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.
This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.