Why do I share this every year? Most people have no idea what it is like to be military. Most people have no idea what it is like to be the one left behind.
This was written at the beginning of a deployment to a war zone, at the mid point and finally back at the airport. The journal page was tear stained. That was the hardest deployment of a long career.
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.
a military wife
Husband US Air Force Operation Southern Watch /Endearing Freedom /Iraqi Freedom /Task Force Horn of Africa /Korean cease fire, Grandfather WWII army air corps, Grandfather WWII Army infantry, father Vietnam Navy, great uncle WWII Interpreter Army?, step dad army tanker Korea and Vietnam and many more
My family is filled with veterans. I am proud of every one of them.