Saturday, March 20, 2010

And now it begins...

I need to get this out now so that I can start the "healing process" as John calls it...

We finally got the call that John would be heading out bright and early. We kept Aidan out of school one more day to have some "family" time. It wasn't the most fun day for me... but it was time. First, I begged him to help me fold the laundry. This is an issue with wives of deployed soldiers. Folding and putting away that last load of his laundry. It's one of those things that make you break down. Because we won't be doing it again for a while. I still have a basket waiting for me, but at least the majority of it is already put away. He also cleared off his dresser top and his side of the bathroom. I don't think I could stand to look at it. There were just too many reminders. Now looking back...I kind of wish it was all still there. See...its little things that get to you.

We hit up our favorite arcade...Dave and Busters...and then drove around Nashville looking for portrait sites for April and I. John insisted on getting a box of Krispy Kremes for his breakfast the following morning. Clarksville doesn't have them...so it was a must before we left. The rest of the day is pretty much a blur because I spent it crying and begging him not to go. I know he doesn't have a choice...but I still couldn't help myself.

He set the alarm for 2am. I didn't get much sleep thinking about the dreaded next morning. And the dogs...they hogged the bed...and he wouldn't let me kick them off. It's cute how attached he is to these dogs that he is always telling me to get rid of. I wonder if they know what's going on. They keep jumping up when they hear a truck drive down the road. And when I say the word "Daddy" they cry at the door. It's sad really.

2am came real early. I quickly got myself ready because I wanted to take pictures. Lots of pictures. Then I discovered that my house was not a great place to take pictures that early in the morning. So I just watched him get ready. I watched him throw on his uniform and lace up his boots one more time. He grabbed his gear and said his goodbye's to the animals. And we were out the door.

My friend Tiffany said she wanted to come with me to support me and also to see John off. I'm extremely happy that she did...because he was leaving with another company. His had already left a few days earlier. I didn't know anyone in the hanger...so it was nice to have her there by my side. We had about an hour to hold each other and tell each other how much we'd miss the other. I tried to keep my mind off of it by snapping more pictures. It made John uncomfortable...but I needed to do it. I wanted to have those moments saved. At the end of the hour, someone came over the intercom and said a quick prayer. I watched John pray, but I had to have that saved as well...so I snapped a few more photos. If you know me...you know that pictures mean the world to me. So I just couldn't help myself! At the end of the prayer we were told to say our goodbyes and for the soldiers to get in line and gear up. Aidan and I fought for the last hug. He would hug him, and then I would hug him...and so on. Finally John said we just needed to do a family hug. It was such a good hug.

The soldiers started lining up. But there were still a few families behind the red line saying their goodbyes. It's a hard thing to watch. It hurt even more to see a family of 5 huddled around in a circle...each of them with tears streaming from their faces. Even the soldier. But they had to seperate. The hanger doors opened and behind them we saw the buses. The group was called to attention and ordered to face right. Red, white and blue came over the speakers and they filed in front of us and out to the buses. John was three rows back...but I watched him closely. When it was his turn to cross in front of us...he gave us the “I love you” sign. We watched them march through the doors and onto the buses. It was hard to tell which one he was on...but it didn't really matter because we couldn’t see them through the tinted windows. We stood outside and waved to all of them. The buses honked and then were gone. I had to catch myself from falling to the ground sobbing...but I looked over and Aidan was almost crying too. You would think after soo many times you would get used to them leaving. But you don't. Our bond has become soo much stronger every time he leaves. It just makes it that much harder to see him go.

I miss him soo much already. But the first couple of days will be the hardest. I have soo many friends to keep my spirits up. And Aidan...he is such a little character. He said he would make me a cake. I love that kid. I promised him a trip to Wal-Mart...so I guess we should get ready for that! And maybe a movie. We need a good, happy movie. Maybe Diary of a Wimpy Kid :). If I had a movie...it'd be called diary of a Wimpy Mommy! And now the happy countdown for John's homecoming is on!

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