Saturday, February 12, 2011

How many goodbye's...

How many times did I have to say goodbye to my husband before his deployment?  Four times.

1) The first goodbye was Tuesday January 4th.  That morning he left our house (and our baby- the dog!) for the last time.  Since then, every night I've been home, I've slept in our bed alone- I'll have to do this until he comes back.  This was also the day of his unit's official "deployment ceremony".  Several of Dan's family members and friends, including my mom, were there for the ceremony, and it was their goodbye to him for the year.

2) The second goodbye was Wednesday January 5th.  We stayed the night at the hotel the ceremony was held out, and very early in the morning his unit loaded up onto buses and shipped out to Ft. Lewis for mobilization training. Dan's immediate family- his mom, dad, two sisters, and two brothers in law, stayed the night too, and this was their last goodbye to him. As the soldiers filed onto the buses, it broke my heart and reality crept in to see not only my inlaw's, but other families so sad to say goodbye to their brave men and women.  Although I knew that I was going to see him in 2 1/2 weeks, I feel like this goodbye hit me the hardest.  It was when reality sank in- we knew that he would be deploying over a year ago, but IT'S ACTUALLY HAPPENING now.  I had a hard time being productive at work for the rest of week, and you know how my workouts went for the rest of the month from my previous post.

3) the third one was our final face-to-face goodbye... I was fortunate enough to be able to spend his 5-day pass with him, so I flew out to Washington !  He had the BEST idea- to get  a cozy cabin near Mt. Rainier and enjoy the beautiful mountain and scenery- I was DEFINITELY down with that!

The first night there I stayed with him on post, and before we left the next day he spoiled me and bought a Canon EOS Rebel T1i DSLR camera!  I didn't (and still don't) have a clue how to use it, but I did get to play with it and took some pretty cool pictures by accident! (PS I did sign up for some photography classes so I WILL know how to use it soon!)

One of our favorite couples, Mike and Alison, ALSO got a cabin near Mt. Rainier for the weekend, so we got to hang out and have some fun with them too!  Alison and I have become closer- we were on the same flights to and and from Seattle and shared a rental car- its SO AWESOME to be able to confide and talk to someone who is going through the same thing that I am!
no cell phone reception- they drove to our cabin and left a message!
We hung out at their cabin that night- card games, dinner, hot tub, and DUGAN the owner's cute dog!

The next day we drove to Seattle to watch the Bears/Packers with other soldiers in their platoon, and visited a few bars along the way LOL...

The rest of the weekend was spent in our cabin and on the mountain!

We woke up in the morning to have coffee in our private hot tub, and we had some visitors...

then we picked up Mike and Alison to rent sleds and drive up the mountain...

LOTS of photo ops along the way up and down!

At "Paradise" ( the highest point on the mountain that we could drive up to) AKA NARNIA!!!

Mike and Alison- so cute! 

TOO MUCH FUN!!! Was this place real??
They are so fun!
Bumper sleds!
After such an awesome day, it was really sad to realize that this was our last night together...

The final morning we enjoyed our surroundings then had to head off to SeaTac...

I had so much fun with Dan, and this definitely helped me remember that it all WILL be OK- we love each other SO much, and we have SO much fun together, we just have to look forward to his R&R later this year and when he finally comes HOME!  Absence sure does make the heart grow fonder (as I currently am waiting patiently for his skype call...).

I held myself together the entire drive over, when he carried my bag (and his bag) to the check-in counter for me, when we kissed goobye... but literally, the SECOND he turned around I freaking lost it and started bawling.  Alison and I had a BIG glass of wine and 2 double-shot mixed drinks at the airport before our flight... needless to say I was PASSED OUT the entire 4-hour flight home!

4) And yes, the last goodbye.  I started this blog a few days/week ago when he was actually LEAVING the country...I took this one pretty hard too.  Now it wasn't just a matter of me not seeing him, but it was a matter of his SAFETY.  That was a crapload of flying in not-so-safe zones and I was NOT happy.  Luckily, his travel coincided with 2 snow days from work, so I was able to be in the comfort of my own home for all of this...Dan was so awesome and called me at every checkpoint so I knew he was OK.

Right now he is learning his routine and how it all works over there, so communication hasn't been ideal... I'm lucky for 5-10 minutes a day via internet.  There is also a HUGE time difference, so we are working on that as well.

I'm getting into my routine too- now that he is at his final destination, I feel a little more "calm" - there isn't any more anticipation or "next step" -  No more goodbyes, now it's time to settle down and let the long countdown begin.


Kiersten said...

Thankfully no one is watching me read this, because tears are running down my cheeks. It sounds like your trip was amazng, and your pictures are beautiful. When Tommy worked 24 hours on Christmas this yar, our family and friends kept telling me how crummy it was that he had to work. I told them that it was a good reminder of all the servicemen and women who away from their families for much longer. I'm praying for you that the year goes by quickly, and that Dan's tour goes well. I can't tell you how much I appreciate his service and your sacrifice. I hope we can distract you at some races this year.
Lots of Trakkers love to you.

Laura said...

Laura, I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. I do think of you often. Hang in there!!!!

What is the name of the place you guys went to in Rainier. It's beautiful!!!

Anonymous said...

Your photos are gorgeous, and I love the fact that you had a "good bye series"-each one unique. You are one tough cookie-I have so much respect for you-and others in your position (many I met/worked with the years I worked with the military)....and strength others can only imagine. Thanks for sharing with those who care about you (US!!)

Kelly said...

Oh, Laura, i have so often thought about just how hard it must be for husbands and wives to say goodbye to their soldiers who are being deployed. I can't even imagine. Hang in there and know you and Dan are in our thoughts.

Colleen said...

Laura, thank you for sharing this. I can't imagine how hard all of the goodbyes were and just want you to know that you are all in our thoughts constantly! :)

tribirdie said...

Thinking of you! hope you are feeling a bit more settled down. Thanks for sharing, the pictures are amazing! Lots of trakkers hugs to you!!