Where to begin? February was a month of extreme highs and lows. Towards the end of January and the beginning of February, I finally “pulled up my big girl panties” and got over the impending deployment. It was coming, and there was nothing I could do to change it! It was going to happen, so it was time to go ahead with my life.
Once that FINALLY made sense to me, and seeped it’s way into my thick noggin, I was o.k. That’s really all I needed, was to come to terms with it! I remember it hit me out of nowhere. It was like a light bulb going off over my (thick) head! I was cooking dinner, and being all “Woe is me, my husband is leaving.. waaah.” And, all of sudden, I was like “GET OVER IT! Make the best of it! Quit yer bitchin’ and enjoy the time you have left!”
So, that’s what I did.
We spent a lot of our weekends in February going on dates for lunch, out for dinner, and celebrating our very first Valentine’s Day together!
My attitude changed, basically overnight. Instead of being sad that he was supposed to leave only a few short weeks later, I was thankful that he was able to be there while he could! I also realized that whether he knew it or not, MY attitude had so much to do with not only how I felt, but also how he seemed to feel. It also set the tone for how everyone around me would take the deployment too. I didn’t want to make him any sadder about having to leave me behind! There was no reason in the world to worry him anymore about anything at home, so that’s what I set out to do, keep things together, no matter what.
That attitude adjustment, that I gave myself that night in February, literally shaped my entire year for the better. I could pull this off.
The end of February rolled around, and it was time to experience my first “see you later” as we call them in the military. (It’s never a good-bye!)
We talked about it, and decided not to let too many people know when he was leaving, for not only OPSEC (safety guidelines of what you’re allowed to say online and to other people before, during and after a deployment) but also so we could keep the experience of him leaving somewhat controlled and calm.
The night he left, we both just put down our phones, computers, and anything else distracting and just focused on spending our last little bit of time together! It would be the last time for MONTHS that he would get to sit there on that couch, in our living room with me, so we savored every last moment!
It was nasty outside and raining and sleeting pretty heavily the night he left. (how appropriate!)
I knew almost NOTHING about how sending them off goes. I didn’t know how they left, what to do, where to be, I was brand spanking new to all of this craziness.
When he left it all happened really fast, but it’s something I’ll never forget. When they called his name, and we walked over to the bus, I realized I had NO CLUE what I was going to say. I hadn’t even thought of it, with everything crazy going on! But, true to form, he knew just what to say to make the situation a little better. I kissed him one “last” time, and then yanked him back to give him one more. I remember holding onto his hand until the very. last. second. that I could, until we had to let go. I looked down and saw our hands break apart. That was the last time I would see him in person or touch him for 8 months.
Somehow, I didn’t cry when he left, even though I wanted to. It started raining again, after they put them all on the bus. As I was waiting, I saw a little girl (probably no more than 4 years old) saying “Goodbye” to her Daddy. Her mom had to basically pull her off of her Dad, and in between sobs I heard her crying that she didn’t want her Daddy to leave. As her mom walked away with the little girl crying over her shoulder, the little girl stopped, looked at me and waved! I smiled back, and waved, and in that moment, I was like, “I can do this. If she can do it, I can.” It’s funny how little moments can change your attitude.
That night I also got a good laugh out of the fact that my husband was assigned to ride in the ONLY UK blue bus out of the 8-10 busses that were there!
Of course he would be in that one.
February was really a month about growing up and learning what it meant to “pull up my big girl panties and deal with it”. I still feel pretty awesome that I handled all of that by myself. I didn’t have any friends or family there with me when I watched the busses pull away for the first time with my husband. I didn’t have anyone to walk with when I went back to my car alone, or anyone to ride with me all the way home in the middle of the night. I sent him off, drove home, spent the first night by myself in our new home, in a new state, and did it all without breaking down and crying. It would have been perfectly acceptable to break down and cry of course, but I chose not to. It’s an accomplishment and an experience I am proud of. J
February was one of those months, where during it, you think
“WHAT THE HELL DID I DO TO ANYONE?”
because things just aren’t going necessarily the way you planned. I had to give up all my control, send my husband to war, and start to learn to handle things on my own in a new place! But, now, looking back, it was a month that held experiences that really shaped our marriage, shaped my outlook on life, and made me grow the hell up.
It was rough, but I’m thankful we went through it!