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It has been over a decade that I have been dealing with you. I did it as a girlfriend and a fiancé, then as a wife; our latest meetings have been with me as a wife and a mother.
The reasons that I dislike you are not uncommon or unusual. They have all been said by many that you have met over the years. It’s lonely when you come calling; the bed is empty and my heart breaks with each moment separated from my other half. It’s difficult to take care of all that life throws at me without my husband with me. You make me wish for the next X months to fly by so that I can be in his arms, practically wishing my life away. You made my husband miss the first time his children kicked as I carried them, made him miss so many firsts in their lives (though, to your credit, you were timely as far as him being home for the births -thank you). The list here could go on but it’s nothing that hasn’t been said before.
Oddly enough, there are reasons that I like you (I feel that “like” is maybe too strong a word, but we’ll go with it for now). You taught me that strength comes from within. You taught me that love is not about fancy dates and outings but about supporting each other through dark times despite being thousands of miles apart.
You have shown me what a blessing my husband is to me and reminded me to appreciate cherish our time together. You have tested me by fire and I have risen to each and every challenge, gaining confidence in myself. I learned through those challenges that it’s okay to” try again tomorrow” and realize that some obstacles take time and help to overcome. It is through you that I have experienced, repeatedly, the excitement of a “first kiss.” Despite your bad points, you have given me much to be thankful for.
I am faced with not having to deal with you for some time, Deployment. I want to be happy about that and relish the fact that I could enjoy years with my husband with few interruptions. I want to jump for joy at the notion that we could be a family, together, in one geographical location for an extended period of time. But, with all the things you have taught me, you showed me another lesson that I cannot forget: my husband was made for the job you give him. While I have seen the tears as my love has hugged his children goodbye, I have also seen the pride, determination, and excitement at the chance to experience what you bring him, Deployment. I know that he was born to do the job he does, that he was made to have you in his life.
I will be honest: I am jealous of you for that. My jealousy is not so severe as to outweigh my love for him, I have accepted you into our lives and appreciated the positive things you have given to him. And, I am worried that with you missing, part of my husband will suffer. In a moment of truth, he told me he was worried, too. So, where does that leave us?
It leaves us drawing on the strength you have given us to start a new sort of military life. One that we are completely unfamiliar with and unprepared for. See, our lives for so long have been about doing things, enjoying each other “before the next deployment.” Now, we may actually have the chance to make plans and enjoy life as a family without such a timeline. I may actually get to stop holding my breath waiting for you to come around…notice, I said “may” here, because, Deployment, I know that military life has a way of changing plans and you have also taught me to be realistic.
Until we meet again, Deployment,
I am a thirty-something wife of an airman with three beautiful children. We have been living our life with the military for well-over a decade. In my spare time between being a wife and mom, I am a high school teacher. Life in our home is wonderfully crazy – I wouldn’t change a thing.
*If you are interested in being a part of this series please see instructions here: Dear Deployment Blog Feature or email me at singingthroughtherain(at)gmail.com. Thanks!*