Saturday, October 31, 2009

Life Happens While You Wait

I just finished speaking to Mark.
It was a brief call; he was on his way to the Range.
He's going out into the field in a few days. So there will be a few weeks that I won't recieve phone calls or e-mail.
Yesterday, Mark met with the son of a Village elder. The local school needs a new wall. So Mark will secure what is needed to get the job done.

Here, parnets have the chose of Public School, Private School or Home School. In some homes it is a battle to get the child to understand the imporatnce of getting and having an education.
In Afghanistan, the children are thankful to have a school. They thank allah for the kind Amercians that send notebooks, pencils and crayons.
It is now cold in Afghanistan and like many military wives, I will include a set of Flannal bedclothes for added warmth in the box that I will mail later in the week. I will rub some of my personal body oil, the scent of roses, jasmine and myrrh that Mark loves. He shall lay on those sheets and smile; inhaling my scent.
We military wives do a lot of waiting.
We wait for letters, both snail-mail and e-mail.
We wait for the phone to ring.
We wait for that message that imforms when the plane is due, what gate to meet our beloved at.
And while we wait, we pray for their safely, for the people of Iraq, of Afghanistan.
We pray for our President, that G-d will guide him to make wise descisions for the good of the nation he services.
We take care of our homes, families, work outside the home and/ devople hobbies. We bake, crochet and take up kick boxing.
We laugh, we cry, we blog.
While we wait.
It is time for me to turn off the lights, save the one I read Scripture by, say my prayers and then sleep.
I have alreay spoken to my beloved.
Tomorrow begins a new day of waiting.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It is Snowing

Just after last evening's entry, Mark called.
It is snowing in Afghanistan!
It is the cold season now. And Mark, my Polar Bear loves it. The snow isn't sticking right now, but soon. The winters are brutal in Afganistan. Both on the people of the land and on our armed forces. So later today I am going to the Post Office and pick up the packing kits for deployments. It is one of the bittersweet parts of a loved one gone from your arms, but not your heart.
CarePackages. Boxes filled with love from home.
Homemake cookies.
Hot Chocolate.
Letters, cards and drawings.
Pictures. A lock of hair.
Mark says it is snowing in Afghanistan. As much as I hate snow, right now I wish I was there to share the moment with him.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Second Report

Mark's second report.
Not as long.
He has been given the go-ahead and the funds he needs to get started. Now the real work begins.
Having just finished The Kite Runner, I know the need of good, clean water and health care that is needed. It is the most basic of needs.
We who can run water from a tap or drink water from a plastic bottle, looking more like infants in the doing, take for granted that refreshing, life-giving fluid. Not just for the cleaning of body and clothes, but to keep man and beast alive.
I think of how I could catch a cab to the doctor's when I had the flu, go to the drugstore to get the medication needed. And wherer Mark is, there are people who don't have a Clinic to walk to.
I think of the Turkey soup I made this evening. Had some for supper, the rest frozen for several more meals.
The same pot of soup could feed a Afghanistan family that has little or nothing to eat tonight.
Sometimes, I wonder if we really realize how blessed we truly are.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mark's First Report

For all who are reading this:
First, thank you. I know whether you post or not, you are praying for my Mark. As well as the other men and women of our armed forces.
It is not easy being away from your family, letting your loved one go. None of us wanted this war, and we don't glory in it. It is our military and their ones who pray the hardest for peace; for we know how dear the cost of war really is.
I spoke to Mark last evening. We are so blessed to have this time, though it is 30 minutes. I stay up for that call. He calls just as he day begins.
He is pretty much over the flu and now out in the field.
For those who don't know, Mark is a Civil Affairs officer. His job is not only to serve, defend and protect, but he also works with the locals to rebuild their country. Mark is very much a Nehmiah: he has blueprints in one hand and his weapon in the other. He is the bridge between the local leaders and the army. Mark is part of the 'winning heart's mission of the army. Winning the War, one heart at a time.
From time to time (like last night) I wonder is what we are doing makes a difference. And after speaking to Mark, the answer is still: yes.
Right now, Mark is working with a few of the villiages to get them a fresh water supply. Also, he will be working with a clinic to get it back up and running to meet the locals medical needs.
This is the thing Mark loves doing: for by helping the people learn to depend not on the Taliban or even us, but themselves. This is one of the things that will break the hold of the Taliban.
True, not everyone wants us there or is grateful for all we do. But many are.
Like Greg Mortenson (his story is told in Three Cups of Tea) Mark's mission to promote school (he started two schools in Iraq) one football, one Water Well, one Clinic at a time.
So when you take a sip of water, thank G-d for that preious gift. And pray for Mark as he bring fresh water to thristy folk.
The Captain's Lady

