Anyway when my kidlings were younger every time their daddy would go away for any length of time we would make paper chains and hang them around the house. We would start the chain with as many links as the days he would be gone and then everyday we would take one off! It was really lots of fun to see their little faces get excited about the chain getting shorter!! We would take strips of papers, any paper really whatever they found important at the time, printer paper, anything!! If they brought it to me on the chain making roundup day we worked it into the chain somehow! I miss those days, my babies are 18 and 14 now!! Anyway, we would tear or cut the papers into strips and then glue, tape, or staple them together! Then we would hang them around the house, the longer the chain, the more rooms it went into, the shorter the fewer! One year their daddy was supposed to be deployed for 5 months, so we made the chain with as many days as necessary and hung it and said see ya soon to daddy, never goodbye, and he left and we started our daily ritual of pulling one link off! Then three weeks before daddy was to come home we woke up to some horrible news reports on 9/11... Now on an aircraft carrier you get almost daily emails, especially when the hubby/daddy has an office...or those weekly phone calls that are so so so very very coveted!!! and you look forward to each and everyone of those... so when you see what is happening on the television and you run to the computer to check emails and send one off to the man and it comes back right away as not deliverable, and you send it again and again it comes back immediately you know something is up!! So you try to be normal and send the oldest off to school and get the youngest ready for his first day of pre-school but you know something is WRONG!!! So I got the little one home from preschool and down for his nap after lunch and the phone starts ringing, it's your father, your sister, your mother-in-law and you have no answers to the one single question they all asked, Is Steven still coming home? All I could say was I will let you know as soon as I know!! Then the phone call from the ombudsman, for those of you who don't know what she does, she is the one person, usually a woman who can stay in contact with the ship at all times, the one you depend on in times like these, usually the captain's wife, or the XOs wife, anyway she calls with the message, no communication until further notice and no return until further notice. Your heart falls, for several reasons, because this has happened and it shouldn't have, because your husband isn't coming home as soon as you thought, because you can't send him the daily emails of how things at school and home went and the little tell daddy what we had for dinner, or tell him what I made at school, because your heart is hurting and the one person who helps make everything better isn't there, but mostly because you don't know how to explain things to the kidlings... You have no words to tell the 6 year old why there is a plane in the building on TV except to turn the TV off and say it's mean people doing mean things, the 2 year old just want to watch Blue's Clues...you have not idea how to tell them that this time, we have to stop taking the links off the chain until mommy know more information, and absolutely no idea how to make their hearts heal when you tell them that daddy will not be home when we thought he was going to be home and that you have no idea when daddy will be home!!!
What I meant by I miss the friendships and sense of community of the military and a military town is this, during these times when you live 36 hours away from your closest family all you have are the women, men and children who are living right next to you going through the same things you are going through and somehow they become your family, they become the closest friendships you will ever have and will ever keep. Paper chains remind me of this!
Now I was going to make a paper chain to show you but I figured you all knew what one was so I found some awesome pictures on Google for you to go and check out!!
Enjoy the rest of the hop and whenever you make a paper chain or see a paper chain, remember it may have been made to count down the days until someone comes home!