I saw a T-shirt once that read “God took the strongest women and made them the wives of United States Marines”. After surviving the first month of our deployment, and all that came with it, I now understand that. Although it should go without saying the same is true for ALL military wives.
As I watched my husband walk away from me and my children and get on his bus, that would take him to an airplane, which would fly him half way around the world, my stomach was in my throat and my heart was breaking in two. We weren’t going to see him for 7 months and although I knew we are fully capable of being with out him I found myself nervous. Our family has experienced many, many separations but none longer than about 8 weeks. And this time we have three children, one of which is going to roll over, sit up, laugh, crawl, and maybe even talk for the first time all while daddy is gone. We have a little boy who doesn’t understand any of it, and can tell you that his daddy is on a trip but would like him to come back now. He tells me “his daddy is lost”. He is Daddy’s buddy and without him has become very clingy, so much so that if I leave the room without him he comes crying after me saying “don’t leave me”. Our oldest is almost 5 and understands “daddy’s trip” the best but as strong as she is still misses him and has taken to lashing out at me when she get’s angry. She knows just the right buttons to push and when I enforce a rule that she doesn’t like words come out of her mouth that break my heart, “you are mean, I want my daddy!” All because at the age of 5 she knows her daddy is on “a trip” and that he “will come back” and “will always be her daddy”, but she doesn’t know what to do with the emotions that she feels because of the lack of her father’s presence.
Not even a week after he left, the “Murphy’s Law of Deployment” took effect. And since then we have been climbing over what seem to be daily hurdles. But, it is with great pride that I can say within our first month with him gone we have survived, multiple ER visits (one of which lasted 10 hours and kept us there overnight), more doctor’s appointments than I can count, a 6 hour road trip to AZ and back, $500 worth of maintenance to the minivan which meant all 3 P’s and I cramming into the Accord to go anywhere for two days, finished potty training P2 and taught him to pee standing up. P1 had an ear infection. P2 has suffered through Pneumonia, three ear infections (which we are still working on getting rid of) and is starting his fourth type of antibiotic. And because of all of the doctor’s visits and exposure to even more germs, all three of them caught a stomach bug and P2 and P3 conjunctivitis. We managed a neurology visit and EEG for P3, which thankfully all results were normal, and one H*LL of an elevator ride!
At first I found myself exhausted, crying, and wondering why in the world is God doing this? Why is he testing me so? Then, when we hit the 1 month mark I had a sudden confidence that everything would be okay. That I would be fine and could handle anything thrown my way. I said to myself, “I’m not being tested, God is showing me how strong I can be!” And with that I move towards month #2, where a visit to the Pediatric Gatroenterologist for P3 and an ENT visit and possible surgery for T-tubes and adenoid removal for P2 await, knowing that I am strong, and that I CAN do anything so long as I have faith in myself and my own capabilites!