Last week I lived the life of a Marine.... well not really..... but I did get up at 5 a.m. every morning and I did take showers in Marine's barracks room. Plus I helped pack his bags and helped the guys clean the room for inspection ---- so thats gotta count for something - right? Semper Fi!
Wednesday night we went out to eat seafood with Marine's family. His mom, sister and grandparents had come up for deployment.
Thursday was much of the same. Work for Marine, last minute things. The afternoon we went and explored the downtown seaside with the family and went to an afternoon movie.
We went to see Cop Out ~ Gotta love Bruce Willis. It was a decent movie. Funny, fast paced, yada yada yada. But seriously every other word was a curse word. I may not have noticed this but given the group that was with me. Imagine seeing this movie with your finances family.... mom, sister, grandparents...... oh and did I mention that Gramps is a preacher? Yeah. At one point Marine is looking me at me shaking his head in total and utter embarrassment.
We would glance down the aisle every once in awhile and thankfully Grandpa was laughing at some of the more G-rated jokes. But neither of us dared to look as the F-bombs were flying everywhere.
In true Southern fashion no one mentioned the movie again the entire week. Us southerners prefer to ignore the pink elephant in the room and just continue on as if it never happened.
Thursday evening Marine's dad arrived in town so before we went to eat diner with him we ran to Wal-Mart for a few last minute items in preparation for what Marine had termed "his 7 month guys trip". Guess that's one way to look at it.
There was a pet store next to Wal-Mart. We had time to waste so we entered and looked all the cute animals. More on this little stop later....
Friday was what I have coined in my mind as D-Day (deployment day).
We slept in, what little we could, and then headed to eat breakfast with the Family and Roommate at Cracker Barrel.
Marine had to be back at base and have his stuff out in the yard at 12.
Then the waiting game began.... we waited and waited and waited. Which was fine by me. I wasn't really ready for him to leave anyway.
But the time came. Everyone gathered around and a prayer was spoken and a few last words. Then they were off to the buses they would take them onto the next destination point of their journey.
I had read the articles.
Went over this moment a thousand times in head.
But nothing could prepare me for the emotions that swept over me that day.
I had promised I wouldn't cry. Which I didn't think would be a hard promise to keep. I'm not a public cryer. I just don't do it. Not that I'm a cold person or anything - I just don't cry in front of people..... On most occasions..... This was apparently not one of those occasions.
Not loud or obnoxious sobs. But silent tears that ran down my face as I tried to wipe them away with the back of my hand.
Selfishly I looked around and saw husbands and wifes or girlfriends and boyfriends and wished that Marine and I had a few moments just to ourself. To share those last words you just can't say with everyone watching.
But the feeling quickly passed as I realized many of the guys did not have anyone there to see them off. I was thankful Marine's family was able to come and I was thankful that I was allowed to be a part of this special moment.
With his pack upon his back and his gun secured across his chest that he supported with one arm, he wrapped the other arm around me and gave me a tight hug. "I love you" he whispered in my ear one last time. A parting kiss and he pulled away to turn and make his way to the bus.
As he walked away it really hit me.
The sadness, the sorrow, the fear of the unknown.
But as quickly as it hit the storm was gone and the positive feelings once again soothed me ~ 8 months really isn't that long and in the end this can only make us closer.
As the bus pulled away another tear slid down my cheek. A felt as if my heart was no longer in my chest but on that bus.....
"You may as well give in, he is your long distance lover that you want to spend the rest of your life with. He is your steel-eyed, soft hearted, warm smiling, blank minded, hyperactive, overreacting , curious, passive, talented, spontaneous, physically fit, good looking, good for nothing, bundle of worry."
~ Marine Love, Author Unknown ~