First of all I want to thank you for visiting my blog. I have never attempted anything like this before. Yesterday I started a journey and it is something that I want to be able to remember. There is going to be so much to learn throughout this time, I want to have something physical to see.
Yesterday I had to say "see you later" to the man that I count on the most in this world. You see, back in April, Steve was away at a school for the Army. He came home for the night and told me that he was being called up to go overseas. It was like a knife in my heart. I cried and cried...I didn't know what else to do. He held me and told me it would be alright. He said that it wasn't until around the 1st of the year and we had a lot of time to deal with it and prepare for it. Between then and about September, the Army went back and forth on whether or not Steve was getting deployed and then finally the answer was yes. They also went back and forth on where the deployment would be and that was decided as well.
For a long time I was in denial, who knows, maybe I still am...I knew that the first week in January would sneek up on us and it sure did. First thing to deal with was the first farewell ceremony on January 7. It was at Steve's unit. Jonathan and I attended along with Steve's mom and aunt who were here visiting for the holidays. It was outside and it was cool but not freezing like the week had started off. It was very moving. They talked about being "Army Strong". How they are very prepared for their mission and that the troops shouldn't worry about their families because we will be taken care of as well. It really rang true to me. I realized that there are so many other people dealing with this deployment too and the Army truly is a family.
Then Friday...well that was "see you later" day. Steve had to be at his unit at 6:15am so I drove him. His unit is about an hour away so we left around 5am. I dropped him off around 6. He drove my car so I could rest for the drive home and for the rest of the day. I got out to get in the drivers seat when he was ready to leave, I gave him a hug and kiss and told him I loved him. Once I got in the car and the door was shut, I watched him leave and then just sobbed and sobbed. But I got myself together and drove home so that I could get ready to go again.
So, I am so grateful that my cousin Amy was able to come with me to the 2nd farewell ceremony (see you later day). I picked up her and 2 of her kids with Jonathan and off we went to the Lakeland Civic Center. There were so many people there, so many soldiers there, it was truly overwhelming. Listening to all the speakers was helpful. But then it ended and the master of ceremonies invited family and friends down to the stage to meet up with their soldier. I knew what that meant and again, I sobbed. Amy put her hand on my shoulder and I told her that I couldn't do it, she told me I could. A stranger in the crowd looked at me and mouthed "thank you, be strong."
At first we couldn't find Steve but he sent me a text to tell me where he was. We finally found him. We spent about 30 minutes chit chatting and letting Jonathan get as much "daddy" time as possible. Amy had given me a pearl. With this pearl, she told me that Steve needed to rub it around in his hands so that his oils were all over it and then a piece of him would be with me even though he wouldn't physically be here. Then we were to set it in jewelry so I would have it with me. I didn't want the time to end. We took pictures and had lots of hugs and I had a lot of tears It was hard because Jonathan doesn't really get what is happening and he just wanted to run around...but then it was finally time to leave and say "see you later." We walked out to the hallway and I prolonged the inevitable. I hugged and hugged him and cried into his chest. Jonathan gave Steve a hard time but finally gave him a kiss and told him to be safe. Steve told me that he would see me later and that I could get through this and that I was strong. He told me numerous times that he loved me and finally he said he had to go. He hugged and kissed me one last time, hugged Amy, waved to Jonathan and then walked away. The tears just flowed and I couldn't stop. I had to sit down on the stairs of the civic center. There, Amy told me that she told Steve that she would take care of me and not to worry. It was then that I realized that the support surrounding me was imense and I will be okay. That it was okay to cry but I would be able to do this.
I cry a lot. Usually when Jonathan isn't around. It is the normal every day things that seem to bring up the feelings. For example, going to bed, cleaning, playing with Jonathan, going out to eat, going to familiar places...things like that. My emotions are all over the place but mostly I feel sad and lonely. But I am also very proud. Very proud to call myself an Army wife. Very proud to be part of something SO MUCH bigger than any of us.
Thank you for reading the blog. I am going to try to post as often as I can as an outlet for my feelings and maybe in the process, help out other women who will go through this as well. Thank you also, for the overwhelming support that everyone has given to me. I am one lucky person to have so many awesome people in my life!
A Snowy Sunday
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