My Husband called a few weeks ago as I was taking a nap. When deployed, phone calls are like golds so I gladly woke up from when I saw it was him. We talked for a bit and I could feel something was a bit off but could not figure out what so I just kept talking. I even asked if he was okay and he said yes but it just did not feel like it. A few minutes later, he asked me how my day had been and so I told him all about work and the gym. Then I told him I had just woken up from a nap. When I said the last part, I heard him give a huge exhale of relief and he explained “That what it was!!!”. “Thats what what was?” I asked. “Your voice!!!” he said. He then got really quite and said “I forgot…” “You forgot what?” I asked. “Your sleepy voice” he said. When he said that, I felt both of our hearts break a little.
I knew exactly what he was feeling. Just a few days earlier, I had stood in the cereal aisle at the grocery store nearly in tears because I could not remember his favorite cereal. It had been over a year since I had to buy it. It shook us both. We both were silent and I felt us both questioning if we even knew the other any more. I knew we both were thinking what terrible spouses we were and how we had failed each other. But I also knew that wasn’t true and so I said the only three words I could. “I love you”. When he said it back, we both felt a calm come over us and we just started laughing. We knew we had to give ourself grace. It was not that we don’t try or pay attention to each other because we do. But after 13 months a part, of course some of the details have gotten fuzzy. Over the past year, we have gone days, weeks and even months without being able to talk. But what remained was our love and devotion to each other. And his love for me has nothing to do with if I know his favorite cereal or not. What matters is that despite the time and distance that we keep trying.
It meant everything to me that even though he may not have remembered my sleepy voice, he paid such close attention to me. That he cared enough to figure out the inflection in my voice and that he knew me well enough to know something was different. Now every time he calls and I’ve been napping he says something like “Oh I can tell you’ve been napping” and he says it with such pride. It truly is the sweetest things. Makes my heart melt every time.
Now if we have questions or have forgotten something about the other, we just ask! At the same time though, it made us both realize we will have to re learn parts of each other when we are back together. But its something look forward to and cant wait for.