I'm going to leap ahead to present day, since DH is about to deploy. I will be updating several times a week know so others can follow along for the deployment. I may fill in other details at another time...
We've known this deployment was coming for over a year but it didn't really seem real for a long time. The first time it actually hit me was about a month ago when DH packed up his "toughboxes" with equipment and I saw how empty our spare room was. (Most military families have a large closet, a section of the garage, or a spare room that houses the gear...you can try to organize it but your best hope is really to just contain it in a spot you can hide when company comes over.)
Right now we are having lots of "lasts," with careful care to add, "for a year" or, "until you return."
I guess I am a little supersticious about these things.
For a few weeks, I felt like DH did not understand how difficult this is for me. After all, I have it easy, right? I do not have to go off to the sandbox and try to help people who want to kill me. I KNOW it is tough for him, but he has his responsibilities to keep him from dwelling on it. He can actively work to protect himself and his men...but all I can do is offer long-distance moral support.
Everything has been about him this last month or so. Even in normal circumstances I am very happy to do things for DH and you cannot really deny something to a man who is about to go off to war. Still, I was feeling a little left out.
We flew off to NY for DH's leave in early November (leave just happened to correspond with his birthday), and then AGAIN for Thanksgiving (which is a big family holiday for him). Because the command cannot give straight answers about leave and passes, we had to buy both sets of tickets last minute--paying an outrageous ammount of money. This is the least of my complaints...but due to OPSEC (Operational Security) I probably shouldn't mention most of them right now.
When we went to NYC the first time, we bounced from his family, to friends in the city, to my family, with all of these sleeping arrangements and plans being made last minute.
We had a wonderful time, but it was just so exhausting for me!
Of course, I do not want to deny any of this to DH...but if it had been up to me, we would have only gone to NY once, and saved the money and stress.
Well, DH and I had a conversation about this a couple of nights ago and I was not really sure he understood. I've learned not to push things too much with him, though, so I just expressed my feelings and we went to sleep.
The next day, he shows up around lunch time to take me out to a lunch date. On the way, I asked what we should do during his "last" weekend before deployment. He asked me, "What would you like to do?"
I have to hand it to him, he may not be psychic, but he really does listen and he does try.