Saturday, October 11, 2008

the night before

We've had a wonderful day today. We didn't do anything special, we just stayed together and played and worked and ran errands ALL ... DAY ... LONG. The boys played so well this morning while Will tried to finish some projects, then we all went out to run errands together. Then we came home, ate fast food and watched part of a movie together until bedtime. It was so nice just to spend all that time together. Ben napped in the car so he was fine and the boys did so well waiting and sitting at all the places we wanted to go. We've been so busy lately, I feel like I'm in a whirlwind and still barely keeping up with things. I'm hoping things will settle down soon and I can get the cluttered, messy, newly renovated house in order and finally clean. It's been a disaster area which has added to the mess in my brain. :) When I'm in a messy place, I don't think as straight or as clearly. I can't wait until my Mom gets here at the end of November to really help. She's an organizer extraordinaire with energy and drive to spare (and I wonder where Charley gets it ... she's also a lefty just like Charley, the only two on either side of the family). :)

Anyway, I thought today would be more rough than it has been, but we've enjoyed each other so much, and been so busy, that there just hasn't been time or reason to. So last thoughts before tomorrow are ... thankful that our neighbors are helping out with the kids so I can give Will a calm, proper goodbye tomorrow and not have to worry about them seeing me cry or running off somewhere (into the water) ... happy that other friends will be there to see him off too b/c I'll feel so surrounded by support and love ... tired because we have been up so late ... sorry that Will has been working so hard up until the last minute ... hopeful that we both can rest after tomorrow and start fresh on a new schedule (and that we don't get sick, again) ... and glad that the goodbyes will be over soon, and there will be only hellos to look forward to. :)

Thank you for your prayers tomorrow; we will really need them.

Friday, October 10, 2008

a day of dread, a day of hope

For the last few months, there's been a day I've been dreading ... October 12, deployment day. Every time I even thought about this impending day, I teared up and had to control myself to not bawl. Of course, sometimes (when it was appropriate) I would let myself just feel and experience the feelings of fear and grief and loneliness that I was experiencing. Lately, I've felt as this day is drawing near, the more I've focused on it, and the more I've also thought that maybe I was focusing on it too much. So during these last days, I've tried to pray for others and their struggles more. I've fallen asleep praying and thinking about them instead of crying for myself or dreading the future. On my short list right now ... my grandparents who are going through a life change with the arrival of a live-in caretaker while my grandfather recovers from a stroke, and my grandmother recovers from a dislocated shoulder ... a single Mom with two toddlers trying to be the best parent she can be to them while dealing with her own life issues (job changes, relationships, hope for the future, recovering from the past), a local friend with a newborn, learning how to balance two children and dealing with her father's struggle with cancer ... another local very pregnant friend on strict bedrest trying to make sure she doesn't go into labor too early, as well as dealing with how helpless she is as she longs to return to her normal tasks as a wife and mother.

I can still cry at the drop of a hat if I allow myself to think about this Sunday, but the odd thing is that once we get past this one day, I will immediately leave behind a day that I've been dreading and instead gain a day that I will look forward too for the next 7 months, Homecoming! It's odd that the same day I dread, will also be the beginning of the hoping phase of this journey. Yes, I'll still have difficult days with the boys and the pregnancy, but those days will happen randomly and without my prior knowledge rather than be pre-appointed days that I dread. More importantly, now I'll have a definite day to look forward too, as well as days in between when I've asked relatives to visit and help out.

Once I get past Sunday, I think I'll have a lot more days to look forward to, than not and SO... for that, I am ready for Will to leave and just get on with his deployment, and for us to get on with our lives. I'm ready to NOT dread a day and not cry when I think about it, not that there won't be other days of tears and frustration, but now, at the very least, I'll have a definite day to hope for, and more for that matter because I'll have the birth of my baby to look forward to as well. :) (although that's surrounded with mixed emotions because Will is most likely going to miss it and I can only hope that I have relatives in town when it happens because I'll be on my own). This only begins a long list of things that I am going to HAVE to learn to trust to the perfect planning and providence of God. It won't do me any good to fear or dread them, so I hope He can teach me to let Him take care of me, which might be difficult because I'm a planner. :)

With that in mind, I am so happy for the blessings He has already sent my way and for the providence He's given me, as I mentioned in my last post.

