Today we are asking you to comment on the opening prologue of a narrative nonfiction title.
"We’ve said goodbye in so many places, and in so many ways. A cavernous Air Force hangar built to hold beasts of planes, used to herd my husband off to war. In countless civilian airports. After the first few times, passionate embraces in full view of those poor ticket agents just cease to be embarrassing. Or, you forgo the kissing and give him a quick peck and do the casual goodbye because it almost feels routine, never mind that after you drop him off you will flee homeward and hide away, rewriting the narrative of the next year. Two weeks. Two weeks is what it takes for me to assimilate to my new normal. To emerge, to coexist with the undercurrent of worry and the well-meaning but horribly misguided friends and strangers who think what you really need to hear right then, is their opinion on the war. Really, thank you but no.
Said goodbye in more aircraft hangars. A lot of aircraft hangars. Said goodbye when we had six months to prepare, or two months, or two weeks, or a full year. Said goodbye to my husband praying it was only temporary. Said goodbye to my best friend at her funeral. Said goodbye to unborn babies I wanted so badly to live. Said goodbye to my sweet firstborn girl for a year, pleading with God even as I left that I wouldn’t have to go.
I say goodbye to my husband every day in a community where mistakes mean machines fail and people die. Complicated flying machines that depend on a meticulous symphony of man and metal. To be fair, it’s a joyful, freewheeling job, the flying. Even now, when I close my eyes I am soaring upward, so elated, so free. But the haunt of loss is ever present. The joy tinged a pale gray around the edges."
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We appreciate last weeks contributing author: Becky Doughty. Please stop by and visit Becky at the following sites.