Wired into our hearts

I realize that I haven’t posted very much in the past couple of weeks. The school year has begun in our district and while my children are off-track (we are at a year-round school so my children have been off for two weeks), there is a need for substitute teachers. This, of course, is great for us since we are already pinching pennies and especially in this economy, I am happy just to be working.

The helicopter crash in Afghanistan earlier this month has been a terrible blow to all of us as a country. While it certainly isn’t our intention to ignore or diminish all of the soldiers and civilians who have been killed or injured in these wars, the crash somehow made it more real to our country that these soldiers are not plastic figures or pawns in a child’s game. These soldiers are someone’s child. Someone’s spouse. Someone’s parent.

Someone’s SOMEONE.

It was a somber conversation between my husband and I when we realized the extent of the crash and who was on board. Though he did not know any of these soldiers or civilians personally, he worked in the same unit as one of them. And as one, their unit came together days later to honor the memory of him and the rest of the soldiers.

I worry about my husband and the issues he must face everyday. To worry about his friends overseas. To wonder if he’ll ever have the devastating task of notifying someone’s next of kin. To know that injuries and even deaths have increased substantially within his unit, his building, and everywhere in general. To carry this guilt that he should be out there with his friends. To feel like he could be doing more so that someone else could be doing less.

Then Irene came along and threatened the east coast with her huge diameter. My heart fell when I learned of the deaths across the coast and in other countries. R and I shared quiet conversations this week about how his friends offered him shelter at their more inland home and how some roads were impassable due to flooding.

The kids really miss their daddy and I miss my husband. Somehow the halfway point between when we last saw him and the next time we’ll see him is wired into our hearts. The last time he was out here was July and we won’t see him until November. We haven’t seen him in almost two months and we won’t see him for about another two. We’re a bit early but we were spoiled by his time at home earlier this year.

When I think about how much information I withhold from our kids, I get a bit angry at myself since my family used to do this all the time. I wouldn’t know about a family member’s illness or surgery until weeks after the fact. It was insulting for anyone to think I couldn’t handle bad news.

But now I can see why they did what they did.

One day I will tell our children everything we have been through. One day I will show them this blog and share more about conversations that Daddy and I have had. One day I will answer their questions with honesty, no holds barred. They deserve that. They have already proven their courage, determination, and strength this past year and a half; it’s been wired into their hearts.

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