Thursday, May 3, 2012

Good Grief

In searching through my old writings, I came across this passage which I wrote 2 1/2 years ago as I embarked on my husband's second deployment.  I wanted to include it in this blog as proof that as gut-wrenching as deployments are, they will come to an end, I promise you!  There is no getting around the feelings we experience in those first few days and those feelings are something we must face head on before we can begin to move past them.  As much as it hurts, the more pain we feel, the stronger we will become as a result.  To those of you dealing with deployments right now, this is for you:

In a world that revolves around days, weeks, months, and years, I have concluded that time is, in fact, the enemy.  How can four months pass by under my nose so quickly?  We were having such a great time together as a family, time that was much needed after such a long seven month deployment, yet it was ripped away from us before we had a chance to realize it.  I’m not sure there is anything we could have done about it anyway.  Time cannot be slowed down.  In fact, it seems to only speed up as I get older.  I think we did a pretty good job of making the most of our time, however we did not prepare ourselves for how difficult it would be to say goodbye again.  Part of me is grateful for the fun times, laughter, and togetherness we had.  I am happy we have so many great memories to smile about.  At the same time, at least right now, I wish I could erase them so that it would not hurt so bad to let go.  I do not want to get a sick feeling in my stomach every time I turn a corner in my house and it reminds me of him.  I do not want to cry when I think of the happy times, longing for them to return.  It is too early right now to look ahead and await his return.  I do not yet have the motivation to get into the old deployment routine where I grudgingly take one day at a time, thankful when I can cross off another week on the calendar.  This time I know how it is going to be, I know what I have to do, yet the idea of doing it all over again is disheartening.
 Looking back, it was but a mere year ago that I was saying goodbye for the first time.  Though sad, I was able to see the end fairly quickly.  I stayed busy with family and friends and before I knew it, the holidays were in full swing.  Once the New Year arrived, all of my energy was centered in the excitement of him coming home in three months.  I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  In mid February I gave birth to our son and second child.  That was the last big “to do” I had on the list before he came home.  I was more excited than ever.  Not only was he coming home, but we had a new member of the family to celebrate.  I had more to talk about when he called.  I almost didn’t care that he wasn’t home because I knew that he was coming home so soon.  I had nothing but joy in my heart as I planned, up to the day, all the details of his return and welcoming him back home.  I do not know that I have ever had so much joy in my heart.  There is nothing, at that point, that could have dampened my mood.  My husband was going to be home again and we would be together as a family.
 Now, I do not know that I have ever had so much pain in my heart.  It is as though someone ripped my heart out of my chest and then threw salt on the wound.  All that energy I had, all that joy, is gone.  I am grieving its absence so much and I do not know how to deal.  How something so great can go by so fast is incomprehensible to me.  I know that somehow I will get through this deployment too, and eventually my joy will return.  Right now, my wound is still healing and I can only pray that God will hold my hand, re-strengthen my heart, and help me see that the end is closer than it seems.  I must remember that God will not give me anything I cannot handle.   

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