I always forget that at the beginning of a deployment you get that very first "I forgot that this sucks" moment.
Let me give you an example. During my husband's last deployment, I went to the commissary and did my two week grocery shopping for the first time, .
Now, we are a family of six so that is a two hour, several bag(like 40) trip, involving our youngest child. This time my husband wasn't there to help bring groceries in, put them away or manage the little one while I did either of those things.
Which is a small thing. But it caused that moment of: Oh, I remember this from the last deployment. Doing this all by myself? Right, bring on the suckage!
When I think about an upcoming deployment, I think about missing him, the kids missing him, late nights and lonely beds, care packages and trying to rearrange your schedule so that one person can do it all.
However, it is the day to day stuff that you find out, remember, or didn't realize how much you relied on him to (fill in blank).
So for me, that day, it was help with groceries. And as the days of deployment go, that fill-in-th-blank space will be filled with some other chore or task that I will be mentally whining about (but still accomplishing.)
Want to know the weird part? Although being away from him is extremely demanding, it makes me love him more.
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! Are you crazy?
I just know that I appreciate him more during deployment. I am never mad he is gone because that is his job. And I get that.
He never chooses to leave us. He never complains that he has to go. We both pull up our big kid undies a little higher and begin trying to make the best of it.
So during the deployment I am trying to write things down so that I remember to say thank you to him for always doing for us and helping me. I want him to know I missed him today and everyday he is gone.
I am trying to reassure him that yes, I can do it alone. I can totally handle this. I won’t fall apart and life goes on almost normally even though he isn’t here. I have done this before and I probably will again.
Just because our lives go on just fine doesn’t mean we don’t feel that hole, that vacancy, his absence creates. Although I can completely do this alone… I REALLY don’t want to.
It is a fine line that we wives walk ensuring that our spouses feel safe and secure knowing we can handle everything and be completely solid without them. We don’t need any added stress on them in an environment where we want them completely focused on coming home safe and not worrying about home.
While still ensuring they know that they are not superfluous. That they are needed and it just isn’t the same without them without making them feel guilty that they are leaving. I am always trying to find the right balance between the two.
Deann Gurley is an Air Force wife currently living with her four kids and giant van full of groceries in Delaware.