Saturday, June 28, 2008

Keeping On... Keeping On... All the While, the Silence is Deafening

The thing I hate the most about my husband being gone? The silence. Most people don't realize what it is to not even be able to tell your husband that you love them - not even by e-mail, every day. There is no instant messaging, no two way phone, no nothing... just silence. That's my life for a large portion of the time that my husband is gone, and when he is silent, I worry.

I try every night to thank God for all the good things in my life, all the things that I have to be thankful for. It makes me feel good to accentuate the positive. I have my girls, so far they are having a wonderful summer and we are staying busy. We love going to the beach together, and thankfully, I have a fabulous and trustworthy babysitter. Things aren't too bad.

I have survived the first little while without some major disaster - knocking on wood profusely as I write this! All in all, things are not off to a bad start. I'm relieved.

Still, there are those moments when I am alone... working in the house and I look up and see his smile. My heart catches, my throat constricts, and.... it's just a picture. In that moment, the enormity of how long it will be just a picture hits.

I try to allow myself to feel what I feel. I like to end the day on a positive, as I said, and for the most part, I like to keep my days on a more positive than negative note. But sometimes, I need to cry. After I do, I pick myself up and life goes on.

Today, my oldest has her flying up ceremony. She will no longer be a Brownie, but instead, a junior girlscout. It's hard for me to believe. Even in a Navy town, I know it will only be a matter of minutes before some obtuse asshole asks me where my husband is. Still, with high hopes for a beautiful day together, my children and I head out the door.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


A couple of weeks ago, I went on a "mom's night out" with some of my friends from my real life book club. You know, I love those ladies but the evening itself can only be described as painful. There was a lady with us who is not usually a part of the group. She's a warm, wonderful person... but, well, she just lives a very different life than mine and while I can relate to hers, throughout the course of the evening it became painfully obvious that none of them there could really relate to mine.
This particular woman, we'll call her "Trish", was bemoaning the fact that her husband was on a business trip. For the better part of three hours, I listened to her complain about how he was gone and what in the world was she going to do with her kids? I calmly asked her how long he was going to be gone. Her reply... " Three whole days!!!"
At this point, the urge to bitch slap her into reality was nearly overwhelming, but then thankfully the rational part of my brain took over. You see, I can do three frakking days on my head! But rationally, I realize that everyone brings to their lives their own perspective. I get that for her, three days may really have been a long time. Though why "dealing" with her children for "three whole days" was so difficult still remains a mystery....
Sadly, Trish didn't end her thoughts there. The ladies invited me to a casino with them, but it was getting late, the babysitter was waiting and frankly, I wasn't having a very good time, so I bailed. I told them I had to get home to the sitter, which was true. Trish then says, "where is your husband?" So I explain that he is Navy, currently underway and getting ready to deploy. Period. That's just my life - stated matter of factly. I don't need or want their pity. But at this point Trish says, "Oh you poor thing! Six, L-O-N-G, L-O-N-E-L-Y, months. What will you DO? How will you manage? I could NEVER be a Navy wife, I'm too selfish!" Well, that's like implying that I don't mind when the Navy takes my husband. I do, but that's my life, I knew it when I signed up for it, and really, last time I checked the Navy doesn't give a shit about my opinion, they just take my husband on the day and hour appointed. End of story.

Fast forward to last night. I went out on another "mom's night out". This time with the ladies from our boat. We got together to celebrate one of the ladies birthdays so she didn't have to celebrate alone. We went to Applebees and had a fabulous time. Everyone was laughing and sharing... everyone was relating. Each woman there, even those I didn't know very well, felt like a sister to me. Every single one of them "gets" my life - the reality of my life. They don't offer pity - they don't want it any more than I do. They just offered love, laughter, support and most of all understanding.

They all get that sometimes my children misbehave and I yell, maybe louder than I should. They all understand the 45 minute crying jag in the garage because you don't want your children to hear. They all understand the hope when you check your e-mail and the disappointment when there is nothing there fromthe person you long to hear from. They get the worry, the fear, the anxiety that I feel. They just get it and for once, just knowing that I was in their company and seeing them shake their heads as I was talking... well, it was enough. And that's a really good feeling.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


This whole week has been so surreal. I have looked at my husband's face - staring at him - trying to remember every freckle, every curve in his dimple when he smiles. I have felt his arms around me and tried to memorize the way my head fits against his shoulder.
For days - no, actually months now, I have put off thinking of the inevitable. I haven't faced the magnitude of the next several months alone. I won't get to see his face, hear his voice, feel his lips on mine... I hate it when he's away.
Sure, the kids and I survive. We focus on staying busy and doing fun things. That takes up my day, but at night, when I am all alone and the house is quiet around me, the magnitude engulfs me.
I know that I can do it - I can take care of the things that need to get taken care of. I can deal with being a temporarily, sort of, single mom. I just miss having my partner beside me to share my life.
I actually got to tell him last night how proud I am of him, and I even managed not to cry. I sent him off today with a smile, like I should, even though inside I was dying as he walked away.
I keep telling myself that every day from now on is one day closer to home. Now this difficult time has started, the goodbyes are over for now, and all that is left is the waiting. Still not my favorite aspect of being a Navy wife, but hey, homecoming is definitely something to look forward to, no matter how far away it is right now.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Looking for the Bubbles...

