Deployment. It's the "D" word in the Army. Not for everyone, but for most spouses it is. Ours first is looming just around the corner. We are past the 30 day mark. What does it feel like? Like a highly-anticipated, long-dreaded visit from that relative you hoped you'd never have to meet or see again. But you know he/she is coming, so you'd better prepare. That's what we've been doing. Everything from Living Wills to Power of Attorneys to Advanced Directives. The Army was kind enough to give us 2 weeks of "Block Leave" with their blessing and encouragement to spend time with family. We (minus the baby) chose to spend half of our Leave at Disney World. This was a fantastically phenomenal experience and will be a well-spring of memories during the long months ahead. The trip itself, the sights and sounds, the smells, the time…will all serve to bind us closer together and will impress into our minds perhaps for a lifetime. And now we are in the season of "lasts" and goodbyes. Last haircuts, last bills paid, last fill-ups, last road trips. And not just for me. My husband has begun to do it to. I see him stopping to study pictures he's passed a thousand times before. I see him savoring our smiles and laughter. I "caught" him going through all of the pictures on his i-Touch yesterday, just reminiscing about each face and place in them. Every hug we share speaks in unspoken terms "I love you and I will miss you. Not too many more hugs left before…". We are at the point of thinking, "Who really wants to fight about socks on the floor or hairs in the shower when soon there will be no one to fight with? Just let it roll…" Having grown up in an area of the country prone to tornados, this eerily feels like the "calm before the storm". My goal here is to be transparent, not portray hopelessness. These feelings are normal and affect most people in our scenario. I share them on the basis that they will help others know that what they are going through is common and help them not feel guilty or alienated. Trust me, God is in this, through this, under this, all around this. But it is a process of emotions that must be worked through. My goal is to journal as much as I can along this new journey, in order to help myself, preserve my memories, and most importantly to help others.