Monday, May 31, 2010

I Hate Goodbyes

I hate goodbyes.

Even when you do it on a weekly or monthly basis... It's not something one easily gets used to.

I am horrible at them, too.
Instead of clinging to, I push away.
Instead of holding tight, I end up saying things that hurt.
Isn't that ridiculous and stupid?

We had a wonderful 3 day weekend. 4 nights of Daddy being lucky are we? But on his final day home, things begin to unravel...fall apart...feel...not right. I feel anxious. He feels anxious. And I think baby senses it. We've played in the yard, laughed, read stories, taken walks, seen friends and family, shared meals, said prayers....done all the wonderful things we do together that make our family complete.

But then we inevitably have to say goodbye again. The moments where I'm trying to soak it all in and just "be in the moment" are sometimes too much when I know that these are the things I'll be missing most. The feelings and smells that you try to memorize will somehow slip away and not be able to be recalled when you need them most.

We all settled in on Asher's big boy race card bed to read 2 of his favorite stories, Goodnight, Moon and Ten in the Bed. Daddy got to read (2 rounds) of each story. At the end, Asher was wanting more, as usual. I have been the one lately reading the bedtime stories, so what a special treat for daddy to do it. But when it was time to shut the door and for him to go to bed, Asher began sobbing uncontrollably. He doesn't do that. He knows something is up...and to have to listen to that is heart wrenching. So, enter in daddy again, to soothe with a story about the "Great adventures of Asher" and some softly sung "Ants go marching..."

It's never easier. After 12 years of goodbyes, the pain that feels like your heart being ripped out of your chest just never yields. And it hurts even more when you know that he's not just saying goodbye to you anymore, but that little tiny boy who looks at him so lovingly like he's hung the moon himself.

I hate goodbyes.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

FAQ #1

Here's where we will answer a few of the most frequently asked questions that we get. We hope these answers may help you to understand what we're going through. If you have some questions we can answer, please let us know & we will try to answer them in future posts. Jake is answering all these FAQs today!

Is Jake getting deployed?
Yes. I will be deploying to Afghanistan with the 2nd of the 34th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Is there any way he can get out of it?
Ha. No. Short of dying, there is no way I will not be deploying.

Why doesn't he get out of the military?
I continue to serve because I believe God granted me a certain skill set and mindset to make the military my calling. To be able to serve my country, and insuch, to protect my family, is what I feel I am called to do.

How long will he be gone?
Many of you know I am on active duty at this time, but barring any major catastrophic events, I should be home by the end of July 2011.

Doesn't that suck? How are you going to do it?
It will suck, but I will concentrate on the job at hand, staying focused to be able to save soldiers' lives, knowing my family and friends are supporting me.

Will he get to come home for R & R (Rest & Recouperation) leave?
There should be a 2 week period where I will be able to come home, but nothing is guaranteed right now.

Well isn't Afghanistan "better" than Iraq?
No. They are both warzones.

What can we do to help?
Support my family and continue to be involved with their lives.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

And so it goes

Over six years ago, we got a phone call that would change our lives. Jake was being deployed to Afghanistan.

A week later we got married. Less than 20 days later, he was gone. I was a married college senior, living in a dorm. It was strange to say the least.

We survived our first 16 months of marriage separated by thousands of miles. I graduated college, had kidney surgery, lived on my own in an apartment for the first time, got my first job, and bought our first house. The deployment was the hardest thing I'd ever been through. And then he came home, and we learned to live together for the first time.

Over the last five years we've certainly had ups and downs. We battled infertility, the ugliness of post-war emotions & realities, and together we won. In 2007, after much thoughtful conversation and anguish on both parts, he re-enlisted. And, in February 2008, a mere 5 months after we became "paper pregnant," we adopted our beautiful son, Asher.

Fast forward to today. My husband is preparing for war again.

We were alerted in October that this was a likely possibility. It killed me to hear the news, but it also lifted a weight from me. The heaviness of not knowing that lingered in the corner of the room was palpable. At least now we knew what we were facing.

A few weeks ago, Jake got the actual order stating that he will be deploying to Afghanistan for a year again. Already we have been overwhelmed with love and support by family and friends.

This blog will chronicle our collective and separate journeys...the journey that Jake will take to Afghanistan, the journey that I will take as the spouse at home, and the journey that we will take as a family as we attempt to raise our 2 year old son together across the miles.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you make the Most High your dwelling- even the Lord, who is my refuge-then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.

For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation."