The most interesting thing about my husband’s deployment is that on a day which honors military members such as this past Veterans Day, is not when I miss him the most.
I was a tad upset with the inability to take advantage of the plethora of free food advertised in our area, but I was not sad or even nostalgic about our being apart. Our husband-wife relationship is not rooted on holidays or days of remembrance, even when his boots occupy my house every day instead of sand. No, our relationship flourishes and blooms in silly and stupid stuff. It is the glue that keeps us together and it is that same silly and stupid stuff that makes me tear up and miss him the most.
On Veterans Day, like other patriotic holidays, I received a bunch of texts, emails, and social media declarations of appreciation and quandaries about my well-being. I fully understand, and am grateful, for being on the mind of all those people; they are thankful and I am as well. And how are they to know that for me, Veterans Day wasn't sad or depressing but a day for me to thank Veterans as well, attend my eighth grader’s teacher conferences, pick up dog poop, drive to soccer practice, and teach religious education? In other words, it was an all-systems-normal day with the addition of my own outpouring of appreciation for all those who serve our country, both past and present.
What issues cracks in my veneer are the times I say things like ‘hard staff’ when speaking about difficult employees, and he is not there to call me out on such a rookie verbal mistake in his presence, and I start to imagine what his retort would be. Or when he isn't there to beat me to spouting out lines from movies during applicable real life situations. Or when at the end of church, during the recessional song, he would always turn towards me, put his arm around my waist, and to the outside eye, sing sweetly in my ear. What they do not know is that he either sings in a) falsetto voice that a eunuch would envy or b) get all Barry Whiteish and gravelly throated, daring me to laugh either way.
Unappreciative is not what I would say this is all about; I am extremely grateful for every “how are ya”, each “thinking about you” and the “we are here if you need anything, honestly” aplenty. Those small but potent declarations of support are verbal candy to my soul and keep me going. What I am asking, (and if you are in the same position as me, maybe you understand as well) is that when you have a sweet moment with your spouse, a moment that makes you think, “I love this man/woman”, that be the time you let me know you have my back.
Please continue to show support to my husband on those national holidays, but if my friends and family follow my request above, I hope-hope-hopity-hope-hope it will translate into hearing from them more. Because if I can’t be loving my silly stoo-pid spouse, I sure hope they are loving theirs, which makes them think about how I can’t, which lets me know they are thinking about me.
And that would make me happy.