"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown

"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Momma Side of Me

I started the last post yesterday morning. I ended the post after C had gone to sleep. I started it not having a clue how true it was going to become and how quickly. I posted it understanding how very real it was.

I was feeling stronger yesterday.

C is leaving for a month for a job that has nothing to do with his upcoming deployment because someone told him to. And for whatever reason - when I told my friend - it hit me how sad I am about it. He is going to miss Eli's birthday. He missed his birthday last year. He will miss his birthday next year.

I am frustrated because this isn't anything that is going to prepare him or his men for what they are about to face - as far as my not-always-informed-mind can tell. This isn't something that his men are going with him for. When it is something that will better prepare those around him, that he is responsible for, it is easier to understand. This is preparing someone else, so that gives one way I can find some good. I know there are reasons behind this. I know that for some reason "someone" (meaning the army-gods) decided to take him away for a month, when the month after that he will be working so much I won't see him, and the month after that he will be doing who-knows-what. I know, I know that there is reason behind this that in the Army world makes sense, that is important, that is justified.

But as a spouse, just as a spouse - not as a leader, not as anything above this - but just as a partner to my husband, I am angry that he is going. I am angry with whoever made that decision. I am angry with the Army. I am angry that no part of that decision lies with me.

I know whoever decided this, I know wherever this came from, they had good reason. The logical side of me is arguing for them. The part of me who has been in this life knows that these things happen. That these things have a purpose and for whatever reason, C is the one who is supposed to go. The leadership side of me gets it. The leader's spouse side of me is trying to calm whatever is going on inside of me. I know that every decision matters, that every tasking serves a greater purpose. I do.

I do.

But the momma side ... the momma side had planned Eli's birthday morning over and over again. The momma side had planned to hang balloons from the ceiling, and wrap his door with crepe paper, and have birthday pancakes. The momma side was going to make this one big - just for the four of us. The momma-side-of-me, had planned for C to be home in between PT and work to share in this. The momma-side-of-me wanted to make this amazing because his daddy won't be here for the next one. His daddy wasn't here for his first one. His daddy will miss the first three. The momma-side-of-me wanted C to see Eli's joy.

The momma-side-of-me is so incredibly, incredibly sad. The momma-side ... the side that lives for that baby boy ... I never thought I would be looking at my one-year-old and think that hopefully C will be here when he turns four. That hopefully "someone" doesn't take that away from us. To think that I hope he is here when Eli turns four ... then that fear comes in ... that "what if something happens ... " Oh, Lord.

The wife side of me is angry. Not at C. None of this is his fault. Not at any one person. As the spouse, as the partner,  I am just angry. Angry because this just doesn't seem fair.

I know it is never fair.

This is the life. There will always be times that we want to yell at "someone", anyone really. What the Army needs and what we need are rarely the same. What the Army sees to be the right thing is hardly ever what we see to be the fair thing. We live a life where the loves-of-our-lives belong to "someone" else, who go when someone else tells them to go, who miss birthdays because someone else deems something else more important. This is the life. This is the hardest part of the greatest life. When they are asked, they will go and we will never be asked if it is okay. It is never up to us.

Today I am sad and a little bit angry. And some of that anger, really most of that anger, comes from the fact that there really isn't "someone" to be angry at. That this is just how it is. That this is just the life we live. That we do not decide when and how our family is together. That we do not decide if they are here or not. None of it is up to us.

The momma-side-of-me is sad for today and will be sad on Eli's big day. But the momma-side-of-me is still going to hang balloons, and still wrap his door, and still make some-kind-of multi-colored mess for him to eat. The partner-side-of-me is going to record every moment, and tell my C every detail, and cry when I hang up that phone because the partner-side-of-me will hurt that he isn't here, will hurt how he will hurt.

The army-wife-side-of-me, will find the joy in my boys, will show joy to our boys, will soldier on and make it through. Because the birthdays that he will one day get to be here for will be most precious. The job that he does is beyond important. The time that we are apart will not last forever.

This is the life. The much harder part of this life. But when we have made it through, when we commit every day to thrive, this is - beyond words - the most beautiful life.


