When You Can’t Be Together, Chatting Online is the Next Best Thing

Iraq 2003 #latergram

I’m participating in a sponsored campaign by Skype to share about how their service keeps families and friends connected when distance tries to keep them apart. Geography is overcome when you can see the smile on your loved one’s face. Below is my story of the farthest distance between my husband and I, and how chatting online was a blessing:

Some of you might not know this, but back before I was a blogger, I was dubbed “the email queen”. I was one of those people that forwarded “stuff”. I was highly connected to all the homeschool email lists back when that was the only source of online discussion – before blogs came around. You can call me hipster after this comment, but “I was rocking social media before it had even been invented.” I also knew how to use chat programs back when ICQ was the only option out there. People  may have dogged me for being too plugged in to my computer… but for a while, the computer was my only means of communication with a husband who was determined to go overseas with Halliburton and KBR in the middle of a war zone.

humvee

Yep. Iraq. My blonde, blue eyed, yuppie, city-boy husband boarded a jet plane and sailed off into the unknown – prompting his insurance company to completely cancel our policy.

Green Zone 2003 #iraq #latergram

Apparently, being an American “Amriki” in Baghdad is sort of dangerous. At least it was to the press members that were bombed and burned on the roads he was traveling on two days later, delivering computer equipment in unarmored SUVs. They didn’t make it.

9 years ago, my husband took this photo of me to Iraq. #selfportrait #loveletters

I think I only mailed him one package while he was over there. I sent him a photo of myself and prayed he would miss me bad enough to come home, because I knew I didn’t want to ask him to come home – or he might have regrets. I wanted it to be his decision. It was breaking the kids’ hearts, too… my then six year old (oldest child) drew a picture of the “divorcer lady” and the “volcano of love” and told me we needed to go there to keep from having her make us be apart.

{ I have the utmost respect and admiration for our military families after just experiencing the shortest of separations. I can’t imagine the difficulties they endure to protect America’s freedom and people. }

Thank God my honey was only over there for three months… and I have stories to tell about the intense prayers – hours per night – that I prayed during that time (why do we only pray THAT hard when we are in trouble?)…

Iraq 2003 #latergram

But the point of this message is to tell you how my frazzled nerves were set at ease by our nightly conversations on computer chat. It’s amazing what hearing someone’s voice can do to soothe you. Works better than a basket full of kittens or a plate full of brownies, that’s for sure.

I was beside myself with grief. I hardly ate. There were people who I trusted that were not supportive in that scary time in my life. There were family members who were angry at me for not “trying to stop him” from going. It was like holding on to a fist full of sand – the boy was determined. He trusted that God wanted him there. There was no getting in his way.

Million Miles Away 2003 #latergram

Our little chats kept my fragile heart from breaking. It gave me strength to go out and eat with two little kids by myself (restaurants are lonely places when your husband is across the ocean). It gave me peace of mind to hear his voice and see that he was OK while the media spoke every day of some new beheading or ambush. I was totally dependent on God and my video chats to stay sane.

Thankfully, our time apart was cut short and he was able to come home in one piece. I would thank Skype for helping me stay in touch, but they weren’t around yet in 2003. I can imagine that now, a zillion service men, contractors, and their wives and children are relying on Skype to make those extended times apart more endurable.

Check out this cute video that Skype sent me about a college student who graduated and took a job in Australia — and worked at a wildlife zoo there. After she came home, she really missed her people – and animal – friends. It is so cool how the internet, computers, and Skype can make the world seem so much smaller for a moment. Watch out, though – if you are a sap like me, you might need a tissue at the end…

Do you use Skype to keep in touch with your loved ones who are unable to be with you? I’d love to hear your story! You can learn more about Skype’s campaign on their website (click here: skype.com/staytogether) and see more videos (one of my particular favorites is the one called “The Impossible Family Portrait”).

Here’s hoping you get to stay close to the ones you love this summer — but if you can’t… at least Skype will allow you to keep in touch and have a little more peace of mind while you’re apart.

{ Happy connecting. }

In Him,

Heather

Disclosure: Sprittibee aims to provide unbiased editorials. However, I wish to disclose that from time to time I may receive free products or other compensation from companies for blogger reviews.