I knew who to call. Right away. When the day went sour, and I could feel every second of the five months lying before us. I picked up my phone and dialed. Within an hour, she called back.
And we talked. Again.
We talk everyday, usually. For over an hour. Until bedtime. Or one of our children starts screaming. We laugh, we cry, we vent, we advise, we listen. And it’s so comforting.
I read on a blog once, right after Richard left, that battle buddies cannot live faraway from one another. In order to properly fill the role, they must live in the same town, thereby being constantly accessible to one another. I disagree completely.
She lives four large states away, and it’s a 13 hour drive without stopping. I live in the Lone Star State and she calls the upper midwest home. But, she’s always there. Always answers my questions, quells my fears, and makes me laugh. She is my battle buddy. She has understood every word, every emotion, every mood, and never disagreed or taken offense. I do the same for her, and it’s comforting.
She gets it. And so few people do.
I can laugh about the latest insensitive statement someone has made, and she laughs, too. We have talked about kids missing their dads, screaming through the night as they struggle to understand why he left. We’ve discussed post-deployment plans, current frustrations and victories, and taken our masks off when we can’t take it anymore. We’ve promised drop everything and be there for each other should the worst ever happen.
This life has its beautiful moments. Victory of making it through another day, of surviving another week, of crossing another month off the calendar. But, it has its dark moments, too. Moments when we still feel the pressure to put on a good face and look confident, look joyful. But, sometimes, we need that person who understands. Who gets it. Who can’t make this year end, who can’t bring our husbands home. But who can give us strength, understanding.
And she does. She’s heard me at my best, and comforted me through my lowest. I never have to explain, I never have to impress. My faraway battle buddy lives this life, too. We are in this together–through thick and thin. We will cheer each other through our bright days, and encourage each other through the dark days. We will move forward dutifully through the ensuing days and months. And we will celebrate together, when the winter brings our Soldiers home.
I don’t think I’ll ever feel closer to someone who lives so faraway. And I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully express how grateful I am for her presence in my life during this chapter. But, I think she gets that, too.