Leaving my husband is overwhelming. The emotions of the whole deal flow like waves. Sometimes they are crashing, sometimes they are slow. One moment everything is fine and dandy, the next minute I feel like I’m out of my mind.
It all started a year ago when I took the necessary steps to satisfy FAA regulations to become current as a helicopter pilot. After graduation from flight school in 2010 the job market was dismal and my career never launched. Most of my friends weathered the storm and are now comfortably seated on the middle of the proverbial ladder. However, I was a single woman with a mortgage. My reality at the time just was not flexible and I refused to abandon my house.
Refusing to let a very expensive education go to waste, I decided to get back into recreational flying. It was at that time that the owner of the flight school I attended told me about an opportunity in the Midwest to get my foot back in the door. I could work for basically nothing, long hours like a dog on the ground crew of a tour company in hopes of being picked up as a poorly paid full-time pilot the following year.
Generally helicopter positions turn over in the early spring and it was already into summer when I learned about this opportunity. I knew there was no way I could wait almost an entire year to become employed. I was graduating from college and students loans would soon be due. I had definitely given up the dream of being a professional helicopter pilot.
Well, as it happens I couldn’t find employment to save my life and here we are back in early spring. After a whirlwind trip to visit the owner and his operation and answer some illegal questions regarding my age and marital status, I was offered a position. Now I have got a lot to do and a lot to take in, all in a matter of a few weeks. We helicopter pilots call it “living the dream.”
Until now I haven’t known when I was leaving, I’ve known for more than a month that I am leaving and that was all fine and dandy so long as it was a distant thought and not a dated reality. We worked like crazy to get my dream patio fire pit installed so that I could enjoy it for a few weeks. Then I thought that I would have time to just relax and enjoy my time in my home with my family.
A few weeks ago my whole mentality changed. The rumor mill was spinning. It churned out whispers of an early season start. I had just dropped my husband off at the airport for a week without so much as a hug goodbye. Suddenly every moment was precious. God knows I hate that man sometimes, and most of the time he does everything completely wrong. But when he gets it right, he gets it so right and I don’t care to live without him. Now I have to. He will be able to visit a few times, but I’m leaving my beloved home, family and life for at least 5 months. This cycle will repeat itself for a number of years until I qualify for a commutable job where I will work 2 weeks on 2 weeks off.
The to-do list is overwhelming and my words have been less than gracious as I try to navigate making all the needed preparations to have a second household. We had to buy a second car and the aftermarket leather I just paid a lot of money for looks truly horrible. Plus the car needs some suspension work done unless I care to lose a tire in the near future. Obviously this work is going to cost twice what I anticipated because this is life!
Additionally, my husband is a member of the Navy’s elite civilian squad of garbage-men. There is seriously less security at nearby nuclear research facilities and reactors than there is at the facility my husband works at. He has no internet, no access to the outside world from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. except the 2 hours a day they are allowed access to either CNN or Fox News to keep them abreast of any calamity that might be happening outside their compound. Therefore he is no help to me. I came unhinged when USAA wouldn’t even give me so much as a quote for renter’s insurance without my husband calling in first. I can’t have a quick lunch with my husband and say hello during the day because he is an hour away by bus. When he comes home he does freelance work to pay for my freeloading butt and because I will be underemployed for a number of years yet, he has no choice but to continue to work on the side.
I mentioned that he does most things all wrong. This is one of those things that he does so right that it blows my mind. He wants me to fly helicopters. He and his colleagues are nuclear engineers, but what I do is somehow much more fascinating. My husband was writing a program in bed last night to solve complex math equations for no other reason than to “relax”. He could tell me to go get a temporary job until I can find a local position with a much faster pay off, but he doesn’t care about that. He says he always thought the plan was for me to fly. He was never sure why I deviated from that plan in the first place. I guess I just always assumed that I needed to make enough money up front to pay for my rather expensive education myself.
My husband is not the man of my dreams. My wildest imagination couldn’t have fathomed such a man. I dreamed of a man that I deserved, not any better. The good Lord blessed me with better though.
It’s going to be a long number of years. I am painfully aware of the fact that my dogs are getting older and I will be gone for at least half of the rest of their lives. Their daddy is going to take amazing care of them, but I’m going to miss watching that happen. I won’t get to see all the things that my husband does everyday that makes me smile and fills my heart with gratitude that he is mine. I won’t get to bust him researching plants for his garden when he is supposed to be working. I won’t be able to over-eat by thousands of calories and then blame him for not supporting me in my weight management goals. I’m gonna miss this guy.
I was fearless before meeting my husband. While I have always had a strong will to live, I never feared death. Now death is my greatest fear. I don’t want to be without my husband or the family we have. Heaven is forever, but this beautiful life is fleeting and I hope for many long years together.
Seriously, how do you military wives and widow’s get through it? God bless you all because you are a lot tougher than I am.
Read more about my story here.