I was chatting with MacGyver on IM tonight and had to cut our conversation short because I needed to get ready to go to a Deployment Support Group meeting at church which he aptly called my "therapy". It IS.
Our church is comprised of a healthy balance of local families and military families so the current deployment is affecting a large portion of the congregation. So, in response to that need, our church has put together this group and tonight was our first meeting.
It was a dessert pot luck and oh, my goodness, can some of those people bake! Wow - those were some yummy desserts. Guess I'll be skipping the Haagen Daas tonight. The theme for the group is "Prosper During Separation" and our fearless leader will be focusing, specifically, on 2Corinthians20. I must admit I have not read that chapter but I will tonight.
Our group meets once a month and it includes free (!) childcare (thankyouGod!). They are also looking at the possibility of hosting a Parents' Night Out once a month (again, free) where we can bring the kids for a fun evening with the youth leaders and head out to shop, eat, grab coffee, or simply go home and take a bath without an audience. I was fascinated with the idea of being able to actually shave both legs AND wash my hair...all in 1 shower! It's the simple pleasures in life I suppose.
What a blessing this is to our family. We all truly like our church and I am so incredibly greatful to have found them before the deployment kicked in. And now, to have this group come together to fill a need is just wonderful. I am in awe of how my needs have been being met (well, not ALL of them but we won't go there...) so far during this deployment. Now, if I could just pass some of that support on to my husband. The settling-in period is always tough (or so I am told) at the beginning of a deployment and there are a few...kinks...to be worked out. We'll just leave it at that.
While it was wonderful to be in a room with so many people who are going through the same things and feeling the same loneliness and emptyness, that also brings it home harder in some ways. I'm ok as long as I don't dwell on the deployment and the fact that my soulmate is thousands of miles away from me and our children in some God-forsaken desert somewhere. Hard to do when you're in a roomful of people whose loved ones are also thousands of miles away in the same God-forsaken desert.
When we were at the hangar, saying goodbye to MacGyver, I was doing ok and holding it together just fine until I turned to say something to one of the wives I know. She's a veteran 160th SOAR wife (special operations aviation regiment) - she's been through these goodbyes plenty of times. But when I turn around to say something to her, she has her face buried in her husband's chest and is just sobbing. And he's doing his best to put on a brave face. You can tell by the forced smile he has plastered on his face that he is working really hard at not falling apart as well. Until I saw them, I was doing ok. But if SHE'S falling apart then...oh, my goodness...this is FOR REAL. And that was all she wrote.
It was similar tonight. I thought, at one point, I was going to have to excuse myself from the group and find a corner to just simply sit down in and cry. I'm sure i could have used it. I've managed not to cry very much at all since he left. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Oh, what I would give to just have him sitting here, next to me. Sheesh. I thought "therapy" was supposed to help make things better!
On that note...