Saying goodbye is hard.
The goodbyes never get easier, especially knowing that my rock is going to be gone for so long. I thought this time would be different. We’ve been through this before—we know what’s coming. We know all the actions that we are going through, we’ve done the drop off of the bags and waiting for them to draw weapons. We did all of this not too long ago.
So, I woke up this morning knowing what was to come later that day. He was packing the minute things into his bags and putting on his uniform. I was fine. I was sad, but I was doing okay.
And then, my heart broke.
My heart broke when he knelt down to say goodbye to our two baby girls—our two dogs. He wrapped his arms around Holly, who is his very best friend, and he held on tight. It was this moment that I started crying. Seeing how hard it was for him broke my heart. Patrick grabbed his bags and began to walk out the door one last time while he said goodbye to the girls. He left his keys hanging on the key ring, knowing he wouldn’t be needing them anytime soon.
We drove up to Fort Stewart and went through the motions that we went through the last time at Fort Riley. We ran up for one last quick lunch and then we waited. There were hugs and kisses and many “I love you’s." Once again, I was doing okay. We smiled and laughed, and I was planning for my next coffee fix. We gave one last tight hug and one last kiss and said goodbye. One thing was different from this time than from last—I didn’t cry. I wasn’t so much afraid or anxious about the unknown, I just kept thinking about that hug we had at homecoming and the butterflies I felt trying to pick his face out of the crowd. I held onto that feeling while I was saying goodbye, because I will tell you this: There is no better feeling in the world than that first embrace when they come home from a deployment. The anticipation and the excitement and waiting that leads up to it all, and then it happens—you’re in each other’s arms and they are exactly where they are supposed to be. Home.
Am I sad? Absolutely!
Do I miss him with all my heart? More than anything!
But I am doing okay. I know from the past that the first month is when I find my groove and look for things to keep busy. Time will start to pass and then I will hit that mid-deployment wall where time will just drag, and then the anticipation of the homecoming day being close continues to slow down time.
They also say that, as soon as they leave, everything breaks, and it comes in threes. THIS IS SO, SO TRUE! So I’m hoping that this go around, it won’t be anything major.
The goodbyes never get easier, and being in a new place makes it feel a bit more overwhelming, but I have goals and plans to make to make the absolute most of the time I have while the husband is gone.
My heart is heavy knowing what lies ahead, but I am stronger and braver than I was last time.
All of it will lead up to that unbelievable feeling of seeing him again.
I’ll see you soon, then.
“Goodbye may seem forever. Farewell is like the end, but in my heart is the memory, and there you will always be.”