Saturday, November 3, 2007

Saying Goodbye- A Pictoral History

(This should be subtitled "Why no one will ever let me try to operate a camera again in an airport at 4 a.m.")

 Thursday night I got off work at 11 pm, got home before midnight, and we were on the road to Baltimore International Airport by 1:15 a.m., to take Dustin to start his journey back to Hawaii, from whence he will deploy to Iraq sometime later this month.

The drive up consisted of April sleeping, and Dustin Trying to sleep,LOL, but his Dad and I kept talking to him.  The conversation was nothing earthshaking, just random thoughts that occurred to each of us along the way.

I was studiously Avoiding thinking 'we're sending him off to a war", until his Dad turned to him at one point as we neared the airport and asked "Do you have enough change for vending machines, in case you want some snacks?"  

 And I felt the tears well up. To me, that was just all the love and concern that his Dad felt for him in one short sentence.  We're putting him on a plane and won't see him again for almost two years, and he's going to a war zone...and besides praying and wishing him well and sending letters and care packages once he gets there....there's really not much else we can do for him.

All the things you want to say, all the love and concern you want to express and it all boils down to asking "Do you have enough change for snacks?"  It was just such a typical 'Dad-ish' thing for Tony to ask, and illustrated for me in a nutshell both how much Tony loves Dustin, and why I love Tony.  So, I sat with tears rolling down my face for a few minutes. and sent up yet another silent prayer for safety for this young man going off to war, for his Dad who is sending him off, and then dried my eyes, because I wanted to be 'strong' when we got to the airport.  I did Not want the last thing Dustin saw before getting on the plane to be me sobbing my heart out, no matter how much I felt like doing so.

We got there shortly before 4 a.m., and unbeknownst to Dustin, we had brought the camera to take a few pictures.

Perhaps this is where I should point out that I have never yet read the instruction manual on the camera?  I just use it, and Most of the time it seems to work out OK.

It started out well

(and then Tony took this picture, which the picture is all right, but what in the world kind of face am I making? LOL:)

and then this is where the trouble started

although I've lightened it up now with Picasa, the flash didn't go off at the time I took this. So, they told me to take it again....

(and here we have a candid shot of Tony saying 'The flash didn't go off again' and Dustin beginning to think 'this is Not going well!')

Then each of them decided they were going to show me how to make the flash work. First Tony

who managed to also take a picture of a light fixture while trying to show me how to operate it.

Then Dustin

and I managed to take a great picture of his Feet, while he was trying to tell me what to do.

Then April

who got a great picture of Her feet, also :)

I attempted yet again to take a picture of Tony and Dustin

and Dustin clearly looks dubious that this is Ever going to work out, in which case he was correct....although the flash went off numerous times for everyone else, it never Once worked when I was taking a picture.

After several more flashless photos, in which I now have a great timeline of the people I love getting progressively More exasperated and annoyed that I can't seem to make the camera work correctly, and gee, isn't that what Everyone wants for their picture album? LOL

I got one final shot of Dustin, who by this point just looks....resigned. Thinking to himself, I'm sure "She is Never going to be able to operate this camera!(" and possibly also "I am So happy that they brought the camera?" snort. NOT.)

After this whole episode, we said our Goodbyes, and hugged our MP, and sent him off through the security line.(and I bet by that time he was breathing a sigh of relief,lol, that we were finally letting him go!:)

And so he wends his way off to war, and we,while going home, took a wrong turn even though this time I Was reading the directions(I just read them more closely After I said 'I think you need This exit").....and we had the lovely experience of getting caught in Beltway traffic for 45 minutes at the beginning of the morning commute in DC.

Which, at least, managed to take our minds off being sad for's hard to be sad when you are trapped in rush hour traffic in a strange area. (I even pointed this out to Tony,lol, 'gee,honey, at least this takes our minds off being sad', and I'm pretty sure the look I got in return was Not an "I'm grateful to you" look, more like an "I'm going to throttle you if we survive this" look:)

We got home Friday about 7 am, and all crashed after being up overnight.

And now, we will shortly begin the next 15 to 18 months of being the family of a deployed soldier.






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