Saying goodbye to those you love is never easy. And for our family, having to say goodbye for a year at a time is no easy task. How do you say a “good” goodbye to those you love to last for an entire year? There really is no “right” way to do this. But one thing I know is that in our military lifestyle; saying goodbye is inevitable.
The moment I kissed my wife Carlie and our three adorable kids Princess, Prince Charming, and Little Caveman goodbye; my heart began to yearn for them. What keeps me going after the “goodbye” are the memories that are so vivid and alive in my mind.
Let me share some with you.
My Dear Princess:
I instantly miss her coming down our stairs on most weekends half asleep asking me if I wanted to go back to our Master bedroom for more rest as our youngest wakes up at 4am. I miss her excitement about whatever current book she is reading. I love to hear her and my Carlie discuss her math work and see Princess truly press through laziness at times because of God’s love being shown through Carlie’s patience with her. There has been a time or two where Princess would be rude or not pay attention to the math problem at hand, but to see her beautiful smile come forth after she completed her assignment was an amazing thing to witness. What joy it brought me to see my young princess learn to deal with responsibility despite her emotions telling her to give up. At times I wanted to rescue her and give her the answer or make an excuse so she could come back to the math problems later, but in the end I am in total agreement with my wife that Princess must learn to complete the task at hand with excellence.
I miss him coming downstairs on the weekends and the first thing he would do is ask for juice. Or him confidently telling me that he did not pee in his bed. I miss his smile as he drinks his juice in his Batman big boy cup. Also, I miss him at some point in the morning sneaking his foam swords upstairs and challenging me to a good old sword fight. At times I want to legalistically yell at him for bringing them upstairs, but I would look into his eyes and see his hunger for his father’s approval and this would warm my heart. Rather than discipline him for bringing the toys upstairs, in most cases we would quickly go down to our basement and play swords.
I miss him in the early mornings on weekends (yes, this little guys wakes up around 4:15am) whispering in my ear “Daddy I want juice”. He would whisper at times to not wake up my wife Carlie. His definition of juice means rice milk in my realm of thinking. HAHA. As soon as I changed his morning diaper and give him rice milk, he quickly asks for oatmeal and would want to watch Dora the Explorer. He would be very demanding for these items, so of course at times I had to discipline him a time or two. I miss seeing him push around his red fire truck with all his might in our living room.
My Queen, I miss her on the weekends, walking down the stairs; half asleep and then hugging me. She would always tell me that she loved me. Then I would always offer her some breakfast but she would tell me that she was not hungry yet. I miss her sitting on the couch enjoying our children interact and her finding out the current day’s weather report. I miss her beautiful eyes look at me while I would get my butt kicked from all kids while wrestling and sword fighting even by our dog Samuel!
It is these precious memories of my family and God’s grace that get me through my deployments. One of the scriptures that is carrying me through, even today through our current separation is:
It reminds me that it is not “all about me” but rather fulfilling the destiny God has for me and my family to further His kingdom on this Earth. But the great thing is, that by loving Jesus, He will teach me how to take care of those I hold dearest in a way that is NOT possible without His guidance and love. Thank you for sharing in our journey.