Lately, I have been thinking about military families and the separation that they must endure while their loved one is deployed. That separation is tough, and the reconnection can be even tougher. While I was in seminary, I was away from home three or four days per week. When I finished with school, all of the sudden I was home all the time. Cindy and the boys had adapted to me not being there and I kept on getting in the way of their routines. For example, Cindy had the kids’ weeknight bedtime routines down pat. If I tried to help, I was disrupting the normal routine. Not helping just wasn’t right, either. We had to make adjustments.
Cindy and I had to work at reconnecting even though I had only been gone for part of the week! My separation experience does not even begin to compare to an eighteen month deployment. And, my life was never on the line. Being exposed to the stresses of war affects the very core of who you are. It changes you. That makes reconnection even tougher.
I certainly have a new respect for the sacrifice that our military families make. I know a couple of families who are currently separated by deployment. I have found that it is easier for me to go through tough times just by knowing someone is thinking of me. I am picking up the phone right now and giving them a call.
You are so right on that Dan. Something as simple as a phone call, a reminder that someone cares and they’re not alone means so much when your spouse is deployed. Thank you for making those phone calls and sharing your thoughts.
Thanks, Sharolyn! The phone calls were well received. I will be watching out for actions that I can take, too, to show them I care.
Civilians here in Beaufort are the minority (it’s a huge marine town). Most of our friends and neighbors are military. While you saw things from the side of the deployed husband, I see the other side – the wife running the show at home. I am just amazed at these women. They have a strength that civilian wives don’t have. One friend of mine has 4 children (ages 2-8). Her husband was deployed for 18 months. She would get up early in the morning, run a few miles, walk the dog, feed the kids, HOMESCHOOL the kids (this is just beyond me), take the kids to their extracurricular activities (soccer, dance, etc), cook all meals, clip coupons, mow the grass, and take all the kids to the pool at the end of the day. She is extremely social, always involved in neighborhood activities, and her house is always spotless (still not sure how she accomplishes this with 4 little kids)! But wait, there’s more! #1 in her life: God. If they aren’t at home, they are at church. She uses her outward faith daily in life lessons for the kids. This is something I am horrible at! I always forget to remind my kids of how God works daily in our lives. Yes, we routinely pray before meals and usually make it to church, but that’s just when it’s convenient for us. I asked my friend a couple of times if I could shadow her for a day to see how she does it all. She thought I was joking, but I really want to do it!
I guess if my husband were away for months and months, I would keep busy, too. One thing I love, is we get to be part of the welcome wagon when the husbands make it home. One thing I HATE, is when they get orders and have to move away! We were just recently devastated when our neighbors moved away. It’s almost like a break up, but for the entire family!
We always thank men in uniform for serving. I guess we should start thanking their wives for the sacrifices they make, too.
Yeah, that sounds like one incredible mom! Our military is filled with them! But, yes… the sacrifice the stay at home spouse makes is incredible, and not recognized enough. It takes a lot of effort to keep a marriage going through deployment.
Another thing that’s on my mind and heart is the sacrifice that the children make, too. One family in my church has both mom and dad deployed. The kids are with the grandparents for a year. All I can say to that is, “Wow.”
Two days ago, a neighbor, and former classmate of mine, received word that his son. Cpl Paul Miller, was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. A very grim reminder that many, far too many are having to make the ultimate sacrifice for thier country so that we may stay safe in our homeland. Please keep his family in prayer during this most difficult time and continue to pray for peace.
Thank you Sharolyn, I will keep his family in my prayers.
Peace. That is a wonderful prayer. I hope that Cpl Miller’s sacrifice will be honored with peace and freedom. For our country and for Afghanistan.
And how do I change the little mad face “picture” of me??
Ha ha. I noticed that the picture was not very characteristic of you. 🙂
I changed the system over to random patterns rather than random faces!
You can go to gravatar.com to upload a picture to use whenever you comment on a gravatar enabled blog (most wordpress blogs).
Thank you so much for posting this article…it was very encouraging for me! I am a 25 year old mom to 3 beautiful girls ages 4 years, 2 years, and 4 months :). I am also a military wife and right now my husband is on a 13 month deployment in afghanistan. We are remotely stationed right now 120 miles away from the closest military base and it gets really really hard, but you just do it. During deployments it’s almost as if the minute he steps on that plane I just switch modes and by the grace of God I am able to take care of the kids the house and everything on my own without much trouble because I know I have to and like the example of the wife in the above comment you can’t sluff off even for a moment. I along with many other military wives cling to God’s promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13- that He will not give me any more than I can bear :). Isn’t that an awesome promise?! After the birth of my 4 month old I suffered brain swelling and damage and spinal damage and I ended up actually coding a week after she was born. I had to learn to walk and talk again and have lost some of my fine motor skills in my hands. My husband had to ship out for Afghanistan a few short weeks after this happened but God pulled me through just like He promises to do!!! 🙂 I have been taking care of my 3 girls with no help and you know it’s all good because I know that God will never ever leave me or give me more than I can take. My husband will return in June of 2011 when our now 4 month old is 14 months old. You can’t stop even for a second to pity yourself or think of how bleak a situation looks because if you do all it’s going to do is bring you down you just have to keep on keeping on so to speak! That is really cool that you think of and pray for the military fams in your area- I can tell you that it means so much to them! My husband has been gone nearly 3 months and I havnt gotten one call or a how are you doing from any friends or people in our community, not that I expect them to or even want them to but it’s always nice to know that you are cared about and loved! Thank you for all you do for military families!!! 🙂 God bless
Wow, Dani. Your story is both awesome and tough. I love your perseverance and positive attitude. My prayers, and my thanks are with you.
If you ever do stop, and feel things crashing in around you, feel free to gripe, complain, scream, shout, cry, seek out a shoulder, or whatever you need to do in order to express your feelings. God knows something that we sometimes forget: we are only human. We are not God. We hurt. We struggle. That’s ok. The Bible has many examples of people calling out to God in their hurt and even their anger. That’s ok, too. God is standing with us. The real, human, us.
May God bless you in this year, and speed your husband home safely.
As Memorial Day weekend is here, I am reminded of this post, and the sacrifice that our military is making, along with their families to protect peace. My prayers for you all continue!