I just returned from a six-day vacation and I feel relaxed, refreshed, rejuvenated and any other “re” word you can think of. Mostly importantly, I feel reconnected to my husband.

We’ve both spent the past month or so working nonstop.

By the time we get home and see each other, we are ready for bed.

Add to this a deployment looming in the very-near future and the stress has been suffocating. The time we did have together on the weekends felt forced — like our lives depended on constant happiness in each other’s presence.

It was becoming deja vu to the ramp up to his deployment in 2011. He would force himself to tag along for shopping at the grocery store, and I would let him drag me to guys nights at Hooters.

Neither of us enjoyed these things, but we were terrified to lose even a minute of time together. What did that say about us if we separated ourselves before a pending deployment? Surely a couple in love wouldn’t spend any unnecessary moments apart. (I promise, I know now this is not the truth, but as a newlywed preparing for my first deployment, I felt selfish saying no to any possible time together.)

That spring of 2011, we were headed for disaster. It all came to a head when I tried to meet him at his battalion’s organizational day at BLORA during my lunch hour.

I’d never been there and I got lost, and as I constantly checked the clock on my car’s radio I became frantic. My time was already limited with him and I was wasting it.

By the time I found him, I had mascara streaming down my face and enough time to kiss him, turn back around and go to back to work.

To avoid falling off this emotional cliff yet again, we took a stress-free, no plans vacation to Savannah, Ga.

Six glorious days where my husband belonged, not to the Army, but to me alone.

We woke up late, wandered the city’s historic streets together, drank blue margaritas and snuggled during a riverboat cruise.

It was genuine quality time together. No work cutting in, no family or friends calling about dinner plans.

And it worked. I no longer feel like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” when the witch flips over the hourglass to count down to her fate. I feel like I have control, and I am ready for what’s to come.

Now, come crunch time, when my husband is packing his bags and donning his new multi-cam uniform, I may feel differently and the tears may flood down soon.

But for right now, I know exactly where our relationship stands, and it’s on high ground.

Contact Rose L. Thayer at rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

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