When Pat updated me with all the information he got from his unit yesterday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew this deployment was coming, I can't deny that. I knew roughly when it was coming too. So I don't know why having the official date makes things seem so much worse. I have to admit I was mad and sad. The date is only about a week sooner than I thought it would be, but losing that week just seems so awful. I guess before we had the official date, I could go on like normal without thinking of it. Now I can't stop thinking about it. That is the thing about deployments, they aren't fun, but the build-up to them leaving is sometimes the worst part. Once they are gone we find routines and occupy ourselves the best we can. Before they go we try to savor every minute, but the bittersweet feeling invades each day.
There are two things about deployment that I think are actually good. The first is that the deployment can be used as a time of personal growth. I have to be completely independent during a deployment. Deployment gives me an opportunity to see how strong I really am. The second good thing is that deployments help us to see what we normally take for granted. As it quickly approaches I am going to treasure each moment we are all together. Each of these moments has a different feeling and meaning now. In everyday life it's so easy to overlook the wonderful, simple things that become the things we desire the most when our loved ones are gone. This is a lesson that I want to remember, but sometimes it gets forgotten until the next deployment is right around the corner.
While it feels like a ton of bricks hitting me now, I know it won't be as bad as I think. I'm lucky to have some great friends (like those of you that are reading this) and a wonderful family. I'll get through this one and I'll be a better person for it.