This morning while feeding Eliza I was perusing (love that word? haven’t used it in awhile…) facebook and saw that one of my friends husband deployed.

I don’t know when. I don’t know where to. I don’t know when he’ll be back.

But, really that doesn’t matter. The feelings are all the same.

Seeing those pictures and reading her words made me remember and my heart just dropped.

We’ve done two deployments — one for 15 months and one for 10.  The first I lived with my parents and planned our wedding and then moved to be with him after he got back. Supposed to be twelve, but they got extended with the troop surge.  The second I (along with my friend) stood there and watched them walk away.

No words I could use will tell you what that feels like unless you’ve experienced it.

I can only tell you the order of events….dropping off his bags the night before…checking out his weapon the next morning…putting his carry-on baggage with all the others to be sniffed by a dog looking for contraband…waiting for the buses to show up and enduring a speech or two…watching them line up…and saying good-bye as he walked away.

I can tell you what I saw…american flags…signs made by families…signs by individual companies posted everywhere in the hanger…people hugging…people laughing..people crying and wives standing together till they drove out of sight.

I can tell you what I heard…conversations introducing families to each other…reminiscing about the last deployment…cheers and applause as those speeches were made and our soldiers were sent off.

But telling you how it feels?  I don’t think I can.  It doesn’t matter how much advance notice you have, you still aren’t ready to let go. All you can do is give them one last hug and kiss. Your heart hurts, even though you’re surrounded by people that do understand.

Its similar to other things I’m sure and I know most people can relate to it on some level or another — afterall heart hurt isn’t anything new.

Its easy to see on the news that some group or another deployed, we lost this or that person in war or so and so came home and think here we go again, oh no or his/her family must be thrilled and move on.

I hope I don’t forget — I hope I remember how it felt. And…I can draw on that when someone else needs support.  What makes my heart hurt so much isn’t what makes your heart hurt but maybe I can relate and do something. I want to be a more compassionate person. I think we all deserve that.

So, I’ll be thinking of her, her husband and hoping he comes home sooner rather than later.  And maybe there’s something I can do to reach out. She’s helping me to remember and I’m grateful.