I was getting through the day with ease — marking things off my list, feeling accomplished. I was happy, smiling, singing along to the radio. Suddenly it hit me. I looked at the clock and realized ... I'd gone the whole afternoon without thinking about him.
It has become normal, this living without Matt. When I manage to make it through a few hours without obsessing about him, I practically celebrate. But the reality is clear: He consumes my thoughts most days.
I know worrying about him doesn't do anyone any good. But I continue to, as if it can keep him safer, stronger.
And then I think of this saying: "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows. It empties today of its strength."
So I will continue to look forward to more afternoons of more singing — and less worry. Not because I want to forget about Matt. But because I need every bit of strength I can find for whatever today and tomorrow bring.
Tasha Lehman is a mother of three boys living in Vermont. Her husband, Matt, is a first lieutenant in the Vermont Air National Guard who recently headed overseas for his first deployment. The “Home Front: Diaries of a Vermont military family” series chronicles their journey. Read more about their story in February’s “Use Your Words” essay.
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