When people hear that my husband is deployed they will often say something like ‘At least there’s Skype. Do you have Skype?’
I am thankful for Skype. But it will always be associated with long separations and hard conversations for me. Even the sounds of Skype trigger something painful inside me.
It’s still difficult to communicate even with email, hotspots, phones and Skype. (I’m amazed that it’s still so difficult). There’s a 7 hour time difference. Often he can’t get through or the reception is bad. When he gets through there’s a delay and we end up talking over each other. Currently he’s only able to call/skype from a common area, and there’s a lot of background noise; I may not be able to hear him but I can always hear the conversation of the soldier sitting next to him. The small amount of time we do have is usually spent discussing “business”: How are the girls? Fine. How are you? Fine. Fine. I got an address. Can you mail me the new debit card? How do I stop the house alarm from beeping? Hello?… Hello??? Skype makes a dying noise and flashes the words, Call Ended.
Finding ways for Rhema to connect with B is a challenge. She does not seem to “see” the computer screen if he video calls. She still doesn’t really “get” the phone and I dare not let her hold it for fear she’ll hang up. I find myself sad and frustrated for them both. I’ll never forget the time several years ago when I dangled a popsicle over the computer screen. I told Brandon, keep talking, keep talking to her. And he did. He told her he loved her and thought about her and missed her so much – while she ran circles around the room. But then she stopped and saw the popsicle. Then she saw him and held his gaze. He said, “Hi Rhema.” And she said, “Hi.” Just those words, but there was so much in that exchange. I am hoping, trusting that she hears him when he speaks to her, that they’ll find a way to connect again.
I can’t help but think of God speaking while we run. How He waits for us to turn and see Him and hear His song of never-ending love over us.
Last week Hope gave us a sweet Skype memory. After days of waiting she finally got her chance to tell her dad about swimming, camp, the book she’s reading, and her wiggly front teeth that still won’t come out.
And then she hugged him.