Here's a couple pictures of Chad on the night he left. I haven't heard from him yet, but in the next few days expect to get a phone call and maybe even an email.
We are missing him like crazy and yet the feeling of pride I have for him is so overwhelming.
The last night he was here, I actually found myself getting snappy with him. I know how stupid, there he was just hours away from leaving us and I was getting snappy. I had no idea why, in my mind I just couldn't figure out what was wrong with me and felt immediate remorse and did eventually apologize. Chad being Chad of course forgave me immediately and just held me in his arms as I cried.
The feelings of almost loss because you know how much you're going to miss is, is so overwhelming. This isn't our first deployment and most likely will not be our last, so I know what I/we are up for. On my end with our 2 boys there's the single parenthood aspect. You know you're not really a single parent, yet you're doing all the work of a single parent. You are the only one that immediately you can count on. If one of the boys does something bad or just mischevious, you can't wait until he comes home. There's never a 4:30 or 5:00 to look forward to, so you can take that deep breath that somedays you just desperately need.
As a stay at home mom, there is no better job. There's also no more exhausting job. There are days when the boys are just that, boys. Crazy, running around, making me wonder if something has taken their bodies over (sometimes hoping something has!), when there's deployments (and even field problems) there's no one that's coming home at the end of the day. It can be overwhelming when I think 12 months of doing this on my own.
When I married this man, he was already in the Army. I should have known what I was getting myself into, but being a girl who had very little real exposure to the military, being from a very small town in the midwest, I was so naive when it did come to a military marriage. I knew there'd be field/training excercises, I learned about that a month before we got married, when he was gone for 30 days. At that time though, deployments were for 4 months or 6 months either to Bosnia or Kuwait or the big fear of 12 months in Korea, which is an unaccompanied tour, although if the spouce (and if you have children) desire you can go to Korea on your own expense, most don't go.
I've learned and experienced a lot in our marriage so far andin so many ways we've just begun this life together. I plan on celebrating our 50th anniversary together, so see the big picture is our marriage is still young and new. In reality we've probably already been married longer than at least half the people who married the year we did and we're actually happy together.
Iraq wasn't something I expected when we got married, but it's here and like it or not Chad's in this deployment...again. This is our 2nd deployment to Iraq (not sure if I told that or not), so we both have an idea of what to expect.
Some people will be surprised when I say this next part, but....I have complete peace in my heart over Chad going to Iraq. I know that Jesus is with him. That he will never leave him. I know that no matter WHAT happens to him, I will be with him again, whether it's what I prefer and in 12 months back here in our home and in my arms or in Heaven joining our little girl and him. I have no control over what is going to happen in the next 12 months, in all honesty I have no control over what happens ever, but God does give us free will, so if we want to do something stupid, we can. I know without a doubt that God is with our family. I'm so thankful for that. I can't imagine going through this deployment without leaning on him. God is my rock.
My biggest prayers are that God will bring home Chad alive and well to us, and that Chad will lean on Christ while he's deployed. I pray Chad's key focus is always our Lord, and of course his safety, doing his job to the best of his ability, and achieving the goals he sets for himself while he is over there. I look forward to seeing Chad grow while deployed. I know he will. He will and has in the past experienced things that most of us can only imagine. He's seen and heard things that most of us never will and most likely never want to see and hear. There are things that I just don't want to know, and Chad knows that. There are definately times that ignorance is true bliss.
With that, I'm anxious for Chad to email and share his feelings on everything so far. I am looking forward to having others see both sides of this experience from HIS experiences and from mine.
Until next time....God Bless