It's Wednesday night. About six years ago I'd be spending this (and every other night) with my husband, watching TV or sitting out on the deck or patio, just talking about the events of our day. I'd know he would go off to work at the bank the next morning, call me at my office at Lexmark a few times during the day. Maybe we'd meet for lunch. And then later I'd see him walk through the door not long after I did. We'd then spend our Saturday and Sunday together. Enjoying our town or maybe taking a spontaneous weekend trip somewhere fun.
On this Wednesday night, I'm here in another town, alone, while our girls sleep. I'm not sure when Mike will be home. He works all sorts of crazy hours. Never the same. He pretends to have a "schedule," but it's so fluid and changing that I'm not sure it's the right word for it. I haven't heard from him since he left today, but I'm assuming he's flying right now because that's the last I was told.
The doorbell rang a few minutes ago (around 9 p.m.). A loud knock followed. Of course I got nervous because I'm paranoid and would normally not answer the door if I'm home alone. Junah was barking and I was afraid my girls would wake up. I waited for the person to give up and leave. Instead I heard loud knocking again and an attempt to turn the knob. That made me think it was Mike for a second, he must have lost his key... then I heard a faint, "ma'am?" I went completely numb then because I remembered that Mike was scheduled for a night flight and why were these people so persistent?! The thought of two uniformed Marines standing outside my door to deliver the worst of bad news is almost paralyzing. Again, paranoia here. Ends up it was some guy looking for our neighbor who recently moved away.
I'm sitting back down on the couch now. My heart is still racing. I'm always fearful that something is going to happen to Mike in those Harriers, but that's not what this is. The truth tonight is that I'm extra anxious and nervous because we just found out a couple days ago that Mike is deploying in ONE week, and I haven't really let it sink in until now. He'll be gone for seven months, flying off a ship in the Mediterranean. There will be next to no phone calls, mostly emails. No Skype either unless they're in port. Seven months. That is daunting and very scary to me... that he'll be at war and we'll be at home without him. That he'll miss the girls and that they'll cry for him. That I'll cry for him.
I'll be blogging throughout his deployment, but this is why I had to make the blog private. That's why, if you're reading this, I've sent you an invitation to keep up with us if you'd like. Please pray for our family as Mike literally sails way beyond the sand and begins a challenging chapter of our lives. Pray for all those who serve and for their families. You may not know of all the small, everyday sacrifices these individuals make to protect our freedom. Even when they're not deployed, they don't come home every night. Plans have to change constantly. They don't often get to meet their husband or wife for lunch. A spontaneous vacation is usually not a possibility. They miss their kids' birthdays. Holidays. They miss their babies' births and milestones.
Lord, be with Mike and all those who serve! Protect them and bring them home safely. Quickly. Please watch over the families of those who are serving overseas and at home. And I pray for peace for the families of fallen and missing military men and women.
We'll be enjoying Daddy Time whenever possible for the next week. After that we'll watch him fly off while we wave our hands and American flags in support of our Marine. Then I'll be back to post some pictures and give you plenty of updates on his progress and ours as the weeks and months go by.