Thursday, July 5, 2012

The thing about the 4th of July

The thing about the 4th of July is this:

Freedom isn't free.  Freedom is a gift that was paid for on the backs of harding working people who gave their everything.  "All gave some, some gave all."  That is what this day reminds me.

I used to wear a lovely yellow rubber bracelet that said, "Until they all come home."  I wore it with pride, even replacing the first one I was given after it fell off at work and disappeared.  I don't wear it anymore.  I don't wear it anymore, not because I don't believe, or don't support our troops.  I don't wear it because that lovely yellow ribbon, the symbol of all that we stand for as military spouses who have dedicated our lives, our hearts and our happiness to this life, is a reminder.... Each lovely yellow ribbon I see warms my heart in a way that only the knowledge that someone out there wants to support my husband and understand the sacrifice can do.  But it adds a deafening silence to my mind.

As a smile spreads across my face, the deep desire to honor all those who have given all they have, the desire to know that I am living a life that makes their sacrifice worth it, spreads in my mind... Then I remember.  In the midst of all of this pride, this deep patriotism that we all must feel to muddle through deployments, the intense love we have for a man (or woman) in uniform that keeps us going when they are out there... In the midst of all of that is silence.

The silence exists only in my mind as I try to process it all.

He's been home for two years.  Almost three really.  Each day the world makes another rotation and I see the sun rise again, I am confused by this.  He's been home for so long, and no one told me.... No one told me we would still be here, in this place of insecurity, unsure of what we are supposed to do.  Each step we take feels like we are walking on a path that only exists behind us, the direction we are going having yet to be tread.  Silly, I know.  I am by no means the first spouse to live with PTSD in her home and he is by no means the first service member to come home with it... So, how is it that we can feel so lost in a world that gets rediscovered with each war we fight?

The thing about the 4th of July is that I am reminded that we are not alone in this fight, but that we all feel we are.  The day we celebrate our independence as a nation is a day that many service members with PTSD fear the most.  The noise, the smoke, the people everywhere... All of them a day long reminder of what they have brought home with them in their minds.

And for me, as a spouse, I see this day and remember, "All gave some..."  And I have to wonder, as my mind quiets, the silence deafening as I am overwhelmed with the the question, "When will our war be over?"

The thing about the 4th of July is that freedom isn't free, it comes at a price. "Some returned whole, some came back damaged, some never came back at all.  All gave some, some gave all." 

1 comment:

Rachelle said...

Hi, I was sent your way by another blogger friend. I am now a new follower. I share the pain that you are experiencing. My husband has been home for almost 5 years now and his mind stayed behind in Iraq. Between the severe PTSD and the TBI, I live in a bubble that prevents people from seeing what really goes on in my home. It's a scary and lonely journey to be on.

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