Today I feel a little bit like everything around me is made up. I feel as if I somehow am a crazy lady who has these little girls in my care that I am expected to keep alive all by myself. I wonder, how did I get them? Surely they have nothing to do with the man who is so far away? I am feeling today as if maybe I invented him in my mind.
Now before someone sends the people with the white coats to get me, let me clarify more literally that what I mean to express is how impossible my current situation feels. I look at Piglet and remember the space of time in which she was conceived, and it seems Private Ryan and I have always been together since then, virtually inseparable. And now, with him gone I find myself wishing for his voice, for his skin, for his face. Even for his silence, for it is still louder with him than silence without him. I long to hear an adult voice other than mine but am annoyed when my phone rings and it isn't him.
There is a part of me that is sure I made him up, that he never existed and that each night when I eat four of the countdown jelly beans, what I am really counting down to is the point in time when the jar will be empty and that's it. I know that this is not the case. Private Ryan is very real, he is flesh and bone and sinew. He is strong even when he is quiet, and he has left his presence with us even while his physical body no longer walks the hall of our apartment.
I am glad we chose this in order to have a good future. I am glad we chose the Army. I am glad he chose to be the one to go so that I could continue to raise our children. But I miss him and I will be glad, too, when this is over. I will be glad when I can touch his face again, when I can kiss his lips and feel his breath. I will be glad when I can lay my head on his chest again, and feel his heart pound beneath my ear. I will be so much more than glad to watch his daughter race to him, more than glad to watch him scoop them up again, glad to watch is face as his woman approaches his arms once again.