Sunday, April 17, 2011

I will be strong for him

Deployment #2 - Here we go.

Deployments are hard - no question.  Last year, during our first deployment I was actually pretty lucky.  I was pregnant with Monkey and so sick that I was drugged up and sleeping almost 20 hours a day. I usually woke up long enough for the home health nurses to come, or to accept a medication delivery, go to the doctor, and get a phone call from Sarge. It hurt for him to be gone and I missed him so much... but I was lucky because when you're sleeping time passes quickly.

This time, I expect that things are going to be very different. I'm not sick and I refuse to just pull the covers over my head until he comes home. Our daughter needs me and Sarge needs me. I have to be strong. I have to keep carrying on.

So, in the spirit of promising to be strong and following the inspiration of a fellow military wife, I make these promises to myself -- and to Sarge and Monkey.

The first week, I expect nothing of myself -- other than to make it back home with Monkey, safely and with enough groceries to fill the fridge so we don't have to run out to the store for a few days, and spend most of our days cuddling, just us girls.

I won't eat only junk, but I'll allow myself some comfort foods. I'll sleep on his side of the bed, wear his shirts and steal his pillows -- they still smell so much like him, and I'll cover up with his blankets if it makes me feel better. After a week, I promise to wash the sheets. It won't wash his scent away, anyway. I'll unpack the suitcases, get the mail (even if I only open the fun stuff and leave the rest of later), do laundry and get us settled back into a routine.

After that, I'll find the strength I need to make the decisions we have to make, knowing that even if they make things harder for now, it's for the best future we can give ourselves as a family.

I'll tackle the "man cave" turned office and actually use the Neat Desk we bought so we can dig out from under the paper clutter and not just move it to the next base with us.  Yes, honey that even means the hall closet wall o' boxes.

I'll reach out to friends (close by or far away) when I need to vent, chat or cry and can't reach my Sarge. I'll let those close to me know when it's time to drag me out of the house and stop us from being couped up! I'll make plans to take road-trips to visit special friends who aren't so close by... I hope you girls know who you are and are ready for us to visit!

I'll make plans for mommy dates, play dates, zoo trips and good ol' fun. I'll start swimming lessons and play gym with Monkey. I'll swing on the porch swing and get a baby pool for the backyard. I'll socialize. I'll take pictures and videos. I'll remember that it's ok to have fun - it's important.

When it gets hard to be a solo-parent, I'll hold Monkey close and remember that she is a piece of Sarge and I that he left with me, to take care of and love, and she gets sad and frustrated with him not being home too. I'll take a deep breath and restore my patience. It's ok if we have rough moments, but I want to remember that even in the roughest moment, Sarge would love to be here with us. It's not his choice to leave.

There's so much more... but a lot of my deployment plans depend on what the final outcome is of the decisions we are still making, so this is a good start.

It is what it is... it sucks. However long it ends up being, 12 months or 15 months or somewhere in between or even longer...  we will make it. I'll be strong for Sarge. I'll be strong for Monkey. We will be ok, because our love is worth it.

I love you Sarge. Be safe - I know you're coming home to us... the same or better.

** For OPSEC reasons, this post is scheduled.