(He was just gone for the month of September)
But that doesn't mean that Navy separations aren't still impacting us. This week, thousands of families and friends said goodbye. For months. And my heart is heavy for each family.
For each of them, these past few weeks have been filled with special moments trying to cram every last second together with memories.
Reality has hit that the next time Daddy sees his baby, she'll be walking.
Big moments - weddings, funerals, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations - will be missed.
Little moments - the first "I love you," acceptance to college, first steps, spontaneous hugs, goodnight stories, early morning snuggles - will be missed.
There are now empty seats in every house.
There will be sleepless nights.
There is the overwhelming weight of how long the next months really are.
I have found the emotional difficulty of a separation to be exponentially harder than the physical.
You just know you have to do everything.
And then you do.
One of the hardest parts of a separation - for me - is in the middle. Everyone remembers to think of you in the first week...maybe even 2!....and the last month is laden with excitement; but that middle section, is what is soooo hard.
You are exhausted.
You are drained.
You are lonely.
You are an emotional wreck.
(Well, maybe that one is just me!)
If you are part of the thousands saying goodbye - ask for help. Take people up on their offers. No one expects you to do it all - and others would like the chance to give you a break. Don't let pride stand in the way of building a relationship.
If you know someone who just said goodbye - don't wait for them to ask for help. Invite them to dinner. Bring them food. Offer to watch the children. Call them in the evening. Or during the day. Pray for them. Pray for endurance - for patience - for strength.
I'm so very sad for each of you learning your new normal -
I know this is part of what we signed up for, but that doesn't make it easier.
And I'm happy that the separation has finally started -
because now your countdown to homecoming has begun.
As all things go crazy and you are exhausted from not sleeping and you cry at random songs and your kids push every button you've ever had and you can't even think of a way to express to them what is coming..... know that I'm here with tissues, chocolate, and wet wipes.
You will get through this.
(Here are my thoughts on My Love's last deployment)