July 7, 2013

I wondered...

It was obnoxiously sunny and beautiful on the day I dropped Hubby off at the boat to begin our longest separation ever. We made our goodbye as quick and painless as possible, just like we had discussed. Hubby grabbed his sea bags and made his way towards the large floating barge of steel that would be his home for the next little bit. I buckled Baby back into his car seat and started the car, but I couldn't bear to leave just yet. I sat in the car and watched as Hubby walked away from our little family.

I don't cry in front of Hubby when he leaves. I want him to see me as strong and capable while he's away. I know that he knows that I do cry eventually. But those tears make the goodbye so much harder. I lost sight of Hubby and reluctantly put the car into drive.  It was only then that the tears started to fall. Big, hot tears that can't be held back, no matter the will of the person behind them.

I drove through base slowly, minding the 25 miles per hour speed limit and countless stop signs that hosted crosswalks full of young sailors. My tears and tissue to my eyes were not invisible to these young guys, and my semi-public grief brought on a few stares through the windshield.

I wondered if they were used to seeing sad military wives, if they were used to the tears that probably frequently surrounded them at the shipyard. Did they know that their wives and children looked similar to my sad state when they left home on one of those ships? Or did they think the strength they saw in their wives' eyes as they said goodbye was permanent? I wondered if I was ruining the facade that all military wives uphold--ruining the secret that we're not strong all the time.

A deep breath and one last tear later and my outburst was over before I left base. The facade came back up while the sadness and loneliness persisted. But I could drive by those young sailors now looking as if my world hadn't just sailed away from me. Maybe now they could see a face of strength and courage. Maybe that would encourage them as they thought of their own families.

I wondered.   


  1. Wonderful post that I can completely relate to. I think I went through almost the same exact experience with my Marine, except never reflected on it like you did. I don't think I would ever expect someone to be strong all the time, especially since I know I can't. I always tell ladies to hang in there, a moment of weakness is never a lack of strength :)

    1. That is great advice, Kelsey! And thank you for also admitting that you can't be strong all the time. I think some military wives are delusional or lying when they say they are always strong!

  2. Another great post to read today! Perhaps those passersby are looking and empathizing or quietly praying for you... I think that people mostly remember smiling faces on post, so when one isn't smiling during a deployment cycle, the reason may be self-explanatory.

    I remember deployment day feelings... The moment the bus pulled away from the parking lot, I began to hastily get inside the truck so my husband and others around wouldn't see me visibly broken. A chaplain conveniently came over before I got in and prayed with me. After a good cry, I drove home for a cup of coffee, washed my face and re-applied makeup, and I was ready to let God's strength take over and get back to work. It's different for the various types of personalities out there.

    I hope that God's love and peace will take over for you, and all families going through the deployment!

    1. Beautifully written, Alexandra! God always provides, and sometimes in the form of a Chaplain! ;)


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