Monday, January 02, 2006
what's it REALLY like
As an ARMY wife, I get to meet some incredible people. Sally Myers is one of those people. You ever meet someone and you think, "Damn, I wanna be like her!" That's what I thought when I met Sally. She and I met online before her move to PCS move to Alaska. She's a dynamo, a real trooper. She's HOOAH in every way.....
I asked her to be my first "guest blogger". Not because I am lazy (I am) but because I want those of you reading to get a glimpse of what it's like in her shoes. So much of her story, and countless others, you won't see on CNN. Some things you just can't know until you've lived them. She's no whiner, I'll tell ya that! She's tough and tender, all at once. It shows through in what's she's written. When you read how strong she is, you'll see why I wanna be like her....
Her husband, Pete, (a lucky guy!) is serving our country in Iraq and here's what Sally has to say: (THANKS SALLY!)
My husband of 13 years is now deployed to Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. I am also the Mother of 4 children. My oldest is 20 and married to a wonderful young man who is also deployed. My other children are 12 and 9 year old sons, and our last addition, is our 3 year old daughter.
How do I feel about my husband being a Soldier, and him being deployed, what is my life like as a military wife????
I wake in the morning and don’t smell his coffee perking, nor do I see that empty packet of Sweet-n-low nor the ½ empty coffee cup on the counter. I instead go to my new best friend (the computer) in hopes to find an email from my husband. Amazing what even a 3 sentence email can do for someone. Honestly it has made a difference of how my dad starts. I wake the children and get them ready for school. None of my children are morning people, which makes our mornings difficult. Let me add, we also live in Alaska, which adds to morning hassle of finding gloves, hats, snow pants, boots and on and on. Now that all kids are fixed and ready to battle the cold morning, I drop them off at school and the little one off at daycare.
I then go to Red Cross to volunteer, as this helps to pass along the empty day. I find staying busy and helping others gives me a good feeling in my soul, and also fills the empty day. The time comes to pick up children from school and daycare….we trudge in the house. No husband, no Daddy to tell the days events to.
Basketball season is over, so we don’t have that rush to get changed into uniforms or get to practice; what we do have is 6 hours to fill till bedtime. Again, keeping busy soothes the soul. We do homework, and each child gets to email daddy. We make dinner and that empty chair is always there, making us aware yet one more time today that the person we all love and adore is gone. We finally make it to bed time. A time to rest and take in the silence the house has to offer. This is the part of the day I used to love, yet now dread.
The kids are all asleep. I’ve read my books, I’ve attempted to start crafting projects, I’ve rented movies, called friends, emailed, you name it……Nothing fills the emptiness. There are nights when I miss my husband so bad my heart literally aches. I’ve been through a 6 month deployment and it didn’t bother me as much as this one. I like to think my husband and I have always had a beautiful and strong marriage…yet till this deployment my true feelings haven’t emerged. I look at pictures of him in every room of the house, and wonder what he is doing. I walk by the coffee pot which hardly ever gets used, laughing to myself about how many times I’ve asked him to please try some fruit juice instead of so much coffee.
I go upstairs to bed, its 2:30 a.m. I have to get some sleep. I’ve always had insomnia, but the deployment has made it worse. I go into the bathroom and there sits his shaving crème warmer, his after shave (which I’ve smelled all the fragrance out of), and once again I’m hit with that emptiness. I pull myself into the big empty bed, look at his picture one more time before going to sleep.
The days are long, and the nights are even longer when the one you care and love more than life itself is gone. I’ve never felt such an emptiness in my heart or home as I do when my husband isn’t here. The things that drove me crazy about him ie: the ½ empty coffee cup, the dirty socks, the lights left on, the tv blaring at 4:30 with CNN….I can’t wait to be burdened with again.
I cherish every memory, every word of his phone calls, every email he has sent. I know as an Army Wife I must stay strong for our children, to be there when they have their “daddy meltdowns”, to be strong for the fellow Army Wives in our Family Support Group. The old saying, Never let’m see ya sweat……how true, how very true. When this deployment is over, I will be a stronger person, our marriage will have made it through the hardest curve ball God could have thrown us, our children will have their hero back and all will be well again.
Till then, I will take more deep breaths to get me through the day, then I did going through labor, I will stop more tears from my eyes than I care to count, I will be the rock of strength my children need, and be there for all the wives in our unit that need someone to lean on.
And in the end, I will be rewarded when I can put my arms around MY support person, the love of my life, the angel sent from above, my best friend…..SFC Myers.
(God Bless Sally, her beautiful family, and her hero, her husband. HOOAH!)