My husband left for a month of NCOES this past weekend. It’s two 2 week course back to back. He has to get it done in order to be promoted before he deploys later this year. I’m not going to lie. I cried and I cried hard standing out in the driveway watching him leave. I didn’t care if the neighbors saw. I let my heart run over. Then I composed myself and watered the plants and had a big piece of cake for breakfast. Yes I sure did. I figured it had been a stressful morning and I deserved it. Or I’ll just go with that anyway.
My husband is in the Reserves so he hasn’t been deployed in over three years. I’ve gotten really used to him being home. Sure he has drill once a month and annual training for two weeks each year, but I just wasn’t prepared for this old feeling of emptiness and extreme loneliness that crept back in and reminded me so much of deployment.
I’ve found myself carrying around my cell phone this week. Something I did out of habit when he was deployed. I carry it to the bathroom, it’s lying on the counter while I shower, it’s on my desk while I work and it’s on my nightstand when I sleep. It’s never far away. I’ve been clinging to it waiting for it to ring.
I know this is ridiculous because he’s only two and a half hours away. He’s safe, I talk to him every night and I’ll even be able to visit him once during the month. But this feeling is just too familiar. It’s scary. It’s unsettling. It makes me so uneasy when he’s not here. I’m not weak but I sure don’t feel strong right now. I know this is a good way to ease into his deployment later this year but I just can’t help but feel a little panicky. I know military spouses are supposed to act strong but at the same time we are human. These kinds of things happen to the best of us. We all have weak moments and this is one of mine. I know I’ll toughen up as time goes by. I’ll get used to this feeling again. You learn to accept it.
But right now I toss and turn at night. The sheets are a twisted mess and I’ve been waking up on his pillow instead of mine. The light is usually still on because I was up reading trying to forget that he’s not lying next to me and I end up falling asleep. I reach for him and he’s not there and I slowly realize that he’s away. Another morning, another heartbreak…but also another day closer to getting him back.
It doesn’t matter if they’re away for a day, a month or a year. The length of time makes no difference. Regardless, we’re going to miss them. It will feel like agony to us while it might not look as difficult to someone else. Don’t ever feel bad for missing your spouse. That’s your right. What we have to remember is that we can do it, we will do it and it won’t last forever.