“I come home and all I’ve done is peck the man on his lips as we pass in the driveway, and this after four days and nights of him away, and I come home and I’m full of words and tears and needs for HIM, and he’s tired and he falls asleep and we lie there, and it’s all we can manage, that lying. And he gets up and I drag five kids to the car at the break of dawn, and we take him and effect seven minutes of conversation, and it’s all day, and all evening, that he’s gone again. And I tackle the laundry and try to read history and we spend two hours watching Little House on the Prairie, and it’s bumping from one meal to the next, with the last meal an hour and a half late…” (from an email to a friend)
Tomorrow is another graduation, and the man I love will stand tall and receive a certificate, a check in the box, a pat on the back. Something done, completed, finished. His goal will be met, and he will move on.
I’ll move on too, as will the children. We all do this together. When he’s away or when his days are long, or when the burdens of a mission creep into our walls, we all wear it. And when the task is completed, we all sigh the relief.
“There ought to be graduations for military spouses,” I tell him wryly, scrubbing hard at a pan and harder at a flirtation toward bitterness. The exhaustion of the past four weeks creeps up my spine and through my arms and I’m a bit crotchety now, and unbelievably weary. Weary enough that I weep over my sink.
He’s weary too; I notice. I recollect that there are seasons. I recollect that we’re in one of them fast and hard. I recollect that come tomorrow a season will change.
My friend Holly studies me on the sidelines of soccer practice, and with a laughing eye, emails me words from a little e-book:
Remember that God is a God of fresh starts. Give Him praise for new beginnings and new mercies.
Perhaps, if a day is as a thousand years unto the Lord, and a thousand years as a day, then every morning really can be a brand new season.
Tomorrow is new, anyway.
I give Him praise.