My husband deployed a few months ago. It’s been hard. It always is but since he’s been away, I’ve had my fair share of deployment gremlins. Anything and everything will go wrong during deployments. It’s just the nature of the beast. You come to expect it. What I didn’t expect this time around was how much and how often.
-The day before he left, I found out that I was going to have back surgery. Nice…
-The day he left, the light bulb in the master bath went out above the bathtub. I had to climb a 12 ft ladder to replace it. I don’t recommend that – ask for help.
-A few days later, the light in the hallway went out. This time it wasn’t the bulb, it was a short. I had to call someone to fix it.
-A couple weeks later, the kitchen cabinet (full of our wedding dishes) fell off the wall. Yes, you just read that right. It fell off the wall. Most of our dishes broke. I had a terrible mess to clean up and a huge cabinet to try to move. Thank goodness no one was hurt as both the dog and I were not in the room. Turns out the cabinets were poorly hung and another was barely hanging on. How does that happen? And why did it not happen until after my husband left? We’ve lived here for a year and half! Ridiculous I know. I had someone come in and rehang the cabinet, inspect and reinforce the others.
-A month and a half after my husband left, I had my back surgery. Having major surgery when your loved one is away is no picnic. Not only did I need help with everything; it was really difficult mentally. He sent flowers and Skype’d with me almost every day, but I would’ve given anything to have him with me. Physically, I did fine, but it was very depressing. I moved in with a friend for two weeks (thank goodness for friends!) but afterwards, I came back home and had to just deal with it. I still had help, but it’s just not the same as having your spouse home to help you.
-Our puppy has taken to digging holes and a five foot long trench in the backyard. He enjoys mud puddles, ripping the stuffing out of all of his toys and even ingested crayons one night. He’s been through two different obedience schools. It’s a good thing he’s adorable.
The point of me telling you all of this isn’t for your pity. I’ve been through deployments before. I’m used to the gremlins. I scoff at the gremlins. I raise my fist in defiance of the gremlins! Granted, I didn’t expect this many, this early on but the point is to expect the unexpected. Crazy things happen. Try to be as prepared as possible. Tell your friends and family that you’re going to need help so when things pop up, you have people you can call. Have a list of reputable handymen, heating & cooling companies and appliance repairmen available. Keep your insurance information handy. Know where all your important documents are (including a copy of your spouse’s orders!) I even recommend having a stack of takeout menus handy because Lord knows there will be many days you don’t feel like cooking. If you’re prepared for anything, you won’t be surprised when it happens. Being on your own can be overwhelming. The gremlins will visit. They always do. Just make sure you’re prepared to deal with them. You’ll be glad you did!