So, it’s been a while since I’ve sat down to write something. And not much has happened, so I didn’t really know what to write about.
The Holiday season is strange without my husband. We’ve always done everything pretty much together, since we’ve been together, so having a sub-spectacular Halloween with him (because he was leaving shortly thereafter and most other families had already deployed or parted, so having a party was out of the question), and now having Thanksgiving without him, and Christmas to follow, is very, very unsettling.
My parents and I were invited to a family pre-Thanksgiving dinner (the Sunday before Thanksgiving), and I was really excited to go…until I got in the car. Then I started to think about the fact that I am actually celebrating without my husband; I am going to a family dinner that he would have normally been joining me to. And, although too late, I started to rethink my decision to go to this dinner with my parents. And then we got there, and of course, everyone asked about my husband, what I’ve been up to, how I’m doing, am I looking for work, had I found work yet, and so on. I don’t say this in a mean way, I know everyone meant well and had the best intentions when asking me these things. But, although I got through it, it was very hard to talk about. Deployment is still new, it’s like a fresh wound. And this is the first holiday in 4 years we’re spending apart. And even though I was surrounded by family, I felt utterly alone. Seriously. I felt sad, I felt sick to my stomach, and part of me wanted to excuse myself and either lock myself in somewhere and cry, or take my parents’ car home, and hope someone could give them a ride or something later.
I wanted to flee.
So, for the evening I was relatively quiet, had small talk here and there with my cousins, but I felt like I wasn’t in the moment. I think if I had let myself be there, completely, I would have been too emotional. I had to detach.
But I did realize, that I am not ready for big family events like this. While on the one hand, they’re a great distraction, and propose the opportunity of a great time, it’s almost too big, too familiar, too soon. Sure, if I were to have a party with my friends, it would be different, because as a couple, we really didn’t get to do much with my friends (yet). So I wouldn’t have that connection. I am really glad, though, that my parents are not planning on having their big Christmas party this year, like they have thrown almost every year. I may have actually left the house if they were… Which is really sad to say, I do love my family and the friends they invite over…it’s just a little overwhelming for me right now.
So, I am looking forward to the distraction of presents (there are things this year that I actually do not know what I am getting), watching Christmas movies with my parents, having a small get together with family out somewhere to celebrate with my grandfather, and being that much closer to my husband’s R&R.
But, this season is really hard. I’m still unsettled inside…like I’m not sure of what to make of what’s going on with everything. I’m married…but my husband isn’t here…I want to see him, I can’t…I want to talk to him, I have to wait until he calls…I hate having to go day-to-day without him. I know eventually this will all become routine, and I’ll get used to it (if humans are good at anything, it’s adjusting and conditioning themselves). But I think it would still be uncomfortable…how can you be content, HAPPY, without the love of your life being with you every day? We weren’t joined at the hip or anything, but even being able to spend evenings and nights together, to have a kiss and a hug and a kiss good-bye every morning when leaving for work…I don’t WANT to get used to NOT having that.
I saw a clip on the news tonight, about how a man in the Navy surprised his son at some event, by being placed in a big, wrapped, box, and sprung out. I want that. I want a giant Christmas wrapped box delivered to me, and have my husband jump out. Typing this out, “I want a box with my husband in it”, sounds really morbid, and like the exact opposite of what I want. But I hope you know what I mean. I want my husband, home, ALIVE, and with me.
So, to all the military families out there, and all of the spouses spending the holidays without their service members, I wish you all an especially, Happy Holiday season. I hope, for those with deployed spouses, that your spouse stays safe, and returns home to you safely, alive, and as soon as possible. For the families who are eventually facing a deployment, I wish you all the same – that your deployment is safe, and goes by quickly. Until all of our men and women are safe on American soil, my thoughts are with you.