30 January 2009
That was one hell of a Band-Aid.
So, my deployment cherry has officially been popped and in case you were wondering, no, I didn't do it with any grace or dignity at all. I was a red-eyed, teary, snotty mess. (Still am.)
Did I mention that I miss him? God, do I ever.
Thankfully, the countdown can finally start. 365,52,12... from here on out they will only get smaller. That is a very good thing.
Anyway, I must pack up our home here on post and go back to the real world meaning I will be off the radar for a few days. So, this is Tucker signing off once again. Thanks for all of your support and kindness... please keep Swiss in your prayers.
29 January 2009
28 January 2009
The emotional roller coaster is in full effect with D-Day looming, nee breathing down our necks. One minute I am fine, the next I am fighting to hold back tears. One minute I am laughing and living up every last minute to the fullest, the next I can't stop the tears and they begin rolling down big, fat trails across my face. I know I blogged about this before... only now it is on steroids.
I know there is no rhyme or reason to this. I know there is no norm... nor is there a right or wrong. But I wish I could get a grip. Anyway, we are getting closer to being able to count down and get this par-tay started. So, wish us luck, wish me a wee bit of grace, and wish for Swiss a safe journey and safer tour.
26 January 2009
In the course of the last 24 hours these things have happened here at the Tucker & Swiss homestead:
Swiss and I bought a truly gross bottle of wine, Rieslings are supposed to be light and sweet, not a replacement for household cleaners. And doesn't it make you mad when you spend money on something that tastes like swill? From now on I will only let Swiss buy the wine. He has waaaay better luck than me.
25 January 2009
I have read the stories about women who get to the point where they just want the deployment to start already. I read those stories 6 months ago. I couldn't understand it. Not one bit. I thought, how could these women want their husbands to leave? How could they wish the deployment would start sooner? ARE THEY MAD? Nope, I couldn't fathom it at all.
And here I sit, 6 months removed from when we first learned of the deployment and first read those stories, just wishing it would get started already. Talk about full circle.
I think Swiss and I are simply ready to get things going, instead of waiting, waiting, waiting. Not that I want to see him go any sooner than he has to (but don't get me started on the clearing/flagging process the Army has... you'd think the folks on post have never done this "Fit for Duty" thing before by the looks of it. Bah!) and not that I want to have less time with him. Don't misunderstand me. I just want to get on with this so that it can get over with sooner.
I am weary of anticipating the goodbye. I am tired of preparing to be sad and/or lonely. I am just so over staring at that stinky, hairy gorilla every day and every night.
23 January 2009
Check this out... I know that Wisconsin programs to boost college attendance aren't every one's bag, but it is a great article and Beth is super smart and awesome and I totally have to brag her up. I mean, com on, this is good stuff, and it is in the CHICAGO TRIBUNE! Awesomeness.
"We think it would lead to more kids going to college by tapping a group that isn't accessing college at the level we feel is possible," Stransky said. "A state investment of dollars would really give the Covenant meat. It would make it more than just a symbolic action."
Smarty. Pants. Anyways, Kudos to you Sporty Spice!
20 January 2009
Time is short and so are tempers.
I am not a soldier and I am tired of being expected to act like one.
Emotions are running high and I just don't have it in me to write about it. I am drained right now. I promise to write more when the tanks are full again.
For now, this is Tucker signing off.
PS: Swiss brought me flowers when he came home from lunch. Swoon. This afternoon has been better... this morning was awful rough. Thanks for the support ladies.
(PPS: This is a big day for our country... regardless of how you voted, I hope you wish only the best for this administration because their success means success for us and for this great place we proudly call home. Make the changes in yourself and we can all start down a new and better path. Sis B said it best. Enjoy this historic day everyone...)
19 January 2009
The sooner we start this thing, the sooner we get to the good side of being a single digit midget.
As for now... it fills me with fear, sadness, worry and dread. The shrinking numbers are whittling away at my resolve and my determination to be strong for Swiss (and my family... and at times, myself). I really don't want to be melodramatic, but I have never experienced anything like this. I have never been put through the wringer, emotionally speaking, like this before. I have never felt fear like I do when I think about Swiss going off to war. I have never worried about anyone as much as I worry about him. And I have never been so bummed out about not getting to just be with someone.
It is maddening how little control any of us have over these situations, maybe that should make it easier... letting go of the things you can't control, but it doesn't. Not one bit. I cried when I heard that LAW didn't really get to say her goodbye. It makes me furious to think that Swiss's date may yet change. It is disheartening to feel so helpless and so powerless to ensure his safe (and healthy) return.
