I just dropped justin off at the base. He flies out tonight on his way to Iraq for a year. He'll be in Maine for a day, then Germany, then Kuwait, then Iraq. I won't get to see him until the spring when he has his midpoint leave. But even that may be scratched because they may shorten the tour. Which would be ideal.
This morning was difficult though. We sort of avoided each other knowing that we were both on the edge of exploding. I stayed at Clara's last night since we had already moved all of our stuff into Justin's house and packed all of his stuff away. He still needed to pack for Iraq and I needed to get out of the house. It was too hard to watch him pack stuff especially all his gear and protective things. Scary. So I came back to his house this morning at about 8:30. He was on the phone with his dad, and I needed to shower. He shaved his head last night and changed into his uniform while I was in the shower I think. When I saw him that was it. He was a solder. He looked like one of the soldier actors you see on tv. Shaved head, uniform, stern look. He looked strong and willing. It was enough to make me break. I hugged him and we both broke down. It was a hard moment as neither of us have ever even seen the other cry :) We said I love you and resumed the mornings tasks. Breakfast, more packing, feed the cats, check farmville. I set up the utilities at the house, and he called more friends and family. About ten oclock we got in his pathfinder. He kept running through the list of things I needed to do. Drive his car around the block once every two weeks, forward all his mail to his dads, mow the lawn, go to the doctor, bring the cats to the vet, this envelopes for pastor tom, this ones for his leather motorcycle jacket. The list grew and grew. I just said breathe, its ok. I'll remember. It was silent for the twenty minute drive. The impending tears remained and we held hands quietly for the drive. We got to base and had to wait for about an hour. It was the longest hour of my life. We would hug for a few seconds then back away before the tears came again. He just kept saying his mantra.
It will be ok
Its just a year
I'll be safe
I love you.
Take care of Charlie.
We brought his bags where they needed to be and sat for awhile. We didn't really speak and the wind was kind of cold but thank God its texas and there wasn't anything too drastically miserable. Finally it was about 11:30 and we headed towards the car. I needed to be at work around noon and the suspense was killing us. We got to the car and had our final hug. We tried hard but the tears started again. It was too hard. There were sweet kisses, thick hugs, sniffling, tears and finally he pulled away and said 'Lets pray before we say goodbye'. We prayed together by the car and the peace came that we needed. He'll be safe. Its just a year, I'll be ok. He loves me like I love him. And charlie loves us both.
I got in the car and tried to suck it up.
Then he ran up to the car and said "wait wait.. did I ever show you were you have to bang on the car if it doesn't start?'
what?? I howled in laughter before realizing he was serious and already getting the blanket out of the back of the pathfinder to put on the concrete. So we squished under the car together, and he showed me what part I needed to bang on with a hammer if it didn't start. I loved every second of it. :)
We got off the ground, he put the blanket away and took his weapon off the car. I hugged him quick and said goodbye. I love him.
I cried all the way to taco bell, and then all the way to work. Where I am sitting now. The waves hit every once in a while. He's really gone. God please bring him back home. Charlie would die without him.
This year has been quite a ride and God has been watching us and filling our lives with grace and mercy since we've met. Please be safe. Know that you have a lot of people who love you and care about you, cats too. Come home safe. Be smart. And trust God. He's the best protection I could offer.