I was all ready to post about the tomato soup we made and canned this past week. I was going to tell you about this book that was given to me by a good friend and is rocking my world. I could have told you about the little quilt Ian and I have been working on. Or the nature project Zane can't get enough of. But it just isn't happening. It all seems trite and false.
I mean, yes all of those things are really happening too. But there are bigger stories to tell here. Stories that I again hesitate to tell.
You see, this is one of the reasons things have been a bit quieter than usual around here. We're soaking in all of the Daddy time we can. Another deployment is quickly approaching. And so much I would normally post about just doesn't seem to work.
I went to the pre-deployment brief a few weeks ago. For you civilians, this is a meeting of everyone involved in the deployment: the commanders, the wives, the parents, the children of the soldiers that will be deployed and the support personnel. Those who hold so many lives in your hand give you numbers to call in case of an emergency. The jag attorneys remind you to have your wills updated. Everyone generally tries to give you the best support you can for the upcoming separation. Knowing full well that nothing can take the place of having a papa at home.
This briefing was the first one I have been to that they addressed social media. They encouraged families to put together a web page or a blog to keep in touch. But then discouraged giving any information about when anyone is leaving, when they will be returning, where they are headed, etc. Apparently, personal blogs have been a good source of intelligence information.
I have again set up a private blog, with password protection, where he can see daily updates on the boys. A space where they can send him a message and he can write back.
And really the details of future times and locations don't matter.
Gone is gone. And really, we know by now it is a choice to focus on the present. So we do.
And the now has involved lots of the beach.
Hurricane Bill and Danny have been stirring up some decent waves for our area. So we've been in the surf as much as one possibly can. And there have been other day trips to Northern Virginia, to Busch Gardens, to dinners with friends and the like. But even these seem a bit too precious to share.
These will be good memories for the boys to have of their papa. And for him as well. Memories that will serve us all well in the coming months.
The surfing photos above...this is how I choose to think of him. Doing what he loves most in the world. Calm and at peace. In the one place he hears from the creator. These are the images I will hold on to.
This is the photo that he will be taking with him overseas. He will not carry it on him. Instead, we will make him a pillowcase. That way he can go to sleep looking at their funny faces every night.
I hope you don't mind that I close comments on this post. I just want you to know that this will be the backdrop for tomato soup recipes and gardens and quilts for a while. And that these kind of family exchanges of preparing and saying good-bye are still happening. War is still happening. It is real. And personal.
I know you care. I really do. Thank you for that.
Much love to you my friends,