With the return today of HMS Defender (and if many of you wonder why I bang on about this ship in particular ok I will just say it- it’s Popeyes old ship where I met most of my NWBFFs and felt part of the Royal Navy community for the first time and not just some kind of Lone Ranger navy wife freak) and im filled with such excitement on their behalf, I’m so crazily proud of the families who have waited 9 months for them to finally come home.
(After doing basically a 7 month deployment about 2 mins before this one- mental).
I can see the wives and the girlfriends, the sisters and the brothers and the mummy’s and daddy’s in my minds eye in a few short hours, finally getting that hug and kiss they’ve waited and waited and waited some more for.
But as well as all of this excitement for them, and soppiness and nostalgia it’s reminded me that it’s my turn to say goodbye next. For 9 months.
And I am seriously freaking out.
After I did my first deployment and met Popeye at the homecoming I was naive. I didn’t pause to think there will be another one. And another and another.
The second he stepped off the ship a new countdown started to the next time he would deploy.
What happened? We had a minimum of a 6 month deployment with less than 12 months inbetween for four years. That’s a lot of deploying.
It was awful. It was hard. It was surreal.
But it was doable. I look back at “deployment Olive” with no small degree of awe. She was hardcore.
“Did I really do that?”
“How did I do all those deployments?”
“Can I really do it all again?”
(in a very small voice, like a stroppy toddler) “But I don’t want to!”
Thinking about this upcoming deployment is filling me with dread. Not just because I know how hard it will be, but because this time I’m on my todd with our two gorgeous baby girls. No pressure then.
And that’s going to bring a whole new level of shit and heartache and stress and strain that I haven’t encountered before.
And that is a type of deployment I know nothing about.
So watch this space my lovelies. Hopefully my blog will stay the chirpy quirky space it’s always been. Not some kind of weird online written record of my unraveling.
I need success stories please!
So as the WAGs of HMS Defender wave that mighty ship home, with the sodding brass band blasting, and the little tug boat getting zilch recognition; my thoughts are bitter sweet and let’s be honest, a bit “me me me.”
This navy life is (as my good pal Ronan would say) a roller coaster.
I’d rather be on the dodgems.