Living overseas initially is hard, you stay away from family, you have to forge new friendships in another country, and deal with life without your familiar stateside security net.
It’s even harder when your spouse deploys. Especially during emergencies. Being OCONUS dealt us our fair share of struggles, we were pregnant as SOON as we arrived and it was high risk, we were at an impasse in our marriage (that funky year 6), our kids were struggling to adjust to our new life, and my aunt who I was insanely close to was really sick back home in Houston.
To say that we had a lot on our plates emotionally was an understatement.
About 2 months into our new lifestyle, my husband was told he had to deploy for a few months. But promised he would be home for the delivery. I was already panicking because I was on strict bed rest and we had three rambunctious kids.
But you make do right?
He was gone for about three weeks when I got the phone call from my mom that my aunt had passed. I was devastated. I needed to get home. My family and I are insanely close. We talk everyday about everything.
So, hearing that this aunt I was so close to, who helped raise me, had passed away was like a piece of me snatched away. And I knew I wouldn’t be able to attend her funeral.
I was in another country, on bed rest, and my husband was gone.
Let’s not forget that the costs to fly home last minute were going to be so expensive and with a little one on the way, not the best purchase.
I made the decision NOT to tell my husband until he returned. The decision wasn’t easy. I tell the man everything. But I had to consider him and his career and responsibilities and I knew him knowing would do nothing but add more stress on his plate.
What I did do was what I could. I prayed…a lot. I also cried and I leaned on the few friends I’d made in our short time we had been there. I was able to participate in the funeral via video tribute and I helped my family plan it even from afar. That meant a lot to me.
But I would have to say the main thing that kept it (it being my sanity) together were my friends. They checked on me everyday, made me meals, kept me company, and provided therapy to my soul. I am not that trusting of people and I don’t easily let people in. But I am so glad I did then. Had I not, I would’ve been a mess and absolutely crazy. I needed my husband then, but what made it bearable were those who didn’t know me that well yet, but loved me enough to care enough to see me through it.