Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An Impressive Exit

It's official. The Rhode Island is on its way to sea. The past two weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions and stress, and uncertainties...for both the guys and their families. When would the boat be ready...could it all get done in time? Delays, late nights, nights of not coming home at all....kids anticipating daddy's leaving, wives scared for their time alone, and sad for the husband they knew they would soon be missing. Near 200 families have gone through this time...and it all comes down to this day. There were at least 50 people on the beach watching their daddy's husbands, boyfriends and children head out to sea tonight.

After hours of waiting on the beach, and just before the sun set...we finally caught a glimpse of the tug boat that was most certainly leading the submarine out of the channel to the open water. The boat was so close to the beach as it went by that we felt like we could swim on out and say goodbye in person! The kids cheered and the boat honked for them. Each child picturing their own daddy as the person who blew that horn. And believe in their hearts that the beep was for them.

No matter how hard it is to see them go, and how stressful the time before a deployment is...it is never any less amazing...impressive...humbling...to see that boat go to sea. As we cheered and waved, we were proud, sad, excited....and most of all...in awe of the job that our men do for this country. A very spectacular feeling was shared by everyone on that beach.

Ben and Kyle cried a little as we left the beach tonight. Silent kind of crying...wiping the tear as they fell so that no one would see. When Kyle tried to talk, I could hear the lump in his throat. Josh just kept saying "Daddy home now?" And that brought tears to my eyes. How much he will learn about this life we have...but how strange and complicated it will feel this time around. And Will...well....Will just wanted to take photos? It is always his passion...and when it is about daddy's boat...the passion is at an all time high. He took over 300 photos today. And that was his way of occupying his mind. If only I had something that would take my mind off of it all!! :) Lucky ...crazy...man that Will is!! :)

As we waited for the parking lot to clear before loading up... the kids and I sat and watched the sun go down. All four of them were so impressed by the colors and how shiny the water was. The beach was empty and beautiful. Kyle's only regret was that daddy didn't get to see his first lost tooth! It came out this afternoon at the pool. So we got a quick shot of my toothless duo to send to daddy in the mail drop this July!

There is a calmness in the house now. We are sad, but ready for time to move on....ready for summer fun! Ready for time together....and awesome trips...and great friends! And we can't wait to share it all with Daddy when he gets home in just 2.5 short months!! We miss you Steve!!! But we are ok...just living life...waiting for you to come home! :)

this is Anna and Zoe. Anna is 20 weeks pregnant with baby number two!

This is Megan's baby Amelia. She waited so patiently on the beach...and only dug one big hole!

Will put down the camera only for a second to use Alex's Binoculars to see the boat even closer!

This is Kim and Andres! Happy after seeing their hubby and Daddy drive by!

A few girls around...but the posse of little men is quite overwhelming!
Here's Kyle first picture with the missing tooth!

Every person on this beach tonight was there to see the boat out!
Ben and Alex had a great time while we waited!

This was our first view of the parade!

It could not have been a more awesome view!


Dianne said...

So, last night was the night. We were never quite sure. It's so impressive to see the boat go out, even if it's only by picture. It'll be so much better to see it come back home! Here's to 2.5 months going by quickly. "Nervous" as you are, Renee, you'll do just fine. But, if there's anything you need, we hope you know we're here to help, night or day.

sara said...

Wow, I lost my breath just thinking about you standing there seeing your hubby off for the summer! I know I am still in no shape to handle anythng on "my own" - I am so proud of you! I can tell you are going to do better than fine; you are going to do great!

Love & Hugs,

Erica said...

What great pictures! The sunset was beautiful! And those boys and their smiles, just priceless (do I sound like Sue) hehe....Sue, that is your favorite word, so pardon me for stealing it, but it fits!