The words protect and serve ring out to many Americans. This is because thousands of men and women leave their families to be in the army every single day. They can be gone for months or even years.
This career choice makes life hard, even without deceit and secrets.
Navy Sailor Matthew Wilson
Matthew Wilson had always wanted to be a part of the army ever since he was a small boy. He wanted to defend the country that he called home and the loved ones that were around him.
Wilson loved only two things more than anything. It was the work that he did and his darling wife.
But his wife understood that sometimes the job had to come first. His duty was a matter of security and she’d always support him, but then things got complicated.
A lot of women wouldn’t want to be with a soldier because of the complicated life that that leads. But Rebecca knew her husband before he was a military man.
The two had met in high school and were sweet on each other at a young age. Life passed by quickly and they were married and had kids in the beautiful suburbs of California.
But when Wilson came home from his second tour, he suddenly noticed his career was really starting to have an effect on Rebecca. A bad one.
Ignoring The Signs
But after being married to her for five years and being away from her for a lot of it, he noticed a change in her behavior. He didn’t seem as overjoyed to see him anymore. He knew something was off, but what could it have been?
Even though his intuition was telling him something was wrong he decided to ignore the warning signs.
Rebecca seemed annoyed when they heard that Wilson would be going to his third deployment. He would be gone for half a year.
She knew she could still Skype him but nothing could replace the hole that would be left when he wasn’t with her in person. But miscommunication would cause more than just a minor problem.
Rebecca decided that she’d had enough and moved back to the town she grew up in, and she took her kids with her.
She hated being alone for so many months alone. She was exhausted from looking after their newborn for so long.
Wilson was always understanding of his wife’s frustrations regarding his deployment, but maybe he was a little too understanding.
He could understand the hardships she had been dealing with and decided to forgive her for needing a break. He thought that it was his work that caused the issues in their relationship. But maybe there was something more to the problem than he had expected.
Lies And Deceit
Wilson was a child of divorced parents so he knew how hard that situation is on a child. He promised himself that he would never go that route, no matter how hard it got. But now, he was wondering what he’d actually do if his wife was being deceitful. In fact, he knew she was.
Nobody likes being lied to, especially in relationships where deceit is one of the main causes of breakups. He knew he had to fight for his relationship, but what he could have never expected was how much she actually kept from him.
Lose Lose Situation
Wilson had no clue what his wife was up to, but moving and keeping secrets were definitely bad signs. After all, he didn’t do anything wrong. And now that he was deployed, he had no idea how to figure it out.
He tried to reason with himself that there are certain levels of dishonesty. Perhaps Rebecca could be forgiven? But what she had been up to this time was such a shock that it defied belief.
A few months passed when Wilson got a message from one of his close friends. He explained to him that she was acting strange and wouldn’t really hang out with them anymore.
Something was wrong. She shut herself off from his friends and not only that but she was caught selling some of Wilson’s furniture! Wilson’s heart pounded.
What was she doing? Why was she removing herself from his circle of friends? Why was she selling his furniture? Did she really hate him that much?
Despite his incredible love for her, he became anxious and knew something was very wrong. As the date approached for him to come back home, he decided to confront her immediately. Although he decided, he was terrified to hear what she would have to say. And rightfully so.
Master Plan Ruined
Rebecca gave Wilson the silent treatment. They would still video call and check in during his deployment but she didn’t say anything to Wilson about what he heard she’d been doing. She had no idea he knew.
“I thought about it for a few minutes, and I was like, ‘You know, this isn’t how I want to tell him – in an email,’” Rebecca claimed. “I emailed him back and said, ‘I just miss your voice.’”
Emails Back And Forth
Busy with work and being a mom, she didn’t have much time to talk to him over the phone so they’d email each other instead. The conversations were short and sweet. From an outsider, nothing would have seemed amiss.
But the vague emails didn’t soothe Wilson’s worries at all. Then, Wilson’s team got orders to go head-to-head with one of the world’s most powerful nations and Rebecca’s plan was crumbling right in front of her.
Rebecca later admitted that it was painfully hard to keep this life-altering news a secret, and more so when Wilson’s deployment had been extended.
He had to serve a whole other month more in service as the USS Carl Vinson was ordered to make a show of force along the coast of North Korea. For Rebecca, it was just another reminder of why she kept secrets.
While Wilson was overseas fighting for and protecting his country, Rebecca was at home doing something no one could ever have predicted.
Rebecca always used to play by the book. She was reliable, predictable, sometimes, even a little boring. But staying at home alone for too long can change a person and she was perfect proof of this.
When Rebecca got the news about his extended deployment, she couldn’t bear it. “I got emotional about it and I was wondering, ‘Should I tell him? Would I feel guilty if something happens and he doesn’t know?’” Rebecca recalled. “I went back and forth about it.”
