A short while back, I made the observation that military life is a lot like enduring paper cuts. And summertime - prime PCS (permanent change of station) season - seems to be the most painful time of year.
I've often debated with friends whether it is better to be the leavER or the leavEE...both have their upsides and downsides. Given the fact that we've been on this rock for five and a half years, I've about had enough of being the leavEE. And I'm not a fan. Don't get me wrong - I'm not sure I'm ready to leave yet. But the being left part leaves a lot to be desired. And, having been here for as long as we've been here, the emotional attachments are deep and therefore quite painful to sever.
Add to that the fact that I am horrible at goodbyes and you get an idea of how horribly icky the past few weeks have been. This past weekend was the worst - having to say goodbye to a family with whom we became quite close. Their children were in my youth group at church. We performed several sign language songs together. We camped together, shared many a meal together. They've cared for my children (this is big...there are very few people I let care for my children). And, on the night my world came crashing down around me last year, they were there for me in ways I cannot ever begin to repay. They've seen my good side and they've seen my bad side. And they love us (and me) all the same.
And now they are gone. Half way around the world. And so the new normal begins. For now. Until someone else leaves. Or we leave.
I find myself quite tired of this. And I don't know if it's just that I'm weary for the moment or if I'm truly reaching the end of my proverbial rope.
In the buildup to a deployment, couples often fight. The anticipatory grief gets to be too much and things blow up. It's easier to say goodbye to the person you love if you're ready to be rid of them because you're mad at them...or so you think. MacGyver and I danced that dance with the last deployment. I think I'm about there with the Army. It's been over a year and I find myself feeling "about done" with the Army. And with this island. Maybe it's just that time of year...time for school to start, time for a change of pace, a change in the weather.
Or maybe there's more to it. Maybe the last 14 months haven't meant anything more than a way for me to distance myself from military life. So that leaving it might be easier. Whatever that means.
I don't know.
I just don't know.