Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pick your Poison

I knew it was going to happen. We both did. We were told as much when HRC (human resources for the Army) requested my husband submit his next assignment "choices." (I say "choices" because that very use of the term is a bit of a joke in the Army. They send you where they need you. But, I digress.) I had decided I wasn't going to think about it--not until it was certain.

Then came the call. Richard had just visited the unit he's joining in September. He told me about the guy from college he knew in the unit, what the unit was doing. And then paused. He also told me where I'd be going in the unit, Richard told me. Two slots were open. Iraq in March; Afghanistan in May. Pick your poison.

Despite knowing this was coming, I had found myself deliberately praying he wouldn't have to go. But hope is a stubborn one. Now, I am pulling the deployment books out and trying to wrap my head around this whole idea. Admittedly, it doesn't seem real since we haven't transferred to the new unit and are knee deep in current training with this unit. He has no orders. So, that darned hope is still sitting way down there. But, I know.

Being a military brat, my experience doesn't extend quite this far. My father was Active Duty during a time of peace (except Desert Storm, where he was told after volunteering he was needed at home). The longest my father was absent was two months. I was five. I don't remember it.

Twelve months is a long time. It's not "we'll get by till he gets home." This will be living life while he's deployed. Big difference.

So, here we enter into an adventure I don't really care to join, but I must. It's an adventure I have no idea how to fight or what to expect. I fear the unknown. Only God knows what is in our future; only He knows what life has in store. I have a million questions about various aspects. What to do? What's going to happen? What does this entail? Slowly, they will be answered.

This will be a long journey. And it will be hard. Hard for Richard, for me, for Elizabeth. And hard for our family. But, we will prevail. There is no other option. We will stand. And we will fight. While life will be hard, I will stand strong behind my husband. I will hold down the home front. I will be vigilant for my soldier. Victory, for me, will come when my soldier returns home. And we will attain victory.

Meanwhile, Charlie Mike.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

There is so much going on in my life, constantly. My daughter, a mere seven months, is teething, chattering, clapping, crawling and now standing up. Not satisfied with these accomplishments (all attained within the last month), she's now trying to walk while holding onto us. Gone are the days of leaving her in one place, knowing I'll come back to her in the same place. Now, she'll cross the room in mere seconds.

My husband's work schedule is getting ready to be even crazier. He is Active Duty, but attached to a Reserve Unit and finishing up his Command. So, not only does he get to work the crazy schedule during the week, he is also required to show up once a month and two weeks (usually longer) in the summer and train. So, in a matter of days, we commence Annual Training--29 straight days of early mornings and late nights. I say "we" because it truly does affect both of us.

Following that, he finished up his Command, does the Change of Command, and transfers to a new unit. My husband will be joining 1st Cav here at Fort Hood, a unit scheduled to deploy early Spring. His hours will more than likely get crazier, since he's going to the Division headquarters, and we will be meeting a whole new set of people and starting over in some respects.

It's easy for me to get distracted by all of this. I tend to find myself dwelling on all of these things with a mixture of (mostly) excitement and (a little) apprehension (except the deployment. That's a whole different story). My mind is so easily drawn towards worrying, fretting, and planning that I totally forget where my focus should be. I was reminded today.

As I drove into Fort Hood to have lunch with my husband, I was chattering with my happy daughter. She was in a good mood, which was great! I love bringing her into the office when she's cheerful. While eating with my husband, I became so...joyful. The moment really brought happiness and pulled my crazy-active mind right back to where it should be. Here.

On the way home, I turned off the radio. I mentally looked heavenward and thought, "Thank you, Jesus, for my husband. Thank you, Jesus, for my daughter. Thank you, Jesus, for my family and for my friends. For my house, and my life, thank you, Jesus." All the crazy things in life are going to happen, or they aren't. But, whatever the outcome, I have to remember to focus on what God has given me in the present. I am getting ready to enter a busy few months, but God willing, I am going to work on shifting my focus back to here---back to my little family.