We have come upon a time when the house is a little bit quieter, fewer mouths have to be fed, the yard work gets done by yours truly, & we're overall just a little bit lonely together. Yes, Chad has deployed again. I've been asked by several of the other spouses who are going through their first deployments right now if it ever gets any easier. My honest answer is 'no', though that's usually not a good enough answer for me seeing as how I'm a 'glass half full' kind of gal & don't like negativity. I usually follow my 'no' up with, it doesn't get easier, it just gets different. Different meaning that the missing your husband part never goes away, but at least after the first time, you know what to expect. Like, how lonely you will feel late at night when your bed is half-empty, how best to keep in touch while he's gone, how to fill your four+ months with activity that keeps you occupied to make the time fly faster, & how much stronger of a woman you can become each time.
I, at one point in my life, was intimidated by mowing the lawn, maintaining the hot tub, building fires on cold days & hanging things on the walls, etc. Those slightly tedious jobs that are most often reserved for the man of the house are now on my shoulders when he is gone. I have to admit, it's kind of empowering knowing that I can still hold down the fort when daddy is gone because I'm not scared of any of that anymore. I've grown a whole lot as a woman through these past 6 deployments & I think Chad is impressed by my fortitude. Heck, I am too. ha.
This time is also different in that Kennady is old & smart enough to understand his absence a lot more. Both good and bad, I have to say. She asks about daddy & his whereabouts several times a day & will usually be satisfied when I answer, "he's on his trip still, remember?". We made a sweet paper chain as a family that is about 75 links long & we have been removing one every night after bath time to signify we've made it one more day without daddy & get to see him that much sooner. We feel so blessed that this deployment is a half-deployment & he is only going to be gone for about 2 1/2 months. It's never worked out that way for us, so we are taking full advantage & keeping our heads up because to us, 10 weeks is doable. We have withstood quite a few challenging separations throughout our marriage & this one is not much different. We've both decided that we're going to take this time apart to focus on ourselves, both in growing and physical improvement. Our goals for May are exciting & we have a whole lot to look forward to this summer. I don't think I'll lump pulling weeds or uprooting trees into that same category, but we do have plans to travel this year so we are stoked!
If you have some extra praying time, please keep us in them as we continue this current deployment journey. He has officially arrived at his final destination in Kandahar, Afghanistan & the amenities are much better than he had expected. The most important prayer would obviously be for their continued safety, but another good one to pray for is mission completion. When the mission is successful, that means all who are involved, both air crew & ground troops who are in need, have been served & are able to carry on with their important and dangerous missions. He is excited to fly some complex missions & be a part of Operation Enduring Freedom while he is there. The world really needs peace to return to the land, so that's always a good prayer too. Thanks for your thoughts & prayers!