliness of them both being gone is super icky and has admittedly put me in a funk for a couple days. I feel like I'm being a big baby. Zach is not deployed he's just doing his work elsewhere for the minute, in the United States. I shouldn't even be worrying. And it's not the worrying, it's just the missing. I barely get to talk to him due to his work demands and after having him in the house all the time I realize how lonely lonely really is. Like I said, I feel like I'm being a baby, especially with so many people I know wish spouses or significant others deployed but some days it kind of just brings me back to the before I met Zach. Well, not right before, long before I met him. Right before I met him, I had started to grow accustomed to the loneliness. The doing every single thing on my own. All of it, it had finally started to become second nature. And then there was Zach. And then there was hardly ever being alone (in fact I had to make time to be alone because I missed it). And then there was help that after a while I finally learned to accept and just let happen. This just kind of transports me back to... oh about the 8 month mark when things were pretty bad for me. When the realness of my loneliness had set in, Jonathan had been off the earth for 8 months, friends had gone back to their normal lives (or just leave completely) and I was alone. Thank God for baby girl. She keeps me from ever being truly alone but I must admit, having Zach around to take some of the pressure off me, of all things I have to do by myself every day, was so nice. I didn't realize it until now when I have to do it all on my own again, but he had been so helpful and things had been so much easier and smoother with an extra pair of hands. And he was here when I was sad. And he was here when I was angry. And he was here at night when I'm still not ok. And he was just... here... and I miss him. He'll be back in a couple months but shock of being alone once again was rough and I sunk in a hole for bit, I'm just now clawing my way out. I don't like to admit it. But it's true, it's there, and maybe if I come to terms with it, I won't be clawing out anymore, I'll gracefully climb out and forge on until he's back and I'm readjusting to having to share time and space with someone else again. I wonder if this is what people feel like with multiple deployments? I wouldn't know because we only had the one. When they go again, the loneliness from the last deployment hits so hard and then just as you're adjusting to them being gone, bam they're not anymore and it's time to adjust to sharing space and time again. Yeah, I'd imagine it'd be something like that.

The 1/6 (Jonathan's unit) are deployed again. There's only a minimal amount of people I still talk to from the unit. There'd been so much drama, so many rumors, so much crap that I just kept close the ones who I trusted (and even then certain people surprised me), but I still know things. They did a Miller-Motte gives back week at school, where spouses of 1/6 were 40% off to show our appreciation for their service. Of course it had to be 1/6. Of course it had to be put in my face that this was our unit. That this should be our deployment. That I should be coming in to get my hair and and nails done to keep my mind off my husband being gone again. Of course it had to be hard. I did fine though. I blocked out the unit and deployment talk. I dealt with people I didn't want to see, who'd betrayed me and still haven't apologized (ya know, people who promised they'd be there for me but if anything came between us they'd still be there for my daughter and then wouldn't answer me when I tried to find out what was going on and wouldn't return the $200 dress I had loaned them or several other things they had even when I was trying to trade for some of their stuff that was still at my house from the days we were friends that abruptly ended without my knowing). None of that really bothered me while I was working. The "who"s didn't bother me - Who the ladies were that were in the clinic, who their husbands were, I don't think it even bothered me that said ex-friend was there. It's whatever now and that's my place of "business" for the time being so I go ahead and do my business. What did bother me was the "should, could, woulds." This should be our deployment. I would be doing xxx. Ya know? The what-if's that don't go away. And then the fact that there was no Zach to go home to get it out to, to cheer me up with some stupid joke or dance or... whatever it is he does that always has me smiling. That's when it bothered me. But hey, I got through it, and in the end I think I may have come to a realization. A conclusion I've been putting off for the last year and 4 1/2 months. I think it just might be time. I think I need to get the hell out of Jacksonville. I think being here is keeping me too connected. Keeping me from moving as much forward as I could be. Do I want to leave Jonathan behind? No. Do I want to leave our memories and our life behind? Absolutely not. I've learned though, like I did with the material things, that a change of location will not do that to me or to us. He will follow where I go. His memories will be with me always, he lives forever on in my heart and in my daughter. But it may protect me from falling to often in the shoulds, coulds, woulds, and what-ifs. The watching of people having the life I'd expected, wanted, anticipated. The life of a Marine wife, in a Marine community doing Marine family things. No, I don't want to leave behind my friends and their families that have become my own family, but I don't have to be right here all the time to keep them, either. I know wherever in the world I am or they are, that these friends I have now will also be with me. I think it might be time, soon, though, to move away from the reminders that I don't have what I used to have. I think seeing it day in and day out leaves scorch scars on my heart that my life will never be what I had anticipated when I met and married Jonathan. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe it's time for me to move, literally, onward, and find what else is in store for me now that I am on this new journey.

