The morning of the send off was very, very early...after not much sleep the night before. My dad came over along with my mother-in-law to spend a little time with our soldiers before we had to leave. Unfortunately there was not very much time for visiting, but we did get in a few hugs which is really what it is all about, right?
Since it was so early, we left the kids in the pj's and put them in the carseats to allow them to finish sleeping. Jason and Jeremy loaded up all their bags and thankfully it all fit (yay for the big suv) My mother-in-law was so precious to take off work and ride with us so that I did not have to drive back from the airport by myself. I did not know emotionally how the kids and I would be and I just wanted to have another adult with me. I am thankful that she was able to be there.
The ride over to the airport was quiet at times, laughing a little, and feeling the large lump in my throat at times. Lots of emotions huh???
Once in the airport, we realized that we did not have much time...which is likely a good thing, no dragging it out. We took a few pictures, gave kisses, wiped tears, and hugged tightly until the last possible second (you know that kind of hanging on that you just do not want to let go of) I stood there and watched Jason and Jeremy walk away until I could not see them any longer...the further away from me they got, the larger the lump became and the greater the empty feeling became. I tried to take it all in...remembering the moment...I somehow managed to tune everything out...no sounds, no smells, no other visions except the vision of my 2 soldiers walking away, dressed in uniform with a backpack on their backs. They looked so strong. They looked so confident. Although I know that inside, underneath that strong, confident exterior, they were both going through their own roller coaster of emotions. I watched until I could no longer see them. That was it...they were gone. Then I turned around, hugged my little family, wiped the tears away and said silently, "God, your in control now please take over this for me and protect my guys" And with that I took a few breaths and knew it was time to go. Along the way we passed other soldiers from the unit. I gave them hugs and briefly let them know to be safe and that they would be in my prayers. Some of them looked eager to get this over with, while others looked just as scared as I have felt.
There was not much time to be in the moment...which is probably a good thing. The kids were loudly claiming they were hungry so with that we along with another mil. family headed off to breakfast. I must say that leaving the airport for deployment #3 was by far easier than the previous 2 times...is it because we are use to this and it gets easier with each time? (not even hardly) I truely believe it is because I have placed complete control of this in God's hands. I know that He alone gave us the strength to walk out of that airport just like He alone will give us the strength to walk through each day for the duration of this deployment. That is not to say that once we got home it was not hard, because it was...but I still felt at peace. (more to come on that in another post very soon)
So with that, I will leave you with some pictures:
So, that was our send-off. I think I am getting close to being caught up with the blog. I have several blog topics floating around in my head plus lots more pictures to share, I just can not seem to find enough time to log on here and get it done. I some how blocked from memory how incredibly demanding it is to be alone with 2 children...whew...especially when they are both in school and involved in things outside of school. Although, being this "busy" sure does help with time going faster.
I am excited about 2 posts that I have coming up this week though! In honor of Veteran's Day, I have been asked to review 2 books and some (actually 4) lucky readers will get the chance to win those books!!! I promise, you are not going to want to miss out on these books =) Those posts will be up this week, so be sure to check back for your chance to win these give-a-ways.