First goodbye. Not the last.
Well, the day arrived. I dropped him off and said goodbye at 0650. The time leading up to it and the time after was the most difficult for me. I didn’t really cry until the night before, even then it wasn’t much. Just a few tears I hid well when he wasn’t looking. 😛
We didn’t want to sleep last night because we knew what was coming in the morning. For some reason, we felt like we could delay the ineveitable by just never going to sleep and soaking up every minute that ticked by. We eventually did fall asleep, him first, and I just laid there for a while being really comforted by the sounds of him snoring away. We woke up bright and early around 5am, got cleaned up, and got some last minute snuggle time in before having to march out the door. I think it was kinda a quiet and somber ride to the airport. Neither of us obviously wanted to let go, but we knew this was coming and that this was part of the sacrifice. I cried harder before and after than during the goodbye.
You can try to be strong for him, but it’s impossible not to cry in my opinion. I wasn’t falling on the floor in tears, but I was emotional. It sucks. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions to say the least.
You wait months for them to come home and you go through a whole range of crazy things in the days and weeks leading up to them finally arriving. Some families wait 3 months some wait 10 months. It just all depends on their leave date that was scheduled. Regardless, you wait. For the families that see them early, they have all those months on the back end and vice versa. I’m glad his leave was the way it was. Our circumstance was so unusual since we weren’t dating prior to him deploying. Ask me when we’re married and I might tell you a different story.
Then the time comes when they finally arrive for me…I was breathless, speechless, shocked, and shaking. I literally almost collapsed multiple times standing in the airport waiting for him. You try to squeeze so much into those precious 15 days but mixed in with the squeezing is lots of relaxation time. After all, it is called R&R for a reason.
You always know what’s around the corner and even before they come home, you know their will be a goodbye…but you do your best not to think about it and cherish every moment. You know they won’t come again for a while. This is your one shot for an entire year to soak it all in.
Right now in this moment, I’m exhausted. It’s the wierdest feeling in the world. I feel like I’ve experienced a loss but I can’t quite put it into words. One moment I’m feeling fine and the next I’m crying my eyes out…all the while trying to remember that he needs me to be “Army Strong.” Then I think to myself “Why am I crying? There are TONS of other military families going through something much more painful than myself.” Then I feel guilty for “grieving” this way. After all, he’s alive and only has 2 more months before he comes home.
I know I’ll be fine. It’s the first day without him and tomorrow will probably be the same since it’s my first night going to bed alone and waking up without him. But, I have to dust myself off as he always says and march on. I am so grateful for the 2 weeks we had together. They were intense moments of love and laughter and that is what will get us through these next 2 months.
I apologize for being absent from my blog, but I think I had pretty good reason. Now that he’s gone, it will be my safety net and my place to turn when I don’t feel like talking. I know I searched for blog entries on homecomings and couldn’t find a whole lot, so maybe this blog will help other military wives/girlfriends who are anticipating the same thing.
Hugs to everyone who has offered me their shoulder to cry on and been so supportive over the past several months.
Prayers to my girl Ashley whose DH is heading back to Afghanistan tomorrow.