Homecoming 2014

Homecoming 2014

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


"We are packing the plane", is what I was told tonight on the other end of the line when I asked my husband what time he thought he might be home for the night. Caught off guard by his answer, I asked it again and he said " Honey we are packing the plane to prepare it for leaving for deployment." "Oh ok" was my response because strangely enough it took me by surprise. Not that them getting Marines ready for a deployment is surprising and that he was leaving it was just the words and the tone that took my attention. It wasn't a rude tone or one to dismiss me. It was a serious voice, one of someone taking a leadership role. It was his Marine voice. One that I only hear on a few occasions. It was one letting me know he is preparing his Marines for leaving and that he too is prepared to go. Being that this is going on our 7th deployment, I have noticed the signs they discuss to us in our pre-deployment briefs occurring over the last few weeks, heck the last couple of months. There is never a good time for goodbyes and there is never a good time for change and when combined with the holiday stresses, it can be very overwhelming. However, given these past few days we have been able to spend time together. We have enjoyed ice skating, dinners out, bowling, and other enjoyable things just trying to soak in all of the little moments we can so that when we are lonely for one another we can pull from that memory bank to help get us through our next few moments. We call them around here "mental snapshots" you know those pictures in your mind that no matter how long they are there they are just as clear as the day they first happened. Military families cling to these and we are no exception. So this past week during these times, I have noticed the great care my man has taken in preparing his family for this transition. I can see it in his body language and the things he is doing around the house, with the kids, with me, heck even with our dog Maverick. Not that he is not normally so intricate in our lives, because he is, it is just this time, he is paying more attention to the small details. Ones that most people put off everyday, but he makes a point to do them. He has got our new electronics in working order and has shown me how to use them, he has made a playlist of favorite music for the girls, he has left me with a list of bill names, passwords, etc. so that the things he normally takes care of can now be turned over to me. We have important paper work filled out saying things about what I should do and others should do incase something does not go as planned. He has soaked in longer hugs and sloppy kisses. He has the cars tuned up and ready to go and of course his favorite motorcycle all greased up and shiny looking. So of course, his reply tonight would be it is time to pack the plane.

Something about those green seabags can send any wife a chill down their spine. I have a friend Amy that once described it in her blog as a love hate relationship we have all come to have with it. It is a love relationship because we know as long as they are in our closets, they are home, but when they are out it is almost time for another departure so we generally begin to dislike them. It is a bag only big enough to fit clothes that are necessary and very few personal items and as I hung up the laundry today in our closet I took notice of my man's side of the closet. I could almost pack his seabag for him by now and just by looking on his side I could pretty much tell anyone what would go and what would stay. I could feel my heart sink a little at the thought of the extra hangers that soon would be there in there places. So packing his bag would be the last intricate part of our pre-deployment cycle and then he would be gone.

So although he will most likely be home very late this evening and working on new year's, I will cherish these last moments we have together and gather as many mental snapshots as I can because although the bags are being packed and some sent off, my man is still here, until the call comes for departure.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Storm

I don't know about you, but we are hustling and bustling around here getting prepared for our holiday season. We have had so many parties and celebrations this month to last us for an entire year, yet we keep pressing on. Yesterday was no different. It was a day of planning a party for our friends and children to enjoy. It was a time that was celebrated by all. The only catch, was a conflict that was followed by a misunderstanding. Leading to feelings being hurt, tears being shed, and anger. For me something that was suppose to be a good time turned into something that made me ashamed of how I handled a situation. I said words I usually never say, I did things I normally do not do and in the end when the conflict and misunderstanding was resolved, I was still feeling very disheartened. And to make things even more unsettling, I had my sweet little one sitting next to me talking to me about her daddy's upcoming deployment and how sad she was that he was leaving. I mean really when I say my heart hurt yesterday it did. I felt like my rage about a conflict between friends, his upcoming deployment and my own personal stresses with the holiday season was coming on like a strong storm and I was on for the ride. I literally felt tossed around as if I was being moved by the currant in the sea. If there was ever time I felt like Satan was breathing down my neck it was yesterday. Instead of crying out for help, I lashed out, instead of praying, I yelled and finally when the storm passed, I was left feeling emotionally and spiritually drained. As I laid in my bed last night, I prayed that God would forgive me and to help me handle these next few months more gracefully than I did that day! For I know there will be more days when storms will arise and I must take refuge, but only with him. I also took a moment to be humbled by my own words that I recently had spoken to my sweet little one. I warned her to be careful of what she says because the Lord warns us so many times about the firey tongue that we all have and that words can be a powerful weapon that can leave so many wounds behind. WOW! Thank you Lord for reminding me to follow through on my own teachings!

So just as all storms, they pass and usually leave the new day filled with abundance of sunshine and this morning was no exception. It always reminds me of the bible story Noah's Ark and how after so many days of floods the Lord began the earth in the new. Clearing away all the bad and leaving just the good. And through those days of rain and stormy nights the Lord was still there and kept his promise to Noah that one day the earth would return to dry land and that there would never be another storm like that again. But through those storms there still was growth as the dove brought back the tree branch to him as proof. It is a refreshing reminder that through all storms in life we face, God helps us grow new branches of faith and strength and if we had not experienced the storm, there would not be any new fruit or branches to bare.