During the days and weeks before a deployment, you try to ensure that you have covered everything that you may need from your loved one prior to them leaving. I know for me it was passwords for different accounts and things that we have together, things that he managed. We call this the G14 classified files. These files are considered the family jewels as it unlocks everything of importance for our family.
We make sure that all the bills are set up on auto pay and he advises those he trust to keep an eye out on his family.
Time is spent with family members that are close and calls are made to those that are afar.
The day comes for him to leave……the room is silent, but you can feel the emotions and thoughts in the air. The prayers are going up twice as fast, for his safety as well as those that are traveling with him for a safe return.
The countdown of their return begins for: 190 days and a wake up.
Then there is radio silence for a few days until he can get to me to let me know that they arrived safe, then I can breathe. Where abouts unknown but he is safe.
Skype calls are few and far between and very precious. Some are interrupted by bombs bursting in the background. Then you see your loved one taking shelter under the table where they were just sitting and eating and talking to you from. The sirens are loud, and the noise is unforgettable. Once the bomb burst has cleared you hear the loud sirens, and everything returns to normal.
It is the time in between those calls that gives your heart pause. Not knowing when and or if they will have signal to call back or if the last call you received was your last.
Now the prayers kick in even harder and faster asking God to please speed up time, so he can come back home safely.
The days turn into weeks and from there it is months. So much has taken place, and the nightly news is awful. So, when you do get a phone call it’s a breath of relief for that moment in time. During those conversations you try to discuss everything of importance but still savor the time for laughing as well, because of the uncertainty of when the next call will be.
Before you know it, it is time to prepare for their arrival back home. For me it’s making sure the house is clean, favorite meals are prepared, and that I have repaired everything that I managed to break while he was gone.
Mentally focusing on the changes of the person that will return. Not sure if he will ever be the same. We as the family, friends, spouses of those who have served time may not ever be the same.
Fast forward to the date of arrival.
Standing at the airport with balloons and signs that state “Welcome Home” but dropping everything when I see his face. He is alive, safe, and back home.