Truthfully, I have no idea how many parts this thing will have! You can start with Part 1 here.
After my parents left, we tried to carry on a “new” normal. We kept up our regular schedule as much as possible, even when I didn’t want to. We got to talk to Ron on the phone almost every day, as he was still in the states for training. The phone calls became a part of our normal routine. Some days the girls would want to talk to him, and some days they didn’t want to. I tried not to push it if they didn’t feel like it.
I started making mental, or even written notes about things to remember to tell him–funny little things, important things, questions about finances, decisions, or parenting. I am not the greatest verbal communicator, but I knew how important it was to keep the lines of communication open during this time, so I tried really hard to talk more on the phone.
I also wrote–which is an easier way for me to express myself. I wrote emails and snail-mail letters telling him big and small stuff and what I was experiencing and feeling. One of the amazing things I did not expect was the way our communication improved through this time! We made comments about how we felt somehow closer to one another, even though physically apart.
We gained a huge new appreciation for one another. The phrase, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” truly came to life for us. It was like all the little stuff–the little irritations, petty differences, didn’t matter nearly as much anymore. We were somehow able to focus only on what was really important.
The girls and I got to see him for a day right before he actually shipped out. It was a wonderful, short, emotionally packed time, but I’m glad we got it. He had only been gone for about a month, but somehow it was best to be together before the “real” deployment time started.
The plan was for the girls and I to stay in our house until it sold and then make the move to my parents’ place in California. Through an interesting set of circumstances, that I now see as God working out, we ended up renting to some friends and we were able to join my family in June…
Next Wednesday–Part 3 (The ups and downs of living with parents)