The Missing

It’s almost three months into this deployment and another huge wave of missing hit tonight.

Probably my fault for reading a book (The Art of Racing in the Rain) that is stirring up my already over-active emotions. Just started reading tonight and am already half-way through.. I just can’t seem to put it down.

But our house feels empty, and not even the kicks and butt-bumps of our baby boy pushing into my ribcage are helping me feel less alone tonight. I need a hug, and I need it to be from my hubby. I’m tired of being sick and the missing is sinking in fast.

 

But I’m doing the best I can.

Like Talking to a Wall

One of my main baby groups is for Stennis mommies that will be pregnant during this deployment. The main theme connecting us all is that our husbands left eight weeks ago, and won’t be back until May or so.. Most of us will have our babies alone, with the few stragglers at the end hoping their husbands make it back in time for the birth of their child. The most difficult fact being, we don’t exactly know when they will be back..

Last night one of the members outed herself to fact that her husband never left. Several of us were shocked. Why join a group to support the “single mommy status” a deployment forces us into, when you’ve got your husband sleeping next to you every night… when he will be able to drive you to the hospital when you’re in labor… when he’ll be there when your child is born??? I wouldn’t care so much, except every other day she’s posting non-stop about her labor fears of “doing it alone” and starting drama on the board by saying that she’s too afraid to breastfeed so will be formula feeding and “who said breast is best anyway because that’s just not true.”

So I private messaged her and asked her to back off the page a bit, because the reason it was created was because we are doing this alone, and she clearly is not in the same situation. And she replied back to me stating that I was just jealous. Oh no, she didn’t. A girl mooching attention and support and rides from women who literally have to be strong enough to go through this alone. Writing posts complaining about her husband in a way that makes it sound like he’s on the other side of the world, with our husbands!! But he’s not, he’s here. It didn’t phase her at all, didn’t occur to her to have a little disclosure about her husband’s un-deployed status instead of using people. She didn’t get it. It was like talking to a wall.

I would say that I might be the only one to find her posting and participation a bit insensitive, but I know I’m not, because I was on Facebook messaging several other members of the group last night. I am all for supporting other women through pregnancy, because more often than not it is not like they show in the movies… but pretending all along that your husband is gone and posting about how you’re not sure who will be with you when your child is born so that you “blend in” is just cruel. Brings out the ugly side of the internet and I really don’t want anything to do with that this morning.

Fool Me Once

I hate rumors.

This August through April deployment started out as a rumor. Then we were all lied to, and told that the ship wouldn’t leave until December of this year. They finally decided to tell the truth, in the middle of the ocean off the Coast of San Diego, while the men and women were away from their families. It was six weeks from when they would deploy and they would be away another two weeks at that point. I decided to never again trust a single thing they said.

My grandmother always told me, as many wise people do :: Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice, shame on me.

They lie more often than we know, keeping up with rules of OPSEC (operational security for non-military readers out there) ┬áthat say we can’t announce when our husbands leave, and we can’t post when they are coming home until it’s made “official” (read: released by the media).

It made me angry today to see another rumor pop up on the wives page. “June?…” Because Heaven knows we haven’t been through enough the past year, because it makes perfect sense to extend an already eight month long deployment……… So I called my mom, a thirty year navy wife veteran, and asked her what she thought – knowing very well that my fathers retirement had severed many of the “ties” he had with people who knew more than a group of anxious wives.

She told me to prepare for the worst. To prepare for a year away, because that’s the worst they could do to us, because she had heard a rumor of a year long deployment. And because if I was ready for that, I could face any length of time away. I pray to God that doesn’t happen. I will pray every day for the safe and timely return of the men and women on that ship, whose lives are controlled by someone 99% of them have never spoken with. I will pray, because that’s all I can do.

I hate rumors. They stir up drama. They cause fear, anxiety, panic. And half of the time, when they regard the ship’s schedule, the rumors are nothing but the truth released before an official announcement is made.

And when they make the official announcement of their return, either in April, June or August of next year, I will be ready.

Here today, but gone..

We are all struggling. The Stennis wives, fiances and girlfriends. Maybe even other family members.

They’re leaving again. Here today, gone… some time soon, very soon. It’s easy to point out the stages of grief while scanning the various support groups for the women of the ship. Most are in denial. A few are angry and even less than those have no idea what is about to hit them.

Eight months is a long time. Half way parties are being planned for December, but I’ll be having a different sort of celebration. Welcoming a son to the world with the help of my mom, while his daddy is half a world away, literally. I’m not nervous about that, but the fear idea of holding “down the fort” up until that point has started to sink in. It started when my husband began the final project he would complete here this year; fixing up our laundry room by stacking the washer and dryer. Seems like such a simple thing, but when you realize after that all projects fall on you, it’s overwhelming.

What if something breaks? What if something goes wrong? I don’t even want to think about it now. I know what’s coming on the grand scheme of things but no one can prepare you for the day to day ins and outs of deployed life as the one left at home.

Next week when the ship pulls out for the final time this year a different sort of story will begin. Another one to tell our baby boy before he falls asleep, once he is no longer kicking my bladder, that is.