I guess you may be able to guess that Zachary is getting out of the Marine Corps. At first, it really bugged me. I'm a Marine wife, how will I be a civilian's girlfriend?! But the reality is, a relationship shouldn't be defined by a person's occupation. He was a Marine and will always be a Marine. And I will always be a Marine wife, with or without Zachary. I was and still am married to a Marine who now guards the gates of Heaven, that doesn't change my status. Not being with a Marine will not change my ties to the military, will not change the person I have always been. It was scary at first, but I think I'm starting to look forward to it. Toward the new possibilities. Leaving Jacksonville. Zach's new career, whatever he chooses. I don't know, it's all confusing and I was really down about everything, but now I'm letting my optimism rise. Maybe it's time for a new challenge in my life, supporting Zach in his new life as well.

Maybe this post makes no sense. Maybe it's a bunch of loosely connected things I've thrown together, but it's the things that have been setting in my brain pushing me down into this funk and maybe, just maybe, getting them out will lead me towards the graceful walking out of the hole I mentioned earlier.


  1. i hope everything starts to fall into the right place for you soon :)

  2. I'm glad you wrote this. I totally followed your path of thinking while I read this, and you know what... I have a LOT of comments.
    First off... Loving two people has GOT to be hard. But seriously, what a blessing. I mean, you got the real deal with Jonny. Thinking back, your relationship was like jumping off a diving board. You met, you kissed, and BAM you were in DEEP. You're lucky. Not everybody gets that love. And now with Zach, I mean, I don't know enough to make a proper call on him.... But I feel he is a real stand up guy. And he loves you. Jackpot twice. I don't know where your relationship will take you, but, I appreciate the happiness I see in you again. The smiling pictures, the goofy comments, the FUN. As your friend... I'm very happy to see that after such heartache.

    Secondly... People who cheat... blah. I'm like you... a "love out loud" kinda person... I can't hide that kind of stuff!

    And even though I'm not the in USMC life anymore... David is still gone. Yeah, he's only 4 hours away... but that sucks. And its easier when he's farther away because right now, I can get there quickly and I have him. When he's farther away (like other side of the country, or even another country!) I know I'm all I have, and I can't rely on him to save me. So, yeah... I think what you're feeling is normal. It's like, I get bummed out that he's gone, then I get used to it, then he comes back and I'm like WTF are you doing??!! But you know what... I still get the butterflies after I haven't seen him for a few days. Soooo... sure.. David could have a job where we see each other every day and never have to be apart... but... I wouldn't get the butterflies... So... your couple months of pain will be rewarded when you see Zach again. I hope you understood that paragraph. I didn't mean to make it about me and stuff... but... I've had a lot of diet coke tonight... lol

    (do you call him Zachy? Everytime I write his name I want to call him that!!!)

    And those stupid un-friends... what bitches. What's wrong with people these days? Why aren't there good people, and good friends? People are soooo two-faced!!!!

    You're a strong woman, Rachel, and you choosing to be the bigger person, and be professional shows that. You could have curled up in a ball and cried in the corner but you didn't. I'm proud of you.

    Does Zach know what he wants to do?? Being a civilian girlfriend/wife/in general is an adjustment. When does he get out? Do you think you're going to move with him? I hear the Philadelphia area is nice.... lol... and Isn't Maggie thinking of moving to that area or somewhere in delaware??? Hmmmm??? You'd already have FRIENDS in the area!!!! And Maggie and I are pretty cool, if I do say so myself!!!!

    Okay. This is a novel... and I hope it makes sense... ((HUGS))

  3. I always say T (my fiance) is so much more than a soldier to me. He wasn't a soldier when I met him and it doesn't define who he is. It's a part of him and always will be, but it's his job and he's going to get a new one. I agree that it may be time to leave the military community behind and move onward. It takes a truly inspiring and amazing woman to do that and I think that you have it in you!

  4. I think you are doing the right thing for your sanity and your family... prayers for confidence!

  5. I am so happy God has placed someone in your life to help lift the burden and remind you what it feels like to be truly cared about and cherished!

