(Photo Credits: Photo Pin)
I don’t feel much like writing today.
My friend’s husband is deploying tomorrow and while I want to be supportive, I want to cry for her. I want her to quit worrying about stupid things and try to cram an entire year into the next 24 hours. But I know that he is already “gone”, mentally checked out of the family and just waiting for the clock to tick away to the moment he crosses the threshold for the last time before he “goes.”
I don’t want to scare her, or make her stressed by saying I’m worried for her and about her. But I want her to know that I love her and want to wrap my arms around her and make it all go away. She’s much younger than me, and I feel as if I was offered a chance to bear this burden FOR her, I would take it. It’s too much for so many of us. I don’t want her to hurt, or feel this way.
I know how she feels right this very second and for every second in the next 12 months. I know tomorrow, when she goes to bed, she will do so alone. And, on her husband’s pillow she will cry the kind of cry that will exhaust her for days. She won’t let her children hear or see her, and she will feel empty all the way to her toes.
I wish I could teleport there and hold her hand. But, I know that she’ll want to be alone and the last person she will want to see is someone telling her it will be okay. Because right now, it is NOT ok. It’s heartbreaking, and lonely, and desperate, and frightening. And, I know she wants to be angry. Angry at him for leaving, angry at the military for taking him away again and angry at everyone because it was her and not them. She’ll feel guilty for feeling that way and I want to tell her that I understand. She’ll hate every Facebook post that talks about a husband, and every Tweet that says something sweet about a couple, and she will adopt the Anti-Valentine mentality for a while. She’ll hate sappy commercials and trade in Lifetime for SyFy in a desperate attempt to keep the demons at bay for just a few minutes longer.
But for a while, she’ll be unable to hear me. She will go through the next days unable to hear a single word I say. And, I’ll be here when she makes it to the other side. The other side of the darkest, quietest, loneliest tunnel on the planet. Right now, she’s probably double checking his laundry is clean, folded and packed. She’s hungry but can’t stomach anything just now. The nervous feeling in her belly feels strangely like a combination of butterflies and a bad hang over. She knows it’ll pass, but it won’t pass quickly enough.
For when tomorrow comes, time will drag by and fly by all at the same time. And, I know that when she gets in the car and heads home without him she will be mustering every ounce of strength her body possesses and all of her reserves to make it through the drive home. She’ll hold it together and try to distract her children. “We’re going to be fine”, “Anyone hungry?” she’ll likely say. The demons are closing in fast…and, she’ll know that later she’ll have to fight them. Fight them with a strength that seems to not exist right now.
But, I have faith in her. I know she’ll meet me on the other side of the tunnel. And, when she gets there, I’ll give her that hug. This time the hug will somehow be different. Just a little longer than the last hug because this one will be filled with extra love and compassion.
Because while I know she can’t hear me right now… it is going to be okay.