Left Behind


My life has been altered in the last few months. Besides purchasing a house and moving (without the Navy's help!), my father-in-law passed away five weeks ago. Losing a parent is something you don't expect to happen until you are well into the mid-life crisis years with kids who are either grown or mostly grown. You don't expect it to happen before you even have them.

[sidenote: I started calling my husband Huzzy in response to him calling me "Wifey" just to get a rise out of me (ya know, the "little wifey at home" type thing) and that's what I call him when I blog.]

Huzzy has been taking it as well as anyone can expect, but there are always ups and downs. I can say this because I lost my dad when I was 22 years old, so watching him go through the "Seven Stages of Grief" is something familiar to me. Unfortunately, he has more on his plate than most because his dad was the sole caretaker of HIS mom (grandma) and now the responsibility falls on Huzzy and his brother (mostly his brother right now because we don't live near them) to take care of her... because her own daughter (Huzzy's aunt) refuses to.

So he has a lot going on. And true to submarine life, there is a deployment, which is called a patrol, right around the corner (when isn't there?), which would mean little to no communication during the entire patrol. While it's always hard to have no contact, Huzzy wouldn't know what is going on with his family and, in all honesty, wouldn't be able to really deal with his dad's death.

His command has decided that he is NOT going on the next patrol. And while it is best decision right now for both Huzzy and the command (he works with nuclear missiles for a living... they don't want a distracted person doing that), it's a tough pill to swallow for the both of us. For Huzzy, this is a patrol where he will not be an LPO (Leading Petty Officer) and it might harm his career. He also feels guilty because his division will have to pick up his slack.

For me, while no one wants their husband to be gone and not even be able to email them for weeks and months at a time, I feel guilty that I get my husband home while the other wives (and I can say wives because it is still an all-male crew) are going through the stress and worry of being separated. I'm also not sure what to do with so much together time! We've been together now since January - minus a month when Huzzy was in Illinois with his family - and it's very strange for us. When you are in the submarine community, you are used to them coming or going every three or four months or so. You are either in a deployment, or gearing up for one. But we aren't right now. Very strange, indeed.

Of course, we are talking about the military so I'm not going to believe that he isn't going on the patrol until they actually pull out of port... and I'm not going to believe they aren't going to call for him to join them in the middle of it until the crew returns. Heck, they are even having him put all his deployment items (clothes, toiletries) on the boat just in case. You know how it goes - the only thing certain is that things change.

Have you ever had your spouse stay behind during a deployment? What were your experiences?

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