It's what we do to survive stress and change we can't do anything about.
What do you do, though, when that adjustment creates a separation that doesn't belong?
I am startled to realize that when I think about my husband in our home, I think of him as a visitor.
He will come home in a month. He will be here for 8 weeks before he leaves again.
The start of another deployment cycle.
During a deployment, he starts to feel less real anyway. The edges of him blur a little. Day by day he becomes less 3 dimensional and more 2 dimensional to my mind. But even still, usually there is the anticipation of relief when he comes in the door. The promise of a breath. Of a reprieve.
The promise of together.
This time it feels as though as soon even plane touches down and we hold the banners and bake the cake…
Even then, the breath will already be being sucked out of us all.
It feels as though we never reach the horizon. We keep running and running, and going and going, and hoping and hoping…
For time together
For a chance to heal
For an opportunity to figure out who we are together again.
When I look out over the coming months, instead of seeing holidays with him, and help at home, and a chance to do the work of being a family together…
Instead I see him gone.
And he’ll be gone even before he is gone.
His mind will go before he will.
4 Places at the table instead of 5. More nights of girls crying themselves to sleep for missing Daddy. More school events and bouts of stomach flu and household repairs without him. More nights of falling asleep to Netflix instead of falling asleep in his arms.
This is where I am supposed to talk about pride. About how we do this for the country. About the reason he serves and we support him. About the way my heart swells at the playing of the National Anthem.
I know that is the expectation for the military spouse narrative at this point in the writing.
I would write it for you.
But I’m just too tired…
With no end to that tired in sight.