The Pre-deployment Diaries: Not Enough Time.

RebeccaUncategorized1 Comment

Time is slipping away.

Somehow, I’m not sure, but we got under the 6 weeks until D-Day.  6 weeks, and it feels like everyone and everything needs a piece of him.

Selfishly, I’m not just screaming for the biggest piece; I want it all.

Suddenly, there’s not enough time.  We wanted to take the kids to Vermont for a weekend of Maple Syrup fun, but when?  We wanted to sneak away for a romantic weekend just the two of us, but there’s no time.  There’s no time to go visit family.  There’s no time for last-minute plans.  There’s only time for what we carved out and set months ago.  Time has become our most precious possession, and I feel like I’m paralyzed by the thought of everything that needs to be done in such little time, and what that leaves us for our family.

I’m in a pre-deployment funk and I need a small victory.

The snow melted up here at Drum this week, and it took with it the security of winter.  We’ve always known Jason would deploy in the Spring, and Spring is melting into our yard, coming at me like that Lion of March.  I need it to stop.  But it won’t.  It never does.  Time speeds through pre-deployment, ripping everything away and then it comes to a stand-still, creeping by while they’re gone.

And it’s getting to me.

Still, he’ll be here for the important things: Pinewood Derby for the boys, Easter, our sneaky get-away surprise with the boys, my birthday, and Brody’s upcoming testing.  Neuro has a gut-feeling that he missed something last year on Brody’s initial MRI, so he wants a round two just to make sure his initial diagnosis is correct.  The earliest they can get Brody in at the Children’s hospital for a sedated brain MRI with contrast?  The day before Jason’s deployment window.  Brody’s birthday?  We just don’t know.  There’s just not enough time.

I find myself unreasonably angry.  Angry that he’s only had 18 months home when so many others are staying longer.  Thankful we had these 18 months.  Stupidly angry at the wives who say, “he has to go again?  That sucks,” when they’ve only been through one deployment.  Angry that there are wives with twenty years of army-life and one deployment when we’re going on number four and a dear friend of mine is embarking on number seven.  Angry that there’s no fair-o-meter in the army that equals out deployments and time spent away.  Angry that I feel like we’re always getting the short end of the stick, even though I know we’re just average.  Angry that the sequester cut Jason’s education benefits when he was 2 1/2 years into his degree, and childcare, and numerous other needed-things, and angrier that not enough people care that deployments could get extended.

But then the anger is tinged with fear.

Jason leaves in less than 6 weeks, and I’m up in the middle of the night, trying to memorize what his breathing sounds like, what his arms feel like around me.  I’m awake at 2 am checking armyaircrews and icasualties to see if they’ve released names for the most recent helicopter crash this week, and I’m selfishly praying that it’s no one we know.  But there’s one thing about Aviation: if you don’t know that pilot or crew-chief, one of your friends does.  We are a small community.  I am scared to death that this time, Jason won’t be so lucky when a bullet hits his fuel tank, when a landmine explodes.  How much luck can one person have?  We were handed these lovely papers yesterday at the pre-deployment briefing that we have to turn in next week. Among the normal questions of where do you live, we have to tell the army who we want around us if they come to our doors and knock.  Who would you want to comfort you until your family can get there?  I’m angry about the necessity of these macabre questions in our life.  Yes, I want my friends.  Yes, we have additional life insurance.  Yes, I know where he’d like to be buried.  Yes, I’m sick of thinking about this.  I don’t want to spend our time thinking about this.

I’m angry that I’m spending what little time we have left in fear and anger.

In other words:  I’m a hot mess, and there’s just not enough time to fix everything.

I know this will pass.  I know it will come and go, and there will be moments that I will need to simply absorb it all.  I know I have a great support network of friends up here, and family who is already scheduled to come and break up the monotony.  Logically, I know it’s fine.  I know the world will not stop for this deployment just like it never has before.  He will leave.  We will pray.  Time will pass.  He will come home.  Logic.

But I’d like to stamp my foot on the ground and say NO.  NOT AGAIN.  I don’t want to do this again.  But I’m not five, so I can’t tantrum when someone takes away my favorite thing in the world.

Until then, there’s not enough time for everything, but I’m going to drink in every moment we have.  We’ll solve our problem by carving out our needs first, and this little family needs its time.

Meanwhile, I’d crush every clock in this house if it helped.

But YES, just as I’m looking over this entry, Aidan comes in and says that he just scored the lead in the 2nd grade musical, and checking the calendar…

Daddy will be here.

Score one for this family.  It was the victory I needed today.


One Comment on “The Pre-deployment Diaries: Not Enough Time.”

  1. Haley

    We are prepping for our first deployment this summer. I'm so glad I found your blog. I plan to follow it faithfully. Thanks so much for sharing your story and experience!!

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