March 20, 2013

Best Laid Plans

I should have known. I should have known better than to get my hopes up that my husband would be coming home early. I should have known that it doesn't mean anything if you have orders. When he laid out the time frame of his deployment for me and said it was a sure thing because.. hey.. orders have been cut... I should have told myself, that doesn't mean jack. I should have NEVER put my written out countdown at 134 days. We're dealing with the Army. I should have known better than to get my hopes up about any plan that we helped put together.

Before this deployment rolled around, Trey was given orders for a Career Course date. That date being mid-September. Selfishly, I was ELATED. Beyond elated. This meant he'd have to come home early enough to out-process from Ft. Bliss, take his 30 day leave, get to Oklahoma and find a house. And things were going swimmingly. In fact, just a week ago he got word that his last day of work over there would be June 15th and he'd be back in the states by the end of June. We were so excited. He was counting down how many weeks he had left. I was making plans to go out.. by myself!!!... to see him for a 4 day weekend so we could get reacquainted (get your minds out of the gutter) without the pressure of taking care of two little boys. So excited. The time left seemed manageable.

Then I woke up to a lovely little message yesterday morning that he had some bad news. I knew before even asking. It was all too good to be true. Someone up at Brigade changed his orders. Put him in the Career Course in November so he can ride out the whole deployment. Which, had that been the plan from the beginning, wouldn't even have been a thing. I don't want it to sound like he's a shammer. You just get your hopes up and get used to a certain idea, ya know?

I was devastated and actually went through a few stages of grief.

At first I was so sad and disappointed that it was hard to grasp for air through the tears. You may as well of just ripped my heart out of my chest. 6 more months seems SO. MUCH. LONGER. than 4 more months. The daily countdown was becoming easier to look at. There was an end in sight. I was getting to the giddy stage of deployment. Now it just seems unreachable again. I won't visit him until September. We won't be together again until mid-October. Depressing. So far away. He's going to miss so much more. He'll miss Andrew's 3rd birthday. He left a young toddler. He's coming home to a 3 year old and a 8 month old that he's never met. 2 and 6 months didn't sound quite as bad. And I'm sure it's all in my head, but when I thought about Andrew and Trey becoming accustomed to each other again, doing it in August sounded doable. For some reason, I'm worried about it now that it's two months later. I'm sure this all sounds irrational.

I quickly moved to anger. WHO just switches orders like that? *I know.. I know.. I know who can and will do that. Go with me here.. I was livid and not thinking clearly*
What I am still holding onto anger about, though, is that I don't see what the need for it is. He'll be moved from his BN around the time he was supposed to come home. But, get this, for what? No plan. No specific plan for him. AKA.. no specific reason to keep him there. The only thing I can make of it, is that I know how hard he works and I know how incredible his work ethic is. I'm not just saying this because he's my husband, but I know he works harder than 99% of people around him. And that's not a dig against everyone else. That's just how much he puts on himself. So of course they're going to keep him. He carries a lot of the weight and in my little ol' mind that should be rewarded by sticking to his orders.. but who am I?

I then moved into where I am now and where it sounds like Trey is as well. Reluctant Acceptance. There's nothing we can do to change this. I can't sit around pissed off for 6 more months. I have to look at the bright side. I have to find the good. So, I'll make the most out of the time I have with family and friends here. I know that a few months after leaving again and the novelty of living with Trey again wears off, I'll miss everyone back here. Deeply. So I'll soak up this time.
I have more time to work on my fitnasss. I have a membership to Gold's while I'm here. I can work out as much as I want.. and.. bonus.. they watch my kids! I've been averaging 3 times a week. I'm doing it for myself, don't get me wrong. I feel better when I work out (obvious) and I want to look good in my clothes for me. I want more energy when playing with the kids. But what a great bonus it would be for my husband to say, "dayyummmm girl" when he sees me for the first time. Well, I have two more months to work on getting that reaction.
And, of course, there's two more months of deployment pay. I'd rather have my husband, but I'll take it.

I went through the stages rather quickly. This all happened in the matter of two hours. But that's what I do. That's what I have to do. In the Army, there aren't many aspects of life that you have control over. You're at the mercy of the big machine's whims. The only thing I CAN control is my attitude and outlook. So, go ahead Army. Throw whatever you want at me. I may throw a temper tantrum, but just give me a little bit of time. I'll come around. I'll support my husband and be more proud of him than most people can even fathom. I'll wait for him and make sure his kids always remember who he is and keep him in conversation every day. And we'll get him back. Just a little later than expected. And that's okay... I guess.

As hard as this is on me, I know it's 10 times harder on Trey. He's working so hard every single day of the week and hardly resting. I get to see joy on my son's face when we go to places like the park, Chucky Cheese or Monkey Joes and no matter how sad I am, his smile lights my heart up. I get newborn snuggles throughout the day and get to witness a whole 'nother little being's milestones. He's missing out on all of that. So if you don't mind, and when you think of it, say a prayer for him. He could use a little extra help getting past this setback. We'd both really appreciate it!


JG said...

Oh geez. I wondered when I read your post yesterday. I'm so sorry. Nothing in Army life can ever be simple. But wow, in just 24 short hours you've already come much farther than I think I would have in the acceptance process. Good for you for finding the glimmers of positivity in all of this.

Charlatan psychic said...

Oh yes. I don't believe anything coming from the Army until it's finished.

After all the BS of going/not going we went through last year, I can't believe anything.

I'm sorry that Trey's date got moved back, but at least that will hopefully put you in OK with less time before Kristy and I get there! Hopefully, that is. Because this is the Army.

Amber said...

I know your pain. Brian was supposed to be going in September, too. Then a certain someone, who will remain nameless, decided that they weren't going to turn in Brian's request. I'm still angry. I won't post my feelings on a public venue. But, I know how you feel right now, and I'm sorry you're having to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry they changed his dates. I hate that the Army is so consistent in getting people's hopes up and then sending them crashing back down with changing dates and plans.

It seems like you're slowly but surely finding the light at the end of the tunnel, despite the army's idiocy.

Expat Girl said...

I'm praying for both of you and your family as you adjust to this new situation. I am so sorry this happened unfortunately we all learn quickly that these disappointments seem inevitable in the Army. Like you said, take your time, grief, scream shout, drink wine, do whatever haha but then focus on the good, the paycheck and the two more months in the gym : ) Love ya Mama!

Mel said...

I know the feeling, sweetie. I'm sorry to hear that it changed, but I am proud of you for arriving at the right feeling. You can only embrace what you do have and know that you will see your husband soon (even if it doesn't feel like it!)

Kristy said...

I am proud of you for your quick adaptation to such crushing news! Maybe as a reward, you can save up that "extra" deployment moolah and go on a fabulous family vacation?!? (You've definitely earned it!) Team Norton will continue to be in our prayers and I hope that those extra two months will fly by for you and the boys (and Trey too!)

Steph said...

Bummer! You and your family will be in my thoughts.

Brianna Renee said...

I'm sorry. It's always so much worse when they get your hopes up. For much of my husband's deployment, Army was a 4-letter curse worse. It just sucks but I can tell you as a mom of a baby born during deployment and an older brother who was also 3 1/2 when Dad came home, they bond again quicker than you expect. One day at a time.

Jen said...

That sucks, I have had to adopt the saying hope for the best but expect the worst when it comes to the army. :(

Karren said...

I'm sorry to hear this. :-( Praying the months go quickly for y'all.

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