Monday, August 9, 2010

Just one of the reasons she's my BFF

I did not write this (as it will become obvious), but my best friend did.  She wrote this right after Josh left from R&R.  There are countless reasons why she is my best friend.  This is just one of them.  She will always have my back no matter what, when, how, where or why.  She is more like my sister.  I will forever be blessed to have a friend like her in my life.  And every time I read this blog that she wrote, I am moved to tears, and I say a silent prayer thanking God for sending her my way.

This morning started like every other military day.  I woke up at four, listening to the other soldier getting ready to go.  Around four thirty I rolled out of the area designated for me for the night.  I mumbled something about is good, don't cut that shit with sugar.  I made it to the latrine without noticing if the lights were on or off because I have that sixth sense that alerts me to a three day pack and various other Army accessories strewn on the floor.   I washed up and changed in the bathroom out of my day pack. I come out to see SPC Dickerson searching frantically for a hand reciept.  I ask him what it was for (like it matters).  I do what any SGT would do, ask him if maybe the Army has a copy.  I know they do, he knows they do, and we move closer to getting out the door and to the SP. 
His wife emerges from their bedroom and states she is ready to go.  Today is the last day of his leave from the sandbox, the war, the rebuilding of a place that neither of us want to go back to again.  We talked about it last night, but this morning, before dawn breaks, we three have fallen into silent acknowledgement of reality. 
She is my best friend.  I have never been on the side of the military wife, the family, the ones who are left behind to worry and miss us while we go do "Army shit".  I have always been the one dropped at the airport.  I have kissed my children and thought, "if this is the last time, I pray they know how much I love them."  Then I hit the kill switch on my emotions until the day I am back in their sights. 
But right now, watching it from the other side, the side that leaves me to wonder what I could possibly say or do to ease her mind, I am just lost.  She knows me and knows that emotional expression, minus the occasional rage, is far beyond my reach.  I am practical, I am realistic, I am probably the worst person to be next to her for support right now.  But I am her best friend.  So here I am, making small talk, driving home, drinking cold coffee and wishing I had my mother's compassionate touch, my grandmother's easy way, my aunt's comforting voice.  Something to reach out with other than my ability to make her laugh a little. 
I offered to go with her knowing that I suck at this.  She accepted knowing I suck at this.  This is the strength of our friendship.  I hope she knows that I feel so much more than I show.  I know he knows I take him to the airport because I expect to see him return, no excuses.
I think about my family and how easy it is for me to transition from mother to soldier...and how difficult it must be for my family to watch me do just that.  I think about how my best friend has dealt with this deployment and how she dealt with mine.  I conclude they and she are stronger than I because they hold hope longer than I ever thought could be possible.  I am proud of her.  I wish that just for one moment I could truly understand the pain and sadness that she feels. 
But I can't.  This war requires that I am detached.  This war demands that I keep no strong emotional tethers other than the good times we share as warriors, a memory to look back on, not a relationship to look forward to until they hit CONUS again.  I have heard its not a good thing to deal this way but fuck it, its how we roll. 
I have no ancedote, no cute way to tie this blog up into a neat little package.  I haven't found a healthy way to deal with difficult emotions.  I didn't stop at a coffee shop and run into someone inspiring or read an article that soothed my unsettled mind.  Just this: I love you both.  Fight the good fight.   

1 comment:

  1. That explained to me what Josh is never able to say, that in order to do what has to be done, they have to detach from the emotional side and focus on staying alive and coming home. They don't seem to understand that we hold on to hope because it's all we have, until we see their faces again. She is a great friend to have and we're honored by her service.