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Thursday, June 24, 2010

I’m Goin’ on a Boat!

I know the last few days I got all umm…I don't know sad like I guess. I guess I am just trying to work through things in my own way and when I put them down on paper, or screen rather, They're not swimming around in my head anymore and I feel a little bit better. JSo sorry for being such a Debby Downer.     

    I read a few blogs, I have my favorites, their buttons are over there on the left. You should check them out because well they're AWESOME! I can only dream of being as amazing a writer as they are. I know my following isn't too big, hell I don't think I've ever even had a comment. So come on all you lurkers, I know you're there, comment say something! Anything! Ok, well please don't tell me I suck because that would make me a little sad.

    I am going to my first blogging conference in March! I am so excited I'll be on a BOAT people! On the OCEAN! I'll be leaving the COUNTRY for the first time in my whole life! This is HUGE! I am trying to recruit some girlfriends to go with me cause how cool would that be, a week at sea no kids just friends hanging out. I CAN'T WAIT! Oh and it's with Aunt Becky and she's kindof like a celebrity so I am a little nervous about that. It leaves me wondering who else will be there, what will I learn, I would love to write more than I do but am struggling at the what to write about thing so hopefully I will learn about that. Maybe I will learn absolutely nothing and just have a blast in the Caribbean with my friends and Aunt Becky and make some new friends that I can stalk on the internet. J

    So I don't have a whole lot to say today other than I am very bored and feeling very random and still stuck without a car. It pretty much sucks a whole lot. L Hopefully I will be mobile again soon and then I will do more fun things with the kids and not feel like such a bum.

Have a great day!

He’s Leaving On A Jet Plane, Don’t Know If He’ll Be Back Again


 


 

I read a book the other day about a soldier's account of his time in Iraq. It told of his missions and what he saw and what went through his mind while he was overseas. It was interesting, it was scary, it was so sad. It gave me an inside look, a first hand account of what my husband went through in the year he was gone. It made me wonder. How would my book read, my first hand account of being a mom on the homefront, holding down thefort. Maybe it would be an interesting read, maybe it would flop. I really couldn't tell you, but I figured I will try.

    I believe Dan got word that he was on alert in February of 2004. That was a scary day, we spent the day at families houses telling them the news. I held it together, mostly, I was really ok until his sister asked me "How are you holding up?" I lost it! I cried I was mad, I was hurt, I couldn't believe it. But we still didn't know when he could leave, it could be tomorrow, or next week, next month, we just did not know and that was probably the scariest part. Would I have time to tell him goodbye. Would the kids understand what was happening? What was I going to do. I spent a lot of time crying, always in private, sometimes to friends, but mostly into my pillow. I had to stay strong, I had to make everyone think I was going to be OK, when really I wasn't sure I mean how could I be…

    We never really talked about him not coming home but it was always on my mind. I didn't think I could handle that, being a widow at 24! I tried not to think about it but it was always there, just under the surface.

Finally word came. The official orders, I am sure I still have them saved on my computer somewhere, along with every email and im conversation we had while he was gone, he was going to be leaving on Veteran's Day 2004. Kindof fitting right? We prepared as best as we could. And bright and early on November 11th we headed out to the unit to tell our soldier, my husband, my kids father, goodbye, perhaps for the last time. All of our best friends and our families were there. It was a tense atmosphere, so much crying from everyone around, talking, laughing, and just a lot of quiet thinking. Finally the time came for the soldiers to line up and get on the buses that would take them to the airport. There were hugs, and kisses and some more tears. Then we all got into our cars and headedto the airport to watch them board the plane.

It was so very cold out. But I don't remember being cold. We all gathered at the fence at the air strip. Dan was on every single news station. One of my favorite moments, I have on tape somewhere, Dan leans through the fence and kissed Nick goodbye. The whole QC got to see that. That was right after Nick proclaimed that Daddy had to take Blankie with him so he would not be scared. Which brought tears to everyone around. Instead we tore a piece of Blankie off and Dan put it in his breast pocket, where it stayed until he came home. We said some more goodbyes and tried to hug through a fence, which was incredibly awkward by the way. Then they had to board the plane. We stood and waved, all of us. Until the door closed. I was still not ready to say goodbye so I didn't get back in the car, I stood on a small hill and just watched, soon I was flanked on either side by my mother and my mother in law. That too was caught on video and aired on local television. And we waved, somewhere there's pictures of us waving until the plane looks like just a speck of dust that is on a photograph. I don't remember much after that, I don't remember driving home, I don't remember going to sleep that night, I probably cried I don't remember but that's probably a good thing.

