This morning I was thinking about my husband's deployment in 2004 and how he left on Valentine's Day. What a messed up day to leave for a year. And then I thought about how my husband will be leaving for a three-month school soon, which starts on Easter.
And then I got to thinking...what is with the Army and holidays?
Specifically Valentine's and Easter.
All of a sudden, they started piling up in my mind. I even pulled out old calendars to make sure I wasn't exaggerating. But no. Last year my husband left for Mid-South on Easter weekend. He also left for SERE school on Valentine's weekend, and though technically he left on the 15th, that was still also President's Day weekend, thereby cheating us out of two holidays and a four-day!
And then I got nostalgic and pulled out that old calendar from 2004. Seven years ago this weekend I was saying the big goodbye for the first time. I love what I wrote in those calendar squares. The first square is what my father said to me on the phone the day before my husband left when I told him a 14-month deployment seemed too massive to comprehend: "It's like eating an elephant; handle it one bite at a time." And in the box on the day my husband left, I drew hearts for Valentine's Day, wrote "DUTY FIRST!" (because he was 1ID at the time and their motto seemed to encapsulate that day fairly well), and then wrote his report time and the time I should get to the gym to see him off. Gosh, how I remember that moment when it hit home, when he gently shook me awake to tell me he was leaving for that 0430 report time and I opened my eyes to find I was eye level with his thigh holster.
Few wives wake on Valentine's Day to find their husbands wearing pistol holsters.
It's funny because I rarely remember the date the deployments end. My husband does; I guess that's a testament to how happy they are to finally get out of there and come home. I can't tell you the days he returned, but I can always tell you when he left.
Usually because it's a holiday!
Your turn to share: What are your cursed holidays? Am I the only one with consistent Valentine's and Easter departures?