|Daddy & Princess saying goodbye June 2004|
When the orders came in May of 2004, they were what the Army calls, “warning orders” – meaning get ready for a rapid deployment. He was shipping out to Iraq in 4 weeks for a year. At the time the orders came down, I was 4 months pregnant. The following month, just 7 days before the deployment, I was going into the OBGYN’s office for my first prenatal visit. My husband was unable to accompany me as he was in a field training exercise. As you can imagine, I was very excited to see the baby on the ultrasound and of course, to hear the heart beat. The events that would take place at that doctor’s visit would change our lives forever. There was no heartbeat. There would be no baby to come forth. I was devastated. And I was alone – without my husband.
When I called his command to see about getting him home, they told me that a miscarriage “qualify as a reason to bring him out of the field.” Really? The death of a 5-month-old baby doesn’t qualify for a man to comfort his wife just 7 days before he faces war? To the ARMY that answer was no. I had to wait two full days before I could share this loss with my husband. And when I told him, his heart – like mine – was broken.
I was not sure how I was going to handle Michael leaving, the loss of the baby, AND homeschooling our daughter. I did the only thing I know to do, I prayed to the Father for wisdom and strength to get me through to the next step. The verse of scripture below helped carry me into the week ahead giving me the strength to say goodbye to my husband for the next 12 months.
Psalm 30:5b, “His favor is for a lifetime and in His favor is life. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
The days following my husbands first deployment were a blur to me. I was still sad about the loss of our child, but was unable to grieve as I needed to be strong for our daughter, Princess. We were living in upstate New York with no family or close friends around. Princess wanted and needed life to be “normal.” After all she was just a freshly turned 3-year-old. We continued schooling and activities as if nothing had changed. But deep down inside, I knew my time to grieve would come. And eventually it did….and even better than that, came healing and restoration to both my body and soul.
But before my time of rest and healing would come, I ended up being hospitalized after suffering a minor heart attack. It was a very hard thing to face – alone – again – but I got through it by God’s grace. The next 12 months would be challenging for our family in more ways than one. But the end result was a stronger marriage, stronger parent-daughter relationships, stronger faith in God, and a greater understanding of both love AND sacrifice. Again, we got through this difficult time. We can’t lose – we have Jesus on our side!
I continued to homeschool Princess and also take her to the preschool program for the next year before we moved to North Carolina in early 2006. It was here that we would again be tested in our faith.
Please check back tomorrow for the story continues…..
Marriage, Family, and Homeschooling Part 1
Marriage, Family, and Homeschooling Part 2
Marriage, Family, and Homeschooling Part 3
Marriage, Family, and Homeschooling Part 4
Marriage, Family, and Homeschooling Part 5