This Year

So, I've been putting off this post for awhile now.  Having to do this post means having to talk about the year ahead of Sweet Girl, Little Man, Sean, and myself; the year that Sean will have to be away.  And talking about it means acknowledging it.  And I've been doing an excellent job of pretending that this year is going to fly by.  But the truth is I feel like it's already been a year and it's only been a week.  This year is going to be a challenge. This year my sanity will be tested, and I'm giving 50/50 odds on keeping it intact at this point.  This year our family grows up a little while being apart.  This is probably not going to be my favorite year ever.

One of the reasons I've been putting this off is because there hasn't been that much extra time around here.  We had some big stuff going on; a very awesome trip to St. Louis, in-laws visiting, Little Man getting baptized (in style, I might add), U of I football, a not-so-necessary adventure for Oreo (dumb dog), and the rest of the not-so-glamorous things that happen before a deployment.  Sweet Girl and Little Man have seen some sights, hung out with some cool peeps, and done some exciting things.  All while leaving chaos and a fair amount of drool in their wake.  There were some great adventures for Sweet Girl and Little Man.

Another reason I haven't written about this yet is because I don't want to come off as "woe is me" sympathy-seeking.  Government sponsored vacations (as I like to call them - Sean doesn't and I don't know WHAT his problem is) are difficult for everyone involved, but I know that we are blessed.  Sean has a stable career which provides for our family.  The two years prior to this, Sean was able to get his master's degree and we had more family time than we knew what to do with.  And deployments are not unexpected.  Not to mention the fact Sean chose this as his career. He volunteered for life in the military, and as much as I would like to suggest I was duped, I volunteered to be his partner in that life.  And this isn't our first deployment, so this year scares me but it was pretty easy to see it coming.

I am scared that this year I will fail my children miserably.  I am scared of the situations that may occur.  I am scared that I will not be able to be the same amount of "fun" Sean is for Sweet Girl and Little Man.  I am scared that physically distant can easily become emotionally distant.  I am scared that Little Man will have more time without his father around than with his father around.  I am scared that I will spend so much time wishing for time to go by faster that I will miss out on making memories for/with my children. I am scared that Sweet Girl will continue to think she hears Daddy every time the dog barks at the door for a year.  I am scared she will stop listening for Daddy every time the dog barks at the door for a year.  I am scared that a family growing up apart could mean a family growing apart.  I am scared of this year.

But I have faith: in Sean, in Sweet Girl and Little Man, in prayer, in miracles, and in our family. We will do what we have to do to make this work.  And what we can not control, I will pray works out for the best.  So many, many people and families have already experienced "this year" and come out the other side.  And this year is worth that for which others have already sacrificed.  I don't often quote politicians, at least not in a serious manner, but something Lyndon Johnson once said in a State of the Union Address (I'm pretty sure) has always stuck with me and I think it applies not only to this great country on Veteran's Day but also to this family just starting out the adventure of "this year."

This, then, is the state of the union: free and restless, growing and full of hope. So it was in the beginning. So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith.

So it may scare me, but I can give a year for that.  And if you get a chance to read this, Sean, Sweet Girl, Little Man, and I want to say we love you and stay safe!  


  1. Geez, you know how to make me cry.
    Love you and yours, and I wish were closer so I could show it instead of just say it.

  2. hey.. stay strong.. one of my friends has a husband that is away and she does something called "a picture a day while her soldier is away" then he keeps up on what is going on in pictures.. here is a link you can take a look.

    Good luck and Gods Speed...

  3. Ok after reading that and sobbing, I'm ready to move down there with you for the year. I love you all so very much and just want peace and joy for you. I know it will be a hard year but we will work hard to support you and help you through it. Can't wait to see you at Thanksgiving. Hugs by the bunch!

  4. Ok, another tearful aunt! The problem is I know that coming down there will not fix everything. Just know that we all love you and Sweet Girl and Little Man and will be pulling for all of you to live through this as well as you can. Come to visit us lots and maybe it won't feel so alone. Love you.

  5. A chaplain at a deployment briefing once told us wives, "No one gest married to then spend long periods of time apart. On the other hand, God created marriage to last for eternity, so if you put your faith in Him, He will see you through anything." Pretty solid advice that I still remember to this day. I would add that everything you are feeling is completely justified. Crappy and heart-wrenching, but justified. And if nothing else, we have unlimited PCS to PCS minutes to fall back on!!

  6. Danielle - thanks, I'll take a look at that. And I sincerely hope the time stamp on your comment is incorrect and you weren't actually up at 4 am. :)

    And Tearful Aunts, Carrie and Amy - you guys are very, very nice to me. :) We hope to see you all alot this year, not to mention make Sprint rethink their PCS to PCS policy.

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