Friday, December 19, 2008

A Holiday Without My Sailor

It's almost Christmas, can you believe it? In a matter of days I leave town to visit my sisters for a week, A WHOLE WEEK! I adore my sisters, we have a blast when we're together, and although they are younger they teach me something new every time I visit. I look up to them, they make me strive to be better, and everyone needs a good kick in the pants sometimes. No matter how much I love and cherish them, there's no way they can fill the gap in my heart that will be bleeding on Christmas day. You know those MySpace icons on people's pages that say, "Part of my heart is in Iraq"? Cheesy as it is, that's exactly how it is. Yes, I'm with my family, yes they'll keep me busy when I need to be busy and let me relax when I need to relax, they'll stuff my face full of Christmas cookies, force me to watch old Christmas movies, and drag me out shopping on Christmas Eve (poor me, hehehe, in all reality I love all those things!). The fact is, Ryan's not here, he's floating in the ocean somewhere, he holds a part of my heart and I will miss him even more on Christmas day.

I remember that during our last deployment, he was gone during Christmas. I went home to see my family. After breakfast was eaten, presents were exchanged and dad started watching Gunsmoke, I went to what used to be my bedroom (now it's more of a crap holding area, which is fancy for storage facility), sat on the cot and cried. One of my sisters came in the room, didn't say a word, she just climbed into the bed with me and held me. Next thing I knew my other sister appeared in the doorway, climbed into the bed and held both of us, all of us were crying. It's tough being away from the most important person to you during the holidays, but it makes it just a little easier when you're with the 2nd most important people in your life. For me it's my sisters, for others it may be friends, or grandparents. To the people attached to the same command as my husband, hang in there and proudly fly your colors. I'll see you guys when I get back, and we can ring in the New Year the Navy wife way!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Coming and Going

Part of being military is the coming and going. The coming and going of your significant other, yourself coming and going and friends coming and going. I believe that there are two types of friends in life. The friends that are temporary and the friends that are permanent. I think that some people you meet in life are meant to be there for that time, for that moment, for whatever reason. I have friends that I have moved away from or they have moved and you just loose touch, it's not either parties fault, it just happens. You're not real upset about it, it's something that settles as being ok in your mind. Those are the people that are temporary, you needed them or they needed you for that moment. Then there's the friends that are permanent. Those are the friends that you stay in touch with no matter what, you move, they move, it doesn't matter, you're still just as close emotionally as you were before geography got in the way. My best friend Lisa, moved to Indiana when she and her husband left the military. We obviously don't see each other every day, but we stay in touch and we visit when we can. I know without a shadow of a doubt Lisa is a permanent friend. Another one of my closest friends, Marina, is a permanent friend. She and her husband left today to fulfill their orders in Spain. Spain. Not Indiana, not California, not even Hawaii, but Spain. I have her pets, I've been designated the job of making sure they board and are shipped to Spain in a week. I received a phone call from her right before she boarded the plane, saying goodbye and making sure last minute pet issues were put to bed. She sounded nervous and excited and tired all at the same time. One of my best friends is moving to Spain.

There's 4 of us that are pretty tight, we're all military wives and we realize that we won't all be in VA together forever, Marina's moving to Spain, Ryan's getting out, who knows where we'll go, Alison and Tiffany will get orders or leave the military in a few years. We plan on meeting up every few years for a girls trip, our first girl trip will be in Spain to see Marina. As military spouses you know that this day will come, but there's no way to prepare. You think to yourself, we'll email, we'll call, we'll visit when it's feasible time and money wise, but it's just not the same. I can't call Marina up and say, "Hey let's go to the dog park", or call Lisa up and say, "Hey I got this great new recipe let's test it out tomorrow." And as military you know that the next friend you make could also move, or you could be the one to move next time. My sister really said it the best. It was right after Lisa left and I was pretty sad about it. I'll never forget it, Jackie said, "You know, if anyone would know how to live life to the fullest, it's you military people. Your husbands could get orders or be sent somewhere at a moment's notice for months at a time, you're friends husbands are in the same boat, you never know where you or they might end up or when. The only choice you have is to either become bitter or do the best you can and enjoy as much as you can while it lasts." That pretty much says it all right there. This entry is dedicated to Marina who is probably passed out on a plane right now. If there is anything she has taught me, it's that as messed up as crap may be right now, somehow everything always works out in the end, so chill the heck out and enjoy the ride.

