Christmas Coundown

For those of you that are sending gifts overseas to your soldier, you will need to start shipping so that your soldier will receive them on time.  My target is to have it at the post office by Saturday December, 4th – allowing about 20 days to get there.

Although I’m not looking forward to spending the holidays away from my soldier, I can’t change it – so why not make the best of it?  I’m planning on taking lots of pictures this year.  Pictures of the family, decorations, gifts, and food.  I will probably add it to my scrap book collection and post it online so that way it he won’t miss out on the festivities from home.  He will be lucky enough to escape the holiday drama  😀  LOL!

If you have any ideas to make the holiday more special for your soldier serving overseas please leave a comment. I love suggestions too!



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Back to the grind

I stood there, at the entrance of the airport, with tears rolling down my cheeks, soaked by the rain, and I could feel the heaviness of my chest as I breathed in and out.  I watched my love walk to the escalator until he was out of sight and headed to his airplane gate.

There is a bitter-sweetness to R&R.  It all starts with the build up to the beginning of R&R.  It’s all about the date that you will live and breathe waiting for your soldier to get home.  Then it’s the time you will cherish together.  The time that you want to keep rewinding so it doesn’t ever end… but like everything, there is an end.

This time it felt like I was walking the Green Mile.  Not because I felt like it was over, but just that heavy sadness in knowing that the good times are coming to an end.  Today’s goodbye felt wrong.  Like this isn’t supposed to happen again.  The thought of having to gather up my strength to get through more months of deployment is tiring, and I’m ready to move forward with my soldier – together.

Back to reality.  A few more months.  I WILL gather up my strength.  I WILL be Army girlfriend strong.  Most importantly, we WILL make it through these last few months.

I will say, that even though I had to go through the emotions of him leaving again, I have memories of the past 10 days that my kids and I will cherish forever.  You learn to live within your means, and for us, that is only a small amount of time over several months of deployment.  It’s easy to bitch and complain about it, and through all that bitching and complaining, there is a strong, loyal person underneath who is willing to do whatever it takes to make it work.  Determination.  We are both determined.

We will slowly get back to the same mundane routine that we were forced to endure for the past 5 months.  This stretch wont be as long.  This is the final stretch.  Godspeed to you, my love.  I will see you again soon, and it will be better tenfold.

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The unknown of when my soldier will be coming home had kept me sleeping lightly last night.  Three times the quiet phone notifications taunted me with no hope of my soldier coming home as expected.  Then my alarm woke me one more time at 0400 and I quickly reached for my phone, thinking please don’t let him be online, please let there be a message saying that he left… Nope.  The one and only time I did not want to see him online was this morning.  In hopes that he had left his FOB to the first stop, slowly faded.  I message him with the first thing I can think of, “uh oh.”  He assured me that he wasn’t going to give up on a plane coming today.  His confidence kept me feeling hopeful.

I hadn’t heard his voice in a few days so I took the opportunity to call him as I drove to work at 0500.  He sounded great, optimistic.  As we talked about our plans and possible alternative plans, a knock at his door interrupted our conversation.

“Yep, come in!” He shouted.  The door of his CHU squeaked and then there was an unfamiliar voice to me.  I tried to listen but I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying.  I was just thinking in my head, I hope this is it… I hope he’s got a flight.  My soldier, clearly done talking with whoever it was, had no change in his voice.  Nope.  We continued on with our conversation.  The knock and squeak interruptions happened at least three more times as I made my way to work.

0600 and still no word on a plane.  I told him I had just made it to work and that I had to go.  We exchanged our usual lovers ritual before we hung up and I sat at my desk, a little less hopeful at that point.

The day dragged along, and by the time 0800 rolled around, I got the grueling truth.  It wasn’t going to happen… well at least not as planned.  A break was needed, for the both of us.  Thousands and thousands of miles between us, but we both shared the same feeling at the same moment in time.  Disappointment.

I walked away from my desk to get some air.  The thoughts passed through my mind, knowing that he will come home, but still that heaviness that a few extra days just seemed so far away.  It didn’t make sense.  Our strength carried on for months as we have been  separated by deployment, how can a few more days feel so strenuous?  So disappointing?  So sad?

I spent the second part of my day picking up the pieces of what I had left to do.  Rearranged my vacation, rearranged the kids home study, and then figured out what I could do with the days in between to keep me occupied.  Still as I did all this, the other thought haunted me.  What if he doesn’t make it back for plan B?  I know I can’t live in the ‘what-if’s’.  It will drag me down.  There will never be a perfect answer. And the thought of just letting go and just let things happen without trying to figure out the details, actually stresses me out.  Geeze, what is wrong with me?

It’s come down to another day of waiting and hoping.  Part of me just doesn’t want to have hope since it’s been nothing but a let down.  I’m exhausted from the anxiety.  I’ve allowed myself to get ‘pumped’ for R&R, and then been let down by more uncertainty.  The lack of care from the platoon has literally crushed my soldier’s morale.  He needs good news, and he needs it fast.  I hope that tomorrow brings smiles to both of us, and room to breathe.

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