I started this blog 6 years ago when Chris was deploying to Iraq for the second time. Because he was living at an Iraqi police station the entire deployment, we had very little communication. I remember taking a huge sigh of relief when we would finally get that 5 minute phone call or email after 2 or 3 weeks without hearing anything from him. I knew I could never catch him up on our lives in those brief moments, so I would blog about our everyday so he could hopefully hop online at some point and read what we were up to and see how the kids were growing.
God blessed us with back to back duty stations where Chris rarely had to be gone after our time at Camp Lejeune. For 3 years he was an instructor at EWTGLANT (expeditionary warfare) and then he went to school for a year at Command and Staff. We knew that as soon as we checked into life with an infantry battalion again, his schedule would be crazy and deployment would be soon.
This summer has been tough. So much in and out when you are training to deploy with a MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit). When the weeks leading up to his actual departure came, it was good to have him home for just a bit before the long deployment.
Those two weeks before a deployment are such a strange reality. You are trying to squeeze in all these precious, sweet, perfect memories before they go, but then real life happens. Someone gets sick, or doesn't sleep well, or has a Dr appointment, or gets called into work, or someone is in a bad mood. Life. Reality. And you try so hard to make this bubble of time "perfect" which puts way to much pressure on everyone. My dear friend described it as walking on eggshells as not to make any waves or make the bubble burst.
Being deployment #5, I knew I was tempted to make my perfect bubble of time with planning fun things to do, or making sure the house was in order all the time, or putting all these crazy high expectations on how perfect these weeks would be, etc. I prayed all the time that I could let go of what I thought should happen and that we could all just do life together, whatever it looked like, and be so thankful for whatever kind of moments we were able to share. And boy, when I let go of my silly notions, God complete blessed us. We had some awesome family time. Not doing anything other and hanging out and being our little family of 5.
The day finally came to say our "see you laters". It's best to make it short and sweet for us. Like ripping off a band aid. With this deployment, there will be no such thing as having Facetime or Skype. We will be fortunate to hear from him through email every now and then. And phone calls will be few and far between. So I will continue to document our goings on here at home while he bravely does his job as a United States Marine.
"May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other."