My friend Jen mentioned reading a list of firsts regarding deployments:
1. The first week
2. The first month
3. 100 Days
4. The halfway point
5. R&R, whenever that may be
6. 265 days gone by, and we turn into "double-digit midgets" since the time remaining is under 100 days
7. 300 days gone by
8. The point where we are informed that we should no longer send mail downrange
9. A forward group of soldiers from our unit redeploys home
10. The advanced group for the replacements arrive
11. The main group of the replacements arrive
12. After a short overlapping period, redeployment begins in earnest
Somewhere in there should be the "First Care Package" as well. We've done the first week and we're heading toward the second half of the first month. MacGyver is "safely in Iraq" (THERE's an oxymoron) and sent me his mailing address so I stayed up late last night packing up the wonderful "Flat Rate Boxes" that the United States Postal Service offers and sitting on top of them to be able to tape them shut (wanted to get every penny's worth out of my $8+) and then headed down to the post office this morning to send them off.
I won't list the contents here because there are a few small surprises inside and MacGyver occasionally reads my blog but needless to say, I kind of enjoyed prepping for this care package. It was bittersweet but worth it.
MacGyver's deployment is a lot different that either of his brothers' deployments (both are Army as well. One did a rotation in Iraq in 2003 and one just got back from Afghanistan). Neither of them were able to "enjoy" the conveniences afforded to MacGyver at this point. I don't have to worry about whether MacGyver has shampoo, Gold Bond powder, or bug spray. The PX where he is should have the basic necessities in life. Which leaves me time to focus on the love. The day after MacGyver left, Princess Trouble was at her desk, churning out pieces of artwork left and right. There is a decent collection of drawings, pictures (complete with frames), and other assorted creations by both children in the boxes. We took a trip to the commissary and picked up a few of MacGyver's favorite treats to put in as well. And I slipped in a creation of my own that I'll tell you all about once he gets the boxes.
It's tough deciding what to put in though. How do you convey your love across thousands of miles? How do you put a hug and a kiss in a box? Since I no longer need to worry about whether he has enough to eat or if he's comfortable, clean, etc. I worry about whether he can feel our love from so far away. I worry about how to include him in our daily life. I don't want our lives to move on without him yet there really is no choice so the challenge is to find a way to include him in it in some capacity.
If I could find a way to slip inside one of those boxes somehow, I would. And the inability to do so today almost made me cry. Some days are better than others. And some days, I would give just about anything to feel his arms around me, even for a moment.
So babe, there are several boxes on their way to you. You may not be able to see it with your eyes but I hope you feel the love that is in each box. We love you and we miss you. Stay safe.
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