Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Goodbye Isn't Forever

I asked James today why this deployment seems to hit me harder than the last one. I mean, last year I didn't cry as much as I have cried yesterday and today. Last year, we didn't bicker with each other. Last year I wasn't as stressed out nor did I suffer any anxiety attacks.

This year is different. I was a complete basket case today...all day long. I gazed into Chloe eyes and felt something of a loss for James. I glimpsed, in part, what he will be missing for the next 6 months and it broke me up inside.

James replied to my question by saying three things. One, this deployment lasts longer. Two, we know what to expect this time and we know it won't be easy. Three, we are much closer this time around. Our relationship has improved dramatically this past year. Not that we had a terrible one before, mind you...but we both can see many positive changes in our relationship over the past several months and that makes it harder when it comes time to say goodbye for a long while.

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We recently watched an Elmo video with Chloe to prepare her for the deployment. In this video, Elmo's Daddy leaves for a long, long time and we were able to relate so well to everything in the show. (they did a phenomenal job, by the way) One of the things they portrayed in this show that we felt held special meaning was right before the Daddy left, he gave Elmo his trumpet to take care of while he was away. Elmo, in turn, gave his Daddy his special toy to take with him. We decided this would be a good idea to do with Chloe.

This afternoon, James handed Chloe his watch...the only thing he really wears and uses on a consistent basis and Chloe loves playing with this watch. So James gave it to her with the instruction to take good care of it until he returns. I sent Chloe upstairs to pick something special from her room for Daddy to take with him. She chose her stuffed chipmunk whom she regularly sleeps with. We were all in tears at this point but it all helps to solidify the fact that James IS returning home to us and that he loves us very much. (this is important to tell Chloe over and over...so that she understands he has not left us...but that he has a job to do and when he is done, he will return home)

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James didn't feel comfortable taking his wedding ring with him, so he left it with me. That was my special gift. I am now wearing it around my neck with my own wedding band to symbolize the fact that we are always together in our hearts. I will wear our rings until he returns.

Today we said goodbye but goodbye is not forever when our hearts are joined in Christ. I pray that James returns to us in 6 months time. I miss him already.

6 comments:

Sarah said...

With remarkable grace, courage and dignity you carry yourself. You are brave and strong and humble and kind as well. My prayer is that the next 6 months fly by quickly. You are all in my prayers each and every day. God bless you and your beautiful family.

LadySnow said...

Okay...I confess...you had me in tears. Will be praying for you, Chloe, and especially James. (((HUGS)))

Anonymous said...

I will pray for you. It can't be easy for you - I can only imagine the feeling. We appreciate your husband serving our country so very much.
Blessings, Sarita

mamasonstage said...

Anna, I am praying for you, your loving James, and your dear Chloe. Thank you, thank you, dear friend, for this gift you are giving all of us -- for serving us in this way. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. You know, people really need to know that it si difficult, but it is a decision. Please know that I am carrying the burden with you. I am praying for a very speedy 6 months. Love, Pamela

Lisa said...

With tears in my eyes, I'm praying for all three of you. For James' safety, and for brave comfort and sweet peace until your honey returns. I join others in thanking him for what he does for our country.
Thank you for sharing, Anna.
In His Grip,
Lisa

Anna said...

Thank you everyone for your kind comments and your prayers. They are very much appreciated and I cannot thank you enough. We are doing well and keeping busy. I will update the blog here soon. Thank you again.