Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Week to Go

My husband is leaving for the Middle East on Tuesday next week.

I must make a few things clear, first.

He's an Air Force officer.
He's an EWO, meaning he jams communication signals.
He will only be over there for three months. That's apparently the length of time studies have shown airmen to maintain top functionality during flight.
He will sometimes be out on missions for days straight.
Sometimes, he'll wait around in the dorms for weeks.

We've been apart before.... About nine months. This was indeed a gestation period. For tension and resentment, bitterness, fear, longing, shame, frustration. But that squalling child grew up and is now a relatively sedate four-year-old.

Am I afraid of repetition? Not very.

Here, then, are some of the comments:

Are you worried?
How're you coping?
If there's anything I can do...
We'll be praying for you.
Oh, I'm so sorry.

There is not much to be sorry for, I respond to that last, since he will only be gone for three months... unless the person is generally sorry that soldiers fight and hurt other soldiers and try not to hurt civilians, though they don't always succeed. Then, I accept your apologies. (But who am I to receive them, really?) To the others, I don't always know what to say. Thank you, I appreciate that, Your prayers are so kind. But worried? Should I be? Everyone seems to think so. Or perhaps, they simply think that since everyone whose husband goes overseas is worried--whether or not she actually is does not come into mind--I should be worried too. I don't know quite what to make of it.

I will know if I should be worried when he gets back, I think.