June 26, 2009


My husband and I went on our much-anticipated vacation to "somewhere other than our parents' houses."  We took two whole suitcases and had the time of our life.  My husband did a much better job of relaxing than he did back in January.  The vacation was perfect.

Until the last day.

And all of a sudden, I realized we were on Block Leave.  I realized that the end of this trip signaled the end of block leave, which means July was coming soon, which means my husband is deploying.

My husband is deploying in like two weeks or so.

And I wanted the last day to slow down, to last forever, to never end.

But it did.

Right before the last deployment, I said this:

I love having my husband home. I need to have my husband home if we're ever going to successfully have a baby. But three years on, I miss the deployment feelings. I miss the sense of connectedness, of purpose, of conviction. It probably sounds strange, but I miss the feeling of sacrifice, of knowing that I've given up being with someone I love for the good of our country. Honestly, for me, the deployment feeling hurts, but it's a good hurt, a deep and satisfying pain. And I haven't felt it in three years. I feel ashamed that I've lived too ordinary of a life for three years.

I welcomed that last deployment.  But this time, it just kinda seems too soon for me.  It feels like he just got home.  That coupled with my lack of emotional investment in Afghanistan has made me unprepared for him to leave this time.

I can't believe he's leaving.

The IVF clinic called me while I was at SBL Utah at the end of May.  I haven't called them back.  I've been stalling.  I don't really care right now.  I don't want to think about it.  I know I need to call them back and get the process moving, but I just don't want to.

I'm kinda incredulous about life these days.  I can't believe what's happening to my self, to my family, to my country.  It's like I'm in a bad dream that I can't shake.

I'm being Dante again.

Posted by: Sarah at 09:30 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 while not helpful, I think this makes total sense.

I expected you to say that your realization it was the last day and block leave was ending and the deployment was closing in was turning on your bitch switch.  Because that is something I think I kinda do.  As stupid as that is.

I hope these next few days are good and slow for you guys.  

Posted by: wifeunit at June 26, 2009 10:38 AM (Y8fCw)

2 You know my husband doesn't get deployed or anything else these days but I do have a real quick bitch switch that I wish I didn't have. I've finally learned to control it somewhat unless I have a headache, the cut ants ate my plants, it is too hot, etc., etc. 

Posted by: Ruth H at June 26, 2009 11:21 AM (4eLhB)

3 I'm years from deployments. Way back when, women weren't assigned to ships, so I didn't deploy, but my husband did. My feelings about deployments changed over the years. As brand new Ensigns, who had met during officer training, part of the worry was, will we still connect when we come back together? In the Navy, it was a real concern. Many other couples didn't make it over time. Later, we had the history together of knowing there'd be rough spots, but we got through them. When he was assigned to a carrier, he was gone for up to 7 months. The 6 months before a deployment were much harder than any other time. The ship would be in for a month, out for a month, in for 1 or 2 weeks, out for the same, until the deployment, plus overnight duty every 3 or 4 days. That was hard. I have the most trouble trying to balance the emotions of trying to get the most out of the time we were together, and the distance needed to survive when you are apart. Routines were impossible. This was true before children, then after as well. I'd want to sleep or do trivia or just plain avoid, but I'd want also to LIVE and take in just BEING with my husband while I could, and I couldn't do both, not very well anyway. I admit to being very glad when my husband had his last deployment. Our 2nd child was born on that last deployment. He met his son at age 3 months. We laugh about it now, me presenting him for approval, as if he could be sent back. That baby is now in the Navy with wife and child. The toughest time is always that limbo time with big events looming. In your vacation posts, my thoughts were, wow, this lady knows how to soak up the memories she'll need soon. I found UP to be a great movie, and one line stuck with me. It was made by the little boy Russell about his absent dad. 'It's the boring stuff I miss'. This deployment stuff stinks. I know. And, that carrier did go into harms way, at least by Cold War standards. There was a Syrian crisis and the ship turned around after it had started back home, extending the deployment, tough time for those of us waiting at home. Coffins were carried on board and were used every deployment. Flight decks are dangerous. I don't know how the danger will be for where your husband is going, but I do know that you have something I would have paid thousands for - the miracle of modern communication. Mail took "only" 10 days. There was no internet. We got phone calls in port, and they were at sea up to 4 or 5 months between port calls. I got 2 MARS ham radio calls that I cherish. The ship linked to ham operators, you'd get a collect call, and they'd patch you through to your husband. (No women on board remember). They calls wouldn't last more than 3 minutes and only one way communication, so you had to say 'over' to let the other person know they could speak. My husband was notified by a 2 sentence Red Cross telegram, which was transmitted as a short Navy message to let him know his child birth date and time, and that it was a boy, his size, weight and that he and I were both healthy. You've shown more wisdom to date than I did. I isolated myself more. You've built a social support system. It's tough, but you've made what you need to tough it out as the one who waits while the other deploys.

Posted by: HChambers at June 26, 2009 03:42 PM (YpVpF)

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