I think perhaps the only predicament about counting down is finally arriving. As a fully recovered former vegan, sometimes it was just the anticipation of nibbling on that rack of ribs or chocolate cake that was enough. Just the smell, just the thought of the taste, just the memory of savoring it in my mouth was enough. As Joshua and I finally count down what we believe to be our last two months of obligatory military service, it is almost crippling how much we yearn for tomorrow. Perhaps we should be savoring these final moments of job security, these last few paychecks, the last couple of days without having to pick out what to wear to work. I'm sure my husband will not concur to this since his alarm goes off at 4:10am and he prepares for the day, leaving twenty minutes later, his last act is to come kiss me and tell me goodbye and let me know (kindly) that I have two more hours before my alarm goes off.
When I look at his exhaustion, his tired soul, the worn down fight, I realize perhaps everything will be better when that final date comes. As I sat studying last night in the studio, Joshua sat on the couch doodling and he kept writing "55" over and over again. I turned from my case study analysis and asked if that was what were living for now. His eyes got wide and very firmly said, "YES". The resolve I now find in him seems to be solely focused on his exeunt and a returning to how he thought adulthood life was going to be.
There is something so overwhelmingly oppressive about his working environment. The leadership he is under is simply tyrannous and corrupt. Fight for my country? Yes. Defend freedom? Yes. Protect American citizens? Yes. Work 90 hours a week in a small hot room under sea-level filled with jet-fuel fumes and mold? No. Accept leadership position and become responsible for the rebellious acting-out of my constituents and take the brunt of the verbal and emotional abuse that is incurred as a result? No. Miss your wedding anniversary, your birthday and all major holidays without overtime or other morale compensation? No.
There apparently was never the option to draw a line in the sand, and say "enough is enough" instead a "you signed the line, you do the time" policy has been put in place. And now finally, we have suffered enough, and we are done. The anticipation is NOT enough, nor are we close enough or are we getting there fast enough. For the next 55 days, Joshua will be either on duty or underway 39 of them, without a single step in his house for a single moment of peace.
The pain is now severe, the insult is irrevocable, the anticipation is mounting and the hours still tick slowly by. But we continue to count down because we know it is yet forthcoming. Relief is available if only we reach the finish line still standing...
It is as Joshua has told me many times over: "It won't always be this way".