  1. Your writing is beautiful and inspirational. Recently my darling man has been talking about enlisting and I'm scared. We are not yet married and we are trying to figure out whether to get married before he enlists or after. That alone is scary because I would be trying to learn to not just be a wife but a military wife. I began a quest to find what my life could be like if indeed he goes through with what seems to be his heart's desire. Thank you for you honesty and words of encouragement. I feel more educated on the topic of "miltary life" and can support him in this life-changing choice from a more informed and ready position.
    God Bless you and your family!

  2. I know you are disapointed and angry and I surely understand, but I hope you can take some consolation and even a little joy in the fact that C was there for the most important birthday on that famed Sunday in New Orleans. He was supposed to be gone and by God's grace he was there right next to you when little Eli made his debut. The joy of that memory has not faded for me. Eli doesn't know what day it is, why not celebrate before he goes? Love you a bunch and look forward to having you home soon. Can't wait to hug those little guys! And, maybe we can have a king cake waiting for you!

  3. Faith,
    THANK YOU for commenting!! I will pray for guidance and peace for you and your love. MANY of us - nearly ALL of us - learn to be an army spouse at the same time we are learning to be a spouse. And when it all comes down to it it really just takes all the love a heart can hold. : ) You may want to read http://toloveasoldier.blogspot.com/2011/10/god-country-family.html

    Feel free to email me, Faith! I don't mind talking you through anything that I can!! - Megan

  4. Just stumbled upon your blog and wrote something VERY similar recently. I also struggle with issues with "the powers that be" and their decisions to pull soldiers willy-nilly (or so it seems to me) to do the most random tasks. My husband wasn't deployed but missed our son's first birthday because someone wanted some piece of paper handed to somebody else, and apparently, my husband was the only one that could complete such a task. That last part alone just blows my ever-lovin' mind because really? It couldn't wait til tomorrow? (Turns out, it totally could have.) He still isn't deployed, but missed first steps. He will definitely miss his second birthday, and his second child's first birthday. It can be so frustrating. Just know that there are a lot of us in the boat with you (wishing we could rock ourselves and our husbands right on out of it!) and you can rant and rave to the internet! :) We understand. :)

    I hope your son has a GREAT first birthday. :)

  5. I can not stop reading your blogs! Your words are so inspirational and encouraging. I would love to email you and share my story! katie_v_hall@hotmail.com
    My prayers are with you and your family.
    -Katie Hall

  6. @Jenn, I found your blog and read the post you are talking about! Thank you so much for commenting and sharing one of my other posts!! Welcome to TLAS!!

    @Katie, I read your comment while I was holding sleeping Eli who has been having a rough breathing time the last couple of nights. It brought a huge smile to my face. Thank you for your kindness! I will email you in the next day or two but you are FREE to email me as well! toloveasoldier(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. I have been enjoying reading over your old blogs and I have thought the same things many times, as I am sure many defence spouses have when the partners miss birthdays, anniversaries or other special days. It is very hard not to be angry at "someone" and in my early years it was anger at the army for always taking him away, only recently have I been able to put the anger away easier and accept that this is just the way our life is and try and think of all the positive things the army gives us in our lives. Thanks again for reading my mind :)

    1. Bellablue! Thank you for sharing!!! I say all the time, "It is what it is". : )

  8. It has just been of late that these 'special days', anniversaries, birthdays and family events have meant more and i think it is since we have had our baby girl. I have been so angry with... mystery... for him missing her rolling over for the first time, eating solids, even the simple silly things like going up a size in nappies or babbling all day long.
    Sometimes I feel as though I'm being selfish, especially when it was my first birthday being a Mum, my first ever Mothers day, I just wanted it to be with all three of us so we could celebrate together. I know he can't say no to going away but sometimes, I wish he could.
    I love that part about how ur partner side comes out and you want to record EVERY detail, I find myself taking photos of EVERYTHING and telling him exactly what happened when and where, almost so he can see it. I know it is probably annoying for him and he doesn't need to know everything, but I know how much he wants to be there that if I do tell him everything it kinda of fills the hole inside me. I hate hearing how badly he wants to be with us, and exactly how you said it, as soon as you hang the phone up you cry for his hurt.
    Thank you again for sharing and letting me vent a little too :)


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