Saturday, July 14, 2007

Those Left Behind

He leaves and, try as you might, it stills feels like abandonment. You try to drown your anger in understanding and compassion, but instead it boils, until is fizzes over. It's messy and no matter how hard you try some of it is bound to end up on him, even though you want to keep it all to yourself. You try not to think about the guns, the violence and the road side bombs, taking solace in the "safe" base, where he is, all the while the television screams to your heart. The news shits on your hopes and ignorant people muddle your mind with questions. Half of them questions you never even thought to ask yourself, let alone another person. You smile, excuse yourself and catch your breath in a bathroom stall.

The waiting for the phone call that never comes. Why? Did they lose power? Did he get busy? Is something wrong? Is it just a matter of time until you get another call, from someone you really don't want to talk to now or ever. Hitting refresh in your email, praying for a message, desperate for a smile. Swallowing the perpetual lump in your throat becomes routine and going through the motions is a performance repeated daily. Benadryl in your cabinet for your "allergies" is really to knock you out and stop your mind for eight hours. Relief. Silence. Nothingness.

You call yourself a military wife, hoping the title will somehow numb the empty. People ask you what you think. You want to scream, "I think I want my husband home." You feel torn. You hate the war for so many reasons. You love the soldiers. They believe in their fight. You believe in them. You want to punch people who have more mouth than brains, those people who sit comfortably at home and bash him. They're bashing you. You are a part of this war. You are dealing just as much as the men and women sitting in their back-of-a-semi homes, just in a different way. They're thinking, in the zone, constantly busy, or at least trying to be- surrounded by people who are going through the exact same thing. You are sitting alone, trying not to watch the news/read the paper/listen to the radio, because those bases actually mean something to you. Those ticking numbers are destroying another you. You feel guilty when you hear the news, and then you get that call. Relief that it wasn't him. It was someone else's "him". You push those thoughts out of your mind, because you don't want to dwell on the worst-case scenarios anymore than you have to. But you still feel that guilt.

You go on with life, marking your calendar until he returns, like you did in school for summer. You laugh and smile and do everything else you used to do. You just hurt the whole time you do it.

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posted by Kellie @ 8:48 PM |

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