Monday, March 23, 2009

The Life I Didn't Want

Pin It This is not a post about Troy. The last few posts have been though, and you can scroll down for an update from today.

This is a post about me.

When I first met Jim, he was in the army. Problem. I did not want to be an army wife. Think badly of me for that if you will. It's just that my life's plan did not include being a single mom for months at a time, nor did it include moving around a whole lot.

Jim was on his way out of the army right about then, so I put my "I don't want to be an army wife" whining behind me and assumed it was a non-issue.

And it was, until last summer, when he pops up one day and says he would like to rejoin the national guard.

Again, I assumed this was a non-issue.

Guess that wasn't exactly the case. He rejoined last fall. Ironically - that's what he was doing while we packed and loaded up for Hurricane Ike. (In case you're wondering how this is ironic, read further.)

You been there, done that people know this, but it was news to me. What you're told by the Army may or may not be how things actually happen. Like if you're told you won't be deployed for at least a year, all bets are off once you've signed.

Jim thinks "definitely deployed" is a phrase that he mentioned to me before signing up. I don't know if he mentioned this silently or if I just wasn't listening, but I seriously have no memory of this. Since that date, I've been holding on to "possibly deployed", and really holding on to "most likely NOT deployed." About a month or so, the "definitely deployed" has become a reality, and that "not for a year" has come to mean "whenever the heck we decide we'd like for you to go, no matter what we told you."

(sorry, I really AM trying to keep my sarcastic fingers from excessive commenting here ... although it probably doesn't sound like it when I read over what I wrote.)

So, fast forward from September to February. We get a call saying that they'd like him to deploy to Afghanistan in April. Like two months from the date of the call April. Um, no, we have a "get out of deployment free" card until at least September! Well, maybe not so much. They DID decide that he didn't have to go in April, or at least that's what we were told.

(As an aside here ... Jim LOVES the army. Absolutely loves it. It's hard to begrudge him this because he really loves it that much. I'm managing to do it anyway though.)

So since the call in February, the deployment issue has been hanging over us. My one prayer has been that we could make it through another hurricane season without him being gone. I've done too many hurricane evacs on my own and decided I was done with that. My decision was that next time he would evacuate with us and take the dog in his truck, even if he had to turn around and come right back (which he would.) In case you're wondering, yes I do pretty much plan my life around hurricane evacuations.

So today Jim comes home and says "I got the call." He's leaving in June to go to Afghanistan. This is the same thing as the April deployment, he's just going to miss out on the two months of training that everyone else is doing. (Is it just me, or wouldn't you think he'd need that?) The original deployment was twelve months - two in training and ten actually in Afghanistan. Since he's going to miss the training, his deployment will only be ten months. (ONLY?!?)

So here I am, in the midst of the life I didn't want. I don't want to be a single parent, even for ten months. Neither did I want to be an army wife. Allow me to stamp my feet for just a moment, this was NOT MY PLAN. I do not LIKE this plan. I like going to the gym and being able to go to bed early and having someone else put the kids in bed. I like having a break without having to lock the bathroom door and watch the kids slide notes under it. I do not like this, not one little bit.

Today, though, I'm calm. Maybe I've been expecting this, maybe I'm exhausted, maybe there are just too many other thoughts rolling around in my head. Who knows. I don't know what Jim expected when he told me, but I'm betting he's puzzled at my reaction, because I didn't have one.

So there's the other thing that's going on in my life right now. A lot of you have known this was coming, well, it's here now. I'm certain the Lord will give me the grace to handle it, and in the areas where I can't handle it, I'm certain He will give me the friends to carry me through it.

**disclaimer -- this is not to say that I don't reserve the right to have a total fit about this at a later date. I'm just not feeling very "fitty" today.


Jessica said...

I'm so sorry. I can't imagine having to deal with something like this. I will by praying that God will give you peace about the situation, and courage to handle life while Jim is away.

Heather said...

I'm so sorry, Melanie. I wish I had words to ease the pain of the situation with your brother or with Jim leaving...but I don't. But I know the mighty Counselor does...and I am lifting you up to HIM today, and will pray without ceasing......

Mom2Mcube said...

I'm sorry you are having to go through this. You will make it through this. You will learn things about yourself and your inner strength that you never knew. I will be praying for you.
Love ya!

Sarah said...

Mel I feel the SAME way. I COULD.NOT.DO.IT. I have SO much respect for those families that make the sacrifice yours is making. We definitely need to get together later in the summer, we're not too far away. :hugs: