Sunday, January 30, 2011

T Minus One Week....

T minus one week. One week and I am awash with emotions right now. Frustration at lack of time to finish necessary projects or to spend time with my husband. Immense sadness at living life for a full year without him. Fear of being without him, and of losing him.

I read the books. They said you feel excited to see them go, that's a natural reaction. I am not excited. I haven't been excited. Odds are, I won't get excited. Just scared and frustrated. It's really hard, too, not to let these emotions take hold of me, to be irrational. And in so many ways, too.

When it rains, it pours. Of course other struggles have surfaced this week that we are sorting through, as well. I reflect on Padre Pio's words, "Pray, Hope, and Don't Worry." I think, he clearly was not a wife and mother. And I chuckle. I know I mustn't worry. But, it's awfully hard.

I will miss getting up early with him on work-mornings to make his breakfast and lunch, racing the clock to have his over-easy eggs and toast on the table as he walks through the door from PT. I will have a hard time looking at the clock at three in the afternoon, and not get excited that he is coming home in two hours. I will miss watching him play with Elizabeth while I cook a dinner I'm sure he'll like. Evenings after seven, when my darling girl is in bed, will make me sad. That's our time--Mommy and Daddy time, we call it. We read or watch TV, and pray. We relax. Together. Weekends will be hard, since I usually relish sleeping in later with him next to me. Breathing. That bed will be terribly lonely.

But, life will move forward, just as it has the last few months. I've thought desperately as to how I can stop it. I can't. And so it will move while he's gone. It won't be easy. It won't be pleasant. But we will survive. For when I look into his face, so serious, confident, and strong, I know I can do it. I know that I am no victim. This is no Cross thrown on me by chance. The day I walked down the aisle to the man in uniform waiting for me, I accepted my mission. I said yes, confidently. My orders have been written; I am asked to make a sacrifice, too. I will be a steward to my husband, to my daughter. I will stand firm, steady, confidently behind my husband. I will do everything i can to "hold down the fort" in his absence, and make a happy time for my daughter. It's going to be sad, hard, tough. But we will conquer. I do this not for me. Not for glory or pity. I don't do this for sympathy. I do this for him. I do this for my Soldier.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My husband leaves in two weeks. Two more weekends, and he's gone. Why does this have to be so hard? I look at the other women in the unit, and they seem to take this all totally in stride. My husband reminds me gently that I look that way, too, in public.

Twelve months. "I can't imagine my husband being gone for 12 months." I need to make a list of ignorant statements people make to families of deployed soldiers. That one would top the list. Because I can clearly imagine my husband leaving for a huge amount of time...and we are actually okay with it (Hopefully the sarcasm is obvious). "It will go by quickly." Also not a comfort, in some ways, because I don't want to speed through a year of daughter's life, but am also simultaneously wanting that, so my husband will be home again. There's no easy answer.

I am panicked by the thought of making bad memories during these last two weeks. I cry at sad songs on the radio--every sad song. I hate waking up in the morning because it's one day closer to D-Day (Departure Day). I hate going to bed at night because I will wake up and it will be one day closer, etc. I want so badly to know that a new but temporary normal will arise. That life won't seem as dreary, empty, and slow like when he was at NTC. I have to hope that after awhile going to bed by myself won't seem such a drudgery. Dinners won't be as lonely, mornings won't be as empty without packing a lunch and making a breakfast.

I have to hope that eventually the fear of losing him won't feel like such a premonition. I have to pray and beg he'll come home as alive and healthy as I sent him off. Because thinking about the alternative is unbearable.

As unimaginable as civilian brides find living without their husband for an extended period of time, I can't imagine never having to worry about this. I can't imagine never having to plan for a year's separation and acknowledge the worst could happen. It's not normal and I don't feel badly for not liking it.

Charlie Mike. That's my mantra. For Richard. That's my oath.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Happy?! New Year

So, I am going to be honest. I was dreading the holiday so much that it surprised me. I knew why, however. In January alone, I will say four huge good-byes. I've already done one, as my sister left for North Carolina after an extended Christmas vacation. It was painful. Let's leave it at that. In a week and a half, my little sister (who still seems like she's 5 years old in my head) will be leaving for college for the first time. I don't know that I'll handle that well. Then, my twin brother, with whom I am incredibly close, is moving to Miama. Finally, the ultimate blow, my husband deploys for 12 months.

After learning a hard lesson about keeping my eyes on God as people and things leave, I know I must keep my peace and Faith. So, while I am usually not one to make New Year's resolutions, I am forming some for the next year. It will be vitally important.

  • First, I plan on completing several large house projects. In my master bath, I will take down the wall paper border (I hate wall paper border) that is shriveling off my wall and repaint the hideous color. I will also re-do my bedroom colors. When I was a distracted bride-to-be, I chose a dark red and brown...and now my bedroom is oppressive. I am thinking about blue and brown with red accents. I have other projects in the plan.
  • I am going to spend lots of time with my sister Kathleen, who will be the last child at home. As we are both going through a time of immense change, I know continuing to work on our already close relationship will be vital for both of us.
  • I am going to kick my prayer life into high gear. I have several books recommended by dear friends that I will read and comment on here sporadically.
  • I want to crochet something so badly and plan on working on some projects over the next year for Elizabeth and me. I'd also like to make a blanket. I also want to continue trying a variety of baking and cooking recipes. I have derived joy from trying different recipes over the past few months.
  • I am going to ensure that I make time for me. I never do that. So, I am going to register for some work-out classes on post, continue to work on forging local friendships, and get better about leaving the house with Elizabeth. (I put off errands and shopping because I am fearful of shopping with her and her melting down. It's a really bad habit.)
  • Finally, I am going to keep and update of all of this on here. I plan on writing more, with more focus and really use this to further root a life and attitude of peace and Faith.
Here's to hoping this makes 2011 a....better, happier year. Even though I'll not have my best friend at my side, he'll still be a part of our lives. And I have to keep making that life not just good, but better for him, for our daughter, and for me.