I've been playing Christmas music, trying to enjoy the holiday but I am finding it hard to keep the holiday joy when inside I feel sad and anxious about him having to leave. I am excited about Christmas but I am trying to avoid thinking about the deployment.
I bought two books for myself that so far I am finding encouragement in reading them.
I need to for now find a different time to read these books though. I like to read at night before going to bed, it has always helped me sleep better. But reading this and having the deployment on my mind before drifting off to sleep doesn't work for me.
I went to the post office last week to ship some pictures from a few last orders I received. While I was there I picked up some flat rate shipping boxes and customs forms so that I will have them on hand at the house when I need them. They take a while to fill out so I plan on filling out a few whenever I can so that I will be able to put a package in the mail every week without the hassle of filling these forms out at the post office and holding up the line there.
Yesterday evening we went to Spencer's school to order JROTC pictures. Jerome met me there because he was just getting finished at the NOSC. There was a few parents in front of us and we were all instructed to just have a seat and wait until our name was called. We met Spencer's teacher, the Colonel, and Jerome talked with him a good while. He told him why Spencer wasn't at school (pulled Achilles tendon), they talked about how Spencer was in class, and then of course they talked a lot about military. After they finished talking and the Colonel went to greet some other parents who had just walked in the room, Jerome turned to me with this look on his face. A look that told me he had something to tell me that couldn't wait.
He said, "You know how I told you Noah is leaving earlier than me?", I shook my head yes and then he finished saying, "well, as it turns out we are both leaving at the same time." If he hadn't had that " haIve something to tell you that you aren't going to like" look on his face I would have thought that maybe Noah was leaving when Jerome was to leave. But instead Jerome will be leaving when Noah does.
I held my breath for a second because I didn't want to draw attention to our conversation. There were other parents and kids in the room and I had to hold my reaction inside. I know he wanted to tell me, but somewhere else would have been better. I looked over at Natalie as he told us and she dropped her chin down in disappointment, Katie crossed her arms across her chest and looked angry.
All of this counting down and getting ready, now we have less time than we had counted on. But, at least we have him for Christmas.
We have all been dealing with this deployment in different ways. Spencer struggles with it. I try to avoid thinking or talking about it. Natalie only seems to be upset when it comes up in conversation. But Katie, she comes home every day after school and watches soldiers returning home videos over and over. It really makes it hard to not think about it when I am standing in the kitchen fixing dinner and Katie is on the computer with the volume turned up watching the returning home videos. So many of them will make you smile and cry at the same time. This is one she watches ever, single, day.
Katie has asked me several times when her Daddy will be coming home and if they will be in school. She told me she wants him to surprise her at school (just like the kids in the videos she watches over and over).
76. sitting at the table together having dinner as a family
77. encouraging words written in a book
78. our kids being quiet while Jerome was on a military conference call
79. Katie's excitement about wanting Jerome to surprise her at school when he returns home
80. watching my family enjoy a new recipe I tried