Things that matter (and things that don't)

Monday late afternoon. I've been freaking out about so many things since Mick moved in: clothes (we/I don't have enough room in the closet for his stuff to hang, so they're in a mondo huge duffel in the living room), boxes (more of his stuff without a home), cats (Sally seems depressed and doesn't play with Harry anymore, Dave hisses and tries to hit Harry while Harry just keeps coming back because he desperately wants someone to play with him), money (can we really afford the beautiful new townhome we're purchasing), work (I am procrastinating the tasks I don't like and that turns out to be much of my job description), and Junior League (have I bitten off more than I can chew?). I have a mild panic attack (sometimes not so mild) at least once a day now. Everyone asks "How's married life?" and I blithely reply with some variation of, "We're adjusting nicely, thanks." Then once in a while - becoming more often as the days on the calendar pass in a blur - I remember that I will soon be without him, that he's leaving on a 12:45pm flight from LAX to Tokyo on Memorial Day and that I cannot go with him.

I sometimes indulge myself in the fantasy that I can change my mind, quit my job, throw caution to the wind, and go with him. Bring the cats with me. Cancel the townhome, put everything in storage (or give it all away), and just be a Navy wife in a brand-new country. And then I remember that I'm not that girl. I'm the girl who stays and follows through on her commitment to the (now) 16 year old foster child who still has two years of high school. (Two years of high school/two year assignment in Japan - anyone else think that's not a coincidence?) I'm the one who will give what needs to be given to her Junior League duties as Senior Delegate to the State Public Affairs Committee and to SB 348 which I like to call "Alcott's Bill" because his beautiful face is what I see as I talk to senators about why we need to spend the money.

So I'll be staying here and he won't. And a part of me is trying not to enjoy the time we're spending together because perhaps that will make it hurt less when he goes. How stupid is that? To hold yourself back from fully enjoying something because it might hurt later on! Of course it's going to hurt when he goes...I love him and he'll be out of my life for all intents and purposes for 730 days, 104 weeks, 24 months, two years. It will hurt whether or not I give in to the happiness of being married and having a wonderful husband and living in the same (albeit wildly crowded) home.

But here's the stupidest part of all: he doesn't have a desk job or, rather, he does, but that desk is going to be square in the middle of a U.S. Navy destroyer for two years. The situation with Iran means that I cannot get comfortable and complacent and just cross the days off of the calendar, because, as I wrote on the application for our marriage license, my husband's "industry" is Defending Liberty and Iranian mines in the Strait of Hormuz (sp?) could make me a widow in a flash. And I'm still holding myself back.

Finally, Life is always fragile. I have diabetes. I am going to celebrate my 40th birthday this year. I have a family history of colon cancer (thanks, Mom!). Stress is my constant companion. I overeat rather than dealing with my feelings. All of these things could have me dead in those two years he's gone. Or someone driving along an intersecting road to mine not paying attention. Or any one of the millions of ways you can die in a flash, on a Monday late afternoon in May. In San Diego. In California. Anywhere in the world.

I guess what I'm saying is this: it's time to take the safety off and stop worrying about everything except how much I'm going to miss him. It's time to cry at my desk and not care what the people walking by think because, damnit!, I'm sad and my heart feels like it's in a vice and I'm losing my brand-new husband and no one here knows how I feel. (Actually, the Marine wife on my team had it much worse when her husband went to Iraq for six months and she does know how I feel, but she also would never question why I was crying at my desk. She's cried in here, too.) I need to give myself permission to feel and to be scared and sad. I need to tell Mick how I'm feeling without making him feel guilty - he does need to know, though. (What if he thinks I don't care or that I only care about the stupid stuff that doesn't really matter? How would that feel for him, going away from everything that he loves and questioning why I'm not upset about losing him???)

I need to go home now and bask in the chaos that is my life. My life for the next 13-1/2 days.


Oh Denise, just try to enjoyt these two weeks. And if that Marine wife is willing, use her as your support group while Mick is gone!
Debra said…
wow, you have a lot going on. I'm sorry your husband is going to be gone so long. Will he be able to keep in contact with email? I know it isn't the same, but at least it's faster then a letter.
I know what you mean about eating when your stressed. I do that to. Or I go shopping. I'm trying to break bad habits though and face my problems head on instead of feeding myself when I'm upset.
Hang in there, hopefully you'll be able to enjoy these few days with him before he leaves.
Kat said…
Big hugs to you. I am a Navy Submariner's wife and if there is anything I can do, please let me know.
Marie said…
Let yourself cry! Let it out! And enjoy your hubby too. Cherish this time...

Gosh, congrats on your wedding. I haven't been here in a very long time. Last I knew, your (now) hubby was The Cute Boy! Not that he isn't any more... So glad Michele sent me over. I need to check in here more often!
Robin said…
Enjoy the time that you have with your new husband. Even if it is for two weeks...make it the best two weeks ever. I understand how you are feeling...I am a Army Wife with 4 year-long deployments under my belt and this current (5th) one just being extended from 12 to 15 months. Reach out to the fellow Military is sometimes good to have a shoulder that understands what you are feeling to cry on. This life isnt easy...your decision to stay and take care of business at home is the most unselfish thing anyone could have done. It takes a strong person to be married to the Military.
You are in my thoughts...
Anonymous said…
Tell him. Tell him everything. What you are feeling, how you feel about him, how much you support him, and just feel. Let your body, and mind and spirit just feel what it is you need to feel. Without restraint, without fear. Spend these last 13 1/2 days with him to the fullest, and enjoy everything. Life is too precious not to.
Just savour and hold the memories dear. Seek out other military wives like the one in your office, who are old hands at dealing and networking with others.
All the best.

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