Monday, January 3, 2011

The one Big Bad thing...

2011 has so many really great, really big, and really exciting things in store for us as a family,
(which I will get around to telling you about soon, I promise.)
all that come along with one Big Bad Thing

My husband, their father, is going to be gone for the next 13 months.
We keep saying a year, but he leaves today and won't be home again for good until February of 2012.
(We will get to see him a couple of times over the next six months for a few days here and there.)
There are a lot of details, there always are, but the basic concept is that he is moving on to a new assignment with the Navy and will be on a ship, doing the workups to a deployment and then being deployed
while we finish up the school year here and then pack ourselves up and move out to Washington this summer.
(that's one of the really good things!!)

I've been keeping myself busy, trying to ignore the fact that this day was coming.
The holidays have helped.
But now it's here.
He leaves in a couple of hours.
You might wonder why I'm on the computer rather than spending time with him, 
well, it's just too damn depressing to watch him packing up.
I don't like it.

I don't want him to go, but sometimes the dread of it is worse than the actual event.
Once he's gone, I'll just pick my head up, shoulders back and deal with it.
Like I always do.

There are some things that make this separation easier than previous ones.

The kids are so much older now.
I'm not so tied to them and to the house.
If I want to get out, I just announce that I'm heading to wherever and they say "uh-huh" and get back to whatever game or homework or book they were busy with.

Technology has come a looooooong, long way since his first deployment in 1994.
In 1994, if I wanted to send him a message I would call MWR and send him a "family gram."

They were like old fashioned telegrams.
I would say to the man on the phone,
"Hi, honey, the kids and I are doing well."
He'd repeat it back to me.
"I'm going to be visiting my parents next month."
He'd repeat that too.
"I love you."
And the manly voice on the other end would repeat.
"I love you."

And it was weird.... just weird.

In 1997 (98?) we got e-mail!!!
Now I could send him big long letters telling him absolutely everything
but even then I had to be "careful" about what I said,
because these emails didn't go directly to him,
they went to a central computer where a guy printed them out
(and maybe read them?)
before my husband got to them.

This has continued to evolve and now we have Skype! and real email! and Word with Friends!

It's so much better now. :)

But still... he's leaving
and I'm sad.
And I think I'll go upstairs and watch him pack after all.


Jess said...

Oh. I'm sorry Colleen.

I always had such weird feelings when the moment arrived too. But you're right, once he's gone, it's never as bad as you anticipate it might be... and it goes, especially if you're keeping busy with the move and the kids...

This 13 months will be gone before you know it, and how wonderful that you WILL get to see him a few times!

Brooke said...

Oh Dear! Colleen... I am so sad for you and your family! 13 months... that is a LONG time. I can't even imagine....... And since I stink at coming up with thoughtful advice, I will leave you with - Be strong, Girl!

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I'm so he has to leave. Hope the year goes by quickly.

Annelie said...

Of course you must be sad...
But you will do great! Promise!
A year passes by faster then you know.

Kelley said...

My heart is hurting for you! So glad that it gets better after the actual "event". I will be thinking about you & your family!

Lindsey said...

Oh, I'm so sorry... this made my stomach leap into my throat and made everything seems so small all of a sudden. I can't even imagine, but still, I thank your Husband for all he does for us.
I'll be thinking of you today.

Julie said...

I'm so sorry Colleen! I don't know how you do it. I would have a very very difficult time with that :(. 13 mos is so long! I will keep your family in my prayers. That is an amazing sacrifice for all of you.

namaki said...

Thanks to your comment on mine, and for my first visit,here I am in the heart of your emotion! But I bet you are a strong person and you will manage as you have always done. Keep up with your high spirit and keep on blogging ! ;-)

myfallingleaves said...

Aw hugs to you guys. Will be praying for you and your family.

Winn (aka Koreen) said...

So sorry. :(

Leslie said...

sister...i am so sad for you. i hate watching the hubs pack up too.

Grammie/Mom said...

The tears are flowing as I read this. I don't think either of you said how long he actually would be gone. My heart is breaking for you and the kids. But you know what, I know how strong you are and that you will get through it just like you said. Love you lots!!!

Mrs. Muffins said...

Aww, that is a big bad thing :(
But you're right. I'm always so thankful for the technology. *HUGS*

MaryMary said...

Ugh--so sorry Colleen. Military wives are amazing...hoping the year passes by so quickly. Looks like you have a lot planned...and not planned yet. :)