The day was August 15th, 2010. It was Chris' birthday, and we had spent it with his reserve unit for their annual family day. We were just getting home, unloading our tired one and two year olds, when he received a phone call that told him it was coming. In that one phone call everything we were planning, everything we thought we would be doing in the coming year flew out the window. No more would we be looking into buy a house together. Having our next baby just got a whole lot more complicated. All security I had felt just seemed to have disappeared.
In the coming weeks, we would learn exactly how much time we were going to be spending apart. A little over a year when it was all said and done. That meant that he would miss just about every special event in our babies lives for a whole year. No birthdays, no Christmas, no Halloween. Everything I had to work through hit me like a ton of bricks, and I had never felt more alone or more out of my comfort zone before. It seemed to me like there wasn't a person I could go to with all my thoughts and concerns. Chris is such a level minded person that his response is always a controlled "everything will be fine, dear".
I am still fighting my fears on a daily basis. There is not a moment that goes by that I don't think about his pending departure. I guess that was the worst part...we found out with so much extra time that the waiting has become the hardest! The smallest things can trigger that pang of fear and hurt. It can be him watching our kids play, knowing that he won't be able to watch them grow for a whole year. They will be totally different people by then. Or kissing our baby girl telling her how beautiful she is...she will not having her Daddy there to tell her she is his princess for a year. Or taking our son out to play catch. He is his Daddy's biggest fan and will not be happy when he just disappears for so long.
So I suppose the hardest thing I am dealing with right now is simply fighting all the thoughts that enter my mind every single day. The thoughts of fears, and disappointments, and seeing all the negative of him being gone for so long, not to mention that he will be in harms way the whole time. It is truly a battle to remember that my most important job is to support him in this new challenge he is being faced with and to show my kids that everything can still be okay.
Lord, give me your grace to make it through this.