Here are the MDK baby bib, Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono & the March mid-month KAL for my Yahoo monthly dishcloth group. They're going to be given to my friend Josie tomorrow @ her shower (along w/ some baby wash & lotion & some onesies). Im thinking that I could get another bib done tonight & get it into the gift bag before the shower tomorrow am!
Today is also the 4th anniversary of the start of OIF. I remember the countdown clock on MSN & worrying about Hunter who was in Kuwait waiting to go into Iraq. I hadn't talked to him in 3 weeks & wouldn't until almost Memorial Day weekend. I remember Ari Fleicher coming out to the podium & saying "Operation Iraqi Freedom has begun" & my heart sinking. After it was announced my phone started to ring shortly past 10 pm on the 19th & didn't stop until well into the wee hours of the morning. Other military wives whose husbands were over there as well calling to check in w/ me & share their fears. Friends who wanted to make sure I was "hanging in there" which became the popular saying'-----"you hanging in there?" I hung in there by a thread, as did many of my friends.
I remember going to bed somewhere around 430am & waking a few hours later. I was good, I actually turned the tv off to sleep. It would be the last time I did that for a long while. The tv was ALWAYS on. When they'd announce a 3ID soldier was hurt or killed my heart would jump into my throat. When the phone would ring & it was a Ft Benning number (my friend Teri was working on post them) my blood would run cold. I remember my mailman bringing me a package in the early days of the war & knocking on the door. In my mind's eye I could see our Rear D CO, NCO & chaplain standing there but it was only the mailman. When I opened the door I told him Hunter was in Iraq & that he'd given me a heartattack he promised that the next time he brought a package he'd knock & say "MAILMAN" really loud so I'd know.
I spent part of the 20th on post at a briefing so we would know where the guys were & that thankfully we hadn't had any casualties yet. They began offering the briefings every Friday at 9am & 6pm so that's where I'd go once a week. Sit in the conference room that has now been named for one of our KIA's (who died in Hunter's arms en route to the medevac exactly a year before to the day that the wee one was born) & hear the names of Iraqi cities & get an idea of where Hunter was & what battles he was in.
Mail took a month to get to us so by the time he would have time to write & tell me what he had seen/done it was old news to me. I cherish those letter & someday when the wee one is old enough she can read them. Of course some parts will have to be blacked out since we were newlyweds (we'd been married for a month before he left) & missed each other a lot! LOL
I have one of his letters framed & hanging by my bed---it was written on Iraqi Ministry of Intelligence letterhead. They were sleeping in there for a while & used some of the stationery. He also sent Iraqi dinars in that letter & they are put away for safekeeping.
So 4 years later we have 2 Iraqi deployments under our belts & are in the early days of our 3rd. As my friend Melissa (whose husband just finished his 2nd deployment & is slated to go back in Jan) said to me---the 2nd time is easier. In some respects it really is. You know the fears, the dangers & hardships. You know the loneliness, the heartache & frustrations. You know society is either for or against this war. You know you're going to hear "I dont know how you can deal with being alone" ALL THE TIME & you're going to cringe.
People ask you "aren't you afraid he's going to be killed/hurt?" Um CHA! You want to ask them if they go up to cancer patients & say "aren't you afraid to die???" People lose all common sense around you.
Others are incredibly kind & move me to tears w/ their generosity. Last time I signed him up for the "adopt a soldier" program & I'm not kidding when I tell you that we didn't need to buy toothpaste or shaving cream for a year! People who didn't know him from Adam were so incredibly generous.
I wear Hunter's unit pin w/ a yellow ribbon under it on my shirt everyday that he's deployed. It's something I did on his first Iraq deployment & did thru his 2nd. Many times people will comment on it & tell me they're keeping all of our troops in their prayers & they'll thank me for what my husband does & the sacrifices we make. I have to say that it's those moments that restore my faith in society!