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The Family

The Family

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Back to the Future

I had a really hard time sleeping last night and have the headache to prove it, or maybe the headache is the reason I couldn't sleep. When I get like that my first instinct is to pray, in case it is a nudge from God to pray for someone. This stems from years for not knowing where my husband is in the deep blue and what type of danger he may be in. Because as we all knew if he told me he would have to kill me:-) But after I exhausted my prayer list and tossed and turned for hours, I began to think of how you would describe what its like to have a deployed spouse to someone who has no association with the military. The best that I could come up with is that its like time travel. You see all of us here at home keep living, changing, and moving towards the future. But when your spouse returns from deployment it is like he is coming back to the future. Things have happened that cannot be recreated or re-lived. My husband spent a good deal of out oldest daughters high school attached to the USS Columbus, the Bus, or as it was often referred to in Pearl The Clown Bus. We began that tour as a Geo-bachelor tour, with him leaving for Senior Enlisted Academy in May and continuing on the Washington. Brittany was just finishing her freshman year and getting ready to be a sophomore. She still had a curfew of 10, none of her friends could drive, and she was still young. By the time he knew it she was a senior, on the Varsity cheerleading squad, the curfew was midnight, and her friends were driving. He would ask why she was going out so late or how were they getting there because in his mind she was still a freshman. For him time had stood still, but for the rest of us time had moved on. I am sorry to say that the same is going to happen with Zachary who is heading into his sophomore year. When the boat returns its like the crew is coming back to the future. Those of us who have been here have experienced things that we could not share with them when they occurred and sometimes it’s not the same to describe them or try to include them in what happened. This can be tough on marriages and relationships because you have both had experiences in their absence that will help shape who you are, but they are often unable to share their experiences, and you are often unable to do your experiences justice when you explain them. So you learn to live with things you will never know about your spouse, not because of deception, but because of reality. As you are left behind you mark time by creating distractions, projects, goals, and activities with your friends. You chose not to do things until they return because it may be something you are willing to wait for to ensure they experience it with you. Sadly, there are things like birth, death, weddings, graduations, and other life events that cannot be put on hold until they return. So, you attend and a little bit of your heart breaks for a moment, but you breathe deeply and you smile knowing they wanted to be there. Our family has been extremely blessed to have Rick at all of our children's births and all of their high school graduations (although the last two he made by the hair of his chinny chin chin) However, next week I will drive my youngest daughter to the airport and send her off to college. He will not be here when she leaves and when he returns his household will be smaller by one child. A major life change will occur and he will not be here, and although the rest of will be used to her being gone when by the time he gets back, he will have to start the process from scratch. When he returns...he will be coming back to the future.