January 17, 2009

Ship Departing...

Dan's ship left yesterday, and it really could not have gone any better. Dan didn't have to be there until 10am, so we had a nice relaxing morning. Of course we played some Mario Kart Wii.

Two ships fit on each pier and Dan's ship was at the far end. I never get to take pictures (security), but everyone was snapping away so I took advantage.


The ship felt like Freshman dorm on move-in day. There were families everywhere, some extended family seeing the ship for the 1st time. Obviously, it's our second home.


Families were allowed to be on the ship until 11am, so we got the kids some snacks to make sure their bellies were nice and full. We met some families and had some pictures taken.




While Dan was getting snacks, I took this video.
video

I had teared up a couple of times before now when I accidentally saw some other families saying good-byes. I kept telling myself, "Alicia, stop looking at people!" But when Dan walked us out to the pier, it was our turn to do that. There was no delaying it anymore. As soon as I hugged him the tears flowed freely. While Dan and I were hugging, Timothy came up and put his arms around both of our legs, which was so precious to me. Timothy has a very hard time connecting emotionally, so when he can live in the moment and allow others to experience their feelings he's really stepping outside of himself.

Dan went back on the ship to "Man The Rails", and we stood on the pier as close to him as we could. We had another hour before the ship actually left, and I didn't know that my kids would make it that long. Since this was my first "Send Off" (last deployment the kids and I had just moved to Dallas), I was really hoping to see the ship pull away. Thankfully, God provided 2 very important things. One was shade. Timothy can only stand the heat for so long. And the second was this family. (Isn't Breanna adorable in her sailor dress?)



Steve is standing next to Dan on the rails. (A little to the right of center).


Kristina's son, Dillon, and my kids had a great time! They would yell things to their dads, run around, and then take a break in the shade. It allowed Kristina and I to relax and actually soak in the moment instead of being overwhelmed by crying/screaming children. I can honestly say it was fun, but more importantly it was memorable.



This crane is lifting the bridge off that allows us to walk on the ship.


These sailors are untying the ropes.


This smoke basically means someone has put the key in the ignition.


And my FAVORITE picture of the day.


In case you need the close up.


Dan, we love you.

We stayed the whole time, and we watched the ship leave until we couldn't recognize Dan's face anymore. There was laughter from everyone around when Samantha kept yelling, "Bye Daddy! Bye Daddy!!!" It was all very matter of fact and oh so cute. Kristina and I took the kids to McDonald's afterwards where they played for over 2 hours!! That was like the cherry on top to a great experience! Having to face something so miserable, I don't know how it could have gone any more smoothly. Thank you, God.

20 comments:

Cara said...

The picture of Dan and Timothy is one of the sweetest pictures that I have ever seen. I'm so glad the departure went smoothly and that God provided an enjoyable afternoon for you guys. Do you have a special countdown idea for the kids? My friend has a big bowl of Hershey's kisses, one for each day Dad will be gone, and the kids eat one every morning so that they can see the days until Dad comes home growing smaller and smaller. I love that idea. :)

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

I LOVE THAT PICTURE!!! You've been in my prayers all week, Friend. Thanks again for the sacrifice your family makes for my family. Love you!

Cindy said...

I love the pictures of Timothy & Dan! How sweet! I hope the deployment passes quickly (& uneventful!) for all of you.

Katelyn said...

That last photograph is absolutely precious. I actually am a little teary eyed. I hope this deployment goes by quickly and that things go as smoothly as possible!

Phoenix's Mom said...

I needed a good cry today! The picture of Timothy and Dan melted my heart. The bond between a father and child is amazing.
I hope the time goes by quick and know we are here if you need to vent.
E-mail me anytime: phoenixsfight@yahoo.com
Angela

steffenboysmom said...

That last pic is awesome! I hope you don't mind, but I saved it to my computer. It's so touching! Glad you kidos got to see where their daddy is going to be spending a lot of time. Very cool. Prayer are with you!

Carrie said...

Oh, man....I teared up when I saw that pictures with the "I love you" sign between your two men.

I pray time will pass quickly!!

Sharon said...

That's TOO touching, friend! Again, my heart goes out to you and your whole family. You'll be at the top of my prayer list. I took the liberty of copying the last pic. to post on my blog -- hope you don't mind, but it really impacted me and I wanted to share it! Hugs from Wichita.

Anonymous said...

I am welling up too, that last picture is too precious! I have been reading your blog for awhile, don't know if I have commented before. My husband is also in the Navy and will probably be deployed for the first time in the next year or so. I also grew up near Wichita! You will be in my prayers during the deployment.
Abby

Christi said...

I love the pictures, I am so glad that all went smoothly. You were in my mind and my prayers all day yesterday. I love you friend

therextras said...

And THANK YOU for sharing this memorable day, for the sacrifices you and your family make for all the rest of us. God bless you.
Barbara

Courtnie said...

I teared up when I saw the picture of Timothy and Dan. That is so precious and I am sure will bring joy to your heart for the rest of your life.

I am sure it won't be easy being a single mom for awhile. I respect you so much! Thank you for sacrificing for us.

SarahJeanie said...

The picture of them signing to each other is priceless! What a sweet moment that you will treasure forever! You are one amazing woman! I can't imagine being in your shoes! I will be praying for you!

Julie said...

I'm glad it went so smoothly for all of you. It's great that Timothy handled it so well. That picture of him and his dad is priceless. I'll be thinking about you and hope this next six months goes by quickly.

Lil' Chris' Mom said...

I just love that last pic! It says it all.
M

stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

Ack! Tearing up here. How precious is that. Thank you so much for sharing ... can I ask how long is he supposed to be gone? (((praying))) Glad you all had such a wonderful day. :)

Dillon and Breanna Hawkins said...

That was so sweet... I am a little teary eyed.

Amy said...

I am a friend of Steph's Mommy Brain...

You have been in my thoughts a few times this week and I have prayed for your family when you come to my mind. Thank you so much for this beautiful post--thankful that the send off went well!

Marc and Charity said...

Gosh, that made me cry. I love the pic of Timothy doin the I love you sign. What a way to start my MOnday!!! :)

Blessings on y'all as you walk through this, I can't imagine. I'm so glad you had a friend to go to McD with afterwards!

Julie (Clark) Shelton said...

I stumbled across your blog from one of Christi Kingsley's posts...I was one of the girls in Christen and Nathan's wedding. Anywho, I just wanted to drop you a quick comment about how your deployment blog entry really touched my heart. I know I often get caught up my own world that I don't realize families are making such a sacrifice and sending their love ones far away to keep us safe at home. Wow! Thank you for your testimony and strength as you wait for your hubby to return. I will keep you all in my prayers (and probably pop in on your blog occasionally). :-)