Posts Tagged ‘deployment’
I cannot take credit for this one but HAD to share it with all of you.
As most of you know we are on Deployment #2 and Megan, one of my bestest friends ever gave this to me after my husband left. This was such a sweet gesture and going through everything that she put together made me feel that much more capable. Okay, okay, I’m not going to lie it also made me cry. But more importantly, reading each of the inscriptions made me realize that we CAN raise our children when they are away, we CAN keep up the house and the yard and the cars when they are away, and we CAN continue on with our lives while they are away because of one thing; EACHOTHER! There is nothing like another Military wife to understand all of the ups and downs and be there for you through it all.
So….what’s in the Deployment Survival Kit?
- Marbles; for when you’ve lost yours
- Worry Stone; to take your worries away
- Stationary; for all the letters you’ll be writing
- Pen; to sign your X’s and O’s
- Sucker; because deployments suck
- Kleenex; to wipe away all the tears
- Flashlight; to remind you that there is light at the end of the tunnel
- Paperclip; to help you hold it all together
- Mounds Bar; to remind you of the “mounds” of love and support you have from family and friends
- Laffy Taffy; to remind you to laugh
- Hershey’s Kisses; to remind you of your Marines Kisses
- Life Savers; to remind you that you are one
She also included a picture frame with a beautiful print of encouraging words and a copy of The Silent Rank by Elizabeth Soutter Shwarzer. If you’ve never read it, you MUST! (I’d write it out here but then I’d just start crying again).
Megan~ Thank you so much for this! You have been such an amazing friend!!!
My alarm went off. It was 4am Saturday, August 6th. Even though I had gone to bed at 10pm the night before I couldn’t have slept more than a couple of hours. Today was the day. The one we had been counting towards since that morning we said goodbye in the parking lot of the armory, watching the bus drive off and wiping away tears. It had finally arrived. We had crossed off all of the days on the calendar, taken down all the ‘links’ on the paper chain, and eaten all of the ‘daddy’ kisses. 7 months I had gone without my husband. 7 months they had gone without their daddy. 200 days.
200 days we had operated as a family of four instead of five. 200 days I had been both woman and man of the house, acted as both mother and father, comforter and protector, friend and enforcer. 200 days we spent co-parenting via email, telephone calls, and the occasional skype. 200 days of good and bad, milestones and celebrations.
At 4am I was literally shaking. From excitement, nerves, and anticipation. I had everything ready. The house had been cleaned, the signs were hung, and the children were dressed head to toe in their patriotic red, white, and blue. I had found the perfect dress and my hair was done just right. We were ready!
I drove our decorated car the 20 miles down to base, although I don’t remeber actually driving, as if in a dream. The children were antsy. They knew today was the day their family would be whole again. We arrived at the PAX terminal to find ourselves amongst 100 other families all full of the same excitement and anticipation. We waited, we chatted, we moved outside and then…there is was.
As we watched the plane decend from the sky and onto the runway, the band began to play, and the crowd was cheering. Moms, Dads, Wives and Children holding their signs proudly. This is what we had been waiting for. This is what had gotten us through those 200 days and nights. The plane touched down right in front of us and every emotion that I had experienced in the past 7 months washed over me. I felt my eyes well up with tears, with joy and relief. They were HOME! The door opened and one by one more than 100 Marines filed out of the plane and down the stairs…
When it comes to communicating with their deployed daddy we are exploring ALL options. I am able to email back and forth with him just about every day and since the P’s can’t read or write yet, let alone type, I thought it would be fun to dictate for them. It was so cute, and sweet that I just HAD to share what they wanted to say to their daddy. Keep in mind I did not edit, I simply wrote exactly what they said.
P1 (turns 5 next month): I love daddy. He loves me. I love my daddy so much. My family is great! My daddy loves me when he comes home. My daddy loves me when I put dress ups on. I love him and he loves me cus he’s my daddy. My daddy comes home because I love him very much and he loves me because I’m his daughter. I love you daddy so much! My Paxi’s (her baby sister) so cute and I love her and my daddy loves her too.
P2 (turns 3 next month): Family. I love you too. I want daddy come home. Daddy come home with dinner. I want my daddy come home not come to work. I want he said a smile face. and a mouse face too. I want daddy come home now. I want daddy come home. I want daddy come home and play dress up. I want daddy come home to play games. daddy come home and play my puzzle. I want to see my daddy. Very much I love him. I want daddy come home and love me.
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!