Our relationship was not always this strained. In fact, in the beginning, I was kind of entranced by her, mesmorized by all that she stood for, all that she meant. She was the unknown. All that she stood for seemed so glamorous and mysterious.
My first encounter with her began with a sad goodbye to my then boyfriend as he took his first step toward becoming a Marine at OCS Juniors. It was my first taste of the many goodbyes to follow, and there she was. I watched as he walked off with her, into the unknown. I spent the next 6 weeks wondering, waiting for phone calls, looking for letters. It was a long six weeks and it was my first taste of what would eventually characterize our life. Eventually he came home, with her, and it was wonderful. I came to realize that sometimes seeing her meant it was good again. All was right in my world.
As the years went by, she came and went more and more. I saw her off to another OCS, short dets, 6 deployments, and so many "short trips" in between. It has not always been love. In fact, there were many long nights I would watch her appear and the heavy weight of a hard goodbye was at hand. The sight of her often times would bring me to tears. She no longer mesmorized me, she no longer seemed somewhat mystical. She only reminded me that soon she would join Patrick and he would be gone. She symbolized during those times long nights, lonely periods, and heavy loads to carry alone. Just the very sight of her two deployments ago made me physically sick. I hate to see her sitting there, almost in a taunting way. Reminding me he was leaving.
And she doesn't always stir up bad feelings, in fact, sometimes her presence makes me smile. Just seeing her in the corner, makes my heart feel joyfrl. She comes home, she always has and when she does, I love her. She reminds me that deployments end, he does come home.
Today I ran into her in the garage. The sight of her sitting there alone gathering dust made me smile. They tell me she won't be needed for at least 2 years and I am going to hold on to that. I am going to pray that she sits there. He doesn't need her. I don't want her. Over the years she has taken a beating and no longer stands quite as tall. She symbolizes a long career nearing its end, a career that has taken him to places far away from me fighting for the very freedom I love. She has been faithful in that when she takes him away, she brings him home. I am thankful for that old, faded seabag. But I am even more thankful that she isn't needed right now.