>> Monday, July 23, 2012
Saturday morning my heart shattered into a million pieces. Saturday night, I would start to pick up those pieces one by one until My Marine comes home and my heart is whole again.
Friday night, I was a hot mess. I was fine until he came home from work. Just seeing him caused me to fight the tears. I soaked in his nearness....constantly touching him whenever we were close. Hugging and kissing every chance we had. I listened, with tears in my eyes, as he gave our girls a bath and read to them. I fought back the tears as we were sitting in the cool evening sharing a bottle of wine together.....going over what he has packed and what might be forgotten. When we finally went to bed, I wrapped my arms around his chest and my legs around his....even our toes were touching. I wanted to burn the imprint of him next to me in my mind. It's going to carry me for the next year.
At 4am, my alarm went off. I didn't want to get up. I wanted to stop time. I wanted to bury myself under the blankets and just fast forward time until Homecoming, a year from now. But I couldn't do it. So I did what I had to do....got up, got dressed, got my girls dressed...as long as I kept moving I wouldn't cry.
As we pulled out of the driveway, the last thing he saw in the rear view mirror were the signs that the girls made for him.
We got to the facility and My Marine hit the ground running -- switching so quickly from husband/father mode into soldier mode with a job to do. I took the opportunity to find the soldiers from our to give them a hug and hand out the cards that I made for them during the past week....each one with a little note inside. Their families are my responsibility while they are gone. I love these guys like brothers and sisters. It hurts to see them all go.
Throughout it all, we stayed close to My Marine. The girls having some last giggles with their daddy...not knowing that the hard part was still yet to come.
And then it did.....My Marine started to put on his flight vest and my heart sank, my stomach twisted, and the tears started to fall. As he pulled me in for a last hug....the tears started to fall with silent sobbing. He whispered in my ear, "No tears...." and "I love you...." and "I'll call you when I can...." Behind me, I heard my girls start to cry and stepped back to allow them each their own time with their daddy.....all while taking deep breaths and wiping away the tears from my eyes....
I gathered up my girls, stepped back and watched the love of my life walk away from us.....towards the job that he loves.....to the duty that he has. Little did he know that earlier I tucked a note into the pocket of his flight suit...knowing he'd find it later.....
As an Army Aviation wife, there is nothing I love more than hearing the helicopters turning up, watching those blades turn, and seeing them fly over our home. Today, that sound had a different meaning to me. After doing all the pre-flight checks, My Marine disappeared into the aircraft only to appear one last time as he taxied past us.
One last salute and one last flyover......and he was gone.
Leaving me, our girls, and the rest of the families to pick up the pieces.
And now the countdown to homecoming begins!