I made it home, honey.
But, it wasn't our home anymore.There are times where I can hear you talking to me. Sometimes it's screaming out in my head, other times I play charades when your voice is simply in my heart; desperately trying to make out what you are telling me. Those moments when I hear you, I still become afraid and excited all at once. I hate those moments where I feel disappointment because I know you are gone. I feel ashamed that you still scare me. Then there is the heartbreak that you are somewhere I don't know and I know you are the person you used to be; not that of what war graciously sent back like an unwanted second hand item. I want so badly to see the you that you were before war changed everything. There are days where I am mentally cursing you using every vile word I can possibly think of and then there are times where my heart just simply keeps me quiet because there are no words to fill that hole you made. I think some days you were the only person in my entire life that for once, took the words out of my vocabulary. You were the only one who shattered my soul.
We had plans.
You had made so many plans.Grief counseling and books tell me that you were supposed to show all the signs and for this past 22 months? I have done nothing but, replay it out in my head; over and over again. I wonder how did I miss the suicide letter they say that's in the norm? Or did I miss the subtle things like suddenly giving things away that were important to you? You didn't have any final preparations that you made. Did you visit people anticipating you were going to make your exit? Everything else in between like talking about death or feeling worthless....well, that pretty much sums up how you felt long before you even stepped off that plane from Iraq. I sit sometimes for hours wondering how come these grief sites and books don't fit into the category of our life after combat?
But then, you and I were never one to follow the beat of other drums, were we?
How was I supposed to separate "our norm" from the signs of suicide?
How was I to know you were planning for months prior to that night?
There are many who blame me solely for your death; asking me how I didn't see any of it coming?
It was because there was nothing different than what we had been dealing with for eight years.My mind likes to play hide and seek with my memories. There are times where I see your smile in our sons and my heart just lights up because they are so very much like you. Sometimes, I don't remember your face although there were many nights alone where I sat and memorized every line in your face; afraid that one day I would forget. I remember feeling so alone and thinking you were a million miles away from us. I must have known then you weren't going to make it no matter what we did. Sometimes, I watch a video of you just so I can see your face again; replaying it for hours on end. Other times, I have to stay up all night watching stupid tv shows just to squeeze out the memory of you that lurks in my mind and haunts me. Some days I have to lie in bed with the covers over my head hiding from the echoes of the past that still make me tremble. Some days it just hurts to breathe but, I am trying.
I'm not as angry at you now as I was before. I still have my moments. Perhaps one day, I will forgive you and the pain will subside. Other moments, I don't want to forgive you at all.
I'm still so so very angry.
Angry because you left me here to unravel all the lies......
Pissed because I am still apologizing for you and making excuses.
You left me here alone to deal with the aftermath.
You left me when I needed you the most....
And you left me here to bear the cross on your behalf.
No matter what you did, no matter what you said....I was there. All you had to do was let me in. For every hour you spent shoving us all away, you could have taken five minutes to talk to me. You could always tell me anything and I would have listened as always and we would have figured it out together. You could have always told me anything and everything. You could have told me that you were spiraling down and the world had become so dark that you couldn't find any light. I would have done anything to hunt down that light source for you.
Sometimes I wonder what your purpose was, honey.
Was this it?
Was it to save some and not be saved at all?
Is there a reason behind all this pain and suffering?
I would hope it wasn't in vain.
I found you among the rubble of what once was our home. I heard you call my name and point me in the right direction. I feel like I failed so many people in our lives. I feel like I failed you in so many ways. I feel you failed us. I sit sometimes reading on Facebook and articles on the life and people that made up our daily lives. I shake my head, I clench my fists and some days I shed a lot of tears; wondering if I made the right decision to back away? I wonder if somehow, someway our story helped anyone? I walked into our home, took a long look outside and I don't know if it was you guiding me or if it was someone else but, I have decided to tell our story. Just like we have always done; with the shock and awe factor as you called it. It was the one thing you and I had in common, the one single thing we completely agreed on after you came home.....just to save one more from falling in the cracks like you had.
So for a while, I will be writing out our pain, your story, our story and share all the details I can remember. I dread the reliving it, I am afraid of what people will think or say but, I hear you tell me it's what we need to do. To show the world and our Veterans, that we aren't better off without you. I want to show all the things they should think about before they simply give up and walk away. I don't know if it's the right thing to do or if I am simply making another mistake but, when it hit me standing outside of our broken home.....it felt like you were saying "Yes, Mommy! You are supposed to do this!". All I can hope is that you are guiding me where I need to be as I once guided you. I need to write as I have always done to let all this built up inside me, out.
Then, I am going to let you go. I have to.
I once promised you that I would never let you become a statistic forgotten in a VA drawer somewhere. I failed at you becoming a statistic but, I promise you will never be forgotten.
They couldn't even get your name right.......