While we did know that he was going to deploy, we didn’t have a date. He got a call on a Friday night two weeks ago that he would be leaving the next morning. This threw a wrench in my plans, of course. I keep reminding myself that God is in control and His plans are always better than mine.
Our last night together as a family was a whirlwind of baseball practice, basketball game, dinner with friends, and the dreaded packing of the sea bags. I usually end up with the packing because… well, I’m just better at it. Ha!
I’m not sure about other military families, but the packing process is very stressful for us. This time, it was worse because we weren’t expecting it. We just had to squeeze in packing amidst all of our other activities that evening.
My husband puts everything he wants to pack on the bed and I have to make it all fit into two sea bags. He puts more out than the bags will hold, I have to minimize the load, conflict ensues. It happens every time. We both know the process and just accept that we will argue about how many socks he’s packing or just how many bottles of shampoo one almost hairless man really needs. While it’s happening, it’s pretty tense, but over the years it’s gotten easier.
That night we were both stressed out because of practice and a game, not enough time to do everything, and the fact that in the morning, he’d be leaving. I don’t know if it was better to not have a lot of warning or better to have lots of time to know he was leaving. I guess neither, both scenarios take him away… therefore, both suck.
This time he will only be gone for nine months. All of my friends and family keep reminding me that this is much better than two years. I keep hearing that, but it doesn’t make it easier to watch your child cry for an hour… or going to bed by yourself when you’ve gotten used to someone lying beside you… or having someone to help taxi boys… or not having a hand to hold… or not having him there to aggravate the crap out of you just because he knows how. It’s never easy no matter how long or short.
We will get through it, because that’s what we do. One foot in front of the other… another day done… after a while, he’ll be home. God is with us always and He will get us through.
“I will make you strong and help you. My powerful right hand will take good care of you.” Isaiah 41:10b