(for previous articles in the series you may have missed, click here)
And then the day came. The night before he came home and held me so tight I could barely breathe and he didn't have to say a word, I knew what that hug meant. He was leaving.
I had the option to go with him to send him off or leave him at home. Knowing my pregnancy and emotions we decided it would be best for both of us and my safety if we had me stay at home. I helped him finish packing the backpack he would take with him. His duffel and gear was already loaded up and in with everyone else's gear which they would get when they got to a safe place down range (inside Iraq).
After he fell asleep that night I snuck a note in his bag down where I hoped he would find it when he needed it most telling him how much I loved him and all the things I just couldn't bear to say to his face. I sat there and prayed in front of the backpack while he slept and asked God to please keep him safe if he could but to give me peace in my heart.
The next morning I woke with him and we barely talked. I remember constantly running to the bathroom under the guise of "pregnancy needs" but really was just giving myself a minute to let the tears out and then washing my face off so he couldn't tell. A deep breath and back out I would go until I couldn't hold it in much longer.
One last hug and whispered "I love you"s and he left. I watched him walk out that door and heard him get into the car. As I heard the engine start I knew it could be the last time I heard that noise from the old VW we'd picked up to get around easier and the tears began to fall. I called my mom and cried my eyes out and she cried with me. I don't even remember words - just tears and sobs for over an hour and knowing she was there.
I couldn't lean on my neighbors, their husbands weren't in the Cavalry so they weren't leaving yet. Just mine. I felt so alone as I sat there in that apartment with the dog and cat both vying to be close to mom. They knew I needed the comfort and so they sat with me and were content to just be there.
The day went on and I muddled through lunch. I didn't really want to eat but I somehow managed to choke something down. I cried myself to sleep sometime in the afternoon and then I heard the door creaking.
Why was the door creaking? No one had a key! WHO IS BREAKING INTO MY HOUSE!??!?!?!?
I tried to come up with a game plan for a 6 month pregnant woman to take down an intruder (and in hindsight none of them were very good ideas...) and then as I sat there shaking my bedroom door opened.
Sweaty and exhausted there stood my husband.
I didn't know a 6 month pregnant woman could get out of a waterbed that fast!
I flew into his arms. They had been cancelled for leaving today. I would worry about the rest tomorrow. For now, I had him back and that was all I needed in the world.