Stacy and I became friends in a very round about way through our FRG (family readiness group) - and it didn't happen right away. It wasn't until late this winter/early this Spring so both of us had gone through several months of solo deployment already. And I can tell you sincerely that it makes a HUGE difference to know somebody else who has a soldier at Al's location - who may not be going through the 'exact' same things as me, but who understands as a whole how I feel. These last few months have been so much more bearable because of that.
In my friendships as a whole, I'm kind of weird about stuff. I have several best friends that I have made at different times and paths in life who literally live all across the country. They are the category of friends that if one of them called me up today and needed something, I would find a way to deliver for them. I used to have a bunch of acquaintances too - but between being a mom now - and Al being deployed, I have really taken stock of my friendships, and a lot of my 'friends' just kind of drifted away like chaff. It's really kind of funny though because no matter how many best friends I have, Stacy is really about the only person in my life right now who can relate 100% to this situation. So she currently has #1 status - lol. If I'm not on the phone with Al - her call gets answered next!!
I guess it's strange, because if you have never gone through a deployment - then there's no way that I can really explain to you what this feels like. I could try to qualify it with a bunch of adjectives, or maybe quantify it with statistics on how many sleepless nights I've had --- but just like anything in life, until you personally live something yourself, you can't really understand it. My other 'best friends' are great people, but they all are living normal civilian lives right now and although they are sincerely patriotic people, the patriotism that they live is not really comparable to what a military family goes through.
Stacy not only understand what this feels like, but she is also a great person as a whole. She is a true friend that whenever I need her, is there for me. There are other things I can tell you about Stacy too . . .
- She has a great sense of humor.
- She is a kick butt cook.
- She is awesome at her job!!
- She is an AMAZING mother. She is supporting her son Michael through his deployment, and she is really a textbook example of what a parent (or anyone else) should be like during something like this. She is in active competition with me as to which one of us can send our soldier more packages - and she is always available for Michael no matter what he needs. I respect her so much for the way that she has sacrificed for him during these months - and it has really given me a role model as a parent, and as a friend to look up to.
- She is a patient wife!
- She takes great care of her pets too - (okay, I've been to her house, her pets are really like her other children - lol!)
- She is an awesome daughter and sister too. I respect so much the way that she is all about her family and goes all out for them.
- Whether she realizes it or not, she has a great sense of style and flair!
- She knows who she is, and is totally grounded in that. She is a 'real' person - and instead of being a flaky person who may be sugar sweet, but who isn't there for you - she tells you like it is, and she still has your back.
- Forty million other things I can't remember because it's Monday and I'm sleepy - lol.
So, if y'all could do me a HUGE favor - please go wish her a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, k?