I woke up at 1:50AM and rolled over to stare at the clock. I was not sure why I was awake so I laid in bed for a few minutes then gave up the fight to go back to sleep. I decided to come lay on our super comfy couch thinking I could fall back asleep with a change. Now it's 3:42AM and I am still awake, yawning wishing I was asleep but realizing it's going to be a super long day ahead. I've traced it back to the source though of my restlessness. 64 days, tic-tock is the clock going through my head all the sudden. Life has settled down and my brain has finally caught up with what I have tucked away for the past 6 months in hopes to have a somewhat normal family life.
64 days until sleepless nights are normal again. Until waiting by the computer and never leaving my cell phone more then an arms length away is normal again. I think the knowledge that time was drawing near pushed itself to the front of my mind on Saturday evening. I listened as Paul said goodbye to a friend after our annual Halloween party. His words jolted me out of my false sense of normalcy. He said " we have to get busy, we have to get this done. I'm short on time dude and I want to make this happen before I leave.". That right there, those simple two sentences knocked me right back into pre-deployment mode.
I can't complain we've had a nice ride of having Paul home this time. We will have had 17 months and 2 weeks this time with our family together as a whole unit. That is the longest stretch of time together since 2006. I also can't complain because I have packed a lot into these 17 months. Paul and I went on our first vacation alone with out children in 16 years. We did small family trips to the beach to enjoy time together. Paul & Matthew spent a week in Colorado with his family camping. I made my first trip to Las Vegas, the Sturge-Weber conference, & completed two half-marathons. Paul was able to partcipate in several Project Healing Waters trips that he loved. The kids enjoyed having their dad home for consecutive birthdays and holidays. So no I can't complain about losing sleep or the fact he is leaving again for twelve months. But I can see that my mind & body have started the prep me for the sleepless nights. How it creeped up on me almost makes me feel like a rookie at this deployment thing. But the calm, the family time, the alone time with my husband those memories will be in my memory now to help on these up coming crazy sleepless nights. Now I am off to lay on the couch and hope that my brain shuts off & my eye lids get heavy. That the thoughts of what we need to do before he leaves evaporates and I can just enjoy the next 64 days before a new countdown begins.