And just like that – *poof* – he’s gone.
It’s very surreal, and hard to put into words. Like… what the hell just happened? And OH MY GAWD – seven plus months is a helluva long fucking time.
There you go.
After dropping him off at the squadron, kissing him good-bye with several “I love you!’s” and finally a farewell “see ya later!” as he boarded the bus- I drove to and spent 90 painful minutes at Whole Foods. Seriously, it was awful. I kept thinking – I should eat something or get totally wasted… but I have NO idea what to eat and waking feeling ill the day after N deploys is never fun (speaking from experience… this IS our 4th rodeo). So…. after thoroughly walking through the store, talking tearfully to my parents, more browsing, occasionally bursting into tears, and finally making my selection (peach salsa + bottle of wine + 2 bottles of soda water + 1 sushi tray) – I realized that I was eating WAY too healthy given the circumstances, and stopped to pick up Peanut Butter M&Ms at Ralph’s before heading home.
Because if it’s one thing I’ve learned – burying my head in a bag of Peanut M&Ms while watching a movie and sipping wine can cure a lot.
But if it’s another thing I’ve learned – is that tomorrow morning will be beyond painful, all because of that brief moment…. the moment where I open my eyes, but don’t yet remember that he’s gone…. it’s the dread and ill feeling all over again that he’s not here flooding through my body… that moment between being asleep and awake where for one blissful moment everything is okay and if I close my eyes I can almost believe that he’s sleeping right next to me….but when I open them, I realize that my pain is succinct with my reality, and the love of my life is far far away, gone for too many months to count on one hand.
I’ve heard many military spouses claim that those moment right before they deploy are the hardest.
And while I would agree with that (in theory) – I would also say that there are LOTS of hard moments during deployments (in principle). Ugh.
But…with the hard stuff also comes opportunity. Maybe it’s the athlete in me – or the relentlessly positive bits shining through…. but during each of our previous deployments, we’ve both grown tremendously (in spite of some tough changes)… learned a lot of Life Lessons… and have been fortunate enough to come together after the fact. For a couple in our early 30s, well, I feel pretty lucky.
Oh well. Too much of the serious stuff. Time to go bury my head in more M&Ms. And maybe some wine.
Is there really a difference?
And one final thing I’ve learned? I’ve got some pretty awesome and fabulous people in my life – friends and family for whom I am SO grateful. THANK YOU for all the support, calls, texts, emails, and very nice comments – they all mean so much!
Love it while you live it – hug your family and tell the people in your life that you love them.