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 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.