Each day for the next three months Rhett and I will have a routine.
Each day we will eat and play, have little adventures together, spend time training for a half marathon (Rhett gets to come along in the BOB), visit Dirk and Mimi, and figure out to this whole baby and Mommy thing together. The hard reality though, is that I will have to do all of these things alone.
When Chase and I met I didn’t think anything of him being in the military. My parents both got out of the Navy and the Air Force when I was very little so I have no memories of the drives my parents made with me between bases in California to see each other. I’ve only heard stories. While Chase and I began dating he was training to be a co-pilot and had lots of free time to spend with me because he only had to go into work to mission plan and fly. After he finished his training however, he was eligible for deployment. So six months after we started our relationship Chase deployed for the first time…and it was pretty hard. With the way his schedule worked we were only able to FaceTime every three days and our emails were barely that frequent. Our first Christmas, New Years, and Valentines day were spent thousands of miles apart with small gifts flown halfway around the world. When Chase came home from that first deployment we weren’t entirely sure our relationship would last, but since we had stayed together through those three months we decided to continue to give ourselves a fair chance. Life in the same city proved to be much easier than life apart.
The second time Chase deployed we had been married for just over a month. This deployment was FAR easier because he deployed to Japan and I was able to fly out to visit! I spent three weeks finishing up a quarter of culinary classes, three weeks with Chase exploring Okinawa, and four weeks back home for the start of a new culinary quarter before he returned home. Since the time was so well broken up it seemed a little easier to be apart. Plus, we were married this time so the worry of whether or not things in our relationship would change was gone! This deployment made our relationship stronger, if anything.
Last week Chase left for his third deployment, and it is by far, the hardest. This time he not only had to leave me, but our seven week old baby. I think things will be hard for all three of us. Chase won’t be able to see all of the day to day development and changes in Rhett that I do, I don’t have a second pair of hands or someone to share the burdens and joys of everyday parenthood with, and Rhett misses out on having a Daddy for three months.
The reality is that marrying into military life is hard. I can’t help but think this is the first of many deployments over the course of not only Rhett’s, but our future children’s lives as well. There will be many missed birthday and holidays, many tears at goodbyes, and many long and lonely nights for both Chase and I.
I have been so blessed with a wonderful husband and together we have been blessed with the very best friends. The day Chase deployed my phone was flooded with texts with friends telling me they were keeping our little family in our thoughts. Since then I’ve had friends bring meals, call and text to make sure I’m doing okay, and ask what they can do and how they can help. While the reality of military life is hard, friends and family close by make it a hundred times easier.
I can hardly find the words to thank the individual blessings that are our friends not only at this hard time, but all the time. We’re so glad you’re part of our lives. Thank you for making reality a little easier.