The Epitome of Lonesome Weekends…

 It’s another day – another night – another Saturday – another Sunday – another weekend spent alone without my husband.

Since my husband left for deployment, I have found weekends to be one of the most challenging experiences. My husband and I always look forward to the weekend like a guaranteed mini-vacation. It was time for family and to create great memories for our girls. Even if we went to the commissary or ran errands – we always incorporated a nice drive and/or dinner at a restaurant. Those days have vanished in the wind and now the weekends appear like nothing but a dark blur that vaguely has the same ambiance as before.

Besides toting my daughter to and from track and checking off my To-Do list, the weekends have converted to nothing but a web of routine and I find myself stuck right in the center. I robotically get up, get the girls ready and dressed, and get us moving out the door only to return home and continue our habitual practices of the week – bathe, read, and off to bed.

At times these weekends can be a mixed blessing. There are days that I am so emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted that doing nothing is a haven for my heart, soul, and body. I submerge myself in my bed and cuddle into my pillow while the girls take a midday nap or watch a movie. It’s as good as it gets some days.  

Today it was what most would consider a lazy day – but for me it was more of a lonesome one. I woke up unmotivated to peel myself off from the bed and let alone remove my pajamas. Even with my extra-large cup of coffee, I lacked the enthusiasm to enjoy the nice day with my girls and moved more like a zombie not once letting the sun stroke my face. I relentlessly confined myself to the four corners of my bedroom all day – pressing on my pillow like a stone trapping a fly, squeezing it almost flat – dreaming and longing for it to be my husband here with me but instead I got a fluff of feathers and all I could do is bury my tears and fears beneath it.

I was tremendously (and guilt-fully) grateful my mother took my oldest daughter for the day and right when my toddler woke up from her mid-day nap my father was here to entertain her until about my mother returned. Although I know that my family and friends tell me there is nothing wrong with taking a break – being a military wife, it’s as if you are molded to just keep it going and accustom yourself to everything around you all while doing it alone. It’s very difficult to ask for day to myself – even if it’s to just be limited to my bedroom to sulk. However, I can easily grasp that what I am feeling today should only burden me and never my daughters. It’s not fair to them to have ‘mommy looking sad’ as the day passes and (even worse) restraining them to our home because I have no desire to see the light outside of a bulb on a ceiling or stand. Even on my most gloomy days, I become elated knowing that my daughters are off getting spoiled for the day – no limits, no boundaries, no impatience, no sad faces, and (most of all) no yelling or crying. 

Every day is not like this of course. I do my best to maintain busy and to go out to visit friends and family as often as possible. And I am usually invited ‘somewhere’ just about each weekend. It’s just every now and then it hits me like freight train with no brakes that my husband isn’t home. Surprisingly, I find it especially more difficult on nights I do go out to have a nice enjoying night be it solo, with friends, or with my daughters. Those are the nights I find it to be the most difficult drives home, walks to the front door, and to fall asleep. Going home after having a good night and seeing everyone enjoy each other only reminds me more of how I am the only one going home alone. Just about everyone within my circle has their person to go home to and it’s here where I get the heart-breaking reminder like bull-horn two inches away from my ear that I don’t have my person to go home too.

It is here within these moments coming home lying on my pillow I learned that the eye, even when sealed, can still trickle tiny tears in tune with every beat from my shattered heart – but although minuscule, they are hefty in sentiment. Each tear reminded me of how as much as I try to close out my emotions from feeling lonely – no matter the resistance it will always seep through. It doesn’t matter how I spend my day – blissfully with daughters, shopping listlessly, reading, writing, have dinner and wine with good friends, moping at home in my pajamas – the feelings at the end of the night will remain the same. My bed is large and I lay alone in it. 

You don’t know what empty feels like until the person you love that loves you back completely want to be together but are powerless in any efforts to make it real. An empty heart is a heart that is limited. That piece that makes it beat is dead. It is dark and rough but easily converted back to what it knows as ecstasy. I know my heart will be filled again. And I know my heart will beat again and that it will intense and soft – it just won’t be that way again until my husband is home.

I know I am lucky to have family and lifelong friends around that can assist me in days like this but my heart truly feels for the other military wives who don’t have the same fortune as I – to have a moment or break every now and then. I know it is probably a standard emotion that comes along as the wife on the home front through deployment and that this too shall pass – but for me, the lonesome weekends has been the most difficult. I am aware too that this deployment will not be the last one we experience- I just hope next time around, which I know I most likely will not be around family and friends, that it will get easier and painless (I’m skeptical – but I will hold on to hope).

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night.  I miss you like hell. “

 ~Edna St Vincent Millay

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2 Responses

  1. I know exactly how you feel. Nothing can replace those hugs and kisses and just plain moments with my husband. The whole new military wife life is just starting to get to me! Like I’ve said before, I really didn’t know what I was getting into. Thank God for friends and family. I constantly try to fill my schedule up with OB appts, activities with my son and lunch dates with friends. I even got my mom to go to the movies with me today (for the first time ever)! I figured the reality of my new life when my husband came back from boot camp– endless routines of errands and work and house chores and taking care of my son. I get it now! I don’t regret it at all. I can’t even say that I miss the freedom though. I was never the clubbing, hanging out type of girl! I do regret one thing though. I was never there when my husband researched and decided this Marine Corp life. You could say I was unsupportive, in denial, and had no clue this will effect my life too. I figured this is his life! For a year and a half it was no different. I was in school busy and we barely saw each other! I had no time to be there for him when he was deciding. And just when I graduated, he left two weeks laters. ANyways, I remembered wishing for weekends like these back when I was in school. Its funny. Now that I have it, I wish it was like before- hectic schedule of going to the church, errands, cleaning up coz of course the boys will always dirty the house, dates with my husband, park, spontaneous getaways etc. Anyways, I can’t even begin to think of deployment yet! I guess i’ll take it one step at a time! Let me worry about MCT and MOS school first! Thanks again for your blogs—Its nice to know somebody understands. Its been both inspiring and very hlpful for my sanity to read them. Keep it coming grl! As always thanks for listening!

  2. Beautiful, potent and powerful prose. Even just seeing and feeling a small glimpse of what you have for so long in my current marital logistics makes me feel that much more for your solitude and pain. The one thing I constantly tell myself to keep my own perspective on my small and short seperation is “This is not a deployment” because there are so many more profound pains, sadnesses, and concerns that are implicit in being a military wife in these times especially that being in a circumstance such as mine–my husband is not at war, we are seperate for a blip in time comparably, and I know where he is and that he is safe. I can only fathom in my imagination the ache that is yours–yet at the same time I felt some of my own moments in your depiction and can empathize greatly with the weekend lonliness you speak of–as I was having a bit of a conflicted solitary long weekend myself.

    Thank you for your lovely expression of such a difficult experience.

    Teresa

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