Sunday, December 28, 2008

I've got the after Christmas deployment rut blues...

I've had a couple of blah days with not much to write about. My girls have colds and coughs and aren't sleeping well. I haven't done much except let them rest, and really enjoy the times when it's quiet, so I can read. Noah is away with his cousins for a few days in Gatlinburg having some fun and I've missed him.

This time in the deployment feels heavy, for a lack of a better word. It's hard right now to keep a smile on my face and say that things are just fine. Because if I'm being honest, I don't feel like things are fine. I know that military spouses are a unique breed and that it takes a lot of sacrifice to keep things together while their spouse is away.

I found this neat poem, and although I have never ironed my husband's uniform more than once, packed a seabag for him, or made a meal for 14 hungry sailors with 30 minutes notice, it says it all.

The Navy Wife

A Navy Wife is no ordinary woman. Operating for months at a time without the companionship or assistance of her husband, she routinely overcomes challenges that would give the average person a nervous breakdown.

Part Doctor, part Teacher and part Handyman, she can lavish loving care on a sick toddler, help a teenager with his Algebra homework, and track down a faulty circuit breaker -- all while holding down a full time job.

With thirty minutes notice, she can serve breakfast, lunch, or dinner to fourteen hungry Sailors, and still somehow balance her family's meager grocery budget.

She can press a set of dress whites to inspection standards, tie a perfect square knot in a military neckerchief, and pack a seabag in the cold hours before dawn.

For months at a time, she must settle for letters instead of kisses, emails in place of hugs, and long-distance phone calls in lieu of her husband's touch. She manages a smile when her Sailor is at sea for the second Anniversary in a row, and accepts the fact that there's a one-in-three chance that he will have to stand Duty on her Birthday. She has learned to stand on a pier and wave goodbye without tears, even when her heart is breaking.

To her children, she is Chauffeur, Umpire, Psychologist, Spiritual Advisor, Financial Consultant, part-time Father, Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, and the Easter Bunny. To her husband, she is Friend, Lover, Partner, Confidant, and Soul-Mate.

She is a patriot. She is the sort of citizen that all of us should be, but so few of us are. She lives with sacrifice, because she believes in the rights and ideals that her husband defends. Although she wears no uniform, she is a part of that defense -- a vital link in the chain of Freedom. Although she wears no medals and will reap no glory on the field of battle, she is a hero in the truest sense of the word. She is a Navy Wife.

Jeff Edwards


Maria Edwards said...

I am so glad you found this poem of some comfort... My husband wrote it as part of his retirement ceremony.

That you are able to keep the kids going and offer them some semblence of normalcy during Dad's deployment is to your credit. Do not short change yourself.

It's also okay to go through a 'missing you' phase when life just doesn't seem right. Be honest about it... Let the kids know where you're at. It is never a good thing to hide your emotions from the kids - we want them to learn how to express their own feeling. they look to us for how that looks.

Please send your husband my grateful appreciation for all he does in service to our nation.

THANK YOU and your children for being strong in his absence. The sacrafices you all make as a family do not go unnoticed. THANK YOU.

Maria Edwards

Jami said...

Meredith, thank you. I am so grateful for the service your husband, all of you really, are giving so that we can be free. I cannot imagine the burden you are carrying. My brother is serving in Iraq too, but he's single. You and your beautiful family will be in my prayers.

Becka said...

Merideth, I agree that you Navy wives are amazing! Even without deployments you go many months without husbands while they are at sea. My hat is off to you. Tell Travis we love him and are praying for both of you. ps. I'm jealous of your new assignment! How fun!