Saturday, March 25, 2006

A new bumper sticker on my car

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.


Anonymous said...

Comment unrated
c'est moi Says :March 26th, 2006 at 9:53 am | edit comment I, like many, don’t post to a lot of blogs. But this one I will, as I feel the need for a public forum.

I remember being that deeply in love, so much that it‘s hard to breathe. So distracted by the thought of this person in my life that there is nothing else in the world. My wife and I married young, and almost immediately start to grow apart. Passion cools, but never goes out. Somehow, we stayed together.

Recently, Ifell deeply in love with my wife once again.Twice in one lifetime is more than anyone can ask. I too, find it hard to breath again. Pictures on a screensaver to stare at, telephone calls when I can get a line. That’s the best I can do for a while.

I’m deployed now. My wife hates it as much as I do, probably more. But she also understands why. I’m not here to fight terrorists, or to liberate the Iraqi people, or any of the other reasons given for us to be here. I’m here because it’s what I do; what I’ve done for the past 25 years. It’s who I am. And as much as my wife hates it, she knows that too. That’s why she’s earned the ‘Proud Army Wife’ T-Shirt she wears.

Reading her post, I’m put in mind of the diamond commercial, where the man shouts his love to his wife in the middle of Trafalgar Square. Since I couldn’t get her to come to England when I was stationed there before this gig, I ‘ll use this forum instead:

I Love This Woman.

And I’m very proud to say that I am her husband.

Boschka said...

Oh my Dearest Brother and His Bride,

As I sit here in my office, tears streaming openly down my either of you have any concept of how much I love you both ? How proud I am of you both ? How giddy I am that you are an honest to Jeebus love story ?????????

I can't watch the news for fear of what I might see. Yes, brother dear..I know it is what it is..but that doesn't mean that I am not scared shi*less for you both.I don't think you realize, either of you how much I like you as just people...friends , buddys , chums and pals.Oh little brother..when the hell did we grow up ? I can listen to your brother in law tell his stories ab out his time in Nam, and they are surreal..I didn't know him then. Then I think about you...and then I wonder how herself gets thru it ...then I think about you...and realize you have no idea how much your big sister loves you...and then I cry...

Your Pheasent sister who know the rest

pia said...

As I read your husband's letter, and now his sister's comment I couldn't help but cry.

People like you and your husband make me proud to be an American, and hopefully one day soon, this country will return to its former glory

It's still glorious but the brass is tarnished beyond repair

Christie said...

that bumper sticker is so so true

bonnie said...

hi -

Saw the mess over on BIO.

I liked the last couple of last words as they stand so I didn't want to comment there but I did want to tell you - that was amazing. Plus, I think your husband's response was just about one of the sweetest things I've ever seen on the internet - hope it was enough to cut through the bitterness of some of those other responses.

Thank you for putting a very beautiful human face on the situation. It's so important for people to remember that (I don't forget it 'cause I was a Navy brat).