WOAHHHH We’re halfway there! Sorry, I had to.
Ya’ll, it has been crazy over here. This month has brought a lot of good, but a little bit of bad as well. Colder weather in New England is basically my worst nightmare come to life. It usually leaves me saying, “Why do we live here, again?” And sure enough, last weekend I finally broke down and turned the heat on for the first time since April to find out that our furnace was having some issues. Things tend to break when you need them most, and Murphy’s Law states that it has to happen during deployment, of course.
But a couple thousand (yes, thousand) dollars later and we’re back in business! I’ve really tried not to dwell on these things, because what’s done is done. Moving on to the good parts of month 6!
I kicked off the month by running a 5K with one of my best friends, and celebrating my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. The party was hosted at the Nonantum Resort which is located right on the ocean, and it was absolutely beautiful. It was hard not having Kyle there to celebrate with us, but with the holidays coming, it’s just something I need to adjust to.
The following weekend I started my favorite fall activities with some apple picking with another military wife whose husband is deployed with Kyle. We laughed, vented, and talked about all the plans we have for when they come home. She’s become one of my close friends over the last few months, and we’ve already been through so much together. She’s my sounding board when I feel crazy, and I know our friendship will outlast the next few seasons in life.
I finished up the month with my first ruck march as part of the Ruck for our Fallen, an organization that strives to act as a living memorial for military, police, firefighters, and EMS. I was in a team of 4, and we were all first-timers, so it was a great experience. At the end of the ruck 10K ruck, we were required to do an obstacle course and finish up with pullups, pushups, and sit-ups. Needless to say, I’m still sore.
The following day, I got to go horseback riding for the first time in 10+ years, and I LOVED it. My husband is not a fan of horses, but I used to ride when I was younger. My friend and I did a sunset ride since we both have our wedding anniversaries this month, and figured that if we can’t share it with our husbands, we may as well share it together!
Although this month has been packed for me, some things were changing for Kyle as well. He used to have a 12-hour night shift, which was perfect because we were awake at the same time. But to commemorate the halfway mark, he’s now on a 12-hour day shift. When I’m waking up, he’s almost done with his workday. And when I go to sleep, he’s been at work for a couple hours. But the day shift makes him feel better both mentally and physically, and he’s able to have some normalcy to this whole ordeal.
A lot of people have asked if the new transition has made it harder to talk, but honestly, we just use our time more wisely. The quality of our phone calls and texts and what we choose to talk about has changed, so we haven’t noticed it so much. And at this point, we just have to roll with the punches.
Mentally, I’ve been feeling stronger than I used to. And not just a stubborn kind of strong, but a true strength. I’ve never been particularly religious, and Kyle and I don’t come from families that practice any specific religion. But when my husband left to fight a war 7,000 miles away, I prayed for the first time in years. At first, it was because I was desperate for something to make any of this feel “ok”. I needed to believe that there was something or someone out there that was bigger than all of us, and it would protect him. I would pray for his safety most of all, but I would also pray that I could do all of this.
I think in the beginning, I prayed for selfish reasons. When you feel like you’re losing your mind, you start praying for the dishwasher not to break, or the snow not to come this year. I prayed for things to be easy, and that’s just one prayer that will never come true. And then one of Kyle’s units lost someone. And I thought of that family; their hurt, their tears, their hearts breaking. I stood outside of our home that night just staring up at the sky, thinking to myself, “Someone will wake up tomorrow without their son. Their brother. Their friend.”
So, I decided to stop praying for smooth sailing. Instead, I prayed that no matter what comes our way, we would have the strength to endure, together and apart. Before, I was always asking for things to be “easier” and I always felt so cheated when those prayers went unanswered. I couldn’t understand why I was being tested. But the truth is, I don’t need things to be easier, I just needed to know that when they aren’t, we are capable. I stopped praying for things to happen or not happen, and instead prayed that we would be ok no matter the outcome. I’m not saying it’s the answer for everyone, because we all find solace in our own way. But the moment I let myself see the bigger picture, I found the relief I needed.
That being said..
If you’re reading this and you’ll be waving your own goodbye in the next few days, weeks, or months, I feel for you. We’re halfway there, but it really wasn’t that long ago that I was standing on a tarmac wishing it wasn’t all happening so fast. Wishing that it didn’t feel like I got the wind knocked out of me. Wishing my heart didn’t feel so empty and so full all at once.
If you’re reading this and, like me, you’ve reached this triumphant halfway point, I hope you know how absolutely badass you are. You are a force to be reckoned with and I hope you know exactly what you’re capable of.
And lastly, if you’re reading this and you’re watching their plane land, or you’re waiting for the bus to pull up… well, you’re one of the lucky ones. After all this time, I don’t think that fact is lost on you; I think you know just how lucky you are. I hope you take these perfect moments in time, and you never forget them.
For now, I’m on to the next month and the next adventure. Stay tuned for more updates!
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