Matt has been gone for three weeks today. This has been easier than I thought, but also way harder than I thought. That doesn't make sense, really, except to me, I guess.
Today, many of our friends will be leaving. My friends' spouses will be leaving, but also Trina will be leaving today. Trina has become such a great friend. She is always there when needed, and it makes me feel good that she will be over there with Matt, as I know that she would look out for him, sort of like I would, just to make sure that he has a good friend there. She is such a beautiful person with a smile that will make his days go a little better, too. I feel good that he is over there, to be her friend, and someone for her to talk to and to lift her spirits as well. She amazes me every day because she has been through a rough couple years. Somehow, she is still the one who is always first to smile, and first to offer assistance if she sees a friend in need. It is truly amazing. Trina had to leave her husband and two kids. See? Simply amazing.
The husband of a good friend of mine also leaves today. Actually, she was the first friend I met here. They just had a baby during his time home. I just can't imagine doing this with kids. Kudos to all military families with kids. Both those leaving, and those staying behind, that have to always hold it together, for the kids. You are truly the strongest of the strong.
More friends and spouses of friends are leaving today also, and also later this week. I just wish everyone the best, and I guess I want everyone to know that I am here if anyone needs anything, even if we haven't known each other for too long. I think that our strength together is so much more than individually. The support that I have had over the past several weeks has been what has helped me through this time, and I am ready to offer it to others as well.
Tonight, I get to hang out with another couple who are friends of Matt and mine. The wife of this couple is also leaving this week. I wish we all could have spent more time together during the time home, but at the same time, these precious 12 months of spending with your loved one prior to them leaving again, it is hard to give up your time together, knowing that this is all you have for a while. Gosh, have I mentioned yet that the soldiers and their families and loved ones truly are an inspiration?
Paige's husband will also be leaving this week. She has been one of the strongest supports of me throughout Matt's deployment, and even before. She and her husband have been through so many deployments and separations, they are nearly pros at this. Let me tell you, it doesn't seem to get easier the more you go through, even if you are a pro. They have a son as well that John will have to leave. The time leading up to the departure is almost worse than the actual goodbye, but of course no one wants to let their loved ones go. I just hope that she knows I want to be here for her every bit as much as she was there for me.
Anyway, I guess I should end my entry for today. I am sad for the separations of families that are taking place. I am thankful, happy and proud of the soldiers that are defending us and our freedoms, and protecting our country and our values. I am amazed and proud of the families that are left behind, having to be strong throughout the deployment. The strength that you have is what allows us to have our lives the way we do. When you take a moment to stop and think about all the people that those in our military protect, it is mind boggling. The sacrifices that are made are amazing. Thank you all for your service, and thank you all for everything that you do. Hero is an understatement for the military personnel as well as the families left behind. THANK YOU.