Phew... what a day. I know that most of you read me in order to get a chuckle or to make your bad day at work a little more tolerable-thank you for letting me make you smile. Today I just don't have anything good to say. I have given you little outskirts of my personal life... you know I am married, that I have children, that I am Catholic and that I drink, but you don't really know the inner works of my life. That is my choice-basically because my life is really boring, so I use humor to liven it up. But today I am going to take that chance that you may want to know a little of my personal life. You may want to know what today was really like. You may really want to hear about Carl leaving and my heart feeling as if it is going to implode. So here goes...
Carl and I met in 1990. We started dating that summer and went off to different colleges in the fall. We kept in touch and knew that we really liked one another. When the next summer came around... that is when we fell in love. We spent all of our time together and made plans for a future, a future that would include children and mortgages. At the end of that summer, we were separating again-Carl going off to Arizona and me heading back to Southern Indiana. I will never forget the day that we said good-bye. He drove over to my parents house before he headed out on his 30 hour road trip back to school. We hugged, we kissed, we gazed into each other's eyes... and then he turned to leave and I thought I would no longer be able to breath without him. I watched as his car turned the corner away from me and I crumbled to my feet. 4 months later we were engaged and 18 months after that we were married.
Carl's job has always taken him away. There have been years where he was gone over 200 days. Separation became a way of life for us... it became normal. I could handle the separations simply because they were 30-45 day trips. The longest we have actually been apart was during the war and that was for 5 months. I was pregnant with Emma at the time and that proved to be a blessed distraction from my husband's absence. I had never felt the pain of the separation the way I did the first summer we fell in love. As time passed and as jobs changed, Carl leaving was no longer a focal point in our marriage. It was now normal for him to be home. When he would go away on a 2 week trip, we looked at it as a welcomed break from our regularly scheduled lives that would offer us a fabulous reunion in a short time. If my husband never had to leave my side again I would have been happy.
Last night Carl and I did not want to fall asleep because we knew the moment that we fell asleep when we woke up THIS day would be here. The day we have known about for 8 months now. The day we have been avoiding and ignoring. The day that when I would think about it I would instantly grown teary eyed and my heart would begin to race causing me to quickly shove the thought out of my mind.
I woke up and made him eggs and bacon. I took a picture of him eating breakfast. We drove to base and waited to say good-bye. We chit-chatted happily, but every once in a while he would look at me and I would look at him and the air would leave our lungs. Last night I broke down after dinner. Our last family dinner for a year. I broke down the way I did our first summer in love-with uncontrollable-ugly tears. Carl just held me. I broke down later in the evening as well and again, Carl held me. You have to know that I love him the way heroine loves her hero.
Finally the time had come to say those final good-byes. Hugs and kisses, "be good for your mom" was said, I love you's were rampant, a final plea from me to tell them he can't go... and the last time he would have to tell me that he had to go, and we watched him walk away.
We drove to the observation deck to watch his plane take off. We stood on the very tip top of the hill so that he would definitely be able to see us-to possibly be able to feel our love for him, and we waved with all of our mights as he screamed past us. I know we were all thinking the same exact thought... "Come Back!"
So that is the story of a good-bye. We are all sad in the Cleaver house and when I am sad I become a hermit. The kids are like me and I am looking forward to finishing this post and huddling under blankets on the couch with them. The enormity of the year ahead of us is too overwhelming to think about right now. Next week I will be back to normal... but today I want to cry. I want to be sad. I want my husband back.
All I see on the horizon is the day that he comes home. That is what we are working toward... to have his toothbrush making water marks on the sink again.