By Jade Stone, military mama
It’s that time of year when the weather is unpredictable at best, busy days become busier and the task of daily chores seem to pile up without explanation! But this year, none of that seems to be nearly as important as my husband finally coming home from a stint of pre-deployment training just before Christmas. He’s only been gone a few months but since I’ve been left with a 4-year-old and a full-time job, a break is long overdue!
Unfortunately there is a little more to this joyous reunion excitement than may meet the eye. It’s accompanied by the anxiety of trying to reconnect with someone you’ve barely spoken to in months. I can remember his first deployment to Iraq. He was gone 18 months with mostly the internet or the occasional scratchy phone call to keep us connected and while that was helpful it’s just not the same as having that person by your side to see his or her smile when happy or the slight wince when hurt or sad.
There are so many subtleties in human behavior that can so easily be lost in the translation of a phone call or webcam call. While you may know most everything that person is doing, you can never tell just how he or she may be feeling, or how his or her experiences are changing him or her until you finally try to reconnect.
Our successful reconnection could not have been possible if our faith in God had been anything less than it is because there were times when it took an act of God to make us look one another in the eye and say the things that we wanted, or even needed to say. We have always been very close but it still took us several months in fact, to finally begin communicating on the same wavelength. It’s hard to believe that two people can change so much in that amount of time. For the past 18 months I had been the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer for our household and got so used to making decisions on my own that I had to learn to keep him filled in a little better. Just as he too, had spent so long without communicating many of his thoughts and feelings or making decisions on his own that it was difficult to return to doing what was once something that came so easily for him in the past!
To those of you who deal with this on a regular basis, whether it is due to traveling for business or military deployment, my heart goes out to you! It takes a truly special couple who can withstand the rigors of being separated for a period of time. Even though I know it can be difficult, I always look forward to his homecoming, no matter what the challenge may be. While we may become slightly different people while we are apart, the journey back together always brings us even closer than before!
Have a safe and happy holiday season and May God bless you!