September, September: A month to remember.

Oh, September...

A lot of things have changed for me this year.

Mostly, it's been mentally and emotionally.

The thing is, last year my husband was on a deployment...and deployment messes people up.

Sure, there are plenty of people who claim they love it, but I'm calling bull-shiiiionky on that. Seriously. Nobody goes through that sort of insanity, coming out on the other side feeling warm and fuzzy, glowing like they sat down and ate a bowl of sunshine for breakfast. I mean, that's what I tell myself anyway. It makes me feel better about the sad, broken and completely pitiful troll that deployment brought out in me.

The beginning of the deployment was the saddest, but certainly not the hardest, for me.

Man, that day was rough. But even as I stood on that shoreline and watched that dismal grey beast make off with my husband, I had no idea just what was in store for me and my little boy. 

I have an immense amount of respect for the men, women and children who have to do this more than once.

I wasn't there when Harold departed on his first deployment, and I'm thankful. Because now that I've been through it once, I'm very sure that I would not have fared well had my husband's path taken us to the pier another time.

(Here's to hoping the Navy leaves us be and our current plan is kept in place!!)

This time last year, I was at the lowest low in the history of all-time lows. We were so close to the end, but far enough away that I wasn't allowed to break yet. And still...I broke. Mentally, just about every single way, I broke. And then I remembered that I couldn't break I took my little boy and my pups outside and I sat down on the patio, right on the ground, and I drank a beer.

 I drank a beer and I told myself to do better.

I wasn't allowed to cry yet. I had to be strong, to put on my big girl pants and push myself be better, if not for me then for my son, for my husband. I told God I was done trying to do it on my own...and He heard me. After a deployment alone, I found support and I found the strength to make it. 

Slowly, lowly, I crawled to the end.

It wasn't graceful, it wasn't elegant. It wasn't tall or grand or proud. The end was nothing like I had imagined it would be. It was the greatest relief I have ever felt, but it was humble. There was chaos all around us as families reunited, bands played as the sailors stepped into the crowds. But for me, in my own little world, it was quiet and it was calm...when I saw my husband again after 8 months away, there was a silence that I will never forget. Neither of us had to say anything, we were just relieved.

Here is the moment we had wished for since that first photo. In fact, this was the day I had waited for since the day Harold came to me and told me he was joining the Navy. 

The final day of our final deployment.

I know that many of our Navy pals could read this and relate to how I felt, but a lot of them could also look at me and say, "Buck up, buttercup!" I mean, they really could. Most of the friends we have made along the way have been through multiple deployments, some back to back. It is truly amazing to me that they are all still standing, still staying strong. I am in awe of these men and women, and their sweet babies. They are a special breed, a certain type of super human that I could only ever stand behind and admire as I crumple up and grow a beard under a bridge somewhere.

I wasn't made for this lifestyle.

Once upon a time, it was September...of last year. This time last year, like I said, was my lowest low. But it still wasn't the hardest part of deployment for me. The hardest part of deployment wasn't actually the deployment itself. It was in the aftermath. For months, I was convinced we had kicked the beast. My prince charming had come to the bridge, reached down and pulled me out of my sad little troll hole and life was back to normal. But the fact is, it wasn't normal. It was far from normal. 

The reality was that our normal would never, ever be the same normal we had once had.
And it took me awhile to figure that out...and then it took a little bit longer for me to accept it.

Until a few months ago, I didn't realize just how much hurting a heart could truly endure in the deep dark alleys of the pretend-super-human world I had thrown myself into. On the inside, I had become someone I didn't even recognize anymore, all while keeping up with the guise that I had healed. But after going through a few major changes, (in friendships and relationships and in the beginning of new life) and after forcing myself to face my problems and accept that I am, after all, not a super human...

...I can now look back on this past year and say that I am truly healed.

I have a restored faith in God and the power of prayer. My marriage is stronger than it has ever been and I have never, ever been more sure that there is a reason for everything that happens in this life.

Looking back, it makes me sad to think of all of the things that had to happen in order for me to get to this point. But it also makes me thankful that with a lot of help, my life has gone from confused, sad and broken to happy, full and beautiful.

Hello, September.

I'm here. I'm ready. Let's go.

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 1, 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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