We woke up when the alarm went off this morning. I put our recycle and yard waste cans by the curb. Caleb put his bags in the car. We ate some leftover pizza and then drove to REI for some CamelBak water tablets. I cried – there was music, memories, and emotions. We got to the airport and I hadn’t emailed my name to be on the list. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in a crowd of tears. Caleb checked 101 pounds of luggage, grabbed his carry-on, and we went to the USO to validate my parking.
Some nice volunteers also gave Caleb a free neck pillow and had food and drinks too. We get to security and the agent has no idea what I’m trying to explain – she is not the first to have this problem. Her manager is able to tell me that I need a gate pass. Luckily, I approach the same lady that helped with Caleb’s bags (and the same lady that watched him get his passport stuck in the credit card slot – able to open with a key) and I receive a pass – one that allows a spouse and/or family to wait with their sailor.
Some guys missed their flight and one flight got delayed. I thought Caleb was on an early flight, but most of the crew is already on their way to the desert. Some guys just moved out of apartments or barracks and spent the night at bars and hotels with alcohol and they look terrible, but are dressed nicely as they were told to. There are babies and beer and food and smiles for the camera that will be updating Facebook later. It felt so awkward and I could feel the tension mounting as the time got closer to boarding.
Luckily, Caleb’s future roommate was willing to relax at the bar and took Caleb with him. I kept my tears at bay with a Fiji water (compliments from one of the guys that work for Caleb) and he chose the Jager and Bud Light route. The gate area was filling up with families and guys that looked like they could work for Congress. I went up to Caleb and said, “I love you.” I let him reply, we kissed, and then I quickly made my way through the crowd. I cry now writing this. I cried on my way out of the airport.
I texted him when I got to the car to let him know that I did have my cell on me and to keep me updated. I cried when he replied. I’m sure the tears will lessen, they usually do, and I have been warned to stay away from music. Back at the house the dogs are happy to see me. I will do my best to keep my to-do list full and my mind distracted.