So, for now, I am doing a lot of deep breathing. (And wine drinking.) I am focusing on the present and looking forward. Forward to when being a single digit midget will be the most thrilling, exciting thing I have ever experienced.
16 January 2009
But I digress. As you all know it is a military 4-day weekend and Swiss doesn't have to work ANY of it. Lucky me! :) So, I am signing off for a few days of blissful togetherness. Have a stellar weekend internets and catch you on the flip-side!
15 January 2009
Other than being insanely cold and windy, we had fun and got to do PT, camo up our faces (thank you for the breakout), then throw some grenades, fire off some M4's, clear rooms and medevac out some dummies... and get reeeeeel close to a helicopter. It was pretty fun and I was so totally sore the next day (confirming that I really, really need to get back to the gym).
14 January 2009
As I was going through, I was worried that the label "embracing the suck"would be the most often one used. What does that say about me? What does that say about military life? What does that say about this blog? eek.
But thankfully "army" and "happy" (!!!) beat it out. I think that is a good sign.
Aaah... 365. I hate that number because, actually it is a really long time when you count it in days. But I've got a project/idea that Swiss and I may or may not successfully complete, but I'm hoping this project will give us a better opinion of said number.
This project isn't anything new... flickr is chock full of Project 365 tags (by the way, Photojojo is awesome... if you like taking photos at all go check them out). And in case you haven't heard of it, the premise is simple: document every day of a year with a photograph. There are no subject requirements, just that you take a photograph a day for a year.
So that is what I am going to do... and Swiss is going to do the abbreviated version of one photo a week when he is over in the Sandbox. The plan is that when he comes back we will put them together in a schmancy book that could be, actually, really cool. I'm kind of geeked about how cool it might be.
Anyway, this will start soon. Probably shortly after he deploys, so be ready for more photos on the site, aren't you lucky! I'm thinking I will compile a week's worth of photos in one post, and then if Swiss ever finds his way to a computer out in the middle of nowhere he can see them all in one fell swoop.
So let me ask you ladies this: what are you gals doing (or what have you done in the past) to document the time apart? I'd love to hear what y'all have done!
Thanks again for all of your support yesterday- you have no idea how much it helped! :)
13 January 2009
Last night we got blind-sided with a new deployment date (earlier, OF COURSE) at the Pre-Deployment Briefing. Awesome. I don't know about you, but I totally love being blind-sided. And by that, I mean not. Decidedly not.
Ooh, and we were cheerfully told to "just be flexible" since they have NO idea where they are going and that they are likely to move around a lot once they are in theatre. He actually told us that since the amount and type of communication technologies were highly in question for this deployment, we should really get back to basics and work on letter writing. Aww, how precious. HOW CAN I WRITE LETTERS TO MY HUSBAND IF I DON'T KNOW WHERE HE IS???
Anyway, I'm just pissy because we had a time-table, we had things organized and planned. It was a little like a security blanket, it made me feel like I had at least a teensey bit of control over the situation. This throws everything out the window.
I'm surly that I might not get to talk to him all that often, I am worried about how much harder this is going to be if we can't communicate any way other than snail mail. I am scared about how far my imagination will run at night when I haven't heard his voice in weeks. I am frustrated that nothing is going how we thought it would. And I can't change any of it.
I know this is normal, I know that him leaving earlier means he will come home earlier, blah, blah, blah. None of that helps right now. I'm just surly.
12 January 2009
So, in this vein, I try not to post too much about family matters that extend beyond Swiss and I. It feels a little odd to put the family's dirty laundry out there, and it makes me worry about my own Karma.
But I am going to tell this tale just because it is proof that Karma does work. So here it goes and let's hope this doesn't mess up my Karma...
Swiss got a letter back home the other day about late Child Support. Now, Swiss is insanely punctual and generous when it comes to this matter. As well he should be. More over, Swiss Jr. has been living with his uncle for the past 3-4 months, not with his mom. Why you ask? Because right around our wedding (you can decide if that is a coincidence or not) the ex-Mrs. Swiss (we will call her P) called us up hysterical and emphatic that she just couldn't take Swiss Jr. anymore, that he was too much and she just didn't want him. (Harsh, I know. I can't imagine how this made Swiss Jr. feel.) Anywhoodles, since Swiss was about 3 weeks away from moving here to Fort X and had a deployment on the near horizon, we (meaning Swiss's family and us) decided that it would be best for Swiss Jr. to stay in town and keep things as close to normal as possible. Thankfully Swiss's brother chipped in and has been taking great care of him ever since, and receiving the Child Support money as he rightfully should.
