Sorry for my absence but the days leading up to Gunnar's deployment were spent just being together mostly. We made lists upon lists of things to pack, in addition to the lists the army supplied him. Gunnar and I were mostly fine and normal and joking and parenting together and then one of us would get so sad and just look at the other. No need for words - we knew exactly what the other was thinking.
"Damn. I don't want you to leave/Damn. I don't want leave you."
We cried a little, every now and then. For God's sake we just spent 4 months apart and now we're saying goodbye for A YEAR. It's a completely unfathomable amount of time to be away from your home, your family, your country, your wife, your life, your children. Gunnar calculated that out of 17 months our family will have lived together for only 1. Talk about testing your strength!
I dropped Gunnar off with his unit the evening of Wednesday, October 21st. He was required to be there at 9:45pm. We spent all day looking at the clock - mentally counting down how many more hours and minutes we had together. I dropped him off and the following morning he began traveling. They first flew to Maine, then Ireland, before finally making it to the Middle East. He was still a country or two away from Afghanistan for a few days waiting for another flight. We were able to talk daily which truly made this transition loads easier for both of us.
Gunnar arrived in Afghanistan last week and still hasn't made it to his actual job location. His assignment will involve him living on the side of a mountain, basically in a cave, with access to showers and some form of civilization only once monthly. I cannot begin to imagine what that life will be like for him. I intend to send tons of letters, pictures and care packages but knowing it takes a few weeks to get to him is really frustrating.
Afghanistan is dangerous. It really, really is. He has only been there a few days and is already telling me about crazy shit he has seen. I am in a constant state of worry not knowing if he is safe or ok.
The kids and I spent a week or so in Ohio immediately after Gunnar left. It was wonderful to be back home with my incredibly awesome and supportive family and friends. There were a lot of times I was strongly tempted to move back for the time that Gunnar is deployed. After lots and lots of thinking and talking, I decided to come back to North Carolina and do my best to make a life for me and kids here while we wait for Gunnar to come home.
So far, so good. Life is 100% different without Gunnar here. It's just me and the kids. All day, every day. I am going to have to come up with lots of crafty things for us to do all winter to make the time go by. I worry about them getting bored. As for me, I'll be fine. I've got Netflix, DVR, and my crochet hooks.