My husband came home! He was here with us for all of 48 hours. He is starting to feel like a ghost to me. He’s been gone since July and he’s come home twice now, but the time he was home was so short that it seems like a dream. This is difficult.
He is doing all that he can do to keep the lines of communication open. I know some father’s who aren’t Soldiers and they don’t make a point to call their children everyday, but he has yet to miss a day talking to the kids and me. I appreciate him trying his best, but phone calls don’t make up for his presence. We have managed to remain loving to one another during this time even though we are both frustrated with the circumstances. He is probably a bit more frustrated than me because his work has too many obstacles with the major one being handling personnel that don’t feel the need to listen to him and question him at every turn. It is hard for him. At his last unit, we knew outright that racism was a factor, but with this unit it appears that it is just a few people with really bad personalities along with being scared to go to war.
When he came home, I let him decompress and tell me about everything he has been going through. The thing with listening is that you always take some of the stress in as your own, especially when it involves someone you care so deeply about. I heard his concerns, jokes, the different characters that have entered into his life now. I feel like I know these people which is one part endearing and another part frightening. I know that these people will replace my children and me and become his family while he is deployed and although I get it, it still makes me feel like the distance has already begun and he hasn’t even left yet. The beauty is that there is no jealousy because I’ve been there. I know how it feels, but I also know that when one returns from war the family you left seem like strangers and it takes a number of months to feel any sense of normalcy again.
My daughter appears to be taking it the worse of us all. When he left this last time, she cried the whole way home. Today, her teacher pulled me to the side and told me that she was preoccupied most of the day and seemed at the brink of tears. I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for her. She is only 5 years old. I doubt that she even knows how to express how she feels, but I talked to her after school and let her know that it was okay to miss daddy. I told her that I missed daddy too and that I cried too. She looked shocked when I told her that I cry and it dawned on me that I have been holding back all of these emotions in an effort to be strong and forgot that I am my children’s biggest example on how to deal with things. I’ve decided that if she wants to cry, then I will cry with her. If she wants to talk about how she feels, then I will share with her how I feel too. We made a calendar together so she can visually see when he will return. The activity seemed to cheer her up, but my heart broke when I asked her what she missed most about daddy and she said, “his face”. Can you imagine?
He really feels like a ghost. I can feel him here as if he’s right by my side, but physically he isn’t here. I can smell him. If I close my eyes, I can see his face. I hear his voice when things get overwhelming, telling me to take care of myself. I miss him terribly and I absolutely cannot wait until he gets home.