Anyone who has ever been affiliated with the military knows to expect the unexpected. My husband has been in the military for almost 7 years and has never deployed. So, in all honesty, when we got the news that he would be getting deployed, it really wasn't unexpected. However, when we found out on a Monday that he would be leaving the Saturday of the following week, that was definitely a little unexpected.
We just recently relocated to a new base, and even more recently, into a new home. We had barely gotten started unpacking the boxes. Life since then has been a whirlwind. So much to do so little time. In fact, things have been going so fast that I don't think my brain has really had time to process what is happening. He is leaving in a few days and it still doesn't feel like he is really leaving. I actually am almost ashamed to say that I feel ok with everything right now. The tough talks are done. The will, what should I do with his remains if he dies, what should I do if he lives but is on life support, what happens to our kids if we BOTH die. Even those talks weren't really as hard as I thought they would be.
Is Friday or Saturday going to roll around and suddenly it hits me and I have a breakdown? How do I stay strong for my kids? How do I explain to my two year old, who goes to the window every afternoon to watch for his Daddy to come home, that Daddy won't be home for a long time? Daddy won't be here for Halloween, or Thanksgiving, or Christmas? My husband will miss all of the big holidays, plus his birthday, my birthday, our anniversary, Valentine's Day, our oldest son's birthday, and will hopefully make it home just in time for our youngest son's birthday. I don't think the 15 month old, Aiden, will really know what is going on. But Austin will. Thankfully we have technology that did not exist not so long ago. They boys will be able to talk to their Daddy and hopefully see him on the computer. But it won't be the same. And what will the normal everyday things be like? For instance, grocery shopping. I try to think about the "silver linings" like the fact that I will only have to clean up after me and the kids, absence makes the heart grow fonder, blah blah blah. But what will it really be like?
When we first got married we were stationed in 2 different places for the first 6 months of our marriage. But it was different. We had never lived together and we didn't have children. Aside from that, the longest we have been apart was 1 month when he went to Korea. Aiden was 3 weeks old with terrible colic and reflux, and Austin was 17 months old. It was hard, but not as bad as I thought it would be. But that was only a month. And I knew he was safe and sound and in a nice comfy hotel room not doing anything dangerous. I know that this will be completely different.
We actually renewed our vows last Saturday on a beautiful cruise ship right at sunset. It was a beautiful ceremony (and I was amazed to find that 5 years and 2 kids later my original wedding dress still fit!). During the ceremony the Captain of the ship, who performed the ceremony, asked if we would like to exchange gifts. I kind of stood there realizing I was an idiot because I hadn't gotten him anything. But we had just spent about $500 for the cruise, so we really couldn't afford it. To my amazement my husband reaches in his pocket and informs us that he has a gift for me. He pulls out a set of his dog tags and puts them on me (which was actually kind of awkward thanks to my veil). He explains that while he is gone he will always have his set on and as long as I wear mine it will remind us of our love and the vows that we reaffirmed. He will also be attaching one of my dogtags to his set so he will always have it. It was very romantic. And now we both have a beautiful memory to hold onto while he is gone.
Right now the most difficult part is not knowing what to expect. I guess in a way that is why I decided to start this blog. A friend of mine told me that it would be very therapeutic. Depression is very high among spouses of deployed members so it is important to find an outlet. So I decided why not give it a try? Anyone who knows me knows that I am a very vocal person. I have a very hard time holding things in. But at the same time, I don't want to go around being the woman who only talks about the fact that her husband is deployed, who holds it in so much that when she does have conversations that dominates the whole conversation. So, this can be my outlet. And who knows, maybe someone else who is getting ready to go through this, because I know a lot of young couples that have not dealt with this yet, will be able to read this and see what I went through and maybe it will help them know what to expect.
I am going to try to post every day, but I have no clue what to expect once he is gone, so it may not work out that often. I guess this can just be my online diary that other people have access to...lol! But for now I am going to close for the night. Very busy day tomorrow! Taking the boys to a playdate at the community center. It will be good for them to meet other kids and it will be good for me to meet other moms. Then I have a maternity shoot, 4 photo CD's to mail, get nametapes for the boys little ABU's, change the oil in both vehicles, then edits to work on, and probably some homework in there somewhere! Busy busy busy! Goodnight :)