Friday, September 24, 2010

Big Girls Don't Cry

I was enjoying a day of blog-hopping on Wednesday. Since I am new to this adventure, I was hopping to as many blogs as my kids would allow and very much enjoying the diversity that I was finding. But one blog stopped me cold. She had a countdown to the return of her deployed husband. I couldn't read blog hopping was done. I apologize now to her for not staying on her site longer or leaving a comment, but the memories her countdown conjured up were not ones that I wanted to entertain.

I know exactly what it's like to send a husband to war. I don't talk about the one really wants to know what the spouse left behind goes through, feels, fears. No one wants to let her cry and confess her deepest darkest thoughts...the reality of War is very scary. Please indulge me for just a moment:

I remember, very vividly, the birth of our 2nd born son, Tyson (he is now 7 1/2). It was a cold morning of a normal spring blizzard. I drove myself to the hospital for my scheduled induction leaving my 4 year old in the apartment with Great Grandma for the day. My OB/GYN had approved inducing me early in hopes that daddy would get to come home and meet his child before he left for war. He had been at mobilization station for the last 3 months, and their unit had just received orders to leave for Iraq.

I won't bore you with the details of delivery-they are all terrible, aren't they? Actually, all of my deliveries have been very joyous...but this one was different. All the nurses and staff new my predicament, but nobody really wanted to say anything. There was an obvious discomfort that hung in the air that day...for everyone.

After a very horrible and hard delivery, my new baby Tyson was swiftly taken by a team that rushed into my room. The cord had been wrapped around his teeny-tiny neck. As they took him, I had no one to hold my hand, to kiss my forehead, to share a tear. I held my head high and didn't cry as they stitched me up and left me in the room.....all alone...still having not brought my baby back. Loneliness is very echoed throughout that delivery room. It mocked me from every corner. I have never before alone.

I was taxied to my shared room and soon after arrival, they brought my sweet babe to me....all swaddled, and clean, and awake. He was the most beautiful site to behold. I just stared at that boy.....wondering.....will he know his daddy, will I be able to raise him, how am I going to do do this, I feel so lost, who is going to help me, what am I going to do.....will he ever know his daddy? I got very little sleep that night......loneliness and raw fear are demons in the dark of the night. I just held my new little guy and wondered....and never cried.

Daddy arrived the next a rush of family who wanted to hug him and meet the baby. It was all very overwhelming....everyone wanted some time...and I didn't get any. He was home for 3 days, and we never had a moment together. And no one, no one, asked me how I was doing, squeezed my hand to say "I've got your back", held me so I could cry. No one. And so....I never cried.

We took my husband to the airport- the weather was nice the days he was home, but today it was very cold; the wind slapped with anger. I hugged him goodbye, gave him a kiss, and watched him walk to his plane...hoping I would see his face again. My chin was steady and my head was held high as, without a tear, I took my boys home- a single mommy to two little men. The thoughts that echoed in my mind were pushed into a deep dark hidden place. The luxury of entertaining these thoughts wasn't an option. After all, I had to be a mommy.

It was 7 weeks before I spoke to my husband again. We communicated through letters which I still have in a sacred box that no one gets to touch. The elation of finding his letter in my mailbox was intoxicating. I would rip it open like a kid on Christmas morning. For weeks, I would read and re-read his words until the next letter arrived. I would hold it close to my heart, I would smell it hoping it would contain some scent of my hubby. It was all I had of him.

But in that year that he was gone, I don't remember crying. It really wasn't an option- I had two precious babies to protect, raise, and influence. Even now, this memory doesn't bring tears- I simply won't allow it. My husband leaves for his second deployment in May to Afghanistan. The news was jolting and threatened an eruption of emotions. But I clenched my jaw, bit my lip, and had the conversations with my husband (for the second time in our marriage) about his funeral and burial wishes and plans for our kids. We haven't told our boys-it's not news they need to be concerned with yet. I push the thoughts, fears, what ifs down deep every day....I don't allow them to affect me....after all, I have 4 precious blessings to protect. I am a mom, a proud military wife..........and I can't cry. I won't cry. I am a big girl...........................and big girls don't cry.


The Baby Store Plus said...

Hi, I am your newest follower from Thanks Mail Carriers "Friendly Friday" blog hop. I really enjoy meeting new bloggy mamas.

Love your tag line..."ah heck, just trying to make it til bedtime", I feel that way so often, lol.

