Monday, January 14, 2013

For Whom My Heart Hurts the Most—On Deployment...

You know, I've often heard it said of military men and women, "You signed up for this..."


One can NEVER really understand what he or she is 'in for' until one is actually walking in those shoes.  Literally.

I know I chose to marry a man who chose to make the United States Marine Corps his career.
I know I chose to support him in whatever that career choice demanded.
I knew it was not going to be an easy thing to do, seeing as it's a very unique calling.

I knew I loved him, so it didn't matter.

But I had no idea how my heart would be pulled and tugged and full of pride and fear all at the same time.

No one does.

You can casually tell someone that your husband will be gone for eight months or so, and they will usually give the perfunctory, "Thanks for his service and your sacrifice," and you respond with, "Yes, it will be hard, but we can do it," and not even give it a second thought in this life of a military wife and mother.

But until you live it?  You have no idea, and you SURE as heck didn't know what you were in for when you "signed up for it..."

Which is not to say that I am not very proud to be a military spouse, or extremely proud of my husband's dedication and courage.

Or that I am not equipped to handle this's certainly not my first, and though none have been something I'd ask for, I've held my own.

I've never done a year.
I've never done a year with a child.

When John and I got married, there is no way we would have ever guessed where our lives would take our hearts would have grown larger than we ever imagined or how they could be broken into a million pieces.

How they could be renewed.

We had no idea that being separated from each other would be hard, but separated from our children?

The hardest things we'll ever do.

My heart hurts so much for John.  It hurts for Luke, no doubt, as he has just fallen in love with Daddy these last few weeks of holidays and leave time together.  He will miss Daddy more than I expect I can imagine.

He'll be ok, though.  He's young, and not entirely cognizant of what's really going on.

How Daddy is at work in a very dangerous place for a very long time and Mommy prays not only for Daddy's quick return, but more for his safety no matter what.

He'll have his moments, but for the most part, he won't miss John as much as John will miss him.

John loves that child with a love I'm often surprised by.  A fierce and protective love, yet a love that is proud and playful and whimsical and awe-striking.  John learned when Matthew died that men cry.  Strong men cry.  He's not ashamed to tear up and there is no doubt that separation from Luke will at times bring him to tears over the course of this year.

I'll find things to do.  I've decided my word for the year is OPPORTUNITY.  Luke and I will take advantage of the opportunities that this year can bring.  Instead of focusing on what we lose this year (which is the hardest thing for me), I'm going to focus on the opportunity a year can bring.

John will have it much tougher.  Working hard, in a hard-to-work place, and distanced from his loves.

Please pray for him.  Pray for us, as we always appreciate prayers, but more, please pray for him.  Pray for his heart to be comforted by any way we can send a little piece of home to him and pray for this year to be one of opportunity and renewal.

Mostly, pray for his safety.  Pray he comes home safely, as well as all who leave with him.

Thank you for your prayers and your support.  We are grateful.


  1. Definitely will be praying for each of you. My heart goes out to your family.

  2. Lori, I am just sorry that ya'll have to live this year apart. As a former military wife, I have lived apart from Steven for 3 years. . . the first year of our marriage included. And as the time passed, we kept busy and communicated as best we could. However, we didn't have children.

    In those days, it was a phone call in a crowded room full of others waiting their turn. It sucked, it was hard, I lived for news and watched in horror as the news often told me things I had yet to hear from him.

    Now he is in the reserves, but there is a very large possibility he will be active again one day. And as much as I love this country and the men and women who serve, it is not something that I want to do again. Having children makes it so very different. Being apart for so long is not what anyone wants. But so often, like in life, we don't get to choose. I will definitely pray that the time passes quickly. I will pray that your hearts grow in tenderness and patience. I will pray for John's focus and safety too. But most of all I will pray that the moments you measure apart will be given back 10 fold in blessings of the future.

    I will have to deal with Steven being gone for just about three weeks this summer as he deploys for TDY. I am already dreading it, and have friends who have had to deal with two pregnancies and children without their husbands as they were abroad for a year or more. NO one gets it until they live it, you are so right!

  3. This brought tears to my eyes :* hugs and prayers being sent for all of you. Love love love and more love <3

  4. This brought tears to my eyes :* hugs and prayers being sent for all of you. Love love love and more love <3

  5. Praying Lori.... I feel bad. You both are strong, and Luke is learning strength from the best!

    Love. Lots and Lots of Love.

  6. I don't understand - not being married to someone in the military ... but SO many people in my family have served and are serving and I always feel so helpless when they go ... except in prayer. I pray the time will move quickly and uneventfully for John. I pray all of you will be blessed with nightly reunions in your dreams and I pray that he comes home safe, whole and in the blink of an eye. Luke, having never even "met" his big brother, knows who he is. And that's because of you and John ... Luke may not know what's happening, but I have a feeling he will not forget a thing about his Daddy and will be so thriled when he finally comes home. xoxo

  7. Much Love to you. Prayers always. <3

  8. I promise to pray for his safe return every day he is gone. My heart is so heavy for you right now and little Luke. Im praying that God would really carry you through this time. I don't know how to get through a deployment, but I do know how to distract myself in order to make the time move forward (subsequent pregnancy...) if you need a list of good shows to help pass the time while John is gone let me know!

  9. Love and prayers for you. No one should say anything about what you "signed on for". Your sacrifice and his are beyond anything we can grasp... and well...all we need to say is thank you, and we'll be praying for you.

    Much love to you...