As a young wife, the sentiment completely missed me, often leaving me questioning my ability to hold your interest. Questioning your longing for intimacy after all these years. But as we’ve grown together even when apart over these years, I long for forehead kisses the most during your absences.

Birthing children, following you all over the world, sharing the challenges and triumphs as a part of your life for 20 years has brought wisdom. And as my body has aged along with my mind all that is implied when you gently kiss my forehead is realized. 

The real meaning of intimacy is revealed without a word with those forehead kisses.

The strong and steady way you have loved me over all of these years, through all of my flaws. Forehead kisses remind me I am not alone in this world and never will be as long as you have breath. They speak of the bond we will forever share. The bond of friendship, the bond of parenthood, the bond of a past no one else fully understands. 

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Forehead kisses reassure me that despite the wrinkles, the rolls, and a body that will never completely be what it once was I am loved. Softly whispering words of affirmation to my heart that I am still seen, treasured, and beautiful.

That the person who knows me the best in this world, who has seen me at my worst, still chooses me every day.

Speaking to the special kind of man you are. The special kind of love we share. Completely lacking perfection, flawed, and downright messy. This love often void of grand romantic gestures, maybe even predictable is beautiful.

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Forehead kisses don’t shout and declare to the world our unique love story. But my heart hears the proclamation just the same. My soul recognizes the steadiness, selflessness, character, and commitment of the one who has been its caretaker. And I am overwhelmed with gratitude. 

Erika Bradley

Hope is a military wife, advocate, volunteer, and non-profit founder of Dependa Strong. She encourages military spouses to be unapologetically transparent about their struggles while using kindness, self-care, and community involvement as a coping mechanism. She believes raising awareness, telling her community's stories, combined with kindness and compassion for one another can help bridge the gap between our service members and civilians.