Weather and Waiting
Much is being made of the withdrawal of troops from Iraq by the end of the year. It's hard to know what this means--the immediate reason (or excuse) for this withdrawal seems to be the Iraqi government's refusal to grant immunity to American troops--but this withdrawal was scheduled anyway, as far back as the Bush administration. I'm of two minds about it, and apparently so are the rest of the concerned parties. Will Iraq be better off with us or without us? Will Iraq be worse off with us or without us? I guess we're going to find out. I just don't want to feel that Thomas's death, and the deaths of all those other servicemembers, was just for nothing, that it made no difference to the well-being of the Iraqi people. My husband points out that Thomas died defending his friends which may ultimately be why all soldiers die but it would be nice to think that the original purpose had been served as well.
And I guess my feelings about all this are complicated by the approach of the seventh anniversary. Daylight is shortening now and the shadows are changing, getting longer. The changing of the light always affects me. Today we are having a cold, grey rain (or possibly snow later on) which may, perversely, cheer me up. It's the sunlight that I find oppressive now. Someday I hope I'll be able to experience the autumn without reliving the anxiety I felt all that October and early November, waiting for Thomas to leave for Iraq, and then waiting to hear from him. And then, nothing.