And it's one I never wanted to put on there. It describes me more than all the others, even the "Proud Liberal" , the "Army with Pride", the Texas village missing it's idiot. When you see it on a car, think about what it means. The family separated, the hours spent waiting for phone calls, for emails, for a letter full of dust and sand. The cell phone carried everywhere, email account checked and rechecked 30 times a day. The sleep that doesn't come, the lying in that big bed all alone and the long sleepless nights. Running to look at the TV screen if there's a report about where they are, taping the report and going through it as slow as possible... is he there? Is that him? "the one in the green suit and the hat...." in a sea of uniforms and helmets, in the rain.
Tell me, since when do I cry at stupid songs? For heaven's sake, I bawled my eyes out listening to the radio playing Angry American (Toby Keith's jingoistic, idiotic ode to knee jerk reactions) Since when does a stupid telemarketer asking for him make me stop short. Since when do I leave his slippers in the bathroom.. for the past two months? Since when do I sit clutching his shirt just to smell him.....
Since the day he called and told me he was deploying. Since last Friday, when I drove to the airport in Jackson, crying so hard I scared myself. Since I landed here at home, to the empty house, the empty bed, the empty life I fill up with work, and books.
The Bumper Sticker: Half my heart is in Iraq. It might as well say my life is in Iraq. and it is. So I'll keep going, going to work, baking and making for him and others deployed, taking the dog out and to the vet, combing the cat, cleaning the house. but remember,
Half my heart is in Iraq.