The one word that comes to mind with this deployment, compared to our first deployment when Abe was in Iraq, is “different”.
When Abe was in Iraq, it essentially felt as though we were simply in a long distance relationship. Abe and I had been married for two and a half years at that time. I was working full-time in the banking industry, going to school part-time and had a home to keep clean. Other than those things, I had zero responsibility. I could come and go as I pleased. Abe and I would chat for long periods of time without interruption or concern. Of course, I was concerned with Abe’s safety while he was away and I certainly allowed myself to wallow in a deep pit of self pity quite often.
Something that was not on my mind was how that first deployment affected the lives of others outside of mine and Abe’s happy couple bubble. I did not have to worry about the tender heart of a precious two-year-old little boy. I did not have to think about how to talk about daddy, attempting to make him very much a part of our day-to-day lives even while he’s gone, without causing Grady to become upset about not being able to see him. This little boy was not the center of my world during that first deployment. These days, my heart is walking around outside my body wearing a popsicle-stained t-shirt and size 6.5 toddler shoes.
During this deployment, my concern isn’t necessarily over the next time I will get to see or speak with Abe, though I do so enjoy connecting with him via text, phone call, Skype, etc. My concern is over this little boy who is missing his daddy all day, every day. While I am so proud of Abe for his service, it hurts me that his service takes him away from our little boy. I know Abe is feeling the same way and while it’s comforting, it makes all of this that much more difficult.
After just four days, I am already longing for these 10-or-so months to pass quickly so that my boys can be reunited. Time has a way of moving so quickly through the happy times and not-so-quickly when things are a little more difficult. I’m positive as we settle into a routine, things will speed up a little. Until the day our Abram is home, though, the heart of my little boy will not be whole and mine and Abe’s will be a little bit broken.