|One of the ways I have always done my countdowns when my husband is away is by counting trash days. Most of the time it isn't as daunting a number as the estimated number of days he'll be gone. And it helps me remember to put the trash out, or rather encourage my boys to put the trash out since it's their job. So this will be my new weekly post, and I'll just really post whatever, no real set theme. Please feel free to join me on this adventure of counting down the time until your loved one comes home!|
My Soldier's leave has ended. He flew out yesterday and as you read this, he is probably hanging out in his room getting ready to go back to work in Korea. We were so lucky to have an entire month and an additional 7 days because Neil got hurt (really need to post that tale). So we really got 37 days. It's funny because during a combat deployment you get 15-18 days and that never seemed like enough time and here we got double that and it still felt like it wasn't enough. Right now with the shorter 9 month deployments, they don't even get any R&R. So that being said, please acknowledge that I am very grateful for the time we got.
The reality is, my heart hurts. I hate that we had to say goodbye...again. It sucks because we've done this too many times. I stood in the airport with Kevin and Daniel and as his flight began to board, I suddenly wanted to regress to a toddler and scream out, "Don't Go!". Daniel broke down completely which doesn't help me keep my emotions in check at all. There were two ladies standing near us who started crying when I did so that didn't help either. I really tried hard to keep it together but it was hard.
We had a wonderful time together while Kevin was home. It's hard integrating Kevin into our routine because he's been gone so often in our life but with 37 days to work with, it was easy to get spoiled. If anything, it was nice to just feel complete. It was also nice having another person in our house to make decisions and deal with the kids without the delay of a huge time difference.
When Neil got hurt, it was such a blessing to have Kevin home because even though I know I would have handled it and it would have been okay, I didn't have to. Kevin was such a support for both me and Neil. While it sucked that Neil got injured, it was such a blessing to see Kevin take care of him in such a tender manner. I know Neil appreciated having his dad home during this rough time.
Michael was dealing with some things that really needed both of our support and again, I felt so blessed that Kevin was here during that time. Sometimes I am overwhelmed when it comes to handling the day to day things of the boy's lives and when things go a different way than I imagined, I feel like I have failed. While the things that Michael was dealing with weren't the end of the world, again it was nice to have Kevin home to love and support him through it. Such tender mercies from the Lord.
If anyone saw a glimpse of our family together while Kevin was home, they would likely have seen Daniel joined at his hip. Daniel rarely strayed from his daddy. Those two have such a connection. It's been hard for Daniel because Kevin has been gone so much of his life and then he got three years where he was home most of the time. This has been a hard time for him. As Kevin's leave was coming to an end, Daniel really started acting out and being mean. It was frustrating and heartbreaking at the same time.
I realized as I watched Kevin board his plane today that I'm done. I have loved this lifestyle and everything it has given me. It has been a roller coaster ride for sure and the journey has been pretty good but I'm tired of the goodbyes and separations. I don't want to do this anymore. When Kevin gets back from Korea, we will start preparing to retire out.
While I know that this is where the Lord wants us to be and that separation is part of His plan, I admit that the knowledge of that doesn't ease my heart much tonight. My boys miss their dad and I miss my husband.
I drove home from the airport and wanted to cry. I held back the tears until I got home and then laid in my bed and just let it all out. I learned long ago not to hold back. I'm not ashamed to say I cried because I love my husband and I miss him.
I always reflect back on leave in the middle of separation and often find myself saying I wish we hadn't done it because the second goodbye always hurts worse than the first, but the reality is that no matter how long he's home, I am grateful for the time we get to spend together.
So now that I have that all out, it's time to pull up the bootstraps and focus on the craziness of our summer and plan for him to come home and begin the next phase of our life!