It’s like being at the top of a huge hill on a rollercoaster. As long as you are climbing up the hill, they can still pull the brake, stop the car, and you could get out if necessary. But once that car goes over the hill and starts the downward ascent, there is no stopping it!
It’s official! I’m married to a soldier. I’m an Army wife now. I took the kids to watch Hubby’s swearing in ceremony today, and I’m so glad I did. It was a long day, but worth every minute. I think as long as I remember the Army motto of “Hurry up and wait”, I’ll be just fine.
Here is how the day went:
8:00 AM – The time Hubby had been told to have me there by to see the swearing in ceremony. I woke the kids up early to make sure I was there on time. After finding parking across the street, and getting through security, I made it up to MEPS with 5 minutes to spare.
Then we hung out with Hubby and waited….and waited…and waited.
10:30 AM – Someone said 20 or so more minutes till the ceremony. Then they served lunch to all the waiting applicants. So much for 20 minutes.
12:00 NOON – They called his group in to take the oath. It was short and sweet. They allowed us as family to go in and take pictures, even standing in the stage behind the guy giving the oath. I thought that was extra nice. I got a couple pictures, and I took a video of the swearing in. Unfortunately, for some reason my camera didn’t focus before it started recording. I think it was the extra bright light behind all the applicants. So, I have the video and you can hear what they are saying, but the people are a little (ok, a lot) out of focus. Oh well, at least I have something. Hubby said it was no big deal since he’s done it before. Sure, my it’s MY first time to see it! J
After the oath, then it was time to wait again. This time for travel arrangements. He was going to be going on a bus, so they took care of all the people who needed to get on a plane first. A little harder to hold a plane if running late.
1:15 PM – Up until now, Hubby thought they were going to go downstairs to a bus station across the street somewhere before leaving. So when they announced for his group to go line up, Hubby came back and said “Meet me downstairs outside to say goodbye, but don’t go to the bus station”. So, I grabbed the kids and we went downstairs and outside.
I waited a few minutes, and then he called me asking where I was. I said I was downstairs. He said he told me to go outside. I told him I WAS outside…the same side I came in on. Turns out they were leaving on busses from THIS building, and they were not even on the same side of the building as I was. He said they were on the side of the building loading busses and about to leave. I started crying thinking I was going to miss it. He told me to calm down and just hurry. So, there I am, downtown…..running down the sidewalk on a major street pushing a stroller with one hand, and holding my 6 year old’s hand with my other as she’s running behind me! Thankfully the bus driver waited till we got there (just took a minute), and we all got hugs and kisses goodbye. I was able to give Hubby my letter that I had written for him and sealed in an envelope for him to read on the way out.
Then, I broke down, but held most of it inside so I didn’t scare LoveBug. As I got in our car, I was shaking and crying because it just wasn’t the goodbye I wanted, or thought we would get. I was also stressed from almost missing it. You know how your whole body shakes after almost missing a car wreck? That’s how I felt. I thought we would get to walk out together, calmly, and give hugs and kisses and say goodbye. I thought they would give the families time for that. Maybe to snap a couple pictures. I mean, I had 5 hours of hanging out waiting, you would think I would have taken more pictures…or ANY of Hubby and I together, but NOPE. I thought I would do that at the end. So I was mad at myself for not doing that. For not getting to tell Hubby once again how much I love him and all the things I’ve told him many times and that he already knows, but that I wanted to say again. What, did the Army think? That we said our goodbyes yesterday? That would have been smart, I guess.
Anyway, as I was driving, I was talking to myself and trying to talk myself out of this sadness. “So what you didn’t get a long goodbye? You got to spend the last 6 hours with him. You’ve got friends whose husbands are either deployed or about to be deployed. There are going to be more times when you don’t get to talk to him when you want, or see him when you want, so you can’t dwell on this.” I really didn’t want to let this bug me. I wanted to be stronger than that. I AM stronger than that. Maybe it was just because all I’d had for the past 6 hours was a cup of (bad) coffee. “Ok, get home, get some food, have a cup of real coffee, and you’ll feel better. God is watching over Hubby, so I don’t need to worry about him. Besides, Hubby is probably just fine with the shorter, less emotional goodbye.”
And then….Hubby sent me a txt message telling me he loved me, and all my stress, anxiety, and sadness melted away! Just hearing from him one more time made it all better. Amazing how that works!
To top it off, Hubby sent me an email (which he had obviously planned ahead) telling me sweet things, and directing me to some pre-recorded videos he had made (2 for me, and 1 for Bug) on our home computer. I just about melted! I love that man so much, and I am so blessed that he is so sweet and thoughtful. It seriously made my day, and I know that re-reading the email and listening to that video will keep me going while he’s away.
So, now I’m ok. I’m tired after spending 6 hours at MEPS with the kids, but not quite as tired as Hubby is. He got to the hotel late last night (10:00 PM), then went for a run before bed. He was up again at 3:00 for another run before being picked up to go to his weigh in. He spent the rest of the day at MEPS going back and forth between sitting in hard chairs or doing paperwork. There was a room with a TV and sofas, but evidently if they caught you sleeping you got in trouble, so he stayed out of there. I saw several people sleeping, but didn’t get to witness the trouble part. We did overhear one new recruit complaining about it being cold in there, and an retired Army vet telling him to “Suck it up!”. Seriously. Your life is about to get so much harder than dealing with a little too much air conditioning in Texas in August.
Here we go! We’re off to the start of what’s sure to be a wild ride. We’re excited to see where it takes us.