A year ago today, I did probably the hardest things I ever had to do. I said goodbye to my husband knowing we would not see each other for 2 and 1/2 months (with only letter correspondence and a handful of phone calls), and not live with each other for 7 and 1/2 months.
I want to talk about that day, not because I want anyone to feel sorry for me, or even really to relate to other military spouses (though many will), but more because I do not have that day written down anywhere. And while we don’t like to remember the hard times, I think it is important to remember those times.
Honestly, it’s kind of hard to remember that day, I kind of feel like I have a shadow cast over it in my head. I remember the night before was incredibly hard, we both cried a lot. Which made waking up early the next morning incredibly difficult. Andrew and I got up, said goodbye to his family and then pulled Cora (who was almost a year and a half) out of bed and made our quiet, hour long drive to the airport.
Andrew wasn’t wearing any military clothing, so no one understood why we were standing near the security check point crying our eyes out as we said a very long goodbye. I can only imagine how weird that must have looked. He got in line and I watched for as long as I could manage to hold myself together and then I headed out back to the car, in tears! A worker at the airport actually stopped me and asked if I was ok. If I wasn’t so sad, I probably would have been mortified!
I drove back, stopped by Kneaders to eat my feelings with french toast and Andrew and I shared text messages about how much we loved each other until he got on the plane.
Throughout the rest of the day Andrew and I had periodic contact with each other as he waited in airports until he finally made it to Fort Sill. Our last contact on the phone was late that night, he had about 5 minutes to call me and tell me that he had made it there safely. And that was it.
I had cried when we said goodbye at the airport and a little here and there but I really didn’t cry as much as I was expecting. So, that night I went to bed and I thought that I was really proud of myself for how well I had handled everything. Then I laid there and it didn’t take long for it to hit me. And boy did it hit me. That is one thing for sure I will never forget. The pain I felt that night. It started with me realizing that I was waiting for him to call. And I said to myself, “Christine. He isn’t going to call.” And I lost it. Probably the closest I have ever been to an actual mental break down. Gosh, I am crying right now as I’m writing about it. It was an awful night. I slept on his side of the bed and threw my pregnancy pillow off the bed because I was mad at it for not being my husband. Thinking back on it, I can’t even say it was silly because I know how much I was hurting. And that night was the start of a lot of long nights crying, and if not crying just lying awake because it took a while for me to get used to being in a bed alone.
And that was September 19th, 2017. It’s safe to say that today was much better than it was a year ago.