Friday, April 27, 2007

The burden is too big

I’ve been away, it was just too much. I am very happy to say, that my husband is out, he is somewhere between there and home, and I’m ecstatic. Having him out of harms way has afforded me the luxury of peace of mind and the mental capacity to put my thoughts to words. And here they are: I support our troops, I’m conflicted on the war, but mostly I’m frustrated by the isolation.

I know I shouldn’t complain that I get a call from my husband only twice a month, when my grandmother heard from her husband by letter only a handful a time a year during WWII. It’s terrifying that death is a possibility, but I know the numbers pale in comparison to Vietnam. Watching your husband go off to war is as old as time – think of the Spartan saying ‘come home with your shield or on it’. But for this war, it seems different….it’s just that now I feel like it’s only me.

I’m one of the few wives that have the opportunity to live on base, but work in a professional capacity at a leading company, and I can’t tell you the echoing depth of the chasm that separates my two worlds. I walk into the office to talk of stock options, tax cuts, weekend parties, laissez-faire political debates. If I hear about the war at all, it’s typically someone priming me to say that it’s awful, that they should all come home – don’t they know that can be offensive when my husband is risking his life to be there? I’ll never forget they day that Al Zarqawi died and I mentioned the news to a college-educated co-worker at my fortune 500 company and the response was…“who”? Or when a ware-age eligible man asked me if my husband would be coming home for Christmas – nope, unfortunately Iraq doesn’t close shop for the holidays. It’s not that they don’t care, it’s that it just doesn’t affect them.

Then I hop the train back to my other life. When I come back home, I pass through the guarded gates of my Marine Corps life into this parallel dimension. Back home, the streets are full of women taking out the trash and climbing on roofs to put up the Christmas lights because daddy isn’t home to do it. Back on base I always have a friend that is about to come home, and another that is about to leave. Back home, women are crying because they’re afraid that their children won’t remember their fathers. On my street, there is a rotation of “welcome home daddy” signs that fill me with pride and smiles, but also make me want to cry because I want it to be my turn. Back home I know not to knock on a friend’s door without calling first, lest she think that that knock is CACO on the other side telling her, her husband didn’t make it. Back home, I have to close my front door, because hearing car doors shut brings up images of men in blue walking up to my door and delivering the bad news.

I don’t want to complain, I have loved many experiences I’ve had with the MC life; it’s fast and furious and always entertaining. My friends on the perpetual cycle of deployments do not feel sorry for themselves, and neither do I. But still, I’m left with a feeling of frustrations and it comes down to this: the burden is just too big to be borne by so few.


At April 27, 2007, Blogger loquita said...

I've thought about your husband as I've kept up with the 15th MEU's deployment. I just wanted to say I'm happy that he's safe and finally on his way home.

It must be difficult to oscillate back and forth between corporate America and the Marine Corps - but in a way I'm jealous of you. The online community of military spouses is the only I've been able to take part in that "world." I imagine that it would be nice to be around other people going through the same experiences. But I can see from your post that maybe it would just create a stronger sense of just how little those outside of the military community really care.

At April 28, 2007, Blogger Blaez said...

i've tried starting off in so many different ways and nothing seems right. after reading this entry i feel like a shallow piece of pond scum. here i am worrying about stupid things while there are other things at hand.

ps, so happy to hear that he's on his way home to you!

At April 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your loneliness resonates. I too feel the effects of the abyss between my work and my wife-life. This forum helps a lot:
Keep strong,

At April 28, 2007, Anonymous Blues said...

Coming from a family with a long military tradition, my heart and prayers go out to you and your husband. You sacrafice along side him. You speak well of this sacrafice.

A post card I recieved from Iraq read: Notice, America is not at war! Marines are at war, America is at the mall.

Thank you and your husband for your sacrafices and service.

At April 28, 2007, Blogger Sarah said...

"Welcome Home!"

I'm glad to hear that soon your hamper will be full off all the laundry it was meant to hold!

Please tell your husband "Thank You" for us. ...and Thank You too!

And Loquita- I don't want to argue with you because you are probably right... but I just wanted you to know that I am not a member of the military community... at least not in the sense of marriage or family, but I am an American. There isn't a bumper sticker big enough that could tell the message to our troops how much we care about them -so I try to not let a day go by without writing a letter, a card, an e-mail or sending a care package to someone overseas. My husband and I consider it an honor to support such fine people as we have had the good fortune to come to know.

You don't need first and last names to assign to your prayers or your tears.

At May 02, 2007, Blogger Sgt. L's wife said...

I'm glad to see your husband is on his way home. I live a part-time dual life...corp. world full time and reserve world. I understand you from both sides of the fence and the frustrations it has. On my street, I'm the only one with yellow ribbons on the trees. I'm the only one who flies a flag. I reach out to those who are like me but they are mostly in communities other than mine as there are very few reservists in our town. I've had to reach far and wide to gather what support I can but I give it freely to anyone who may need it. It's my online friends and e-pals who have the rotating "welcome home" signs and that have the tears of saying good-bye. Sgt. is gearing up for his 2d deployment to Iraq and while it will be our second go round, it is the strength of you all who remind me of my strength and that while my next door neighbor isn't going through it, my extended military families are. You all help keep me grounded and for that I'm thankful.

At March 18, 2008, Blogger felix said...

I enjoy your writing itself. You express yourself straightforwardly without claiming to be a victim. My opinion is that part of your personal dilemma is that you are in the wrong profession. You got real talent as a writer. Writers spend a lotta time at home alone anyway. It makes time fly. I hope you keep writing incessantly even when your husband gets home.


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