(This post was scheduled for a couple days after I dropped Brandon off. I will have a few posts staggered until he's safely at his destination, for OPSEC reasons)
How do you drop someone off like this?
First, you have a good day. Brandon and I spent most of the day fairly busy. We had last minute errands to run, he had to finish packing, we had to give him a haircut and he wanted to wash his car before putting the cover on. We even went to lunch downtown at Buffalo Wild Wings, because that's what he wanted. That was fine with me.
Then, the time gets closer. A couple hours before I had to drop him off, we were both feeling tired. So we decided to lay down in bed, set the alarm for an hour or so later, and rest. It felt good to sleep, though I felt guilty for using what little time we had left to close my eyes. I guess it's just an escape.
Be careful, don't get mad. When I woke up, everything about him annoyed me. I didn't like the way he was breathing (he breathes a certain way when he's depressed). I didn't like his quiet, sad voice. I just couldn't handle it. I had to take a couple deep breaths to tell myself to calm down. I just wanted to get out of the house, I wanted to just drop him off and get it done with. Was that too much to ask?
Head to the drop-off area. Off we went. I didn't play any music on the way there, nothing felt appropriate. I pulled into a spot and he started to bring his bags to where he needed to be. Panic set in. I hadn't felt a true panic attack in awhile, but I was sure I was feeling the starts of one then. Heart pounding, breath quickening, the works. Here we were, it was happening. He came and sat in the car with me. He said he knew I didn't want to prolong it, but I said it didn't matter, because I could tell he needed this. So we sat. Then we went and sat in the open trunk. Holding hands, chatting, watching everyone else say their goodbyes.
Time for goodbyes. It was time. We both knew it. I could feel the tears coming (I actually didn't expect to cry there) and I swallowed them down. I needed to be tough for him. We hugged, then kissed, then hugged, then kissed, then made a joke, then hugged and kissed. With one last goodbye, I went back to the car and he disappeared in the dark towards the mass of soldiers.
Drive home alone. Other military spouses will know this feeling. How it feels to drive back to your home alone after dropping your husband/wife off. It's not easy, but it is. Your body does the motions. It's ok, I tell myself as tears fall down my cheeks. It's ok.