SoldierMan has been home almost a week. I don’t have a fireworks-filled post for you because we’ve pretty much been laying low since he got home, minus a trip to the movies (Expendables 2, wait for the DVD) and a Walmart run or two. That’s how we roll. Which is why I have no pictures to share with you. Sorry.
The puppies have been over the moon to have SoldierMan home. Achilles rarely lets SoldierMan get more than a yard away from him. It’s adorable.
NTC wasn’t all that bad. It’s never great when SoldierMan is gone, of course, and I would much rather have him home than anywhere else. But I was reminded that, as usual, the anticipation is worse than the actual execution. At least, that’s how it is with me. I’m pretty sure I was in more agony the month of July, leading up to NTC, than actually during NTC. It’s probably a countdown thing. Countdowns to “goodbyes” are always worse than countdowns to “hellos.”
Think I could teach Achilles to do this?
But we made it. We survived. We more than survived, I think. And that’s my goal. I don’t want to just survive a deployment or even stay in such a grey cloud of busy that it’s one big hazy blur. I’m not knocking anyone else’s style, but even for this last year, the scrapbook is going to be pretty thin. I am ashamed. Though to be fair, SoldierMan has been gone an awful lot of it. And I don’t want 2013 to be an empty scrapbook.
Anyway, I’m off track. The point is, I was able to find ways to enjoy myself while SoldierMan was gone, even if that simply meant a small cup of plain vanilla ice cream and a hot bath at the end of the day. I continued my tradition of handwriting letters to SoldierMan while he was gone. I didn’t mail them, of course, but I think that’s part of how I kept my head. It fools me into feeling like I’m still talking to him, even when I’m not. Also it helps because I have a memory like a sieve and now all the funny puppy stories and random daily news is recorded for us to review whenever we want.
I also know that we had a lot of people praying for us, and even praying for me, which I don’t really think about when he leaves. But I could tell. I really had a very peaceful month, all said and done. Capped off by a very exciting nighttime plane arrival and a dreamy reunion lit by headlights on a grassy field in a light drizzle. I really couldn’t have asked for a better first NTC experience.
And, as much as I know this will kill my mother, it reaffirmed my decision to stay here during the deployment. Not since SoldierMan left for BCT have I really been afraid to be alone. That passed quickly when I woke up the morning after he left and discovered the world was still turning, contrary to my expectations.
And the truth is, I’m not alone here. I really came to know that during NTC. I have my friends and my church and, yes, my puppies. I have plenty of activity to keep me as busy as I want to be, and plenty more I can always add if I want. I have plans to go home for visits and also to travel and visit friends (if they’ll have me ;)) and other goals to accomplish while he’s gone.
Plus, we have a home here. A house with a mortgage, yes, but a life. And honestly, as many ways as I am definitely ready to go back to Oklahoma, I don’t want to go back until it’s for good, with SoldierMan. At least, that’s how I feel this time around. It’s funny, back when all this started I had every intention of moving home during deployments. I couldn’t imagine anything else. Funny ol’ life, isn’t it?
Anyway, this is an object lesson in why I have stopped blogging late at night. My mind runs in all different directions like a pinball machine, and I’m up late enough that I get hungry again. So I’ll just stop here.