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For me, it’s Military Spouse Appreciation Day (Month)

May 27, 2013

Trauma is coming to our house. We are beginning to prepare for the end of days. I’m starting to store wine by the case loads. Food will be at a ration.  Okay, well, that’s a tad bit of a stretch, but for all intents and purposes it’s exactly what I feel I should be doing.

 

My husband is leaving me.

 

Leaving me.

 

He’s running off to the other side of the country under the guise of an internship – for an entire month – before G and I can join him at the beginning of July. Cue the pandemonium. Cue the tears. Cue the fatigue from being the only parent in my home. Cue the Xanax. Here is our plan for survival:

 

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Ordinarily, I’d be the glass-half-empty gal in the corner sulking about the miserable nature of having to single parent for a month. I’d be crying on your shoulder, sputtering about diapers and daycare and doctor’s visits and not-having-a-moment-to-myself-so-help-me-God while throwing back a limitless stream of gin and tonics. I’m really good at the self-pity stuff if I want to be. (Side note: who isn’t?).

But yesterday I came across this gem circulating the routes of social media:

militaryapprec

I know, I know. Actual Military Spouse Appreciation Day was weeks ago. Am I really this late on the appreciation train?

Well, yes, actually, I am. Because as I’ve been wallowing in my bouts of husbandless-for-a-month self-pity, this small yet powerful message made its way into my brain.

Military spouses…how do you do it?

How under God’s green earth and all the majestic Heavens do you do it? H.O.W.?

My husband will be gone a month. A month. He will have his cell phone, gChat, FaceTime, email, etc. He will be available for my neurotic phone calls whenever my mood strikes. I can bug him at work if need be. I can hear his voice and see his face when the days get really long. I can put my sweet boy’s face on the screen and let him talk to Daddy whenever we all feel lonely. Shoot, my husband can’t even hide out on the other side of the country for long – I do have a plane ticket to join him.

I’m looking at this eCard thingy and saying to myself…GET OVER  YOURSELF, L. GET FREAKING OVER YOURSELF.

There are spouses that are separated for years. For years. They have no communication, or if they do, it is sporadic at best. The days of being apart must feel endless. I can count down the days in a month, but how do you steel yourself up for a year? Or more? How does one handle not only the logistics of separation, but the emotional? When my husband leaves, I know where he’ll be. He’ll be sitting at some posh swanky desk in the downtown of Glorious City, sipping coffee and working his magic on the computer. Can I even imagine the strength of spirit it would require of me if I didn’t know where he was? If I didn’t know if he was safe? If I didn’t know if he got my letter or my email or the cute little video of G spitting out his peas?

Military spouses, I salute you. I absolutely, utterly, salute you.

There is no pity here. There is no sigh of condolence. There is no head cock to the side in sympathy.

There is just a simple nod of acknowledgement that I will never pretend to understand your lives. I will never pretend I know what it’s like. I will try to never complain when my spouse is within communication’s reach. I will try to remember your humble strength, resilient community, and willingness to choose hope on the days when I’d like to just throw in the towel. I will try to remember those from whom I need to learn.

All I can say is, carry on warriors. Carry on.

You fight the battles the world does not see.

We salute you today, and all the days to come.

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