I thought about opening with a list of all the places where I’ve cried deployment tears in the last four days, but then I had two realizations: 1. I have no shame; I thought I did, but my multiple (sometimes embarrassingly obvious) displays of public deployment tears have proven otherwise. 2. It would be more space efficient to make a list of all the places where I haven’t cried in the last four days.
I have done a fabulous job of making countless Japanese people visibly uncomfortable with my overflow of deployment tears on trains and in other public spaces this weekend. It’s not socially acceptable to be a big ball of mess in public here. I’m totally an ugly crier, too. Case and freaking point: my nose is getting chapped from my ugly crying. Hot. Navy. Wife. Mess. Aisle 4, puddle of sobbing Navy wife, mop and bucket required. Steer clear of the area, customers!
Michael leaves this week for a work up off the coast of Japan. This means that we will have ZERO ability to communicate for the duration of the work up. This wouldn’t be an issue if it was just a few days (we’ve done it before), but in true military style, this work up will last an uncomfortably, dreadfully long time. I had no idea that I’d be a sub wife in addition to being a pilot’s wife? Added bonus: following said work-up, he’ll be home for a heart-breakingly short time before he deploys. F Minus, Navy! F Minus!
So what’s a girl to do, right? Make the best of it? Make lemonade? Can I add vodka? Like, the whole bottle of vodka?
I decided to deal with this work up as if it is part of the deployment. Basically, I’m preparing myself to not speak to my husband during the first stretch of his gone-ness.
“Gone-ness” … I like the way that term describes the feeling of a deployed spouse. Gone-ness.
Anyway, I’m on the final days of a mad, emotional, and stressful personal work up to deployment. I am EXHAUSTED, but overall I am okay. My bottomless well of tears overflows at random moments, and I am literally sore from the amount of cuddling that we are doing. I think that I have entered the realm of Stage 4 Clinger (level: expert), as another Navy wife friend called herself just before her husband recently deployed.
I’m really happy with the amount quality time that we spent together this weekend, and I’m overall doing okay. The one thing that my husband told me that has made the greatest impact was this: “You know that we’ll always be together, right? Even if I’m not physically here, we are still together. I’m not really leaving you.” (Okay, I’m crying again!)
That statement couldn’t be more true, and I am so thankful for our emotional connection. I am a very lucky lady.
Loneliness is preemptively setting in, exacerbated today by attending a going away party for one of my only close friends here, and I am filled with important questions:
I am scared of the bugs lurking in the dark corners of our yucky Lodge room – without Michael, who will protect me from them? Who will I share my meals with, since I can’t cook in my room? Who will I talk to at the end of my day, and who will make me laugh after a particularly rough day? Who will I come home to? Who will I expectantly wait for at the end if his day? Who will I kiss good night, good morning, hello, goodbye, and for no reason at all? Who will keep my feet warm? Who will laugh at my jokes? Who will I text silly things to, and who will goof off with me? Most importantly: who am I going to cuddle while I sleep? Nobody. (More tears!)
Instead, I’ll be waiting for emails, sporadic telephone calls, and the next port call. Big fat WAH.
I don’t think that deployments will ever get easier, but I think that this one will likely be one of the most difficult and emotionally tumultuous deployments that we experience. That feeling calms me — like, okay, bring on the deployment, bring on the experience, bring on the true discovery of what’s to come and what I’ve really married into — let’s get this first deployment over with. Hurry up and rip off the bandaid, I can’t take much more build-up!!
A friend asked if we could do another online spouse chat. Once I move into my house or find a more reliable Internet connection, I’ll orchestrate another chat. I will need support myself, too. (Amber Alert! Calling on Amber in SD for reinforcements! Bring your mop and bucket to Aisle 4!) 😉
I’ll end with a few pictures of us from this weekend. I already miss this man, and he’s sleeping next to me. Also, sidebar: how is it that men can sleep at a time like this?!