Monday, January 21, 2013

See You Later

The goal is to get through writing this post without crying. Not sure it will happen, but I will give it a go. At some point in the past few weeks (no dates will be mentioned) my husband left for Afghanistan. Now I have known this deployment was coming for a year. However, the actual reality of watching them walk onto those buses was not something I think anyone can prepare for.

We woke up around 4:30, but I pretty much tossed and turned all night. I fell asleep wrapped around his arm, trying to soak in every second of time we still had together. We had two of his buddies staying with us, so the morning was pretty relaxed. We loaded the car and had breakfast together. I had a friend coming with me to take some pictures and be my emotional support. This may have been the best idea I have ever had.

Lane saying goodbye to Asha triggered my first sobbing mess of the day. I can only imagine how much worse that feeling would have been if we had children. We got in the car and headed over to Squadron. This was the most disorganized part of the day. There was some confusion as to where and when people were dropping off bags and picking up guns. We got it sorted and headed over to the second meeting spot around 07:00. This began the waiting. 

So I had never planned on staying around for this part. I thought it would be too hard and I would just want to go home. But once we got there, I couldn't leave. I wanted every single second just to look at his face. We spent the next hour and a half talking to friends and being together. The USO and FRG's had done an incredible job with toys for the kids and decorations. There were snacks and USO volunteers coming around to check on everyone. I can't say enough how wonderful the USO, Chaplains, and other staff were that morning.

They gave us a ten minute warning till the final manifest. This was the worst part. I have never had ten minutes go by so fast in my life. I just hugged him and told him over and over how much I loved him. I was proud of him and would be here waiting when he got back. (ok, officially crying while typing now). I really wanted to not cry, but that wasn't even a possibility at this point. I never totally lost it, but there were tears. Finally he had to go. He walked into the marked off area and waited for his name to be called. I just stared at him. I tried to memorize exactly how he looked and hold that for the next nine months. 

I heard his name and watched as he got in line to get on the buses. This part wasn't as difficult for me. After he got on the bus, I was much better. I think it helped that I couldn't see him through the window. Other spouses have described the buses pulling away as the worst part. For me, the worst part was the ten minute warning. It wasn't even the last second before he pulled away. It was knowing that I only had a few precious moments left with him.

The buses pulled out and we waved goodbye. S and I grabbed our stuff and left. I decided I wanted coffee, so we stopped at DD's on the way home. It felt like such a perfectly normal thing to do, even though the circumstances were far from normal. I did pretty well for the rest of the day. I watched a ton of 30 Rock and tried to get some house stuff done.

This is a pretty long post, but I hope it was helpful to anyone facing a deployment. I am (at the time I am writing this, not when this blog gets posted) 36 hours post him leaving, and I feel pretty good. I was sad today, but I was able to make a short to-do list and get it all done. I am trying to temper being completely selfish for the next few weeks with trying to take care of the other spouses around me. 


  1. Molly, sounds like a tough tough day, but you handled yourself so well! I find getting into the routine of being solo to be hard part. Once you get into the swing of things and once you know what to expect from Lane, you'll start to get into the groove of your new normal.

    Like you, I don't like crying during the really hard goodbyes. That said, sometimes I think it's good. My husband goes into "husband mode." If he is taking care of me, then he isn't focusing on feeling sad himself. Does that make sense? Anyway, more hugs! Hand in there!*

  2. You are SO strong! I bawl like a baby when I have to say goodbye to my long distance fiance as he heads back to school for two months, so I can't imagine what it's like to say goodbye to your husband when he's deployed!

    You're in my thoughts and prayers!

  3. OMG I cried reading this, so I can't even imagine what it was like for you to be there, and write it re-living those moments again. You are amazing... and I commend you just as much as I commend your husband for being so strong and inspiring. I said goodbye to my mom as she left for Iraq a few years ago, and it was the hardest thing ever.

    With that said, I'm super glad you had your friend go with you. There's nothing better than saying farewell to your hubs while you go have some girl time and grabbing some coffee.

    Stay strong my friend... lean on the Lord and us of course!

    xo, Bev

  4. I just started crying reading this. You are a strong person Molly and you will be able to get through this! I'm so happy you have a support group as well that will be there for you!

  5. I cried while reading your post. Praying for you and your husband!

  6. I can't imagine what you're going through but know I am praying for you and your husband. Your last few posts have brought me to tears and this one was no exception.

    Keep your head up! Youre officially on the count down to his return...8mo. and a few days to go!


  7. I definitely cried reading this! Those last few moments really are the worst. Stay strong, friend!

  8. Such a gut-wrenching post, only because I feel like I've literally been in that exact same position before (200 days ago, in fact). Saying bye, that horrible lead up to when they leave, is absolutely the hardest part. It's like slowly taking off a band-aid that doesn't want to come off. I really hope the time goes by quickly for you!

  9. I am glad you made it through. Just remember the week you get the call saying he is coming home is the absolute best. When I picked up Travis from the airport, there may have been jumping up and down giddiness.

  10. You made me cry Molly! And now Bruce Willis is looking at me funny. (I'm on a plane and I may or may not have just had some wine. This whole situation is bizarre right now.) regardless! I am thinking of you and you know just how strong you are now, to get through something so tough with so much composure. Xo


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