My heart feels colder and colder.
My hope dwindles because I know the reality—even if it WAS possible to shore our marriage up in the precious few months that we have before the next deployment, we will still have the next deployment, and the one after that, and the one after that will strike new blows of their own for us to recover from.
So you see I find myself living in this world of preemptive disappointment—and as a person who wants to hang on to light and hope even in the thickest darkness, to find my heart sinking into this cynicism scares me and sours my stomach.
And it makes me sad…. Because I don’t even get the fleeting moments of hoping for the happily ever after to come after each deployment anymore…
Instead I live in the land of pre-emptive disappointment, never quite sure of how, when, or if we might be pieced back together.”
I wrote those words. In another blog, I wrote these words. And I meant them.
They feel jagged, and raw… like the edge of them might actually cut me.
Every word feels true.
Even as I wrote them I realized…
I believe those words are not all that is true.
I wrote about how I feel hopeless, and I have… But I will not stay in that place forever.
I know this because I know another true thing about me: I do believe in hope. In light. Even in the darkness, I believe in the power of a pinprick of light.
So after I wrote those words, I had to ask myself the question…. Is there a way out of this? Is there a way to find hope even with the cycle of deployments continuing for who knows how much longer…
Even with the pain that we’ve endured so far…
Even with the damage that has been done to our hearts…
I believe there is always, always hope.
And with this man, especially, I have always found hope.
Hope: when I said good-bye to my mother and he held me up… He’d been catapulted form an aircraft carrier and wrestled with airlines to get there in time. She waited because she knew if she couldn’t walk me into the future, that he could. She trusted him to.
He told my mother he would see her tomorrow…
But she was gone before morning.
And he was there…. To hold me and to support me.
He was there to help me find my way through the feelings…
And he kept being there, even a month later when he had to leave for deployment. I knew he had me. That I was not alone in my grief. That I was loved in it.
I look back on the light he was to me in that darkness, and it gives me hope.
Hope: when we sat on our bed hours after I was diagnosed with a rare tumor. We were stunned and afraid and pregnant with our third baby. We came together then.
We fought together then.
He fought nurses for me, and wasn’t afraid to say what he thought to world class doctors and surgeons.
I fought with information, with research. And with treatment.
We walked that together and it was so scary.
I’m still here. We’re still here. That little girl turns five this week.
I consider that and it gives me hope.
Hope: It’s there in his emails… The ones where I hear him finding a new sense of purpose that I haven’t heard in his voice in years. He is finding that purpose by revamping the squadron’s suicide program. He is finding it in being an advocate for his sailors. I’m so proud of him.
I hear him finding a new part of his story.
I hear his voice gaining strength, even through the fatigue of yet another deployment.
I hear the best parts of the man I fell in love with holding steady in spite of it all.
This, too, gives me hope.
Hope: in the moments that I know will come…. As real as darkness is, as real as my cynicism, and the hardness that wants to take over with each separation, there will be equally real moments on the flip side of those things. There will be moments when we talk and really connect. Moments when he hears me. When I hear him. Moments when we come together and begin to find our way again. No, we might not be able to completely shore ourselves up in the scant few months before he leaves again, but we can make a start. We can commit to that start and to the path, however winding it may be. Even with interruptions. Even with setbacks.
We will do this.
He is that kind of man.
I am that kind of woman.
And there is so much hope in that.