October 25, 2010

Guest Post: A Deeper Kind of Longing

October 25, 2010
I have been looking for someone to guest post for a while now. I thought it would be an interesting way to entertain my readers, get to know another mommy blogger as well as gaining new readers. Through BlogFrog I found Shannon. Shannon is a mom of 4 and a wife of one of our finest service men. I am always humbled by military families and the sacrifice that they make every day! I hope you enjoy her post as much as I have. You can find Shannon's blog by clicking here.
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It’s been 49 days since I have seen my husband. Forty-nine eventful, exhausting, lonely, long days. I miss his sweet face, his up-to-something-smile, the way he reaches out to my hold my hand in the car. I miss seeing him chase my kids around the living room couch like a ridiculously silly monster on the prowl. I miss watching him walk with our baby girl against his shoulder as he peacefully hushes her to sleep. I miss hearing him pray with our children before he tucks them into bed at night. I miss the way he randomly comes up to me as I am putting the dishes away, squeezes me and just smiles. And I know that he is really missing these things, too. I can hear it in his emails, when he asks me to send more pictures when I’ve just emailed a dozen.

This time, he is on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic. He is a US Naval Aircrewman, and as we scurry about with our daily routine of school, housework, child play, and fixing meals, he is flying over miles and miles of ocean, doing his job, as he has done for almost 14 years.

He loves his job. I do, too. We have to. There is no way our family could endure the countless good-byes, the lonely tears, the sense that we are walking through life alone, without feeling very deeply that what he does matters. That what is doing is what he was meant to do.

He’s been to Asia, to Australia, to Europe, to South America, and to Iraq. His missions have ranged from Counter-Drug Ops to SEAL Team Insertion and Extraction; his duties vary from standing by as a search and rescue swimmer to operating and deploying sonar equipment to hunt down ‘the bad guys’. He’s flown in the helicopter next to diplomats and captured terrorists. He’s had some very close calls and he’s also had days were he is bored to tears.

The Navy is not just a job- it is who he is. He is proud to be in the military and serve amongst and alongside fellow sailors. The group he went to Iraq with- those guys will be friends for life. There is not a thing he wouldn’t do for one of them. The experiences they shared……well, I think we as wives don’t even know the half of it.

Likewise, us wives will be connected forever, too. The majority of military families are far away from family, so we become each other’s family. Our kids are also very close, because they know the sadness of life without daddy like no other kids do. I do not think I could make it through the constant deployments if it were not for the other Navy wives I’ve come to love. These women have stood along side me when my husband could not, while I grieved my mom’s death (insert hyperlink: http://nelsonpartyoffive.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-15-girls.html), as I’ve rushed children to the hospital, and as I worried over my yet-to-be-born baby and his health concerns. It hasn’t all been so serious, though. We’ve also taken our kids to the beach at dusk for some moonlight frolicking, laughed over cheese balls as our kiddos tore our homes to shreds, and took the kids on nature walks where we were up to our hips in muck and mud. This lifestyle forces us to bypass small talk and the gradual progress of friendship- these women became my family within weeks of meeting them. We’ve spent weekends and holidays together, us husbandless women with our children running amok. To see us is pretty funny, because between the 3 of us that hang out often, we have a total of 9 children. Basically, when we stepped into a restaurant, most other patrons stepped out J We get each other through, to the end.

And then our husbands return to us- just as my husband is about to do within the next week. The anticipation and excitement is the same on his return from his 10th deployment as it was on his return from his 1st. No matter how many times we do this, we’re beyond giddy every time a homecoming approaches. When our countdown hits single digits, my home reaches near pandemonium. These are the days we live for—the days that our family is no longer divided, but blissfully reunited. We keep our eyes on the prize, on the day we get to see him step off the helicopter and see my children break out in full-on sprint as soon as their daddy steps one foot over the yellow flight line. And the time he flew home a few weeks early via commercial air from Iraq- my kiddos were knocking people down to get to their Daddy.

The day that Jeremiah comes home- that is the day that we live for. I try to fill our days with love and laughter while he is gone, but what really sustains us is knowing that we will be together again soon. These are the days wee envision when the countdown seems unbearable, when I am exhausted from going it alone. When I feel like I cannot do another day without him, I say a little prayer and keep on truckin’.

We are so proud of our guy! He loves what he does. And so do I. I just love it a whole lot more when’s doing it at home J

---Thanks so much to Summer Jo for hosting me! I had fun writing this and am so thankful for the opportunity to share a bit of our life with your friends and readers! Many blessings to you!





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