I tell you in the About page that I want to be a story collector.
I am r.e.a.l.l.y. excited to share with you one of two series I am starting here at my virtual kitchen table. (Because if you know me in real life, most often I am shoes off, ungroomed, coffee clutching, feet up, tucked into your kitchen table, oversharing my little heart out.)
It’s about story collecting. Specifically, the women I am blessed to be in community with on a daily basis.
I am an Army wife.
My goodbyes, my hellos, the details of our daily life, are just one snapshot in a gallery of thousands. Certainly not the prettiest, the most unusual. In our world, it’s a little routine. That’s just it though. In our world. Not in the rest of the world.
So I want you to see snapshots of military families, moments in time, that maybe, stitched together, help you to feel what we feel. To live for a heartbeat what we live.
This what we want you to know …
Meet Megan. And peer at her snapshot of goodbye.
“At the beginning of 2006, we were notified of an 18 month long deployment. I had a 17 month old daughter at the time and had just began to feel ready to have another baby. My husband was gone about 6 weeks later. We would see him on 3 different occasions between February and July as he was doing training at Fort Hood, Texas.
He left for Iraq in July and while it was very hard to say goodbye, it was almost a relief to know that our clock would finally begin to countdown once he was in country. From that point, we didn’t get to see him other than through the computer via Skype until April. 2007. We spent 2 weeks together and enjoyed being a family and at the same time dreaded the goodbye that would come again.
On May 5, 2007, in the early morning hours we made our way to the airport with all of our parents along to help comfort us. Ashlyn was not quite 2 at the time. We were able to go inside the security gate with him so we could be with him as long as possible. As Ashlyn and I sat there with him, her little chin started to quiver and she looked up at him and said, “Daddy, I don’t want you to go cause I don’t want my mommy to be sad anymore.”
I will never forget those words. I absolutely fell apart. As if I wasn’t already a mess. We waited a bit longer and then they began to call people to board. We got up and made our way closer to the gate. He asked Ashlyn to give him a kiss and she refused to go to him. She knew if she did then he would be leaving. She then started to scream, “No, Daddy, don’t leave!”
There was a group of high school students leaving on their senior trip and I can still hear them sucking in air at the sound of my child’s screaming for her daddy to stay. We said our goodbyes and he walked away.
I will never forget seeing him stand at the gate and wave goodbye to us. We both just stood there crying so hard. I later found out that the lady at the ticket counter told him he could stay with us and she would have him board the plane last but he told her he couldn’t because he couldn’t handle saying goodbye all over again.
Ashlyn and I then made our way down through the crowd just hugging and crying with our parents outside the glass waiting for us to make our way out to them so they could comfort us. I will never forget the realization that that could be the last image of my husband.
Thankfully that July he came home safe and sound.
We now have 2 other daughters and are just beginning to prepare for our next deployment.”