Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Don't Want Him to Go Quietly

My Husband's retirement is coming up very, very quickly.
We have been a little worried, and stressed, about getting our lives rolling, and generally looking toward building our future for a while.
There is one thing, though, from our present, soon to be our past, that really hurt me this week.
When he first found out that he hadn't made the last rank he needed, and was being forced to retire, My Husband was hurt.  He was angry.  I understand that.  This is actually a job he loves, and he is good at, and he is being forced to leave it.  While I am thrilled about no more deployments, or moves after we make our next one, leaving this life is hard.  This is all we have known together.  For the last 12 years, I have been a military fiance or wife.  My children have never known anything else.  They don't understand a civilian life, where Dad comes home every night for dinner.  They don't know a world where Mom and Dad are there for every birthday, holiday, or any special event they have.  This isn't their world.  At least, not so far.
Now, that this is all winding down, though, and we are transferring to a new life, I think we need to mark this very momentous occasion.  Normally, there would be a retirement ceremony where we could do just that.  However, going back to the point that My Husband was upset about his retirement, he refused one.
He simply said no.  Over and over again.  I ask.  Gently.  He refused.
He was ask at work, repeatedly.  He still refused.
He felt like he didn't accomplish everything that he wanted to in the time he was given.  He feels he had more to do, and more to give, and is hurt that he can't.  So, no ceremony.
Instead, there was supposed to be this beach barbecue, where he and someone else he worked with who is also retiring, were to have a simple going away party.  We could have seen him get the shadow box they are making for him.  It wouldn't have been a ceremony in uniform, but it would have been something.
Then, this week, he gets a text message, telling him that they are holding a going away party for not just the two retiring, but everyone leaving his department at work, even those just transferring out to new commands, at a local bar.  They are all lumped in together, and this is what they normally do for anyone transferring out.  No more.  No less.
I am hurt.  Truly hurt.  We get nothing.  It isn't even that I want acknowledgement of all we have gone through for us, but I want closure.  I want to see him retire.  I want to see him wear his uniform, all buttoned up and polished one more time, and I want our children to see that.  I want memories and pictures.
Instead, he will simply quietly go from being active duty, to retired.  All on paper.
No more.  No less.
I feel completely robbed.  I feel like my children have been robbed of something special, too.  I've demanded that he don the uniform for formal pictures with the family then, but that won't be the same.  Nothing will. I'll never get the chance to smile, with every once of pride I have, at him, with tears in my eyes, as they say all the traditional things they say at a retirement.  I'll never get to see my children get excited to really know that our time is over, in a very formal manor.
Its all gone, and there is nothing I can do about it.  I am a little bit heart broken.  Its a very sticky situation, too.  The last thing I want to do is make him feel worse.
For me, I guess it is just another of the many heartbreaks we have had to endure in this phase of our lives.  There are a lot of beautiful memories also, though.  As he moves without notice in to the next part, I suppose I'll just have to focus on those, scrap book all the home comings, and let that be that.  I'll move on from being a military wife, to hopefully a police wife, but you can believe that it won't be quiet.  I'm throwing my self a party, and I expect an award for survival from my friends.  Seriously.