Monday, February 16, 2009

1 year

Today marks 1 year since this deployment began. One year ago today, I watched my husband get up in the very wee hours of the morning and put on his ACU's and combat boots. I watched him place his remaining unpacked gear in his duffel bag and load it in the back of the car. I remember waking the kids up and placing them in their car seats. I can still remember their sleepy little eyes and the look of complete confusion even though we had been trying our best to prepare them for that moment (but honestly how do you prepare a 3 yr old and 14 month old for something like this?) I don't remember much about the drive to the airport except that there was a lot of silence and quite a few tears. I remember telling myself over and over "you have to be strong" and "don't cry" I had to continue telling myself that because there were 2 sets of eyes on me that I had to remain strong for. I remember how hard the airport was, mostly because of the publicness of it. I felt as if everyone was watching us...I mean it is quite obvious what is going on when a large group of uniformed soldiers are standing around with duffel bags and families who look like they could fall apart at any moment. I remember that final hug...I remember that I did not want to let go, but I had to. It was time to send my man off. I remember watching Jason go through the security check. I remember squatting down next to Jackson with my arms around him as he yelled as loud as he could "Bye daddy, I love you" It was so hard to hear Jackson say that, I can only imagine how hard that must have been for his daddy to hear. I remember watching Jason walk down that long hallway until we could no longer see him. I remember standing at the window as we waited for the plane to take off. Then it did. The plane was gone. I can still remember the very raw emotions of the first few days and weeks. Amazing how after a year, it still seems so fresh to me. One day I plan to blog about that, but not today.
Over this past year a lot has happened. There has been a lot of tears, a lot of praying, some laughter, we have played, I have worked, I have chased kids, put together countless numbers of care packages, written many a letter, and spent endless hours waiting by the phone and computer for that moment when my man would call. I have placed yellow ribbons in the yard and on the car. I have handled countless obstacles (from cars to computers) Sat with sick babies and babies who were worried and could not sleep. I have had to be strong when there were days I did not want to get out of bed, BUT I did. I did it only by the grace of God, because there were days when I did not have it in me.
We are finally in the home stretch of our "storm" I can not believe I can finally type that. There have been days when all seems as a blur and I did not know how we were going to get to this point. BUT I do know, I know that my strength comes from Christ. The same God who said He would never leave me nor forsake me has been with us every step of the way during this deployment.
So...yes, the home stretch :) Being in the home stretch brings a whole new set of emotions and lots of questions (you know questions like "when is Jason coming home") So I will try my best (with the limited information I have) to answer...
Do I have a date yet? The answer is NO. We have lots of projected dates, but nothing certain at this point in time. I do not expect to have that information until about a week before the arrival. So I sit in limbo and try to wait patiently for that phone call with the date. Then I step it in to high gear and make travel plans to go get my man!
Well I guess I have rambled long enough...Thank you my faithful bloggy friends for the prayers and the sweet comments you always leave me. It is such an encouragement to me to read your comments :) Enjoy the pictures of the kids. To mark the occasion I had some tees made for them...they say "My daddy defends the USA, what does your daddy do?" I could not resist them :)

love to all,



LeighAnne said...

I love those shirts! Too precious. So glad you are in the "home stretch." Praying for you that the next few weeks will fly by!!! Love you girl.


Lisa said...

How sweet, you have done such a good job keeping it all together this past year. Jason should be proud:) and you are looking so good too! Love the shirts. We are still looking forward to meeting your man when he gets home:)

Love you,

The Allen Family said...

how wonderful to be in "the home stretch"!!! you have had such amazing strength!!! i pray for continued strength and a quick, safe return home for jason!!!

Barb said...

How great you can finally see the home stretch. Great tee's! You are doing such a great job. Praying for you and your family!


jsides said...

The t-shirts are GREAT! I know you and the kids are very proud of Jason.I am very thankful for Jasons willingness to leave his family and defend our country.
I know you can't wait until he gets home!

Nancy said...

So thankful his journey there is almost through. I am praying for you 4 always! Let us know when his homecoming will be!

Anonymous said...

my sweet STRONG Jessica; you are such an example of an "excellent Proverbs woman." Her husband puts his trust in her. Jason is a blessed man to have you. Hope these next few weeks move quickly and the fruit from this separation will be glorious. Hugs, nana J

Aimee said...

You have been an amazing MOM while Jason has been away.

I have also seen you grow closer to Christ through this journey.

I cant wait for him to get home....lets plan a get a way for the summer, all 9 of us!

Kim Wade said...

I cant believe it has been a year already and that we can see a light at the end of this LONG LONG tunnell. I am looking forward to when we can make those travel arrangments to go see our hubbys. You have been such a rock for me during this deployment. Thank you so much for everything!

Melissa D. said...

So glad you're near the end of this journey! When everthing settles in, You will be able to see so clearly, the strength of God and also all the lessons he has taught you through all of are such an inspiration to me! Thank you!


Christy said...

Oh girl, that story of you taking him to the airport just made me boo-hoo. I am SO very thankful that you will be with him soon! What a reunion! What a sacrifice those men make for the country. I am excited for you. God is good to return him safely to you & your family!
I enjoyed hanging out with you last night. Thanks again for letting me come! :)

Amado J. Ortiz said...

My lap is wet from the tears falling off of my face from your airport story. Jessica, I can not imagine what this past year has been like...and that this is his 2nd time! Everytime I see you, you have a giant smile on your face. The Lord has given you so much strength, I love seeing how in love you are with your husband. I am so excited for your reunion with him!!!!!


Ashley said...

I read this blog and had to take a minute and pray for all the mothers I know. I truly believe that God gives mothers super powers and faith to handle anything that gets in their way. You have kept the faith through all of it and I know he keeps pushes you just as he pushes all of us.