Monday, October 23, 2006

Things I've done that I might not have if my husband were here

Things I’ve done that I might not have if my husband were here

1) Sep up the TV, VCR, amp, and cable
2) Programmed a universal remote
3) Put my clothes in both sides of the dresser instead of squishing them into just half
4) Assembled a table
5) Slept alone for 39 days and counting
6) Watched Gilmore girls every Tuesday without argument (for once!)
7) Ate cereal for breakfast and dinner
8) Used the power-drill…twice

Being alone provides some unique opportunities and helps you discover new interests. I liked the buzz of the power drill, the burn in my arm from the weight up over my head. I like having ultimate, un-interrupted, guilt-free control of the remote. I like having time to plant a garden, to use the shovel. I decidedly don’t like spending nights alone on the couch, but that has pushed me into new activities, more involvement, and there is nothing wrong with more distractions.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The "Who Has it Worse" game

Between deployed Marines/ Soldiers and their spouses it’s easy to play the “who has it worse” game. Being the even-keeled person that I am, I am ok with saying we both have it hard….an example:

The day he left

Him: riding out on his floating steel chariot, heart thumping, adrenalin rushing, the adventure starting

Me: holding his hand as he prepares to leave, keeping my patience when his superiors come to chat with him, cutting in to our last few seconds together. Waving goodbye as he rides away. Driving home to the big empty house, seeing his dirty laundry, the empty Monster can he’d finished off the night before, not quite bringing myself to throw it away, not just yet.
I’d rather be him.

Christmas Day

Him: probably stuck in the middle of the desert, maybe out on a mission, receiving stale crushed gingerbread cookies in the mail, waiting for a Christmas gift that hasn’t made it yet, singing Jingle Bells in his head to drone out the chanting blasted from every loudspeakers on every mosque in town.

Me: sitting at home with my family, opening up gifts by the fire, making butter-ball cookies with my mom, waking up to Santa Clause-stuffed stockings, clinging to my cell-phone hoping for a phone call from my husband.

I’d rather be me.

Yes, we’ve both have it tough – we’ve been separated from each other before our new marriage has even had a chance to solidify, for holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries; if we speak, it’s in the middle of the night in 15 minute increments, forcing us to trust that the other is thinking about us, loving us, even if they can’t let you know.

But let me also tell you why we have it good. We have a little more perspective. We squander our minutes together a little less, knowing that they are limited. We have an opportunity to write each other love letters. We learn to be proud of one another, and proud of ourselves. And when we say ‘I love you,’ the small crack in the voice shows that we really mean it…and, for me at least, the silver lining that I don’t have to watch a single football game this whole season.

While I don’t always love this life, while I wish that I knew right now where my husband is and what he is doing, while I sometimes feel alone, sacrificing so much for something that most people find an inconvenience to their pocket book or a nagging annoyance on the evening news, while we both have it hard and it’s easy to slip into the “who has it worse” game - I find it helps to focus on what I have learned, how this has helped us, and how lucky I am to really know it.