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Military Family

As with any group, there is always a perception of military spouses and families.
Often times we wives are pictured as hot mama who right after seeing their husbands off to sea or overseas, are off at the bars, drinking and looking for someone to keep their bed until hubby returns home. Or, grossly overweigh with five or six children and another on the way. Backward kids who don't know how to make friends or behave because of always moving. Girlfriends hanging onto their guy with the hopes of marrying him and getting all of the military goodies.
That might be true of some, but not all.
I once read how stupid military wives are. If they made it to High School it is a miracle, having no job skills, their only worth is baby making.
Husbands who's wives are deployed are finding comfort in the arms of another, leaving the kiddos with grandparnets.
These are not the families I know.
I know a father, a very loving father who started his own home business to be there home while his wife was out to sea. He knew how to braid his little girl's hair, knew the little boy's favorite stories by heart and every week would sit down as a family to makeup a CarePackage for mum, including letters and cards.
I know wives who use this time to go back to school to learn a new skill or craft. Some start home busniesses that are easy to travel with easy move. Some who decide to offer their time to work in Soup Kitchens, tutor children, visit the elderly in nursing homes.
Children who keep journals for their parnets to read when they return home. Who delight in making CarePackages, writing letters, draw pictures and yes, even school reports about their mum or dad. I still have the letters Mark's nephew wrote him during his first deployment. Each family has its ups and downs and its struggles. But there is a pride that for the most part each has in the serviceperson(s).
Like every family, there is s favor, a colour each family has.
Cookie Cutter we are not.
Butter, Suger, Spice, Chocolate Chip with and without Nuts, we make up a wonderful assortment that is worth partaking of.
Like any other family.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Roses and Roachs: Which?

It is now early morning in Afganistan.
Mark is getting, saying his morning prayers and getting to call me.
In the meantime, I am about to shower, have a hot drink and settle in for the evening waiting for his call before I say my prayers, read scripture and go to bed.
He hears my voice before he goes to work.
I hear his voice before I go to sleep.
It is part of military life.
I have heard it same that the Military has destroyed marriages. I don't believe that is so. Like any career, it is a part of your life and it is the couple that for the most part controls how much powere their career(s) has in their marriage.
Yes, or both can be so driven in their careers that they forget to wom they are truly committed to. This is true of men and women who are doctors, nurses, lawyers, rabbis, pastors, businesspersons, rockstars, etc.
The military, like anything else, shines sunlight into your lives, showing up the cracks, revealing the true nature. Roachs run from the light. Roses look ups.
The question; which are you?
The Military. That is your job, what you do to put bread to the table and shoes on the baby. But isn't your life. Your life is the person you chose as your life mate, the one you believe G-d gave you to have and to hold, honour, cherish and love. Your life is family, friends, faith.
It is true, we cannot control when and where Mark is deployed or for how long.
But either the President of the Untied States or Uncle Sam is the Head of our Home.
G-d is.
And as long as He remains our center, as long as we are commited to each other and our marriage, the love is there and nothing, not even the U.S.Mililary has the power to destroy our marriage.
It just give us more creative ways to grow more and more in love and to keep the passion growing.
And going.