The unknown of when my soldier will be coming home had kept me sleeping lightly last night. Three times the quiet phone notifications taunted me with no hope of my soldier coming home as expected. Then my alarm woke me one more time at 0400 and I quickly reached for my phone, thinking please don’t let him be online, please let there be a message saying that he left… Nope. The one and only time I did not want to see him online was this morning. In hopes that he had left his FOB to the first stop, slowly faded. I message him with the first thing I can think of, “uh oh.” He assured me that he wasn’t going to give up on a plane coming today. His confidence kept me feeling hopeful.
I hadn’t heard his voice in a few days so I took the opportunity to call him as I drove to work at 0500. He sounded great, optimistic. As we talked about our plans and possible alternative plans, a knock at his door interrupted our conversation.
“Yep, come in!” He shouted. The door of his CHU squeaked and then there was an unfamiliar voice to me. I tried to listen but I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. I was just thinking in my head, I hope this is it… I hope he’s got a flight. My soldier, clearly done talking with whoever it was, had no change in his voice. Nope. We continued on with our conversation. The knock and squeak interruptions happened at least three more times as I made my way to work.
0600 and still no word on a plane. I told him I had just made it to work and that I had to go. We exchanged our usual lovers ritual before we hung up and I sat at my desk, a little less hopeful at that point.
The day dragged along, and by the time 0800 rolled around, I got the grueling truth. It wasn’t going to happen… well at least not as planned. A break was needed, for the both of us. Thousands and thousands of miles between us, but we both shared the same feeling at the same moment in time. Disappointment.
I walked away from my desk to get some air. The thoughts passed through my mind, knowing that he will come home, but still that heaviness that a few extra days just seemed so far away. It didn’t make sense. Our strength carried on for months as we have been separated by deployment, how can a few more days feel so strenuous? So disappointing? So sad?
I spent the second part of my day picking up the pieces of what I had left to do. Rearranged my vacation, rearranged the kids home study, and then figured out what I could do with the days in between to keep me occupied. Still as I did all this, the other thought haunted me. What if he doesn’t make it back for plan B? I know I can’t live in the ‘what-if’s’. It will drag me down. There will never be a perfect answer. And the thought of just letting go and just let things happen without trying to figure out the details, actually stresses me out. Geeze, what is wrong with me?
It’s come down to another day of waiting and hoping. Part of me just doesn’t want to have hope since it’s been nothing but a let down. I’m exhausted from the anxiety. I’ve allowed myself to get ‘pumped’ for R&R, and then been let down by more uncertainty. The lack of care from the platoon has literally crushed my soldier’s morale. He needs good news, and he needs it fast. I hope that tomorrow brings smiles to both of us, and room to breathe.