*Disclaimer* While this post is written as if it just happened, it didn’t. For obvious reasons, I do not post about WH being away while he is gone.
Having a husband who works in the gas industry is somewhat like orchestrating a very poorly planned military operation. No one is ever really sure of what they are supposed to be doing or where they are supposed to be. Most of the time you are left floating along, not really sure when you will see your husband again, or what dangerous job he is out completing. Today was a good example of just how random our lives can be.
We have been really lucky for the past several months, Wonderful Husband’s company had been kind of slow and he was getting home most nights around 5:30pm and was even getting a few weekends off. We were finally settling in to a routine of family life. Then I got the phone call at 11am this morning. Wonderful Husband needed me to immediately begin packing for him to leave. When I asked how long he would be gone, he couldn’t give me a time frame. All he could say was he knows he has military drill in a couple weeks so he would have to stop home to switch clothes before going.
I set out clothes for 10 days, packed a toiletry bag, and an electronics bag. When he got home an hour later I helped him load up the truck and kissed him goodbye.
Now, here I sit, with a lump in my throat and knots in my stomach. The next several weeks will be hard. Days will feel endless. Nights will feel even longer.
Evenings, after Little Darling goes to bed, I will pace the house investigating every small noise. When I finally crawl into bed in the wee hours of the morning I will toss and turn in the big empty bed until the sun comes up. When Wonderful Husband can steal a few minutes and call me I will put on a brave face and tell him we are doing fine.
I won’t tell anyone that he is gone, I won’t call and sob to my friends. I will continue with life, playing the part of both mom and dad to my daughter, while still leaving an open spot for when he returns. I will remember that it is much harder on him to be gone than it is on me to have him be away. I will remember that this is what we signed up for, and that his job pays our bills, and provides for our future. Once or twice, I will break down and cry, privately.
Having a husband in the gas industry is hard, its not something that many people understand. For the most part, if you don’t live it, you don’t get it. When other wives tell me they know exactly what I am going through because their husband went on a business trip one week, or their husband works swing shift, or sometimes their husband picks up weekends I will just smile and nod. It’s not their fault they don’t understand, and I certainly wouldn’t wish this lifestyle on them. But my husband loves his job, and I love my husband. It won’t always be like this, and that’s the time we look toward. We have learned to appreciate every moment, to not take it for granted when he can attend a family function or be home for a weekend. Really, we are the lucky ones because while other couples are growing tired of each other and taking advantage of times when they can get away from each other, we have don’t experience those moments. Every day I have my husband home is a good day, and I look forward to the time when I will see him on a daily basis.
Until then, I will put my big girl pants on and face each day with my head held high.
We can do this.