Open ended plans

Lately I have found myself having conversations that start out with "next year we should...." and then end in the oh yeah.....we won't be together next year. I don't understand how to live in limbo and how not to do it. I still will have my kids that will need to keep going on with their lives and I know he wants me to live like I do now and still be with friends and take vacations, but I really don't know how I'm going to do that. We had a huge discussion about taking a vacation without him. I don't think I could. He thinks I should. I don't want to be someplace soaking up the sun or having fun all the while he's in danger and living in horrible conditions at times. Maybe it isn't healthy. I don't know, I've never been here before. Man, I just realized that the only answer I seem to be able to give myself all the time is....I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.......

Making sense of it

Back when my husband found out he was going to deploy we decided that instead of waiting until next year, we would get married this year before he goes. I knew I wanted to marry him and a deployment wasn't going to be a catalyst or a deterrent to that. And as I've said before, I knew that I would have to accept his life as a soldier if I wanted to spend my life with him and I made the conscious decision to do so. He originally told me that they had to go, there were no options. Come to find out that during the first time I got to meet his Guard buddies in their discussions the word volunteered was used quite frequently. At which point he turned to me and said "oh yeah, I volunteered to go." At the time, my initial reaction was anger that he lied to me about something so big. I have never stood in his way in his military career because it is part of him and to me it would be no different than him asking me to give up my kids, so I didn't understand why he lied. He said he didn't want me to be upset and think that he did it so he could get away from me.

So fast forward 5 months later. We are married and still planning for his deployment sometime in the next 6 months or so. So during this time I have tried to make it make sense to my "non soldier" self. But in reading other blogs I have heard the sentiment from other soldiers about them feeling like they need to be there and they actually miss it when they leave.

Here's me in honest, raw form. Take it with a grain of salt and try not to hate me. He is choosing to deploy because "all his friends are going". He is not trying to get away from me or our life together, but he wants to be with them. I nod and pretend I understand and support him as best I can. Inside I rage... So he chooses to go....chooses mind you, and God forbid something happens to him. I know I will be angry that he chose them over us and now something has happened. I hate myself for it. I shouldn't even think that something could happen to him but I don't know how to deal with this almost jealousy over his choice. I guess him being told he has to go would in some way make it easier because there would be no choice. Because he wouldn't be choosing living in a war zone over living with me (ok I know sometimes I might be mistaken for the queen of a warzone, but we aren't talking about me). I can't help but take it personally and then I can undertand why he lied to me in the first place.

I do want to understand. I want to stop walking around with this guilt because I am the only one who knows he volunteered. Most of all, I want that day to come when I say goodbye and I'm honestly ok with his decision to go. That I can honor him for the soldier he is and not be thinking about the reasons he is leaving.

I know the soldiers out there who too have made the choice to go despite their families' reactions, may not understand how we cannot understand, but we don't. We aren't soldiers. The thing that calls us and motivates us and makes us feel like we matter is our calling to you. And when you want to go away I guess on some level we feel like we've failed. We haven't been able to complete our mission. I will continue to love my husband for ALL that he is. He is a grandson, a son, a husband, a step-dad, a man and a soldier. If any of those things are taken away, he wouldn't be him. And yes, loving him is worth it all.

What or who?

I was watching this video and of course sobbing. But when I watched all those soldiers and the close ups of their faces I couldn't help but notice the faraway look in their eyes. Some of them made me want to go get them and give them a hug that would take all of what they experienced away and then send them back home to their families.

Is a soldier a "what" or a "who"? I think too many times people look at them as a collective unit. Faceless men and women who wear the same uniform and we put our magnets on our cars "for the soldier" and that's it. That's our proof that we care. But they aren't a collective unit. They are individuals who I'm sure in the darkest of nights hurt inside that they aren't at home with the people who love them. They may not admit to a tear or two falling but I believe they do.

I don't know what I'm trying to say. Sometimes it just hurts in the pit of my stomach to think of them being deployed and so far from home. What happens when they get sick and they need some TLC? Or when they are scared who reassures them all will be ok? I've been so caught up in how we deal with it back home that I forgot that yes, they may be soldiers and this may be what they train for and accept but they are still us. They still feel underneath all that gear. And I feel so ashamed for not acknowledging all that before.

I pray that when each of them needs that goodnight hug tonight and every night that God will somehow reach them and that they feel that warmth in their souls and they will know they aren't alone and that we wait here to do it for real when they return to us.


We have made it through the first full week of being together as a new family. There have been challenges and I imagine there will be many more to come. It is a lot of hard work though.

I'm pretty impressed with him though. He went from no kids and no family responsibilities to being with the kids during the day while they are home for the summer. Talk about being thrown into the fire. But he's doing well. The kids are being good and there seems to be more structure in the house than there was before, which tickles me to no end!!!

Still no puppy yet and it looks like the fridge will be first. Hard to cuddle with them though, but I'll be a big girl and be patient and wait for my puppy. Our new debate is that he wants an American Bulldog and I want a Boxer. The temperments from all that I have read seem to be very similar. Anyway, I'll keep you posted on who ends up winning this one. He keeps telling me I can pick the fridge but I think it's because he's setting me up so he can say well since I picked the fridge he should pick the dog. Ok, maybe that's really my plan!!!!

Independence Day!

Tomorrow is July 4th!!!! Hug a soldier, thank them, love them and don't forget them. We celebrate July 4th as our Indepence Day because brave men fought for freedom they believed in. Today, brave men and women are fighting for freedom that they believe in. It is not free or even cheap. It is paid not with dollars and cents or budgets and bills, but by families, children, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and friends and those who willingly serve to preserve what many have done long before them. I hope and pray that God blesses you all in whatever capacity our world affects you and in the end you'll see the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there!!!!

Learning to enjoy each.......

I know that I have to enjoy each moment, each memory, each day one at a time. People tell me that all the time. What they don't tell me is how to shut off this time clock in my head of how long I have to enjoy this or that. Will it go away on it's own? Do I have to throw myself against the wall in hope of hitting the off button?

He's home from training. That used to be my time clock. Now it's the next training and then the deployment and then the longest and loudest ticking will begin. He does something that annoys me or something that a normal wife would be all over him about, but in the back of my head I hear the "don't ruin the time you have left" voice. This constant pressure to make sure everything is perfect will lead to my own destruction and I know enough about myself to know this is true, but I don't know how to fix it and I don't have anyone in my life right now that would know. If you know me you know that I am extremely anal and controlling of my environment and everything I do has to be perfect or the earth's rotations will somehow get off kilter and it will be my fault. I grew up knowing that if something was wrong in my house it was because somehow I made it happen. Then I entered a bad marriage to a not so nice man who re-enforced the everything is my fault default option so now that I'm married to a wonderful man who truly would move mountains to protect me he says the smallest thing and my world spins out of control of "see even I've screwed up his life" thoughts. Sometimes I want to scream at the top of my lungs but I just have this vision that if I did that all that would really happen is everyone would stop for a moment, look at me, and say when you're done with that would you (insert task here).

You should know, I'm very happy to have my husband home. It's so good to hear him laughing and to see him goofing around with the kids and to reach over and grab my hand or touch my leg while he's watching tv or reading just to let me know he still needs me there every bit as much as I need him. I enjoy each of those moments and countless others and none of my memories have an expiration date on them.

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