The flight that my husband’s friends come home on is this weekend.
This would be my husband’s flight if he hadn’t been hurt during his unit’s deployment to Afghanistan over last year. He was shot through the knee by an Afghan in a Green on Blue incident during his own promotion ceremony. The whole ordeal is almost a blur now, because he has been home for the past several months recovering. He can walk now. He has a limp -- but even that is amazing, because at one point we didn’t know if he could keep his right leg.
And now the guys are coming home. And I’m sad.
I’m sad to see my friends go to welcome home ceremonies and get those excited butterflies that I remember so well from my husband’s first deployment. I’m sad when they post about their 4-day weekend trips they take the first week home.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been happy for them and I’ve supported and encouraged them and smiled the whole time. Deep down, though, I feel kind of forgotten and like I got gypped. My husband was deployed. I missed him and counted the months.
But our reunion was in a hospital. Our first few weeks together were spent with me lugging the kids to the hospital every day and trying not to make terrified faces when I saw that huge metal bar that was drilled into his leg (the x-fix). During his first weeks in our house we were not intimate and I felt more like a nurse than his wife. I saw his legs get skinny and body become frail as he healed.
In my mind, I expected to watch the plane fly in and the curtain rise to reveal my buff, cross-fit tough husband after nine months of being apart. I counted on a night of passionate kisses and the exhausted relief that comes with welcoming a soldier home.
I didn’t get that. And I thought I was okay, until I sit and watch everyone else get to do it.
I have a lot to be thankful for, and I’m so thrilled he is alive and has been here to see our kids grow. I am happy he's home. I am happy a limp is all he is left with when it could've been so many come home missing limbs or don't come home at all.
I am disappointed to have these feelings, but I wonder if anyone else has ever felt the same way?
But now I’m going to find a cookie recipe to make and send with my husband when he goes to welcome his unmarried friends home. Because that’s what we military wives do. We feel, we deal, and we move on as we heal.
Kristen Ford lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children. Her degree in Forensic Accounting took a backseat to being an “Army wife” and stay-at-home mom less than four years ago. She enjoys taking advantage of the fresh, organic produce that the PNW has to offer and the overall healthy lifestyle there. Her main goal at this point in life is to raise her family as “normal” as the military lifestyle permits.