New night vision goggles have arrived at the armory. That makes two shipments of new gear/weapons that we know of; the first was new M4s. Still, no budget for uniforms so Sgt. L is still wearing his belt with a newly added notch and when they go in the field, he wears his old
Navy field jacket. He didn't want to take it but I insisted and he was glad I did; it was 18* that night. I told him if anyone gave him any lip tell them his wife said he had to wear it. :) No one gave him any lip and he didn't have to say, "My wife said so." All were happy.
He leaves tomorrow night for another weekend of combat training, which they were told in at the end of summer was their new training and for no specific reason. Those who have been around a while know that nothing happens without some type of reason, especially with the
military. His CO has been emailing the major on other issues and threw in there about a deployment. The answer was to the tune of, "I can't tell you what you already know." It seems to be some code. I'm trying not to let my guard down and we are still planning for a deployment. It's the only way I can cope.
Last night we took the front off Baby Girl's crib and turned it into a toddler bed. She was so excited to be a part of getting a brand new big girl bed with a brand new soft blanket and pillow. She climbed up between the safety rails and "practiced" going nite-nite. Sweet. It was going to be a better transition than I envisioned. Well, that lasted for all of a millisecond. Yesterday BG had her two year checkup and is weighing in at 26 pounds and 32" tall. She also got the last shots she will need until she's 4. The new nurse wouldn't let me hold her; she had her lie down with me at her head holding her down and she held down her legs and gave her the two shots. BG did VERY GOOD until the last second of the last shot and she broke out into crocodile tears. Since she was so good we scooted through a drive through and she got a Sprite - big treat for her. A few hours after we got home, the initial dose of Tylenol was wearing off and she began to show us her leg where her "boo-boo" was and at 6:00 she pretty much passed out - but only with me holding her. She did not want to be put down. Usually our bedtime routine starts at 7 pm and she's out by 7:45 or 8:00 at the latest. Every time I tried putting her down, she wailed. When I put her on her new soft bed, she turned purple and I thought her eyes were going to pop out of her head she screamed so hard. So, I held her until about 8:00 and I was starving so I got us up and ate a sandwich. Sgt. came home from the gym and she was not about to have any part of her daddy...all mommy all the time; at least when she's not feeling well. I ate my sandwich, we
grabbed up her blanket and cup of water and set off for her to sleep with us in our bed. It's not something I do regularly because she is a horrible bed partner and we think she needs her own room but last night was different. She snuggled next to me and when Sgt. came out of the shower she immediately chanted for daddy. She snuggled with him until she fell asleep. It was a rough night for all of us. Usually Sgt. doesn't get up with her at night because he drives a truck during the day and has to get up at 3:30 a.m. for work but last night he did so I could sleep since I was up with her all the night before. They got up and she went potty and went right back to sleep. Sgt. is going to miss that if he gets deployed. It isn't often BG vies for Sgt.'s attention but when she does, he eats it up with all his might. He loves her. He loves her without a doubt.
When Sgt. deployed in 2005 we didn't have any children; it was us and the dog. For days the dog followed me around I thought she just missed him, because you know dogs are like that, right? Wrong. She was hungry. Sgt. fed her before we left for the airport and she eats for a couple of days and we fill her bowl back up. That's one of the 4 things that only Sgt. does and I didn't think to look at the bowl. Once I fed her she was back to her old spot in front of the living
room window admiring the world and I was vapor until it was feeding time again. I didn't forget any more. I packed his sea bag with all the things he would need for three months. He was "embarrassed" that I used a round tupperware like cake container to put the squishables (i.e. toothpaste) in and packed using the packmate bags that allowed us to put everything he needed and some plus a pillow. Come to find out, my ideas weren't all that crack pot and many others had done the same thing. He had all he needed and his squishables were still in tact. See, Sgt., you don't give me enough credit.
