One really amazing thing I have figured out about dating someone who is deployed is all of the support that is offered back home. I do realize part of it is just that I am surrounded with incredible friends, but I also think people seem to be able to sympathize with you a little easier with this than other tough situations in life. Maybe it’s all of the military movies — I’m not usually a crier at movies, but 9 times out of 10 I do cry in Army-themed films — or maybe it’s because so many people know and care for someone in the military.
Having someone you love go overseas to a dangerous area is a scary thing. It’s filled with a lot of unknowns and you feel a strange sense of loss, as you are not able to communicate with your soldier as often as you are used to.
I’ve had so many people reach out and I’ve felt very supported, though. My best friend has been extremely encouraging, making the 9 months seem a lot shorter than they are. She surprised me earlier this week with a craft — she had purchased two fishbowls, a bunch of Mancala beads, and USA stickers to create a visual countdown. Every day now I will be moving one bead from the “Days to Go” jar to the “Days Down,” until one jar is completely empty and the other is full, meaning he is home in the states again. I’d be lying if I said the visual didn’t feel slightly daunting, but it does feel good putting one bead into the second container every day!
Not only was this a great idea, but it was moving that she cares for me so much that she would take the time to come up with an idea and go shopping to make it a reality. One thing I love about our relationship is that I feel like she and I can be really cutesy together — we’ve been going on a lot of little fun dates and adventures with each other since we’ve both been single ladies. (As a side note, I apparently love being cutesy with people, as this is the third time I’ve used the word on this blog… Yikes.)
Furthermore, I’ve had friends reach out telling me about their experiences with deployments, as well as putting me in touch with other girls who are currently going through the same thing so I can have a support system of people who understand. I love that when you collect difficult experiences in life you are at least able to help others feel less alone when they are struggling.
I am tearing up just writing about this — I am so incredibly blessed. Thank you, all of you, for being so amazing.