I really want to write a post full of self pity w/o readers being able to tell. Since I know I can’t accomplish that feat, I’ll try to write to my future self and you all will just have to bear it if you continue reading. (If you made it past the title, I have to give you partial credit. In Army speak, homecoming is called reintegration. It sounds like some chemical process rather than reuniting loved ones.)
When HabMoo returned to Kuwait and had been there a couple of days, we had a really interesting conversation. it wasn’t about how much we missed each other; it was about how we understood how couples could so easily cheat on each other during a deployment. Not that either of us was truly tempted, but the loss of the person you love feels a little like a breakup. It feels like you’re trying to move on even if what you’re really trying to do is hang on. To make the pain less, we could see how you’d turn to someone else. It might make things easier for a while.
I’ve written about pining for my husband earlier during the deployment. These last weeks before he returns are not about pining. They are about reminding myself that he’s still my husband and not some guy I wish was my husband. It’s about aching for the sound of his breath in the middle of the night. It’s about wishing I could listen to him talk to me about whatever is on his mind as he’s flossing his teeth. It’s lamenting the fact that he’s not here to make me healing spaghetti when I’m sick. It’s feeling shackled to Skype each morning, even when it fails us.
The last months are the hardest. I don’t have any prior posts from this time. I think it’s because the feelings are too raw and I hate to expose all that. Plus I don’t want him to feel guilty or worried. We are just living with decisions we made. It’s sort of like a natural disaster that we knew was coming and prepared for. We built in the tornado belt because we loved it there. Round about now, it’s hard to see the beauty, is all.
I’d like to say that I want him focused on his job and not me because his job is important and critical to success. But the war is over, they’ve worked w/o a few basic work tools for several days, and no one seems involved in any activities that actually matter to the US or even to them or other soldiers. I don’t understand why he’s still there except that there was a plan and no one wants to work too hard to change the plan or the dates. If I felt like we were making a sacrifice that mattered, I think this waiting would be easier. I could label my pain as patriotic or heroic or something. Instead it just seems like a waste.
Have you ever taken the 5 Love Languages assessment? We both rank very highly for the language of touch. I wish it was words of affirmation instead. I think we’re both pretty good at that. We let each other know that the other is loved. We laugh and tease during our Skype calls when we aren’t cursing Internet connectivity. But we both need to be touched. I need a hug. I need a peck on the neck while I wash dishes. Not to mention that husband/wife touchy stuff. No amount of Skype or phone calls, no sonnets, no letters, no gifts make up for the casual unconscious touch of his hand on my leg while we watch a movie.
While I don’t have prior posts to review and see how this frustration and sadness has happened before, I do have a few posts from when he’s been home. And they barely even mention him. When he gets back he’ll be such a constant, such a fixture, that I won’t have to write about his presence. It will just be assumed. That’s what I really want. I want to be so quenched by his local existence, his perfect attendance, that I’m excited about having a weekend alone while he’s at drill. That is such a great feeling.