Trying to rekindle the habit

Here I am, a week or so later, and I am disappointed with my writing resolution.

It’s hard to write this, right now at least. Writing about the deployment makes it real. I know I’m not the only one sharing this sentiment. It’s hard to be lonely, but I feel like I’m doing a good enough job of keeping busy that I have run out of time to write. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing.

People often remark that I must be a very resilient person, to have survived the events of the last few months without breaking. I think I have simply been too busy to fully experience all of it. Again, I’m not sure it’s a bad thing.

What’s happened? Well, starting in February…

  • I moved to Washington with David.
  • Three weeks after I moved, David left on a long field exercise. Meanwhile, Mike (the previous roomie) moved out and deployed, I had a long weekend in Davis with my beloved Alumni Chorus, moved my crap out of storage and into the apartment, collected the cats from southern California, and saw Grandma for the last time, all in two weeks…
  • David came back from the field exercise in time for St. Patrick’s Day, just the day after I’d returned with the cats, then I left for several days’ work travel in Oregon. We had about two weeks of normal time before he left again, this time for over a month of training with the whole Brigade — meaning that most of my new friends and/or their spouses were gone too.
  • Shortly after David left, I found out that a good 4-H friend of mine had died. See the Ross post for more information, but there hasn’t been any more closure since then. And yet…
  • Fortunately (depending on your perspective) I also had another ten days of Oregon travel and a hell of a lot of work. I’m not entirely sure how I filled my time during this month, but I know I didn’t have much of it to spare. David came back early, though, in mid-May…
  • And a couple of days after his return, he had more surgery on his wrist. So we didn’t exactly have normal time for that, either. My dad visited in the last few days of May and that’s when my summer imploded.

Grandma passed away the afternoon after my dad left. I had spoken to her over her hospital phone the day he did leave, and I had dismissed the finality in her voice as illness. While I did ignore that tone, the things we shared in that few-minute conversation were pithy and a worthy way to say goodbye. It’s not that I don’t miss her or wish I’d had more time – of course I do! – but the things we said to one another have been enough to comfort me. Again, I don’t feel I’ve had much time to experience the full grief. I am sure I will come the holidays.

I had talked to my dad around noon that day, after he’d arrived in Santa Barbara, and we knew things were not looking good. I booked a last-minute flight for that afternoon and my cell phone rang as I was going through security. It was my dad, calling to tell me that she’d stopped breathing.

The next few days I spent at home are somewhat blurry – there was so much to discuss and do and share that I don’t have a clear memory of what I felt.

Two days after I returned, I had my wisdom teeth out. Oh, and that’s the day the ACCESS 4-H project director and project manager, both people I’d consider good friends, were no longer employed by Council. I’m selfishly glad I had the haze of pain and painkillers and wicked nausea to distract me – I found out via email blast as I returned from the surgery, so at first it all seemed like a dream.

I think we had two full weekends between my wisdom teeth removal and the beginning of our ridiculous vacation itinerary, and both were busy. In the last month we have spent a vast amount of time in Seattle and at Army parties, in the Bay area with family and good friends, even a week in London and another touring the east coast… Those three weeks alone deserve their own post.

Two days after we returned from the last leg of the traveling, David departed for a year. I’m still finding things that need to make their way overseas to him. I spent a day broken, though I still did my daily work. I spent a few more days fighting back tears whenever someone asked me how I was doing. I found things to do instead of cry.

But I haven’t given myself the leisure to examine the way I’ve felt until now. And see! I’ve filled it with recaps and observations. Of course, I doubt I’ll ever share the depths of what I do feel, but I felt an obligation to announce that Yes! I yet live! This is what I felt like writing. So yes, perhaps I’ve made a good start.

This week has been a shock of quietude, at least during the day. I am still swamped with work; we have looming deadlines and a shortage of hours to complete them. And with the rest of the Brigade’s soldiers yet to deploy, there have been plenty of excuses to get myself out of the apartment and savor what time I have remaining with the friends who haven’t yet left.

I suppose I’m finding out how good I am at distracting myself. Give me another couple of weeks, for them to leave, for me to finish my annual pilgrimage to the land of fluffy critters and blue ribbons, for the familiar structure of weekend parties and summer business to taper off… and I think perhaps I will have time to fully feel all that has happened.

Oops. No. I have a choir audition tomorrow. Perhaps instead of writing it all down, I’ll find myself singing it out. That’s always worked well for me…

~ by jackelopette on August 1, 2009.

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