Tuesday, August 26, 2008

saying good-bye to my sailor

what a rough morning.

i had to get up very early to take pat to the ship by 6am. he was heading out for his deployment today. after i dropped him off i came back home to get a couple more hours of sleep. his ship wasn't pulling out just yet. i then headed to the pier to check the ship out and say fairwell to my sweetheart before he left for 7 months. saying good-bye to him gets harder and harder each time. it's very dramatic watching all the sailors dressed to impress and manning the rails of such a large ship. it's breathtaking and altogether overwhelming. it gives you a strong sense of pride watching these brave individuals as they prepare to head off to who-knows-where and leave there loved ones behind.

i think i would have been angry if i had woken up this morning to a sunny day. luckily it was overcast and windy conditions which fit the feeling of the day. on the pier there was almost a chill in the air. it was so windy and every once in awhile it sprinkled down some rain. for some reason, that little bit of rain was comforting.

i was able to board the ship for a quick tour. i didn't see much, and to be honest, that was just fine with me. as soon as i stepped up the ramp to the quarter deck i felt funny. it wasn't just that it was a tremendously huge ship, it was partly because i felt like i didn't belong. it seemed awkward and strange with so many uniformed men running around preparing for their long journey. at one point pat had to leave me alone to run and change into his uniform. i wasn't allowed to be down where they sleep so i stayed in their mess hall. wow. i sat there, for what seemed like forever, waiting for him to come back in his dress whites and dixie cup hat. as dirty and raunchy as you think sailors and marines are, you are correct. i was the only woman in the room and felt like i had stepped into some frat house where everyone dressed the same. it's very cold on the ship: not what i expected. for some reason i had picture hundreds of men crowed on a hot sweaty ship shoveling coal into the engine room like on the Titanic. pat often talked about how cold he gets in his rack at night. so i suppose the air conditioning is a blessing. needless to say, i was happy to step off of the ship onto the warm pier; however, i had to leave pat on board and that was heartbreaking.

i sat on the pier for almost a half hour watching the men prepare. i contimplated leaving but decided to wait to see them man the rails. i'm glad i did. i heard them call for the sailors to go on deck and used my camera to scan the ledge looking for a glimpse of pat. to my surprise he showed up. he was right in front looking crisp in his white uniform. i was surprised that the excitement of seeing him brought tears to my eyes. i kept hoping that i was too far away for him to see me because i didn't want him to see me cry. he made a few hang guesstures telling me he loved me and that made me lose it. i can't explain to you the emotions that run through you watching your loved one like that. it's painfully unbearable.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

I can't even imagine what it must feel like. I'm sorry that you've got to go through it, but you're tough and strong and will get into a routine and the time will hopefully fly by. I'll be praying for him and his safety!
Take it easy! Love ya!