As I mentioned earlier, ball was good. The changes of command this week were good as well, though bittersweet in many ways. Saying goodbye to MacGyver's company commander (let's just call him CPT R) is tough. CPT R went to the small little military college up on the Hudson (West Point for those that don't know) with MacGyver's baby brother. So CPT R is like family and was from the moment we met him. I had been the FRG leader for all of about 2 months when CPT R took over as the company commander and I liked him from the start. True to West Point standard, he borders on OCD (or CDO for those of us that don't like the fact that the letters aren't in alphabetical order). Which is comforting to me because that tells me that none of the soldiers or their family members will fall through any cracks.
My mother was born and raised in the South and therefore raised me well so one of the first things we did was invite CPT R over for dinner. It was the right thing to do but, surprisingly, no one else extended the courtesy. Go figure. He came, he ate, he drank, he regaled us with crazy stories of his time with other units that may or may not have relaxed grooming standards. It was a great evening. And I was really looking forward to working with him and taking care of the families and the soldiers during he upcoming deployment.
However, that didn't happen. Instead, I was privileged to bear witness to his true character the first night that things started to fall apart. When I came home that first evening, it was to find CPT R sitting in my front yard, waiting for me. He was there to make sure I was ok, to reassure me that MacGyver was ok, to see what I needed, and to remind me that he was not only just a phone call away but literally just up the road and could be to my house in less than 5 minutes if I needed anything. No one asked him to do this. And he didn't have to be there.
But he was.
And that one, simple act of kindness sustained me in ways that I couldn't articulate if I tried. It brings me to tears just sitting here, typing this out.
Through the next few weeks, he called and visited me on a regular basis. He did the same for MacGyver. He was a lifeline for both of us in an incredibly dark period. And I'm not sure if either of us could have made it through all of that with out his kindness. He kept in touch as best he could during the deployment and met us with a big grin and a hug when he made it home safely.
MacGyver's very first company commander in Alaska was, and probably will remain, what he considered to be his best commander ever. She was amazing and her dedication to her solders and their families was the standard that I believe every company commander should be expected to uphold. However, CPT R's dedication rivals hers.
I am going to miss that man.
Now that the changes of command are complete, my hope is that MacGyver can make his way back over to the company and back into the cockpit in order to start progressing to fully operational status as both a pilot and an MTP. It's been about 2 years since he last flew so he's going to be a little rusty. But his nose is back in his books (yay for -10s, 5&9s, and the MTP manual, as well as all of the checklists that go along...it's like being back in flight school again!) and you can see the sparkle in his eye again.
I'm still having a bit of difficulty explaining to my friends (especially my civilian friends) that a deployment is a GOOD thing for him. But really, it is. A deployment would put some distance between him and the fallout from everything that has happened. A deployment would take him away from all of this and allow him to simply focus on flying. A deployment would give him the opportunity to fly his hiney off. It will be good for him professionally, personally, mentally, emotionally. And what is good for him is good for us. It will SUCK having him gone. I hate the idea of having to say goodbye to him again. But this is what he DOES. He's been given a second chance and I want him to be able to embrace that.
In the meantime, we wait to hear the final outcome. We start making our "Hawaiian Bucket List" of all of the things we want to do before we leave the island. And we thank God for all of it.
A friend of mine wrote to me yesterday and pointed out that she fit into a 4th group of people - those that have been supportive from afar. Her note made me smile and I wanted to say thanks (thanks!). In my mind, the people that are supportive from afar are in the same group as those that "stuck around". Even though the support isn't vocalized doesn't mean it's not just as important. Therefore my brain puts everyone in that category - you stuck around.
One of the biggest upsides to this blog, to my involvement with MilBlogs in general, to my involvement with the Officers' Spouses Clubs in the different locations we've been at is the connections I've made. I'm not "well-connected" by any means but I can usually get ahold of someone who knows someone or can pull a string somewhere or SOMETHING. But with everything that's been going on in my life this time around, there were no strings to be pulled. No connections to be worked. It was far too big for that. Tonight, during a Bible study that I'm a part of, we talked about how we react when our life is "Divinely Interrupted". And that's exactly what the past 17 months have been - a HUGE interruption. And, apparently, a Divine one. God apparently had a few lessons to teach me - probably the ones about NOT being in control, about humility, about not leaning on my own understanding but placing my faith in Him...all of those lessons that I've learned in my brain but apparently not in my heart.
I've not been in control of this for one millisecond. Nor have I even had the illusion of being so. Abraham Lincoln said,
"I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. "
And that is so true. I had no where else to go. No one could help me. All anyone could do was pray. All *I* could do was pray. So that's all I did. The strength that sustained me through all of this was not my own. If it had been, I'd still be in a puddle of my own tears in a corner somewhere.
And one of the best lessons I've learned through all of this is that I have true friends in my life. Whether I know they are there or not. Whether they are standing on my front porch on what was, arguably, the worst day of my life, or cheering silently through my sitemeter on my blog...they are there. And I am blessed. Thank you.