The morning of my husband's deployment wasn't like any other morning. The house was filled with sadness as we prepared for that night where we would say see you later and give our last kiss for nine months. As the time approached, our emotions only grew stronger. My husband, being the strong gentleman he is, showed no sadness and shed no tears cause he knew he would see me again sometime soon. I, on the other hand, was a mess. At the age of 19, I had no idea I would be married to a soldier and preparing to face my first deployment. I had no idea what was in store for the next nine months. Fear raced over my body as my husband left my arms to go to the buses. Tears streamed down my face as I watched him wave goodbye and blow me a kiss. I watched the buses roll away and my friend and I hugged each other and walked to our cars.
When I got back to the house, it was empty and I lounged around watching Netflix and eating ice cream and waiting for the phone call to tell me he made it to his destination. Finally, I got the phone call I had been waiting for. I heard my husband's voice and even got to see his face. We face timed for an hour and he let me in on how his travel went. When he needed to go, he said goodbye and we hung up. At that moment, I knew for the next nine months I could not just sit around and wait for phone calls and text messages; I had to do something.
So I got a job that worked Monday through Friday and let me have weekends off. It was great to be distracted throughout the day 'cause my and my husband's schedules were the same. This job was the saving grace to my sadness. Unfortunately, that job came to an end. At this point, I did not want to sit at home alone so I drove back to North Carolina with my two dogs to visit family. It was so much fun being home again and getting to see family I hadn't seen in what felt so long. I even got to see my best friend, Holly. She is my rock and keeps me grounded in situations like these. She was certainly helpful when I came home. I actually surprised my mother-in-law. She had no idea I was coming home and I surprised her at her house. She was so full of happiness, she was bursting at the seams! I loved seeing all my family and I even stayed longer than I thought I was going to.
So after I knew I had to go back, I drove back home with my two dogs, ready to face the empty house once again. I have to admit it was nice being back in my own house again. I will say the first night back, I did not sleep in my own bed. I slept on the couch. It didn't feel as empty as my bed. I got to talk to my husband that same night so it didn't make it all bad. My friends who lived at the same base with me kept me busy. We did a lot of activities together and spent time together so we all didn't feel the need to sit at home and be sad.
I believe the key to a deployment is staying busy. I ended up starting my own photography business that has been growing ever since and I couldn't be more proud. I took more exercise classes that helped me stay in shape and get off the couch. I became a private investigator, which I now know that I want to do as a career choice. Staying busy was what kept me sane, oh and also my dogs. They were the best through the entire thing. Any time I felt sad, they would snuggle me and made sure I didn't feel so alone. I ended up getting another job, but ended it a few months in as this was job was just too high stress and didn't meet my needs, although the job did keep me busy, and I was grateful for that.
Through this entire deployment, I did nothing but keep myself busy. Seeing as I was only 19 with no kids, staying busy was going to be a much harder task than I thought. Even if it was just cleaning out that closest that you've been putting off for over a year, if it keeps you busy it is worth it. Staying busy literally kept me on the tracks and I give that advice to any other wife that may need it. My husband came home and it was one of the happiest days of my life. The smile that ran across my husband's face when he picked me up in his arms is unforgettable. Hearing his voice in person and not over the phone was magical. I thought I was dreaming but this was my reality. A lot of people ask why I put myself through all this. There's one reason... He is worth it.