We officially survived our first deployment. I knew we would..survive that is. I never thought a deployment would tear us apart, but I envisioned it tearing us down a bit. I'm surprised that we came out of it without a scratch on our relationship. Actually, in many ways, our relationship has improved.
Distance is guaranteed to change a relationship. It's one of those relationship amplifiers, like having a child. If one's relationship is already strong and headed in the right direction, it will only make it stronger. If one's relationship is dangling by a thread, it will just cause that thread to break. We've been together for quite some time and we've literally grown together. We've changed from teenagers into adults, from young single people into a married couple, from just us into a family. Amidst all these changes, we've remained strong. So, the fact that a deployment didn't break us is not surprising. The fact that we're coming out of it even better than before is, however, somewhat surprising. It's a good surprise, though.
I'm so happy to have our family back together. It's the little things that you take for granted. Like rushing through the house to pick up the toys right before he comes home and choosing dinner based on what he might want. This morning we had the opportunity to wake up as a family. The little guy got up and I brought him into the bedroom with us. It warmed my heart to hear him yell out "DAAA" when he saw my husband laying in bed. I can see the joy in his eyes every time Robert walks in the door from work, or even comes back in from the other room. He's just so excited to know that Daddy's still here and that brings us all so much happiness.
I have to admit that I feel rather accomplished. I made it through this deployment without any breakdowns and very few tears. I gained an independence that I had been missing for a long time. Knowing that everything in your own little world depends solely on you is rather stressful at times, but it's empowering all the same. I feel like I've proven myself to everyone, most importantly my husband and I. He knows he doesn't have to worry when he's gone. The bills will be paid, the car will still be running, and his son and I will be healthy and happy when he returns home. I know that I don't have to rely on someone else to make things happen for me, which, I think as a military wife, that's sometimes the feeling we get. Our lives are always in someone else's hands. A lot of times it feels like it's not our life at all--it's his life, and we're just along for the ride. But, it's the trying times that prove that notion wrong. Without us, there would be nothing to fight for..without us, the world at home would fall apart.
I hate that we've only got a few months until we're back on the deployment grind. But after adding this notch to our belt, I can rest assured that we'll all be fine after the next one, and the next one, and the next one.
What matters is that each person look at the positive. Take the opportunity to really miss each other and open your eyes to the things you take for granted when you're with each other every day. Realize that the best combination is two people who can do things for themselves, and therefore have more to offer to each other. And, last but certainly not least, remember that distance never lasts forever. In the grand scheme of things, 6 months or a year is nothing when you compare it to a lifetime together.