Goodbye Again

The sun went down tonight and I waited to see what would happen. I waited to see if I had willed the sun to move backward, spinning us back two weeks.

On the way to the airport today I was lightly anesthetized, just enough to be barely conscious. My brain wouldn’t let me believe that it was time for you to leave. It was dancing around the daily administrative details, trying to decide what to think of, what to say, what to ask. It felt like you were going on a short one week trip, and you’d be right back in a few days assessing the lawn, the mail, and the finances. It felt nothing like the last time we said goodbye. It was silent. You opened your hand, and I laid mine there, inside of it, as we traveled over the bridge.

But when you kissed me on the airport curb this morning, I was suddenly frantic inside. I wanted time to stop moving. I wanted a do-over. I wanted so badly to feel closer to you, to remember more, to say more, to be more. I wanted you to be more. I wanted us to be more.

People who know that you left today ask how I am, and I don’t know the answer. I am more steeled and more resilient, more determined to get this next few months behind me. Behind us. Yet I’m also less energetic, less tolerant, less naive. And I’m less able to breathe, sometimes. Today I wasn’t able to breathe. I was choking. I was wounded.

But because the sun will keep setting while you’re gone, I will keep rising, and I will keep watching. We will get to try the “together” thing again, but this time without the two-week deadline, the unwritten rules, the necessary pretenses. And we will relax – really relax – and we will keep trying to find each other, no matter what.


Because I miss us more this time.


Come home, soon.

Come home and stay.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julie
    Jul 12, 2011 @ 19:29:06

    Beautiful and true. Thanks for sharing it.


  2. DogBoy and DogGirl
    Jul 12, 2011 @ 17:22:15

    The Force is strong in this one … sorry about the Star Wars quote, but I didn’t want to use the other tired reference (Nietzsche). The Force is appropriate because Hans has that Yoda thing down. He is like this incredible force and presence, but all you see is calm reserved composure. Like Yoda, I (we) hung on his words, his advice and his stories of Life.

    Hans, if you are reading, you are ok in the Book of Dog.


  3. ckent1119
    Jul 12, 2011 @ 12:41:07

    Lori, I’ve just discovered your blog and rest assured that you aren’t the only lonely military wife out there who finds it hard to breathe sometimes. Thanks for sharing your sorrows : )
    –The Lieutenant’s Wife


  4. Sheri Allen Byrd
    Jul 12, 2011 @ 11:15:23

    I think we may have been doing the same thing at the same time at the same place. My AF Reserve Lt Col hubby left yesterday. I’d love to connect with you in person. Not much support for Reserve spouses out here in the world. -Sheri Byrd


  5. Erika @ chambanachik
    Jul 12, 2011 @ 09:03:46

    I remember that feeling well.


    • Lori Volkman @ Witty Little Secret
      Jul 12, 2011 @ 22:50:01

      Yeah. R&R doesn’t really end up being what you think it’s going to be – even when you don’t think it’s going to be much. At the end of the day it’s really just a reality check, and then they leave again. Finding a way to write about it has been difficult. I’m working on it. Maybe by Friday …


  6. deyank
    Jul 12, 2011 @ 07:09:12

    Wonderful post, Lori. My wife says that she’d have posted something like this when I left to go overseas if there had been an Internet back then. I won’t say he’ll be home before you know it because that just isn’t true. But, he will be home again.


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