Said to me so, so, so many times.
Sometimes, I just give the simplest and truest answer...
The grace of God.
Seriously. That's what it is...good day or bad, it's just the grace of God.
But people want really tangible answers. So do I, if truthful. Something that 'makes sense.'
And boy, do I have that answer.
John being gone for two and a half weeks has been a breeze, all things considered.
That said, I've had the proverbial "If it's going to happen, it'll be when he's deployed," things happen.
Need four new tires. Car stuck in the garage. Colds and stomach bugs. Insanely busy with things to 'keep me busy'. Big toys that need more than one person to put together. Very, very, very sick sister.
But...when asked how it's going, it is really very easy for me to give the honest answer of, "I can't believe it's already been nearly 3 weeks! It's going really well!"
I'm beyond spoiled in the communication I have had with John. I've already talked to him more in this two weeks than I did the ENTIRE first time he deployed. All 8-9 months of it. Talk about how far technology has come in all these years he has been in.
Also, I have an amazing little guy who is growing at WARP speed and seriously, I am trying desperately to contain it and revel in it at the same time. It's crazy how much of this little person he is becoming. This funny, sweet, serious, capable and engaging little boy I am watching form right before my very eyes.
Mostly, though...mostly, it's perspective.
Perspective that if honest, I'd rather not have, and yet...since I do, and there's no changing it, I'm grateful.
I can do this because he is alive.
He's as safe as one can be in war.
He's coming home in about 50 weeks, God willing.
And though I hate, hate, hate him being gone and hate, hate, hate him missing out on things with Luke—things he'll never get back—it's not the worst thing I've ever had to deal with.
One of my dearest friends and I were talking about perspective...how one person's awful really is awful because it's the worst thing that's ever happened to them.
To that point.
Even if it's not really the worst thing that could ever happen to them, it feels like it because up to that point, it is.
It's very, very easy for me to say that John being gone for a year is nowhere NEAR the worst thing to happen...or to endure.
Choosing a gravesite for my son? Worrying about whether his long little body will fit in the infant coffin? Deciding what words will immortalize him? Tell the world everything I want it to know about the precious body the stone marks? Hearing, "I'm so sorry, Lori...there's no heartbeat," and watching my doctor cry just as much as we are because losing yet ANOTHER baby is so.so.so hard?
And yet...I'm hesitant to say that even because my mind can conjure up worse.
It's really unbelievable to me that I could...but I could. You know I could.
So John being away from us?
Too many words could be used to describe it—sad, hard, annoying, frustrating, lonely, wistful...I could go on and on.
But, in light of things I have already done in this life? Things I never dreamed I'd have to do and would give so many things to change?
Totally, totally, totally doable.
And not just doable...doable with a smile—grateful that it's JUST a year and he's JUST where he is vice where he could be and JUST doing what he's doing vice doing what he could be...
How do I do it?
The grace of God.
In the form of perspective.