Catching Up and Clarification

I know that I haven’t posted anything in a while and I apoligize…to all six of my followers. 🙂 Here’s the latest scoop:

My Aunt Squeek passed away almost two weeks ago. She is the one that was diagnosed with cancer about two months ago. She started chemo, had a stroke a few days later, and was unable to recover from everything her body was going through. Although I am glad that she is no longer in pain and I do believe that she is at peace, she is sorely missed by all who knew and loved her.

I started running five weeks ago and am still hitting it hard. The progression is a lot slower than I was expecting, but I am not letting that discourage me. I WILL run a 5K before the end of the year- Thanksgiving Day is my ultimate goal right now. Running empowers me. When I push myself harder than I ever have and don’t give up on myself, I feel like I could conquer the world. I am putting myself first, being nice to myself, and encouraging myself like I would encourage anyone else…and it feels damn good. I am not going to say that I wish I would have done this for myself 10 years ago because there is a reason I didn’t….but I will say that I am glad that I am not waiting another ten years to figure out that this is how it should be. Bottom line: treat yourself like you treat your best friend….with encouragement, love, hope, and forgiveness. Start now. Seriously. Give yourself a compliment. Do it. NOW!!!

There really isn’t much more catching up to do…the past month has been tough, but I made it through. I am looking forward to my vacation to Punta Cana with my wonderful friend Diane. It is going to be a much needed break for both of us. And of course, I am looking forward to December 16th/17th when I will (hopefully) get to see my hubby again. Less than two months! Of course I only get him for a little while and then he leaves again, but that’s ok. I will make the best of what I am given. Which brings me to the hard part of this post…the clarification part. Ah geez…the tears are already starting.

My husband is a proud soldier with the Kansas Army National Guard. He is currently on active duty orders and deployed to Africa. When I married him, I was given the title of Army Wife; a title that I hold near and dear to my heart. In the past two-ish weeks, it has been brought to my attention by a few people that they feel like my husband is a part-time soldier, I am a part-time Army wife, my husband is not in danger because he is not in a ‘real war’, and that this deployment isn’t as hard as someone that is the opposite of all those things. I have done a lot of crying and had a lot of anger towards people for these comments in the past few weeks. Yesterday was the worst and that’s when I realized that I need to clarify a few things for a few people.

My husband is a soldier. Period. There aren’t part time soldiers, full time soldiers, whatever else soldiers. They are all fighting the same battles and hopefully all have the same ultimate goal: To Serve and Protect the United Staes of America and it’s Citizens. My husband is a soldier. A proud soldier. Done. End of discussion.

I am an Army Wife. Period. It’s not a part-time job either. I am the one that keeps the house standing, the cars running, the animals alive, and the bills paid while he is gone. I have to survive deployments, drill weekends every month, and AT every summer. That means my husband is gone every month for 2-4 days and every summer for two weeks. And guess what else? He’s usually gone for our anniversary. Actually, he had to leave AT early the weekend we got married just to be at OUR wedding. If I am lucky, we will get to spend our 3rd anniversary together…sure hope that cake in my freezer is still good then because it will be the first opportunity we have had to share it. What’s not ‘full-time’ about that?

Yes, Tom is in Africa. Yes, I know that you are currently saying to yourself, “At least he’s not in Iraq or Afghanistan.” I know this because that is the most common response that I get when people find out that he is deployed. It pisses me off- but I usually smile and agree for the sake of agreeing and to avoid an arguement. Not anymore.

Are you aware that there currently wars in 15 countries in Africa…most of which Tom is close to and could possibly be deployed to those war zones? There are a lot of natives where Tom is that don’t like American’s being there…much less soldiers. I am not going to get into all the details because there is a reason that Tom doesn’t share those with everyone; he doesn’t want people to worry. But please do not be mistaken- the danger is there. If there was no danger, the US military probably wouldn’t be there.

It hurts me to know that people think this deployment is easy for either of us. Yes. I get to talk to him every couple of days, he sends me flowers, he writes me letters, and I get random emails from him. But do you realize that it has been over eight months since I have stood next to him? And I still have almost two more months before that will happen. It will have been ten months since I have held his hand in mine; ten months since I have felt his hand on the small of my back when we walk through a doorway; ten months since we have embraced in a hug; ten months since he has kissed my forehead and told me ‘Everything’s gonna be alright’ (even when he’s just as scared as me); TEN MONTHS. Ten months of crazy emotions, death, family health scares, wonder, doubt, struggles…..all alone. Yes, I am able to talk to Tom on the phone about ‘life’…but it’s not the same. And if you haven’t ever gone through it, don’t act like you understand what it’s like…because you have no idea. None. And after I see him in December, he leaves again for a few more months and I am left to living alone again. This is the life that we chose and I’m fine with that. Just do not insult me by saying things like ‘At least you get to talk to him’; ‘At least he’s not at war’; ‘At least he’s safe where he is’; or ‘I don’t know how you do it- you must really miss him’. I know the last one is meant as a compliment, but it’s really not. Yes, I miss him…..hellllllooooooo…..the man I love is gone. Duh. And I don’t know how I do it either…I just do. I have to continue my life while he’s gone. I just wake up and decide that I am going to live my life each day. That’s all I can do.

I better stop while I can- I gotta get a quick run in before work- so let me close by saying this: Don’t judge situations that you have never been in…you may never know how deep of a wound you create. And we all know that wounds take a long time to heal.

Make it a great day.