Ok, So it has been a week. 7 days. That’s it?
It feels like so much longer. Even though the days have gone by quickly, it seems like much more than 7 days since I last saw you.
But regardless of the length of time we’ve been apart, I still miss you the same. Whether it’s been 7 hours, 7 days, 7 months…I miss you the same.
I have been keeping busy at work, which isn’t too hard, since work is always crazy and busy. I think about you all day though. even in the midst of all this nuttiness that is my job, I still think about you. It’s funny, every time I look at the clock to check the time, I count 12 hours ahead to see what time it is where you are. I think about what you’re doing at the same time. When I have two hours left of my work day, I know you’re probably just ending your shift. For me, it’s only 3pm, but for you its 1am. And when I’m laying down to go to sleep around 11pm, I think of how you must be either getting a few more minutes of sleep, or getting ready to start work at 12pm. Even when I check the weather because I’m dying of heat and it says it’s 92 degrees in Long Beach, and I check the temperature to where you are and it reads 111 degrees. So I quit bitching.
While I never tire of thinking about you and what you’re doing, there’s also a sense of wonder and worry. The truth is, I know very little about what you’re doing and when you’re doing it. I wonder how you’re feeling and worry about you constantly. I know it’s not healthy for me to worry so much about something that is out of my control, but let’s be real, if I could take care of you from close to 8,000 miles away, I would do it in a heartbeat.
When we left each other on that Saturday, I told myself not to cry in front of you. I know you think I’m a nerd for reading articles and blog posts, and even a book about what to expect for this deployment and dating a Marine in general. SO I’M A NERD! This may be your first deployment, but this is a first for me too! I know it is completely impossible to be fully prepared, but I was searching for a “heads up.” One thing that I read somewhere was that I needed to be strong. Strong for myself, but also strong for you. Easier said than done. So I didn’t cry in front of you. Not when we woke up at 4:30 that morning to get dressed and put the tags on your bags. Not at 5:00 am when I waited in my car with all your gear while your room was inspected. Not when we got to the armory to drop your bags. And even as we took some pictures and we hugged goodbye, I did not cry.
It was about 5:45 when I got back in my car, still dark outside, and with remnants of your barracks room strewn about my back seat. As I pulled out of the parking area to the armory, I followed the familiar path to leave base. At the intersection to turn onto Mitscher Way, I stopped at a red light. Waiting for that light to turn green, the tears started to fall. I had to drive off base, and as I did, the tears kept coming. I made the left turn off base onto Miramar Road and drove a little while until I got to Starbucks where I turned off and parked. It had been my plan the night before to go to Starbucks after saying goodbye, get a coffee, eat some food, and wait until my friend and her kids got there for the Miramar Air Show later that day. I knew I would only have to wait at that Starbucks for two hours or less. But as soon as I parked, I started bawling. I mean, full force, tears, shaking and gasps. I cried because I missed you already. I cried because I couldn’t hug you or kiss you one more time. I cried because I was sitting in a Starbuck’s parking lot at 6:45 am, alone, with a trunk full of your clothes and shoes and bed sheets that you couldn’t take with you. I cried because of the unknown. I cried until it hurt my head too much to keep my eyes open anymore.
After a while, my stomach started to hurt, so I thought I should eat. I got out of my car, wiped my face, and walked into Starbucks. I got a coffee and a scone, and walked back to my car. As I sipped on my drink, I watched the sunrise. I got a text from my friend saying she was close, so I put a little make up on and tried to make myself look like I hadn’t just been hit by a truck. As I sat in my car and waited, I thought about the young girls I saw earlier, saying goodbye to their loved ones, some with small children or babies on their hips. And you know what I thought? How selfish of me to be sitting here crying over the fact that I was doing this alone. Some of these girls had no one. Their husband might be the only person they know in California because they uprooted their entire life and moved because this is where he was being stationed. And now, for six months, they’re going to do this on their own, sometimes with very little support.
Now those women are being strong. I’m sitting in my car blubbering, when I have friends and family as close as a few miles away. Damn. What a wake up call. So with this realization, I got myself together, and waited for my friend to go to the show. No more tears.
So fast-forward to the present. I just spent my first weekend with you gone. We’ve spent weeks apart before, but this is very different. We can’t talk on the phone, or text each other throughout the day. We have had a few shorts bursts of conversation when you have a break and some Wifi. We even got to video chat for a whole 18 minutes! Seeing your face helped so much. Hearing your voice made my day. One week down, babe. I’m sure at some point, this will start to feel a little less foreign and a little more routine, but until then, I’ll continue sleeping with your Ninja Turtle pillow and blanket every night, and I’m still driving around with your boots on the passenger side floor board.
I miss you so much, and I love you even more.
One week down, and approximately 28 to go.
We can do this babe. We can do it because we have a lotta love 🙂