Over New Year's weekend, Jeremiah had a four-day holiday from work. I typically enjoy spending all this time together, but this weekend there was just something off; I couldn't put my finger on it, but something was driving me crazy. "Maybe I am just stressed. Maybe I just need some time away from Emerson, some time by myself," I thought. I knew I could ask Jeremiah to watch Emerson, and he would do it in a heartbeat, but I didn't want to go anywhere, what I really wanted was for everything to seem "normal" and just enjoy this time together. I felt like crying but just held it in. Over the next few days, I analyzed a million things and if you could have seen or heard the thoughts in my brain you'd probably tell me I was psycho, but I just knew there was something wrong and I couldn't figure out what it was.
One evening that week, I asked Jeremiah if he wanted to see my dresses I had to wear to the Miss America Pageant, he said sure and I went to try them on. Normally, he is wonderful about giving comments and helpful feedback when it comes to clothes, but not this day. He was basically indifferent about everything I tried on, and for me, it was the straw that broke the camel's back; I took the dresses, headed back to the bedroom, closed the door, and just began to sob. This was the day before he was supposed to leave for a month of training and this isn't how I wanted things to be before he left.
A few minutes later, he came back to our room and apologized. I told him, it wasn't just that, but the whole previous week, something had been off, that I kept thinking I had done something wrong or maybe the thing I did was that I didn't do something I should have. I said, "You've been acting a bit strange, and I don't know why." He quickly hugged me and assured me, it wasn't me. He told me how this deployment is totally new to him, that even though he has deployed twice, it is like a totally new experience this time. He told me how he has left me before, but he has never had to leave a son, and a son who he won't get to meet until he is at least 6 months old. On top of everything else, his MOS (army job) is different this deployment too. He explained how he is just feeling overwhelmed, and he too is just trying to mentally manage it all.
As we lay in bed and discussed his deployment, I told him of my little struggle for example, "I know good and well God will take care of all my needs, but if something happens to you, who is going to teach our boys how to play basketball? I'm terrible at basketball!" He chuckled and just said, "Why don't you just cry and let it all out?" So, that's exactly what I did. I can assure you my crying wasn't a pretty sight, but waking up the next morning with red and swollen puffy eyes to a note that read, "You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I love you with all my heart. Have fun and see you soon. -Jeremiah" reassured me of the wonderful confidence I have in my relationship with my husband. And perhaps, I need to remember that these next few months are going to be just as hard, if not harder for him, than it is for me.