Saturday, August 04, 2007

silent night

(cross-posted from my myspace blog. originally posted on Friday, July 27th.)

there comes a time in a deployment when (from a spouse's perspective) life falls into an easy, dull rhythm that makes time pass until your husband returns. you find a nice pattern of waking, working, taking care of the house and dogs, and going back to sleep. there's the quiet, constant ache of missing your best friend, but it's a chronic pain that can be medicated with business, distraction and numerous phone calls or IMs with family and friends.

but there are times during a deployment when one night can feel interminable. this can be preceded by a bad day or week, leaving the wound of your husband's absence exposed and feeling as fresh as the day he first left. this is understandable, as your emotional antibodies are weakened by the stresses of life wearing down your mental defenses.

and yet there are times when the ache arises unannounced, with no preceding warnings of bad days or missed phone calls. there are times when the unshakable sadness of being alone creeps up on you so unexpectedly that you are completely unprepared to deal with it. on nights like that, the few hours between work and sleep can stretch on for years. the silence of the house fills every void in your mind and body until you can hear nothing else. no amount of phone calls back home or television or internet or reading can distract you from the sense that, despite how well you've been doing, this just plain sucks.

i miss my husband.

this has been a long deployment so far, and we're not even half-way done. on nights like this, i look back at the naive girl who barely batted an eye when her boyfriend, on one knee in the Jacksonville airport, asked her if she was prepared for all the baggage that came with being a military wife. i thought my experience of growing up a military brat would prepare me for this lifestyle as a spouse. and while i do feel it has given me a better understanding of the general workings of military life, understanding and experiencing it are, of course, two different things. i knew it wouldn't be easy, but there was really no way to know how hard it would be.

tomorrow i'll wake up and be fine. it's supposed to be a sunny weekend. i have a hair and nail appointment, and may stop in Bury St Edmunds to check out the market and Mothercare. it's been a while since I've done anything off base or out of my house. i need to remind myself there is life off of military installations.

but tonight i'm reminded that it's okay to miss my husband, and to truly feel his absence. i couldn't live like this every day. i'd be a mess. but every now and again, i need to feel his absence to truly appreciate how wonderful it will be when he returns. i can't wait to have him back, to get to see his face the first time he sees our child. i can't wait to have my best friend here to make me smile and drive me nuts.

so tonight, i'll let myself have the indulgence of being truly, deeply sad that he is gone. because i know how fortunate i am to know he'll be coming home soon. and that's enough.

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