Saturday, August 20, 2011

Deployment Letter

I have a friend who is not yet through her first week of her first deployment.
Being the rough and tumble deployment veteran that I am, I wrote her a letter of support.

Dear Friend,
It's hard seeing you struggle with the conflicted emotions you're going through right now. Part of you is so proud of your husband and happy he is fulfilling his life's dream. The other part of you misses him so bad it hurts.
It's a pain that no one can lessen, because the only thing that can ease it is him, and he's on the other side of the world.
I feel your pain, but I really have nothing to offer you besides a few words of sympathy and encouragement.
I know the sadness that creeps over you when you see that pile of dry cleaning that he kept asking you to take but you never did.
I know the feeling of disappointment when you accomplish something that only HE could appreciate but he's not there to celebrate with you.
I understand not wanting to get dressed or make an effort to look pretty because no one else's opinion matters to you.

I get it. I've been there. You are not as alone as you feel.

When people are catty or hurtful the barbs will stick much longer because your #1 moral supporter isn't there to lift you back up.
When the phone rings you will be disappointed every time it's not him. I won't be offended if you don't sound ecstatic to hear my voice, because I know it's not the one you really want to hear.
Keep tissues by the TV and in the car. You will see and hear commercials or songs that have nothing to do with him but suddenly become meaningful without him there.
You will miss that man-smell from his truck and gear that you once couldn't stand.
You will have moments when you entertain those dark "what if" thoughts and they will terrify you and put you in a state of panic.
Don't worry, you will become masterful at driving them away.

As bad as it gets, it will also get better.
You will become totally self-sufficient.
You will become stronger and smarter than you thought you were.
You will accomplish more than you thought possible.
You will find comfort in God, even when you don't ask for it, because he doesn't like to see you hurt.

And at the end of it, when you feel like you can't do it much longer...
There he'll be, like he was never gone.