Sunday, June 23, 2013

One down, 364 to go...

He left this morning.

Mr. and Mrs. P came by at 7 to take him to the airport. (They were headed that way, and it seemed like a better idea than loading the kids in the car straight from bed and forcing them to endure a tearful airport goodbye.)

Yes: there were plenty of tears. And that was just Mrs. P!

Seriously, though. Ainsley, surprisingly enough, has taken it the hardest. She climbed into our bed last night, as per usual, threw her arms around her daddy and said "I don't want you to die in Baghdad, daddy."

What the what? She's five. Let me tell you, neither of us was quite sure how to respond to that small trauma.

We all waved goodbye on the sidewalk this morning before heading back into our suddenly empty house. There were his house keys, his car keys, his phone, all on the table where he'd left them, along with the usual handful of change and a couple of scraps of paper. Like he would be coming back at any minute. I stared at those keys for awhile, just thinking my own private thoughts.

The dirty t-shirt in the laundry room. The toothbrush in the bathroom. The closet, still full of his clothes and shoes. I was torn between feeling as though it was all a dream, and he'd be coming right back - he'll need his toothbrush, after all - and feeling as though he'd just suddenly died - his toothbrush is still on the counter, but he's somewhere else somehow.

It was hard.

Luckily for us, this morning was the first morning of summer camp, so the youngest three had to rush to get ready. No time to mope. For me, there's a SecState visit just around the corner, and a colleague on TDY, so there is much work to be done and no time for wallowing in deep thoughts.

I had two back-to-back meetings in the morning that I muddled through somehow before deciding to order a bagel and coffee from the cafeteria. As I walked to pick them up, I got a text from Mrs. P - he's ok - and another from Trixie - thinking of you - and marveled at my luck in choosing friends. I paid for my food, paid for my coffee and went all the way back to my office before realizing I'd left my coffee in the cafeteria, next to the cash register.

Clearly, I am a bit out of it.

But it is done. We have started down this path after months of planning. And now that we've started, we can finish.

Our friend Mike, who is currently serving out his sentence at Embassy Baghdad, emailed a few hours ago to let me know that Bart arrived safely at the Embassy. I imagine I'll hear from Bart himself once he gets settled and Internet-ed. And I will let you all know what he has to say.

Boy needs his own blog, don't you think?

Meanwhile, I'm home tonight, having ordered takeout Indian for dinner (hey, there are some pluses to this single mom gig, right?). The girls are writing cards for their daddy, and Ainsley has asked three times already if he'll be back "tonight or tomorrow? Which, mommy?"


Just 364 days to go.


LeesOnTheGo said... [Reply]

You've captured perfectly what it feels like when that door closes behind you and you're standing in the house that is suddenly missing that special someone. We are a couple of months away from starting our UT as a family as well. Loved this post.


Donna said... [Reply]

Thanks, Miss Lee. Good to remember I'm not alone!

Kate said... [Reply]

Somehow the sad face emoticon I wanted to put here doesn't do this post justice. Thinking of you!

Popster said... [Reply]

My heart, my hopes, and my prayers all go out for you and your family. I can only imagine how difficult it is trying to juggle all those balls in the air. Hang in there and know that I'll also be available to backstop you if necessary.

Saturday Football @ TES said... [Reply]

Oh man. I'm so sorry. Hugs to you and all your kiddos. Thanks for your service as a family. Thinking of you.

Please. Write your own stuff.