This weekend was great, we went to my parents' house on Friday night to stay the night. Then attended my sister-in-law's baby shower on Saturday afternoon. We were all giddy because Sunday was the day. The day we had been waiting for since last September when he left. The unit was returning on Sunday morning. We would get to pick him up before noon. I had called everyone I could and most of them were going to come to the welcome home. Rhayn could not stop talking about how great it would be when he came home. She has hidden her feelings about him being gone, just kind of dealing with whatever life threw in her direction.
We came home after the shower, and I saw the light on the machine blinking. I figured it was him, he can call us whenever he wants because he has his mobile again. The first message was some lady who was calling for Diane, or was Diane and was calling someone who had told her bad news. She was not happy. However this message was not for me, and so I erased it.
The next message was from him.
"Hi, Leaner, its me." (The way he usually starts messages, or sometimes just "Its me." I can usually tell his mood from the way he starts messages, this was more lighthearted than they had been lately.)
"It looks like they are going to keep me a little longer than we hoped." Um, what? That is in no way lighthearted. Then he goes into some discussion of some shoes he had found and a suit as he was at the mall shopping for the first time in about a year. Which I really didn't hear a lot of, and need to listen to again.
I turned on my computer, and listened to the first bit of the message again while waiting for it to boot up. I checked my email. I had a message from the FRG saying they were sorry he wouldn't be coming home with the rest of the unit.
And I started making calls. First him, no answer. I called my mom and told her. Then I called his brother and family and told them. They had driven to the valley from parts north and gotten a hotel room to be at his homecoming. Next I texted him "Call me call me call me." Then my brother called to ask me about a dip I had made for the baby shower (that his lovely pregnant wife was craving) and I told him. I called a friend but she was in the shower and asked her husband to have her call me back when she was out.
I paused and told the girls that Daddy would have to stay there for a little while longer. Both girls immediately drooped dejectedly.
Then he called. We had a short but good conversation. He spoke to Rhayn (which he hadn't been able to do in at least a month, she has been so busy all summer.) She asked him how much longer and was crestfallen when he answered her. He spoke to Gwennie and then back to me. Its always good to hear his voice. But knowing we won't see him for most likely another week or more.
For a few seconds, after we hung up, I felt reassured. But then it hit me... he isn't coming home yet.
The phone rang again, and I spoke to a friend, telling her what was going on. Letting most of it out. I tried to stay out of ear shot of Rhayn, she was not dealing well with the news.
When I was off the phone, I asked her if she wanted to take a bath, alone. She did. Baths soothe me and I know she needed some soothing. But when she came downstairs I could tell she was still not feeling better. Not that I really expected her to be 100% all better. She told me she was hungry and I told her she could make a sandwich, while I unpacked our suitcase. Ten minutes later I came down and she still hadn't done anything.
I snapped, and yelled at her. I told her to go to bed because obviously she wasn't that hungry. I felt like a bad mom. She was really upset. I gave myself and her a few minutes before I followed her upstairs with a granola bar in hand.
She was sobbing. I took her in my arms, and talked to her for a while. She told me that it feels like nothing goes right, she thinks our family only has bad stuff happen to it. I know that feeling. When Lily was gone, I sank into a depressive state, and that is where she is. It was therapeutic to wallow in it for me, it allowed me to get all of the emotions out that I have been keeping deeply hidden. I think it may be the same for her. She needed to cry, she needed to let out her fears and sadness. I was not happy letting her do it, I wanted to soothe her hurts and make everything all better. But I can't. I can do nothing to make this better.
Instead of tonight being the Christmas-eve like feeling that we were all expecting (excitement, difficultly in falling asleep), its more like Christmas Day night. Dejection, bleak outlook, and no reason to look forward to the morning.