4: 59 am: After an hour of tossing and turning on the bed, Mary decides it is time to get up.
5:01 am: Check email. Nothing from Bill. Haven’t heard from him in over 32 hours. His last email said something like: “I’m off on a trip. I’ll call when I can. I love you immensely and if this should be the last email you ever get from me, know in your heart that I will always be watching out for you and our precious children.” Or something like that.
5:03 am Put on Pingu for Mary to watch. Brew coffee. Say morning prayers. Read headlines off my iTouch. World has not come to an end while I slept.
5:28 am No email.
5:37 am No email.
5:51 am No email.
6:11 am No email. Get dressed. Lace shoes.
6:19 am Put on Dora DVD for Mary. Consider that she watches too much TV. Conclude that pediatricians who establish such guidelines do not have toddlers who wake up before dawn.
6:22 am Get on treadmill. Ponder whether I should call my mother first with any terrible news and then have her call my sister or if I should call my sister and then have her call my mother. Decide that I would be crying too hard to make any phone calls.
7:10 am The boys are awake, and I tell the girls to get up. Open front blinds. Look outside and check for strange cars with uniformed people inside waiting for signs of life so they can come knocking on my door to deliver bad news. See none.
7: 12 am No email.
7:29 am My watch alarm goes off. “Dad’s thinking about us,” announces Billy for the benefit of those in the next room. I smile, knowing that Bill’s watch alarm is also going off. I wonder, if he were dead, if anybody else would hear the alarm and know what it meant.
“Dad should be calling any minute now,” says Billy.
“No, honey, Dad is traveling. He doesn’t have access to his computer. He’s not going to call this morning.”
7:31 am My Skype ringer goes off. I guess he’s back. And not dead. I answer. I see his face. I smile.
I tell him about looking for a waiting car outside. He smiles and nicely tells me that I’m silly. And that I’m spoiled by daily communication. I agree. I am spoiled. Seeing my husband on the computer or getting emails from him every day is a luxury.
I wish my favorite soldier a happy Veteran’s Day. I suggest he take the rest of the day off to celebrate. Alas, a day off is also a luxury. He can take a day off in January.
Tonight, I tried to do my usual Wednesday night grocery run to the commissary. They closed early due to the holiday. I had long forgotten it was Veteran’s Day. By this evening, it was just Day 134 without my husband.