Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day Good-bye

He's gone.

I feel so empty. This good-bye somehow feels so much more final than all of the other good-byes.
This morning we drove Jason to the airport where he boarded a flight to Seattle. He'll report to Ft. Lewis in the morning and begin preparations for his deployment to Iraq.

Is this really happening?
Matthew asked me, "Will they give Daddy a gun to fight in the war?" I tried to explain that Daddy won't actually be fighting anyone and that he'll just be doing the same job he always does-just in Iraq instead. But how can you explain this to a 7-year old? All they know is that Daddy is gone again.
The kids are taking this in stride, as you can see from these photos I took at the airport. I don't know whether to be upset that they are so accustomed to the good-byes now, or be glad that they aren't more emotional about the whole ordeal.

Me? I'm trying to be tough. I fought back the tears that were stinging my eyes as I helped Jason pull his bags out of the van at the airport. I held it in until he kissed me good-bye and then I felt the hot, wet sadness pour from my eyes and we held each other in the cold, wet rain. I pulled myself together and drove back home. Home to a house that feels emptier than it did this morning, even though there are still 7 of us here. Home to a house where we should be excitedly anticipating the holidays and instead I just want to crawl back into bed and sob.
In it all, I am trying to be positive. I know things could be worse. I am thankful that the Lord has blessed us in so many ways. I know we have been fortunate to have spent the last 6 years without having to endure a deployment. I know we will get through this, by the grace of God.

And in some small way, I feel proud, even honored, that Jason left today. It's Veteran's Day, after all. There are so many who given so much for our great country. There are those who made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives for our freedom. Today, I am remembering them even more than ever before. It's given me a new perspective.

Thank you all for your prayers and support as our family weathers this storm. Most of all, thank you to all of the other military families, past and present, who have given so much for this country. Please continue to pray for them.
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