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April 30, 2012 / Jess

Invisible

Dear Army,

The day after we decided to continue dating through my soldier’s deployment – then still slated for Afghanistan – we at dinner at PF Changes and talked about what would happen if he died or was injured while overseas. Well, sort of. We talked about it without ever mentioning the word “death” or “injured” … we stuck with “if something bad happens.” Also, I think we ruined my appetite for PF Changs in the process. So clearly this was bad on many levels.

That conversation set the pattern of having all “if something bad happens” conversations while we were out to eat. This prevented me from crying (since crying in public is clearly bad for my image) and allowed us to suddenly be super distracted by our food if the conversation go too intense. Side note: Maybe that’s why I got nervous when we went out on a “fancy pants” date while he was home on leave.

Anyway, I remember quietly asking if he could please give my contact information to his emergency contact because I wanted to be notified “if something bad happens.” He agreed.

It didn’t occur to me until after he mobilized that maybe we should have a plan for if something happened to me.

The Family Readiness Group sent an email outlining how the Red Cross would contact soldiers if there was an emergency back home. There was a list of who qualified for this type of treatment.

That’s when I remembered – girlfriends don’t count.

If something happens to me, who will let him know? Would he just think I was ignoring him, get annoyed, and then have grief compounded by guilt when he found out I stopped communicating because “something bad happened?” Would he feel the way I do when I don’t hear from him? I don’t want that. I drive by a Red Cross building every day on the way to work – and every day I wonder how and if he would be notified, and by whom.

Granted, I don’t think anything is going to happen to me. But that’s not the point.

The point is I’m writing a letter to someone who won’t even acknowledge my existence

I deserve better than that.

(Not) love,

Jess

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2 Comments

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  1. Anna Steglinski / May 13 2012 12:58 am

    Dont worry Jess. At the very least the girls from small group would let him know. We’re here for both of you!

  2. Jess / May 13 2012 7:38 am

    I know 🙂 I think sometimes fears come from unexpected places, you know? And definitely irrational ones!

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