I knew when we arrived in Hawaii roughly when Robby would be deployed. The dates and event he month bounced around a lot but I knew it would happen. I chose to not think about it - no I wasn't ignoring it; I simply refused to spend 10 months miserable waiting for it to happen when he WAS here. When we got here in February I had plenty of other things to think about like Stowaway's impending arrival, being in Hawaii, getting settled, being in Hawaii, being a family again, did I mention being in HAWAII?!
After Stowaway, AKA Anya, was born in June - well I had a newborn, a toddler and a preschooler. I had plenty to occupy my mind that didn't involve a year long deployment. It was there, buried deep in my head but I wouldn't give the idea sunlight. Even as Jadzia turned 4 and the holidays rushed towards us; as the FRG meetings cropped up and Robby got shot after stupid shot in prep for this Thing-That-Should-Not-Be-Named; I didn't think about it....well not much at least.
But come December 1st, it was there -staring me in the face. I didn't want to be sad for the holidays. He was home, I didn't want to spend what time we had him with us sad. I bought the kids way to much for Christmas; I think it was retail therapy as much for me as it was for them. In the back of my mind I wanted them to have an awesome Christmas this year given what 2009 held for all of us. And seeing them happy, made Robby and I happy. Robby told me yes every time I mentioned yet another gift for the girls - I don't think he could refuse them anything at that point if he wanted to.
So on Christmas morning, the North Pole descended on our house - it's a wonder Santa had anything left for the rest of the keiki (Hawaiian for children) on the island; I could have sworn it all came here. At that point, the end was near. They - WE - had a great Christmas but it was bittersweet to me.
I did better than I thought I would in the week leading up to D-day; I didn't start getting despondent until the day before. Then it all came crashing down on me. I cried on and off, I stared a lot, I grabbed Robby for random hugs often interrupting his packing (not that he minded really). Then the night of, I was staring at my dinner plate and just started sobbing - I couldn't help it. It had nothing to do with the dinner plate obviously - maybe it was the errant "this is last dinner together" thought or maybe the dam just broke but it was all over from there.
He had to be up to his company at 130AM, so we put the girls to bed for a few hours and woke them when it was time. I hated to wake them but I think it was better that way - closure and all. The plan was to take him, drop him off and then get the girls back to bed quickly. But when we got there, I didn't want to leave knowing he would still be on the island for a few more hours (even if he'd be busy doing other things). I felt like leaving was a bad idea - like I was giving up time we could possibly have together. Robby knew as well as I did that the longer I hung around, the crankier the kids would be either that night or in the morning so he sent me on my way. My sweet neighbor came over to help me get the girls back to bed and then I stayed awake until almost 330AM before sleep caught me and pulled me under.
I haven't cried since that night we left him at the company. Sometimes I feel it surfacing and I'm primed for a good cry if need be - I know it can theraputic - but it just stops and the day goes on. I'm still waiting for the OMG moment where it all hits me like a ton of bricks or something.