I'm not ready. I mean I'm really not ready. I don't want to fast tomorrow. I don't want to give anything up. I'm really not ready. And, I don't wanna.
I feel like I've already lived my Lent. And, I'm tired. I think six months is enough of a "lent".
This past deployment was very, very hard. It shouldn't have been. My parents are living with me so I had adult company. I had physical help. But, no one can really take the burden of parenting away.
Toddlers are easier. You can move them physically. It's easier to cuddle them and read a book to them. Littler kids are easy to distract. They don't feel the absence of the other parent as keenly as the older ones.
I had a 10 year old girl and a 13 year old boy who is actually developmentally around 10. So, it was hard. They were hard. The 10 year old girl was extremely emotional. She missed her dad. A lot. The 13 year old boy had so many changes within his body (did I mention he's got a mustache?) but is really only at a 10 year old level. He had no idea what was going on. It didn't get to him much, but it did make him more difficult to handle.
Looking back, I can't pinpoint why it was so hard except for the above. But, I can make a pretty good guess that deployment followed very closely by my sister-in-law's death followed by deployment probably didn't help. I'm not sure I grieved fully. I jumped right into helping my brother so I don't know if I really did. But, then I'm not sure I grieved fully my friend, Dave's, death. And, that was at the end of deployment.
My shoulders can hold a lot. I'm a very strong person. But, I haven't been able to shrug things away as easily these past few years.
So, I guess my Lent will be in working to get myself back on track. To work at getting back to an even keel.
As Father Tyson, a priest we just loved who is now at Fort Stewart, used to say, "I'll pray for you. Pray for me."