I know, I am a Navy wife and deployments are part of my life. But it doesn't make them easy. This separation is the first we have experienced in OVER 3 YEARS. My String Bean was the age of Chilly Bean the last time My Love left. So things are quite different this time around.
When My Love walked into the airport terminal after our never-enough hugs and kisses and teary goodbyes; String Bean and Jumping Bean sat down and sobbed. Shoulder wracking cries that broke my heart.
String Bean said, "I don't want Daddy to do this job anymore. Why don't we just go with him?"
Jumping Bean cried...but she was mad too. She didn't want to cry. She wanted Daddy to just turn around and come back.
And my little baby Chilly Bean? She watched My Love walk away to the security checkpoint....and called out, "Dada! Dada! Dada!"
It was gut wrenching and awful.
Yet, it was a gift.
Yes, a gift. We have been given the uncomfortable gift of knowing exactly how much we love someone. Of knowing their value in our lives. We haven't had to say goodbye to them forever...we aren't staring at test results that tell us the end is near. Instead, we find that in this awful tearing away, we would rather it hurt to the depth of our beings; than be glad to see them go.
We are reading through a children's Bible right now with the Beans...one or two stories a day. Last night, before My Love left, we all sat down to read together. The story was Abraham being called by God...to leave his home, his relatives, everything he knew...and go somewhere unknown. Foreign. Hard. Lonely. But God was WITH him. We firmly believe we are exactly where we are supposed to be...so this deployment was planned. There will be hard days. There will be lonely nights. There will be times of feeling overwhelmed. But God is WITH US. Just like He was with Abraham as he set out to follow God's direction. Even though the saying "goodbye" is hard and painful and highly uncomfortable - it does not mean any of us are alone.
So this time the change does not mean packing up our tents and learning a new place...for all of us girls (and the little baby boy!) it means maintaining our tent and learning a new normal.
For My Love, it means learning many new things and adjusting to life without a hormonal harem....but I'm sure he'll figure out some way to handle the stability in his squadron!