Friday, November 12, 2010

Veteran's Day "Your Soldier. Your love."

Veteran's Day was yesterday. Gene put on his uniform and went to the school to participate in a flag raising ceremony, hand out pencils, and enjoy the choir singing America the Beautiful. I didn't go. I joked with my friends that I didn't go because I wanted to shower and have some free time.

The truth is that I can't see a soldier, especially Gene, listen to children singing America the Beautiful. I can't watch my soldier interact with all those smiling grateful children. I can't observe Boy Scouts taking special care when handling the American flag. Being a part of the celebration would open a hole in my heart.

I would have been forced to remember all the times that he missed out on important unforgettable moments with the girls;
all the times the girls fell apart because they needed their Daddy;

all the nights I heard a creak in the house and didn't sleep while I imagined ways I would protect my little family;
all the times I wondered if I would be enough if Gene didn't make it home.

My pride and gratitude is great but some moments my pain is greater. Moments that trigger my emotions make me feel weak - even though I know God has given me strength. I would have sobbed through the morning and I chose a shower instead.

This morning my friend, who is also a military wife, posted this article on her Facebook page. The author of the article wrote a part of my heart. It is good to know that these feelings I have are not mine alone.

The first part of the article talks about deployments and is quite poignant.

When my husband was deployed, I repeatedly pictured myself at his funeral, speaking through tears to the sad assemblage in West Point's Old Cadet Chapel. I mediated the chaos of potential loss by embracing it. Fantasizing about it. Playacting it.

This next section is the mirror image of what it feels like when I look for Gene.

First there is the broad category of pride: the singular distinction of loving, and being loved by, an American soldier. Then, golden glimpses so brief, if you blink, you'll miss them, like the moment you approach a group of soldiers, knowing that your man is among them. Somewhere. You start scanning the crowd. And suddenly, within the uniform, uniformed mass, he appears. Your soldier. Your love.

As you draw closer, your blood races, each pulsing beat saying, "Mine, mine, mine," though you know he's never entirely yours, for the Army has its hold on him, too. But as you come near, he sees you right back and in that brilliant instant of recognition, the guard drops, and there he is, the he of him: the laugh, the posture, the distinguishing quirk. As your gazes hold, maybe he smiles a little, or a lot, and there is a palpable exchange - my heart for yours - made without a single word.

Enough said.

If you would like to read all of this article here it is
The Quiet Side of Being A Soldier's Other Half it's only two pages but she gets to the heart, my heart, of the matter.