Missing My Deployed Marine

Dec. 9th

So many thoughts, so many feelings rushing, rushing through my head. I was dizzy, numb, lost.

Yesterday, William left for Afghanistan.  My anchor was gone. I felt like a lost balloon.

Before William left, I had to take Jacob into daycare. Driving home, I realized that I felt secure in knowing William would be home when I got there.  How many times did I simply take that for granted?

After bringing William to the airport, we approached our subdivision and I started to get a sick feeling. I felt like my blood was leaving my hands, my legs were weak; William was not going to be there when we arrived. I was alone.  I couldn't swallow, my throat felt as if it were starting to close up, my eyes filled with tears, loneliness and fear gripped me.

I'd like to say I was brave and didn't cry.  Shamefully I did, and in front of Jacob (my 3 year old son) who offered me an invisible band aid for my hurt heart.  This, of course, brought on sobbing.  Sleep was not to be had that night.

Dec. 8th

Today was our company Christmas party.  After a night of waking every half hour I staggered downstairs this morning to make myself a cup of coffee.  Lost in thoughts of William's hockey jersey (which was draped over a banister), his running shoes that were under foot, his favorite cereal in the pantry and his milk in the fridge, I failed to notice that I put un-brewed coffee grinds in my coffee cup filled with cream.  This of course brought me back to Earth.  I couldn't believe how lost and dazed I was. 

Later at the Christmas party...other people are in the room. I know it.  I feel a million miles away.  I am speaking with, what's his name? I knew his name a second ago.  Why can't I concentrate?  Smile, that's right, don't forget to smile.  No tears.  Brave Marine wife, that's me.  I'm strong. I know I am.  I learned to live with the loss of friends who lost their lives in 9/11.  I survived the flood waters of Katrina rushing into my house and up to my neck. Why am I now so stunned?  I knew he was leaving, not a surprise.  We've done this before.  Oh that's right, last time was a nightmare.  Can a wife get PTSD from being left alone for 8 months with a 4 month old baby with  no friends, no family? 

Doesn't matter. Wait, someone is speaking to me.  Bradley, that's his name!  Something about shorts and a golf outing.   Bradley is nice, kind.  Smile, keep smiling. All will be well. 

The party ended and I left to pick up Jacob.  As I stopped at a red light I was overcome with tears. My sweet William was not here; I missed him so.  The light turned green. Eyes wiped, I drove on.  In a trance, I automatically took the shortcut I always took to take Jacob to daycare.  Stopping once again, this time at a stop sign, I started to cry.  Looking to my left, I was brought home and my tears quickly stopped.  Not 20 feet away stood a graveyard.  I should be grateful; I was not one of the many wives whose tears wash their husband's gravestones clean.  My Marine is OK. He’s far away, but alive and well. Eyes dried, I drove off to pick up Jacob, my beautiful boy.

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