Saturday, July 27, 2013
The Journey Comes to an End
To say I'm excited is an understatement. I thought it might be different than the homecoming from a combat deployment, but surprisingly the emotions are much the same. This past year has been more challenging than I thought it would be. At times it has been very lonely. While I have had a wonderful support system from my friends, it has been weird not being attached to a unit. I never knew what Kevin was doing until he told me. Even though he sent me pictures, I still only have a vague idea of what his living quarters were really like. I don't know any of the people he worked with. After being so intertwined in his career, this was odd. Now I know that many Spouses sit back and aren't that involved and that works for them but it doesn't work for me. I enjoy being a part of every aspect of my husband's life.
I've had to deal with a lot of things in regards to the boys on my own. While Kevin and I talked a lot about things and he was always informed, the logistics of most everything fell on my shoulders and at times the burden was very heavy. I got better about asking for help this past year but there are some things that you can't pass on. At times I have felt like a failure as a mom. I felt like my efforts weren't good enough. I haven't always felt like I did enough to protect or advocate for my boys and that is a crushing feeling. The curse of mommy guilt is very real.
The lack of recognition from some organizations because my husband was "only" in Korea was shocking. What was also surprising was that my kids weren't welcomed to certain things because of their age. Apparently you stop missing and worrying about your Soldier at a certain age.
One of the biggest challenges I faced that surprised me was the attack on our family. The constant criticism of my role as a stay-at-home mom. I've been a SAHM for a long time and you'd think people understood that but suddenly I was being told that my kids were old enough to stay home alone and that I didn't need to do everything for them. People attempted to choose my priorities for me. My family will always come first, there will never be a debate. I love serving others but I know part of this separation was to remind me to focus on what matters most. Michael will be leaving home next year and once he's gone begins the journey of my other boys leaving the nest. I'm not as ready as I probably should be or could be. I don't want to live my life with regret of missed opportunities. I want my boys to know that I was there at their events. I don't want my kids to be the ones searching the crowds for my face, not when I have the choice on whether to be there or not. Some people aren't that lucky but I am.
Kevin misses a lot and I carry that guilt with me as well. I feel so lucky to be married to someone who is so connected with his boys. He spent many days up early or late to try and connect with the boys. Sacrificing himself for his boys has always been a priority, I hope my boys know that.
As this chapter in our life closes and we prepare for the next one, I hope that I have learned all that the Lord wanted me too and that we are stronger as a result.