When going to events or just neighborhood gatherings, I am always the one standing there; with a baby on my hip while my other 3 kids are running around my feet. I’m always the one standing there, talking to other “single” wives. I am always the one standing there being asked, “is your husband home?” because I’m always the one standing there without him beside me.
“Is your husband home”? This is a hard question to answer. My response every time is, “he’s home, but he’s not home”. While other military wives understand my answer, my non-military friends do not.
Yes my husband is on U.S. soil and for that I am very grateful for. But to be perfectly honest with you, he might as well be gone, because he is barely home at all. His car sits in front of our house, collecting rain spots and dust. His clothes are all neatly hung up on his side of the closet left untouched, while his shoes lay underneath perfectly lined up. His toothbrush is missing from our sink, along with his razor and shaving cream. His cologne no longer lingers in the air.
Yes my husband is “home”, but he’s not! He isn’t home to tuck the kids into bed every night, he’s not home to take out the trash, he’s not home to kiss me and hug me when I need it most, he’s not home to help the kids with homework, and he’s not home when the entire house to include me are all having meltdowns.
When he is “home”, we try and fill up our hours together with as much as possible. We fill the time with love and laughter because we need to make those memories count and store them away for all the days, weeks and months “he is home, but he’s not home”.