    You are SO stinkin strong! There is only ONE wife that I feel awkward being in a room with because of our past, and I would SO not be able to ignore her and get about my own life much less be in a room full of dramatic girls!!!

    I think not being an active duty milwife will be a change, but it may be great for you, the reminders may not be as prominent, and it may give you some more closure.

    Praying for you and your precious baby girl!!!. . . and Zack too of course ;)

  6. Hi love,

    Stupid bitches who ever they are! Do I need to smack a hoe!

    I just had to get that out of the way first... haha...

    Okay so I knew you would come to it in your own time. When you first told us you were staying put I wasn't convinced it was the best for you, but I understood why, I have said in the past I would have never left Cali if the situation happened. I completely understand the connection you feel to the place. But I am so happy you have grown to see its not the place, because Jonny will always be in your heart, in your Daughters smile and eyes. He will never leave you no matter your location, but you needed to learn that in your own time. As for Jacksonville, I know Jonny did not put up with bullshit bitches, are they worth it hell no! And you know he would have said the same thing. It has been a circle of crappy people that you dont need as a reminder. And hear me, even though we live by a small base, the lack of Marines EVERYWHERE, walmart the movies the sidewalks, has been awesome. Its so nice not to see backpacking dorks everywhere! You'll enjoy it too. ;)

    I could have sworn you knew we were returning to the civilian world! We've been saying it since he signed the second contract. lol. I am nervous, as any Marine Wife would be. But I don't need the Marine Corps to define my family, I don't need the military way of life to be happy. IMO Its a bunch of crap politics I just can't stomach anymore. Its has put a bad taste in my mouth. Will I always be a Marine Wife, yes. Will there always be Marine Corps memorabilia in my house, most definitely. But Once a Marine Wife, always a Marine Wife. And I will always be Proud, just as you will be. Just think as Civilians we'll be MORE special because we wont be diluted by tons of other Marine Wives. We'll be able to tell our story to New friends who will "aww" and "oohhh" on how strong we are because we are Marine Wives and it will be even more special! ;)

    Love you girl, stay strong and keep growing. You are an inspiration to me especially when I stop my personal growth and start moving backwards... you help remind me to keep onward, one foot in front of the other.

  7. I agree with the comment above. Many woman struggle with finding the one. Sounds like you have found it twice and that is something to be thankful for... try not to overthink it. :)

    & I feel for you & totally understand the friendship thing. It is hard to face someone or be around someone that has betrayed you.. especially when it is someone you thought never would. Sounds like it is their loss though. :)

  8. I stumbled upon your blog and have caught up with most of the stuff that I think is important. So here is my comments:

    You are such a strong person. The fact that you still do things for other people and support your daughter the way you do is so commendable. You can do anything you set your mind to.

    I don't understand how people cheat either. First, it tears people into pieces. Why don't you just dump them and then go off and do what you want? It's SO hard to shake the feelings of not feeling accepted or good enough and it hurts for a LONG while.

    You have every right to feel lonely. Of course it's going to be hard when someone is not there. ESPECIALLY after what you have been through. Someone going away scares you because of past occurrences and that is totally normal. I think it would be weird if it DIDN'T affect you.

    I will pray for you & I hope that everything gets better soon. Keep your head up :)

  9. Ugh, complaining again RJP!? When will this stop!? TIMWN!! I can't wait to see your face!!! How many days!? :)

  10. You are such an awesome person and I only know anything about you from just reading your blog. I admire your strength and courage. Zach seems like a really good guy. I am happy that you have him. Screw the backstabbers. Even though I have never met you, I am proud of you. I know that Jonny will follow you wherever you go. :)

  11. Hi. I just think, whatever it is, have patience and have faith. Big things are never clear to us in the beginning. :)

  12. This is Alyssa Garza's Mom! Keep your head above water girl,1 thing I learned after my husband was killed In the first Gulf War is....You never get over it,you learn to live with it and some days are better than others!Last weekend I attended a 20 year reunion for the Wolfpack 3rd LAI / LAR Bn ! I met the man who was sitting next to my husband when it happened,spoke with others who were there and finally the Hospital Corpsman who worked on my husband that night! 1 thing I learned My husband did not die alone! The men he was with loved him,It was the first time in 20 years that people understood me understood how I feel! It has been a hard 20 years but for the first time ever I am NO LONGER ALONE! And for the first time in 20 years....I now Know I am going to be OK!

