After months of ignoring and weeks of anxiety, the day has finally come. The boys and I brought John to the ship at o'dark thirty this morning. I heard most were manning the rails in blues, but we didn't stick around since the temperature was about 25 degrees, not including wind chill. Since John is the Chief Engineer, he would be working on getting the ships ancient engines running and I was NOT sitting around for hours in that weather!
When a ship is ready to leave it has to undock and then go from shore power to what I'll call sea power (for lack of knowledge!). Starting the engines and undocking takes hours and the engineering department is there for the whole process. Saying good-bye shouldn't be stretched out that long for toddlers and I am not a fan of unnecessary pain.
After leaving Mayport, I brought the kids down to my parents for a good distraction. I'm happy that we've had such a nice day! It could have been disastrous if we hadn't had family around. I was able to get out for a long run, the kids were happy and went to bed in a good mood and I even got a shower in the same day. Who could ask for anything more?
Deployment as a just-dating and newly married couple wasn't fun, but at least I was able to sleep! I made my own schedule and busied myself with different things every day. I was able to do things I never thought I'd be able to do and I learned to dig deep to stay strong.
I know this is going to be nothing more than a string of good days dotted with some not-so-awesome ones. I am determined to do this right by my kids. I am going to be positive, at least in front of them, and use my attitude as a tool to stay healthy. I will not lose my composure in front of my babies, and I will continue to do things that will present them with new opportunities. I expect myself to step out of any comfort zone and I will push myself (within reason!) to finish the half marathon and marathon. I have to show myself and my children that life doesn't stop when John's gone.
I expect the most difficult part of this to be lack of communication. It's hard not getting at least an email and worse, yet, is the way the satellite linkup works for ships now. It's also hard to carry your cell phone everywhere and such a disappointment when you see you've missed a call from "unknown number." I keep repeating to myself: "At least it's just six months at sea and it's not a year in the desert!"