The day I left Sgt. at the airport was one of the hardest days of my life and they would only get worse for me. Now, worse is relative to each person and while I understand that others have more hardship than I, it was worse based on my life. My grandmother passed away 12 days
after Sgt. left for training. My mother called and told me she was not doing well and I needed to go see her. I went to the nursing home before church that night. She was laying there and had lost so much weight she was pretty much just a shell gasping for air. We had a DNR and grandma had lived a God-filled life and was satisfied within herself. At church I asked our congregation to pray for her. They did. Grandma died that night. We buried her on a Wednesday in her home church cemetery about 3 hours from our town. I drove down that
morning and back that afternoon. I stopped and bought some tulips on my way down and my mom's best friend held my had during the short graveside service. I felt as though my world had been set on it's ear. My husband was in combat training 14 hours from our home getting ready to deploy. I had no children. My mother and dad were as distraught as I was and I was empty. Ms. T. held my hand and meant it. I was glad she was there. A week after that, Sgt. found out they were leaving about 2 weeks ahead of their original date so I booked a flight, rental car and hotel room. I flew Friday night and would be able to see him for half a day on Saturday and all day Sunday and have him back to base by 5:30 Monday morning. We had the best time together. We shopped for BG and he picked out some things for her. After 41 hours of just being together, we packed up and I took him back to the base. That empty feeling was there all over again. I said good bye to his room mate and friend and we made our way back to the parking lot. Sgt. cried, which isn't something he does a lot. I cried, which is something I do often. We said our good byes and they were starting to gather for formation. He hugged me tight and told me
he loved me. As I drove off, I looked back in my rear view mirror and he was standing there waving at me and blew me a kiss. I cried all the way to the airport and sat waiting for my flight. Alone. Empty.
I got home and began the wait of all waits until I would hold my beloved in my arms again. He was able to call me for about a week after that and they were on lock down and I wouldn't hear from him until they arrived in Kuwait. Well, at 2:38 a.m. I got a call they were at their stopping point along the way. I was glad to hear his voice. It was then that the time between phone calls would be unknown. I was living my day to day life in the luxury of my home with all the comforts and he was beginning the dirtiest, hardest and most emotionally taking task of his life. He was going to war. One week later he was in a war zone.
Throughout his deployment, I often thought I had no right to be upset with him being gone. After all, I had no children to worry about and explain where daddy was and what he was doing, I was okay financially and there were so many more people in the world who had things much
worse than I did. Oh, how I missed him. I traveled to meet some e-pals while he was gone and had a wonderful Labor Day weekend jaunt. When I got ready to leave, the gal I traveled with was about to leave to adopt their child and told me, "I'm not ready for this." Yes, she was. She had journeyed for a year to get to the point she was at and she was ready. She was ready because her husband was home to meet her at the airport and one week later they would board a flight to end the greatest journey of a lifetime; bring their daughter home. Me? I did okay through most of the flight. Because it was a holiday weekend, the airport had opened an extra over-flow lot and I got off in the wrong lot. Smart. I always park in the same area so I don't make that mistake but didn't this time and my mind was flooded so I just.could.not.remember. It is one of the lots you can't get out of unless you are a vehicle and the gate slides. No way out and there wasn't another shuttle coming my way. A nice old couple picked me up and took me to my lot. I couldn't find my car. I wandered and wandered. I was pushing the panic button but nothing happened so I couldn't follow the sound. A pilot stopped and offered to help me. No, thank you. I walked two more aisles and there it was. The car I bought the day their hooch got hit by a rocket. I sat and cried in the parking lot. I cried down the interstate and I called my mom. I didn't want to go home to an empty house. I simply didn't want to do it. But, I didn't want to drive the extra hour to my mom's house, either. So, I picked up the dog at the kennel and went home and cried by myself.
214 days after he stepped foot onto foreign soil, he stepped foot back on U.S. soil. I stood in a tropical storm, front and center, with my poncho, a borrowed umbrella and American flag. 5 1/2 hours later the lights of the plane broke through the gray rain clouds and landed. What a glorious day it was. My husband was home. He was home safe. There were no losses. Some were injured but none died. That was the most glorious of all.
I made many friends that day standing in the rain. Not friends I've talked to again or even email with but women who "knew" me and my life. They knew exactly what I had felt and for the first time I felt validated. It took almost a year to give me the comfort in knowing it was okay to have my feelings and it took 16 strangers to do it. Thank you, ladies.