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Always coming back home to you

I took Hudson on a quick trip to Safeway this afternoon and while getting in the car I saw our neighbor in her Navy inform. This same neighbor that Brian and I have spent literally hours hypothesizing her story from the safety of our front porch- trying to figure out how/why she Iives in this house next to us and how she’s affiliated with the military since she’s always home throughout the day with her younger kids so she couldn’t be in the military- and why oh why she is so grumpy and never makes eye contact with us when we’re all outside together. In any case, I saw her today in her uniform and felt like I cracked this huge puzzle about our neighbor that we’ve been trying to put together for the past year we’ve lived here and I couldn’t wait to tell Brian all about it.. and then I realized I couldn’t.

My brain and my heart just simply can’t figure out how to communicate with one another. Throughout the day I have these moments where I take a deep breath and feel like I’m accepting that he’s gone and going to just have to suck it up and figure out how to move forward without him here. I’ve had to say the words “my husband passed away” a couple of times now and after the first few times I can now hear myself say it so I know it’s true.. but then an hour later I’ll catch myself making a mental list of all the things I need to tell him about that he’ll get a kick out of - like the neighbor thing, or Hudson saying all these new words, or how Adeline is kicking me so much now.

The truth is that we’ve done so many deployments and travel spent apart from each other that that this is what it feels like when he’s gone on an extended work trip or submarine deployment.. we go weeks/months without seeing each other but we email every single day and keep track of all life events so that nothing gets missed.. because I’m used to that lifestyle I keep catching myself trying to convince myself that this is what it is.. that he’s just gone on a work trip but will be headed home soon and I need to keep track of all these little things so he can laugh about it when he gets home. I close my eyes and I see him smile, I hear him laugh and more than anything I feel his hands holding mine. I simply can’t accept that I won’t ever see that smile again or feel his hands on mine.. we shared the most perfect life together and in all of those emails and letters he wrote me over the years, he always ended them with “I’m always coming back home to you.” How do I get myself to start realizing he’s really, truly gone?

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