Friday, July 29, 2011

Our Combat Medic leaves for Iraq...

I have to admit; I have put this post off on purpose for weeks and here’s why…

Chris our son left for Iraq for his yearlong tour. We had him home on leave for twenty days and enjoyed our time with him even though most of his time at home he spent with friends. What almost twenty two year old would hang out with his parents – right? Anyway, the time flew and before I knew it, it was time to put his duffle bags in the car and head to Fort Hood for the drop off. The night before our departure I asked him if he was nervous and he said, “Yes, who wouldn’t be?” Then, he asked me if his Grandmother was going with us since dad isn’t? I responded, “Do you really want her to?” He answered, “YES!” I quickly picked up the phone and called her to let her know about Chris’ request, and without hesitation and on such a short notice she said, “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” She is the best Grandmother! Chris and I left the next morning right on schedule and headed toward Texas. I was really nervous about making the drive without my husband because never had there been a time when we dropped our children off for camp or a stay with the grandparents had he not been there for the good-bye and this time was really different and well, important, but Frank had to be at the office and it turned out for the best.
Chris and I drove the entire time listening to country music (he loves it) we sang together and he shared his favorite songs with me and explained to me why they were his favorites. He shared his plans for the future when his time is finished in the Army (September 2012), he talked about a girl he really likes and their differences for the moment, college plans and plans to go to work as a fireman and live in Bixby forever and his desire to have a deer lease where he can go hunt, hang out and just relax with his friends. In Dallas, we picked up his friend Mike who needed a ride back to Fort Hood. We stopped and had lunch at Pappasito’s; Chris loves their chocolate bread pudding dessert and their cheese enchiladas, yes in that order. We picked up his Grandmother in Fort Worth and away we went for the final leg of the drive that seemed to be too short for me. I admit I had a really hard time with it! Taking my son that I love very much and dropping him off and saying good-bye for a year sending him to a foreign country where that are fighting, bombing and killing people was TOUGH! It’s the hardest thing I have ever done in my life besides having him by myself (my choice) and that’s another story.
We arrived at the base in Fort Hood and drove up to the building he had been living in for the last several months, I placed my car in PARK, took a deep breathe and told myself silently and very firmly, “STAY STRONG AND DO NOT LET HIM SEE YOU SAD OR SEE YOU CRY! GOT IT!” We all piled out of the car, started hugging and saying our good-byes. I thought Lynda was not going to let go of Chris and I thought I was never going to get to hug him myself, but I did. As we hugged I told him how proud I was of him, how much I loved him, that we would be praying for him constantly and I asked him to promise me that he would be SAFE! I finally let go and what he said to me next almost made me lose it. “Mom will you kiss me?” Chris had not ask me to kiss him since he was eleven years old, that’s when he asked me to stop because the kids at school made fun of him for kissing his mother. I was thrilled to kiss my son and hug him one more time before Lynda and I got back in the car, waved good-bye and watched him walk into his building. As soon as he was out of sight I broke down and started to cry.

What mother wouldn’t?

I will miss seeing your handsome face and beautiful smile!

Chris stay strong, be safe and remember all the great memories of your friends and family and come home and create the future you and I discussed we will be here waiting to WELCOME YOU HOME!

With big kisses and hugs!
I love you!

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