When you get disorientated under the water, you are supposed to check for the bubbles to see which way is up. Right now, in my life, I'm just looking for the bubbles because without them, I have no idea which way is up.
Life gets so hectic and crazy sometimes that all those little moments that make life magical seem to get lost in the shuffle. Here we are, caught up in the throwes of the latest goodbye, and all the little moments get lost in the shuffle of the checklist of "things to do."
I'm still waiting for my husband to get the phone calls to his family out of the way. I hate having that to look forward to. They always call at the worst possible time and then want to talk for hours.... My goodness, my nephew, who my husband hasn't even seen in over 3 years, has to say "goodbye" while my children wait patiently to get their time with their father. It's frustrating... and it's frustrating for him too. Still, nothing ever really changes.
I feel slightly less emotional this time as I wait for the inevitable. I guess in a short while the flood gates will open and I will be here all alone. It's better that way.
I hate feeling like world is spinning out of control, and I just want to hold up the "STOP!" sign. I'm looking forward to some sembelence of normal and balance to come back to my life, though I don't know what "normal" is most of the time, or when that may happen. I guess I will keep looking for the bubbles and try to figure out which way is up.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Things that Matter... and the Things that Don't

Last night was my first official social event as Ombudsman. It was particularly stressful because our old ombudsman was given the task of making this event happen and then we switched halfway through... so it ended up being my task. The event was a kids and dad's craft night sponsored by our Fleet and Family Support. I know that I have many civilian readers out there - so basically we had counselors coming in to talk to the children about the upcoming deployment. They were discussing some of the feelings that the children might experience.
We didn't have a very good showing - only 2 dads and their kids - six children altogether. At first, I was a little disappointed, but then I started to think about the things that matter and the things that don't. Numbers don't matter quality matters.
I looked around at the children's faces... the way they were able to freely talk about their fears, their emotions and all the things they were going through WITH their dads... that was priceless. The counselor listed all the feelings that the children may be experiencing and asked everyone experiencing those feelings - like confusion, sadness, loneliness, pride, and others... to raise their hands. It was so moving to see those Dads raise their hands right along with their children.
I can honestly say that my children were able to connect with their dad in a way that I haven't seen in some time.
They made pillowcases for the children to use while the dads are deployed. Those pillowcases just brought tears to my eyes. The messages written on them were priceless - good luck in middle school, I love you, I'm so proud of you, I'll miss you ... so many emotions. The children did such an amazing job decorating them too, they really were beautiful.
Even though it wasn't a huge turnout, I am so proud to have been a part of this event. I know that the children that were there, really benefited and to me, that is what is truly important.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Pink Rose Award

First, I want to thank my friend, Ann, for nominating my blog for the "Pink Rose Award". ( Check out her awesome blog at Under the Sea I thought this was a really cool idea and I also have some individuals that I would like to recognize.
It's funny really because I haven't written in what feels like forever. I needed a reason to come back. There has been so much chaos in my life lately and this morning, I just decided to buckle down. It really meant a lot to me coming here today to find this award, so thank you very much Ann!

First of all I would like to send this award to my friend Kate. I have been lucky to call Kate my friend for some years now. Seems like forever really... Kate is without a doubt the strongest woman I know. She inspires me every day, and so many other people too. Her writing is like her - thought provoking, inspiring, sometimes brutal and always real. Check out her blog here Jonathan's Closet.

Next, I would like to recognize my real life best friend, Jenn. She doesn't write as often as I would like, but her blog and her poetry are AMAZING! When she does write, her thoughts are always worth reading. Check out my favorite blog - A night without armor.

And finally, I would like to recognize another military wife, someone who is so strong as a woman, as a wife and as a mother. I love reading her blog, hope you will too. Check it out at Chaosmommy.

Here's what to do:
1. On your blog, copy and paste the award, these rules, a link back to the person who selected you, and a link to this post: You will find the story behind the Pink Rose Award and other graphics to choose from there.
2. Select as many award recipients as you would like, link to their blogs (if they have one), and explain why you have chosen them.
3. Let them know that you have selected them for an award by commenting on one of their posts.
4. If you are selected, pass it on by giving the Pink Rose Award to others.
5. If you find that someone you want to nominate has already been selected by someone else, you can still honor them by posting a comment on their award post stating your reasons for wishing to grant them the award.
6. You do not have to wait until someone nominates you to nominate someone else