It stuck out like a sore thumb. The moment it came out of his mouth, it grabbed me by the collar and knocked me to the floor. My husband said "if". We were talking about upgrades and possible remodeling we wanted to do "down the road". And my husband said "if". "If" I come home from war.........The rest of the sentence, or conversation for that matter, doesn't matter because time stopped for me. "If" is still hanging in the air. I can see it. I dodge it daily. And sometimes at night I awaken in terror as it grabs my throat and threatens to choke the life right out of me.
"If" is an uncomfortable place I've been before. There is something scarily familiar about the "if" in my life. I remember dodging any and all news and conversations that hinted toward events in Iraq. Every gun fight, every road-side bomb, every RPG that attacked a convoy, every "casualty of war" had the possibility of being or involving my soldier. So I avoided that "if" with all of my strength....until he finally came home. And now, with only 52 days (all the rest of the days of the next 3 1/2 months before he goes are spoken for by the military for pre-deployment training) until he leaves for a year I am fighting desperately to avoid the issue of "if".
Most of the time we plan...we plan for the good, we plan for the bad. "If (_____), then (______)." It is a safety net, good financial planning, hopeful family planning, vacation planning...I could go on and on. We all do it....if this, then this. It's the way the world spins round...everything has an if/then statement. But what do we do when "if" scares the hell out of us? What do we do when "if" is so unimaginable that the fear of it occurring threatens to cripple my ability to function?
"If"? Then what?