April 8, 2008

Reflections of deployments ...

As many of you know, I work for the Military Police at our installation. I've come to make some very close friends here in the unit both before I was here and since I arrived in September. I anxiously await the return of our deployed unit, but know that it unfortunately means another will have to leave, whether one of ours or from somewhere else. It's a bittersweet cycle, while I am happy to see others reunited with their Soldier and not-so-patiently await my turn, my heart hurts for those who will have to face the seperation.

That's the nature of the beast, the life we chose, but it doesn't always make it easy. As spouses hug their Soldiers a second longer than usual and children cling their their soon-to-depart parent, I look back on the last few weeks before my husband left with fondness. Although we'd like to think we are exceptionally close to each other, I know that there were some things that changed a little as the date drew closer. I wasn't so determined to have him pick up is laundry, I was more patient when browsing in "his" stores and not so eager to leave him to find shoes or other trinkets. I think I even put more love into making dinner, knowing that those moments would so be a distant memory.

If live in the military has taught me one thing, it would be to appreciate the small things ... walking the dog, sitting on the back porch, rides in the country ... even grocery shopping. I would much rather grocery shop by myslef, it's so much faster and we don't end up with too many "extras," but when he is with me, I just remind myself how lucky I am to have him home, even if the newest movie release, two bags of Oreos or some other "I've been meaning to get this" ends up in the buggy. I just make a mental note to discourgae that behavior in our future children and move the bread so it doesn't get crushed.

Sometimes waiting is the hardest job in the military and there is no "early release for good behavior." You just take it one day at a time ... or in my case, one cup of tea at a time!

Until our next cup of tea ...

4 Tea Party Guest:

Sue said...

You know, I am about to hug my soldiers - something I just did last month, but right now my arms ache because in a few months, our son in law will also be in the sand. We are taking a special trip with them - they are already at one of our destinations, awaiting our arrival. This will very probably be the last bit of time we spend together until he is home from the sand - at least a year from now, closer to 18 months. Sometime before we part in about 10 days, I will show him the yellow ribbon pin with a US Army Star charm attached to it. I bought it at the px a few weeks ago when we visited them for our grandson's birthday. And I will tell him - without tears (she says with confidence) that I will wear that pin from the day he leaves until the day he returns. I bought it just for his deployment. I don't know how you do it - I've seen our daughter go through two deployments. The first, she was over there too, altho not in the same area. And the second time, she was keeping the home fires burning. I see in them a loving couple - making plans for the future, but living for today, not recklessly, but with appreciation for the moment. And for the exact things you mention here.
God bless you and George - may the days you count go quickly and safely.
We are a generation apart in years, yet our hearts understand each other.
May His peace cover you.

lime said...

i appreciate how you are able to share and articulate the good and the bad about deployment. that you are able to find the good is evidence of such a grateful attitude that is so lacking in so many people.

Anonymous said...

You are so right! I had never been so sad to see a picked up house than those deployment months. I missed James "not making the laundry basket with his dirty clothes" the most I think. He tends to leave a very very spread out trail. Even though now I fuss at him about it on a daily basis and think that i might just drive me over the edge every time. But when you have survived a deployment, you have a whole new appreciation for the little things. Hang in there sweetie!

stitcherw said...

Knowing there will be seperation I think does bring more of an awareness of what we say and do with others, an increase in tolerance of their different actions, and even an appreciation of things that would normally irratate as it means we have them with us one day longer. The laundry and the extra items finding their way into the cart are a perfect example. I don't have the type of seperation that you do, but there are numerous times I miss my daughter now that she's out on her own and I very rarely can see her, and those are the same types of things I reflect on. {{hugs}}