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Proud sorrow of a black Monday
Military spouse
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The pavement outside of company quarters was covered in men, women and children. Some were perched on the edge of the sidewalk. Others walked the concrete through swarms of people, hand in hand. Still more held each other, obviously nervous at what was to come.
The imagery was a lot like early morning campouts prior to Black Friday shopping.
Only this was a Monday, and the aura surrounding these individuals, all preparing to say goodbye, was far blacker than any chaotic day of Christmas shopping.
But I’m not afraid of Black Friday, and although Black Monday seemed rather scary to me, I felt OK — not too upset by the anxiety around me. I even remember thinking, “I may not even cry.”
For me, it was about making the most of the time I had left with my husband. I didn’t want to use my last hours crying and shaking, but joking and laughing. So we did. And I was good.
Until he left. The second he started pulling away from what would be our last hug until R and R, the dam broke. The walk back to the car was even worse. Trudging through the crowds of weeping women and children does nothing to slow the tears.
And who thought it would be a good idea to send a herd of emotionally overwhelmed families off to drive themselves home, all at the same time? I witnessed three almost accidents just exiting the parking lot. Another Black Friday-like characteristic.
And although I’m not sure I’ve ever been sadder or more afraid, I can say with certainty that I’ve never been more proud.
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