Thursday, November 8, 2007

When Praying For Patience, Ware A Seat Belt...

Written By: Donna H.

We have been through a few deployments, and up for another one this fall, but the last one we went through was probably the hardest. My husband Tom was gone with the 4th ID from Nov. 2005 - Nov. 2006. When he left I was pregnant with our 3rd child, who was supposed to have been due in early March of 2006. But as we all know, children never do what they're told! God had other plans for us..........


November 12, 2005 was just like any other November day in Texas. Dreary. Tom left at 4am to head for the gym where he would wait for hours for a bus to take him to a plane away from his home. I, of course, couldn't go back to sleep. I waited for my sleeping boys to wake up and get ready for school.

It was a long first few days but we had to quickly find our way into a new routine. Our youngest son, Sam has some autistic disorders so it's kind of hard to function like a "normal" family. Lots of tears from our oldest, Patrick, who knew what was going on. Poor Sammy just couldn't get it.


You know how "they" say, "nothing ever happens till your husband is gone", well........

The first half of the deployment flew by with lots of OB Dr. appointments, friends, PWOC and being in church every day the door was open. Then the house started falling apart. Our "luxurious" living accommodations provided by the military had roof leak after roof leak, mold, 3 bathroom floods, 2 dishwasher explosions, the freezer door fell off the hinges, wasps moved in, cars broke down, things got stolen, and so on. fun, fun, fun. On Feb. 13th, 2006 our Sammy had to go in for another surgery. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant. They wouldn't let Tom come home. Thankfully my dad showed up the day before his surgery to help me. Because Sammy could not be held to be comforted, I needed someone to help hold him down after surgery so he wouldn't hurt himself. While we were waiting my pastor came and sat with us for a while and miraculously was able to hold Sam. He even got him to sleep!!! That was a blessing because I was beat. Just before the nurses came to get Sam I went to the bathroom and lost my mucous plug! So then I had the nurses really jumping! Sam came out and he was just awful. No one could get him to stop screaming. They finally gave him some pain meds, he calmed down and fell asleep (more like passed out). Thank God when I came home I already had a lady from PWOC waiting for me with dinner made! Throughout that week several more ladies came with food and surprises for Sam. Then, 1 week later to the day, I went into labor! 2 weeks early! My husband wasn't home. It just so happened that it was also the day my dad was going to leave. I came out early in the morning and told him I was having contractions.....and he thought I was joking! He went on drinking his coffee, reading his paper. I came out a while later from having a shower and calling a few gals to send my boys off to for the next few days.


Finding a place for Patrick wasn't so hard. He had lots of friends from the homeschooling room at PWOC and church. Sammy was a bit harder because of his disabilities. A lot of people just don't know how to handle special needs kids. So my poor little guy was tossed around to 3 different houses in 2 days while I was stuck in the hospital worrying about him. I felt so bad for him, he was so confused and scared and his schedule was really messed up!! So with my boys at different places, my husband overseas and my dad staring at me with all the color drained from his face, we went to the hospital. Ready for a good laugh? They told me I wasn't in labor!! I tried to explain that this was "only" my 3rd child and I was pretty sure I knew what was going on......but......I went home anyway. Now, not to brag, but I have been blessed to have super fast deliveries. I tried to tell them that too.....I went home and ended up having 2 of my friends come over to help me. They helped me get to my bed and try to relax, but it was too late, I couldn't stand the pain any longer. My contractions were 45 seconds apart! It didn't take long for the ambulances to get there. So there I was, in my bed with 2 cops, 3 EMTs, 2 friends, 2 neighbors, my dad and Tom on the phone! I felt like I should have been selling tickets!! When they moved me I lost everything BUT the baby! It was close. We got to the hospital, unloaded and the Dr. came in with 1 glove on just in time to catch her head! Just like you see in the movies. Tom called while she was coming and then again while I was holding her. We were all bawling.


My husband does not know the Lord, but was given the chance, while overseas, to experience some of God's saving graces. I never wanted to hear the things that came from my husband's mouth, but there they came. My husband is a pilot. God saved his life over there, and Tom knows it. There was no other way. I'm not going to get into what happened to him, but I can tell you that it wasn't good and everyone watching it later said they don't know how he made it through it. (Which isn't something you tell a wife, either) I keep praying for his salvation, and maybe it's going to take one more deployment to get him there.


Looking back now, all I can do is laugh. I laughed through most of it anyway. I did good, I think. I only had 1 breakdown that whole year and it was only a minor one. God has blessed me with the ability to laugh my way through stressful events. I make jokes out of everything. I dont do it purpously, it just comes out. Sometimes, you just have to make people laugh so you can laugh about too. It's ok to laugh. God wants us to find something to be cheerful about in everything we do. The good and the bad. It would have been so easy for me to sit back and cry that entire year. But I didn't miss a single soccer or football game, Dr. appointment for all 3 kids, PWOC day, or church day; unless we were sick, and even then I called. Yes, I fed my children cereal for dinner occasionally, and yes i let them wear their batman costumes to bed. But they're all alive and well. The cheerios didn't interrupt their sleep patterns and batman turned out to be rather comfy when he crawled in bed with me later in the night.

No matter what you are going through. God is always there. Even when you feel like you're at the bottom....because when you're at the bottom, there's only one way to look....UP!!!!!