Monday, February 28, 2005

The Longest Day

Well, he's finally gone. It hasn't even been a full day and yet I feel like it's been a week. Bill and I had our last dinner out, without the kids (thanks mom!) at Souplantation, our favorite salad spot. We came home to put the kids to bed and got his last minute stuff together. What happens if you forget to pack something you need and you're going to be in the middle of nowhere for 7 months and it takes 3 weeks to get a package? That is called SOL, my friend. We left our house around 12:30am to hit Denny's before getting on the road. Bill was dressed in his desert cammi's & it's a big no no to be out in town while in this uniform. Well, rules are meant to be broken sometimes. We weren't even seated five minutes when some young Lance Corporal (I'm assuming) came up to Bill and stammered, "Uh, excuse me Staff Sergeant, can I ask why you're in your cammies?" If you're a Marine and you see another Marine 'breaking the rules' you're supposed to say something. It's usually kind of a jerky thing to do when it's something as miniscule as trying to have coffee while in uniform. So Bill replies,
"I'm on my way to Iraq this morning and I'd like to have one last meal with my wife."
"Oh, ok. Works for me." Sheesh!! Can't we be miserable alone??

We arrived to Bill's unit at 2:30am. Muster was supposed to be at 3. There weren't a whole lot of cars in the parking lot as the clock got closer to 3. So, we drove to the armory to see if they'd mustered there. Nope. Hmmm... Finally, someone shows up and it turns out the muster time had been changed on Friday (after Bill left work) to 4am. Ugh! So we hang out and wait, and talk and try not to fall asleep seeing as how we've both been up since the previous morning. Cars start to pour into the parking lot and men in beige colored camoflage start to file out while wives and children try to stay warm in their cars or huddle together with blankets. Literal tons of gear starts to pile up in a neat little rows divided by unit and company. There's plenty of protection sitting on top of seabags. Helmets and bullet proof vests sit neatly atop the Marines' necessities. Gun holsters hug every man's thigh and nervous Marines light up cigarettes in a domino effect. The war is still on.

By 4:45am, the chill of the cool morning air made sure to keep my fingers and toes quite cold. Shivering and tired I decided to leave. At least this way Bill could rest while leaning up against his pack while he waited for the instruction to go to the armory to pick up his pistol and we could just be done with the anticipatory goodbye. He wouldn't even board the bus which would take them to the air base until 8am. I decided it would be best for me to drive through the base to get home. The windy road and frequent speed changes would keep me alert more than a smooth cement highway for the 30 minute drive home. When I was about 1/3 of the way through the base, a road closure sign appeared. No detour, no alternate route. Closed. Tired, sad and exhausted I had to turn around and retrace my curvy path back to the northern part of the base to hop on that freeway I didn't want to get on. I got home around 5:45 and crawled into bed for a blissful, but dreamless, 2 hours.
*Feed the baby.
*Carefully bring the baby downstairs and hope mom is awake.
*Mom is sleeping.
*Mom wakes up and offers to take the baby.
*Be sure to give mom 50% of my lottery winnings.
*Crawl back into bed until 10:30am.

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you're in a dream-like trance? Is it possible to be so tired that you're dizzy while sitting perfectly still? Twenty-eight years old and I'm overjoyed that my mom is willing to still take care of me. She fed my children and cooked dinner for me. She washed my dishes, emptied the cat box (ok, 75% of my winnings), swept my floors, and helped me take my trash out to the curb. Aren't moms great??

She left at 8pm.
Trey was put to bed at 9:15...9:30...9:35...9:42...9:50...9:58...10:04...10:15...10:45...11:05

If this kid doesn't go to sleep, I'm sending him to his dad. Did I mention that we have to get up at 6:30am in order to make it to a MOPs meeting?


1 comment:

Karen said...

Hi Jen,

Thanks for stopping by my blog to comment.

I hope the next few months go by quickly for you.