So, the Stravitsch Homefront survived the first month of deployment.
I remember for so long dreading this lifestyle. I would hear stories from women about FRG events and their camaraderie. Stories about “everything seeming like it was going wrong.” The delays in phone conversations from him and living leashed to various electronic devices. The stories about phone lines getting cut mid-conversation and about desperately needing to talk to the spouse, but knowing it could be awhile. I did not know if I could handle it. I questioned whether I could live a year with out my spouse. Whether I had the emotional and physical stamina to live under that kind of pressure.
While envisioning this lifestyle, I never factored in a sick daughter, shuttling her to various hospital visits. I never foresaw standing there, holding her down by myself while doctors and nurses poked her with needles, some of them laughing. I couldn’t have imagined watching her bruise everywhere, undergo multiple tests, and get the brush-off by doctors and hospitals.
You think people will take it easy on you because he’s gone. That doors will open, just because you committed yourself to this lifestyle. That other people will suddenly comprehend all you are going through and help you when you need it most. You think, somehow, the world will comprehend the massive load you are carrying in your heart, trying desperately not to breakdown. You are wrong. I was wrong.
I survived a month. Very few people know what I’ve carried through this last month as I trudge through this time without my help-mate. But they who know, celebrate with me at this hard won, though small, victory. Prayers have carried us, comfort has lifted us, and help has sustained us. We will continue to attain victory. Despite great struggle, huge crosses, and intense stress, my family will continue to move through the months. Through the weeks. Through the days. With the prayers, the comfort, and the help, we will conquer in the end. We celebrate not alone, but with those who have helped us through.