Here we are, waiting for that day when Jacob will be leaving us for a year to be over 3,000 miles away. My other half. My boys' adored father. 3,000 miles away. When he came home and told me that after much thought and many conversations between us, that he decided he will volunteer to deploy, I cried. I broke down and cried. The tears just started flowing and I had many different emotions going through me. I knew why he chose to do this. But that didn't stop me from being angry about it sometimes. How could he CHOOSE to leave his family for a year? How could he CHOOSE to miss Logan's first birthday, Luke's 3rd, all of the holidays and special events, and all of those precious moments with the kids growing up during that vital year? But I knew why and I understood it. He wanted the experience and it would help him in the long run. He knew the little bit of extra money would help us. And he also knew that if he didn't go on this one, he could be going on one much worse. Thankfully, (and I cannot stress that enough) this deployment, our first deployment, will not be in a combat zone. I think that is the only thing that has been keeping me from losing my mind thus far. I would start to cry almost every time the subject of deployment was brought up after he first signed the papers. But I realized I need to be strong for him and support him. This will be hard on him too, not just me. I need to keep it together as much as possible before he leaves and while he is gone. He needs to know that I can handle this.
We got the news a couple of months ago, but at the time it seemed so far away.. yet still so soon. It will still be some months before he will leave, but knowing so far ahead of time is still hard. Now don't get me wrong, I love that we found out so early. There are so many things we need to get in order before he leaves that we needed all of that time. We are in the process of remodeling our new home, we have a toddler and an infant, and I will be starting college back on campus next month. We are in need of a new vehicle once income taxes come in and there is tons of different paperwork to complete. That is just a few of the things going on. I love that we get the time to really cherish our moments together and that we can plan things out. A lot of people aren't so lucky to get this much notice. But at the same time, this much of a notice makes that dreadful day stay looming over my head. It's always in the back of my mind. No matter what. It makes saying goodbye drag on and on and on. Like I said, I love the time I have, but sometimes I just feel like the sooner that day comes and goes the sooner he will come back to us.
I recently bought one of those recordable storybooks. You know, the ones where you can record your voice reading the story so your children can listen to you "reading" them a story when you aren't around. Well since it's Christmas time the stores had some of the Christmas themed ones out. I figured I can buy one of those for next Christmas while Jacob is away and buy a regular one after Christmas for everyday stories. I had bought it a few weeks ago and have been asking Jacob when he was going to record himself reading it so the kids can go ahead and start listening to it now since he works partial nights. Today he finally did it. I knew he had been putting it off because he didn't want to have to face the fact that he wouldn't be here for the little things such as reading stories. But today while we were watching a Christmas movie on TV, the characters were singing "Here Comes Santa Clause" and our oldest, Luke, who will be two next month, started dancing to it and trying to sing along. Now, this isn't the first time he does that. He does it ALL THE TIME lol. But for some reason, it hit Jacob hard, and he started to get emotional. He had to leave the room and when he came back in, he grabbed that recordable storybook off the shelf, sat on the couch, took Luke into his lap, and started recording himself reading the story to the kids. He teared up at times and so did I. I took pictures of Luke smiling so big and looking up to his daddy while he was reading.
This is one of those moments you cherish. A moment that I will cherish seeing them bond and knowing how great of a father he is to his boys. And a moment that he will cherish while he is away wishing he could hurry up and be back home with his family.
3,000 miles is long distance away, and a year is a long time to be separated. You can't just cuddle up together when you have had a bad day. You can't just text each other randomly throughout the day or night. I won't be able to just call him whenever I want to, or need to. He won't be here when the kids need him or when I need him. But if we have enough faith in our relationship and trust in God, I know we can make it, and 3,000 miles and a year won't seem as bad in the end. Just another obstacle to get past.