Wow! Where has this month gone? With Jeremiah getting ready to deploy we have been busy traveling the country visiting family and making prepartions for Emerson and I to move back to Missouri. Over a long 4 day holiday weekend, we decided at the last minute to travel to Sarasota, FL to visit Jeremiah's grandparents who we hadn't seen in a couple of years. Then, the next week, Jeremiah took 15 days of leave to go visit the rest of his family before he deployed. In that time, we traveled from Georgia to his family's house in Ohio. We stayed there for a few days and then continued on to my family's house in Missouri. On our way back home to Georgia, we stopped for a couple days with Jeremiah's grandma in Tennessee. It was a whirlwind of a trip, but considering we were traveling with a 22 month old and me being 7 months pregnant, I'd say it all went pretty well.
It is always such a pleasure getting to visit our families but these visits before deployments are bitter sweet. While we were at his parents', they had a birthday party for him; I thought, "Oh I should go get my video camera and record this," but at the same time knew if I did, I would just break down and cry right then and there. So, needless to say, I opted to just put it into the internal hardrive of my brain rather than the memory card of my camera. Another reason these visits are so hard is that I know this time will be the last few days before he will have to leave; I want him to be able to see everyone and for them to get to spend time with him, but at the same time, I just want to be selfish and not share him with anybody. Then, I feel guilty for being so selfish. Agghh! Such a roller coaster ride!
After nearly 2 weeks of being on the road, we made it back home to Georgia to a house full of moving boxes waiting to be packed and moved into storage. My mom came back with us to help us pack and travel back with me to Missouri. She was such a lifesaver. As if it weren't a big enough job to pack with a toddler, Emerson was also sick. He had what we thought was just a cold but then it progressed into labored breathing and his poor little body would get so wheezy from playing. We took him to the doctor, and they prescribed him a nebulizer and medication to help him breathe and clear up the beginnings of an ear infection. Let me just say, giving breathing treatments to a 23 month old isn't exactly easy. The doctor said he should be better in a couple of days, but in a couple of days, he still had a fever and his breathing was even worse. So, we headed back to the doctor. She wasn't pleased with how he sounded so she prescribed a stronger, longer lasting medication, and a dose of steroids which she warned me, "Now don't give this to him before bed. He will be really agitated and more than likely he won't be able to sit still." Bear in mind this is the day before we were getting ready to start our 2 day trip to Missouri. Nonetheless, we wanted our little boy to get better and were willing to do whatever it took to make sure he didn't get worse.
Our original plan was for either mom or me to drive the van and the other one of us to drive the truck, but in the meantime, Jeremiah's deployment date was moved, so we figured he would need a vehicle to get around which meant we had to fit everything in the van. Let me just say, it wasn't easy figuring out how to pack for a year with 2 babies, but we did it with maybe a cubic foot to spare!
We spent our last day in Georgia at the beach on Tybee Island trying to soak up the sun and every last moment of being together as a family. That evening we headed back to the hotel knowing we had one of the hardest days of our lives ahead of us. We woke up Saturday morning, ate breakfast together, and then carried our bags out of the hotel and down to the car. I fought back tears all morning knowing there was nothing I could do from keeping this moment from actually happening. I did pretty good until I saw Jeremiah holding Emerson telling him how much he loved him, and if that doesn't make one cry, I don't think anything could. I was so thankful at that moment that Emerson isn't old enough to understand what was going on but at the same time wished he was old enough to know just how incredible of a man his daddy is. Jeremiah put Emerson into his car seat and then it was my turn to say goodbye. There aren't even words to describe those moments, I just know that they are painful and while I want to hurry and get it over with, I also wanted them to last forever. As we said our goodbyes, mom too stood by. I know it was hard for me, and I can only imagine how hard it was for her too, not only saying bye to Jeremiah, but seeing, me, her daughter filled with heartache. As we drove away, we said one last goodbye leaving Jeremiah standing there alone, crying in the hotel parking lot.
It's been 2 weeks since we have left, and Jeremiah is still awaiting an exact date to leave. It stinks knowing he is still there in Georgia while we are here, but I really feel like God knew exactly what we needed. We've been able to start transitioning into living at my parents house knowing Jeremiah is still stateside. Emerson has been having some issues not wanting to go to sleep on his own and waking up in the middle of the night, and I am not sleeping well simply because i am nearly 9 months pregnant. We are just taking things one day, or night, at a time, knowing God is right here with us providing us with the strength and courage we need.