It happened. He finally dropped the D word: deployment (dramatic, I know).
I was on Facebook scrolling through as I usually do and I saw a Tasty video for the craziest variation of sushi. That video left me craving sushi so I texted Nikko about my sushi fixation and he so graciously brought some Commissary sushi home. We ate dinner like normal and we cleaned up together like normal. I heated up some water for some post-dinner tea and we sat on the couch with our tea to continue our week-long Harry Potter movie marathon (which started since we had the urge to get the complete Blu-ray set the week before). He looked at me and smiled as the movie began to play – the kind of smile that had “I have something to tell you” written all over it. So I said “What’s up?” just as I normally do when he gives me that look. He proceeded to say “I got tasked.” My heart dropped and my face instantly got warm to the touch. I knew this was coming because his slot was quickly approaching. Even when we were just starting to date sophomore year of high school and I learned of his military ambitions, I knew this day would come. I just didn’t think this day was THAT day. I was overwhelmed with so many emotions that I started to cry – not a sad cry but more of an I-don’t-really-know-what-to-feel kind of cry. It was not the hysterical type of crying because I continued to carry on the conversation with tears rolling down my cheeks. He told me where he was going and when he would leave. He told me how long he would likely be gone. Now I had realized why he had buttered me up with a sushi dinner earlier (well-played Nikko, well-played).
I put on my positive pants thinking about him first. Thoughts in my head were swirling. “This is a fantastic opportunity for him.” “This is what he has been wanting.” But I’m human so my mind then went to thinking about myself. “He won’t be missing any major holidays.” “I’ll have plenty to keep busy.” Even with all these positive thoughts at the forefront of my mind, I couldn’t help but think about the obvious negative. “How safe is it where he is going?” This is where faith comes in. God will watch over him. I’ve got to trust that.
I had been through a deployment with my dad and I had seen Nikko’s dad go through a couple of deployments. But here it was, this time a little different because it’s my spouse that’s leaving. I know this is just the beginning of what will be many deployments. I knew this was a necessary part of what our military life would be when we got married, heck when we started dating! But it’s finally here. The first one.
I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m actually feeling relieved. I feel like it’s been this dark cloud of unknown looming. But now that we finally have the timing, the dark cloud is no more. For now, I have a finite period of time to enjoy some quality time with my husband. I know when that time comes around, I have the support I need from family and friends. I have our dog Walter, who will be great company in Nikko’s absence. And I have a job and hobbies that will keep me busy. I’m ready for this first deployment.
Despite the sadness I will feel while missing my other half, I can’t help but think that I have a role in this deployment too. My role in all of this is to keep things straight at home so he can focus on his job abroad. I will worry about the little things so he can protect our freedom free of distraction. My role is to provide undying support and encouragement like any wife would, with the added challenge of having half of the world and an entire day’s time between us.
So I’m reaching out to the rest of Co-pilot Community to see how I can best carry out my very own “deployment tasks” (HELP A SISTA OUT):
- Any tips for a first deployment?
- Any must-dos to prepare for his departure?
- Any tips to make our time apart fly by?
- Any ideas for care packages?
Leave me message or comment! I’d love to hear your thoughts!