I wanted to share with you a new tool Paula and I created, to give a view of the family in transition. A mobile is such a great picture of what it is like to go through the ups and downs of deployment and reunion!
to illustrate the family. The mobile sways and dips as things are added or taken away (much like real life). It takes time to regain balance ,and to allow things to settle into a routine that works.
The good news is, all that feeling of unbalance is normal, and when we realize that it takes time, and adjustments (sometimes a very small adjustment ) to rebalance things, it gives us both hope and encouragement to see it through.
One important thing we wanted to express in our mobile, was leaving space for the family member who deploys. This we illustrated this way:There is an empty place, but there is still a presence there. One we suggest not be filled with other things. The danger is, that in our loneliness and need to get on with life, we fill the space, making it difficult for the person who is returning to fit in. To keep this space takes an awareness that it needs to be preserved.
The rest of the mobile is filled with the things of life: parents , friends, lessons, meals, finances, pets, errands, and yes…sleep!
We discuss things that can wait, things that can be taken off, or added (such as support through FRG’s, friends etc..) to make life balance again. If you look closely you will see there is an anchor at the bottom of our mobile. The mobile will work even without the anchor, but is much less stable. Though the mobile may still sway and dip, it is still better balanced with it than without it.
The anchor is what you believe. The thing that is bigger than you are. It transcends your circumstances and gives you a rock to stand on. It is the thing you base you life on. It encompasses the things that you want to pass on to your children. The faith that there is more than just ourselves. We hope you have such an anchor. If you don’t, we hope you will seek diligently with all your heart for what that is. Seek what is true and what is important. When you find that anchor, you will find the priorities will be easier to define, and life will have a new stability.
We hope that this analogy of family life during deployment and reunion will be of comfort to those of you facing these times. That you will be able to balance and re-balance each and every time!