I feel fortunate that during my husband’s deployment we had Skype, Facebook, email, and phones to talk. Since he was in a staff position we could talk nearly everyday, even just on chat. That is more than some of my friends whose husbands are in platoons that went on missions for days at a time; and even others in more remote areas with little access to phones or Internet, so I know I am lucky. But I have no concept of how my grandmother and her peers made it through World War II, Korea and Vietnam on letters alone, and I truly admire them. But with that being said, I wonder what it would be like to be less connected.
I know that sounds crazy. But hear me out. I love that if there was some sort of issue, be it something with the car or a question about our budget, I knew that I would most likely hear back from my husband in the next day. I could get his advice before moving forward on major decisions. But it also made me more attune to blackouts, or just communication lines being down. That I would then dwell on. No communication could be for a number of reasons: the internet could just not be working (seriously happened all the time), someone was injured, or a Soldier was lost. If it got to a certain point in my day and I hadn’t heard from my husband I assumed he’d gone to bed before logging on to check email, or just didn’t feel like waiting in the MWR line for the phone.
But there were many a time when myself or a friend(s) would truly fear the worst, and that fear would take over. My mantra was no news is good news, but it’s a lot easier to say than to live. At one point or another we all fell under the no-news-something-must-be-wrong spell. Sometimes something did happen, sometimes it was just a busy day or phones/internet were just down. You would look to see updates from friends of your loved one online or posting, to see if maybe it’s just your guy not making it to a computer or phone that day. But if there is nothing, then is it the whole unit? Who was hurt?
We lost a few Soldiers during the deployment, and even more were injured, and when you get that news through our FRG after the family has been notified, it is an awful feeling. And each time was difficult. But on those days when my husband wasn’t online or didn’t call, I had to try so hard to stay positive. I had to remind myself that if something had happened to him, I’d know by then. Did that stop me from staying up far too late some nights? Definitely not. And I still worried. So I wonder: what would it be like if it was the old days? What if we had to wait for letters?
Would it be better in situations that are not fun to deal with? I think we may live our lives a bit more freely. I think we wouldn’t be as anxious to find out the worst news, or even no news. We may not even notice or anticipate it. And I think that would be better. But nothing beats those phone calls from afar, and I will admit that I loved being able to have fairly regular contact. But I still wonder if too much communication can make it a bit more difficult. But I think that I will always be a worry wart, no matter the level of communication at our hands.
What do you think? Does having more communication make life easier or more difficult?