It's pretty incredible how quickly one moment can change everything. One moment, I'm dropping Jeremy off at the airport and he's gone for a year. The next moment, I'm picking him up at the airport and he's home. Granted these moments were not side by side, but they held great impact. It took a lot of time for us to adjust to Jeremy's absence, as well as to have him home again. I'll admit though, one is far greater in difficulty than the other.
I've grown very dependent upon his presence, so when he had to go, I struggled with daily routine, and wanting to do things, but waiting to share the experience with him. Now that he's home, it's like, "we've been here before, this isn't new," and yet, it is still an adjustment. A year is a long time and while it's not easy, we managed to find our strength and love in one another to faithfully make it through. It's so great to sit and do work and be able to have the kids go to him for things. It's so wonderful to fall into his arms when I'm stressed. It's so incredible to get advice regularly when I'm not always sure what to do or how to handle something.
There's one thing I've particularly grown fond of - and that's how my dear friends have reacted. Some friends, such as Katie, have never really experienced my life with Jeremy. Others, such as Mercedes, have known only Jeremy and I. But when I threw his surprise homecoming, (Katie's third time meeting him), I was so happy to hear her lean over and whisper, "I can tell why you love him so much." I particularly love how happy she genuinely is for me on a regular basis. She understands everything I can't put into words. Mercedes has gone through one 7 month deployment, but didn't do well through any of it, and refuses to be with her husband if he goes through another. That is something her and I do not see eye-to-eye on, but at least there's a bit of understanding compared to those who have never been through it.
If you're going through a deployment, find supporting friends. Silence all those who speak negative things, and let those who are supportive, caring, and loving be there every chance possible. Trust me, it has made all the difference. And when he's home, don't forget about them either, continue to keep them close, for they are probably the truest people you've ever met.