Thursday, January 27, 2011

Daddy's Boy

This time around Daddy's absence has been a little harder. The first time he left we were all bewildered and confused. Now, however, the kids know that Daddy will be gone for a long time- and they have the past experience of "a long time" to draw on. That goes both ways- see, this time we know what to expect. Which is good. On the other hand... this time we know what to expect. Which makes it a bit tougher too.

As I've mentioned before, I can see there are ways that Heavenly Father has provided for me to weather this trial. For instance, my new job has given me new friends that have something I didn't know I'd even need: empathy. There are several other nurses whose husbands are military also, and they have been through the hardest things: months and months apart from each other, missed births, and the whole married-but-single Mommy thing. Not to sound ungrateful- I so appreciate everyone who has reached out with kind words and prayers in my behalf. There's just something special about having someone who really understands. Isn't that why the Savior is so perfectly fitted to succor us?

Being away from each other is hard, but it's even more than that. It sounds cliché, but it's the little things. It's trying to fold sheets without anyone on the other end. It's going to McDonald's and having your little guy look over to another table where you sat with Daddy months ago, and having to bite back the tears when he points there and says, "That's Daddy's place." It's the empty passenger seat when you drive away from the airport and the heartache of hearing your kids pray for Daddy to come back soon. I feel so lucky to be working with the strong, dear women who have known these trials too.

I was scheduled to work at 0700 on New Year's Day, and Lee's flight left at 0620. I had volunteered for call in the hopes that it would be slow and I wouldn't have to try to fake being fine while I took care of whatever poor patient got cursed with me as their nurse that day. But a couple of days before, one of my friends- who had been through those kind of goodbyes herself- called me and told me that she would take my shift if I wanted because she knew how hard that first day is. I readily accepted her offer and thanked her over and over before I hung up the phone and just sobbed. Not sad tears, but tears of gratitude.

In retrospect I am embarrassed that I fought so hard against leaving Rexburg; I wanted to stay so badly. But with new perspective I can see that these circumstances are the best for us at this time. There are people around us that make it possible to do this difficult task, and friends and family both near and far that provide the strength and support we need.

"I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." 1 Nephi 3:7

How grateful I am to be able to see that my way has been prepared. I am so thankful for a Father who knows my needs. I am grateful for sweet, fun, healthy children. And I am thankful for- and so proud of- my sweetheart!

*wiping smeared mascara, taking a few deep breaths*

My original intent with this post was to share these pictures. Wyatt is enthralled with the Army and the idea of "fighting bad guys." Every day he says something like, "I'm goin' to the Ah-mee now, Mommy! I'll miss you so much! Bye!" Or he'll tell me, "I'm takin' the car, Mommy. I'm gonna dwive to Joe-Jah to get Daddy." Without fail, he is geared up something like this when he tells me he's leaving:

The boy has always loved backpacks, because he thinks they're jet packs (thank you, Buzz Lightyear). When Lee saw this little-guy sized Army pack at the PX, he sent it home to Wyatt right away.

Opening the bag...

"It's my JET PACK!"

[victory dance]

(Another dance ensued on the packing peanuts. Thanks for that too, Daddy.)

And I had to add this one because it's just cute.

And now, my melancholy and I are going to make hot chocolate and a bowl of buttery popcorn, and snuggle up with a fluffy blanket and a furry Skeeter to watch some girly movie...I'm waffling between The Holiday or Pride and Prejudice. Decisions, decisions...

Hope you are all well, and hope you know how grateful I am for your friendships and support.


Marianne said...

Ah, Mel. What a great post. I'm so glad you've found people who understand what you're going through. I feel SUPER bad for you guys, and I love you and support you, but that's about all I can do. (Except for the donuts...)

And those pictures of Wyatt are awesome. I guess if you're going to join the Ah-mee, it's best to do it in your jammies with your cool sunglasses on (and your Kokopelli hat).

And what a great dad to send him his very own Army Jet Pack. That's awesome.

I will come see you.

Amber said...

Ah, you are one tough chick. But at least Daddy knows who much his family loves him, right?

And I literally cringed when reading your comment about Wyatt cutting opening his lip shaving. Ah, I just did it again...

It's good to hear an update for ya. And I'm glad you've got some new, empathic friends to lean on. Although honestly, work just isn't the same without you, Steph, and Monica there. I miss you guys SO MUCH!!

Marianne said...

I really loved this post. You have such a wonderful testimony, and I loved how honest you are about the situation.

I'm also glad that you have found some 'same boat therapy' at work- there is a lot to be said for that. Yeah, I complain about being a tax widow but when it comes down to it, my husband comes home every night and yours doesn't. I think of you all the time and hope you're doing ok, but really, I will never understand what this is like for you.

I vote for Pride and Prejudice. (I kind of want to claw Cameron Diaz's face with my fingernails when I see her in the Holiday. Love everyone else in that movie- especially Jack Black, but she totally ruined it for me!)

Hang in there, Mel!

Monica said...

Hey you, love you! I wish I was closer so we can chic flick it together. Hang in there, it will be over sometime...right? You are one tough lady. I have a countdown, only 2.5 more years, shudder. LOL. Keep your head up, and eat lots of popcorn and chocolate. Miss you!

Diana said...

I don't know what to say and therefore feel tempted to say nothing at all...but that isn't right either. So, I want to say 1) I love you! 2) I admire you for your strength, your honesty, and even the vulnerability of you sharing your story 3) I wish I could do more to support and help 4) Thank you

Karen said...

We love that little Wyatt...(and you too Auntie Mel.)
In fact, I was telling Brad it's good that they moved and we moved because if I had this baby in Rexburg without Melody there it would be wrong!
We think about all of you often and as Camille says, "Wyatt will always be my cousin, huh Mom!" Families are forever so there's no getting away from us :)

Kate said...

Melody. I love you so much. With all my fingers and toes and nostrils. And I think we are long overdue for partying. That will be all.

Jake and Shannon said...

The kiddos are growing up so fast! Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.s

Melinda said...

Your blog is absolutely perfect-it always seems to have exactly what I need to read when I check it. Empathy is definitely a needed thing. I have come to believe that one reason we have trials is so that it gives us the opportunity to have empathy with others, because without that, there's no way we could become like the Savior as we are commanded to do. And let me just say again, I really wish we lived closer together so you could be my nurse when my next comes along in April.

Mrs. Boojwa said...

Thanks for leaving that comment on my church blog. I hope that you don't think I'm a super experienced military wife though (and I'm AF... so, probably not as strong as you either). But being a military wife for sure presents its challenges regardless of what branch you're in. Where are you guys stationed now?

Melissa said...

You are inspiring Melody and one strong mama!! Thanks for your post! :)