An Article on Date Night

Please read the following article: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/09/12/for-men-going-to-war-thoughts-of-9-11-and-one-last-date-night/

I wasn’t planning on writing anything, but just sharing this link to an interesting article with you.  But as I sit here, and I start to think about it, I feel like I should write something.

If you haven’t read the article yet, David Wood, who posted this article for the Afghanistan Journal, writes about a Dress Ball held for the deploying soldiers at Fort Polk, that was held on September 11.  I believe that Wood did an excellent job at capturing the moment, the mood, and a story about the 2-30 Battalion.

My heart, thoughts, and my version of “prayers” are with these soldiers, their families, and their loved ones who are to remain behind.  We, too, will be going through similar actions shortly, and I can’t help but think, we aren’t there yet.  We aren’t that close to deployment yet…they are.  I see this as both a good, and a bad thing.  Good, because that means there’s still time.  Bad, because I have to wait that much longer before my husband returns.  Bad, because although we’re on schedule for our Post, so far, we are behind…we aren’t there yet.  We’re still in “limbo”…no definitive dates, no news…just sitting here, waiting for the word, so that we can call our families and give them dates, and they can plan when to come out here to see him off, and to comfort me.

It makes me feel extremely vulnerable, to have everything to open-ended right now.  It feels like, at any time, they can come and tell us “two weeks.”  And that’s all we’ll have, just two weeks of knowing, two weeks of planning, and two weeks of emotions running high.

On my good days, I know I can handle it, I know I can take on anything, and we’ll be ok.  Today, is one of those days.  I won’t have to like it, but I  can get through it.

On bad days, everything is negative, the worst could happen, and I see myself just falling apart.  Sometimes, I get tired of being strong; strong for myself, and strong for everyone else, and I just want to break and crumble.  But on good days, like today, I want to slap myself for ever thinking like that.  Because I am Kristel, I am strong, and I should be able to do and handle ANYTHING.  Literally, anything.

I am super woman.

Or so I want you to believe.  I want to believe.

But for now, all we have is time.  And we’re not sure how much time.  But I feel like we’re either in denial, or acceptance, because we are functioning so much smoother.  Just enjoying each other’s company and just enjoying every moment.  If we want to go out and do something, we do.  If we want to sit around and do nothing all day, we do.  And we don’t feel bad about either decision.  This is all we have left for now, for certain, and why fill the time with regrets of wants not done, of things not said, and for tainting the moments with bitter thoughts.  In the end, all we have is each other and time…and we are making the best of what we have.

I do not think our Post is planning a Dress Ball before deployment…at least I haven’t heard any news of one being planned.  But either way, my husband and I had our “Date Night” while we were in Bar Harbor of Block Leave.  We were in one of our favorite areas, just the two of us, and made a wonderful four days out of it.  We can’t get that here.

So, I guess the point I’m trying to make, taking a little of what Wood had to say, is that it’s important to just relax (who thought I could?!), and just make the best of each other and the time you have.  Life is never a guarantee, and you never know what could happen.  So, if you’re counting down the days, enjoy your soldier.  Let go of what you “should” be doing, and just enjoy being together.  You won’t get those little moments back.  And even if you’re not married to an enlisted member, the same holds true.  Enjoy your lives together, enjoy your families, your friends.  You don’t know how long you will have any of your favorite people around you, so make the best of what you have.

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