Friday, July 16, 2010

Conversation With Abs

Last night we had the final briefing about the deployment.

I'll get to some stuff in another post, but of course Abs stole the show.

They went through all the technical stuff and they mentioned there would be a portion of the briefing dedicated to questions from the families and Soldiers.

Abs eyes lit up and she said "I have questions".

Oh dear.

They mentioned they would hand out microphones and Abs started trying to figure out how to get one.  I assured her that she could ask me her questions later.

She wanted a microphone, but they decided not to hand them out, and the LTC would repeat the question.

Someone asked a routine question, and when the LTC asked who was next, Ab's hand shot up before we could stop it.  The LTC saw it.  He pointed to Abs.

Abs stands up in a crowd of about 800 people, wearing her Twilight Burger King crown, a red and white polka dot dress, and her new daddy doll in her arms.

"Is my daddy going to come home?" came out loud, strong, and in the sweetest, most innocent voice you have ever heard.

The audience responded with sadness, "Awwwwwwww". They all waited to see what he would say.

The LTC stopped for a second.  Collected his thoughts.  He repeated the question.

The lady behind me put her hand on my shoulder.  I teared up.

He didn't laugh at Abs, he didn't smile, he took her seriously, and not one person in the audience said a word.

He responded with something to the effect of.....I am not a shoe salesman. I don't make promises that I can't keep.   I'm not sure what the future holds.  What I can promise you is that your daddy is well trained.  He has had the best training available.  Your daddy has the best equipment available to him.  I am pretty sure your daddy can handle anything that comes up.  Your daddy is with a group of men that are some of the best in the Army, and I promise you that we will do everything we can to keep him safe and all the other Soldiers safe.

Abs smiled.  She understood that he couldn't promise her daddy's safety, but she appreciated that he promised to try.

The LTC looked relieved that she didn't ask anymore questions.

I cried.  9 years old.  She's been through three year long deployments and this one will be her fourth.

They never get easier...

27 comments:

hmb said...

What a sweetheart!!

d.a.r. said...

I am sitting in my office bawling my eyeballs out reading this.

And, I just thought I would let you know how jealous I am that you have such an awesome leader for your husband's unit. It is much scarier going into a deployment when you know your husband (and none of the other CGOs or even the NCOs) trust the LTC. Pretty scary.

Allison @ I heart Change said...

That completely made me tear up.

Bless Abs. She is a one in a million chil.

Mary Madeline said...

Big tears!!!! What a great response!!

Doc's Girl (Noel) said...

That one is definitely a tear-jerker.

ThatArmyWife said...

What an amazing moment.

*hugs* to you and her.

Kudos to the LTC for handling that so well. It makes such a huge difference when concerns (no matter how young the voice) are heard and addressed.

Ashley said...

Broke my Heart! HUGS!

Heidi said...

How sweet and how nice the LTC took her seriously! Of course tears here too! Abs is wise beyond her years!

Gypsy at Heart said...

Abs will always be asking hard questions!

Lisa said...

Tears came to my eyes as well. And it's so amazing that the LTC answered the question that way. He sounds like an excellent leader.

Thanks for sharing that moment!

Uncle Dan said...

What more can be said, Abs is one in a million!

Nolie said...

What a precious little girl you have. I have tears in my eyes. Let her know we will all be keeping her daddy and everyone in our thoughts.

karen said...

Came here by way of Basinah's blog. I love a child who knows they have a voice and uses it. They are the hope for our future. Kudos to you for raising this child to trust her voice. I am thinking of your family as you all live through another deployment.

The Mrs. said...

i puffy heart her. {and shes potty trained so that just makes me lover her more}

its amazing to think of what our kids go thru. Dash1 asked today why his daddy always goes away and other daddies were at the px. ill get back to that when i figure it out.

lola said...

You totally just made me cry. It is so sweet that the LTC took it seriously and answered sincerely. I have a feeling that my hubby's LTC would react similarly. We are so going to miss him/his wife when we move!

Briar Rose said...

Props to the LTC for taking her seriously! But that makes me sad, my daughter asked my husband the same question, if he was going to come home. And she is only 4. Maybe military kids do (slightly) maybe not grow up more quickly, but mature more quickly.

silver star said...

Wow! I'm glad your LTC was able to answer that in the way he did. Abs seems very mature asking that instead of something like, "Why does my daddy have to leave again?" or something like that.

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

This is so sweet and heartbreaking!

Mrs. McGuire said...

Way to make me cry, girl!

The Bolton Family said...

I am WAY too emotional for stories like these! What a sweetheart. With a deployment looming in the future I have NO idea what to tell my 4 year old. Hubby worked a night shift last night and Nathyn cried when he woke up and said, "Why did my Daddy go away to the army for a lot of days again?" Luckily he was on the couch...

Oh boy. Deployment #1. I'm nervous!

WanderingGirl said...

Wow. I came via a link from Sis B's blog. Love Abs, and I appreciate that LTC. She was brave to ask such a heartfelt question, and he was brave to not give her a childish answer, and to answer her honestly. Well done to both of them... and well done to you for letting her speak up and not dragging her out!

greenmountainwife said...

That made me tear up. My husband is deployed right now. Just found your blog a couple weeks ago, love reading it!

Kitchen Wiccan said...

Tears here too. I'm 11 months into this deployment and struggling with the home stretch. I'll have to be as brave as a 9-year-old girl. :)

Guard Wife said...

I'd say she asked the most important question that needed to be asked. The "professional" interviewers could take a lesson.

Sweet girl.

I'm glad the LTC had the presence of mind to treat her with the respect & seriousness her question deserved. Sometimes, I'm amazed at how ill-prepared some folks are to be at a podium.

Definitely thinking of you and yours!

Post Tenebras Lux said...

I'm with Guard Wife--so glad the LTC treated her respectfully. This just wrings my heart.

McMGrad89 said...

Wow, ABW. Thanks for the tears at 6 a.m. My heart goes out to you all of you.

The one with the View said...

I don't know if you ever did deployments before kids, but they are very different than with kids. And I have to say, for as hard as it is to be strong for our children when our soldiers deploy, deployments (in my opinion, I know others that would disagree) are FAR MORE REWARDING, and Sweeter than those deployments without children. Children get right to the heart, and as heartbreaking as it is sometimes, it's help me open my eyes to a lot. My 8 year old DD asked if Daddy would come home, if he was going to get hurt or die. In gathering my thoughts, and answering her, it gave me a renewed sense of just how good a solider my husband is, and how much I have always believed in his mission, even when I was mad about it. Prayers to your family! You are not alone, and that's a nice feeling! {hugs}