Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Grass Widow for a Year

I am a grass widow now. My boyfriend left this morning for Afghanistan to do his part in Operation Enduring Freedom. It’s strange, because him being gone, isn’t as bad as the anticipation of him going, if that makes any sense. I compared the last few weeks of our time together like a bandaid being slowly pulled off. It is almost as if I did most of the mourning before he left, but once we said our goodbyes, and I was on my way back to my apartment I felt as if a great weight had been lifted. The journey has started.

His departure date got delayed a few days, which was welcomed. But when someone said, in an effort to comfort me, “maybe you’ll be lucky and his departure will be delayed again,” I replied that I hoped it wouldn’t be, as it was just prolonging the agony and putting off the inevitable. The sooner he leaves, the sooner he comes back. And the time before he leaves, although precious in itself, feels like dead time, like the eye of the storm.

Last night he took me to the train station and we said our goodbyes. It wasn’t half as dramatic or traumatic as I had expected. I was the one getting onto the train, I was the one hustling to get going, and he was the one left behind waving goodbye. As I stepped onto the train and turned around to hug him goodbye, it was so similar to our usual goodbyes that I almost forgot that this was it. We were actually both laughing at the hectic situation, there was no long drawn out hug, no tears, no drama. I told him I loved him and was going to miss him, and as I pulled away from him, he promised to write and said: “have a good trip.” I thought it was so amusing that he was wishing me a good two hour train trip, while he was going to be taking a way more arduous journey. But I just left it at that, said thanks, and got onto the train.

I thought I was doing well, until he called on his cell to say goodbye one last time before flying. Since we have spent the last two weeks together, we didn’t really have much to say. So I started to tell him how well I was doing, when my voice started to crack a little, and so I finished the sentence: “…until you called.” He made cooing noises, which didn’t help much…lol. And we both decided to wrap up the phone call ASAP, and that he should contact me as soon as he could upon arriving in Afghanistan.

So, I guess this is a journey for us both. His is physical, and mine is emotional. And when he comes back, we will both be better people, because of it.


Blogger Chris said...

Time is so worthless when it's limited.

From all of us back in the states who write on these blogs how wrong we think everything is and post for the entire world to see, it is with the greatest sincerity that I thank you and your boyfriend for the right to do so.

We all engage in these conversations not because it is destined upon us, but because the American soldier ensures it the world over.

I only hope for his safest return, and remember it's not about the destination, but the journey. Yours is honorable and right.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I remember those moments so well, like they were only yesterday. You might not believe me, but a year will go by quickly, and you'll soon be in my shoes, anxiously awaiting his return...

You know where to find me if you need anything.

9:56 PM  

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