So, tonight the Whitley household sits on the cusp of something big and new and life-altering… and it’s a miserable feeling. The past weeks have been a whirlwind of activity as we prepared for the day that is now upon us, and suddenly time is crawling by as we realize that each thing we do out of routine is now a “one last time” for many months.
Kirby flies out of here tomorrow afternoon. If we’re lucky, we get to fly to see him for a weekend in 8 1/2 weeks, but that’s looking more and more unlikely with each day. After that, it’s another 8-9 weeks without him, then he returns to North Carolina, but not necessarily home for an undetermined number of weeks. So, truth be told, we know that we will definitely see him at the end of May, but that’s all that’s guaranteed at this point. And we learned today that this reunion may be a short one, as he will most likely be called to do more job-intensive training at Pope AFB upon his return.
It’s all difficult to swallow right now. I cannot imagine going through each day without him, and without even being able to talk to him. I’ve not gone this long without talking to him or seeing him is over 14 years, and now we have two girls who count down the minutes until he gets home at the end of a regular workday. And the scariest part of it all is that we don’t know what the future will hold after all of this… this is just the beginning of the journey. I know God has called us to this point- there is no doubt in my mind, and I’ve seen His hand in this time and time again throughout the journey thus-far. I just can’t understand why.
So, for the next 12 hours, we will all weep and cry and hold on to each other, with each hug a bittersweet reminder that these hugs will have to last for what feels like an eternity. We will try to stay strong for each other, which is funny, because each of us (adults and children alike) just want to curl up and cry… it’s been a vicious cycle. One at a time we lose control of our emotions while everyone else tries to be tough and make light of the situation, tries to save face… what are we going to do when not one of us can be strong anymore? What do we do when we all just want to know, “Why?”