Well, Buddy is on his way to Altus. I still think it’s silly that C-17s are the only airframe that doesn’t do the upgrade process in-house. Maybe that’s because my husband is going during the ONLY time of year up here that we can actually enjoy living here! Oh well. I wouldn’t care so much except that our poor dog is refusing to get off of Buddy’s side of the bed. He knows Dad is gone and is totally depressed about it. Won’t eat, won’t play, nothing. It breaks my heart!
The best way I’ve found to deal with the whole husband-being-gone thing is to a) keep busy (yeah, every military wife will tell you that one) and b) find something to look forward to, something to count down to that ISN’T your husband coming home. Obviously you’re going to be excited about him being back (or, at least, I would hope so… if not, then you’re probably not upset and don’t need to keep busy in the first place). If you can find something non-husband-related, or at least minimally husband-related, you’ll find a reason to get up in the morning that is not contingent upon the military, and that’s important. That way, no matter what the military or Murphy are doing to you at the time, you have something that isn’t affected by either one. For example, I have my job. I’m looking forward to getting my kiddos back to their mom. I also have my trip to Texas. I’m flying down on June 21st, regardless of whether Buddy has graduated from AC school or not. I get to see my sisters, my parents, my best friends. It’ll be amazing!
A quick note about the keeping busy advice… Yes, it’s important to stay busy and keep your mind occupied. However, don’t over-do it! Make sure you’re taking time to be sad, time to yourself, and time to relax. Going, going, going for months on end is just going to exhaust you and make it harder to deal with everything that’s going to be thrown at you during a TDY/deployment/whatever. Find a balance. It’s okay to let yourself be sad or lonely. It’s healthy to miss your other half.
That was probably the hardest thing for me to learn. I thought I had to be totally strong and act like everything was totally normal. Everything is NOT totally normal when your husband is gone. It didn’t help that my mom acts like she understands and is anything but sympathetic when I say I’m dreading months away from Buddy. If this is the case in your life, just don’t talk about it with that person. Talk about it with people who will help you handle it and make you feel better and more normal, not less.
…remind me why I love this life.
I woke up this morning at 0530 with Buddy to get him ready for his local (a flight in the “local” area… generally the same state or so). He left, the boys and I went back to bed for an hour, and I got up, got ready, made breakfast, and played with the dogs for a bit. Then I headed to base to my friend E’s house. We had decided to go watch Buddy’s take off with her 14 month old daughter. I hadn’t seen him fly in anything (T-6s, T-1s, or C-17s) so I was REALLY excited. He took off right on time and did a couple of touch-and-gos. It was so cool!
E and I spent the whole day hanging out. Her husband is in our squadron too so he’s currently on the road in Germany (our squadron flies more than any other). She’s been having a rough time so I was happy to spend the day with her and their daughter. It was SO much fun getting to go shop and just sit on the couch and talk to someone else who gets it and gets me. She and I have only been friends for a few months, but I already feel closer to her than I do most of my friends. We just instantly clicked which was amazing. On our way to World Market, Buddy’s C-17 flew RIGHT over the car so I got to see Buddy fly twice in one day, after almost four years of never having seen him fly! Buddy met us at E’s house when he was done de-briefing and chatted with us for a bit since we were out on the driveway with E’s daughter playing with chalk (it was FINALLY sunny today!).
I headed to the commissary, picked up some groceries, came home, and made grilled chicken, mac n cheese, and balsamic vinegar roasted asparagus. It was delicious, but the best part was getting to sit on the couch with my sweetheart, puppies playing on the floor, and relax after a busy day for both of us.
Well, the husband is once again, flying. This one is just a night air refueling flight which is okay. At least he’ll be home sometime late tonight. He leaves for a month next week for Aircraft Commander training which is VERY exciting for him since he’s the first one in his year class to make the upgrade. We’re both sad about it though, because it’s yet another month of him being gone. I guess it’s something we’re both used to, but not something that sits well with either of us. Today was absolutely amazing; we spent it with the sun (or rather, light through the clouds) and fresh air streaming in the windows, napping and hanging out with the dogs. It just makes it that much more poignant that he’s leaving.
I think both of us are ready to have him home more. Granted, that’s not going to happen for another couple of years until we get to a different base, but it’s something we’re both looking forward to. We’re newlyweds; we want to get to spend time together. He’s my best friend and I don’t like living my life like he’s not my husband. I’ve grown so accustomed to him being gone more than he’s home that it’s harder when he IS home. I feel like a terrible person for that, but I don’t know any other way to be. We even had to get our dog a little brother so that he would stop crying every time Buddy walked out the door. If Buddy didn’t do it so often, we would have just dealt with it, but our puppy can’t be sad for 290 days a year!
It doesn’t help that we live in possibly the most depressing place in the country. I mean, I’m discovering the reason that it has the highest depression rate in the continental United States. The news station that I have on just announced that they created a “sun tracker” so we can find out when and where there will be sun and go find it. That’s how little sun there is up here. My grandma just left today… I think she believes me now when I say we have NO sun up here.
To end, I promise that not all of my blogs will be this melancholy. It’s just been so nice to have him home for a couple of days that the thought of him being gone again for a month is just not one I want to be thinking about tonight.