Friday, November 16, 2012

nearly done

not sure if that title best describes me or ken's deployment?

let's say both.

this man is on his way back to us and i'm a mess of emotions.

he left us october 30, 2011 when morgan was 13 days old and kennedy was 18 1/2 mos. a lot happened in 13 months. i've had many people tell me they could never do it and admire my strength and i made it look "easy." (they might have been drunk.)

that's only because i haven't let you see the ugly parts.

the girl who prides herself on being authentic, hasn't spent a lot of time talking about how difficult this deployment has been. i adopted the "fake it till you make it" philosophy and gave myself A LOT of grace on what "getting by" and "survival" looked like. this organic-lovin' mom once fed her children a mac & cheese dinner 4 out of 7 nights. want to judge that? there's a plane headed to afghanistan tomorrow. :p

a lot of times i felt like i was failing, but prayers of friends and family and days on my knees before Jesus have brought me to this point...

5 days and we get all the hugs and kisses from ken/daddy we want ! ! ! ! ! !

i can't wait to see the look on the girls' faces when he gets off that plane next wednesday night and they see him. it will be similar to july when he walked down the airport corridor for a 2-week stay.

only this time we won't have to say goodbye again.

a few weeks ago i had to go to the back of my closet and get ken's gold oak leaf off of one of his uniforms for kennedy's halloween costume.

i came across his choker dress white uniform complete with medals and ribbons and i broke down crying.
all military families are required to update their will when a spouse deploys. ken and i specified our burial wishes in it so there would be no questions from our families.
a couple nights before ken deployed i made him do something really difficult. after we talked about what uniform it would be, i made Ken get it ready for me so if i was faced with the impossible task of giving him back to Jesus, i wouldn't have to worry about the darn uniform and which ribbon went where. it was as awful as it sounds.
many times this deployment i was in that closet on my face and knees crying out and begging God that i would never have to touch that uniform. i'd sit there staring at it and read psalms 91 aloud. i talked to God about all my fears and told him the many reasons why i couldn't survive being a single parent.
i'd take my fears to that closet staring at the possibility of the impossible in those choker whites, and God would give me assurance of protection and peace as i left that tiny space.

i've been asked many times how i managed this deployment. even commended on what a strong person i am and told i was one of most patriotic military spouses. i'm not sure if she was drunk or not. clearly, i did not tell her how many times i used the words, "navy", "deployment" and "sucks" in the same sentence.

i, alone, didn't manage this deployment. my Jesus, my family, my friends...they are the ones who got me through. i'm so incredibly blessed.

a few days ago ken left the country of Afghanistan and landed in a country we're not at war with for "decompression" training, etc.

when i got this email from him...i finally exhaled after holding my breath for over a year.

1 comment:

Ken Schwalbe said...

Sorry for all the difficult times while I was away and am very thankful that you not only survived, but excelled. Love you and see you in a few days.

Proverbs 31:25-29 (NLT). She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”