The kids have had a blast with their grandparents. And I am blessed again that my children have 2 sets of grandparents that dote on them and love them unconditionally (as well as aunts and uncles who feel the same way). In that respect, my children are more fortunate than I was at their age since, by the time I was 2, I only had 50% of my grandparents still alive and did not get to see them often. Hopefully next spring, we will get to go visit the other ½ of the family for a bit.
I was able to get down to Orange County and visit MacGyver’s cousin who was hit by the (supposedly and most likely) drunk driver a little over 2 weeks ago. She is alive. She is getting better. But she is also dealing with a brain stem injury that may never fully heal. It was SO good to see her even for the brief time that I was able to do so. It was so good to hold her hand and tell her we love her and we’re praying for her. It was so good to be able to give her the letter that Princess Trouble made for her and sealed with her hug and kiss. And it was so good to see her husband and children and know that their family is going to be ok, no matter the outcome. But it tears me up inside that they are having to go through this. And the SOB that hit her will get 4 years. Nothing more. FOUR YEARS for robbing this woman of the life she was leading. Four years for robbing her three beautiful daughters of their mother, even for a short while. And four years for just about killing 2 other people. What I would give for 5 minutes with that “man”.
Another part of me is dreading going home because I know MacGyver will not be there. And while the deployment is not yet upon us, this is the dress rehearsal of sorts. The deployment feels like a Mac truck coming at my on a downhill with no brakes and every time I look in the rearview mirror, it's gaining on me and I just can't get out of its way. I'm ok as long as I don't look in the rear view mirror but when I do, it's tough to hold it together and not panic. I'm doing ok with it but every once in a while, something crops up that makes me feel like I am being punched in the stomach. Last weekend, it was the Hidden Heroes video show at the end of the Milblog conference. I had managed to hold it together through the entire weekend until I saw that video and I just about lost it.
Then this week, my MIL told me about a program that the city (the one that MacGyver and I grew up in) has implemented that places banners along the main civic streets in downtown honoring service members on active duty. So we went down there yesterday to see them put them up and I really couldn't watch because I didn't want to break down in front of my children. All three of my MIL's boys had banners up.
And then there was the conversation about passports. My in-laws are getting ready to head overseas on a trip and my MIL needs to get a passport. We talked about it and I said I need to get one before MacGyver deploys - for myself and the kids...just in case. She said that she purposefully did NOT get one while her other two boys were deployed because she worried that if she had it, she would NEED it. I, on the other hand, have the superstition that if I DON'T have it, THAT is when I will need it. And while I would much prefer making a last minute flight to Germany as opposed to opening the door to men in dress blues, I hope and pray never to have to experience either.
Most days I do ok. Some days it just overwhelms the crap out of me. Matt asked me toward the end of the pub crawl what I was going to do when MacGyver deploys. Coming from a former soldier and one with his experience, that question caught me off guard and it's still rattling around in my brain.
What am I going to do? The only way I can answer that is to say that I wil slog through one day at a time and pray that I make it through with my family in tact as well as my sanity. That's the best I CAN do, isn't it?
Tonight I Wanna Cry
by Keith Urban
Alone in this house again tonight
I got the TV on, the sound turned down and a bottle of wine
There's pictures of you and I on the walls around me
The way that it was and could have been surrounds me
I'll never get over you walkin' away
I've never been the kind to ever let my feelings show
And I thought that bein' strong meant never losin' your self-control
But I'm just drunk enough to let got of my pain
To hell with my pride, let it fall like rain
From my eyes
Tonight I wanna cry
Would it help if I turned a sad song on
"All By Myself" would sure hit me hard now that you're gone
Or maybe unfold some old yellow lost love letters
It's gonna hurt bad before it gets better
But I'll never get over you by hidin' this way