It is that time of the year again. Back yard cook outs, parties and the official start of summer for the USA. Please don't forget why we celebrate. It is a day to remember those who gave all for our country. Some gave their lives and others gave up their peace of mind.
I wrote this after Dragon's deployment to Afghanistan. He came home changes. It nearly ended our marriage. I had to decide what hurt more, staying or leaving. Then I stayed not because of how I felt but what leaving would do to him. He was broken. I couldn't take away the only thing holding him together.
I hate airports. They are places of tears. My body shakes as I try to control them. Then I look at my children and I see their hearts breaking. My own tears fall….He sees my tears and his iron grip of control begins to slip. People turn away. They can’t stand to see our pain. They know where he is going. They know we are left behind. I stand at the window watching the plane pull away from the gate. Walk that lonely walk back to the car. The drive home seems longer than ever. The house does not feel like home.
My best friend, my husband, the father of children has left. I don’t know where he is going. Don’t want to know. More questions than answers. When will he come home? Will he come home? How do I survive? He is my life. He is everything. I am me because he is with me. No more watching or reading the news. Not even just to read the headlines. Routine. Step by step each day I learn to survive. Run, breakfast, cut grass, shower, lunch, clean, check email, walk the dog. Same thing every day moving in a daze. I am afraid to hope.
At the airport again. The seasons have changed. But then so have I. I stand at the arrival gate waiting for a stranger. He is my husband and the father of my children. My tears fall once again. I am nervous and afraid. Will he really come home this time. Will everything be the same? I hope so. There he is. I see him. He has cut his hair again, his skin is darker, his eyes are different. I expect his hug to feel the same but it doesn’t. He walks ahead of me much faster than I can keep up to get to the luggage pickup. I know I should understand why but I don’t and he can’t explain. We are strangers again.