I have been away for a while. But now I’m back.
I want to thank those of you who continued to check my blog despite the fact that there have been no new entries for over a month. It means a lot to me. Thank you.
In mid-April I learned that there was a chance my husband would be coming home in May for his two weeks of leave. Later in the month I found out that he was scheduled to leave Bagram on the 13th, which would likely put him home two or three days after that.
I simultaneously began preparing myself for disappointment and creating a mental list of all the things I wanted to get done before he arrived. This, by the way, is not easy to do, but it helps if you are schizophrenic, like me.
It is also necessary, because it’s true what they say about the military: never make plans. My husband and I have been together long enough for me to have learned that nothing is written in stone, but I’m a planner by nature. Another personal dichotomy I have yet to resolve.
But, in spite of the fact that there was every chance that his leave dates would get changed or his flight get delayed, my list began to look something like this:
• Get time off from work
• Clean the bathroom
• Clean the car
• Give the dog a bath
• Plan some of T’s favorite meals
• Bake cookies
• Get my hair cut
Now, my husband could have cared less whether any of these things got done. In fact, he made it very clear that there were only two things he wanted me to do: shave my legs and get out my lingerie.
In my mind, however, it was absolutely essential that I completed the list and for two reasons. First, the more housework, errands and preparation I could manage ahead of time, the more free time we would have together while he was home. Second – and much more importantly – if I didn’t keep myself busy, the next three weeks were going to go by so slowly that it would make a New England winter seem short.
So…I cleaned. I made appointments. I made lists. I made lists of lists. I shopped for groceries. I shopped for cute shoes.
Then, one day in early May while we were IMing, my husband typed, “How much would it mess up your plans if I were to leave here a few days early?”
Well. That one got me. I had planned for late. I had planned for postponed. I had even planned for on time. But early? That was a new one.
He told me that they were trying to get him out on the next helicopter, which was due in a couple of days.
I shuffled some lists. I rescheduled some appointments. I stressed out about the fact that I could possibly be sitting in a salon when the call came through to tell me that my husband and I were once again in the same country.
A couple of days went by. No helicopter.
A couple more days went by. Still no helicopter.
Two or three more days went by. Yup – no helicopter.
The stress began to get to me. I stopped being so elated and started being edgy. “Now you’re going to be later than you were going to be before you were supposed to be early!” I snapped incomprehensibly.
Finally, on May 13th, the day he was originally supposed to catch his flight out of Bagram, a helicopter (or “bird”, in army parlance) arrived on post.
Now he just had to make it over to Bagram, catch a flight to Kuwait, then one to the States, then one home. Piece of cake, right?
To be continued…