The Goodbye Days

Husband left this a.m. for another detachment.  As detachments go, this one is a longish one.  He’ll be out for a month (Detachments are ‘short’ trips that are taken, usually in preparation for deployments).  Taking him to the air terminal always stings even if he’s only going to be gone for a couple of weeks.  It’s even more heart-wrenching the older Little Miss gets.  Each time she understands a little more deeply what the “gone” part means, but she still has very little concept of WHY Daddy has to be gone.  The rapid-fire comings and goings of the work-up cycles make it even more confusing for my babies and can be just plain emotionally confusing and exhausting for all of us.

The goodbyes are ALWAYS bittersweet.  So much love is shown as you sneak in every last hug and kiss and hand-squeeze that you possibly can.  The tenderness of it all wraps around you and brings you that much more comfort when the goodbye actually happens, but also that much more pain for what you are already missing.

I hate the goodbye days.

Still, they are strangely normal for us.  So, after dropping Husband off, we headed into town for a little retail therapy.  We all got new books.  Little Miss got new PJs and…  We might have accidentally gotten some jelly beans too. 

The second part of the “Goodbye Day” wasn’t so much about me.  A friend of mine–my very first friend out here in Washington–had a little baby girl this morning.  It was a “Hello Day” for her, but also a “Goodbye Day.”  Her husband deployed today.  He missed the birth of their precious baby girl by mere hours. 

I’ve thought and thought and thought of her today.  And prayed and prayed and prayed.  To have your husband miss the birth of a child and the first months of her life is terrible always, but to have him miss it by a few measly hours just seems like a cruel trick of life. 

My friend is amazing.  I was able to visit her today.  She is revelling in the preciousness of her new baby girl, and she says that even though the circumstances were so much less than they should be, that she is happy for the blessing in her arms.

I hate goodbye days.  But we get through them.  We get through the days that come after them.  And so many times we get through those days because we have these beautiful blessings to spur us on and to remind us to laugh and to distract us from our own loneliness.  And whether they come in a month or seven months, I hope that the “Welcome Home Days” are quick in coming.

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4 thoughts on “The Goodbye Days

  1. Thank you. I am comforted to know others have these lonely days and need to be distracted in order to maintain family life. It was one of those days today, I couldn’t stop thinking of hubby and how far away he truly is. I am blogging right now in order to hold of the inevitibility of one of those nights as the tears threaten to topple over onto my cheeks.

    I will pray for you and your little ones while your husband is away.

  2. I have more goodbye days and hello days than should be legal. Dh has said goodbye 19 times in 5 months. Although we’re saying goodbye less frequently lately, he’s gone for longer periods of time.

    With all good things come sacrifice and I struggle to remember that on goodbye days…and that first night alone in bed again.

    I think of y’all often.

  3. (HUGS) One thing that a 30+ Navy Spouse shared with me years ago.. she always said ‘see you later’. I put that in perspective and it’s always given me comfort during my husband’s 6 Navy deployments..

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