I’ve read a few blogs where people have picked one word they want to describe this coming year for them. One word that they want to focus on as they go through 2011. If I had to pick one word, it would be “survive”.
Honestly, I just want to survive 2011 and get it behind us. I know this is going to be the hardest year yet for me as an individual and for us as a family since we could be spending almost 3/4 of the year apart from each other. That’s a lot. Close to 8 out of 12 months. We knew this would happen eventually, but that doesn’t really make it any easier now that the time has arrived. I’m just looking forward to having this all behind us, instead of looming in front of us with me dreading what’s to come.
I think part of the “surviving” comes from other military spouses. I’ve been around the military lifestyle long enough to know that not everyone handles separations the same way. Wives seem to range from being a “hot mess” while they’re husbands are gone to being completely oblivious to the fact that they’re not around, and I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum in the past 6 months alone. Obviously I prefer to be able to cope well when my husband is away because it makes it easier for all of us, but occasionally I fall apart. Not normally in front of anyone though, it’s usually in the privacy of my own home, or my car. I’ve read of few blogs of milspouses who “don’t understand why wives fall apart when their husbands leave” and to them I would like to say: You don’t have to understand it. But try to accept it and not cast judgment on people who don’t handle things exactly as you do because you sure aren’t helping our situation at all.
I’m friends with many of the wives in our squadron on Facebook and it’s interesting to see their status updates as these long separations get closer. Some say exactly what I would like to say, others say nothing. But it brings me comfort knowing that I’m not in this alone and there are lots of great girls around here that’ll help me get through this, and hopefully I can help them too.
I’m trying to have a positive outlook about this upcoming year, REALLY trying, but it’s hard. It’s especially hard since I know that Mark is struggling with this too. I see him gazing at Abbie with that “look” in his eye quite frequently these days, and I have to turn my head before my tears come. I see how he gives her extra hugs and kisses and snuggles and how he’s hesitant to leave her and it tears me up. During my “rough” TDY last year, I was angry for myself. I felt resentful for ME and my situation, but this time around I feel sadness mostly for Mark and for Abbie, knowing how much they’ll miss each other. Of course I’ll miss Mark like crazy too, but at this point I am more concerned for them. I guess that’s part of growing up.
With all that being said though, I know whatever this year brings us, we’ll get through it and we’ll be stronger people in the end. I know there are many people who have it much worse than we do, as far as separations go. Some people deploy for over a year at a time and my heart goes out to them and their families. This year will be a challenge for us, but all things considered, we still realized how blessed we truly are.