We said goodbye to Josh over a week ago....
...deployment number two has officially started :(
Two deployments in three years is not uncommon. In fact, many military spouses that I have met are in the same "ship" as we are (pardon the navy pun). Although the media reports the war as "coming to a close", there are still thousands upon thousands of men and women being deployed. Which leaves lots of lonely loved ones.
What does it feel like to say goodbye to someone you love? Someone you vowed not to live without. Hmmm... Ok, imagine trying to make hundreds of little mental memories of something you cherish... smelling their smells for the last time... feeling their skin... watching them laugh. So many things to take in.... little glimmers of remembrance that must last for a while. You do this so that you can close your eyes and recall that person vividly on those days where you miss them most.
I promised myself I wouldn't start doing this until right before he left (missing him that is). Fortunately, the last week he was home was extremely busy. The day inevitably came however. I tried not to look at him when he put on his uniform and packed his bags.... or talk about his departure until ... I had to. I promised Josh we would find someone to watch Bella so he didn't have to say goodbye to her on base... just too hard for this sweet daddy. So, after he and I had a good long "I will miss you beyond words" cry, he walked Bella up to bed, prayed with her, and kissed her goodnight. My heart felt sorry for him. Not getting to see her face everyday:(
We drove on to base in the middle of the night, spent some sweet moments together, then he was off to be the "rock-of-a-Chaplain" that he needed to be for all of the other hurting families. This deployment is so different than his last. Last time I saw him off on a Navy destroyer in front of huge crowds. This time he's with the marines, who are stolen away in the middle of the night to head to Afghanistan. Silent hero's if you ask me:)
Here are some photos of his departure and arrival:)
Saying goodnight to Bella one last time:)
Josh's sister Jaimee gave birth to Declan, meet your new nephew!
Love those marines!
The Chapel Josh will use in Afghanistan:)
Sunrise service, Easter 2012-Afghanistan
Navy Chaplain, for the marines.... confusing huh:)
families saying goodbye....
Guys traveling to the base...
How we communicate, when we can...
Last date night at Disney before he left... so fun!
As a mother/advocate for a child with autism, it has become very clear to me that selecting a good Pediatrician is vitally important for the internal and external treatment of their health (and for Bella, her autism). Long story short, we had prayed hard about the possibility of Bella getting in to see one of the nations top Pediatricians who is certified DAN! (click to learn more) and has written books on vaccines and biomedical options for the treatment of autism.
I found that Dr. Bob Sears (http://www.askdrsears.com/) was located within an hour of Temecula so I wrote appeals to the military, and jumped through some hoops and.... we got in! Bella will be moving forward with Dr. Sears as her primary care physician! God is so good. I feel that this decision will make a huge impact on her in so many ways. Biomedical treatment is an option I have been looking into since her diagnosis and I feel nervous and excited to move forward with this type of treatment knowing she will be seeing such a great doctor!
Thanking God that this puzzle piece fit!