Saturday, June 23, 2007

Half a Year

Today marks six months of living in D.C. Here are the top ten reasons why I know I have been away from Wisconsin for way to long:

10. The monuments no longer make me go "Wow!"

9. The last time I drove past a farm I actually admitted to MISSING that smell.

8. I no longer have the phone number to my local pizza place memorized.

7. The cheese platter at dinner two nights ago was the first REAL cheese I've eaten in months.

6. I no longer make eye contact, smile, or say hi to people I don't know.

5. I know how to navigate the city.

4. I drive like a mad man.

3. I pack snacks just in case we get stuck in traffic.

2. I yell at the tourist for being stupid.


I often look back at the first week after J.R. was injured. I was still back in Wisconsin waiting to meet him stateside. I had no idea how much to pack, and what climate to pack for. I would never have guessed that six months from now we would still be away from home. To think... I had to buy new summer clothes here because most of them were still sitting at home. I would love to send my heavy sweaters and long sleeved shirts home, but with my luck things will not proceed as planned and I'll wind up buying a new winter wardrobe as well. I miss my apartment.

I also stumbled across this article today. I cannot explain all of the feelings I have about the return of our soldiers. I am excited for the families to be reunited. I am thankful that the soldiers are safe. I am also a little jealous. For months I played through my head what it would be like to stand in that room and wait for J.R. to walk through the door. I could see the flags and the smiles of the people in the room. I would think about that first hug I would get from J.R. But our family along with thousands of others didn't get that reunion.

I hate the people that destroyed our "happy ending." I try to convince myself that even with one arm, four fingers, and nerve damage to deal with we still have a better life than they do. We have more comforts, more opportunities, and better health. But knowing we have fuller lives then them still doesn't stop the want to hurt them as much as they hurt my family.

I know that the return of J.R.'s unit will be a very emotional one. These men have seen a lot. They have had to put a friend in a body bag, bandage their severely wounded comrade, and deal with being away from home for almost two years. To hug them and thank them for being there for my husband will truly be a wonderful feeling. Hurry home.


FbL said...

Josie, if you've talked about this with other wives of wounded soldiers, you know you're lot alone. This sounds like what every other spouse of a wounded warrior has told me.

Don't feel guilty for being angry and mourning the loss of how you thought things would be. You'll eventually find peace, and may even have the attitude of one wife who said that while she desperately wished her husband didn't have to suffer from pain and physical challenges due to his wounds, she wouldn't change things if it meant giving up the good that had resulted for others and what they'd gained for themselves from the experience.

Yeah, I'm still trying to wrap my brain around that one. But she's a loving spouse and was deadly serious. The point is, don't stress about feeling angry and grieving over lost dreams... your feelings will right themselves with time.


Kat said...

(((hugs))) I can't add anymore to what fbl posted, so I'll just say "ditto" to that. (((more hugs)))

Tracy said...

((Josie)) reorganizing your dreams has to be hard~esp. as a newlywed.

Since I live in WI, I had to chuckle at some of your list. Cheese~I can't stand the rest of the country's idea of "real" cheese. I'm spoiled living here. When I take my daily walk (need the exercise, hate the gym like you!), I smile and nod at everyone I pass, and at every car that passes. Since I grew up in the country, the city would be a huge adjustment for me.

A traffic jam where I live is 10 cars behind a farm vehicle LOL

Hang in there!

Johannah said...

this post made me tear up. I can't relate to what you going though. *HUGS*

Anonymous said...

It struck me that you guys might like to spend some time in Frederick County, Maryland as a quick day trip. It's about an hour's drive from Walter Reed. (Take I-270 North to get there from the Beltway.) There are tons of farms to visit, and people are nicer than in DC. There's also a ton of great restaurants. In the visitor center on Church Street (right next to the Church Street Parking Garage) you can get the Frederick County farm guide (and other area brochures). I recommend South Mountain Creamery (it's a beautiful site, and you can milk the calves at 4 PM, or pet the goats and kittens, and have fresh ice cream with real milk on site. They also make their own cheese and sell more than 30 varieties of cheeses. No, I don't work for them, nor do I have relatives who work for them, I am just a fan!). A little time in farm country might make you guys feel a little less homesick, perhaps. I live in Maryland & can try to give you some more daytrip ideas, if you would like.