Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Because this is what it is like to send your husband to war...

*This is my own personal experience. Everyone experiences different emotions, feelings, etc.

I've been saying goodbye to my husband since 2001, and sending him overseas. The next time I'll have to start using my toes to keep count.

It never gets easier saying goodbye. I know the day is coming, yet I try to appear strong. I know I'll be okay, but that dread knowing the day he leaves is coming can be paralyzing. It usually manifests itself into illness and physical pain for me.

I remember every goodbye. There is always a fleeting moment when I can't help my brain from wondering, Is this the last time I'll ever touch him, kiss his lips, see his face? It's an awful thought, not one I try to acknowledge, but this is the reality of being a military spouse.

The first few days are the worst. When a Miley Cyrus song makes me start crying while I'm driving, I know it's okay, but damn you, Miley. Really? Bursting into tears at any given moment is a given. So if I tend to hole up in my house for a few days, that's why. I give myself a week at the most to be sad, to be lonely, to be angry, to adjust to the reality that while he is away, I'm on my own. It's me and my son against the world.

Little things can make my heart feel like it's breaking. The first morning I wake up and see his pillow and remember he won't be using it for awhile makes me teary-eyed. Doing the laundry and folding his clothes he just wore a few days ago is no easy task. Seeing friends describing their family time and fun plans for the weekend on Facebook sends a stab of anger through me. I've learned to not be so bitter. This is our life. We will once again have our family time, but for now, it's not the same with 1/3 of the family not here.

I've found solace and joy in my fellow Army wives. We lean on each other, help each other out, and we are not embarrassed to call each other and admit we're having a bad day. It's a nice feeling knowing there are friends going through the exact same thing.

It's also nice to have my civilian friends, who, for a fleeting moment, make me feel normal. I like when they ask me how Adam is doing. They care, and that helps.

I won't lie...every minute, every hour, every day I worry. I worry for Adam, for his fellow Soldiers, my fellow wives, for my son, for Adam's mom, you name it, I worry. More than worrying, though, is a feeling of pride, even hubris in knowing my husband is among the few who voluntarily sacrifices his way of life to do his job. There is a feeling of pride that we spouses experience that is hard to put into words.

This is my experience. This is my life. Thank you to everyone for their support of our troops. It means the world to all of us.