    I have been there,I have walked in your shoes,I can say I know exactly how you feel! Let me tell you something, You live your life the way you want to live, you do not need anyone's approval! Most people DO NOT UNDERSTAND, You will be lonely that I know for sure,But you have to remember YOU HAVE TO DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU AND THAT BABY GIRL,and NOBODY knows what is best for you except for YOU!Life does not stop for us, It keeps moving forward as much as we want time to stop it doesn't!Trust me I am still 20 years back going WTF,Where did my life go,Sadly It is normal! Be true to yourself and Please Know YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I am here for you 24/7!<3 Jennifer Garza

  13. So.......will you sell your house? Are you both considering California? I know you wanted to go a while back. Maybe move closer to your family in MD? New York is nice :) Either way, a move/change is exactly what I would do in your situation. I am not involved with the military wives or special activities Marines have simply because when my hubs is not at work we live normal civilian lifestyles. We have never lived on post and are actually an hour away from Quantico in DC. I like being secluded from that life only because I do not like the caddy bull shit. Haaaa! I knew you wanted my two cents!

  14. Oh Rachel. I do hope you feel better soon. Things will fall into place.

    I know it's going to be hard to transition from marine wife to civilian girlfriend, but you've already done (in my opinion) the hardest part - transitioned from civilian to marine wife.

  15. I have no clue what you are going through, but I think you are doing an amazing job. I'm sure your husband was a great soldier, and he served his country well. It's people like him that make me thankful to live in the US! Just know that your daughter always has an angel looking down on her no matter what, you as well. You'll always carry him in your heart and know that he is with you at all times. I'll be praying for you!

  16. I love coming back to your blog and catching up. You write so well, so truthfully and passionately; its like sitting there having a conversation with you even though we haven't talked in a while. You are a strong woman, just like you've been told 8 bazillion times, haha. God doesn't give you anything you can't handle, and I can imagine you have been able to grow so much from all of these experiences. Just remember to thank God for the good, pray for support through the bad, and remember that even though we don't talk often, you always have the people like me on the sides that will lend an ear :o)

  17. Rachel, I started reading your blog when my love was in Iraq, about two or three months before GOD took John. I sat on my couch, in an apartment that my husband had seen for 5 days before the MOB and sobbed for you, hell, I sobbed for me, which was selfish. But reading your blog since then, hearing you walk in footsteps that every military wife dreads, and then seeing you find happiness, makes my heart smile. I don't know you other than your blog, but I am proud of you and proud to know that I stand in the same ranks as a woman with as much class, faith, dignity, and will as you. The lord does things in ways we will never understand, and he seems to have brought you Zach, who makes you laugh and smile again. I wish all the best for you in whatever the future brings you, as I am sure, civilian or military lifestyle aside... your future will be bright. You will always be a Military wife, and thank you for honoring us by making sure that you were someone that others could look up to.

    As for the petty people that you have encountered, that have called themselves your friends and then left you/backstabbed you when you were down..... remember, everyone will reap what they sow... and Karma is an Alcoholic Bitch with a vengeance, unless you've done good. We all know what side you stand on and what side they do. Keep your head up, your heart happy, and that smile on your face. For John would want you happy, and one day, he'll tell you so. :-)

  18. I don't check your blog very often, but as a fellow Phi Mu alum, you are dear to my heart. I have seen a huge transformation in you over the past year (well, in your posts anyway). I think that putting your trust in God to show you where He wants you to be right now is not easy, but it's necessary.

    The people who betrayed you? don't matter. They aren't worth the time or effort. Do the things that bring you joy and happiness and peace. Make the choices that fit with your values and beliefs. Enjoy every minute with your daughter - the days seem like eternity sometimes but the years pass so quickly.

    Be strong, but don't be afraid to lean on those who love you.

    I like to think sometimes that those 3 stars on our badge also stand for faith, hope, and love. We need all three of them to be truly happy in life, and I think you have them. :)

  19. I don't know you, nor had I intended to stumble upon your blog, but I'm glad I did! We share the gold star. And as a fellow widow I feel that we have very similar outlooks on how to deal with this path placed in front of us. Thank you for reassuring me that I'm not crazy, that it's okay to show people that military wives have pretty tough backbones, and even for how strong I feel- your a few steps ahead of me in your journey and your experiences are insightful and helpful for what may lie ahead in my own life. Thank you!


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