Red Friday 4/20/12 ~ The Military Spouse

It’s funny how Shore Duty can distract you from all the feelings of Sea Duty. As I searched this morning for a “Military Spouse Tribute” for this Red Friday Post, I found myself crying bawling…like a baby, while watching heartfelt videos and reading personal poems. I remember. I don’t want to remember, but I do. It’s like the feelings of a deployment are stored in the back of my heart/mind and the door had been shut. Deployments are like Child Birth. You forget the pain until someone starts talking about it or until it’s your turn to go through it again.

I remember clearly a girlfriend discussing a complication during childbirth and I physically felt my stomach tighten and cramp with the thought of it. Little flickers of thoughts fluttered through my mind of being in a hospital bed holding my baby for the first time…The smiles from a sibling and my husband…You don’t want to remember the pain…or the complications. Your brain protects you by first remembering the good.

Today, while reading through blogs and websites my chest hurt. My eyes swelled and little flickers, like an old movie playing in black and white danced through my thoughts. Waiting at the pier for the boat to come within sight, flags in the hands of children dressed in mini uniforms and red, white and blue dresses. You don’t want to remember the pain. You don’t want to remember the loneliness, the funeral you attended alone, the child you gave birth to without him, the empty chair at the dinner table every night…..for months. Your brain tries to protect you and at first, you remember the good.

It’s how we last a career. Shore Duty has given me time to recoup. To forget the pain. On days like today, I feel the anxiety flourish in my heart. At the end of the year he will be getting ready to deploy again and I am slowly transitioning back into a Navy Wife. My brain won’t shut off. List are made in my house daily, but new things are added under milk and foil on the grocery list…”fill out revised will”, is on today’s list in the kitchen. It’s casually written under “foil”, like it should be “eggs”.

Life goes on and today my husband will come home from work smiling and with a kiss, he will wipe these thoughts away until the next time the subject is brought up. It’s a chosen “temporary amnesia” that we allow ourselves to suffer from to let our hearts heal and give ourselves the time to live without the pain.

I’ll save the tribute I found for next Friday. These words are a true tribute.

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