When deployment is staring you in the face, you can’t help but think of the time your husband is going to be away. I am already thinking about my kids and how much they will change. When my husband gets back my oldest will be working his way to 10-years-old. Wow! That is a weird thought. My now 6-year-old will be 7 and in the middle of his 1st grade year. My now 2.5 year old will be getting close to 3.5 and will be a completely different child.
When thinking of the upcoming deployment I am also thinking about how the kids will react. I am sad for my oldest. He is going to take it the hardest. He will also remember this time period. My middle son, I just don’t know. My 2.5 year old is going to have a hard time but being that he is so young I don’t think it will really affect him long-term. At least I hope not. You never really know about the little ones. The ones that can’t fully tell you how they are feeling about it.
We have been through deployments before but this one feels different. It will be different because all deployments are different. This is also the deployment that wasn’t supposed to happen for us but with the Army being the Army that changed. I am still trying to get over that but it is hard.
I have been thinking about the time that he will be away and how all of us will change. When he gets back our kids will be different. I will be different. We will not be doing the same things we are doing right now. There will never be another time like right now for our family. Where my 8, 6 and 2-year-old are getting ready to enjoy the summer. Where I am working hard to further my own career from home. Where I sit at the base of a deployment shaped hill and wonder how on earth I am going to get to the other side.
Maybe he just needs to leave. I know that statement is hard for people who have not gone through a deployment to understand. When you know they have to deploy, when there is nothing you can do to change that, you have to let it go and when you get to that point you are just ready for it to start. You want to start counting down.
When my husband went to JRTC earlier this year I had quite a few, “Oh my! How can I make it through a whole deployment if this is so hard” moments. But then I started to think about it a little bit. Once the deployment starts and I have moments like that…the deployment will have an expiration date. It might change a few times but I will have a general idea about when it will be over. I will know it won’t last forever. Maybe that will make it a little easier than just having him away for pre-deployment training thinking about future fears.
On December 31, 2006 I stood on the balcony of my German stairwell apartment watching the fireworks with my husband. It was New Year’s Eve and I was not excited about 2007. I knew it was going to be a hard year. I had no idea how hard. My husband was home on R&R. I thought he would be gone for another five months and it ended up being 11. That is a little bit about how I feel right now. That I have something ahead of me that doesn’t look too good. Lonely nights, lonely days, missing him, missing all the little things our family does together that we won’t be able to do for a time. It isn’t fun. But it is what it is.
I know that time will pass and we will get through this deployment. I will be writing a homecoming post sometime in the future. I will get through it somehow. I know it will change me. I am not sure how.
All I can do is pray and find ways to stay busy. I am not looking at this deployment as a way to become a better person. Right now all I can do is figure out ways to survive it. Maybe that will change. Maybe one day I will wake up one morning in a few months and realize that this deployment can be more than that for me.
But for now…I am in survival mode. I just need to get through this. I just need the time to pass so our family can be whole again.