Sometimes, I envy how easily Bella falls asleep. Within thirty seconds of resting her adorable head down, she begins to snore. Five minutes later, you can find her twitching, most likely chasing some rabbit intruding on her romping grounds in her sweet doggy dreams.
She has no concerns other than when I might drop some Kix on the ground, how she can make herself look pathetic enough to get an invite onto our bed, or what time lunch will be served. Food is an important component in her life, the curse of being a Labrador.
I mentioned on Sunday that my husband had work from 0900 until 0900 the next day. He was able to slip home and say hello for about ten minutes around 2300, but then had to resume his duties as basically a babysitter for a barracks full of young soldiers.
At around 0415, I woke up to the sound of the garage door opening. It was The Hubby! I was so excited to spend a few hours with him and I asked if he was home "for good", only to hear from him that he was only home to file a report because he had no internet access where he was.
It turns out that he had to retrieve a soldier at some random parking lot from the police because he was caught huffing. The Hubby had to drive alone with someone who was obviously high and potentially dangerous.
After twenty brief minutes home, he was off again, and I was left alone with just my thoughts and a dog who was blissfully sound asleep.
My mind started racing. I should not have to worry about my husband while he is still here in Texas. If I can't make it through one night without being distraught with anxiety, how am I going to deal with a deployment lasting anywhere between nine and fifteen months?
The Hubby will be sent off into a war zone next year. When I was told about his first deployment my immediate reaction was: "Isn't that just kick-you-in-the-crotch, spit-on-your-neck fantastic?" Actually, it was more like a series of curse words that would have made even my sister blush.
But after that initial reaction had passed, I just sat for no more than two minutes. I sank down on the floor--partly because we had no chairs yet, but mostly because I just had to sit. And then I went about my day.
There were no tears or screaming into pillows. Just sitting and a big sigh.
While we have dealt with long distance for numerous years, I always knew that he would be completely safe at West Point and at least relatively safe at Ranger School. All I had to do was miss him.
But Iraq is unpredictable and dangerous. There are people there who have dedicated their lives to kill men and women like The Hubby. The Hubby, my incredible husband who has done nothing wrong in his twenty-three years of life. All he desires to do is serve the beloved country that has been so great to him and his family and to take care of his new bride.
When I agreed to marry a soldier, I knew that at least one deployment would be in our future. During our first week here at Fort Hood, I saw a Colonel without a deployment patch. Secretly and selfishly, I saw a little ray of hope. Maybe we could make it all the way to his retirement without a single deployment! Oh, how marvelous would it be to spend every single day with the love of my life?
But I also knew that The Hubby would never be satisfied with this idea, no matter how happy we make each other. He has spent the last five years of his life preparing for battle. How disappointing would it be to never put to use what you have poured blood, sweat and tears into?
So, after some sleepless moments, I have come to the following conclusion: All I can do is support him as his wife. I need to trust that all these years of training that has put many miles between us has been enough to keep him safe. Sure, I can worry and be envious of our well-rested dog, but what good will that do really?
I may have to remind myself of all this when I hug and kiss him "see you later" next year, but, as of now, I am okay. We are okay.
In case you didn't know this already, I absolutely adore my husband.
If you made it all the way to the end of this post, bravo. I sincerely apologize for drawing you in with a video of a dog and then drowning you in my sorrows. I promise to go back to my ridiculous ramblings next time.