I stood there, at the entrance of the airport, with tears rolling down my cheeks, soaked by the rain, and I could feel the heaviness of my chest as I breathed in and out. I watched my love walk to the escalator until he was out of sight and headed to his airplane gate.
There is a bitter-sweetness to R&R. It all starts with the build up to the beginning of R&R. It’s all about the date that you will live and breathe waiting for your soldier to get home. Then it’s the time you will cherish together. The time that you want to keep rewinding so it doesn’t ever end… but like everything, there is an end.
This time it felt like I was walking the Green Mile. Not because I felt like it was over, but just that heavy sadness in knowing that the good times are coming to an end. Today’s goodbye felt wrong. Like this isn’t supposed to happen again. The thought of having to gather up my strength to get through more months of deployment is tiring, and I’m ready to move forward with my soldier – together.
Back to reality. A few more months. I WILL gather up my strength. I WILL be Army girlfriend strong. Most importantly, we WILL make it through these last few months.
I will say, that even though I had to go through the emotions of him leaving again, I have memories of the past 10 days that my kids and I will cherish forever. You learn to live within your means, and for us, that is only a small amount of time over several months of deployment. It’s easy to bitch and complain about it, and through all that bitching and complaining, there is a strong, loyal person underneath who is willing to do whatever it takes to make it work. Determination. We are both determined.
We will slowly get back to the same mundane routine that we were forced to endure for the past 5 months. This stretch wont be as long. This is the final stretch. Godspeed to you, my love. I will see you again soon, and it will be better tenfold.