Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"Everyone Serves"

 I found this great resource while browsing the Blue Star Families website. Lots of really helpful links to information for spouses coping with deployments.

Everyone Serves can be downloaded in its entirety from Amazon.com, or accessed by section through the resource links below. Resources include videos, checklists and resources to help you through deployment and beyond.
  • Become more resilient
  • Strengthen your relationships
  • Learn coping strategies
  • Prepare for, manage, and succeed at reunion and reintegration

Assess and Respond: Coping with the Stress of Deployment: Access this section of the guide during the pre-deployment stage to help develop strategies for managing stress. Worksheets and exercises help you anticipate and prepare for stress–and develop strategies to respond.
Pre-Deployment Checklists: For service members and their partners, spouses, and loved ones: Use these checklists before deployment to ensure you have completed paperwork needed during or after you/your service member deploys. We provide separate checklists for legal matters, family matters, personal property, financial matters, as well as a family care plan.
Key Contacts Checklist: What may seem like a simple step–gathering key contact information and account details–can be a big help during deployment. Use this checklist to create a comprehensive list, and make sure to share your list with friends, family, or neighbors.
Coping During Deployment:  If you are the loved one of a service member who is deployed, use this checklist below to remind yourself of some positive ways to cope with the deployment.
Getting Help:  Staying connected can sustain the support network before and during deployment, but it is natural to feel sad and anxious during these times. Sometimes we all need a little help. Check out these strategies to learn more.
Caregiver Preparation Guide: In the event you are needed as a caregiver, being prepared helps. These checklists help with the nitty-gritty of caregiver preparation.

Monday, August 28, 2017

How Deep is Your Love?

Just dropped Tim him off at the airport and decided since we were wide awake we would make the day memorable in a positive way and treat ourselves to breakfast at a local diner. One of those 24hr, open 365 days a year family diner on the El Camino in San Mateo. It was still dark outside with the night air lingering and the streets devoid of cars.

We walked in to an empty restaurant but were greeted by a weary eyed waitress. "anywhere you want to sit" she said with a smile.

We found a table by the windows facing the street. Sarah and I looked at each other and asked "are you ok?" yes. We are both ok although we were a little sad  to say goodbye to her dad. Not gonna lie these deployments always come with a bit of uncertainty. I tried to find the right words to reassure her "we're pros at this...piece of cake... let's enjoy *this time *and make memorable moments we can look back on."

An older man walked in and sat down on one of the 80's forest green vinyl stools at the counter. The waitress greeted him too. She wore her jet black hair in a blue paisley bandana and had cheetah print tattoo covered shoulders. She asked if he wanted his waffles and big breakfast. He must be a regular customer.

He immediately started talking in a loud voice complaining about some guy that stiffed him for $460 dollars. He then went into a rant about lowlife people who don't work and want everything handed to them... and how people quit their jobs because they can't take orders. "Even the President takes F'n orders!" he shouted. He also hates commie hippies and declared himself an industrialist, somewhat religious but threw out f'bombs in every sentence. The waitress was at the end of her shift and I could sense counting down the minutes to clock out.

He continued his rant about people who hate him because he speaks his mind and is loud and obnoxious. At least he is self-aware.

When the waitress checked on us again we thanked her for working such a hard shift at this insane hour to have to put a smile on her face and serve people like him who had not one positive thing to say about anyone or anything. He even complained  about the music. (Bee Gees.... "How deep is your love" was playing) lol totally ironic. I don't understand how someone could spew such awful statements so early in the day and dump it all on this poor waitress.
Sarah and I concluded that her work shift 10pm to 6am had to be the worst ever.

She brought our check and smiled at us as if to say "sorry you had to sit through that". She told us she liked her job,  gets paid even better than her old job at the old Mills hospital that is now closed, well except she doesn't have benefits, but gets good tips and only has to work 3 nights a week.

We gave her a nice tip and waved goodbye. We thanked the Latino cook who was sitting by the exit door. He smiled back.

Teachable moment for us. There are very angry and bitter people out there. We can't change them. We can't change how they present themselves to the world we can only show them that love over all is the only way. A life of bitterness is no way to live. All we can do is show them how deep our love is.





Sunday, August 27, 2017

His departure

The fan hums in the background in a gentle whisper. In the distance airplanes approaching the runway at SFO and what sounds like a thunderous distant roar. For a second it reminds me of the sound the earth makes when the Bay quakes. I could see in my head people circling the airport arrival gates as they wait to hear from their wife, son, mother, father letting them know they have arrived.

The buzz of his clippers cuts through the fan, the flip flop of his chanclas as he walks around the bedroom stuffing his clothes and uniforms into his seabag. Packing for deployment, a ritual he has down to a science. The rattle of his aspirin bottle as he shakes to see what's left. I tell him to take it...I won't use it. I hear it all and absorb it like an old song I've heard before. Like that melody that I can't get out of my head on repeat.

His noise ... a reminder of the silence that will come and sit with me while he's gone.  Silence is bliss they say. I don't know about that?

The shower is on now, splashes of water hitting the shower door. Its 1:42 am, his flight leaves in just 4 hours. We will take a quick nap, wake up, load the car and drop him off.

A kiss, a hug and I love you be safe.

Sarah and I planned to get breakfast afterwards.

Reset clocks lets do this.



Monday, June 16, 2014

Memorial Day

Spent the morning placing flags on the graves of those that gave the ultimate sacrifice. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

I am super woman! ... not.


To all the fabulously brave military wives out there holding down the fort while their husbands are deployed. Be brave, be courageous and know that you are loved, valuable and strong. You can do this.

When things are falling apart, the kids need to be taxied, fed, the house cleaned and groceries done. The truth is with as many things as we try to juggle... things slip from our grasp and fall through the cracks. Some of us are superwomen in multi-tasking to keep every thing running straight and I tip my hat to those that can keep it all together.

I don't know about you, but as much I'd like to think that I am a superwoman ... truth is  I am human, I am frail, I am scared... but somehow know that it's all gonna be fine. One day at a time and on some days one hour at a time.

So just sending out this note to the universe of ladies out there who are doing it, living the military esposa life. It doesn't end even when they return home. You still hold down the fort, you still taxi kids, and buy groceries. Just remember to take care of yourself. After all you are good to no one if you can't function. So take the time to rest, feed your soul, feed your body, find alone time to recharge.

I promise you this, the cape will be waiting ...you can put it back on tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I think of you at 2 a.m.


One of the hardest things for me while my husband was deployed was the sleepless nights full of anxiety and wishing he was home to hold me. I'd fall asleep to the sound of Anderson Cooper's voice on TV and then wake up at 2am to the morning news just getting started on the East Coast. I lost a lot of sleep during the last 8 months, now that he is home. I am slowly getting back to sleeping through the night. It's blessing to be able to roll over and he is there laying next to me. I'm so thankful but honestly now I kind of miss Anderson Cooper.