After work as I was driving home, I was anxious. I chided myself because I shouldn't be, and I knew that. I've been here before. I've seen my husband off to war, for goodness sakes. I should be able to handle this.
I decided to go for a long run to clear my head, but I didn't have much time before the grocery store closed, so I knew I needed to do my shopping for the next 2 weeks quickly. The run was more important than food, I decided. I ran for 3 miles in the cold until my ears froze and my lungs burned. It felt so good. It was getting dark, but I was on the Air Force base so I felt safe. I was still worried about Eric, and I wondered if how I felt about him is how he felt about me running in the dark. Hmm.
I didn't have much time to cool down, so I hopped in the car and sped to the grocery store. I hadn't even written out my list like I normally do - I had to go off of the 5 or 6 recipes I had printed out. But I rushed up and down each isle in 30 minutes, and got to the checkout line just as the announcer said "The Patrick Air Force Base Commisary is now closed..." Success.
As I crawled into bed that night, my legs still sore from the envigorating run, my mind wouldn't shut down. I knew it would be this way. I'm not sure that will ever change. My worry has nothing to do with being home alone, because I know that if anyone gets past Layla, I have my friends Glock and Mossberg on either side of me, and nobody is gettin' past those boys. No... this worry is 100% for Eric. I can try to reason with myself, and draw from my "knowledge" that he's been trained, he's like overly-safe, and most of all God is protecting him. I know these things. But sometimes that's not enough.
Finally, after pointlessly
I woke up this morning at 7AM to our home phone ringing. Ok. The home phone never rings unless it's a salesperson or my boss. It also never rings at 7AM. Here's my thought process in the span of about .7 seconds while I'm literally running to answer it. "Who is calling on the home phone? Omg, Eric should be home by now. Maybe it's him. Omg, why is he calling the home phone? Maybe it's someone else ... but why would they be calling? Shit, if Eric got hurt on his first day on the job, I swear..." I checked the caller ID and it was indeed Eric's cell calling. Good thing, because if it was Osceola County Sheriff's Office calling I probably wouldn't have picked up.
"WHY ARE YOU CALLING ON THE HOME PHONE??!?"
Turns out he just didn't press the right button when he called me. Yeah, ya think?
So he's on his way home, he'll be there in about 45 minutes, so I'll have 15 minutes to see him before I have to leave for work and not see him again until tomorrow. Sigh.
I'm all showered, dressed and had just turned off the hair dryer exactly when he walks in the door. "Perfect timing", I thought. He'd even brought me a Chic-Fil-A sandwich. How sweet. We hug, kiss, he starts telling me about his day and I go to fill the dogs bowl up with food.
"So, a deputy was killed last night."
I froze, turned around, and was just about to give him my "yeah right" face and subsequently chide him for even joking about that sort of thing, when I realize he's not joking.
He proceeds to tell me that it was an Orange County deputy (I breathe a little sigh of relief that it wasn't Osceola County... and feel so grateful that he didn't accept the job with Orange County...) who was shot in the head during a routine traffic stop, and died instantly. He was only 27 yrs. old and had been with the sheriff's office for 4 years. He was married to another deputy who was not working that night. They don't have any kids. You can read about it here if you would like.
I listened to the rest of his stories with a steeled face, distracting myself with Facebook for a few minutes, pretending to listen. It's not that I don't care, it's just that I'm just not sure yet if I want to know all about what goes on in his job. It's just like when he was in Iraq and I couldn't handle him telling about each time there was a mortar attack, so at my request he stopped telling me. This might be a similiar situation.
As I kissed him goodbye this morning, I couldn't help but feel a tinge of guilt that my husband is still alive, and hers isn't. I'm not sure if it was guilt, or more pain with the realization of how close this falls to home.
This is why I jump when the home phone rings. This is why I probably won't ever sleep very well when he's working at night. I can't figure out what to feel yet... if I should shove the fears down and be all "that's part of the job", or be fearful and worried all the time.
I know. Neither of those are right or good. But go ahead and try tell me that there IS a correct way to feel about this.... because I don't believe there is. There is no rational, sane or balanced view on how to focus your mind when your husband is out there catching bullets. And for what it's worth, I think this is very different than him being in the military, but that's a story for another day.
And so begins my life as a deputy sheriff's wife.