She didn’t know what to do, as she weighed the options. Perhaps the last thing she could do for him now is not do anything to distract him from his work.
No Way Back
She knew that what she had to tell him would hurt his performance and maybe even get him hurt if he was too distracted. But for her, she made up her mind and she didn’t really care what anybody else had to say.
She had cooked up a plan of when and what to tell him and decided to stick to it.
It was time for Wilson to come home. As he approached the boarding exit, large crowds had swarmed around to welcome home their sailors.
Rebecca was among this crowd, ready to execute her plan despite all the people around. She used the kids as distractions as they went up to kiss their dad. Rebecca had a homemade “Welcome Home” sign which she placed strategically.
Lost For Words
Wilson looked at her nervously as the kids finished kissing and hugging their dad. He turned to approach his wife, as she looked away expectantly.
He had no idea what was coming would leave everyone staring. As soon as he was close enough, she dropped the sign. What Wilson saw left him lost for words.
Wilson was completely confused. He had no idea what just happened. “My heart was racing,” Rebecca recalled. “I stood back and let the kids run to him. I hung back for a minute, and then he reached into me to hug me, and then I dropped it. He just stood there in shock. He didn’t know what was going on.”
Wilson even thought this was some kind of prank, to say he was surprised would be an understatement. Was it really possible? Was he the father?
Rebecca stood back so she could continue her ruse. As Wilson turned to hug someone, Rebecca was there to one side holding a sign that read, “Welcome home baby daddy.”
As Wilson is a father, he didn’t think much of the sign, “Do you like my sign?” Rebecca said to her husband. But then, before he could even reply, she dropped it to the floor, revealing her huge baby bump.
“Is it Real?”
Wilson had no words. “She said, ‘Surprise!’ and dropped the sign, and I was confused,” Matt said. “And then I actually poked her belly because I wasn’t sure if she was playing a trick on me or not. Clearly, she was not.
There were a lot of thoughts going through my mind. When it was real I was extremely confused, so I asked, ‘Is that real?’ to be sure, then hugged her because it was the only thing I could think to do.” But what about the tension between them?
Wilson was still in shock. Everyone around him was laughing and cheering them on, but again, he had his doubts. “I was never mad at you or acting weird – well, I was acting weird but only because I needed to hide this bump!”
A good ten seconds later, he hesitantly poked Rebecca’s belly and asked, “Is that real? Nuh-uh!”. “Wait, that’s mine right?”, he said, half joking, half serious.
Rebecca got pregnant just the week Wilson left to fulfill his duty. “I found out the week after he left. I didn’t believe it,” Rebecca said.
“I took the pregnancy test again, and I was like, ‘Oh no way.’ I was excited about it and I emailed him, and I told him to call me as soon as he gets a chance.” But still, she didn’t want this incredible news to interrupt his duty and make his leaving us harder.
As it turned out, the couple had not planned on having a fourth child. This surprise was more than unexpected, but they were excited beyond belief.
Rebecca even described that Matt “was only home for a short time” between his deployments, so this was a huge shock. However, there was still one more thing brewing, and this too would give Wilson another considerable blow.
Rebecca had mastered disguising herself; she recalled it being the hardest thing ever. Every time she would go out with friends or family, they would all want to take photographs, and of course, Rebecca didn’t want to spoil the surprise.
She had to get creative to disguise her pregnant stomach. I would always use the kids to cover my belly,” she said. “My best friend always does Snapchats, and she would put emojis in front of it just in case to throw him off.”
“I wanted to share the excitement and joy with him about getting a fourth baby. He definitely wasn’t expecting it,” she said. “Being pregnant is such a fun experience and not being able to share it with him was really hard.
I was working the whole time and taking care of the kids, so I had to push through everything.” Rebecca did feel bad at times about keeping the secret, but still, she knew she wanted to tell him face to face.
Rebecca had one more surprise, and this time she had planned on the surprise being for both of them, together. “I decided I’m going to document it with weekly belly pictures for him so he wouldn’t miss it.” And that’s just what she did.
“I can’t believe she was able to keep the secret for as long as she did because we tell each other everything so I know it was really hard for her,” he said. “I’m sure every day she wanted just to tell me but I’m really happy she waited because it was an awesome homecoming surprise and we got to find out the gender together the day after I got home.”
A Baby Girl!
Friends and family gathered for Wilson’s homecoming party, and while everyone was gathered they also revealed the baby’s gender – a girl! “I was extremely happy with the news because we both wanted a fourth child and since it is our last I was happy she did something memorable and fun,” said Wilson. He was not set to deploy until January, and the due date of the baby was for August. Making the timing impeccable for this family to be reunited again.
This is a work of fiction inspired by a true story. Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals; names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.