Deployment brings out a host of emotions for me. I swing back and forth from relief when leaving stress is gone to loneliness when the nights get long to excitement when it’s almost time for homecoming.
But today, I think, I have the deployment blues. It’s not the same as watching-him-walk-away sadness or waking-up-alone loneliness. Those emotions are all about him and us. I’m sad he’s leaving, sad he’s missing so much, and sad to see him so sad. I’m lonely without my partner, my friend, my match.
The deployment blues are different.
A big part of it is tired. I’m tired from months of single parenthood. I’m tired from always being the bad cop. I’m tired from kissing every boo-boo. I’m tired from being the only constant in the lives of our three beautiful daughters. I’m tired of doing all the chores on my own and making all the decisions by myself. I’m tired from wearing my brave face. I’m tired.
I’m also annoyed. I’m annoyed at everything breaking or going nuts while he’s gone. I’m annoyed at the way my patience seems to have disappeared. I’m annoyed (always, but much more easily nowadays) by the silly actions and decision of others. I’m annoyed at how annoyed I am!
And sad and lonely are a part of it, too. I’m proud of myself and my girls for making it thus far in this patrol with as many obstacles as we’ve had, but I’m sad that I had to rely on them so much and sad that he is there worrying about us back here. I’m sad that he missed some pretty important milestones in our girls lives. I’m sad that we are handling things so well that I worry he’ll think we don’t need him. We do need him.
And, of course, I’m lonely. Submarine life means missed birthdays and Christmas videos sent out to sea after the fact. It means crawling into a big empty bed and waking up reaching across to nothing. It means four large pillows and two small ones to fill the space. It means long evenings alone. It means wondering … waiting … hoping … praying … longing …
It means that sometimes I get the deployment blues, and I let them take me for a moment or an afternoon or a day. I allow it. I let the blues wash over me and let them wipe away some of the heaviest emotions. I let the blues do what the blues do, and then I let them go.
Because the kids still need that single-parenting, and the bad cop’s shift isn’t over. Because however sad and lonely and tired I may be, I’m not quite done. Just remember. The blues are a moment, and I am living a lifetime.
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The kids and I are headed out to enjoy some more Hometown Tourism today! I’ll post all about Silverdale adventures next Monday, but follow me on Facebook for a few of my favorite shots along the way!
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