Thursday, November 04, 2004

Strong and Stalwart

It's time for the post that I should have written earlier.

I'm not myself lately, and I wonder if anyone can tell.

I'm not depressed exactly, but I'm not myself either. I think I've just been very stressed about a myriad of things going on in my life.

None of these things are really that important. Or if they are important, they aren't things that I have any control over. There just seems to be quite a lot of them.

But something happened today to bring it all to a head for me, and I'm starting to feel my stalwart exterior slip just ever so slightly.

My husband won an award at work. He was nominated to compete in the next level and won that too. That's a fairly big deal. So he was nominated to compete at the next level too.

Today CB was nice enough to watch my son so I could go to the award ceremony.

I walked into a hanger filled with a few hundred military members, mostly in BDUs, but some in flight suits too. The wall behind the stage was graced with the largest American flag I've ever seen. I was one of maybe a dozen civilians in attendance.

My life is so surreal sometimes.

I am very comfortable in these types of settings. I worked on bases long enough to know the score, and I'm the kind of person to assert myself just enough to make sure that I am there for my husband. I'm proud of him, with good reason. I'm proud to stand in a hanger like that and by my very presence say, "I support him."

I spotted RB in the crowd and he helped me spot my husband. He looked a little nervous, but mostly he was fine. He appreciated that I was there.

But moments after saying hello, he told me, "I got the TDY."

This time, by TDY he means deployment. A four month deployment. January to April.

He volunteered for this one because he'll get to do a job that is a little different for him, is good for his career, and has a definite end date. But this time, well, he'll be in the thick of things.

I replied, "Thanks for telling me right now." I don't think he picked a great time to tell me, but he was excited and proud and wanted me to know.

And it really doesn't make a difference anyway. I would have reacted the same way no matter where or when he told me.

And my reaction?


What reaction am I really supposed to have? I am strong and stalwart. I know that he will deploy from time to time. The timing is really the best it can be. And I'm proud and happy for him. He was chosen to do this. It's an honor.

So I sat through the ceremony. I laughed in the right places. I applauded in the right places. I didn't think.

I was disappointed when he didn't win. My baby should ALWAYS win.

He walked me to my car and I went back home to my napping son. I didn't think.

I blogged. Obviously, I didn't think.

I picked up my daughter and made the weekly mad dash to ballet. I didn't think.

I measured her for her costume and listened to the other mothers be insane. I didn't think.

I met my husband and we all went out to eat. With the whole family in the car, my husband and I did not talk about the deployment because we need to find the right way and time to tell the kids. I started thinking.

We went home and he put the kids to bed. I crashed. Unconscious. No thinking.

And I woke up a little while ago and felt the need to blog. And now I'm thinking. And for the first time since this deployment even became a possibility, I'm crying. But just a little.

No husband for four months? I can live with that. No sex? I can live with that too. More worry than I've ever felt for him on a deployment? I can even live with that. Dealing with the emotional reaction of two very loving and sensitive kids when Daddy goes away again?

Now I'm really crying.

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