Milly Magpie

mumblings of a military magpie

Hold my hand.

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Late to pick up my daughter, and racing down the road while running a laundry list of unfinished tasks through my mind, I felt the lyrics of a sappy 90’s hit throw a gut punch and burst the dam of tears I struggled to keep from flowing.

Want you to hold my hand
(Hold my hand)
I’ll take you to a place
Where you can be
(Hold my hand)
Anything you wanna be because
I wanna love you the best that
The best that I can

Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.

I was a 47-year-old woman ugly crying over a Hootie and the Blowfish song. The deployment had officially won or at least taken a huge lead in my unspoken, but daily noted tally of KTP versus the deployment. I knew I wasn’t actually crying over the song, but thinking of my husband holding my hand was the push that nudged me into tears.

I was crying for many things. . .

Crying because my furry, four-legged battle buddy left me half way through our 12 months. I hate cancer in any species, and I had to let him go. He was ready, but I was not

Crying because of the mother I was, not the mom I wanted to be

Crying because I was not myself

Crying because I really did want my husband to hold my hand

Crying because there was no way in hell I was losing that 25 lbs

Crying because we were so close to the end of a 12-month separation, but I knew until his toes touched American soil we were not done

Crying because they say lighting doesn’t strike twice, but Afghanistan was the last place my brother-in-law watched the sunrise or spoke the words, “I love you” to my sister

Crying because there are no words to describe the vulnerability you feel while keeping a brave face, living life to the fullest and knowing war is real and training or experience cannot fully protect anyone

Crying because I bit off more than I could chew, and I was leaning on people more than I felt was fair to ask

Crying because after nearly two decades of being married to a Soldier I could admit it was hard sometimes, and I was tired most the time

Crying because I was embarrassed by the fact I was crying. My parents were right up the road, and I was living in the closest place to home I have ever known with lifelong friends and I was still crying

Crying for friends who let me down, and crying for the ones who carried my sometimes heavy weight

Crying because I knew so many others had it worse, and I was an overgrown crybaby

I cried through the song and cried a little more. Then I stopped, blew my nose, fixed my face in the rearview mirror and picked up my daughter from the pool. Luckily allergies are an easy excuse for red eyes during a blistering Georgia summer.

Every single deployment or separation is different. I foolishly thought I had acquired some sort of deployment immunity, but my “been there, done that” t-shirt didn’t offer much refuge. Years of marriage, plenty of separations, deployments, solo parenting gigs and caring for others seemed like the antidote for the deployment I was experiencing, but there is no antidote. There is no magical number of times you say, “see you soon” that prepares you for the void deployment delivers, but in accepting defeat I gained strength. It was a strange juxtaposition; my vulnerability = strength. In admitting my fears, owning my weaknesses and sharing them aloud with trusted confidants they were lessened. My communication with my husband was stronger and my sanity was somewhat intact. My car ride cry fest served a valuable purpose. I still desperately wanted my husband to hold my hand, and my faith was renewed he would.

Don’t be afraid of your tears. Name your fears, speak them, share them with those you trust and don’t carry heavy burdens when open hands are available. Deployments suck. Period. No matter the situation they suck. All caps, bold font SUCK, but a drive with Hootie and the Blowfish reminded me it would be OK. Some days I am not OK and that is OK too, I just crank up the music and let the tears flow.

“Crying is cleansing. There’s a reason for tears, happiness or sadness.” – Dionne Warwick





2 responses to “Hold my hand.”

  1. Priscilla Knieriem Avatar
    Priscilla Knieriem

    I needed this today. As we are are. On our 2 and 1/2 week count down till Brian leaves. I’ve been here before, deployments, summer separations, TDY’s…. but yet this time I feel so weak going into it. I know I will be ok, but I just don’t feel ready. Thank you for your beautiful words. Hugs and love are sent to you from my heart!
    Your friend,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully written, it is always okay to cry and “let it go”. Hugs and kisses to you all. May this next week fly by.

    Liked by 1 person

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About Me

I’m momma to two college students who have improved my sarcasm and my Spotify. I’m an Army brat who is well traveled but geographically challenged. I believe wanderlust is real, kindness matters and age is relative.

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