what lies within

what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. - ralph waldo emerson

this morning, steve walked the kids to school. Â he hugged each of them and said their separate good-byes. Â a lump in their throats, but no tears shed. Â i'm not sure they really get it. Â daddy's been gone before--sometimes a week, sometimes a month. Â i'm sure they think it's going to be another one of those trips. Â i know the time will eventually come when it hits them, that daddy still isn't home and it's been a long time. Â and when that time comes, i will be strong and i will be here for them. Â

after we dropped off ryder (the last to start school in the morning), i took steve to base. Â he didn't need to be at the airport until 12 PM, but everyone's bags had to go on the pallet at 9 AM. Â we were standing with steve's commander's wife. Â we chatted for a bit and then steve had some other things he needed to get done (he's making a plaque for the unit they're relieving in iraq). Â i hugged him. Â i kissed him. Â said good-bye. Â told him i'd be strong. Â and i was ready to go. Â the commander's wife said,

that's it? Â that's your good-bye? Â you're not going to the airport to say good-bye?

i decided to stay a little longer and steve and i did end up going to get a bagel together. Â but it was quiet. even a bit awkward. Â good-byes are never easy and when it's a seven month good-bye, it's that much harder. Â when we returned back to base, it was the same. Â a hug. Â a kiss. Â a good-bye. Â and lots of strength and courage. and then it was time; i drove home a bit numb. Â still am. Â probably will be for a few days.

there were other wives at the base. Â some alone. Â some with their kids. Â but we all handle our good-byes differently. Â me...i'm not one to drag things out. Â i am honest with my kids and factual. Â i'm not one for the long or dramatic good-byes and to be honest, at this time, i don't want to witness them either. Â

i haven't shed any tears...yet. Â but i am very sad. Â and lonely. Â i've choked up a bunch of times through the day, especially when i talk to others about steve's leaving. Â and i know it will all hit me soon. Â it's welling...i feel it.

a friend emailed me the sweetest note today and in her email was the quote above. Â she told me that i have so much within. Â i hope so. Â i sure hope so. Â over the next seven months, i will have to rely on that, what lies within and sometimes when it seems like it's no longer there, i'll have to dig deep to find it. Â but i will.

thank you to all that have offered so many kind words and support. Â love you guys!Â