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    Posted March 22, 2014 by
    Lindstrom, Minnesota
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Salute to families

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    I hate that my husband is gone (part 2 out of 5)

    My husband has recently been deployed overseas on a military mission. A mission that will keep him away from home more than a year.

    I had no idea that one word — year — could cause such intense emotion.

    I'll start with the minor things: I detest taking out the garbage. I hate wheeling the ginormous cans down our steep and rocky driveway to the street.

    I don't like changing light bulbs: I'm short and not so keen on being reminded of what I cannot reach. My 9-year-old says, "Mom, I'm almost as tall as you — lemme do it."

    And it pains me that I cannot sleep in. I am a great sleeper — one of my proudest accomplishments, really — and cherish every moment in my cozy bed. But it's impossible unless I want to risk a living room filled with ground-up cereal and a dog adorned in lipstick and painted nails. The children like to knock over furniture, grab every blanket from the house and make a fort for toys they have brought in from the mud. My personal favorite: "But Mom, we had to let the bugs go in the house, they needed to be free." So I get up.

    The truth is that I prefer silly banter to confronting personal feelings and making them known to others. I'm aware that my words can come across as glib or trifling. So let me put away the facade and get real.

    I hate that my husband is gone.

    I'm so sad that he will miss out on some milestone achievements with our boys; that we will celebrate our 10th anniversary apart; that he is fighting a war in dangerous area and that I'm not privy to information about where he'll be. I never know when I may actually be able to speak with him and am worried he may call and I won't hear the phone.

    So how do we cope? It's a moment-by-moment process.

    I allow for days when we stay in bed or just veg out on the couch; times where we cry and grow frustrated with one another; places where we go to feel "free," momentarily. We go to counseling, and I am actively in touch with my boys' teachers. I let everyone know how the family is doing.

    I also text my husband when I can (sometimes driveling with such insecurity that I push for lovey-dovey words from him; then I get frustrated when his response sounds forced). I try to not bother him with daily issues, yet find it hard to stop myself from divulging niggling details, since this is the guy I usually process life with.

    We go to an incredible church and stay informed from Beyond the Yellow Ribbon — an organization that goes the extra mile in helping keep families strong. Plus, I allowed each of the boys to pick an extracurricular activity that makes him feel heard and supported. (One chose drum lessons, another is doing a Bible camp, and the youngest is determined to drop-kick himself into karate.)

    This is my family. This is how we survive. It may not be what everyone would consider the right way, but it works for us and that's what matters.
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