A SURPRISE HOLIDAY GIFT AND MY DAUGHTER PATRICIA'S DEPLOYMENT
I think I will tell
you about when our daughter Patricia deployed then fill you in on what’s going
on currently. Shortly after Patricia graduated Tech school she was informed she
would deploy but no real time line was given. I felt OK not having a time line
because I could pretend it wasn't real. Well the military popped that bubble
not too much later. We eventually given a go date and I was devastated.
Patricia and Adam, her husband, wouldn’t be able to come home for the 2010 holiday
season because she was due to leave not too long after the holidays and the
military’s policy is you can’t leave your area 30 days prior to deployment. So
what do I do? I cried a lot! What did my husband do? He and Adam worked together on a BIG surprise
for Patricia and I. On Christmas I
opened a gift (wrapped in duct tape -- it’s a family tradition). It contained the more mundane, perfume, and
the more extraordinary, a plane ticket! I was leaving New Year’s morning to go
see my baby girl for four days!
When my husband
and I Skyped with our daughter and her hubby on New Year’s Eve I was beside
myself! I am horrible at keeping secrets that are so great! So we talked about
what we were all doing that night. My son JR and his wife Marie were in town
from Louisiana for a few days and JR was ok with my leaving after only seeing
him for a day to be with his sister. He knew she would give up her time with me
if I could be with him before he deploys. Patricia said that Adam had to go in
to the city (an hour away) early because one of her Christmas gifts had been
back ordered and it finally came in. Little did she know it was all an
alibi… He had to go get it early in the
morning as Patricia and Adam had plans that afternoon with some of their friends.
I mentioned to Adam, over the Skype, how
nice it was that he took such great care of my daughter (he and I smiled at
each other over Skype like Cheshire cats).
The next day, New Year’s
Day, my husband Chris drove me to the airport at 5 am! URGH! I flew a few states away and met with my
son-in-law! hahahaa it was on now! Adam called Patricia from the truck and said (with
such a straight face) "ahh babe, they messed it up and it wasn't the right
one. I’m sorry. They are sending it back and we will deal with it." She was upset, of course, thinking some great
gift had been messed up. When we made it to Patricia and Adam’s home, we drove
into their driveway and we could hear the vacuum running. Adam told me to open and close the truck door
when he did so Patricia couldn’t hear two doors (he is so smart). I then
pulled a box of Nerd candies from my luggage and waited for his signal.
I snuck up to the
front door and hunched down so she couldn’t see out the peep hole. Then, I heard the signal "Luke go outside."
Luke is their dog; he is huge and he
likes to tinkle when he gets excited. I rang the bell and Adam said "can
you get that real quick I’m going to the bathroom". Patricia opens the
door and I step out holding the box of candy and said "oops I forgot to
put this in your stocking." She
grabbed me and quietly said "Oh momma you're here!!" We cried for about ten minutes!!
Over the next few days
they showed me around their town and base. We ate at a wonderful German
restaurant! I met some of their friends and now understood why they called each
other family! Great friends are hard to
find, especially in the military life. And my daughter and her husband found
great friends at their base, including a fellow soldier named Gilbert and his
When I left to fly
home, there were a lot of tears at the airport. Patricia deployed a couple of
weeks later. It was hard on everyone! My son-in-law took it hard -
the whole family did - and I was a hot mess! But Patricia came home
just fine and with great stories of her "cupcake" base to boot.
When I saw her the first time I checked her sweet face and smelled her
hair to make sure she was still my baby girl.
Now we face another
deployment -- JR deploys any minute! You will all be here with me as I go
through it. I will try to let my true feelings come through to you all. If you
have gone through a deployment, then you probably understand. Most parents have
never had this experience, both wonderful and terrible at the same time.
If you have not experienced a deployment, hopefully I can relate why us
“military moms” get a little nutty/teary/tired when our babies deploy. Hopefully,
our family story will cause you to reach out to that mom or dad down the street
that has an active duty child to offer support. Be their shoulder when they
just need to let it out. Staying strong is easy in front of my kids, but when
the doors close and I cry until I can’t breathe. And I don't want to
burden my family so I do it in the shower or when they are all out of the
house. Because I am MOM, I feel I can’t be weak. My husband is very supportive,
and of course, would tell me I can cry as much as I want to. Without him I couldn't do all that I do. Let’s
buckle up because the ride is about to start!
you for your time… And, don’t forget to support those serving our country!