Last night, I was startled from a deep sleep. My heart pounded in my throat, as I struggled to grasp consciousness. With my mind still drugged from sleep, I listened for the noise that had pulled me from my slumber. At the same time, my eyes darted around the room searching its dark depths for a movement, a skulking figure, or a shifting shadow. As the fog cleared my mind and awareness returned, I realized there was an arm draped across my midriff. My fear ebbed and a smile wreathed my face. Turning on my side, I snuggled against my husband, and fell into a peaceful sleep.
He’s been gone for over a month; it’s the life of a military wife. They come, they go, and we deal with it because it’s who we are married to. This was a simple TDY, not a deployment (thank goodness). But whether it is a week field problem, or a yearlong deployment – the separation is always hard for me.
Several people at church yesterday told me how happy I looked. I didn’t realize that I looked sad without him; you get so busy settling, dealing and functioning. The toll of all that must have shown on my face. You don’t realize the little things you love so much, until they are gone. I know this is a time old saying, but it is painfully true.
Instead of snuggling on the couch, telling each other about our day, I settle for talking over the phone when we can catch a moment. Instead of gazing up at my husband’s handsome face, I settle for gazing at his image as we talk via computer. And instead of being able to snuggle against his strong side, I settle for my dreams.
Hats off to all single parents, because it is a hard job. I love having someone to tag-team with in raising our children. I love having someone to laugh with about our children’s escapades. I love watching my husband’s face consumed with pride, love, joy as he watches his children.
When he is gone, I miss so many little things. Like having his hand wrapped in mine during church service, or relaxing in the passenger seat while he drives in the pouring rain. Laughing until we cry as we watch a TV show or a movie.
But most of all, I miss waking up with my legs entangled in his. Having his strong arm wrapped around me as I sleep, and not having to settle for dreams to keep me warm at night.