Tag Archives: fears

She is a wife of a deployed, a mom of a deployed, a grandmother/guardian of her deployed daughter’s children all at the same time!

My husband Alan and I  had the honor to meet many supporting military  families at the Yellow Ribbon event for the deployed Army Reserves.  I loved hearing their personal stories of what their family experiences have been with their deployments. Each story is unique and touches my heart, and we all have a common ground. Trying to cope with what you have been dealt, and attempting to achieve a positive outlook and experience.

I know our personal situation with deployment was challenging, with being a parents to our granddaughters. Each family had a special story.

One families’ story I think stuck out in my mind that day. A woman shared with  Alan and I that her husband was currently deployed, for the past  year. While her husband was deployed, just four  months ago, she became the guardians of her Army Reserves daughter’s three children, ages -16, 10 and 6. She and her husband had downsized to a smaller home, a 1 bedroom and a loft, 10 years ago. She lives relatively  close to her daughter’s home. She felt she wanted to provide her grandchildren a familiar surroundings and a normal routine. She felt this would help them during  their mother’s deployment. The kids  get ready for school at their own home, and after school they would  return  to complete their homework. They all ate dinner together, then they would  gather  their belongings and sleep at their grandmother’s house. She felt she needed to sleep in her own bed. She shared with us the challenges of balancing the two households, children’s activates and her daily routine.

She is alone, facing all the mixed emotions and duties of her new responsibilities. When her husband returns, he will be able to help her in a few months. But in the meanwhile it’s all up to her.

I asked her how the children were dealing with this. She explained that the youngest child was convinced their mother would not return home safely. And they were fearful of anything happening to her, since she was the only one there for them. She was concerned and recognized the children’s  mental health was an issue. She sought out counseling to help the children and herself. I give her credit for reaching out for help. The military provides exceptional counseling for families dealing with all sorts of issues. I give her credit, for recognizing they all needed help!

I shared with her the website and my email, encouraging her to keep me posted on her progress, and if  she needed a shoulder to lean on,I was there for her. Knowing you have others that are or have been  in  the same situation is so gratifying. Knowing others  have come through deployment, makes all the difference in the world.

I am  proud to know other deployed families, and their commitment to sacrificing their lifestyle and making a difference for their family, doing what ever it takes for the family.  Cheers to those families!

We are the Force behind Our Force!

How can I let go of the past and make a new adventure?

We have lived in our home for 25 years. We raised our children and had our grandchildren during our daughter’s deployment in 2008. Our neighborhood is unique with 95 homes. We would decorate our homes for Christmas and the neighborhood would win awards by the City of Placentia. At Halloween we would have between 150- 300 children trick or treating. When our kids were young they would dress up and  decorate our home as a haunted house. This drew large number of  children so  my husband and I decided we would sit in our driveway and pass out candy. Many neighbors did the same thing. The police would patrol through our neighborhood, not because of any problems but because of the crowds. Everyone had a good time.

People say our neighborhood is  like how it is in the Midwest. Everyone knowing each other and helping one another, no matter who needed help. It’s been a great place to live,we formed wonderful friendships, and a fun place to raise our children. But the home is too large now for just the two of us now. We decided to downsize, it was a hard decision for me. But I knew I needed a  place where we could  take off  more easily.

It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. I was so connected to our home because our children and especially having our  granddaughters who lived with us. I was so attached to all the old memories and I had to let that go and learn to be open to change.

To make this change a positive on we decided to pick a place different from where we lived.

We have chosen to move to Huntington Beach.To live one mile from the water and change up our life. We lived in Huntington Beach over 30 years ago when our children were small and now we coming full circle. My granddaughters are very excited that we will be living at the beach and our family is too.

We have to make the change and yeah it’s painful at times, the feeling of the unknown, and letting go of things I felt attached to, but I have to do it. And there is a side of me that is so excited to have a new adventure in my life. My granddaughter’s can’t wait to come visit us and play at the beach. They told me they will miss their old friends in our old neighborhood and my neighbors in Placentia, but they can’t wait to come visit us. I told them they could invite their friends to come over to our home when they came in town to visit us. They really liked that idea…

Change is good, hard at times to accept, but in the long run you must be open to change. One guarantee in life, life is about change. What I have learned is that my friends will still be my friends no matter where I live. To accept my new life, and I will now have the flexibility to go visit my granddaughters when ever I am needed. This is a good thing.

I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear- Oprah Winfrey

Being a grandparent is a fun roll, being a parent is responsibility and I learned how to balance it out, even if I cried and laughed at myself during the process.”- excerpt  from a book Deployed Grandparents being Parents

This was the scariest time of my life but my love for my granddaughters over came all my fears. My granddaughters were depending on a us  and this  allowed me to forget the real situation we were in, and just focus on them.