I remember waiting, a lot of waiting, waiting for mail, waiting for phonecalls, waiting for the computer to beep that he was online and of course waiting for the call saying he was coming home. But those are all stories for another day.

Once Upon A Time

I used to be a wife. That seems like a lifetime ago and I guess really it was. I knew from the time I was 13 that I was going to marry him. He was my first love. When I was 19 my childhood dreams came true. We were married in the back room of a church in Vernon Parish Louisiana. Our first year together was great, in March we found out we were having our first, his second, baby. In October I 8 months pregnant headed home to wait for my love to get out of the military and join me so we could begin our 'civilian life' he came home a couple weeks before our son was born. The day we brought Nick home I didn't think life could get better. We found our own place and he got a good job and so was our life. We spent weekends with friends and things were good. In 2003 we extended our little family by one more, a little girl. We were complete. We loved being together, being in love is like that I guess. We had our fair share of arguments but always made up, things were good.

    In 2004 we got word that our life was going to change, His guard unit got called to Active Duty. We weren't sure exactly when he was leaving or for how long but we started talking to and preparing the kids for it. We mounted a world calendar on the wall and showed them where daddy was going. We made countdown calendars and drew pictures. We had to prepare for the worst and draw up wills and talk about things you never want to talk about. On a cold day in November we bundled up our 3 babies and headed for his departure. Friends and families were everywhere, I was still in denial, I didn't want to say goodbye, and I didn't want to lose my husband. I was scared trying not to show how sad and upset I really was. I didn't want him leaving thinking I would be a broken mess at home without him, which really is exactly what I was. We hugged and kissed and told each other goodbye and that we'd see each other soon enough and then me and the kids and all of our friends and families waved and waved until we couldn't see the plane in the sky anymore. Then I went home and cried, I cried a lot, I would cry myself to sleep just about every night. I did get to see him one more time before they shipped out to Iraq. I drove with my 2 boys and 2 girls that I didn't know to see our soldiers in New Jersey for Thanksgiving. It was a fun trip, but it was a sad trip. I knew that there was a chance I would never see my husband, my best friend again, and in some ways that is exactly what happened.

He arrived in Kuwait on our 5 year anniversary. He had a friend bring me flowers and somewhere I still have the card that he dictated over the phone to her. We talked a lot while he was 'in country' sometimes as much as once a day on the phone. We did get to talk every day via the internet. I had my speakers turned up full blast so that I would hear that ding at any hour of the day or night. I hated to leave the house because I might miss talking to him, and on the rare occasions that I did miss him I spent the rest of the day crying.

    I heard stories of other soldier's wives and girlfriends cheating on them, leaving them because they couldn't handle them being away and it baffled me. How is that true love? I took my vows very serious, for better or for worse, and this was my version of the worst. I never strayed, never even crossed my mind, but somehow it got into his head that I did and to this day he still thinks I cheated. I think that hurts most. I loved him too much to hurt him like that; I still love him that much. He was/is my best friend.

    He came home in January of 2006, right before our anniversary, we went on our traditional dinner and a movie date, we spent lots of time with friends and family he was nothing short of a celebrity. Things were perfect again. Then I started to notice that things were different, he was quieter, and wouldn't talk to me, stuff like that. In the summer we separated for awhile. I really couldn't tell you how long or what I did during that time because I don't really know. I did start talking to a guy I knew from high school but made it very clear I was married and was going to give everything I had to try to make my marriage work. I moved back home and quit talking to anyone associated with the guy I had reconnected with and tried, I tried so hard, I love him so much it was all I wanted to be together forever.

    In January 2007 we separated again, this time I knew it was for good, he did what he had been accusing me of doing, maybe that was why he believed that I was because he was trying to rationalize his actions, I really don't know just my theory. A few months later I started talking to the guy I had met the year before, partly because he was a good guy and listened and partly because I really wanted to hurt my husband the way he hurt me. After my divorce was final I moved in with the guy and shortly after became pregnant, at the same time my now ex-husband was busy getting remarried and having a baby of his own. The guy and I didn't work out; I moved out and thus began my life as a single mom without one of my boys.

And that is the end of that story and perhaps I will pick up again and carry on with it on another day. That is just one chapter in our lives and although that chapter is forever impacting on the future ones I have to let it go, though it has taken and will probably continue to take a lot of tears to do so I am working on it.