Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Because I believe in signs...

I often have dreams where my relatives who have died visit me. After my aunt died, I had a dream that we were sitting at a table together at some sort of function, and she said to me, "It's okay that you didn't go to my funeral." I had the flu so entirely bad I spent the day before her funeral, at my son's baptism, on the floor in the priests' room. I was too sick to go to her funeral, and felt bad about it. Her coming to me in my dream made me feel a lot better, and I truly believe she came to me specifically, in my dreams, to let me know that.

I've had several including my beloved grandfather. They are always fun, and I appreciate him coming into my dreams.

Last night, however, was different. I was getting ready to go on a boat trip. I met up with a red-haired man. The man I met was Jason Dahlke. Jason died in Afghanistan in August of 2009 while on a mission. He was one of my husband's Soldiers. I never met him. I have heard many great things about him as a person, and hearing and reading about him makes me know I missed out on knowing an extraordinary man.

I knew it was Jason in my dream. I can't recall everything, except I instantly liked him. Not romantically, mind you. He has a beautiful wife. We were instant friends. I offered him some sort of clothing to take on the boat. Then he went and got a jean jacket that was lined with lambswool to take with him. At the last minute, I decided against going on the boat, because of a warning of rough seas and my tendency towards seasickness. I made Jason promise to keep in touch through the boat ride, and that we would meet up again when he got back.

I woke up not knowing how to feel. I feel honored that Jason came to me in my dream. I felt the need to share this, to see if anyone had any other ideas. I like to think that this means that Jason and his fellow comrades are looking down and taking care of Adam and his men, currently deployed.

Thank you, Jason. I feel, in a small way, that we have met. You really are extradordinary.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Because it's been a week ...

So I haven't been blogging every day since Adam left. Oh well. But I know exactly how I have felt since he left nine days ago. You name the emotion, I've felt it.

The first week I allow myself to feel a bit bad for myself. Just a little - no pity parties here. Addison had a tough time the first day and a half. It's tough for an almost 12-year-old boy to know his dad will be gone for the next few months. He'll miss seeing him play baseball for the All-Stars, miss his last day of sixth grade, miss his 12th birthday. Addison is a resilient, tough kid though. I like to think the life of a Special Operations soldier's child will prepare him for most anything life will throw at him.

So the first week is done. I'm still trying to pick myself up by the bootstraps, whatever the hell that means. Putting on my big girl panties. It's not easy, no matter how many times we've done this before. (EIGHT) It's an uneasy feeling giving that last kiss, the last goodbye wave, the last glimpse of his face. I try to be positive. He'll come home. He'll come home safe and sound. I can't bear to think of it any other way. Reality can kiss my ass right now.

This trip seems a bit easier in some ways. I was honest with myself. I went to my doctor. I'm on an antidepressant. It's only been two weeks since I started it, but it is helping. I still can't sleep worth a crap, but that is something I can work on.

So far, so good. I'm laying off the booze for the most part, and getting out and doing things. I can't stop life, and life won't stop me.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Because I've been thinking ...

I've been thinking that I might try to blog this next deployment. It's hard, because of the operational security related to Adam's job, but I think maybe I can do it in generalities, more like what I'm feeling, how it's going, etc.

When Adam calls us from "over there" as we call it, we talk about my day, and Addison's day. It's hard for Adam to share anything, because we both know he would never and never has shared anything even related to being over there over the phone. He takes his job and his security and that of others around him seriously. I appreciate that. I wish everyone would just shut their mouths and do their job, and not put others in danger. I wish wives would stop trolling for sympathy. Some is fine, but not ALL the time. I finally admitted to myself that I owed it to Adam, and Addison, and myself even, to get to the doctor for help. I am now armed with antidepressants, because I recognize the past few deployments have been harder than they should have. I don't need to walk around in a constant fog of depression. That's not healthy for anyone.

So I think most days I will try to post what that day feels like. I'm no dummy, so the first few days will all probably show up at one time. I'm not telling you when he leaves and I'm not letting you know when he'll be back. I want each and every person over there to come home safely.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Because sometimes secrets are good ...

I had an interesting conversation on Twitter today. Basically, it was about the constant need of the general public to know absolutely everything.

We aren't owed anything. We know there's two wars going on, but really, how much do we really know about what goes on in the big sandbox across the globe?

Honestly, I don't know a whole lot about what Adam has done with each and every deployment. In a sense, I don't want to know, because realistically, we don't know how many more times in the next few years he'll have to go over. I'm a realist, and I know his job is a dangerous one. I just don't want to know how dangerous quite yet.

We made a deal many years ago. On the day of his retirement, we're getting a couple cases of beer, and he's going to go through all of his memories, and share them with me. I know what he has done overseas is amazing, along with his entire unit. The public and mainstream media will never know all the brave acts of these men.

Why people feel the need to think they know absolutely everything because they watch the news and read the newspaper is beyond me. They have no clue. Someday, I look forward to these men and women being able to tell their story. We had the Greatest Generation, now we have the Next Great Generation unfolding before our very eyes.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Because do you really think I wouldn't have something to say today? ...

I knew something big was happening last night while laying in bed watching t.v. The president speaking at 10:30 at night? Something was up. So of course I got on Twitter, because if you want to know something, anything, get on Twitter.

Within minutes it was confirmed that Osama Bin Laden was dead. I waited for a few more confirmations before rousing Adam and telling him the news. I had to repeat myself a few times, it sunk in, he gave me a high five, then fell back asleep.

It wasn't the reaction I was expecting from a man who has spent a good amount of time overseas for the past 10 years. But that's him, not me. For me, it was a catharsis. Each and every deployment, every lonely minute Addison and I spent was somehow made right. Sure, there are a million more bad guys for every one Bin Laden, but for me, he embodied all that is evil. He was the mastermind behind 9/11, and that day began our war against terror. Everyone's lives were changed, including our entire military.

Here's where I become angry - the whole joyous event of finding out about his death has become politicized. How hard is it to simply say, "Way to go American troops, you did it!" Why turn it into an agenda? How very immature and self-centered. Do you know how much planning, how many years of intelligence, how many troops on the ground and beyond went into the operation? It wasn't one person.

The surge in patriotism is great, don't get me wrong. Do you want to know where the patriotism has been since '01? With every single military family. We have been quietly sending our men and women off to war, never knowing if we will see them again. We let that breath go when we see them again, no matter how long the deployment may be. We grieve with those who lose their loved ones. We offer support to each other; we are a family. Adam, and his brothers in arms, are the true silent professionals. They leave and come back with no fanfare. They do their job, and they do it spectacularly. They don't ask for handouts, or recognition.

My wish is this - for just one day, put aside the politics. Celebrate the death (my that sounds horrid of me, but you get the gist) of a tyrant, who killed our fellow Americans. Don't forget those still fighting, those returning, and those getting ready for yet another deployment. Take a minute to remember our fallen service members, their families, our wounded warriors and their caretakers. It's just one day, one day, to look beyond yourself to recognize some truly amazing people, people I am proud every day to say I know and love.