Chris’ departure was such a huge thing for us, but I don’t feel like I have any more to say beyond what the Virginian-Pilot article said. It said it perfectly. Chris loved it and said it started the deployment on a high note. How often do you get to say that?
The center picture below is Chris in his whites waving from the deck shortly before they embarked. Chris said he could tell the exact moment Isaac saw him. And that was goodbye.
The instructions from the captain for leaving that day had the sailors all manning the railings while “Anchors Aweigh” broadcast from the ship. Then the ship was to “play uplifting music” as it continued on its way. “That IS uplifting music” I remarked to another spouse as the tugboats pushed the ship away from the pier to the fading sounds of a patriotic march.
Anyway, everything is going well so far. When I think about how many seasons will change before Chris gets home, or how we’ll probably move in the weeks after he gets back so we’re practically on the tail end of living here already, or, or, or…I feel like my throat is constricting. But I discovered an old talent I thought I lost when I had kids, which is to be laser focused and compartmentalized.
“So how do you cope knowing they’ll be gone such a LONG LONG time?” asked a jerky cameraman on the pier that morning. I stared at him. “I try not to think about it, but thanks for breaking my heart.”
And there you have it. We miss you, Chris!