Friday, November 16, 2007

Then There Was Tom

There are acquaintances. You see them at church or the grocery store and catch up for a minute but you both know that you'll never make the time for a cup of coffee together. There are friends. You call every now and then. You have dinner and hang out or go shopping and feel free to call on each other in an emergency. Tommy wasn't either of these. Tommy is one of those deep root relationship. Life goes on with short glimpses of time to reconnect. We never hear from them, but when I know they are ok the world is safe and as it should be. Whether he is in Germany or Kennesaw doesn't matter. He's there. We can get together once a year and it feels like we saw each other yesterday. Travis is in on it. There's nothing secret or covert about the fact that I love Tom as dearly as one of my own brothers. Half the time Tom and Trav talk more than I do anyway. He's just very special to me.
Having said that, I don't really know him anymore. He's very different and detatched. I don't really understand how he thinks and the decisions he makes, but I'm still here for him.

Anyway, Tom called on July 29th to tell me that he and Monica were back from Germany with the boys and that they were buying a home in Canton. I was so excited to have them back that I seriously almost danced a goofy jig. That was a happy short moment. Because the next instant he told me that he was off to Iraq in 10 days. So breath, be calm... don't freak out... I'm a miserable failure at hiding my emotions and I know my shock showed. We made plans to get the families together the next night and I hung up just in time before the tears and panic came.

I know, I'm a wuss and there are tons of men in Iraq who are fine. It just shocked me. I called Travis. When he got home he reminded me that Tom is an officer, a Captain actually. He wasn't going to be out patrolling the streets. I felt so relieved and ridiculous.

That was until I talked to Tom again the next day. I apologised for the freak out. I hadn't thought about the fact that he would most likely have a bland desk job out of harms way. The dead silence on the other end was NOT reassuring in the least. Not so much. Actually, directly in the way of harm, specially trained to, ugh....well, stay alive.

So I'm seriously in awe of how strong he is, and how excited. Monica is so great about it, too. I would be a wreck. It's just amazing how God takes people down different paths and they just seem made for it. Me, not so much. Their relationship seems to have been tough from the beginning. I don't know how they've made it this far. If he's going, he's going. I'm hoping that I can be a friend to Monica while Tom is gone. I can't imagine a year without my husband, let alone with two young children. The boys are precious. Unbelievably so. But still. I'm exhausted for them, knowing how long the next year is going to be.

So, anyway. I'm very emotional about it. I have a picture of Tom when we were teens on the fridge, and the kids are praying for him with me every day. So, a long year it will be.

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