Well, I’m finally back from my hiatus, which included but was not limited to; saying goodbye to my sailor for the next nine months, traveling back to Wisconsin for two and a half weeks to ease my pain with food and family, and getting back to Virginia and needing another two weeks to get my life back in order after all the changes.
And in my first experiences with deployment, I’ve found several things to be true:
First, saying goodbye is pretty brutal. There were lots of tears, lots of not wanting to let go of him, and then when I finally had to let go, lots more tears and lots of Reese’s peanut butter cups. But I played my cards right and left for Wisconsin about two minutes after we said goodbye, which made for a nice distraction. Driving proved to be just the thing to take my mind off not seeing my man until next year. Plus, no one was around to stare when I would spontaneously burst into tears.
However, while the distraction of driving and being home was wonderfully well timed, it presented a different challenge when it was finally time to come back to Virginia. When I walked back into my empty house, I felt profoundly lonely. I sat down on the couch and sighed a deep sigh, and thought, “Now what?” Things got real lonely, real fast.
And then I found another thing to be true: My friends are awesome. More than ever, my girlfriends and my family have been so great about calling me to check up on me, making sure I’m doing okay, and even taking me out on my anniversary so I didn’t have to sulk at home all alone. Even more than that though, they have been reaching out to Ryan. He gets emails and updates pretty frequently and that makes me very happy, because being stuck on that big grey boat can get pretty lonely, too.
So even though the goodbye was rough, and sometimes the in between is lonely, I feel comforted in knowing that God has placed the kinds of friends and family who will be there day in and day out until the sweet return. That kind of comfort is what makes the lonely days a little less rough. And that’s no small thing for this sailor’s wife.