Beck is a Navy partner who blogs at Navy Wife Life.
Beck has kindly allowed us to publish two personal letters between her and her husband prior to his six month deployment.
The letters are from the heart and definitely resonated with us at DFA.
Thank you Beck for your honesty.
If I seem distracted I am sorry. I want to be present. I want to make every moment count. I want to be the person you love. But I am trying to prepare myself for what’s to come in 2 weeks time.
We have done this before. We have said our goodbyes many a time but not for this long. Not for a 6 month stretch. Not for 175 days.
I am trying to prepare myself to once again be everything to everyone. I am trying to make sure I am mentally strong. I am trying to make sure I have covered all my bases so that when you are gone I will be ok because if I am not ok our family is not ok.
I am the one who keeps everything turning when you are gone. I am the one who will be the “person” for our girls. I am the one who will build the Lego castle and fix the broken toy and the scraped knee. I am the one who will wipe away tears and talk away anxiety. It is exhausting and thankless sometimes but I do it for you, for our girls, for our family and for the Navy.
I have worked hard keeping to our routine, keeping up with my physical exercise, working and doing all the things because they will be the things that keep me going when you are gone.
So much can happen in 6 months. So much will happen in 6 months. Missed birthdays and anniversaries, exciting moments and milestones. None of it will be the same without you but we will get by.
We have 2 weeks left together. We have two weeks left of hearing your voice. We have two weeks left of your touch. We have two weeks left of making memories. We have two weeks left with someone who can just fix stuff that needs to be fixed. Two weeks left of someone who can carry the load. Two weeks left to do all the stuff that needs to be done like checking cars are working, sorting paperwork and checking the gardens will survive
All the while trying to spend quality time together. Quality one on one time with our girls and quality one on one time as a family. It is a lot. Mentally I am kinda already wishing you were gone just so the time was already ticking away. Just so we could say we were days closer to seeing you instead of days closer to having you gone.
At a time where we should be leaning into each other I find myself pulling away a little and then I remember we have two weeks left together and I lean in as hard as I can and hope that we will both be ok, that our girls will be ok, that our family will be ok.
We have prepared for this as much as you can prepare, talked about this as much as you can talk about it and now all that is left is to live it.
Love your Wife
I am nervous and worried about my time away but one of my coping skills is to address the practicable problems that arise – so my emotions, with the exception of frustration, may not be obvious. It is also in my nature to focus on overcoming challenges and contributing to the efforts of my shipmates to ensure a successful deployment.
Over the last month most of my energies and personal resources have been invested in the ship and preparations for sea, most of my nervousness comes from self-doubt as to my ability to meet the challenge.
There are only so many hours in a day, there are not many days left before we sail, and there is a lot that I need to do to make sure my part of the ship is ready to meet the challenges expected over the next six months.
I desperately want to spend as much quality family time as I can with you and the girls and I also want to get all those handy-man jobs around the house done before I go. I am trying my hardest to leave work at the ship so that when I get home my whole attention is on you and the girls, but as the last day before sail approaches and the pressure increases there will be more times that I get home late and I am becoming more and more tired when I walk through that door
I fear that a consequence of my efforts at work is that I have not been the Husband and Father that I aspire to be. The pull between my responsibilities on the ship and the looming sail date and my responsibilities at home is a constant juggle
I am already thinking about the jobs around the house that I want to get done on return from sea and I am looking forward to coming home so that I can take the girls to school and pre-school or take them to the zoo on the weekend. Then I think about how much the lawn and hedges will grow while I am away; and how the routines at home will change. When I get back how many of my camellias in the garden will be dead? Is swim training on Thursday still? Will the girls still want to go to the zoo on the weekend with me or would they rather visit their friends? So much will change while I am gone.
However, I trust in your judgement to keep the household going and ensuring our girls grow and flourish. It can not be understated how important you are to enabling my ongoing service in the Navy – it is not something that I take for granted. But I am going away for six-months and passing to you nearly all of my responsibilities as a partner in running the household and raising our girls. To make it even worse I am increasingly distracted from my home responsibilities, right up until the day I depart.
I am extremely lucky to have you in my life – I just pray that you will still be here to greet me when I get home and my garden has survived
Love, your Husband.
For support during deployment please call the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 or email firstname.lastname@example.org