Thursday, September 01, 2011

Done (okay, not really)

Back from Iraq ~ the first time ~ October, 2005

Oh my goodness...I am so done with this deployment. I just want Steve to be here NOW, so badly. You would think I could hold it together - - I mean, he's been gone for nearly a year, but this last little bit is just about doing me in. I am not a patient girl when it gets right down to the wire, and although it appears he will be coming home right around the time we've thought he'd be coming all along, all I can think about is, "why isn't he here now? why can't he come home earlier?" I seriously need to get a grip.

The boys (including Steve) and I have been through a lot this year. We were very lucky to have both my parents and my in-laws both come out for extended visits during that time. We've experienced kindness from the most unexpected places. The hardest parts of a deployment, though, are the parts that nobody else can help you with. Camden and Griffin have both struggled emotionally, in different ways. At times it has been so heartbreaking to watch, and really, there hasn't been a lot I could do other than listen. I really, truly was not prepared to deal with the effect that Steve's absence would have on the boys.

Long separation is rough on a marriage. Even a really good marriage. It is difficult to parent children from opposite sides of the globe, and to make decisions regarding your children. Stress certainly plays a major factor in making it more difficult, and I know that Steve and I both went through a period for a few months where our stress levels were so high that it was difficult to accomplish much at all. I think the worst time for me was after Steve had been home on leave, and it kind of carried on through the end of the school year. Never have I ever been happier for summer vacation and being able to have lots of fun with the boys ~ what a great distraction!

In the end, I'm proud of how we pulled through. Over the years, Steve has been gone a lot, so I knew before he left this time that I was completely capable of caring for the boys on my own. That being said, life is just a whole lot nicer with Steve around. Can't wait to have him back.


Kate D. said...

Yow are definitely done! There can't be that many M&M's left for the boys to count. This time next month this will all be in the past.

Jen Cantrell said...

Keep holding can do it

Jen F. said...

You should be proud of how you've handled being on your own this past year. You've done such a great job with the boys - they are so lucky to have a mom like you who cares so much about their emotion well-being. I'm so glad Sept. is here at long last.

Emily said... jaw hit the floor when I read the title of this blog entry. I think that you should rename it "Want to be Done." It was definitely a false start!

You and your family have done such a great job and you SHOULD be proud of yourselves. My husband often remarks what a wonderful and admirable job all 4 of you are doing.

How could you have known what effect this experience would have had on you and your boys? Listening to your children is a wonderful, wonderful way to validate their concerns. After all, your mother and father can't bring Steve back, but they can listen and support you - as you have done for your children. You are almost there, Super Woman. Just a bit longer. We'll all here rooting (sp?) for you!

Nicky Parry said...

Hehe, I too got overexcited by the title and photo - thought Steve was home with you all! Keep counting down those M&Ms so we can all look forward to a similar but new version of that photo! In addition to being clearly a wonderful wife and mother, you have been such a wonderful role model for other military spouses - your blog is a wonderful resource for anyone going through the trials of deployment with a family. Your openness and honesty help to make others realize they're not going crazy and are not the only person in the world feeling that way. And your commentaries on the ways that you have helped your boys (& yourself!) cope in the past year are great inspirations for anyone reaching out for help to get through something similar. May the M&Ms disappear quickly! xx

ang said...

I can't imagine the stress. You are a strong mama! Your boys, all of 'em, are blessed to have you nurturing and caring them along in life. Thankfully, your wait is nearly over. Hang in there!

Lisa said...

Almost there Heath! You only have DAYS left to wait :) Your family is truly an inspiration!

Ellen said...

Count me in as one whose heart skipped a beat when I saw the title of your post! I SO want you to be DONE!! I know that you can't know a specific date, but I am secretly (well, not-so-secretly now) hoping that Steve will arrive home on your 10th wedding anniversary. Nonetheless, whether it's the 15th or the 30th, there are just DAYS remaining until your beautiful, amazing family is re-united. Can't wait to hear all about it SOON!

Emily said...

Thank you for changing the blog title! :)

Heather said...

I did that just for you, Emily :)

Joy said...

Heather, The end is even more sight now than it was when you posted this. He's now state-side and I'm sure the emotions are running high as anticipation is mounting for hubby/daddy to be HOME.

I have no experience with single parenting... what little I have, I am getting in 10-14 day sets and I have to tell you, it's no fun. And I know I haven't begun to experience what you have gone through more than once.

You are amazing. Our soldiers are needed but it is their families who I stand in awe of. You and the boys have made it so Steve could do what he needed to do.

So glad he's (almost) home.

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