Several years ago my husband deployed for the Air Force quite often.
He left for a deployment to Iraq in the Spring of 2003 literally 3 days after I gave birth to our twin girls, leaving me to hold down the fort with not just one kid now but three!!!
night before his deployment to Iraq
fighting while on deployment
I will never forget what an eye opening experience that was! Especially because we lived in the Northwest on the other side of the country from my family !!! It was a challenging time that I learned A LOT from. It was during those times when he was off fighting in a war and I was left at home being a ‘single’ mom, that I learned how strong that I could be, how strong I had to be, and how strong I could become.
Now looking back, I realize how those hard and difficult times helped me learn, grow, and develop in so many ways that I never realized were even possible! I learned so many things about myself that I didn’t know or ever think I was capable of. It was truly devastating to send my husband off to fight in the thick of a war, him being off somewhere in the middle of nowhere that felt like a million miles from home, and even worse to have a worrisome fear that he could possibly not come back home alive. A couple of weeks after he left each time is when I knew it was time and I had to make a choice, and each time I knew that I had to pull up my boot straps, dust myself off, and get back in that saddle, and just get busy!
me and my girls
I was pretty busy with 3 little kids but I decided each time that I needed a focus and a goal to work on. Each time he left I would pick a new goal or challenge so that I would have a healthy focus instead of allowing worry to consume me. I could have spent many many days and nights wallowing in self pity and bawlin’ and squawlin’ because I missed my husband terribly, but where is the fun and the point in that?!
Thanks to my local motivating friends, I decided to start running, at first for weight loss and then eventually loved it for my sanity’s sake! I invested in an awesome double jogger stroller and we became the best of friends! Every morning I would walk my oldest daughter to school down the street from our house and then I would take off running the trails on McChord AFB where we lived with my twin girls and our little Rat Terrier, Jasper. It was the perfect place for running because the weather is awesome (meaning it doesn’t get hot and humid like Texas – not the rain ) and the scenery is just gorgeous!!
At one point, our good friends Mike & Dana overlapped a deployment with my husband’s and I got to dog-sit their babies while they were all gone. This was my ‘running rig’ for a good 6 weeks. It was one of those experiences that I look back on now and realize the hard work it took for me to do that everyday. I would get all kinds of looks and stares when we were running but I never thought a thing about it!!! It was my routine and was just the norm for me. Running was my therapy and was a great workout! (for the dogs and kids too! ) At one point it helped me lose 30lbs while my husband was on a deployment that ended up being for 6 months instead of his assigned 3 months. !!!
family picture before next deployment
deployment to Afghanistan
on his way home finally after spending 3 extra months there
welcoming Daddy home again after 6 longgg months!
home sweet home where you belong!
We are always going to have hard times with some experiences being much easier and some being much more difficult. Its during those times that we have a choice to make. Are we going to find our focus or are we going to let it beat us down??
I also love this quote because having gone through all 3 of these - I believe it now!
Which hard are you going to choose??