This past Tuesday, my son-in-law said goodbye to his wife and daughter and headed out for a year and a half deployment to Iraq. I had so many emotions and thoughts when I tried to blog about it that I realized that I was not quite ready to share them. So I thought I should start here: with my daughter’s blog.
I will respond soon to her blog and probably write a series on “war, political life and the gospel.” Anyway, by way of introduction, my daughter’s name is Talitha Kartler. She lives in Phoenix and is a gifted and called eighth-grade teacher. My granddaughter’s name is Kendall and she is four years old, very pretty and above average in every way! ( I have pictures if you are interested!)
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Until A Soldier Comes Home
Tonight I sit at my dining room table, eating a peanut butter sandwich, and it is completely silent. My daughter, exhausted from a day of playing, is asleep on the couch. I, on the other hand, am restless. Today I dropped off my husband, my companion of 10 years, at the airport as he heads for deployment in Iraq. There are a lot of other things that should be done right now. There is a pile of laundry on the couch, and the bills are next to me at the computer. I need to throw away the crusts from my peanut butter sandwich.
I wish I could say something profound about his departure. Just like this morning when I dropped him off, there were not adequate words. "I love you" had to cover the vast range of emotions that I had been reeling through in the last few days. Even now, there are so many things I want to say, and instead I'm trying to decide how I feel. It's a new emotion, or maybe no emotion at all. I'm not sure. I think that now I have resigned myself to the task that is at hand, which is to be the keeper of the household while Tyson is gone. I can handle myself; I know that there will be good days and crying days. So far I have been able to have a good cry and then pick up and move on. What I cannot figure out how to handle, however, is what just happened.
Kendall woke up from her late nap, lifting her fuzzy blond head from the couch in a bewildered state. Then the crying began. I couldn't quite figure out what she wanted, until she whimpered,
"Mommy, I miss Daddy."
So we fixed some chocolate milk, put on Loony Tunes, and now she and I are cuddled up on the couch.
I know that in time, Kendall and I will settle into a routine, fixing lunches, running late for school, watching movies on the couch. The days will pass. And then, by the grace of God, Tyson will be home.
I have never regretted Tyson's decision to join the Army. The Army needs someone like him. Anyone who knows Tyson would instantly agree with me. Tyson will be in his element over in Iraq. He will miss home, I know, but he will have quite an adventure. I also admire the way that our country has rallied around its military. Regardless of the public's varying views of the war, I feel that our soldiers have been treated with respect and appreciation. Our country is aware of the sacrifices our soldiers make.
But the families make sacrifices too.
Just remember that for every soldier fighting, there might be a child who is drinking chocolate milk, watching cartoons, and waiting for her daddy to come home.