All in a days work…or a decade!
How “Daddy Left With Mr. Army” came to be
Did I get this book done in a day? Uh, nope. More like many, many years. It all started when I was pregnant with our son-we’ll call him ‘A.’ Our daughter, L, was 3. We had just spent our first time ever living out of AZ. We were stationed at Ft. Rucker, AL for hubby’s flight school. Yep. He flies helicopters for a living. It’s a pretty cool gig & he’s a stud. Just in case you were wondering. Anyway, he had to report for his first duty station in the Army 5 weeks out of flight school. To KOREA. What? That’s how the Army rewarded him for being the top 5% of his class. I digress. So M flew off to Korea for our 1st year long separation. L & I moved to AZ to hang out with my family while he was there & so I could have some help with baby #2 when he decided to join the rest of us.
And so began The Days of our Deployments (input sappy music). How about that for a soap opera?!
“Chandelle”, you say! Stop babbling & get to the book part!” Ok, Ok. So one night as I was trying to sleep with that growing belly of mine, I just woke up with rhymes and words & this beautiful story beginning to evolve! It was one of those moments of inspiration where you try to put it off so you can sleep but you can’t sleep because you can’t put it out of your head! Plus, it was coming together so quickly and sounded so cute to my sleepy self, I just had to write it down. And that’s how it started. I had a chunk of it done in one night. But it didn’t stop there.
Over the course of the next 6 years, our family moved to Ft. Bragg, NC & had 3 more year long deployments under our belt. Yep. You heard it right. M was gone for 4 YEARS out of 7! And all during the times of being a 3 year old little girl to being 10 & being born & growing to a 6 year old little guy. Those are hard years to miss that much with your dad. Those are hard years to be a somewhat single parent. Those are hard years to know your family is growing up & doing things & making memories without you. Fast forward to 2017-2018 & we all got to go through ANOTHER year long separation back to fun Korea! But that was the last one!
Tough stuff. But we did it. Just like so many others have done before us, with us & those that will after us.
So, during all that time when the kiddos were younger & we had the back to back deployments, I clearly had first hand experience as to what these amazing military children go through & the emotions they deal with when a parent leaves. It’s confusing, and difficult and scary & very sad. But, as Kelly Clarkson would say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!” and it sure does! These military children are so resilient with their many moves & starting in the middle of a school year, making friends just to leave them, getting used to different climates & a new home & environment. Watching a parent leave for weeks, months or more than a year & to be asked to watch them do that again. These kiddos are tough & strong & independent. But they lose so much when that parent is gone. Those are not memories that can ever be made together. Those are not moments that parent will get to experience. Those are not photos the whole family can be in together. It’s hard & it’s crappy, but we do it. We all can do hard things & we can be better from it.
Back to the book…
So I sat on this special book for years. I took it to a publisher in NC who liked it but even though they wanted to publish it, it would still cost me a lot. Off it went back in the drawer. It would resurface every so often & I’d tweak it & work on it & sketch the illustrations then give up again.
This went on for years.
With M being gone again this last year, I started researching more seriously because I just decided it was time. And I wanted it to be a surprise for M.
FINALLY, I found a company I felt good about to self-publish with & I just took the plunge! It was a good chunk of change that day. But it was an investment in ME. And investment in OUR FAMILY.
An investment into something I knew could touch and benefit other military children & families out there. I may never make all my money back, but that’s ok. It’s here & it’s real & I’m proud of it! It hit the online market on Dec. 12, 2018 & boy was I excited! When I finally unveiled it to M the next day, he couldn’t believe it! I’m grateful to all the help & support I had a long the way. I have the best tribe a girl could ask for!
I’m going to market it the best I can & work hard to get it into the hands of these awesome little ones & others so everyone can see what they go through & understand better how they might be feeling.
Thanks for reading my story about my story! I sure hope you love it as much as I do! XO-Chandelle
Please help support this dream of mine by ordering the book for your own family!
Available online at popular sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, and many more!
Just type in Daddy Left with Mr. Army & you’re good to go!
Thanks so much!!