We're all a little "down in the mouth" around here today because J's leave request was denied for the Thanksgiving holiday. We were planning on being able to visit our families back home since Thanksgiving is my mother's favorite holiday and the day after is a family birthday.
I suppose it was a little naive of me to think we would have no trouble getting off but with the "real world" stuff going on there just not going to be able to spare him. That and all the guys that are on a deployment right now have already requested their leave for when they return and... you guessed it they'll be back for the holiday.
That is one of the things that's really rough about this job. For all the amazing benefits sometimes it's really hard not knowing what comes next and never being able to make any really concrete plans.
You wont find me complaining about military life very often. The truth is I feel very fortunate. Three years ago when we were first engaged and J was laid off for the winter for the fourth year in a row and we didn't know how we were going to make ends meet and he was fighting tooth and nail to enlist despite medical conditions we learned the definition of struggling to survive. We had to pick and choose which bills to pay and pay for groceries and gas with pennies. I was working full time and going to school full time and digging us even further in debt with student loans. It was brutal. Like we-can't-afford-dog-food-feed-them-rice brutal.
Living in England, not having to survive paycheck to paycheck, having reliable medical insurance, and a steady paycheck is a dream come true. We don't worry that J will be laid off for the winter or that his paycheck wont be enough to buy groceries. Being able to afford to have a baby was a amazing and the experience has been wonderful. We would never be where we are today or have what we have today if it weren't for the military.
Most days that is how I feel. Thankful. And fortunate.
Most days J's job is just a job. He gets up in the morning and gets dressed for work, he kisses me on the forehead and says goodbye to our son, he drives to base and puts in his 8 or 9 hours, and then he comes home.
Some days it's harder than that. Some days when there is "real world" stuff going on we ask ourselves if it's worth it. Some days when we are feeling homesick and lonely we ask ourselves if it's worth it. We invariably come to the conclusion that it is eventually.
In the mean time, it's hard.
It's hard feeling like a single parent when I prepare for a deployment or feeling so completely alone and isolated because we literally can't visit our family.
It's hard to watch him put on that uniform and know that someday he might die in it.
It's hard to know that there are so many others just like us. Who feel just like we do.
It's hard today.