So, back to the letter. Swiss called the lady today to find out the deal. Turns out P applied for City funding because she got fired from her job and got her car repossessed (I am so not making this up) and hasn't been working for quite a few months now, and, well, she doesn't have Swiss Jr.'s child support money to spend now. Tricky bit about it is that the City does an automatic audit on you when you apply for this funding. She applied saying that she had custody of Swiss Jr., trying to milk the Government teat for all it was worth I assume. So Swiss politely told the lady that, no, Swiss Jr. has been living with someone else for months now. Heh. I don't know what will come of it, but I'd like to think that Karma will take over from here.
11 January 2009
Swiss loves it because now we are in the same decade. (He's 38) I am okay with it too... heck, age is just a number, right? I don't feel any different... but life sure is different.
Well, on second thought, maybe I do feel different after all... I am entering this decade blissfully married, an Army wife (tally that up under things I never thought I would be), living 1,000+ miles from anyplace I ever called home, not working, and unsure of what I will be doing a year from now. My, how things have changed! But I count every bit of it as a blessing and I wouldn't change any of it for all the tea in China.
09 January 2009
Did you know that this makes me insane?
I mean, there are so many things we just can't know, things that aren't meant for us to know, or things that aren't planned. I get that. But is it too much to ask that one would have a generally concept of what her husband will be doing once deployed? Like, will it be dangerous? Or will it be a desk job? Will he be outside the wire much? Will he be at a FOB that has phones? Will he be staying in-country after the half way point or will he be completely relocated, if you know what I mean? Seriously. How do you just not know when we are so close?
Vent over... for now.
08 January 2009
Only we won't have a place to live or jobs yet. Details! Details!
Anyone who knows me in real life is aware of the fact that I am a planner. Don't get me wrong, I can be whimsical and spontaneous, it just doesn't usually play out that way. Gaw, that makes me sounds stuffy! Anyway, Swiss and I have been doing reconnaissance on where to retire, what jobs we are going to have, buy a house or build one and so on. Sometimes we just snoop around on real estate web sites looking for what is out there... I did some of that this morning, it was fun and interesting and exciting to plan and think about our future. And then Swiss came in with the paperwork for his will and handing over power of attorney. Buzz Kill.
I think that, sometimes, planning for the future like that can be an escape. It can be a little umbrella shielding you from reality for a bit, allowing you to live in a world where he has come home from the deployment safe and sound, his retirement was approved, and he wasn't stop-lossed. A place where happily ever after really does happen (and isn't Disney).
And other times it can feel like a taunt. Like a carrot being dangled in front of you, hopelessly out of reach. You know where you want to go, but you aren't sure if you are going to get there, or God forbid, you will get there alone. This morning, after the buzz kill, the website was still up on the computer and it left such a sour taste in my mouth, looking at the homes and land way out west. This morning it felt like a taunt.
Anyway, I have faith that our happily ever after will arrive right on schedule, just as planned. I don't think there is any other way to do it, honestly. But those are my 2 cents on planning. At least as it stands today...
07 January 2009
But I hate emotional roller coasters even more than the real deal. I like to think I am pretty even keeled, I have a steady temperament and am generally a happy, quirky, fun gal. But this deployment business can really put some kinks in one's demeanor.
Like yesterday... one minute I am crying as I watch Swiss walk to work, then I write an entry here that is all somber and introspective and then I chase down a wiener dog and blog about that too. Then I work on the letter I am going to stuff in his ruck and I am all misty again. Hella misty. But I go pick him up from work and all we do all night is laugh and snort and have fun.
While Swiss is at work I have loads of time to think and muse and do loads of frivolous things (read: Guitar Hero), and this morning I was sitting here thinking about the past few days and how surreal they have been. I sometimes just can't wrap my head around the sheer volume of emotions this THING is pulling out of me. To be scared out of your gourd and laughing hysterically in a matter of minutes is seriously taxing. Pouring out your emotions and fears and trying your best to convey everything you feel on a piece of paper and then not 10 minutes later merrily cooking dinner and pleasantly talking about our days is not normal, at least not in my book. Bah!
Anyway, I will just chalk this all up to being one of the many things I didn't see coming. And maybe some of you can relate... maybe not. Maybe I am just crazy. But if you know what I mean, I'd love to hear your take on it all...