First, Will and I made a wonderful discovery upon our return to our Norfolk home in Ingleside ... new neighbors, great neighbors. They're a young, newlywed, Navy couple, without children, who love children, our children and who have offered to help me in any way they can. On top of that, the wife is an EMT and in training to be a nurse! (I've already asked her to drive me to the hospital if my family is not in town). :)

Second, I have a wonderful group of friends that I returned to at our church and in the area, here in Hampton Roads, including new friends who just moved here who have already been such a great help to us. It just so happens that our children were born within days of each other, we're both pregnant with our third (only a month apart) and I have the same birthday as the wife. I feel like we've been living parallel lives. :) Anyway, the husband has come over several days and nights to help Will fix up our home for me before he leaves, he's actually here right now. :) They have also offered help in any way I need it. I also have other wonderful friends who have watched the boys, or taken one to pre-school or picked them up so I could get to a doctors appointment or sign my will. :)

Third, I have found a wonderful girl to babysit for me a couple of times a week. She lives close and she loves kids and she's very good with mine. I'm so excited! On top of that, I have planned a schedule for family to visit every month or for me to go visit family. In fact, Will's Aunt is driving down from D.C. to help me fly to TX for Christmas with both our families and that is such a huge blessing!

Apart from the physical help of dealing with the boys and our lives day to day, I have a wealth of people praying for us and although I may place more emphasis on someone willing to watch my kids for a few hours, I know that the prayer is what will truly make the difference for us. So, I thank you ALL in advance for the prayers you send our way because they will be the prayers that sustain me when I'm mentally and emotionally overwhelmed ... they will be the prayers that find someone to help me when I need help ... and they will be the prayers that protect me, my children and my husband while we cannot be together.

I hope this beginning of a long list of blessings will be a brighter note during this interesting time for us and bless you as you remember that EVERY good gift comes from God.

Monday, October 06, 2008


I wanted to blog tonight, for once, in a month, or almost 2, but I'm just too tired. I just don't have time to do justice to the wealth of emotions, thoughts, blah, that is running through my head right now - just 7 short days before Will deploys for 7 long months. I feel like I am on a new planet from anything I've experienced emotionally in a loooong time. Ok, maybe just 4 years, since his last deployment, but now I have 2 kids and another on the way. Oh yeah, I forgot to blog about that, surprise blog world- I'm 11 weeks pregnant!! :) due April 22, just a few weeks before Will returns. These parts of my life fill thoughts and words and posts beyond what I'm capable of enscribing here tonight, but I know that I will, and need to for my sanity, soon.

For those of you wondering what I need or what you can do (hopefully there are some of you) :)
- please pray for us whenever we come to mind
- please randomly call me to say hi for no reason at all, other than human contact. I hate being alone and I rarely get phone calls, probably b/c most of my friends are busy Moms whom I already run in to at church or on Facebook, but for those of you who have the time, or can make a moment to spare (even if I just saw you at church), I know I'd appreciate it. (ps. you don't have to ask how I'm doing, just talk about anything) :)
- please forgive my mood swings ... any sarcasm, defensiveness, ungratefulness, self-deprication, denial, avoidence, fakeness (the one I hate the most), are all likely to represent during the next 7 trying months of my life, so I ask for your grace ahead of time while I vent to blogland.
- if I manage to blog during this crazy, busy time, I would appreciate any comments, encouraging or critical (can you tell I crave human interaction?) :)
- come visit me! :) or get together, especially on the weekends (which will turn into just another work day for me)

Meanwhile, I will be praying constantly that Divine interaction would fill me until I thirst no more. While I'm extremely emotional about this, I'm also extremely hopeful and full of faith that God can make this time sweeter than I could have dreamed. I know He doesn't promise that I won't struggle or reach my hypothetical limit, but I believe that when I do, He will be there to help me in ways that only He can. I pray also that I SEE these ways and don't miss them and become bitter at God for letting me hurt so much. I hope that I can have perspective about how blessed I am, all the while allowing myself to deal with things that are still difficult for me now.

I have already seen His hand moving and preparing a way for me. I know there is more He hasn't even revealed yet and I am anxiously looking forward to sharing that here and experiencing it with my boys and my friends.

Lord, please see us through.