a very smart friend of mine,
herself a deployment survivor many times over,
recently told me this:
when the husband comes home,
"all the things you had to do
to make yourself strong while he's gone
are the things that will make it hard to re-integrate."
i haven't spent a lot of time thinking about this part yet -
it seems like you focus so intensely on being reunited,
on all the things you'll do together again,
on the relief you'll feel once he's home safe -
that you almost forget:
there's going to be another person living here soon.
another person who hasn't been here for a long time.
(two years, in our case.)
and he has his own way of doing things, just as i have mine.
how's that going to work??
i've heard plenty of stories -
company commanders in afghanistan coming home after many months away
and learning that their home has its own command stucture,
its own SOPs and battle rhythms,
and everyone has to re-learn how to be a unit again.
what should we be prepared for?
how did you and your spouse handle homecoming?