So, here we are. The Night Before. His bags are packed, and one’s already in the car. The house is cleaned and organized. The laundry’s all done, and should be for the next six weeks, since I’ve been doing laundry all week. His nightstand is cleared off, and all of his clothes are neatly put away. Even the shoes he wears everyday. They’re in the closet. Away.
It’s starting to feel weird around here.
Recently, someone gave me great advice. Don’t try to make this a great week. It wasn’t. It was extremely special in its own way; but great, it was not. Errands took up most of our time, misunderstandings ate into a few hours, and I learned to force myself to be flexible yet again. I had his favorite dinner planned for tonight. I wanted to cook for him on his last night. But, as we left Mass, he asked for Cracker Barrel. So, dinnertime found me running in and grabbing our food, after having sat in the parking lot so he could pick up magazines for the plane. I was not resentful. I started to panic at one point, though, because I could feel the second hand ticking. I forced myself to calm down. At that moment, he came sprinting out of the store. I think we share a second hand.
I have been wallowing in these last few and precious moments. Watching while he plays with his daughter, who won’t understand where Daddy has gone. Watching while he darts through the house cleaning to avoid his sadness. Watching him store items he won’t be needing for twelve months. Watching him pack up his bags while Elizabeth tries to climb on his lap. Watching him laugh, smile, frown, and cry.
Watching him. Here. Now. Because he’s going to leave a huge hole.
But, I do this for him. He’s worth it. He’s such a great and amazing and courageous man. I couldn’t do what he’s about to do. I would run. I would be far too scared. I hope people can see how phenomenal this man, this Soldier is. And I have the honor of being his wife. So, he’s worth it. And, in a strange way, I take this as a major compliment. Apparently, he sees me as strong, brave, and worth it, too.