By Selena Conmackie
I don’t know if it’s my husband’s current deployment, or that we are in his retirement year and by this time next year he will be a retired Veteran. I don’t know if I’m just in a reflecting mood as I look upon my life as a military spouse and being part of that community. But I know that YOU KNOW. You know this feeling, or you may be about to know the feeling.
I remember hugging my mom, stepdad, and sister goodbye as we got ready to leave what I knew as “home” for a place that was never on my radar until I met my Army Soldier. So many emotions. Excitement, sadness, happiness, nervousness, all conflicting and battling with each other as we boarded the plane to leave Hawaii for Louisiana. YOU KNOW.
That new feeling that I was entering a world so different from what I was used to. Most people around all in camo, needing permission to go here or there, wondering if my kid would make friends in her new school. YOU KNOW.
I recall how I had to make sure I kept my Military ID on me like it was the ultimate key to life on post so I could access getting back home, shopping at the commissary, and getting into my doctor appointments at the on post-hospital. YOU KNOW.
Getting us settled into our first home together, filling this room, or that room. Excited to decorate for “the now” and not the “forever”. We went to get a new couch but remember “kicking at it” to make sure it would make the next PCS. YOU KNOW.
We struggled as I tried to get pregnant to learn we would get a referral two hours away to see a specialist… and in the same time frame got orders he would be deployed for a year and leave shortly after. YOU KNOW.
Coming to grips that having a baby with the absolute love of my life was not in the cards for us. YOU KNOW.
I dropped my husband off to my first (his zillionth) deployment and experienced an hour-long car ride back home bawling my eyes out. YOU KNOW.
I walk into our house and feel the emotion of knowing he won’t be in it until his deployment is done. I run my fingers along the wall as I climb the stairs to our bedroom and deep loneliness washes over me. YOU KNOW.
I fall into this rhythm of not having him here. Dinner for two instead of three, taking the trash out, being the only one driving and picking up our kid from school, watching what I want on TV, letting the dog sleep in his spot. YOU KNOW.
He comes home for R&R and it feels like a long-distance boyfriend or a father visiting rather than the other person who is part of the household. He scrambles to get things done for the household before leaving again, trying to make special moments, cringing when you remember you will be taking them back to the airport to finish off their deployment. YOU KNOW.
Any mention of anything in the news, and family members from afar call in to make sure he is okay. It’s nice. But it also creates havoc in my mind. That mental wall I’ve built to protect myself from the what-ifs. YOU KNOW.
I pour myself into the life events that slide in without my partner and remind myself to breathe. YOU KNOW.
I remember that I’m not alone when friends check in on me. When they all pray over me before a trip home that was devastating. When they leave me a small card at my door sharing so much love. And I break down. THEY KNOW.
A Fellow MilSpouse
About Selena Conmackie
Some call Selena their Social Media Gal, Website Designer Extraordinaire Guru, Genius (their words, not hers). But she’s also a Military Spouse following her husband with her kid and dog in tow to wherever the Army sends them. So, just add Rockstar Mom and Ah-mazing Wife to her list. H A U O L I is the name of her small boutique business. It means Happy in Hawaiian and has a special meaning that became the inspiration for her new journey. Her goal is to help your business to succeed — and social media plays a part in that. She enjoys the game of hashtags and algorithms and helping her clients optimize their online presence.