Saturday, February 19, 2011

Before Deployment...

You go to work, you smile, and you pretend.  Sometimes you speak of the deployment, but usually you don't.  It's easier to forget.

You come home and trip over combat boots. Your home is overflowing with camouflage; it's a constant reminder of the upcoming year.  Your dog lays atop a pile of Army t-shirts and the irony makes you laugh.

You cry when you are with him but you cry more when you are alone. You don't want to make him feel guilty for doing his job.

It feels like all you do is talk about deployment, yet at the same time all you do is avoid talking about deployment.

You learn about Power of Attorney, wills, and health care proxy.  You wonder when it was that you became an adult.

You act excited about the larger paychecks.  Really you would prefer to be dirt poor.

Every late night at work, schedule conflict, or errand to run becomes another missed moment together.

Every Army obligation becomes another stolen moment. You try not to feel resentful.

You watch him while he smiles and try to memorize that precise second.  You wish it was possible to record a smell, a touch, or a hug.

You sit together silently.  Your minds are consumed with similar thoughts.

Someone tells you about a party, a wedding, or a concert and you know you will go alone.

You drive him to the airport for another two week training.  People stare as you hug your Soldier in uniform.  You can't bear to think about the next goodbye.

You glance out the window and for the first time in your life, you wish the snow banks wouldn't melt.  It  means winter is ending.

You can't decide whether you want to rewind time, pause time, or fast forward time.

You talk to him about the mission.  
You see his deep passion for the job.
 You admire his sacrifice.
You remember the good he will do and the people he will help.
You realize it will only make you a stronger woman.
You know surviving the distance will bring you closer.
You feel overwhelming pride.
You feel unfaltering love.

But you still cry.


  1. So beautiful. You totally made ME cry. I can't imagine what you go through, but this was a eye-opening glimpse.

  2. Beautifully said. Has he left yet? If not, this "exercise" might help just a smidge.... I used to run a non-profit project where we did a Build-A-Bear type thing as soldiers prepared for deployment. The deploying soldier "built" a stuffed animal and then recorded a personal message on a little voice box that went inside. They all had little ACUs to wear. The Bear was left behind at home for the loved ones to hug when they felt lonely, or needed to hear their soldier's voice. When my brother in law (a Marine) was deployed, he had a bear built. On lonely and scary nights, it meant a lot to my sister. My husband made one for each of our kids, and even for long TDYs, it really helps for them to hold it and hear his voice. It has been a long time, but I think you can find Build a Bear stores just about everywhere now, and even online. Walmart sometimes sells similar kits, and I have even seen them at Kohls.

  3. Beautifully written and completely accurate.

  4. This is beautiful.
    I agree with everything.
    Talking about deployment has become "word vomit" for me. I can't help but talk about it when I'm with him. I don't like talking about it with others though, my teachers and friends always ask "has he left yet?", "I don't see how you do it." "How are you going to cope, with nursing school and a deployment?" They drive me nuts. It seems like talking about the deployment is all my S/O and I have to do anymore. We just have few days left now till he leaves, and there is a lot of silence between us. How can we act happy? I am happy that I have him and I love him but I just don't know what to do. Pretty soon my house is going to be empty containing just the dogs and myself. Whew, this year is going to be a slow one.

    I have to get back to studying. I have my big Renal exam tomorrow.

  5. I can't even begin to explain how beautiful this is. I don't know how it feels to have a loved one go somewhere so dangerous and your blog has painted a picture for me. I'm sorry that you have to deal with his deployment, it must be very hard. I feel that if I had someone that was deployed I would be experiencing everything that you are experiencing. I pray for his safe return and hope all is well.

  6. Love this. It's so true. It's a love/hate relationship. Mostly hate.

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