How does one prepare for a departure? I really don't think there is a set way. Lots of times I think I know exactly how it will go and how it will feel but it never turns out that way. I didn't plan for the sink to break the night before and him to spend his last evening fixing it. But that is what our last evening was about. It turned out to be a good thing- took our thoughts away from the departure. Reminded us that we are just a regular family with an irregular life.
The morning that he left ended up being a l- o- n- g one. We had to be at base to pick up his weapons at 3:15 in the morning. We were late! After meeting up with the weapons escort we made our journey to the airport. The kids were all excited that dad had 2 weapons and they wanted to bad to see them. Well, they had to have security come over and make sure he wasn't smuggling anything in the case so we all got to see his weapons.
Finally all checked in we made our way to the terminal. The airport allows military families to go to the gate so that they can spend a little more time together which we were very thankful for. On our way 2 different people stopped Chris to thank him for his service. I always get choked up when that happens because it means so much to hear that from people. It reminds me how proud and special all our military are and that our journeys tend to be a little different then civilians in so many ways that can't be explained.
Goodbyes are always hard. Especially when the plane just sits on the tarmac!! AAAHHH It is that moment when you want to go but you can't. What if something is wrong with the plane and they return to the terminal? What if- what if- what if! I try not to play the what if game but at that moment I couldn't help it. So we waited for the plane to leave the tarmac. It took 25 l- o- n- g minutes because it was getting deiced. As I was staring at that plane I couldn't help but think about all that is to come. Everything that needs to be done and how will it go. So many emotions and concerns to think about and I want to be strong for the kids. I want to be strong for him. If I am weak he will have a harder deployment worrying about us. If I am weak then the kids will break down. My weak time comes when they are asleep and I am alone to cry. Or in the shower in the morning so they cannot hear me and in the car driving where songs break me down.
And so another part of our journey begins,one that I know will be filled with many emotions. It wouldn't be so hard to go through a deployment if I didn't love him so darn much.