Time changes friendships. Distance changes friendships. Babies change friendships. Marriage changes friendships. So, what happens when you mesh all those things together? Friendships change...a whole lot.
The last six days have been the hardest of this entire deployment; harder then the day he left, harder then Christmas, harder then Olivia's first steps. A news alert appeared on my IPad and I glanced over it. I saw the word, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to go back and look. All I knew was something happened in Afghanistan. This was the moment I realized I should have paid closer attention to when BW told me his exact location, but I did know this...it sounded familiar. I am not completely naive to the news. I don't refuse to watch it in order to keep my mind clear. I do watch. I do want to know what's going on. I read the article. I read it once. I read it twice. I read it all. day. long. The blasts, the bombings, the casualties were right where my soldier's boots stood. The blackout had started.
Blackouts typically occur when there are causalities. They cut all methods of communication to protect families from finding out things through here say. This all happens quickly, unexpectedly, and without warning. We don't get a call telling us there is a blackout. It just happens. We are always told 'no news is good news.' No military wife believes this and if she says so, she is lying. We may repeatedly tell ourselves this to make ourselves feel better for the moment, but when we have moments alone...moments to think, we are 'worst case scenario' thinkers. After about 3 days of blackout status I had heard that BW and all the soldiers in the 151st were ok. I didn't believe it. With every car door that slammed I waited for the uniformed officer to knock at my door. Again, 'worst case scenario' thinkers. I needed to hear his voice. I needed him to tell me he was okay. For six whole days, I did not know if my husband was dead or alive.
I don't blog for attention, I don't blog to invite ya'll to my pity party and I don't post on Facebook to get the most 'likes' or comments. I do it, well, because my friends are 100s of miles away, and this is how I 'talk' to them, this is how I tell my story. I've said before, sometimes I write because I crave adult interaction. Sometimes I write because I have no one to talk to. I have one close friend in North Carolina, and last I checked...that's not alot. And I'm quite sure she's sick of hearing my stories. Friendships are hard. They are hard to find. They are even harder to keep.
I don't expect people to know everything, and I don't expect people to read between the lines. But as I lived these last few days, struggling to keep myself together, struggling to put one foot in front of the other, I wondered....where did all my friends go? Lives change. People change. I never imagined when I packed up to move 3 years ago, that I'd be leaving so much behind, and potentially giving up all the friendships I worked so hard to create. I do realize there are different kinds of friendships. For instance, one of my best friends is someone I've never physically met but remembers important details I tell her. One friend is raising an autistic son, and is a kick ass Mom who doesn't have time to pee alone but has a moment to tell me to 'hang in there' when things are tough. One friend lives 1000s of miles away in another country and hasn't left my side in 25 years... One friend emails me everyday just to check in. There are so many different friendships that work in different ways. But a friendship isn't a 'like' on Facebook. It takes effort. And where the hell did those friends go? Like any other relationship in life, friendships are a give and take. There are only so many times I can text and get no response...or call and get no call back...Here's the thing, if you're worried or 'not sure' if what I'm saying is about you, then it probably is. If you can lay your head down at night and know you're a good friend, then you probably are. But if you're second guessing yourself as you read this...then you have your answer. I want to be a good friend, I want someone to tell me when I'm not being a good friend. So, here I am telling YOU now.... This past year has been the hardest, craziest, stressful, emotional, roller coaster of a ride, and where were you? And if this is 'payback' for something I didn't do for you, then tell me. I want to fix it. Friendships aren't supposed to be vindictive. they are supposed to be supportive.
BW asked me a year ago, who my best friend was. I, being the girl that I am, responded with a childhood friend's name. He yelled, "TRICK QUESTION, you're supposed to say me!!!" I was so confused by this. Huh? My best friend has ALWAYS been her and I never imagined life any other way. His feelings were hurt as he told me that I was his best friend. Looking back, I get it. He's the person that has never left my side, who picks me up at my lowest points, and who shares in my happiness and my disappointments.