Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And So It Begins...

My heart hurts tonight. A little for myself, but so much more for Brian and our boys. Brian's deployment will have him missing so much over the next year. And our boys...they are really going to miss their Daddy.
Today was a hard day. It's one of those days when you wake up knowing that by the end of the day, you will have a headache and puffy eyes. We spent the morning in our pajamas, trying to get in extra snuggles, hugs and kisses. There just isn't ever enough time for that stuff. We were thankful, however, that we had the time this morning. Originally, Brian was going to need to be at the Battalion at 10:30am. They let him know a couple of days ago that it was at 2:30pm instead. 4 extra glorious hours. Those extra 4 hours were golden for us.
We were able to get Colten down for a nap so he wasn't a mess this afternoon. Brian did a few last minute things that needed to be done. You know, the really important things like calling the cell company, helping me move the trampoline and rotating our mattress and boxspring. We were about 5 minutes from leaving the house and he apologized for leaving with the house a mess. I love that man. I assured him that I would trade a clean house for quality family time anyday!
We ran to Wal-Mart really quick, then got McDonalds for a late lunch. Brian won't be getting any yummy McD's for a while, so it was fitting. We ate it in the parking lot at his Battalion Headquarters. While he went in for manifest and to draw his weapon (taking possession of his weapon), I took the kids to the library playground.
Everyone was meeting at the post theatre to see them off. Truthfully, it is the most depressing thing, but I just can't imagine missing those last couple of hours with him. It's a love/hate thing. We've done goodbyes both ways...with no fanfare and no meeting place. Just drop off at the company and say goodbye. And the other side of the coin...families everywhere, a "ceremony" so to speak, and drinks and snacks out for the hours of waiting. Both have their pros and cons. However, they both end in the same way...tearful goodbyes.
Anyway, the boys were excellent. Colten started getting a little antsy the longer we were there, but overall, he was excellent. LTG (Lieutenant General) Helmick spoke very briefly (love him for that!) and then we had just a bit more time before they called for final manifest. I was fine...really. Well, until our Battalion commanders wife (Jeanne) came and asked me how I was. Tears came and I got choked up. Yep, it just takes 4 words to get to me right now..."how are you doing?"
So, we say goodbye. It's a personal thing, so I'll just say that I love my husband and how he loves his family so much!
So, we had said goodbye before his name is called because when they are called they go out to the buses. We wanted to see what bus he got on so the boys and I could wave bye. Colten decides it's time to leave and heads on up the aisle. Silly boy! Jeanne grabs him before he can escape the building since a few people got in front of me before I could get to him. She picks him up and walks outside with me. I guess I either look like I'm about to lose it or people think I have my hands full with 3 boys...not only did (who I can only assume is) LTG Helmick's wife come up and talk to me, but LTG Helmick himself came up and talked to me. He asked me what deployment this was for us (3rd, each a year long or more) and we talked about how it never gets easier, no matter how many you go through.
It was a hard night, but I am happy to say that it's almost over. We got dinner on the way home and the boys did a great job getting ready for bed without complaint. We listened to Daddy read a book that he recorded (LOVE the Hallmark books) before he left and then put Colten to bed. Austin stayed up, helped me clean up the living room and then we snuggled until his bedtime. Aiden was just put down a bit ago and now it's time for me to head that way too.
I have some pictures on my camera, but I'm going to post them tomorrow or the next day.
This year is going to be challenging. I really have to stop thinking about how much growing up the boys are going to do because that just makes me tear up. We are going to make it though...and we are going to be ok. More than ok...we are going to thrive and grow and be a better family because of this. We will be more thankful for each other and will know what a gift it is to be together.
Tomorrow, we will be one day closer to seeing Brian again. And each day is better because of that fact. :-)


Anonymous said...

OK--just when I think I am doing better I read your blog and end up snotty nosed, swollen eyes, and stopped up! have such a wonderful way of expressing yourself and your viewpoint. Thanks for loving my boy and for giving us beautiful grandsons. I know this is hard, hard, hard. Hang in there, girl. Love you-YaYa

Randy and Leslie said...

Kerum, you have a great way of describing the feelings of a deployment! Hang in there! We'll be in SC in 84 days (who is counting?!) Claire and I will be happy to come up and keep you guys company! I'm gonna pray that the time apart goes fast!

Alisha Lofgren said...

Kerum I know what you mean, the kids really do change and grow while they are gone. Kids and I were looking at pics and watching videos taken when we first got to Fort Riley, and they have really grown and matured since then! It is sad to see what we have done the entire year as Ken has been away. It made me sad to see he really has missed a lot. Take lots of pics, video footage, especially with the little one. I know you are already good at this!
You will get through it, it's tough, but you some how make it! I can't believe I have made it through over ten months already! Almost there!
Hang in there!