Friday, April 16, 2010

One hundred days

100 Days
2408 Hours
144502 Minutes

Derek has had my full support in his decision to enlist in the Army National Guard and I am so proud of his commitment to serve our country.

I pride myself in being an independent and capable person and have known from the beginning that Jackson and I will be okay while he is away. We will go on with our daily lives and I will learn to pick up the responsibilities that he typically handles (my biggest concern is paying the bills- I have no idea what is due when!). I know without a shadow of a doubt that we will function just fine (don't single parents do this all of the time and still manage?). But I know I am going to miss him incredibly, not just as a partner for getting chores done, but as a confidant and best friend.

Last night was the very first time that I shed a tear about the fact that he will be leaving. I'm not much of a crier and I normally can hold myself together.

(I was known to tear up when my favorite person got voted out of survivor when I was pregnant. And the day when we brought Jackson home from the hospital and I cried uncontrollably because I thought Jackson was growing up too fast. I blame hormones for both incidents)

It comes with studying to be a counselor. I mean, it is my job to have my stuff together. But up until this point, I have focused on how Jackson and I will function and it wasn't until last night that I realized that I won't just be missing a "helper" but the person who I love being around the most.

I still know we will be fine and I am certain that time will fly when Julie comes just six days after he leaves. We will be traveling to Derek's basic training graduation in October and Derek will be home for two weeks over Christmas. He will come home in March, so we will get short visits with him every couple of months- which I think will be really uplifting.

To all you other military families-what is your best advice to prepare for him leaving? What are things you did to help your kids remember Daddy?


  1. Amy,

    Since I live here in Military land, aka Norfolk, I actually have a suggestion! My friend's husband was deploying for 12 months and their son was about Jackson's age. The dad video taped himself reading books and singing silly songs and such. Then Christy and tommy would watch a video every few days. Then a few months ago while watching Army Wives they did the same thing!!

  2. You may already know some of these things, but just in case! Here are a few things we learned from my brother's basic in Columbus:

    - Send pictures often, but tape any pictures to the card/letter so the sergeant doesn't rattle them around.
    - If your grandmother sends cookies, the sergeant will eat them in front of your soldier and not let the soldier have any.
    - We sent a letter every day or every other day and THIS was the best thing for my brother. He said it took him a LONG time to catch up to reading everything because he didn't have much free time, but he loved knowing he had those letters and cards to turn to.
    - Send comics and news when you can also - they won't have access to news (this surprised me). We printed off any major news articles of things that were happening and my dad send him a comic a day.
    - Send him off with a few phone cards until he is allowed his cell phone again. My brother only needed a few to get through the first month or so and then he was able to have cell phone privileges on Sundays for a few minutes that gradually increased.
    - We didn't hear from my brother for 2 weeks I think after he left, which was awful and scary, but he was fine.
    - He was allowed to attend church on Sundays, sometimes twice a Sunday (this was also how he avoided cleaning duties, lol).

    That is all I can think of right now, I'll ask my brother if there was anything else he wished he'd had when he left. (His barracks did not have heat/ac, but some of them do, hopefully your husband will end up in one that does!!)


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