Hope you get a chance to visit my blog too. If you are on twitter, let me know your ID, I will follow you there too. I am @BabyStorePlus on twitter. It is in my business name but I am the woman behind the business :)


Mass Hole Mommy said...

Thanks for stopping by & following....right back atcha!

Betty Manousos @ CUT AND DRY said...

Love this post, I really love your thoughts..and welcome to the blogosphere!

I am a new follower from the FRIENDLY Friday/Xenia.

Hope you get a chance to visit my blog, too.

Happy Friday!


Xenia said...

Crystal, I don't know how you do it. You are an amazingly strong woman - I'm crying just reading your post, so I have no idea how you have gone through everything and continued to hold your head up so high. You sure are an impressive Mama!

Thank you for joining us for Friendly Friday, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Traci66 said...

I want to thank you for following me and let you know I am following you too. I can't relate to having to be a wife of a military person as my hubby didn't serve. I can only imagine how hard it would be wondering about the what-ifs and it is scary. You sound like a very strong woman, I can't say I am that strong. I think I would cry all the time, out of site of the kids. I would be honored to have a friend as strong as you.

Wendy Irene (Give Love Create Happiness) said...

I have a dear friend whose husband is deployed and this post helped me to better understand something that is really hard for someone on the outside to fathom. You are a strong person, and I think entering the blogging community will bring you much support! ♥

Deb said...

I just sent out a call to our church family requesting prayer for a young man who was deployed to Afghanistan this week...what a brave woman you are...but, please know, it's okay to cry. Thank you for sharing your salvation story (and your hubby's) with me on my blog @ Jeremiah 29:11...I'm your newest follower, too! In His Love...Deb

Rachel said...

I wish I could say I have your strenght but I am a very emotional kind of gal, good thing I read this durning nap time. :)I also have that hidden box of letters. My husband left 14 days after our son was born, we am looking forward to his return. We are lucky that he has access to web cam so we can see him. I hope the best for your family on this coming deployment.

MelissaAggie98 said...

Thanks so much for the follow! I'm following you now too...look forward to reading more of your blog. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

KBraden said...

Thanks for the follow. I am now following you back!

Vic said...

I'm a big fat baby cause I cry all the time...doesn't mean I'm not a strong woman, just depends on the situation and the person. and i balled my eyes out when both my babies were born. i was filled with joy and love...they were good, sweet tears:)

Mommying On The Fly said...

Thanks for swining by my blog today and following.. I'm your newest follower, and want to tell ya... I've got YOUR back... Your story hits home, like I'm sure it does to many of us military wives.. I can honestly tell ya one of my pet peeves are when family wants to come visit as SOON as he get back.. COME ON!! REALLY!!!.. lol.. and in the past 4 years since we found out we were pregnant he has been home a total of maybe 11 months and not all together.. lol.. YUP.. practically a single mom of twins.. lol.. But hang in there girl..

Kari said...

Hi! I'm your newest follower from the blog hop, hope you can stop by and visit my blog.

Have a great weekend!

Jessica - Mom of all Trades said...

You are one strong amazing mama :) I can't even begin to imagine.

Thanks for the follow at Mom of all Trades! I'm following you back.

Charla @ Healthy Home Blog said...

Crystal, you're a wonderful mother! Thank God for the strength that He is giving you.
It's great that if we ever do need to cry, we can cry our hearts out to the Lord in prayer and He can comfort us in the way that only He can!
Here's a scripture for your husband:
Psalm 3:3 But you are a shield around me, O LORD
My prayer is that God will be a shield around your husband!

Kathleen said...

Sometimes big girls DO need to cry. Only you could possibly know if it would help or hurt. But I'm remembering you in my prayers tonight. Sending hugs your way...

Just Married with Coupons said...

Thanks for sharing this with us, I can only imagine what you have been through and what you will be facing come May. A lot of credit to you for really keeping it together for your kids and husband, you are an inspiring woman!

We are your new fans from Friendly Friday! We are also having a Saturday hop if you would like to join us, we would love to have you!

We are at

Carin said...

Hey girly--just catching up on some of your posts--I can't keep up with you and I only have one so far :) After reading this, oh how I wish I could've been there for you my friend!! I hate this long distance friendship/disappearing friendship act we have --boo!! Anyways, I wanted to extend an open invitation for you and the boys to come visit anytime while Josh is away! Love ya!

Our Crazy Bunch said...

I am a new follower and think you are one of the bravest women I know! I am crying here reading this story. I feel so sad for you but happy knowing that everything worked itself out at that time in your life. Lots of love and prayers for you and your family. And it's ok to cry!