06 January 2009
You just don't see that every day.
In a flash they were gone, presumably to the next street over. But upon walking into the house, I could see out the back patio doors the same twee little Dachshund just past the fence in our back yard. Yeah, I totally snuck out the front and snatched up that wiener dog. Like a ninja. He didn't even know what got him. I dutifully returned the Dachshund to the winded soldier and went inside to unpack my groceries. Aaah, life on post.
If you asked me how I am coping or what it is I am doing to prepare for this... I couldn't really give you an answer... I guess I am just trying to keep my head above water. I am trying to not dwell on it, it will be all too real all too soon. I am trying to cherish and make the most of all the little things, all the little moments that Swiss and I share. I keep telling myself that the sooner this all starts, the sooner it will be over. And, for now, I am trying to keep it together. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Like this morning when I watched him walk to work... every time he leaves now days it feels like training camp for when he really does leave. I cried this morning because it seemed too real.
But Swiss... well he is doing things differently. He is still, for the most part, normal Swiss. But he is quieter. He is more introspective. There are more moments when he is staring off in the distance, deep in thought. And for some reason those moments cut straight through me. Not because I am worried about us, not because I think his issues are with me or how our relationship will fare. But because through all of this build-up since summer when we found out he would be going to the Sand again, he has been the rock. He has been relatively unaffected aside from acknowledging how much it will suck to be apart. He has been the unfazed one, the steady, reassuring one helping me through. But now, when I look at him, it is so very apparent that it is all hitting home for him too, that he is trying to cope and prepare just as I am. And of course he should be... why wouldn't he?
It all makes perfect sense... so I don't know why it is so unsettling to me. Maybe because somewhere in my mind, if he wasn't nervous or worried, I could rest a little easier, breathe a little deeper, not be as scared or unsettled. But if he is nervous, if he is anxious and unsure (again, why wouldn't he be... he is going to war for crying out loud. I suspect no matter the bravado or what they say, every soldier feels this way pre-deployment.), then it gives more weight to my fears, my nerves, and my worry. I can see that this isn't fair to Swiss... he is more than allowed to do and feel what he needs to in order to prepare for this. He is the one who is taking on the danger and the risk, he is the one who will be living it, he is the one who has to be away from every one and everything he loves. And, gauging by some of the stories I have heard, I would rather have him cope this way rather than pick fights or become totally detached.
But let me tell you this; the sound of his silence is deafening.
05 January 2009
Okay, I am cold because we totally had an ice storm last night. Yes Virginia, Ice. We are in the south. 1,000+ miles south of home. And our temperatures are the same. Oh, and on Saturday it was 70 degrees and sunny. That, folks, just ain't right.
I am blue because the Big D is looming. Looming like bad weather on the horizon. And everywhere I look there are signs that it is coming faster and faster... the packed rucks in the back room, the yet unpacked gear strewn about the living room, the long silent moments when Swiss is deep in thought. And then there are the things I'm not ready to see yet... the things that I am forced to deal with as I drive through post. Troops packing gear and getting onto buses. Families saying goodbye in parking lots. I have a hard time not letting it hit home.
I would so like to think I am going to be strong, going to be able to keep myself together when that day comes. And I just know I won't. I can't. For some reason I think I shouldn't cry when we say goodbye, I shouldn't fall apart for even a little while. But I know I will. I am scared. I am worried, I am tired of this process of getting ready to leave the one you love. I am frustrated by the lingering questions that won't get answered until he is over there for some time. I am hopeful for our future, but I can't get excited about any of it until he is home safe and sound.
I know that I shouldn't put any expectations on how that day will go. I know I shouldn't put any expectations on myself. It just needs to happen and it is okay if I cry. Swiss knows I show my emotions through my tear ducts. And he knows I will be strong for him and for us while he is gone. But this feeling of anticipation, the preparing to be apart, the cramming everything into what little time we have left... It sucks.
02 January 2009
We just made it back from the tundra and I want to be sure to wish everyone a safe, happy, and speedy 2009. (I do realize that not everyone is all on board the speedy train... but that one is for LAW and me and all the other gals who will have their loves gone for the bulk of it, or all of it for that matter. And when I say speedy, I mean like Mach-12 speedy. Seriously. MACH-12!)
I will get back to normal (whatever that is) posting after the weekend. Swiss and I need a nice quiet break after a twee bit of family drama and the long drive down... we have a lot of football to watch too! :)
Take care and Happy 2009! Happy weekend too!!!