"Daddy? Where are you, Daddy?" He was in the closet now - searching for him. "Daddy?" He kept walking around the room - next into the bathroom. He leaned around the shower curtain, "Daddy? Where did you go? Daddy?"
I couldn't cry anymore.
"I don't think we should take the boys to the airport" he had said. Relief flooded my body. The image I had developed in my head of Logan giving the fight of his life to keep his daddy with him haunted me the night before. How could I get through that? How could C get through that? The tears instantly started streaming.
I cried all morning. I cried more than I have ever cried on a day like today. I cried when he tied his boots. I cried when he kissed Eli goodbye. I cried when my mom held Logan back while we got in the car for the airport. I cried when they gave him his boarding pass. I cried when the attendant upgraded him to first class. I cried when she gave the slightest wink and an understanding smile. I cried when I saw the plane come to the gate. I cried when he decided to keep his ring with him. I cried when they called First Class passengers. I cried as he walked through the line. I cried when I saw people staring. I cried when I couldn't see him anymore. I cried when a wonderful stranger was also crying and then when she gave me a hug and still when she asked his name so she could pray.
I cried when my mom called to see if he was gone. I cried while I waited for the plane to leave. I cried as I walked back. I cried when I made eye-contact with the same workers who had watched us walk in together and now watched me walk away alone. I cried when Eli kept saying "Da-da" throughout the day. I cried when I laid Logan down to bed and handed him his Daddy-Teddy. I cried myself to sleep.
I have never cried this much. I have always been good to barely cry in front of him. I have always been able to find a way to hold it back. I have no tears left now.
For whatever reason - this time was harder. For whatever reason - this one hurt a little deeper. For whatever reason - I could not stop the tears.
Come home safe, C. See you soon.
"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown
"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.