Q and I are lucky that about 6 weeks ago his unit got satellite computers and phones installed in their COP (where he lives with his guys). What this meant for us was that instead of getting a phone call every Saturday at 2 or 3AM, we now could talk regularly. It has made the world of difference. Before, I used to make a list of things to talk about since I was afraid that I would forget them once he called. Now, it’s almost like a long distance relationship. That’s not to say it isn’t challenging. Before deployment, Q would talk about his days and training in detail, but now he can’t give a lot of information about what their doing, even where they are, but I’ve learned to live with the generalness of it all. And just take what he can give me without question.
A big part of staying connected is the talking and emailing, but the care packages I send every week remind him a little bit of home and of me. I think they are so important as they boost morale and I’m able to really support Q in whatever way I possibly can, which helps ME feel connected to him.
- dog treats for the dog Q and his guys adopted
- Puffins (his favorite cereal)
- oatmeal (requested for breakfast)
- magazines (I always throw in an US Weekly or something silly on top of all the “man” stuff)
- drink mix (requested by Q)
- microwave meals (yes they have a microwave!)
- coffee (my man loves his coffee)
- candy/cookies (because I can’t help myself)
- Wet Ones (they only shower once a week)
I also try and send a card, a photo and a mixed CD once a week separately. The packages get delivered to the guys pretty consistently, but the actual letter mail is sporadic. By popping these in the mail, I know whenever they have a mail drop Q will get a little surprise.
And Q does his share of showing me he cares, he sends me daily emails and pictures of what he is up to. And then every once in a while he will do something incredible, like arrange for these to be delivered:
I think the most important aspect of staying connected is being yourself even when you are apart. I don’t hide things from Q because I think they are silly (i.e. making oatmeal or what I did at the gym) or because I think he has other things on his mind. I carry on like I would if he were here. We joke about my driving skills (so-so) or that I forgot to shower or that I burned my toast. And these things make everything seem ok and normal. Whenever I miss him a lot, I just pop off a long email saying exactly how I’m feeling. And then he reads it! Technology is amazing.
I know we are so lucky that we have the ability to communicate the way that we do. I still pray for him every night and wake up missing him, but I know it would be a hundred times worse if I couldn’t talk to him almost every day. We are almost 1/3 of the way through this deployment and the time is truly flying by.