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It’s All About The Experience

One thing about my husband that surprised me was that he told me he enjoys listening to sad music. As he put it, he wants to “feel all the feelings that life has to offer.”

I never really thought about it that way. I never thought of listening to a song as an experience or listening to a song to feel a particular way. I would definitely describe him as someone who is “all about the experience.”

He will take his time doing a simple task just to enjoy it. Rather than race through doing chores, he will put music on and take his time, so that he does it in a way he enjoys. He lives in the small moments. And I have found myself reflecting and doing the same now that we share our lives together.

While my husband was away, I tried to take that approach to the experiences I had. It wasn’t long before I realized we are some of the luckiest people in the world, military spouses. We get to experience some of the emotions that are only humanly possible in so few circumstances.

Saying goodbye to your spouse before a deployment and welcoming them home are two of the most wonderful emotions I could have ever experienced.

Saying goodbye to my husband for his year-long deployment was speechlessly devastating.

It was numbing and terrifying.

But, it was an emotion I never felt before then, and one I hope to never feel again.

Watching him walk out of that gymnasium is an image I will never forget, but at the same time, I can’t really remember because I was so sad. I never felt so defeated, but overcoming that defeat has given me a sense of strength I never had before. And in a strange way, I feel lucky to have felt this way.

I feel lucky to have known someone and something so great that I was devastated to say goodbye.

And then there was homecoming. The entire day was unreal. I was excited, anxious, and overwhelmed. I kept hoping I hadn’t changed too much. I kept hoping he hadn’t changed. I was hoping his homecoming was everything he imagined during his time away.

The second I saw him all of that melted away.

It was like no time had passed. I felt so happy, it was unreal. I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t even cry, because it seemed like, for a moment, I had been taken off Earth and put into a dream. It was the best feeling in the entire world and one of the best moments of my entire life.

I feel so lucky to have experienced these moments, happy and sad. And being a military spouse allowed me to know what it feels like to be so broken and then living in a moment so wonderful it felt like a dream.

When you think about it, we really are a lucky group of people to get to experience feelings like this.

If you enjoyed this post, check out Deployment Lifesavers and Gearing Up: Pre-Deployment Preparations. 


  • Sarah Darnall

    Sarah Darnall is a born and raised South Jersey girl from a big family. She moved to upstate New York after finishing her graduate degree to pursue her dream job as a surgical Physician Assistant. It wasn’t long after her move that she met her better half, Manny, who proudly serves in the Army National Guard. Together they have a lab/Australian shepherd mix named Buck. Sarah still works as a surgical PA, and in her spare time she loves exercising and traveling. But above all else, Manny and Sarah love spending time with family and hope one day to have a big family of their own.

1 Comment

  1. Sharita Knobloch

    Oh Sarah– all the feels on this!!! Love the line: “I feel lucky to have known someone and something so great that I was devastated to say goodbye.” I totally get that. THANK YOU!


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Supporting Our Military Children

Supporting Our Military Children

One thing that has been most important to me, as a military spouse, is figuring out how to best do this life while supporting our children with the changes and difficulties. When my children were very small, there were many times that my husband was away, and I had to parent my children alone.

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