Everywhere I turn, I’m surrounded with excitement and happiness over the first day of school. It’s a time for new beginnings. New jobs, new friends, new teachers, new schools, new opportunities. Families eagerly get ready for the big day, and post loads of pictures of smiling faces. It’s a fun and exciting day.
So why does it hurt so much?
Because it’s yet another milestone moment that we must endure as an incomplete family. He missed seeing them this morning. They missed getting a hug from their dad as they went off to a new year. I missed having him to share in the moment with me. He will miss hearing all about their first day. He will miss pizza and cookies tonight. And after keeping up with all the day’s events, I will be too exhausted to tell him all about our day. It will be one more occasion that we add to the long list of missed birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and special events.
So while the rest of our community celebrates this day, I struggle to hold it together and keep the tears at bay. I struggle because my family dynamic doesn’t always fit the mold. I struggle to identify with society when I can’t find the joy that most others seem to have.
You would think that after 17 years of being an Air Force wife that I would be used to doing these things on my own. You would think that it wouldn’t make me sad anymore. I will never get used to having half my heart be so far away. I’ll never stop being sad when I can’t share these important life moments with my best friend by my side.
This afternoon, as the kids arrive one by one on their busses, I’ll have smiles and hugs for them. We will have our ‘first day back’ dinner. We will make it through the day. But there will be a broken part of each of hearts knowing that our family is not all together to properly celebrate this day.