Where's a damn tissue when you need one?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Love Affair

Nothing quite tops a night alone. The dogs are boarded for their trial run before I leave them for a week at Christmas, the cats are hiding in the closet unaware that the dogs are away. It's just me, good movies, a blanket and a can of Reddi Whip. Yes, I'm one of the goofballs that sprays the whip cream directly into my mouth while sprawled out on the couch watching How Harry Met Sally. It's how I roll. I'm watching the part where "Sally" is mimicking an orgasm at the restaurant. I look around the room at my Christmas tree that's upside down (different story, I might get to the later), the pictures of Ryan and I around the room, the dogs toys strewn about the floor, and the can of Reddi Whip in my hands. I think out loud, "You know it's bad when all day, you look forward to making out with a can of Reddi Whip." Ryan you need to come home, this is just sad.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lack of Affection

Have you ever been so in need of affection that you've asked someone for a hug? Now, I am not an affectionate person by any stretch, perhaps if I have too much too drink...but that's another story. I like my space, keep your distance. Ryan's been gone about 3 months and yes...I miss affection. I have 3 close friends here in VA, none of us except for 1 are affectionate people. Marina held me in my kitchen while I sobbed so hard I could barely breath while Orion was in the animal hospital, and I think I hugged Tiffany when she told me she was pregnant, and then there's Alison. Alison is the affectionate member of our group, she doesn't really need a reason to give out hugs, I think she just really likes to snuggle. I'm pretty sure that if I went to Marina, Tiffany or Alison and told them I needed a hug all three would be more than happy to oblige. Maybe it's because growing up my family was most definitely NOT affectionate, perhaps it's my issues with space, I have no idea. We're all Navy wives, all our spouses are gone the same amount of time, we're all lonely as hell, but who wants to be the weirdo that says, "Could one of you like...hug me...for a second? Please?"

During our last deployment, Lisa, my best friend, came to my house on a Saturday afternoon to hang out, she walked through the door and said, "Ok don't freak out, but could you just hug me?" I looked at her and said, "YES, I need one too!" We hugged for a moment, pushed each other away and proceeded to the kitchen to cook lunch, never to speak of such heinous acts again. I did hug Lisa when she moved away and then again when she came to visit, I practically tackled her at the baggage claim. Other than those isolated incidents and a couple other occurrences where liquor was involved, I am not one that is labeled as being "lovey dovey".

You go 6 months or more alone in a bed at night, no kisses, no cuddling, no hugs, your spouse is wherever the heck they are, they can't tell you where they are, they probably have no idea where they are themselves. You could go 6 months without ANY human affection, none. Any people wonder why we're cranky. HELLO!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Numb-Is That Normal?

Ryan got word that the waiver he sent in will not get approved for the time he originally asked for, it will only be approved for him to extend for 3 months, long enough to wait until the next test comes around. By that time the ship will no longer be in a tax free zone and the bonus will be significantly less than we had originally thought. Extending that 3 months will buy us more time in getting the house ready and for finding jobs. Ryan feels confident that he will be able to find a job without extending. At this point, I think it's pretty evident that we will more than likely be leaving the military in the spring, it's not for sure, I'm leaving that decision to Ryan. I know he'll make the best decision for us. I think I have mentally prepared to leave the military and move on as civilians. I am clearing the house of needless things, stashing money for the house remodeling, and polishing my resume in preparation for entering the job market (what little is left of the market anyways). I've turned things over in my mind so many times, it's like I'm numb to any emotion of leaving the military. I'm concerned about job hunting for both of us, but the transition from military to civilian, I have no emotion toward. I've searched myself, am I angry, am I scared, sad, happy, relieved? I'm none of those things, I have no emotion towards this transition. I have no idea if this is normal, I've never done this before. It's so odd, I feel like I'm not even in touch with my feelings on this. Like I should have some sort of emotion, but I don't, so maybe there's something wrong. Maybe it will hit me later? I'm an accountant, maybe I'm over analyzing this.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Poor Me Syndrome At It's Best

I was talking to a girl at work, who is also a Navy wife. She was saying that she feels it's unfair that her husband has to be gone so much. I looked at her and asked her if he was military when they married? She answered yes. She went on to say that no other ship is gone as much as her spouses and there's just no reason why he should have to be gone that much. I asked her how often he's home. From the way she explained it, it sounded like her husband is doing work-ups, and his ship is attached to the surge carrier. (The surge carrier is basically the ship that picks up the slack from all the other ships. If a ship breaks down and can't go out to sea the surge carrier goes in it's place.) I proceeded to ask her how long he has been in, she answered 13 years. After further conversation, I looked at her and said, "Ok, I just want to make sure that I'm understanding correctly." She nodded her head and I continued. "He's been in for 13 years, you've been married 6 years. You've lived overseas for 4 years, you've only done 1 full deployment and this is only the 2nd time you've been through work-ups, because you've been on shore duty the majority of those 6 years." She said yes, that was correct. I looked over at Cyndi (who was once a military wife and is now smirking). I looked back over at this girl, and say, "OK, you need to turn back around and scoot yourself back in your cube. I am most definitely NOT the one you want to be complaining to, about your husbands schedule." She laughed and said, "No one's husband is out more than mine!" I looked at her, "I've been with Ryan for 7 years, married for 4.5, and he's been gone 4 of those 7 years, total sea time. His ship was the surge carrier for the first 3 years of our relationship. We have never been overseas, and we have never had a shore billet, and this is our 3rd deployment." Her jaw dropped and she said "Oh, maybe I should stop. I guess I just didn't think about how others have it in the military." I looked back at her and say, "I honestly don't think we have it that bad, I think our schedule is pretty normal. It sounds like you've had it pretty good, but luck runs out sweet cheeks, and you have to pull your time too." She looked down and said, "Yeah, he is gone a lot, but I guess in comparison to others we don't have it so bad. It's just so hard when he's gone." I know...oh do I know...