Four weeks before R and R, my husband who had been, shall we say not very cheery for a while, suddenly became this smiley, upbeat, happy guy. He was all smiles on Skype and talking about coming home for R and R freely and with enthusiasm. It was like a lightbulb went on and he could see his way back to us clearly.
Having close relationships with law enforcement and military folks, I have learned that when they have to put their heads down and work, they lock up their hearts and can seem very emotionless and cold. They are definitely NOT going to get sappy about home, how much they love you, miss you and all that stuff. Not happening.
I have seen the waves of emotions and emotionlessness ebb and flow with my husband. When we said goodbye, he was exhausted & on task. Not very emotional. But when he was getting on that plane to leave the country, I got a long text that said EVERYTHING he wanted me to know just in case he never came back. It was intense and deeply heartfelt.
The month leading up to R and R, he was totally warm, flirty, cute and funny. Started skyping much more often. During R and R, he was totally exhausted and pretty pressed for time to get a million things done. But we had some great time together. Then when he went back he immediately got sick, got into a funk, and kind of stayed that way. As the months counted down, I started to just give up and think Just get him home and things will be better after that.
I was hoping I would see that lightbulb go on in his head again when I could see that he was allowing himself to think about coming home, being with us and how he felt about us. I gave up on that.
Then last weekend, just as I was leaving the house on yet another lonely Saturday night to grab a bite to eat and get out of the house for a while, I just had one of those waves (I know you know what I'm talking about) of intensely missing him. They tend to come out of the blue, crush you for a few minutes and then they go on their merry way while you recover. On my way out I decided to run down and check the mail on the way out the door. There was a thick card envelope from him. How did he know I needed that just at that moment and to send that card just in time to get to me on Saturday.
I looked at the front of the card and in the left bottom corner there were two red hearts drawn in pen. One with my initials and one with Clementine's. Highly unusual behavior! haha. I waited a while to open the card because just getting it was awesome enough to last me a month! ha. A few hours later I opened the card and was just a big puddle of happy tears reading the most gushy love stuff he has every written. Thanking us for for all our letters and prayers and how he could feel them helping him. He let us both know exactly how he feels about us and what we mean to him. It was amazing.
Like the text from the airplane, it said everything he could want to say to us. It was beautiful. I am never letting this card out of my sight! And I got my sign, with that card, that he is lifting his head up from his work and looking homeward, remembering our life and all the love we have, showing his emotions and unlocking his heart. Hello lightbulb!!!! Hello My Sweetheart. Look forward to seeing you soon!
P.S. After writing this I think I've figured out what it is that turns on the light. It's when he gets his travel plans, because a while after I read this card, he Skyped and gave me travel info. I think when he sees on paper actual flight information, then he lets himself make it real. I'm guessing that happens with a lot of other people too.