The moment he drove away from the battalion area was horrible. I've never, ever cried so hard in my entire life. I could barely breathe. It felt like someone was literally riping my heart out, and I wondered how I would be able to handle the next 12 months of my life.
Getting to stay for the ceremony and hear my husband pray over the Soldiers was wonderful, but when they walked towards the bus I walked to where I thought he was going so I could give him one last hug. Unfortunately, the (loud and way-too-hyper-for-the-occasion) bus driver led him another direction. He got on the 2nd bus at the very back and not being able to touch him one last time seemed to take its toll on me. I think I would have been better off had I got that one last hug. Instead, we just looked at each other through the window at the back of the bus and cried.
Looking back I don't know what I could have done differently to make that day easier...I don't think there is anything actually. It is what it is - HARD! If you're nearing a deployment with your spouse, my first piece of advice is make every moment count before they leave. Hold on to each other tight and don't fret the small stuff. I won't tell you to not count down the days because you will do it anyway. We tried, and there's just no way not to count down.
As I end this post, I'd like to remind everyone to continue to pray for those in harm's way and the families they leave behind, and the families who lost their loved one. Thanks!