Knowing something is coming is not the same as knowing it is here. There is a small group of you who follow my blog and if you will think back a bit you will remember me writing about my son’s impending deployment. Actually quite a bit back. Between changes in training, changes in leadership and other aggravating change,s we have been anticipating his leaving for well over a year now-in fact I believe it is going on two! You would think that after such a long time it would be a relief just to get it over with; but, there is a big difference between knowing it is coming and knowing it is here.
I can remember the breathless feeling I had when I heard the words “I’ve been deployed”. I remember taking a big inhale and calmly saying something about an adventure or that it will be great to put your training to good use-all drivel and nothing more than a thin veil. What was really going on was a sudden onslaught of memories clashing with treacherous possibilities that could, ultimately, cost me my child. Obviously, I am not going to dance around the reality. Well, here we are a long way down the road and I am back to where I was when I first heard those words.
Somewhere along the way I quit telling folks my son was being deployed-mostly because of the responses I got in return. “I hear they are pulling troops out”. Yup, but what you don’t hear is that they are still sending them but thank you for pointing that out. “He’ll be just fine”. Thank you, but you can’t guarantee that so don’t placate me with this reassurance. “I am so sorry”. At least this is honest-but still not helpful. These are a few of the reason’s I have quit talking, blogging and sharing about the situation. Yes, I am being harsh but it is kind of where I am at and it helps me cope.
As you may have discerned, I am back to talking about it mostly since I have crossed over into a reality I had hoped would never really come. In fact, I had a dream within the last week that the deployment had been cancelled-that is how hard I am rebelling against this in my heart. As reality, and the Army, would have it we have now crossed over into the knowing and I sure wish I could say it was easier because we had a long time to prepare for it.
I have seen different sides of this-I have been the wife left behind and am now a mother letting go of a child. I would have to say that this is the harder road. I will not diminish the experience of any spouse-my son is leaving behind an amazing young woman and it is painful for her-and for those around her who see her pain. I can remember some of that and I will do my best to support her through this process. As a mom, to protect a child is basic instinct and to take that ability away makes for a difficult go of it.
A couple of things I can always count on are A) my ability to self protect through sarcasm and B) that God is going to get my attention and remind me that he’s got this one. I of ten forget the B category-I mean, A comes so naturally to me. Once again he has tapped me on the shoulder and told me to unpack my big-girl panties because I am going to need them. He reminded me that I have a right to my feelings-they are, after all, something He has given me-but that He has this one for me. So, when I can’t seem to carry this one-like now-He can. I am so grateful.
OK, so, before the screen gets too blurry, I am going to share a prayer with you. It comes from the book of Common Prayer, A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals. It ends each days morning meditation and it is a prayer I have shared with my son:
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you:
Where ever he may send you:
May HE guide you through the wilderness:
Protect you through the storm;
May he bring you home rejoicing:
At the wonders he has shown you;
May he bring you home rejoicing:
Once again to our doors.
Peace-in both the abstract and concrete form-to each of you, especially for all the other families who come into the knowing along with us.