Thursday, January 12, 2012

Holding My Breath.

Packing 01 Blog

You know how you feel when you know something you dread is coming and you hold your breath in hopes that it just might pass you by? These days that is how I feel.

The long wait of his deployment day is getting so close that I just want to close my eyes and pretend this isn't happening.

But eventually reality sets in, I exhale, and know that I have to do this whether I want to or not.

This week has been so busy. We have been loading everything that we can into every single day. Jerome is being the wonderful husband he is and making sure everything is squared away at home before he leaves. Yesterday we spent the day together just getting errands ran. Both vehicles needed an oil change. Jerome needed some things to pack before he leaves. We dropped the truck and van off at Walmart to get oil changes, while we were waiting we picked up a few things he needed.

Good sole inserts for his boots since he will be walking four miles in full gear.

Nice, thick socks to wear among other things.

As we were checking out and getting the keys to the truck the cashier held up the shoe insoles and told Jerome that she had some just like these and they were the best fifty bucks she had ever spent on herself. He laughed and said he hopes they will be good. The deployment came up, soles for his boots is where it started. She asked where he was going and he told her. Then she went on to tell us that her son-in-law is mobilizing and is getting ready to go to XX base (name of the base I won't say yet). Jerome laughed and told her it is a small world and that maybe he will see him there.

Then the cashier shook Jerome's hand, thanked him for his service, then reached her hand out to me. She shook my hand and looked at me and said, "How do you get through it?".

That little question took me by surprise. For a second I think I was holding my breath. I smiled, looked at her and said, "You just learn to cope".

Oh how the shake of a hand, a smile and a polite reply to a simple question sometimes feels like a sting.

Deep inside I knew the answer, you do learn to cope but not without great heartache.

There are days that come and go just like any other normal day.

Then there are days that I don't want to cope. That I don't want to go through this again. Days that I can barely eat because of all the built up nerves. Or the nights I can't sleep and just watch the alarm clock move from hour to hour, trying to make myself fall asleep because 6am and getting our kids ready for school comes really early when you haven't had much sleep. Or times when the thought of him leaving seems unbearable to deal with, it takes my breath away and all I want to do is lay in bed and cry. Then eventually I muster up enough strength inside of to make myself cope, I have is my only choice.

Yesterday evening felt like one of those days.

After we finished checking out we sat quietly in the truck waiting for the van to finish. Jerome knew that I was hurting and pulled me to him and I just cried. He didn't say anything, he knew to just hold me.

He made me smile again and assured me everything was going to be OK and to quit worrying.

Then we came home, I started dinner while he helped Natalie with homework. It felt like it was back to a "normal" day. That was until after dinner. I knew he was in our bedroom going through his stuff, getting his uniform ready for today. But what I didn't know was that he was getting ready to start packing.

I walked into the room and saw the empty trunk sitting there....waiting to be filled with all of his things that he will need for this deployment. The emptiness of the trunk sitting there in front of me just made me stop what I was doing and stand there looking at it. I held my breath because I didn't want to hurt again. I decided to not let it get the better of me and that at that moment I was going to make myself deal with this and so I did. I picked up my camera and started shooting. Not that this is a happy memory that I'll always want to remember, but it is still a memory. A piece of us, a part of our life.

{earlier this week on one of his weekly conference calls with his unit}

Call 01 bnw Blog

Packing 03 Blog

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Packing 06 Blog

I love this picture for what it represents. Jerome is packing, looking at me smiling knowing that this is how I am coping with it at the moment. But still I see in him a man with unwavering strength that is ready to go and do his duty. And behind him is the paper chains that the girls and I made. One for each day that he will be gone (actually a little less is there....we ran out of paper), and every day we will take a chain off to count down the days to his return.

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Everything was going fine. We were talking and laughing, I was taking pictures. He went back to Spencer's room only to return to find Katie upset. She didn't know he was packing for his deployment either. He picked her up, she cried on his shoulder and told him how she didn't want him to go. He wiped her tears explained to her that he had to and that the time would go by fast. He started joking with her to get her to cheer up and told her that this time next year he will be here getting after her to clean her room or do her homework. She laughed and started saying things that he will be saying to her next year. He always has a way of making us all feel better about this deployment. He can make our kids laugh when they just want to cry. He can make me forget that we are facing a deployment and to just enjoy all these little moments we are given right now. I love him for that.

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When you read this Jerome....know that I am so very thankful to have you as my husband. I love how you remain strong in the middle of all this deployment craziness and how that you have always been the strength that helps us exhale when we just want to hold our breath and hope this deployment won't come our way. I love you with all my heart and soul.


  1. I Couldn't read this without tears streaming down my face and still are. I can't express how grateful I am for all of the service men and women who sacrifice so much for our country, for my family. Not only do they sacrifice, but their spouses and children as well. I saw you out at Sam's recently. As I watched from where I stood in line, I was thinking and praying for your family as you prepare for this upcoming sacrifice. I thank you. I think your husband. Your family will be in my prayers.

  2. so touching...I admire how brave you are! my thoughts are with you and your family. thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and your thoughts with us all. :)

  3. Amber, I hope this time passes quickly for you and your family and with each day passes many thoughts and prayers for you all! All of you have a great deal of strength to get through this! Just continue to think of those good times that will be had when he returns! Smiles, laughs,and tears! I know you and your family will continue to be strong! Continue to know you have ALOT of friends and family to help you through this time! We are all here for you! Love and prayers, The Hibner's

  4. You have friends here for you while he is gone... anytime you need us!! Remember that.


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